This week has been a Marvelous one, hasn’t it? Not only did we get the arrival of The Marvels in theaters, which I loved and recommend you see if you haven’t, but on the same day we received the glorious gift of the Loki season 2 finale! That’s a lot of superhero action to put into one day, but Marvel Studios made it look easy, creating an excellent double feature for those who just can’t get enough. After just six episodes, the Tom Hiddleston-led series has come to an end, with a conclusion that feels more final than anything else from Marvel Studios.
“Glorious Purpose” is the closing chapter in this Magnum Opus from writer Eric Martin, with the return of directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who directed three of the six episodes of Loki season 2. With a strong direction from those behind the pen and cameras, it seems like it’s a no-brainer that Loki would stick the landing, however, endings have been a complaint from many finales of the Marvel Studios Disney+ series. So did the Loki season 2 finale land in a way that was reflective of the rest of the impressive season? Continue to see where Loki is headed with all his glorious purpose.
[Warning: Spoilers from the Loki season 2 finale are below!]
The Loki season 2 finale begins with a time loop
After the last episode, “Science/Fiction”, Loki has finally mastered the time slipping he’s been experiencing since He Who Remains’ Death and the fracturing of the sacred timeline. No longer is he pulled through time, looking like Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. How is he finally able to control it? By focusing on one person and using those thoughts to propel him through time and remain firm in the space he chooses.
With this great power obviously comes great responsibility, which for Loki means that he needs to do whatever he can to stop the Temporal Loom from exploding. If the Loom fails, the multiverse dies and all life ceases to exist. Loki travels back to just before the Time Loom’s explosion, thinking that if he can speed up the process before the boom, he can save the multiverse. Seems like a simple plan that should be easily achievable for the God of Mischief, so what can go wrong?
The answer to that is a lot. It’s never just as simple as speeding up the process with something as unstable as the Loom in the end. However, that doesn’t stop Loki in the slightest, who begins his own horrific Groundhog’s Day, where he continues to venture back, only for events to play out relatively the same way. Eventually, Loki switches tactics, such as spending centuries learning as much as he can to help speed up the process. But the Loom always explodes, unable to accommodate the growing multiverse.
There has to be another way right?
He Who Remains and Loki have words
Eventually, Loki travels back to the events of the season one finale, to stop Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) from killing He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). Another Groundhog’s Day situation occurs, as Loki works diligently to protect He Who Remains, though to no avail. However, the time loop does lead to some interesting conversations with He Who Remains. The Kang variant suggests the only way forward is to kill Sylvie, which is the only way to ensure that the Loom stays in place. Although we all know that isn’t an option now that Loki has built the makeshift family he’s been craving since the beginning of the MCU.
Instead, Loki forges a new path, giving viewers and fans alike one of the coolest moments in the MCU. Loki decides to shoulder the burden himself, assuming the role of He Who Remains. He walks out to the Time Loom, shedding his skin, metaphorically. His clothes melt away and his Loki costume blooms into existence as he steps through the blackened remains of the multiverse. As he steps closer to the Citadel, he breathes life back into separate timelines, grabbing them as he progresses and flooding them with green life.
Loki finally gets the throne he’s craved for so long, in a palace all by himself. He found his glorious purpose as the life battery to the Multiverse, creating it in the image of the Yggdrasil, but has lost everything in the process. Woah, talk about an incredible ending.
The positives and negatives of the Loki season 2 finale
I’ve seen some of the reactions on the internet about the finale, and it seems that it was either the best hour of Marvel television on Disney+, or the worst. For me, the Loki season 2 finale fell into the first camp. To me, this is quite possibly the best hour of television I’ve watched all year, cementing Loki as one of my favorite Marvel series to date. What the writer and directors did with Loki’s story in this season is nothing short of exceptional, reminding viewers of what makes Loki such a fascinating character.
A ton of praise has to go to Eric Martin who had a strong vision for what he wanted the story to be this season and he executed it well. The second season of Loki shows that he’s a master at his craft and places him as one of my favorite Marvel Studios writers. After the strength and direction in the writing on this season, Marvel Studios should be looking to him to guide some of the other films for them, specifically Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Eric Martin just gets this universe and these characters so well, it would be a shame if Marvel doesn’t snatch him up for at least one of their upcoming big films.
[Editor’s Note: We had the pleasure of having Mr. Martin sit down for an interview with us as our very first exclusive interview on this site back in 2021. See part one of the interview here, and part two of the interview here, where he talks about writing for Loki, Rick and Morty, breaking into Hollywood, screenwriting, dealing with negative feedback, and more.]
However, Martin didn’t do this alone, so just as much praise has to be given to Benson and Moorhead. Having directed two episodes of Moon Knight and serving as the lead director of the second season of Loki, it’s clear that their direction behind the camera is essential for the continued growth of the MCU. Their approach is to make shot after shot feel both cinematic and representative of the color world that comics live in. I am very glad that these two are taking charge and directing most of the episodes of Daredevil: Born Again. If Marvel wants to fix that show, they are the duo that will do it.
Now, for the main event Tom Hiddleston. My God, someone get this man an Emmy for Loki this season. Hiddleston continues to outdo himself with performance after performance that is brilliant. After a decade of playing this character, he continues to grow and adapt with him, bringing about one of the best character arcs in the entire MCU. I cannot wait to see where Loki goes next, but I know after that performance, Marvel Studios isn’t about to let Tom Hiddleston go anytime soon.
The rest of the cast also gave it their all in this season, especially in the finale. There isn’t a weak performance in the bunch, although I’m impartial to Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan) who stole every scene he was in. I’ll be devastated if he doesn’t make a grand return in another project, because the energy that Ke Huy Quan brought to the role is exceptional in every single way.
Final thoughts on Loki’s “Glorious Purpose”
I can understand why this finale wasn’t for everyone, it’s hard when we see these characters that we’ve come to love not get their happy endings. When it comes to Loki, I feel as a group we’re pretty used to Loki not getting a satisfying ending. As a character he has gotten tortured over and over, sometimes at his own hands. However, the lack of a happy ending can still feel like a gut punch.
For me, not only did it work, but it made sense. This is not the end of the story for these characters. I fully believe that Marvel Studios will be bringing them back down the road, at least for Secret Wars. There is plenty of time to see them grow and breathe, and get those happy endings. However, on the flip side, not every ending in life is happy and that’s a fact that we have to come to terms with. I think Loki’s second season was the perfect swan song for this chapter in Loki’s life and I’m beyond excited to see what comes next.
Loki season 2 is now streaming only on Disney+. Let us know on social media @Mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord what your thoughts are on this glorious conclusion. And while you’re here, check out some of our other Loki coverage below or via the Loki tag!