One of the things that Loki has taught us is there seems to be an infinite amount of timelines out in the universe. Timelines where Throg (Frog Thor) exists or President Loki wins elections or our new favorite hand eater, Alligator Loki is out there eating hands and drinking boxed wine. There are timelines that will be hit by massive storms and wiped out and there are timelines where Owen Wilson says “wow” at least once. Just the once. We’ve got timelines for days and I like to believe in another multiverse Loki has like five episodes left and that the people in that multiverse understand how lucky they are to have five additional episodes because in this area of the multiverse we only have one. One episode of Loki left. Honestly, I’m nowhere near ready to say goodbye to this show but it doesn’t look like I have much choice in the matter unless I’m able to get ahold of one of the TVA’s doorway devices that allows me to jump to one of these other timelines where they apparently have all the Loki. Tomorrow is the finale and unless Sylvie fractures the timeline again, it seems that’s the world we’re going to have to live in.
As we prepare ourselves for these final fifty minutes of Loki-centric television, there are still a number of questions that need to be answered. For starters, are the rumors true and there’s a season two in our future? How will Mobius “burn down” the TVA? Will we ever get to see that cut scene where Throg beats up Loki? And most importantly, who is living in that castle at the end of all time?
As comic fans, it’s easy to get swept up in the notion that the season finale will bring Kang the Conqueror into the MCU, something that we believed would be happening with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The show has done a tremendous job of leading us on, sprinkling these Kang-like breadcrumbs throughout the series. Judge Renslayer has a ton of Kang connections in the comics, I believe they’re married or dating or all of the above because #comics. The Void showed us a destroyed building that many mistook for Stark Tower but was actually Qeng Tower which is a business owned by, you guessed it, Kang. Loki’s smoke monster, Alioth, also comes with some heavy Kang connections. The Kang clues have not been subtle and there have been too many for fans to think that Kang is not connected to the TVA in some possible way.
Or, is this another Mephisto situation where fans are working themselves up only to be disappointed in the end?
The answer to that question is easy, a little bit of both. This is not a clear-cut Mephisto situation. For starters, we already know that Kang is coming to the MCU. That is certain. In no way were we ever promised Mephisto but we’ve been promised Kang. We know he’s coming, the thing is, I don’t think he’s coming to Loki which could feed some fan disappointment.
I’m not saying that the show will dismiss Kang completely with the finale, I think too much intentional work has been put in to just push him aside. Our showrunners want us thinking about Kang and maybe we get him mentioned by name by a character in the finale. Judge Renslayer is an obvious choice for name-dropping purposes. Hell, maybe we get our first glimpse of Kang in a post-credits stinger. But, he is not in that castle.
As much as I want to see Kang, I think his appearance in the finale would do this story a disservice. Introducing a character, we’ve never met before, in the final fifty minutes takes away from the character’s journey. Now, we have to get an info dump of exposition explaining who Kang is and what his goals are and that’s attention that should be focused on Loki and Sylvie instead. While comic book fans know who Kang is, the casual fan, they don’t have a clue. To them, this is a bad guy who must really like the color purple and is living in a castle. A lot of work needs to be done to bridge that gap. If there were more episodes to this season, maybe in that alternate timeline mentioned earlier, then sure, give us allllll the Kang. But for this universe, let’s keep this story centered on what got us to this moment. The characters. Their motivations. Their redemptions. Their arcs.
That is why I believe that there is a Loki living in that castle and our final “big bad” will be another Loki variant. Not just any Loki variant though. No, where’s the fun in that?! This story has spent a tremendous amount of time building up our Loki. Pulling him out of time immediately after the Battle of New York prevented Loki from reaching his full redemption in Infinity War thus setting our Loki down a different path. A path where he sees how his story pans out, where he recognizes that maybe he’s not destined to lead, who recognizes he doesn’t enjoy being cruel (tell that to the poor people of Avengers, am I right?!). Through this journey, our Loki is experiencing things he’s never truly had. A friendship with Mobius. Love for something other than himself. Sure, it’s a version of himself, so narcissistic, but still love is love is love. A love so strong it creates a Nexus Event in an apocalypse setting something that shouldn’t be possible. Our Loki is evolving and becoming something greater than what we saw in Ragnorak and Infinity War.
Loki has grown before our eyes over these last five episodes. Being stuck in a time loop where you get kneed in the junk over and over again is tough, but it shouldn’t negate his admission to Lady Sif. This is a Loki who has come to terms with who he is and actually wants to change that perception. Who wants to grow. Putting him up against Kang in the finale would be cool but it would ring hollow. Putting him against a final version of himself will have meaning and will be packed with emotion, something the show has been delivering in spades. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed a couple of tears so far and I expect to shed a few more.
And what about this final boss Loki, who is he/she? Well, what if this is the Loki who embraced his glorious purpose and went, full villain. A Loki who maybe wins the Battle of New York and then destroys Asgard or at least Odin. Possibly kills Thor and the rest of the Avengers. A Loki who… wins. The “Superior” Loki, something that has been mentioned repeatedly throughout the show’s run. A Loki who creates the TVA to preserve his win and destroy any and all Loki variants because what is the biggest threat to a Loki? Another Loki. This is what our Loki could have become. The juxtaposition created by putting an Evil Loki and our Loki together is too rich to pass up. Our Loki could finally be given a chance to grasp his glorious purpose and be the person he was destined to be… himself.
With all my excitement for the arrival of Kang, this is the confrontation I want. “Superior” Loki vs our Loki is the battle we deserve. Let’s put it to the test, can our Loki truly redeem himself, or has this all been another ruse by the God of Mischief to seize power? Kang can wait as far as I’m concerned…
What do you think Geekling, who do you think is living in that castle? Is it Kang? A Loki variant? Mephisto? Sound off in the comments below or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. We’ve got a day to discuss before the finale drops and then we’ll see if we’re still apart of the sacred timeline.Continue reading “Loki- Who’s In the Castle and Why It’s Not Kang”