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The ‘Loki’ season finale was a pilot for what happens next in Marvel

What will happen next in the MCU? What does the ‘Loki’ finale mean?

Sylvie and Loki in “Loki.”
Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in “Loki.”
Marvel Studios

The “Loki” season finale wasn’t really a season finale — it was a pilot for the newest phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The finale — titled “For All Time. Always” — begins with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) arriving at the Citadel at the End of Time, where they finally meet with He Who Remains (spoilers). They discuss the Time Keepers, the Time Variance Authority and everything about the show.

That’s what you’re getting. Now, read below to hear my thoughts on the finale, as well as where I see the Marvel Cinematic Universe going next because of these events.

Was the ‘Loki’ Season 1 finale good?

For the most part, yes, this was an awesome season finale. Several questions and ideas from throughout the season pay off, and there’s quite a cliffhanger to send you home.

My biggest issue was actually with the opening moments. Usually, “Loki” would start with a classic Marvel introduction video — which includes the Marvel theme song that we all know and love — followed by a cold opening scene. We’ll later see the “Loki” title card flash up with the show’s intro music. In a season finale, I always enjoy seeing the classic music and title sequences since it’s the last time we’ll get an episode of the show for awhile. This episode did something different with its introduction, which was fun and did set the stage for an epic finale. But it was a bit off-putting for me.

There’s also a vulnerability to Loki himself that I didn’t love in this episode. I get that it’s part of character development for him to become a softie. But, truly, he has lost all the skill, strength and dominance of the Loki we’ve seen in the movies. He sometimes felt like a different character.

Fans of action-filled shows won’t enjoy this episode. The finale is packed with dialogue and philosophical discussion. But the show does something that previous mystery-driven shows fail to do — it actually sat us down and gave us answers. Unlike a show like “Lost” — which gave us some flimsy answers to its questions, leaving many fans with a sour taste in their mouths — “Loki” connected all the dots in a way that made sense and set the course for the future.

We should embrace a show that actually dove right into the mysteries, the fun, the excitement and the answers. The “Loki” writing staff and producers actually chose the most fun options with its finale. The reveals, the twists, the turns — all of them embrace multiple theories across the internet. That’s worth celebrating.

The finale of “Loki” is a cerebral experience, where you’re listening to a long conversation that will reshape the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.

In many ways, the finale was Episode 1 of whatever is coming next.

What does the ‘Loki’ Season 1 finale mean for the MCU?

(Spoilers for the “Loki” finale are in this section)

OK, so there’s not a lot I can say without spoilers. But this episode was really the beginning of what’s coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The same can be said for the post-credits scenes of “Black Widow,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision,” as a matter of fact. Marvel continues to set up what’s coming next in its universe.

But, truly, “Loki” is where the real fun begins with what’s next. We’ve heard, for years now, that Marvel would likely be embracing the concept of the multiverse. We have “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” coming up, for example. And there’s been rumors that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will include multiple versions of Spider-Man from different movies, which now seems possible after what we saw in the “Loki” finale. And don’t forget about Marvel’s next Disney+ project — “What If...?” — which is essentially a retelling of different Marvel events from the multiverse.

Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Chuck Zlotnick, Sony

So it’s hard to say we’re waiting for what’s next in Marvel. We’re already here.

The “Loki” finale made it so that characters from older Marvel movies — like those Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” flicks — are now canon. It means that the “X-Men, ““Deadpool” and “Fantastic Four” — all former properties of 21st Century Studios, but now owned by Disney — can make a canonical debut in the MCU. It means that no one is truly ever dead in Marvel.

Seriously. Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Loki, Thanos — anyone who has died in the past now has a chance of coming back into the MCU because there are now multiple timelines, which were created in “Loki.”

This won’t please everyone. Sometimes it cheapens a death on screen if you know they can come back down the road. There’s some truth to that. How can you truly mourn a character’s death if you know they could come back down the road? But that’s the beauty of where we are now in Marvel — no one is truly ever gone. Of course, there are logistical issues. Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark, said he won’t come back to the MCU. And Scarlett Johansson seems done with her “Black Widow” role. But could other actors take over these roles? Could we see new actors play old characters and claim themselves to be variants of the originals?

Normally with a television show, we’d have to wait close to one year before we got the answers we wanted about what’s next. And maybe that’s true for “Loki,” which ended with a moment that told us “Loki” will be back for a second season. But we’re going to see the answers to what happened in the finale next month in “What If...?” and easily next year with “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” (Tom Hiddleston recently confirmed what “What If...?” will have tie-ins into the MCU). There have been reports that He Who Remains will show up in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” too, which is already in production.

The answers are coming. “Loki” — whether you liked it or not — opened the door for the possibilities. Wherever you fall on the decision to open up the multiverse, it was the most fun option that the show could have chosen. The timeline is no longer safe, and we’ll have to wait to see if our heroes put it back together.