Full spoilers follow for Loki season 2 episode 4. You’ve been warned.
Loki season 2 episode 4 has been released on Disney Plus – and we suspect its shocking and bleak cliffhanger ending has left you feeling slightly hollow.
We’ve become accustomed to Marvel pulling the rug from under us – we’re looking at you, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame – but few of those moments have left us as speechless as the fourth entry in Loki‘s second season.
There’s plenty to unpack from episode 4’s mic drop-esque final moments and, by proxy, we know you’ve got lots of questions about what happens next. To try to answer your most burning queries, TechRadar sat down with Loki executive producer Kevin Wright to find out what’s to come.
This is your final warning: major spoilers for Loki season 2 episode 4 are incoming. If you haven’t watched it yet, bookmark this page for later, and go watch it immediately.
Loki season 2 episode 4 ending explained: is Victor Timely really dead?
Much has been made of Victor Timely’s introduction – he almost made his MCU debut in an earlier Marvel project – in Loki season 2. The Kang the Conqueror variant, who joined the fray in episode 3, was expected to be this season’s main villain. Fans believed as much because of the brief cameo he made in an Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s post-credits scene.
However, so far, he’s proven to be anything but antagonistic. Indeed, the 19th-century introverted inventor seems to be a good guy after he agreed to help Loki and company try to stop the Temporal Loom from imploding and destroying the multiverse.
It was a huge shock, then, to see Timely meet his maker in episode 4’s final sequence. Presumably, in a bid to prove he’s not another Kang in the making, Timely makes the brave decision to attach his through-put multiplier to the Temporal Loom in order to stabilize it.
He doesn’t even get the chance to fasten his latest invention to the timeline-weaving device, though. Despite being protected from the temporal radiation emanating from the Loom by a radioactive suit, Timely is immediately spaghettified and ripped apart by said radiation, which has exponentially increased since Mobius’ spacewalk in episode 1.
It’s a horrifying moment that imbues the final scene with an immediate sense of dread and failure on the group’s part (more on this in the next section). Given season 2’s time-bending nature, though, we have to ask: is Victory Timely really dead? Is there a sliver of hope that he might have survived?
Understandably, Wright was hesitant to give anything away about Timely’s potential return. Instead, he teased that viewers will see “everyone” in season 2’s fifth and sixth episodes (more on what this might hint at later), adding “reality is gone”, meaning Timely may not be the only one who’ll perish. Speaking of which…
Loki season 2 episode 4 ending explained: wait, did the Temporal Loom just prune everyone?
Without the through-put multiplier to stop it from overloading, the Temporal Loom self-destructs, unleashing a wave of temporal energy that appears to kill Loki, Mobius, Sylvie, O.B., and everyone else in the TVA. Well, that’s what the cut-to-black ending suggests. We don’t actually see them die, which begs the question: what’s happened to them?
We think the visual representation of the Temporal Loom’s explosion holds the key. Indeed, if you watch the explosion again, the technicolor wave emitted from the Loom’s destruction has the aesthetic of the prune stick used by the TVA. If we’re right, Loki and company could’ve been pruned and sent to another location (or locations if they’ve been separated by the explosion). So, did Loki‘s creative team imagine the explosion as a massive prune-based blast? And have our heroes been scattered across the multiverse and time itself?
“We didn’t visualize the explosion that way,” Wright reveals. “It’s a bit coincidental. We discussed it as being like a nuclear explosion met with a slow volcanic eruption. But temporal energy is the same technology used in the TVA’s prune sticks, so you never know where everyone has gone.”
Loki season 2 episode 4 ending explained: are Loki and company trapped in a never-ending time loop?
One of the biggest fan theories concerning Loki season 2’s official trailer was that the trickster god would be trapped in a Groundhog Day time loop, meaning he’d have to stop himself from time slipping in a bid to escape this temporal purgatory.
Loki’s time-slipping affliction was seemingly fixed in this season’s opening episode, but the Temporal Loom’s destruction – and that of reality itself – has revived this particular fan theory.
Indeed, snippets of footage in season 2’s first and second teaser might have spoiled this key plot point ahead of *ahem* time. We haven’t seen Loki time slip to the jet-ski store (the one with the inflatable tube man in front of it), Sylvie working at a record store that’s disintegrating, Loki saying “hello?” to another version of him flipping through the TVA’s handbook, or Loki saying to someone “what I’m about to tell you is going to be hard to believe… again”.
Heck, another clip sees Loki reunited with his TVA allies (and Sylvie) as they try to fix the Loom. This implies they’ll try to save the day on multiple occasions, failing over and over, and using the knowledge they acquire from each attempt to rectify the issue, just like Bill Murray’s Phil Connors in Groundhog Day.
So, are fans on the right track with this hypothesis? Again, Wright was reluctant to confirm or deny this theory, but his response intimates that’s what’ll play out. “Well… reality is gone,” Wright teased. “Loki’s going to… have to bring reality back somehow, so I think time will tell how he figures out how to do that.”
Loki season 2 episode 4 ending explained: will we visit the Void and see season 1’s Loki variants again?
As we suggested above, the Temporal Loom’s obliteration has likely scattered our heroes (and villains) across time and space. If – and it’s a big if – the temporal energy wave has pruned the show’s characters from existence, there’s the very real possibility that some of them have been sent to the Void.
For those who might have forgotten: the Void is a place located at the end of time where the TVA sends individuals and objects from pruned timelines. Sylvie, Mobius, and Loki visited it in Loki season 1 episode 5 after they were pruned, with Loki bumping into more of his variants, including Kid Loki, Boastful Loki, Alligator Loki, and Classic Loki.
If the Loom’s temporal wave has pruned the series’ main characters, we might revisit the Void in season 2 episode 5. In fact, we’re almost certain to return to this desolate realm for at least a scene or two, as Ravonna Renslayer was pruned by Hunter X-5 in this season’s fourth episode. Loki season 2’s second teaser even contains a scene showing Renslayer in the Void, so unless it’s a scene that was cut at the last minute, we’re confident we’ll be heading back to the Void very soon.
Even with all of this evidence, we still felt inclined to ask Wright about the reappearance of the Void and Loki’s variants. Unfortunately, all Wright would say is “maybe”, so we’ll have to wait until episode 5 airs to know for sure.
Loki season 2 episode 4 ending explained: does the Marvel TV show set up future MCU projects?
Almost certainly. Studio president Kevin Feige has already gone on record to state the Loki TV show acts as a through line for the Multiverse Saga – i.e. Phases 4, 5, and 6 – so its importance to the MCU’s next big story is abundantly clear.
Events that transpire in Loki season 2 all but confirm this will be the case, too. For example, if Loki and company fix and rework the Temporal Loom’s functionality, it might allow the device to weave more universes together on the Sacred Timeline. If it does, that sets up the potential for Fox’s defunct X-Men universe, Sony’s Spider-Man universe, and Netflix’s Defenders-Verse to officially become part of the MCU.
There’s evidence that points towards some of this happening as well. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Spider-Man: No Way Home previously hinted that Netflix’s Daredevil TV show is partly canon in the MCU. Meanwhile, the appearance of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Deadpool 3 – one of 2024’s Marvel Phase 5 movies – may lay more foundations for the X-Men’s long overdue MCU arrival. Indeed, there are already rumors that Deadpool 3 will have major ties to Loki season 2, so don’t be surprised if this season’s last two episodes set up something ahead of that film’s release.
Add in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse‘s visual reference to the MCU’s Sacred Timeline and Tom Hardy’s Venom making a brief cameo in No Way Home, and it’s only a matter of time before all these realities fully collide with the MCU. For Wright, that would certainly make for fascinating viewing but, unsurprisingly, he couldn’t confirm if Loki season 2 would definitely make this a reality.
“I would love that,” he replied when asked if he’d like to see Loki, Sylvie, and the TVA show up in other Marvel movies and TV series. “I can’t tell you what other people are doing with their projects. In creating this show and doing all this world-building through almost 12 hours of multiversal storytelling, the hope is that these are threads other creators will want to pick up.”
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This post originally appeared on TechToday.