DISCLAIMER: This recap of Loki Season 2 Episode 6, “Glorious Purpose,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, TVA agents and variants! Loki‘s Season 2 finale (possibly series) is a tense, action-packed, emotionally resonant hour that allows our titular (former) god of mischief to be a bona fide hero. Tom Hiddleston smashes it (Sorry, Hulk.) He is Loki and has cemented him as the best-written character in the MCU. Bar none. Our fave Asgardian’s redemption arc is beautifully, lovingly and methodically crafted. He becomes the god he was meant to be and finally gets his throne.
Initially, I was bewildered as to why this episode boasted the same title as the series premiere — “Glorious Purpose.” However, it makes sense now. It shows how we’ve come full circle. Loki finally understands the meaning of his own catchphrase and discovers his glorious purpose as a protector of the multiverse. Just look at that pretty Multiverse Tree!
Side note: Natalie Holt is a badass composer. Her score elevates the narrative, especially in the final 20-ish minutes of this outing.
Ready to delve into “Glorious Purpose”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Loki (Hiddleston) returning to the moment before Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors) ventures onto the gangway to attach the Throughput Multiplier to the launcher and remedy the Temporal Loom issue. O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) stands next to them, while Mobius (Owen Wilson), Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and Casey (Eugene Cordero) stand behind them. Unfortunately, the initial result comes to fruition — Victor turns into spaghetti the minute he steps onto the gangway.
Since Loki can control his time-slipping now, he repeats the same moment. Our titular god decides to speed things up when that falls flat on its face. With every attempt, he urges Victor to move as quickly as possible. Of course, he knows precisely what O.B. and the others will say, so he states it all for them. Then, he goes back further, back to the moment Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Hunter X-5 (Rafael Casal) and Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong) held Victor captive. He attempts to get Miss Minutes to help them adjust the Loom.
And when all that goes sideways, Loki travels back to when Victor and O.B. meet. He hurries everyone through the process of introductions, brainstorming and devising a game plan. Hiddleston knocks all these scenes out of the park. The amount of dialogue he had to memorize and rattle off quickly indicates his Shakespeare know-how, even if one hasn’t watched something like The Hollow Crown.
Then, Loki wonders how long it would take someone to learn physics, engineering, etc. He is a god, after all. He could probably study up in record time. As it turns out, he returns centuries later (which made me chuckle) with enormous knowledge. It surpasses even O.B. He gets a handle on the situation, properly equipping Victor for his gangway walk. But first — time to scan his Temporal Aura.
Thankfully, we see progress in this go-round. With Loki’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Temporal Loom, Victor makes it onto the gangway without morphing into time radiation spaghetti. Victor manages to install the Throughput Multiplier, hit that green button for the launch and return to the TVA in one piece. All seems well. It appears the Loom rings are expanding to accommodate the overabundance of branches. That is until O.B. and Casey notice that the readings are “off.”
Victor realizes those branches are duplicates, and the Temporal Loom wasn’t created to handle the multiverse. He equates it to attempting to divide by zero. Loki realizes where he needs to return … the Citadel at the End of Time.
Sure enough, our fave Asgardian (sorry, Thor) shows up right before Sylvie tries to kill He Who Remains. He fights tooth and nail to prevent her from gutting HWR like a fish. However, it doesn’t work. Each time results in He Who Remains dying anyway, even when Loki travels back further, back to when he and Sylvie first met HWR. At one point, HWR freezes Sylvie in place and makes her vanish temporarily so he and Loki can chat.
HWR wonders how many times our god has repeated this moment. Loki mentions the Temporal Loom overloading and how it could destroy the TVA. HWR reveals that the Loom is merely a failsafe. It’s only meant to handle the Sacred Timeline — nothing else. The TVA’s destruction is no biggie. He can build a new one! Loki isn’t satisfied with this answer. He Who Remains offers our hero a choice: either break the Temporal Loom, which will cause the Multiversal War and end everything, or kill Sylvie, and they can protect what they can.
Next, Loki winds up sitting across from Mobius shortly after B-15 arrested him. Loki knows where this is going. Mobius will show him a montage of clips from his life. He asks Mobius for help. His catchphrase, “I am burdened with glorious purpose,” resurfaces. What does it mean to be burdened with purpose? Mobius tells Loki a story about how he hesitated to do the “right thing” because it involved pruning kids. Renslayer, however, did it, and she became a judge. She’s also the reason Loki wasn’t pruned right off the bat. Hmm.
Then, Mobius offers advice, which Loki takes to heart. He winds up in O.B.’s studio/lab from 1994 as everyone turns into spaghetti. Loki freezes everything, placing him and Sylvie outside of time so they can chat. Loki explains that he’s tried everything to remedy the Temporal Loom problem and fix time. He wonders if he can save the Sacred Timeline at least. Sylvie realizes Loki is thinking about killing her. Well, it’s more like He Who Remains brought up the idea. Obviously, she won’t let him. (And he would never do it.)
Sylvie states that sometimes, a thing must die for other things to live. In this case, she’s referring to the TVA. That’s been her stance all season. The lightbulb flicks on in Loki’s head. He returns to the moment before Victor plods onto the gangway. Instead, he decides to go himself, sans suit. He locks the door, so Mobius and Sylvie can’t follow. Our god takes the plunge.
Thankfully, Loki doesn’t morph into Asgardian spaghetti. But Marvel executes the most incredible superhero costume transformation I’ve seen thus far. We see his signature horns sprout up as his dark green cape flows behind him. He trudges along the gangway. Finally, he lifts his hands, blasting green energy from them. He destroys the Temporal Loom. O.B. notes that the branches are dying. Loki grabs as many as he can to salvage them.
Suddenly, the dying branches part, revealing a staircase and throne on the other side. With He Who Remains gone, there’s nobody to watch over all of time. At the beginning of the series, Loki insisted to Mobius that he would get his throne. He will … just not the one on Asgard.
Sylvie watches with the others, tears in her eyes. She realizes what he’s about to do. Loki ascends the staircase while pulling several branches in each hand. He sits on the throne, pulling the branches toward him as if he’s holding all of time together. He’s become the God of Stories now. As the camera pulls back, we see Loki is part of a tree of timelines. It’s reminiscent of Yggdrasil, the Norse tree of life.
After Loki’s sacrifice, we see the TVA is running smoothly again. B-15 checks on O.B., who’s ensuring that Miss Minutes doesn’t come back evil. We see they’re hunting down He Who Remains’ variants. B-15 chats with Mobius, who looks sad as hell. His buddy is now a time tree. B-15 asks Mobius if he’s heading to the war room for the meeting. While standing in front of the old Time-Keepers murals, Mobius reveals he’s leaving the TVA. He wants to see what he’s been protecting. It’s an emotional moment between him and B-15.
Meanwhile, O.B. opens a box of TVA Guidebooks. We see a young Victor Timely sitting in his home, tinkering away at his invention. He glances at his window. However, he never gets his copy of the Guidebook. Renslayer wakes up in The Void. We see the brush below her blow away to reveal part of the TVA motto: “For All Time. Always.” Then, she sees Alioth looming before her.
Elsewhere, Mobius watches himself play with his kids in 2022 Cleveland. Sylvie sidles up beside him. She reveals she plans to travel for a spell to explore the various timelines. Mobius decides to stay put. He wants to let time pass for a while. His words, “Let time pass,” echo through the time tree, reaching Loki’s ears. He has tears in his eyes, but he smiles. Oh, my heart. Our hero. He found his true, glorious purpose.
Sorry, Thor. Your brother is simply better than you.
Season 2 of Loki was a ton of fun, with Marvel allowing itself to lean into its intrinsic timey-wimey Doctor Who vibes. Admittedly, this show is up there with WandaVision as my favorite MCU live-action series. Ke Huy Quan is an absolute delight and a wonderful addition to this vast universe. I hope we see these characters again. I hope we see Hiddleston as Loki again. Undoubtedly, his being the God of Stories and protecting the time branches will play a role in the MCU’s multiversal future.
Do you think the TVA can track down He Who Remains’ variants? Will Loki remain on his throne in the Multiverse Tree forever? Will Mobius return to his beloved jet skis? Only time will tell.
Loki Seasons 1 through 2 are now streaming on Disney+.