This post contains major spoilers for the season finale of Loki.
The season finale of Loki will have huge ramifications on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Marvel Studios continues to execute Phase Four of their comic book film and TV franchises. However, as integral as the Loki finale will be for the MCU’s future, it’s even more pivotal for the show’s main characters.
Together, Loki and Sylvie go on a journey of discovery, evolution, and heartbreak in Marvel’s game-changing series. Even though everyone will be talking about the big reveals in Loki, the core of this series is about two people finding their counterpoint in one another, even though that ultimately means disappointing each other. That’s why the best scene in the Loki finale focuses squarely on these two characters rather than any set-up for what’s to come in the MCU.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
When Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) firs appears in Loki, it appears she already has a leg up on the God of Mischief we know, played by Tom Hiddleston. She knows how the Time Variance Authority operates, and she’s way ahead of the game. But the two clearly share some common ground.
While Loki has reveled in making mischief in an effort to live up to his moniker, Sylvie has done the same, but in a different capacity. Rather than simply being the God of Mischief, Sylvie has been shaped into one by being plucked from her own timeline as a child and forced to be on the run from the TVA for decades. Living out her life hiding in cataclysmic events across time, Sylvie has only known destruction, and she has no reason to trust anybody.
Meanwhile, Loki is the definition of untrustworthy. He’s always playing some kind of game, creating a con, looking for an opportunity for his next scheme that will bring him power and help fulfill his glorious purpose. He’s betrayed everyone in his life. But when he meets Sylvie, Loki begins to feel something that he hasn’t felt so strongly before.
Love is a Dagger
When Loki and Sylvie believe they’re about to die in yet another apocalyptic event on Lamentis-1, there’s a Nexus event that comes from their conversation. Mobius (Owen Wilson) believes it to be the ultimate manifestation of chaos that comes from two Lokis sparking a connection. But looking into the eyes of both Loki and Sylvie, it’s clear that there’s a deeper connection. It may not be a purely romantic love, but the two of them have recognized something beyond themselves in each other.
This is further illustrated by the fact that He Who Remains believes that it is not Loki or Sylvie who will relieve him of his obligation to keep the timeline in order. Instead, it is Loki and Sylvie who he believes are the key to freeing him from the end of time. Together, they are powerful in a way that has overcome the confines of The Sacred Timeline. It’s almost like He Who Remains is Willy Wonka (check the purple cape), and the TVA and The Void were the ultimate test in figuring out who had the ambition and ability to take the place of the temporal chocolate factory controlled by He Who Remains.
This is where Loki and Sylvie don’t see eye-to-eye anymore. After embarking on this quest to the end of time together, Loki hesitates when the time comes to kill He Who Remains. Sylvie sees this as yet another predictable attempt by Loki to usurp a new kind of power, which is what the audience assumed Loki was trying to do at the beginning of the series. But Loki’s perspective doesn’t come from one of hunger for power. It comes from a place of concern. Loki says, as genuine tears stream down his face, “I don’t want a throne. I just want for you to be okay.” Let’s not forget that he’s technically saying this to a version of himself, which should make it resonate that much more.
Unfortunately, Sylvie doesn’t see things the same way, and she can no longer stand by his side. The kiss Sylvie gives Loki both recognizes the connection they have and serves as a farewell before she pushes him through a time doorway and back to TVA headquarters. In the end, love really does turn out to be a dagger, and this is the final twist of the knife for Loki that leaves him heartbroken.
Though having Loki fall in love with a version of himself began as an amusing prospect, it results in the inevitable pain that we should have expected from the beginning. Loki might have had a change of heart on this journey, but when you fall in love with yourself, and all you’ve ever done is betray people, then it should come as no surprise when you betray yourself.
Just when we thought Loki was coming around to being more of a good guy than we’d ever seen before, he’s betrayed by the person he’s come to care about the most in a pivotal moment that will redefine both of their lives. Granted, Sylvie is far from happy to have taken this path. There is relief after she drives a blade through the heart of He Who Remains, but it’s far from celebratory as she breathlessly collapses onto the floor. Now what?
Meanwhile, after taking a moment to come to terms with what’s just happened, Loki has taken quite the emotional blow. After swallowing his pain, he suddenly has an expression of resolve and determination, and he runs through the halls of the TVA. What matters now is stopping this multiverse of madness from spreading and getting out of control. But Loki is dealt one final blow.
When Loki runs to seek out Mobius and tell him what’s happened so they can prepare for multiple variants of Kang the Conqueror to start a multiversal war, he realizes that he’s now in a completely different timeline where Mobius has no idea who he is. Not only has Sylvie refused a future where they can be together, but she’s taken away the one friend who helped Loki rediscover himself.
Though the ramifications for the MCU seems to overshadow the arc that Loki and Sylvie have in this episode, the impact the series has on each of their characters should not be understated. They each felt something that neither knew was possible, and it all came tumbling down when the time came for them to rely on each other. What does this mean for their future? Only time will tell.
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