With the Loki season one finale now unleashed into our sacred timeline, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have finally been given some answers about the multiverse, the Time Variance Authority, and the Wizard of Oz behind it all. But when it comes to the MCU, particularly the newfound multiversal madness that it’s unleashing, similar to rapidly branching timelines, every answer is simply followed by a new question. Here are the ones that we’ve got at the top of our mind following the forever-franchise-changing season one finale of Loki, “For All Time. Always.”.
Warning: spoilers for Episode 6 of Loki, “For All Time. Always.”, will follow.
What timeline did Loki wind up in?
In a season finale filled with mic-drop moments, Loki winding up in a new version of the Time Variance Authority, with versions of Mobius and Hunter B-15 who do not recognize him, was perhaps the most shocking of them all.
Frankly, this is sort of a rhetorical question, as there’s really no way of discerning where (or when?) Loki is until we learn more in following projects such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The real question here is: how much of the timeline has changed? If Mobius and B-15 don’t even recognize Loki, who’s to say anyone else from his past will? Just how much of the previously existing Marvel Cinematic Universe did “For All Time. Always.” completely erase? Will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness be about restoring the previous and now-erased history that Marvel fans have become familiar with over the last decade-plus?
How dangerous is Kang the Conqueror?
While he didn’t personally mention his name, audiences know — by way of official confirmation from Marvel Studios — that Jonathan Majors has been cast as Kang the Conqueror.
Peyton Reed is back to direct the third Ant-Man film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer all return. Kathryn Newton joins the cast as Cassie Lang and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. pic.twitter.com/opXw1cmpFj
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) December 11, 2020
But just how dangerous is Kang the Conqueror, really, and why should the audience, and our heroes, be afraid? If Kang himself is to be believed, he’s the greatest threat the Avengers have faced yet, as he not only has access to various timelines and realities but the technology and the weapons that each of those realities provides.
When Loki and Sylvie arrived at the Citadel, Miss Minutes casually offered Loki the Infinity Gaunlet — something that the Avengers spent years trying to prevent from becoming a reality. And yet, there Miss Minutes and Kang were, offering one to Loki as if it were a complimentary refreshment. When considered in the context of how much effort Thanos had to put forth in order to obtain the Infinity Gauntlet versus how much effort it took Kang, the disparity between the two is quite terrifying. In fact, it begs the question: what the hell are Ant-Man and the Wasp going to do about all of this?
Is Sylvie incapable of critical thought?
I empathize with the fact that Sylvie’s entire life — a life filled with rage and regret and terror all brought on by the Kang’s Time Variance Authority — had been leading up to this moment. And I understand that thinking clearly is quite difficult to do when confronted by the boogeyman you’ve been chasing for as long as you can remember. But for her to not even be able to debate the pros and cons of killing Kang despite all of the multiversal horrors he laid out, and desperate pleas from her apparent soulmate counterpart Loki, feels inconsistent with the cunning we’ve come to expect from the character.
What Kang’s argument was that it’s better to deal with the devil you know than the one you don’t. Loki and Sylvie had lived in this Kang’s reality and experienced his rule — for as angry as Sylvie may be, surely she must understand that things can always be worse, especially when it comes to cosmic multiversal forces. For as much time as Loki spent highlighting the trauma of Sylvie’s past, the series spent just as much time building up the against-all-odds romance between her and Loki, only for Sylvie to then almost quite literally toss all of that character development out the window by choosing to remain on her revenge-driven warpath instead of creating a new path with her supposed love Loki.
The consequences of Sylvie’s actions are felt almost immediately as Loki — having been kicked through a Tempad portal by the only person in the multiverse he ever grew to trust — finds himself face-to-face with a variant of Mobius that doesn’t recognize him, and an ominous statue of Kang the Conqueror, the man who Sylvie apparently just killed, looming over the still-in-tact TVA. Whoops.