When the dust has settled on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four and all of the multiversal chaos that comes with it, we’ll be looking back at the sixth and final episode of Loki‘s first season as the place where it all began.
Having made it to the Citadel at the End of Time and encountered Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains, Tom Hiddleston’s titular trickster and Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie are presented with a simple choice. In the end, it would appear as though Sylvie chose badly after opting to murder the Kang the Conqueror variant, splintering the Sacred Timeline and opening the doors to all-out war.
A theory making the rounds posited that WandaVision‘s finale unfolded concurrently with Loki‘s last installment, and the same questions are now being asked of Spider-Man: No Way Home, in particular the third act that finds Doctor Strange doing his best to stop reality from breaking apart.
In an interview with The Wrap, writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers admitted that the truth lies somewhere between coincidence and design.
“We were already down this road when that Loki finale happened. We all felt like, this really helps. This is great because it shows that there is trouble in the multiverse. Whether certain things that were happening in Loki line up in terms of the timeline exploding and is that the same time that Doctor Strange is casting the spell, I don’t know. There is, I’m sure, the Marvel talking points to that. But we were aware of a lot of the different things that were going on, and could we draw on those, how it would be affected by this thing, but ultimately we had our own giant story bear to wrestle with.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings showed that the multiverse doesn’t need to be a factor in every new MCU project, but it’s set to be the defining theme of the franchise’s latest expansion regardless.