The first season of Loki has reached its climax with “For All Time. Always.” It’s a finale that has huge implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as Loki.
Loki and Sylvie have arrived at the Citadel at the End of Time and prepare to confront the person behind the TVA and Time Keepers. They discover a person referenced to as He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) and attempts to reason with the Lokis. At the TVA Mobius and Hunter B-15 reveal Ravonna Renslayer’s real identity.
“For All Time. Always.” was a talky episode which makes it different to the finales for WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which were more action-ordinated. But that doesn’t mean that “For All Time. Always.” lacked intrigue or interest because it was jammed-packed with ideas! Fans of wacky sci-fi who are into ideas about time travel, alternative universes, and moral dilemmas will enjoy this episode.
Loki, Sylvie, and their allies in the TVA wanted to bring down the puppet master because they wanted to resort free will. However, in this episode revealed, He Who Remains reveals that there was a lot of truth in Miss Minutes’ cartoon in the first episode because if He Who Remains is killed then the timelines will fracture and a new Multiverse war would erupt. It plays on ideas that were explored in Rick and Morty and His Dark Materials.
In the Rick and Morty episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation” Summer questioned Unity’s control of a planet and stated people should have free will. The problem with free will is people can be bad to each other. Loki takes that idea and plays it more seriously and puts it on a grander scale. If He Who Remains is killed then chaos and anarchy would be unleashed. It’s the age question, what’s more important, freedom or security? In the His Dark Materials novels the heroes end goal was to kill The Authority (i.e. God) and save all reality. Loki’s season finale was an inversion of that because He Who Remains claims that if he’s killed then reality could be destroyed.
Majors was captivating in his role. He oozed charisma and was able to make a lot of exposition interesting. He Who Remains’ backstory and his reasoning was fascinating. He Who Remains revealed that he and many over versions of himself discovered the Multiverse and tried to work together but evil variant started the war. He created the TVA as a way to protect reality from himself. However, he was an unreliable character because he had his own agenda and was willing to lie and distort the truth to achieve this. Marvel clearly has big plans because Majors is set to appear as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The ending of “For All Time. Always.” will be an important part of the MCU’s future. More timelines were being created and it could play a role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It was a massive development for the franchise.
In theory “For All Time. Always.” shouldn’t have worked because it breaks so many rules. It was a dialogue-heavy episode that dumped a lot of information and introduced a new villain at the end. But the showrunners were able to make it tense and compelling. It helps that this episode pulls from a lot of other media I enjoy.