Loki Season 2 Episode 4 Ending Explained: Did the MCU Just Reset Its Own Timeline?

With the fate of the timeline (and potentially the entire MCU) on the line, Loki episode 4 is a race against the clock to save the Temporal Loom.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie in Marvel Studios' LOKI,
Photo: Marvel Studios

One of the largest looming threats in Loki season 2, aside from the potential return of Kang variants, has been the impending explosion of the Temporal Loom and the potential destruction of the TVA. The loom has become overloaded with branching timelines since the TVA stopped pruning variants beyond the “sacred” one. In the aftermath of He Who Remains’ (Jonathan Majors) death, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) have enlisted Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan), Casey (Eugene Cordero), and B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) to help repair the timeline without sacrificing the billions of variants that live on these multiplying branches.

In episode 4 “Heart of the TVA,” Loki and Mobius have finally gathered the missing ingredient needed to repair the Temporal Loom – the temporal aura of Kang variant Victor Timely. However, Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) show up at the last minute ready to put a wrench in their plans and take control of the TVA for themselves.

A lot happens in this episode as these two groups fight for the future of the TVA and the sacred timeline, including the apparent destruction of the TVA and time itself.

What Did Miss Minutes Tell Ravonna?

At the end of episode 3, Miss Minutes and Ravonna are sent to He Who Remains’ now abandoned palace at the end of time. While there, Miss Minutes convinces Ravonna that they are on the same side and promises to tell her a secret that He Who Remains kept from her. At the beginning of “Heart of the TVA,” we find out that this secret has to do with Ravonna and He Who Remains’ relationship. It turns out that Ravonna led He Who Remains’ army before the establishment of the TVA and helped him gain the power he held for so long. He had promised her that they would rule together, but instead sent her back to the TVA and erased her and everyone else’s memories of him and how the TVA came to be.

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Who Pruned Loki?

Episode 4 is set during the flash forward from episode 1, and we finally get to see who pruned Loki to stop him from time slipping. It turns out that most fans were correct in guessing that Loki pruned himself.

Is Miss Minutes Actually Dead?

As soon as Ravonna and Miss Minutes arrive at the TVA, Miss Minutes begins to infiltrate the system once again, blocking everyone else from using their TemPads and keeping Ouroboros from repairing the Temporal Loom. Ravonna and Miss Minutes capture Timely to further delay the Loom upgrade, but O.B. finds a loophole that will boot Miss Minutes out of the system. He does a total restart, which causes Miss Minutes to glitch horrifically before seemingly fading out of existence. Knowing her resourcefulness, this isn’t likely the last we’ve seen of the sentient AI clock. If anything, this setback will only further fuel her revenge.

Why Did Victor Timely Turn Into Spaghetti?

With their powers temporarily restored during the TVA’s system reboot, Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) are able to rescue Timely and bring him back to the Temporal Loom control room. In a move uncharacteristically selfless compared to the Kang variants we’ve seen thus far, Timely volunteers to make the trip outside to place the Throughput Multiplier in the Temporal Loom’s controls. However, as soon as he steps outside, he is violently disintegrated by the Temporal radiation and essentially turned into spaghetti. This isn’t the first time that someone in the MCU has turned into noodle-like strands of essence – Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) did a similar thing to Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – but it is a clear sign that the Temporal Loom has evolved beyond anyone’s control.

What Does the Temporal Loom Explosion Mean for the Future of the MCU?

Because the Loom’s output isn’t fixed in time, it overloads and seems to explode at the end of episode 4. Everyone in the Temporal Loom’s control room is basked in a bright light as the TVA appears to be consumed by the sheer power of the overlapping timelines. But what does that mean for the rest of Loki and the future of the MCU?

The destruction of the TVA and the collapse of time itself feels like a season finale-level event, but there are still two episodes left this season to wrap things up. Will everyone be scattered across time? Does the TVA building protect them from being turned into noodles, or were there other casualties as the timeline exploded? There are still several scenes with Loki, Sylvie, and Mobius from the trailers that have yet to appear in the show itself, meaning that there’s a good chance that these three are still alive somewhere on the timeline at least.  But we also know that Marvel likes to throw things into trailers that don’t always make the final product.

As for the rest of the MCU, the Temporal Loom explosion could very well be the event that resets the MCU’s timeline for good. Whether this reset fully integrates other Marvel properties like The X-Men films into the timeline or not has yet to be revealed. As the other timelines collapse within each other in this explosion, this could totally wipe the slate clean for the MCU to rewrite its own history. The MCU could also use this event as a way to pick and choose some things that they want to make canon from these other films without rewriting the history of every single character that they want to reintegrate or reintroduce.

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Regardless of how the collapse of time affects the MCU going forward, this was certainly a bold choice to end the fourth episode of the season. Even if everyone left in the TVA technically survives, they’ll likely be scattered across this new timeline and may not have their memories fully intact. This is also the kind of thing that other Kang variants throughout the multiverse are likely to notice, and could very well be a major catalyst for the events of Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. It will be interesting to see how the last two episodes of Loki season 2 wrap up these loose threads and further set up the future of the franchise.