Loki season 2 episode 6 review | An odd finale

loki season 2 helmers Benson and Moorhead have been hired to direct the new Daredevil
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With spoilers, here’s our review and thoughts on Loki’s season two finale: and it was a bit odd.

So there we have it. Loki draws to a close on what could end up a less than propitious day for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if the critical reception to The Marvels – released the same day as Loki’s finale Glorious Purpose – is to be believed. If that’s born out commercially, what Loki really seems to be about might appear even more relevant.

This was an… odd finale, really. But then Loki has been an odd show, let’s face it.

It’s burdened less by the character’s glorious purpose than labouring to establish the MCU’s, in the post-Avengers Endgame ecosystem. Loki has been talked up as important to the Multiverse Saga, introducing the next supervillain Kang and establishing certain rules of that broader narrative.

Yet the second season of Loki has, if anything, felt more insular and contained. It’s better plotted than the first run, but it equally feels much less colourful and playful. Despite having the essential set up of Doctor Who, none more apparent than in the previous episode, it has felt weighed down this season by plot necessity, with showrunners Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead forced to untangle the series from the whopping great cliffhanger at the end of the last.

Not that anyone would have been forgiven for thinking Loki was a one-shot mini-series, propelling Tom Hiddleston back into the cinematic realm. That might yet be the case, but in making Loki the new He Who Remains, if you like, Eric Martin appears to have painted him into an even sturdier corner than the previous season did. How do you get Loki out of literally holding together the entirety of the multiverse? I guess the fate of glass is to break, so the answer will come down the road.

All done?

I wonder if this means the end of Loki as a show, but the question remains open.

You could park Möbius (an underserved Owen Wilson) now, certainly, and most of the rest of the TVA (though please give Wunmi Mosaku more to do, she deserves better material), but Renslayer certainly seems to have the door open for more appearances (presumably let out of being ‘pruned’ by a Kang variant, if the purple haze is anything to go by). Perhaps this will allow them to get Gugu Mbatha-Raw (surely busy while they were filming this, hence her reduced role) in for a bigger appearance. Sylvie (Sophia di Martino) could go either way. Shrug.

I ponder this because the MCU is beginning what could be a sizeable and perhaps wise pivot of the gameplan over the next couple of years.

On the TV front, existing shows are being retooled. Plans are moving away from contained series such as Loki to longer-running, more traditional series able to run years (like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., just presumably with a budget). Loki always felt like two movies stretched out to 12 episodes, so you wonder if a third season in what will be an old Marvel model will make sense, even if you take away where the characters here are left.

The finale episode strongly suggests a sense of conclusion, after all. The title, Glorious Purpose, seeks a palindromic air, doing something I’ve never actually seen done before – naming the finale the exact same as the premiere. I fear that could lead to confusion in the future, and it’s not a precedent I’d champion being repeated, but it fits the nature of the story.

Loki after all ventures back in his own timeline, attempting to avert an apocalyptic fate by manipulating those around him to do his bidding, if in a less sinister way than the trickster God might have done. The episode is about Loki realising he needs to exert his free will and become the change that needs to happen.


The title also refers to Loki’s pompous catchphrase, converted into meaning. The one thing I feel Loki as a series nailed was making us see Loki in a different light.

Hiddleston hasn’t been afforded enough fun, perhaps, in the role, given the often dour narrative, but he has transformed Loki from a god into a man who genuinely no longer seeks power or a throne, and only takes both in the form of a personal sacrifice to save those he loves. It’s less fun than seeing Loki being devilish, but in terms of character development, I can’t fault it and, moreover, I buy it. The choice no longer seemed out of character.

I also feel Loki has now become an in-universe avatar for where the MCU finds itself.

This second season has felt particularly introspective when it comes to Marvel’s precarious position. It has quite literally been about too many threads overloading and threatening to tear apart the one that holds. What better metaphor is there for the post-Endgame landscape? 2023 has been a particular nadir for the MCU generally. Two lacklustre films out of three. Easily the worst TV show they have ever made – perhaps except Inhumans. And Loki wraps up with a desperate attempt to go back as a means of going forward, to repair the damage before it happens.

And what does he learn? That it won’t work. He can’t stop Sylvie killing He Who Remains without killing her himself. He can’t stop the Temporal Loom exploding despite centuries (yes, centuries) of study in temporal physics. He can’t even save his friend Möbius from extinction.

The die is cast. What’s done is done. That’s the case with Marvel. They can’t erase Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania or The Marvels. They can’t pretend fans aren’t losing patience with the franchise and regular audiences are starting to look elsewhere. “Sometimes it’s okay to destroy something” Sylvie suggests.

Loki, if anything, represents the MCU’s durability. He’ll scream into the void, drawing and stitching these threads together in order to keep the ‘Sacred Timeline’ in place, and give people hope.

As the MCU retools and pushes films back (there’s only Deadpool 3 left on the slate for 2024), it believes it can turn the ship around, just as Loki believes he can single-handedly keep the multiverse together by sheer force of will. Both are to be commended. Because as much as this reviewer is tired of the project, he doesn’t want the MCU to disappear entirely. It still has much to offer as popular entertainment. It just needs to find itself again.

Where Loki goes from here, who can be sure? It was hard to predict this season, let alone how he might figure in the MCU’s future. All we can be certain of is that the universe almost certainly isn’t done with Tom Hiddleston yet. If we’re to be done with Loki as a series, however, I think that’s bearable. It’s served its purpose, glorious or otherwise. 

You can find A J. on social media, including links to his Patreon and books, via Linktr.ee here.

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