Loki episode 6 — out now on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar — might have been the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series’ first season, but the finale left us with more questions than answers. Like all of us, I’m new to this whole multiverse idea and how it will function in the MCU, so pardon me if I don’t get some things right. It does seem like Loki episode 6 has ushered us well and truly into the multiverse, if I’m correctly reading the last scene with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a version of Mobius (Owen Wilson) who doesn’t seem to know Loki at all. What these branching timelines will mean for the larger MCU is completely up for grabs at the moment. Heck, we don’t even how it will impact the — now-confirmed — Loki season 2.
For those wondering when it was confirmed, you might have missed the mid-credits scene in Loki episode 6 then. We’ve known about it unofficially for a while, and it’s supposed to start filming early 2022, so it might hit our screens by the end of that year. Fingers crossed. If that does happen, Loki season 2 might get here before Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That matters because of Jonathan Majors ‘He Who Remains’ surprise in Loki episode 6 — it’s never clarified but it does hint that he’s playing Kang the Conqueror, a role he’s expected to reprise in the Ant-Man film series. Again, I might be wrong, but it seems to me we’ll meet another variant of him there. But all that is for much later.
Loki episode 6 — titled “For All Time. Always.”, directed by Kate Herron, and written by Michael Waldron and Eric Martin — began with lines from a bunch of MCU characters we’ve known as the Marvel Studios animated logo appeared. Throw in dialogues from real-life public figures, be it Neil Armstrong, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela. Meanwhile, Loki episode 6 ran through the cosmos before zooming out to reveal like a literal flow of time that is running around that old mansion we saw at the end of Loki episode 5. The one Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) spotted after they enchanted Alioth and cleared the clouds. They look up at the mansion before approaching its cracked doors.
In classic horror movie style, the doors open on their own and close behind them, putting off Sylvie who was taking a moment to get her head straight. Inside they are greeted unexpectedly by Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong), who welcomes them to the Citadel at the End of Time. She notes He Who Remains is impressed. Who is that? He is the one who created all and controls all — and he wants to offer them a deal. He’s ready to insert them into the sacred timeline in a way that won’t disrupt things. They will both get what they have always wanted. For Loki, defeating Avengers and Thanos, the Asgard throne, and even the Infinity Gauntlet if he so desires. For Sylvie, happy memories all the way. It’s tempting, but Sylvie pulls herself out of it, calling it “fiction”. Loki adds: “We write our own destiny now.”
“Good luck with that,” Miss Minutes says in Loki episode 6, as she disappears and reappears in Ravonna Renslayer’s (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) office who is waiting on those files about the founding of the Time Variance Authority. But Miss Minutes is not here to give Ravonna what she asked for. She has something that “He” believes will be more useful. Cryptic, but okay, keeping in line with how the real founder of the TVA likes to operate.
Back to the Citadel at the End of Time, where Loki and Sylvie wonder if He is even alive. Another door magically pops open, and guess what, it’s Majors sitting in a purple cloak smiling to himself. Oh my, the fan theories have come true. No dashing the hopes and dreams as with WandaVision. “Come, let’s talk in my office,” he simply says. Is it actually Kang the Conqueror? The Loki episode 6 subtitles and credits credit him as “He Who Remains”, so Marvel isn’t about to confirm Majors’ character just yet. In the elevator up to his office, Sylvie tries to kill him, but he’s untouchable. He keeps teleporting like he’s got a reflex TemPad on him.
Loki episode 6 takes us back to the TVA, as Mobius walks into Ravonna’s office. She’s not as surprised to see him, as she notes that if there was anyone who could make it back from The Void, it was him. Also, the fact that he got a TemPad from Sylvie, so that counts you know. Mobius is here to change things at the TVA, and pulls out a pen — with a name of a high school on it that we first saw in Loki episode 2 — to tell her what he means. Cut to Fremont, Ohio in 2018 where a freed Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) has lured other Hunters to show them who Ravonna really is. Or at least, another variant of her.
And we jump back to the Citadel at the End of Time, where He Who Remains tells Loki and Sylvie that he’s able to avoid being killed because he has seen it all. His TemPad is pre-programmed because he knows it all. “Every step you took to get here, I paved the road,” he adds. “There’s only one way this goes.” Loki and Sylvie wonder why they are even here then, to which he replies: “Because you have to be changed by the journey.”
Shift back to the TVA in Loki episode 6 as Mobius and Ravonna’s conversation continues. Ravonna tries to defend the organisation, noting it must have a purpose if it was created. It had to have meaning, because otherwise, Ravonna’s life has had no meaning. Mobius says they need to destroy TVA because it prevents free will. Ravonna simply scoffs: “Only one person gets free will.” Mobius tries to prune her, but she easily takes it off him — and then sets off through a time portal. Where is she going, Mobius wonders. “In search of free will,” Ravonna replies, which is well, contradictory to the principles she just offered moments ago.
Loki episode 6 moves back to Citadel at the End of Time. He Who Remains is continuing to explain to them why he did what he did. “I understand your moral objection to TVA, but it has a purpose. Without the TVA, everything burns.” Loki wonders what he’s afraid of. “Me,” he simply replies. As Sylvie asks the obvious question, He Who Remains notes he’s been called many names by many people: a ruler, a conqueror (hint, hint!), a jerk, and well, He Who Remains. He then launches into a story, about how a 31st-century Earth variant of him discovered other universes, which after years of peace and collaboration, led to an all-out war because not every version of him was pure of heart. After all, for some, new universes meant new land to conquer.
Thankfully, one variant — the one in front of us — encountered and began experimenting on Alioth, a creature capable of consuming time and space. Thanks to Alioth’s help, He Who Remains ended the Multiversal War. He then established the TVA that has led to ages of cosmic harmony. “You came to kill the devil, right? If you think I’m evil, just wait till you meet my variants.” He then notes that Loki and Sylvie have two choices: they can either kill him and unleash infinite devils, all the other versions of him. Or they can take over from him. Why would he willingly give away control? Well, for one, he’s tired. And he’s much older than he looks. “This game is for the young, the hungry,” he says, and adds that the two of them are the best candidates he has come across.
Sylvie is still quite angry though — for good reason, as she’s finally found the person who made her life hell. “You played games with innocent lives,” Sylvie adds. He Who Remains notes it wasn’t personal, but it was very personal for Sylvie obviously. He tells her to grow up — they are all villains here after all, they have killed so many. But if they choose to take over, they can do killing things for a good reason. Just then, we hear strange voices in the background of Loki episode 6. He Who Remains seems taken aback, which is surprising for a man who knows it all. Turns out, we have just crossed the threshold. He knew what was going to happen until a certain point — and we have passed that point. Now, even he has no idea what’s going to happen. Wow, perfect timing, Kang.
Outside, the sacred timeline is branching and splitting up. Inside, He Who Remains repeats his offer: take over, or kill me and let another Multiversal War happen. Sylvie thinks he’s lying to them, as she’s unable to trust anyone anymore. She gets up to kill him but Loki stops her. Loki actually believes him and points out the dangers of killing him, but Sylvie thinks Loki is only interested in taking over because it’s another throne for himself. A sword fight is inevitable, though Loki finds a way to get through to Sylvie. He tells her he’s been in her position and he knows how she feels. “I don’t want a throne, I just want you to be okay,” he adds, as they finally kiss. Oh yay, but also a little ew, they are the same person. Sylvie doesn’t think so though. “But I’m not you,” she says as she throws him through a time portal into the TVA.
At this point in Loki episode 6, you know what’s coming. Sylvie stabs He Who Remains through the heart who winks and says “See you soon” as he dies. I can’t tell if he’s referring to the other variants of him that he thinks will show up — or whether his nod to the fact that the Multiversal War will progress like the first one did, ending with one variant putting an end to it, establishing a sacred timeline, creating the TVA, and ending up in this haunted Citadel at the End of Time. You know, like it happened the first time around. We aren’t getting any of those answers just yet as we cut back to the TVA, where the infinite branches have caused ultimate chaos.
Loki, who’s still taking it all in, seemingly decides to get to work. Do the job that He Who Remains asked him to do: take over the TVA. He gets up and runs through the TVA like he’s looking for something, before encountering Mobius and B-15 in the library. There, out of breath, he relays everything to them, but they don’t understand him in the least. Finally, after Loki is done with his story, Mobius responds: “You’re an analyst, right? Who are you and where are you from?” Clearly, they don’t know Loki. Ah, we are in the multiverse now, aren’t we? This isn’t the TVA that Loki was previously in, he’s ended up in some other version of it. That’s more or less confirmed as Loki looks to his left to find a statue of He Who Remains, instead of the Time Keepers. And — fin. Wow, way to leave us hanging.