After five weeks of build-up, the finale at last provided a concrete answer. The entire purpose of Loki was to… set up future seasons of Loki. That was confirmed with a post-credit snippet in which it was announced Loki would be back for a second run.
But then we had already worked that out given that the episode had finished on the All-Father of all cliffhangers. Loki had journeyed full circle back to the Time Variance Authority only to discover that multiple timelines had been unleashed. And that the villain which the entire internet suspects to be Kang the Conqueror was now in charge (oh and everyone in the present time-frame had forgotten Loki even existed).
So it was clever and complicated. Was it any good, though? The answer can only be a thunderous “meh”. After a spectacular penultimate instalment featuring an alligator wearing a tiny crown and Richard E Grant romping around in banana-hued pyjamas (both different versions of Loki, though Grant was really playing a Withnail and I variant), Loki part six had a lot to live up to.
Alas, it was ultimately more jaw-jaw than pow-pow. And the extreme chattiness will surely have underwhelmed many viewers. In that respect it was of a piece with previous Marvel Disney+ shows, where a spectacular opening gave way to ever diminishing returns and a damp-squib denouement.
In Loki’s defence, the sign-off felt more like a mid-season break than a huge crunching full-stop. And it did meaningfully widen the scope of the Loki-verse. This occurred as the eponymous anti-hero and Sophia De Martino’s Sylvie – aka the female-variant Loki with whom Hiddleston’s character had struck up a romantic spark– journeyed beyond all known dimensions to a castle that seemed to have arrived straight from the latest Dark Souls or Bloodborne video game.
They were at the fortress past the void at the end of time. After a terrifying jump cut courtesy of cutesy orange sociopath Miss Minutes, they were introduced to He Who Remains – a slick baddie portrayed by Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors.