REVIEW: ‘Loki,’ Episode 6-“For All Time. Always”

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Loki Episode 6 - But Why Tho

Loki Episode 6 closes the book on the series’ first season, and in the process upends the Marvel Cinematic Universe as fans know it. “For All Time. Always” picks up immediately where “Journey Into Mystery” left off, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) entering a citadel that is located at the end of time. There they encounter a mysterious man (Jonathan Majors), who refers to himself as “He Who Remains”, who is the true force behind the Time Variance Authority and the Sacred Timeline. He Who Remains reveals the secret of the Sacred Timeline and offers Loki & Sylvie a tempting deal that pits them against each other.

Majors was confirmed to be playing the time-traveling tyrant Kang the Conqueror last year, and he sinks his teeth into the role of He Who Remains. The results are a blast to watch. Majors’ performance oscillates between jovial and manic, revealing a man who has slowly been driven mad by knowing everything there ever was or ever will be. He also gives a speech that hints at Kang’s comic book origins and a potential Marvel Comics storyline that I’ve been wanting to see adapted for years; with Majors set to reprise his role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the future looks bright for this character.

Majors’ appearance also confirms a long-running fan theory about the TVA, and it happens to be satisfying because it makes complete sense in terms of the story. Since Loki dealt with time travel and the nature of free will, it only makes sense that Kang, who has subjugated multiple timelines, served as a major threat. Kang also serves as a foil to Loki. Prior to being abducted by the TVA and meeting Sylvie, Loki was in the same boat as Kang. He felt that his status as royalty in Asgard gave him the right to rule Earth. Hiddleston gives an amazing performance throughout “For All Time. Always”, with series showrunner Michael Waldron and writer Eric Martin giving him some choice lines and director Kate Herron staging multiple opportunities for him to flex his emotional range.

The biggest opportunity comes in the middle of the episode, where Loki and Sylvie argue about the fate of the timeline and come to blows in an impressively staged sword fight. Once on the same page, now the duo is split over what do to with He Who Remains. For Sylvie, the chance to finally exact vengeance for everything she’s been through in her life is within her grasp. For Loki, who’s a very good liar, there’s conflict as he can sense their mutual enemy is telling the truth. Hiddleston and Di Martino have had insane chemistry throughout the series, and it comes to its natural conclusion here. Audiences have been divided about this relationship, but it always made sense to me. Who else would Loki trust other than himself, or in this case, herself? And who else could easily break his heart, other than his adoptive family?

The only place where the episode stumbles is a dangling plotline where Mobius (Owen Wilson) confronts Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) about the nature of the TVA, while Hunter B-20 (Wunmi Mosaku) tracks down Renslayer’s variant. This plotline ends rather abruptly, and it’s fairly clear that the series intends to pick up in its second season. While I admire the fact that this episode is laying tracks for Season 2, other series I’ve watched, especially fellow Disney+ original The Mandalorian, have managed to deliver season finales that tie up ongoing threads and tell a complete story. Here, the Mobius/Renslayer/Hunter plot feels less like a complete storyline and more like a “See you later.”

Loki Episode 6 brings the series’ first season to a close, answering multiple questions and opening up even more by the episode’s end. With the series renewed for a second season, and a rather disturbing cliffhanger, the God of Mischief isn’t out of the woods yet.

Season 1 of Loki is currently available to stream on Disney+.

Loki Episode 6 -"For All Time. Always"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Loki Episode 6 brings the series’ first season to a close, answering multiple questions and opening up even more by the episode’s end. With the series renewed for a second season, and a rather disturbing cliffhanger, the God of Mischief isn’t out of the woods yet.