Loki Episode 6 recap: The villain (maybe) at the end of time

(L-R): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In Loki Episode 6, “For All Time. Always,” Loki and Sylvie make a major breakthrough. But is the free will they’ve been fighting for all that it’s cracked it up to be?

The Disney Plus show has been leading up to this one reveal since the opening episode—who is the real keeper of time? The Time Keepers turned out to be androids. The pruned were still alive, albeit fed to the cloud monster, Alioth.

In other words, nothing that the Lokis, the TVA, and the audience have been told so far has been true. We haven’t been able to trust what we see or what’s been told to us. And we finally learn the reason for that.

As Loki and Sylvie tentatively enter the castle at the end of time, they have a million questions to ask. The answers, for them and their friends at the TVA, may not be what they expect.

Loki Episode 6 – Free will

Loki Episode 6 recap
(L-R): Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong) and Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Judge Ravonna Renslayer is looking for answers in Loki Episode 6. Despite her bravado, she’s as much in the dark about the Time Keepers as everyone else, including Loki and Sylvie. The only person who can help Ravonna is Miss Minutes.

But even that plan fails. Miss Minutes doesn’t deliver the information Ravonna’s been looking for—how time started and who exactly runs the TVA. It’s going to take something drastic to get any answers. Mobius’ return from supposed death doesn’t exactly help.

The friendship between Ravonna and Mobius has been quite enjoyable in this series. They’re clearly fond of each other but while Ravonna puts her work first, Mobius always believed in the importance of their friendship over everything else.

Despite their current animosity, neither Ravonna nor Mobius want to prune each other. A short scuffle ensues, where Ravonna wins, but instead of pruning Mobius, she simply packs her bag, gathers up her TemPad and leaves.

Where Ravonna has gone to, we don’t yet know. We do know what she’s searching for—free will. It’s what the TVA has taken from all of the variants and what Mobius believes should be returned to them, even at the cost of anarchy.

Mobius and B-15 have orchestrated a plan to help the rest of the TVA agents find the truth. B-15 is followed to 2018 where she shows her fellow agents proof of their reality.

In Fremont, Ohio, the agents come face-to-face with Ravonna, but she’s confused by their presence. This isn’t Ravonna Renslayer at all—but the person she used to be before being taken by the TVA and turned into an agent. We really hope the judge finds that free will she deserves.

Loki Episode 6 – Know-it-all

Loki Episode 6 recap
(L-R): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Meanwhile, at the edge of time in Loki Episode 6, Loki and Sylvie encounter an unexpected host in the dark and gloomy castle—Miss Minutes! We always knew there was something strange about her.

Miss Minutes informs Loki and Sylvie that ‘he who remains’ has devised a way for the two of them to return to the timeline, completely unscathed, to live out the rest of their days. The offers are tempting.

For Loki, He Who Remains has promised the end of the Avengers, complete rule over Asgard, and world domination. For Sylvie, a lifetime of running and hiding was erased and replaced by memories full of joy and happiness.

Loki and Sylvie can’t be blamed for hesitating, but Sylvie realizes this is a ruse pretty quick. It all sounds too good to be true—because it is. Miss Minutes figures out that this plan isn’t working and disappears, leaving Loki and Sylvie to find the man in charge themselves.

He Who Remains turns out to be a sweet, smiling gentleman eating an apple (Jonathan Majors). Marvel fans will note the purple hues of He Who Remains’ cloak and connect him to Kang the Conqueror. Plus, it was announced in 2020 that Majors would be playing Kang in Ant-Man 3.

Despite all this information, He Who Remains is never named Kang in Loki Episode 6. He does allude to being called a Conqueror though.

And what does He Who Remains do? He keeps the timeline in check. And he’s had to keep a close eye on the Lokis because he had a plan for them. One that led Loki and Sylvie right here, to his office, with their swords raised, ready to strike, waiting to get their answers first.

Loki Episode 6 – Catastrophic chaos

He Who Remains was once just a man on Earth, albeit in the 31st century. As he explains to a very suspicious Loki and Sylvie in Loki Episode 6, he met another version of himself, and then even more. These variants got along well and shared knowledge and resources.

But, inevitably, there were variants who didn’t have such altruistic intentions. They wanted worlds for themselves and they fought for it. The multiverse was in chaos until He Who Remains/ Kang found someone who could help him restore balance—Alioth.

The creature could devour variants and ensure that only one timeline remained intact—the one that He Who Remains lived in. This Kang set up the TVA as a front and pulled the strings from his castle hideout. All well and good, except for the two Lokis before him who want to end his reign.

Kang is totally up for that, by the way. He wants to die. He’s lived a long life and it’s been hard keeping the timeline in check. Of course, his death will unleash all the timelines, and all the Kangs, many of whom will fight each other and decimate Earths. Catastrophic chaos, indeed.

Kang’s plan is to rest now and let Loki and Sylvie take over the running of the TVA to stop the other Kangs from ruining the universe. Essentially, everything stays the same—it’s just a change in management.

But Sylvie doesn’t buy it. She’s been suspicious from the start and this just sounds ridiculous to her. But Loki believes Kang—they’re both liars, after all. Loki and Sylvie, who’ve seen eye to eye on so much, can’t agree on this.

They end up dueling but Loki still can’t find the courage to tell Sylvie how he feels about her. Even when she’s this close to lopping off his head, all Loki says is that he wants her to be okay. Just say the words, Loki! Some God of Mischief he’s turned out to be.

Sylvie, at least, is much wiser. Loki’s hints have been obvious and Sylvie realises how he feels. They share a kiss but we can’t tell if it’s because Sylvie loves Loki as well, or because she’s distracting him. Because Sylvie uses Kang’s TemPad to send Loki back to the TVA.

Alone at last, Sylvie kills Kang. And he welcomes it. The moment Kang dies, the main timeline starts to diverge into numerous new branches. And Sylvie sits down on the ground, not so sure about what she’s done.

At the TVA, Loki takes a moment to weep for his loss. Will he ever see Sylvie again? Will their universe be the same? Or safe? Only one man can help Loki get answers—Mobius.

With so many new branches, the TVA has gone into overdrive. Loki races past TVA agents as he searches for his friend, and finally finds Mobius and B-15 discussing the current state of affairs.

Loki tells Mobius what he can about Kang and the terrible mistake they’ve made by killing him. But Mobius is confused—who is this man before him and why is he so agitated. Why doesn’t Mobius know Loki anymore?

Because this isn’t Loki’s timeline. Or his timeline has been altered. Either way, in this TVA, there aren’t three statues of the fake Time Keepers at the entrance. It’s just one huge statue of Kang. What have Loki and Sylvie done? We’ll have to wait to find out next season!

Final Thoughts – Loki Episode 6 is a plodding finale that promises more to come

This series has had its ups and downs in terms of pacing and dialogue. Those issues are very prevalent in Loki Episode 6. There is altogether too much exposition—it’s almost 90% of the episode.

While Jonathan Majors absolutely kills the delivery, that much monologuing doesn’t make for great viewing. I understand the constraints that the pandemic put on the series, but there had to be something more to show, especially in a season finale.

Also, Majors as Kang the Conqueror being the ultimate villain of the show, if not all of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bothers me. Loki had far too many Black characters as antagonists—Ravonna, Boastful Loki, and now Kang. Surely, we’re past this in 2021?

I’m still not sold on Loki and Sylvie. It’s totally in character for Lokis to fall in love with themselves, but what makes Sylvie so special and different from the other Lokis? Aside from the fact that she’s the only woman (so far) and the only one who Loki’s spent time with?

As happy as I am to see Loki on our screens again, this show needed some work. It was too slow and it didn’t have nearly enough time travel as promised in the trailers. The six episodes felt like a setup for the new MCU phase, but it meant fast-forwarding through Loki’s character development.

The prospect of multiversal hijinks is fascinating though, especially when it ties into the rest of the MCU. I’m hoping the next season will be much sharper. That’s what the Lokis deserve.

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Loki is streaming weekly on Disney Plus.