Friday, November 10, 2023

REVIEW: 'Loki' - Loki Journeys Through His Past For Clarity on What Must Be Done Next in 'Glorious Purpose'

Disney+'s Loki - Episode 2.06 "Glorious Purpose"

Loki learns the true nature of 'glorious purpose' as he rectifies the past.

"Glorious Purpose" was written by Eric Martin and directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

The TVA team maintains the hope of something better being possible. The agents don't have to prune variants to maintain the sacred timeline. They don't have to be responsible for countless genocides. They were told that was the only way to prevent multiversal war. That's inevitable given the violence and extremes from the variants of He Who Remains. He created order. He set all of this into motion. Loki's ability to time slip was a gift. He needed to learn how to control it in order to see the inevitability of He Who Remains. The TVA can't function any other way. He Who Remains needs to remain at the Citadel beyond the end of time dictating everything else that happens. The temporal loom is a failsafe. It always reverts back to the sacred timeline. It can't process the exponentially growing branches. No matter how many attempts Loki makes it will always end the same.

That's debilitating as Loki makes that realization. He believed he just needed to be faster to avoid Victor Timely's death from temporal radiation. For a moment, it absolutely seems like Loki has succeeded. He spent centuries learning all about time and engineering from O.B. He had the luxury of having all the time to explore this possibility. He exists outside the bounds of time. He controls it now. And yet, it never mattered how much effort Loki put in to make things right. The mechanics of the equation prevent him from ever breaking free. To change that fate, he has to be comfortable with the burden it must exact. Loki was selfish and driven by ego in the past. People should still be wary about ever trusting him. He relies on his friends for their expertise. He still must shoulder the responsibility of this decision by himself. That's the position He Who Remains forced onto him.

He Who Remains shares that he always preferred Loki. He had the maturity to see the larger picture. Sylvie just wanted to delight in killing the man responsible for a lifetime of suffering. She finally had the chance to live a life completely her own. Free will was restored. That was a celebration. It was always fleeting. The actions she made led to the collapse of all time. The loom couldn't process every branch. Loki must accept the weight of this decision. He's incapable of killing Sylvie. That's the only way to ensure He Who Remains stays atop this hierarchy. Everything was set up for him to always win. He never saw Timely as a variant who could manage the demands of this job. Instead, he was simply a tool to provide false hope to the TVA team. He knew they would fail. He just wanted to make them think they had a chance to produce a different outcome. In doing so, he still gave Loki the powers he needed to create the vision the TVA now stands to protect no matter what.

Loki experiences the same events over and over again. He never loses perspective. He always maintains what's important and worth fighting for. He relies on his friends for advice on what to do next. He looks to Mobius for how to find comfort in pruning people from the timeline. It's never a comforting decision. It's just meant to be a burden an individual can carry. Meanwhile, Sylvie refuses to give Loki permission to kill her. That's not something she can endorse. He's at his breaking point. He sees no other alternative. She inspires him to see the beauty in letting destruction happen. It may create uncertainty in the future. It still provides the power of choice to everyone before then. He Who Remains insists that multiversal war ends with the destruction of all that's known. He is the great savior who prevents that from happening. He still sits at the end of time. That's still a destination. He's isolated and carries the burden of the many lives who get to experience joy and happiness. A lot of terrible things happen as he dictates them too.

And so, Loki takes that perilous walk towards the temporal loom. That piece of technology stands in the way of offering salvation to incalculable lives. It just comes at Loki's expense. He has the power to withstand the radiation. He can bring the branches back to life with his magic. He simply must be the one sitting atop the new power structure. It's a freeing display of immense sacrifice in the name of a greater good. The final image of Loki is one of stoicism. He finally experiences life sitting on a throne reigning over a kingdom. He now has the perspective to understand the weight of that responsibility. He can never falter. His resolve must remain absolute. He fought to protect his friends. He was loyal to them above the TVA or the sacred timeline. That wasn't the scope of this conflict. He had to be willing to do so much more. He had to peak beyond the illusion to accept the truth. It was harsh and difficult. It had to be done. As such, others are allowed to live their lives as they want.

Mobius leaves the TVA to see the reality he's long been tasked with protecting. He doesn't know what comes next. He's simply at peace staring at the life he was taken from. He finds an immediate connection. Sylvie doesn't know where she'll go either. She laments Loki not being around to enjoy it. They recognize the power of his sacrifice. They weren't completely in the dark despite so much of this journey being internalized by Loki. They understand what he was doing. It was all in the hope of something better. Hopefully, B-15 leads the TVA with that conviction. She opens the war room up to many different perspectives. The organization still has an important job to do. They monitor any threats that jeopardize the multiverse. The variants of He Who Remains don't know about their existence yet. In fact, the team is fine with how Ant-Man dealt with Kang during his time in the quantum realm. Threats still lurk on the horizon. Yet everyone has trust in the new system. They lead with that hope. Renslayer wakes in the void and witnesses something immense. But people are still trusted to uphold the greater good and fight to save concepts far beyond themselves. They have that solace. They just must remain committed to that path no matter what awaits them. Those threats are certain. So is their collective strength.