Spoiler warning, obviously.
But first, a bit of space.
I had some good conversations after episode 5, so I’m going into this episode with a bit of headcanon. It seems clear to me after “Journey into Mystery” that the person behind the TVA must be a Loki; it’s the logical extension of what they built up there. My preferred outcome is that Mobius is actually the Son of Loki and Sylvie and he’s been the driving force behind the TVA from the start with the goal of bringing about the circumstances of his own birth. That’s not very likely because it doesn’t fit into the larger MCU narrative and because this is more about alternate realities than time travel. If you haven’t, you should read “By His Bootstraps” and “…All You Zombies” by Robert Heinlein and while you’re at it, watch Predestination. In that order.
But onto the episode.
It’s interesting seeing Loki and Sylvie on the cusp of realizing their goals become hesitant before they enter the suspiciously gothic castle.
The two statues we see as they enter are reminiscent of Sylvie when we first saw her. Their faces are clocks which is a cool juxtaposition.
Miss Minutes is clearly Satan.
Actually, to borrow a line from The West Wing, Miss Minutes is the guy who runs into the 7-11 to get Satan a pack of cigarettes.
“He who Remains.” Hurm. Could still be a Loki I suppose. So far, pretty cagey. Nice office though. Very Sanctum Sanctorum.
B-15’s scene in 2018 is a nice development, showing the other Hunters Ravonna’s pre-variant self, a high school principal(?) in Ohio. The diploma on the wall says “Rebecca Tourminet.” That’s an alias that the comic book Ravonna used when she was hiding in 1905 in the “Terminatrix Objective.” Checking the source material those do not look good. It was in the middle of the Cross-Time Kang storyline which I remember being tedious. This is a still stronger reference to Kang the Conqueror though.
Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective (1993). Own ‘em. Probably read ‘em. No memories whatsoever.
“I already know what’s going to happen” is a standard time-travel trope. Here it’s a pale reflection of Doctor Who’s “Blink.”
He Who Remains is Kang, (really Immortus as he appears here). It was always the most obvious answer but that doesn’t mean it will be bad. Here he’s laying out the Cross-Time Kang storyline; I hope they can do that better. That story led to the Council of Reeds which I thought was pretentious but THAT led to the Council of Ricks which is great.
Quick aside: I’ve mentioned Hiddleston and Wilson before but Sophia Di Martino and Jonathan Majors and a bunch of others are terrific. This is a strong cast from top to bottom.
“Why would you give up being in control?” is a very Loki question. Sylvie wouldn’t ask that which is part of the reason they could work as a team.
Shades of Doctor Manhattan. “The threshold” is crossed and the time master no longer knows what will happen. That must be a standard part of that trope but I can’t think of another example, although Asimov’s “The Dead Past” has a similar device in the other temporal direction. Never mind. “By His Bootstraps” again. Right there at the end but in a much more organic way.
A “bazillion boogymen” sounds much better in a British accent.
Sylvie and Loki’s debate is authoritarianism vs. anarchy again. Until it isn’t.
I kind of love that Kang thinks this is all funny even to his death.
Tom Hiddleston is a good actor even when he’s just sitting there.
That’s a chilling moment at the end when Mobius doesn’t remember Loki and then worse when we see the fiction of the Time Keepers replaced with a version of He Who Remains looking much more Kang-Like than Immortus.
And Loki’s made the switch from being a budding authoritarian to being a revolutionary. Season 1’s Sylvie may foreshadow season 2’s Loki. Assuming that all this isn’t resolved in Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness.
This is a great end to an excellent season.