Loki season 2 has usually felt extra like a whimsical staging floor for Marvel’s subsequent huge crossover occasion than an extradimensional character research of its eponymous trickster god. From its very first episode, although, Loki’s made clear that for all of its timeline-hopping and timey-wimey-ness, it has at all times been a narrative about Loki lastly discovering his true function after a number of lifetimes of not understanding who or what he wished to be.
There’s a solemn finality to the way in which Loki’s second season involves an in depth that very a lot makes it really feel like each the collection’ conclusion and an indication of a serious, lasting change that may have far-reaching penalties for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Considered in a sure gentle, it’s arduous to see this season’s finale — “Superb Function” — as an entirely satisfying conclusion that ties up all of Loki’s mysterious threads concerning the Time Variance Company, Kang, and Loki’s fellow variants.
However once you take a look at the finale as Loki’s manner of spelling out a number of the huge concepts that have been first teased all the way in which again in its collection premiere (whose title this episode shares), “Superb Function” works as a surprising bookend to this chapter of Loki’s life, and it opens up a complete new world of potentialities for what’s coming subsequent.
This overview incorporates spoilers for the primary season of Loki. For our preliminary overview, go right here.
Loki’s first season largely stored its focus mounted on Loki (Tom Hiddleston) himself as he launched into extradimensional journeys of alternate self-discovery. However the present’s second season has felt like way more of an ensemble present that’s making an attempt to focus on what retains individuals like Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosako) going even when it looks as if actuality itself is coming undone.
Season 1 revealed He Who Stays (Jonathan Majors) because the true supply of a lot of the chaos threatening the bigger MCU and established that his demise would result in the tip of all issues. However there was no actuality during which Sylvie (Sophia DiMartino) would relaxation till she had her revenge on He Who Stays for orchestrating her apocalyptic upbringing, and Loki couldn’t convey himself to cease her — partially as a result of they’re variants of each other, but additionally as a result of they appear to be in one thing vaguely like love.
Within the wake of He Who Stays’ Kang variants making their huge debuts in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it initially appeared like Loki’s second season might need been constructing in the direction of a future the villain was both hiding or didn’t learn about. This was very true as this season launched an excellent, bumbling, and technologically-limited Kang variant generally known as Victor Well timed, whose altruism made him seem like the one model of Kang able to saving the TVA with out having any apparent ulterior motives.
Extra so than his uncanny resemblance to Kang and He Who Stays, what made Well timed such an enchanting a part of this season was his reference to the TVA’s eccentric technician Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan). Regardless of Well timed being destined to grow to be a Kang — the MCU’s subsequent huge unhealthy — Loki framed Well timed and Ouroboros as two genius minds who have been in dialog with each other throughout time, area, and completely different realities in a manner that shouldn’t have been attainable.
The query of how an earthbound Well timed’s research from the nineteenth century might have straight led to Ouroboros writing the TVA information ebook (which then traveled again by way of time and first gave a younger Well timed the inspiration to pursue his innovations) raised the attention-grabbing chance of the 2 of them being extra deeply, existentially related. Loki spent a lot of its first season hammering residence how, regardless of their bodily variations and distinctive backgrounds, there was an plain form of kinship between Loki and Sylvie that spoke to their each being diversified expressions of comparable core experiences like feeling exterior of 1’s household.
In its latter episodes, Loki’s second season nearly appeared to be implying that form of relationship may also exist between Well timed and Oroboros, which might have been a notable beat by itself, however particularly so contemplating the rumblings about Marvel contemplating a Kang recast following Majors’ authorized troubles. However quite than pivoting to a brand new Kang, and even bringing Kang correct into the image in any main capability, “Superb Function” as a substitute goes out with a bang meant to remind you whose present this has at all times been, forthcoming tentpole films be damned.
Narratively, the way in which “Superb Function” zooms in on Loki — who can now management his time-slipping to leap forwards and backwards at will — as he slowly realizes there’s no technique to save the entire branching timelines and the Temporal Loom conveys the reality of what He Who Stays informed him in season 1. Regardless of what number of jumps Loki makes to particular moments within the timeline the place his actions might change destiny, and make the not possible attainable, actuality begins to unravel simply moments after he arrives.
All through each seasons, Hiddleston’s accomplished a few of his strongest appearing as Marvel’s god of mischief, however there’s a poignance to Loki and Sylvie’s reunion again on the Finish of Time the place he jumps to cease her from killing He Who Stays that feels distinct. The episode’s repeated revisiting of the identical scenes from barely completely different views rapidly drains the momentum out of the sequences the place Loki and the gang are scrambling to ship Well timed off to avoid wasting the Loom. However every time Loki tries and fails to cease Sylvie from killing He Who Stays on the Finish of Time, it turns into clearer that “Superb Function” is making a degree in regards to the futility of making an attempt to alter the angle of somebody who doesn’t need to be modified.
“Superb Function” additionally highlights how Sylvie’s been fairly direct and constant about eager to stay out her days after killing He Who Stays, even when that meant solely having a short while at first about her new actuality ceased to exist. However quite than casting Sylvie in a nihilistic gentle, “Superb Function” holds up her resolve and a form of mirror for Loki to see how he, too, can select to observe his coronary heart, understanding that he may not succeed.
Whereas the thought of Ouroboros possibly being a Kang variant is a neat one, “Superb Function” follows Well timed down the gangway making an attempt to avoid wasting the Temporal Loom sufficient instances to make it seem like Majors is perhaps round for a bit longer but. However throughout the context of Loki, it looks as if there’s no situation during which Well timed’s the one to avoid wasting the day as a result of, once more, that is Loki’s story.
As delicate as this season has been in exploring the character of free will, it was very clearly going out of its technique to keep away from suggesting that possibly Loki, an Asgardian god, is perhaps higher suited than Well timed, a human man, to go on a cosmic spacewalk to improve a chunk of equipment. However when “Superb Function” will get round to dwelling as much as its title and giving Loki his huge hero second, it lands despite its abruptness due to how powerfully it speaks to Loki’s self-professed want to guard his associates and his worry of being alone.
This season featured far fewer whimsical Loki variants than the primary, however “Superb Function” makes up for its lack of Richard E. Grant’s Basic Loki as Loki trudges down the gangway to magically include the Temporal Loom’s explosion. At a time when Marvel’s VFX output has been wildly inconsistent, seeing Loki go huge with a change sequence set in opposition to the backdrop of a glowing, dying multiverse filled with decaying timelines and completely nail it’s a delight. It’s a bit arduous to grasp simply what precisely is occurring and why Loki’s instantly capable of carry out a feat so large you’d nearly count on to see it occurring in a movie. However it’s attractive, and its basic which means is pretty simple.
“Superb Function” establishes that, by grabbing maintain of every of the multiverse’s timelines and weaving them collectively upon the ruins of He Who Stays’ throne on the Finish of Time, Loki has apparently grow to be a brand new form of Time-Keeper. The finale doesn’t clarify what function Loki — whose magic is what brings the timelines again to life — performs of their continued existence past appearing because the nexus that connects all of them collectively. However because it returns to a TVA that now focuses on holding tabs on the entire Kang variants scattered throughout the multiverse (Lokiverse), it looks as if this will likely be a giant a part of the MCU’s new regular for no less than some time.
There are many reminders on this episode that the whole lot that’s occurred this season is inevitably going to result in the outbreak of a conflict that none of Loki’s characters — save for He Who Stays — are able to be pulled into. However quite than hyping up the subsequent Marvel venture, “Superb Function” closes out on Mobius and Sylvie to emphasise how their freedom, for now, is inexorably linked with Loki’s sacrifice.