In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki has betrayed many, but come the finale, karma catches up at last and it teaches him a very painful lesson.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Loki Episode 6, “For All Time. Always,” streaming now on Disney+.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki has proved an exasperating figure for so many, and as the Loki series proves, it’s not just Tom Hiddleston’s version that’s a pain in the butt. When he got lumped in with the others in the Void and watched the chaos that ensued, he called his variants “monsters,” clearly feeling what so many others have felt over the years, whether it be Asgardians or Avengers. Now, come the season finale, karma has caught up with him in full, and it teaches him a very painful lesson.
It’s been a long time coming and what really makes it resonate is that through Loki, the trickster’s been trying to be a hero, per Mobius’ (Owen Wilson) advice. He’s fighting to erase that sinister nature of lying, cheating, stealing, backstabbing and killing, but from Kid Loki to Boastful Loki to President Loki’s gang, he’s petrified as to whether or not he can really break the vicious cycle.
But Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) has convinced him he can change just as much as Mobius, and more so, she’s why he wants to change. Loki wants her to trust him, but as he himself later points out, the problem is that she doesn’t trust anyone, and he isn’t trustworthy, as his track record shows.
It all comes to a head when they meet He Who Remains at the Citadel and learn what will happen if they remove him from the equation. Loki begs Sylvie not to kill the time god, even fighting to stop her from unleashing his dangerous variants. He drops his weapon and places his full trust and faith in her, but while she drops her sword and kisses him, it’s merely a distraction so she can stab him in the back. Sylvie pushes him through a portal and back to the TVA, kills this Kang variant and breaks the timestream, in the MCU’s biggest disaster yet.
As he comes to, Loki’s crushed, as this is what he’s done to so many people before, especially Thor and Odin. He’s faked his own death, impersonated them and betrayed their trust just when they gave in. Now, he’s tasting the sting of that venom and it hurts because he thought he got through to her. Thus, her deceit is not just a physical burn, but a mental one on his heart and soul.
It’s the woman he loves, so this is going to leave him afraid to trust and love again in the future. Worse yet, Loki has been all about self-love, so one has to imagine this Loki — who is realizing that most, if not all, of his variants are meant to be villains — may no longer believe he can love himself, or that he deserves to be loved.
It’s darkly poetic but deep down, he’s reaping what he sowed. This explains why he proceeds to frantically run around the TVA trying to fix things, because he doesn’t want the end of reality to be on him and Sylvie. Loki’s got so much negativity attached to his name, he needs to be redeemed, and hopefully, he can do the same for the person he might still think is his soulmate. But as he does so, it’s pretty obvious that no matter what, Lokis seem fated to always make the wrong and most selfish of decisions.
All six episodes of Loki Season 1 are available on Disney+. The series will return for a second season.
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