How LOKI’s Season 2 Premiere Explains Season 1’s Ending

Loki‘s first season ended with He Who Remains dead, the Sacred Timeline in chaos, and Mobius not knowing who Loki was. It seemed Sylvie’s decision to kill the TVA’s leader upended the entire multiverse and all of time itself. Even worse, it seemed Kang the Conqueror or one of his Variants had risen to power amid all the upheaval. But the show’s season two premiere revealed that’s not actually what happened. Loki didn’t end up in a new TVA under a different ruler; he ended up in the same exact TVA’s past. How? Why? When? From time slipping to Temporal Looms, here’s what the premiere of Loki‘s second season revealed about the God of Mischief’s struggle to save both himself and everyone.

What Happened at the End of Loki Season 1?

He Who Remains smiles with his feet on his desk at his office in the Citadel on Loki
Marvel Studios

Loki‘s season one finale revealed He Who Remains, the secret head of the TVA, wanted Loki and Sylvie to replace him. Loki came to believe the Time Variance Authority was a necessary evil after hearing about the Multiversal War. However, Sylvie wanted to free the infinite universe from TVA control. After a lifetime of running from hunters and agents she refused to even discuss taking over the TVA. Instead, Sylvie killed He Who Remains after kicking Loki through a Time Door.

When He Who Remains died the Sacred Timeline went haywire. Mobius and Hunter B-15 watched as a monitor showed the neat, orderly stranding of the multiverse began branching off into total chaos.

Loki looks at a giant statue of Kang at the TVA
Marvel Studios

Moments later Loki found Mobius and B-15 in a different part of the TVA. He warned them about all the terrible Variants who would now be coming. Except the two TVA employees didn’t know Loki at all. It was as though they’d never met. In the midst of their confusion Loki saw the TVA itself had undergone a transformation. It now featured giant statues of someone who looked like He Who Remains.

Why Was Loki Time Slipping?

Loki‘s season two premiere clarified what actually happened in the show’s season one finale. The murder of He Who Remains did not reset the TVA, time itself, or the multiverse. His death did not cause anything that dramatic. At least not yet. When Sylvie kicked Loki through the Time Door he went to the same TVA’s own past. That’s why Mobius and B-15 didn’t recognize him at the end of season one. That’s also why Loki saw those massive statues. Earlier in the TVA’s history He Who Remains did not hide his identity behind robot Time-Keepers. His face was once everywhere, including on the walls inside TVA offices and in Ozymandias-sized public idols.

Loki thinks he might have ended up in the past because Sylvie opened that Time Door with He Who Remain’s special TemPad. O.B. thinks the branching overloading the Temporal Loom might be responsible. It’s possible one, both, or neither contributed to Loki getting ripped across time in the TVA’s past, present, and future.

As painful as it was to watch, though, Loki’s involuntary journey through time also helped Loki save himself. And it also taught us more about He Who Remains and the TVA’s creation.

What Did Loki‘s Season 2 Premiere Reveal About the TVA’s Past?

Loki prunes a wall in a TVA office to reveal the face of He Who Remains
Marvel Studios

Loki listened to an old recording while trapped in the TVA’s past. It featured He Who Remains speaking to Ravonna Renslayer. On the tape He Who Remains said, “For us. For all time.”

After she answered “always,” He Who Remains said, “Ravonna Renslayer, you are quite a marvel. I will be proud to lead with you. You made a difference in this war. Thank you for being on my team.”

During season one of Loki, Renslayer did not know about He Who Remains. Clearly, though, she once knew him quite well. She not only fought for He Who Remains in the Multiversal War, she was marked to co-lead the TVA with him. But at some point after that conversation He Who Remains wiped the memories of Renslayer and everyone else in the TVA.

A gif of Judge Renslayer walking through a tempad door in her office on Loki
Marvel Studios

Loki correctly recognized He Who Remains wiped TVA employees’ minds more than once. None of them remembered the prominent He Who Remains paraphernalia that once adorned the organization. Present day Casey also had no memory of how the floor got cracked despite being there when it happened. That blind spot in Casey’s memory shows least one mind wipe happened after Loki showed up in the past, which is why none of the TVA employees remembered meeting him then. And Mobius also did not fully remember visiting O.B. 400 years prior. (Though it’s unclear if Mobius’ confusion is the result of mind wipes, forgetting the details of a four century old encounter, mixing up similar memories, or a combination of all those things.)

It’s not clear how often or why He Who Remains erased everyone TVA workers’ memory more than once.

Who Is Orobourous and What Is the TVA’s Temporal Loom?

Ke Huy Quan's Loki season two MCU Character OB works for the TVA
Marvel Studios

Ke Huy Quan’s Orobourous (O.B. for short) is the lone employee of the TVA’s Repairs & Advancements division. He also wrote the TVA guidebook and is an expert on the device currently holding all of time together.

Despite the Sacred Timeline’s countless branches that began to sprout with the death of He Who Remains, the entire multiverse has yet to collapse. That’s because the Temporal Loom is barely keeping the multiverse from exploding. O.B. called that device “the heart of the TVA.” It refines raw time into a “physical timeline.” It’s not constructed to weave together so many new branches, though, so it’s overloading. To keep the TVA itself safe from that possible blowup, O.B. needed to close the building’s blast doors. But first Loki needed access to the Temporal Loom to save himself.

How Did O.B. and Morbius Stop Loki’s Time Slipping?

Time slipping should be impossible in the TVA since time works differently there. It’s a place that is timeless, as people working inside those walls don’t age over eons. Yet, Loki‘s second season has revealed the TVA still has its own linear timeline with a past, present, and future.

Loki’s time slipping also provided him with a solution. It sent him to the past where he met O.B. During that meeting—which O.B. notably only remembered when confronted with its existence—the technician was able to build the Temporal Aura Extractor, a device that ultimately solved Loki’s problem.

At great personal cost to his own skin, Mobius attached the Extractor to the Temporal Loom. When someone or something then pruned Loki—violently ripping the god from “every strand of time and space”—it sent him out of time. The Extractor then pulled him back into the present and crashing into Mobius. That sent them both behind the safety of the blast doors before they closed.

Owen Wilson's Mobius looks scared inside an astronaut suit on Loki
Marvel Studios

Without the Extractor in place Loki would have been “lost to time forever.” Instead he’s in the present with Mobius, B-15, and the other TVA employees who do not want to prune branches anymore. They know pruning timelines kills billions of innocent people.

Not everyone at the TVA agrees with this new approach. Dox and her band of heavily armed Hunters headed through a Time Door on a mission. B-15 thinks they’ve accumulated too much fire power to only be going after Sylvie, but what exactly they have planned is unclear.

What is clear is that a lot of what we thought we knew at the end of Loki‘s first season was wrong. Clearly we don’t/didn’t/won’t slip into the past ourselves after seeing the show’s season two premiere.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on   Twitter and   Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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