Loki’s second season has come to an end, saving the multiverse from itself and its own ever-expanding threads. But you could be forgiven for getting a little lost. After all, Loki jumps back and forth through time quite a bit in the finale, and just about everyone in the show visits one alternate future or another.
And while it remains to be seen what impact the series might have on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — or whether or not the show might ever return for a third season — it’s at least worth trying to decipher the show’s extremely chaotic last episode. So here’s our best explanation of what happened in the Loki season 2 finale.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Loki season 2.]
Loki season 2’s last episode (which felt a lot like the last episode of Loki, period) is ultimately about Loki trying to save the multiverse — and more importantly the Time Variance Authority. Once he figures out how to control his time-slipping, Loki starts going back in time to find ways to save the universe, first by learning all of physics, then by confronting He Who Remains again.
Just like in the season 1 finale, Loki is tasked with deciding if he should save Sylvie or He Who Remains. This time, Loki knows that if He Who Remains dies, all of the worlds will end, because the Loom can’t handle the ever expanding threads of the universe. So after dozens of attempts, Loki decides he has to break the cycle and do something completely different, even if it means propping up He Who Remains in the process.
As HWR explains, the TVA was built to prune branches, keeping them from overwhelming the Loom. This is all in service of the Sacred Timeline, which HWR is always aiming to preserve. Loki eventually realizes the only way to stop the worlds from ending without killing all the people on the pruned branches is to replace the Loom himself, grabbing all the timeline strands and holding them together with his magical, godly strength. The end result makes Loki look a lot like Yggdrasil, the world-tree from Norse mythology.
With Loki now a Loktree, the TVA is free to return to work. But rather than pruning branches, it seems they’re now going through timelines pruning out Kangs — though the reason for this isn’t quite clear. After He Who Remains’ warnings that there are worse versions of him across the multiverse, it seems the TVA has come to the conclusion it must now destroy all Kangs in the hopes of preventing whatever atrocities they might commit in the future.
Ultimately, it’s fitting the best new character in Loki season 2 is named Ouroboros. After all, that’s exactly what this show turned out to be: a series eating its own tail. In putting guardrails on its influence the show devoured itself.
Loki is a show that created problems for it to solve itself, without ever really impacting the rest of the MCU. While it’s still possible Loki could have an impact on future events, it mostly seems that he’s now trapped as Marvel’s Atlas, holding together the threads of the universe. But hey, at least the TVA might return sometime in the future wars against Kang — or Kangs.