Loki
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When Loki ended, so did the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The season, which began with a deeper examination of Loki’s identity, pivoted to the secret identity of a whole new character in its finale, a bait-and-switch move the trickster himself would be proud of. Kang the Conqueror (Johnathan Majors) was introduced, killed, and the timeline was split open, forever altering the MCU to the MCM (Marvel Cinematic Multiverse). The six-episode setup to this moment was a wild journey across space and time, full of incredible set pieces, moving conversations and winning guest appearances (miss you already, Richard E Grant). Ahead of season 2, Gayle Sequeira and Aniruddho Chakraborty recap their favourite moments:

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1. Loki watches his future play out

Loki

The idea of a Loki series following the 2012 version of the character felt like a bit of a regression at first. After all, audiences have already watched the Norse god evolve from an embittered son to a genocidal maniac to a lonely child who’s finally found some semblance of family across a decade’s worth of movies. The pilot episode of Loki, however, smartly turns its drawback into its draw, playing out his entire arc over a single touching scene. As Loki (Tom Hiddleston) watches a life he’ll never be able to live out play out on a screen, a lifetime of thwarted possibilities forces him to acknowledge long-repressed facets of his identity. Audiences have had a decade to figure out who the character is. But for the first time in his life, he’s figured it out too. – GS

2. Loki wonders if he’s a robot

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Same Loki, Same. – AC

 

3. Loki finds a drawer full of infinity stones

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A cruel streak runs through Loki, the idea that people are devoid of free will, merely living out lives predetermined for them by a higher authority. When Loki finds a drawer full of infinity stones at the TVA, where they’re being used as paperweights, it’s not only a striking visual of the organization’s sheer power, but also its cruelty. It’s funny to think that the villain Thanos spent his entire life in search of some paperweights, but more sobering to remember that Natasha Romanoff and Gamora had to die for them too. That their deaths were preordained is cruel enough, that they died for objects that this scene establishes as essentially worthless, is even crueler. In one swoop, the scene declares the past decade-long stakes of the MCU meaningless, a sign that bigger and bolder things await. – GS

4. Mobius and Loki witness the destruction of Pompeii

Loki

Loki has a theory — if you’re stuck in the middle of an impending apocalypse, nothing you do matters because the end is imminent anyway. To test out this idea, he and Mobius (Owen Wilson) travel back in time to the destruction of Pompeii. Loki, knowing that the end is near, tells the hapless villagers to rejoice and live out their last moments while they still can. Hiddleston’s spirit and demeanor makes this scene look like something right out of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who run. It’s hard not to love. – AC

5. Kid Loki hands Loki a dagger

Loki

A series that espouses self-love couldn’t have illustrated it better than in this wordless, touching moment between the two Lokis. A few episodes after the older Loki comes up with his rambling, clumsy “love is a dagger” metaphor — meant to explain how the emotion can be weaponized and used to cause hurt — his younger self (Jack Veal) hands him a literal dagger for protection. The moment is a nice window into Kid Loki’s mind, a time when he didn’t view love this cynically. Love might be a dagger, but this time, a dagger means love. – GS

6. Every moment with Alligator Loki

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He would’ve won against The Avengers, and Thanos (all he had to do was bite off the Titan’s arm so he couldn’t snap, right?) Also, can we please have a Throg and Alligator Loki spinoff? – AC

7. Classic Loki conjures Asgard

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In episode 5, Classic Loki (Richard E Grant) conjures an elaborate illusion of Asgard to distract the monster Alioth while Sylvie and Loki attempt to enchant it. They’re successful, but at the cost of Classic Loki’s life. That the older variant spent most of his life in isolation, longing to return home to Asgard, makes his death among its ruins even more poignant. It also recontextualizes what Mobius told Loki in the pilot, that he’s destined to lose so that others can become the best versions of themselves. After all, the Avengers only became the Avengers when they assembled to ensure his crushing defeat. Now, in dying, an older Loki has finally helped his younger version unlock his best shot at survival. – GS 

8. Loki vs Loki vs Loki vs Loki vs…

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Alligator Loki bites the hand off President Loki seconds after Boastful Loki betrays Kid Loki only to be betrayed by President Loki who’s then betrayed by his own army of Lokis, leading to an all-out war during which Loki unhelpfully sneaks around as Classic Loki conjures up projections of Kid Loki doing ‘get help’ with Alligator Loki. That’s a sentence that’s as chaotic as the scene is, and the show’s all the better for it. While a time-travel series is a great way to literally bring characters face to face with themselves as they explore larger, more serious questions of identity, it’s also an excellent way to mine the sheer fun that an unpredictable character like Loki brings to the table, multiplied exponentially by each of the variants in this scene. – GS

9. Loki vs Sylvie

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This scene was the standout of a series finale that was otherwise rather lumbering and “talky-talky”. Not only are Loki’s fighting skills on display against a presumably more mature Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), he also makes a near ‘sacrifice play’ to stop her. This is reminiscent of Loki’s Infinity War arc — that with enough character growth, he would consider sacrificing himself for the greater good. It’s a trait worthy of a throne. – AC

10. The Lokis branch the timeline

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Look, not everyone ships Loki and Loki (Sylvie), but I am totally for it. Even a wiser, humbled Loki is only truly capable of falling in love with a version of himself, so ‘Sylki’ makes sense. And if all of it is not a larger metaphor for loving oneself before loving another, then forget it, imaginary daggers don’t matter. – AC

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