The finale of Marvel’s Loki opted to focus less on the traditional third act comic book spectacle and more on an ominous conversation between Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), and He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). Not only did the conversation result in a heartbreaking confrontation between the two Gods of Mischief, but the creation of the multiverse and the tease of a major threat to the entire Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. However, an earlier draft of the finale featured a big action sequence at the top of the episode.
In an interview with director Kate Herron after the season finale of Loki, we asked the filmmaker what kind of changes the episode went through during development. Herron recalled that there used to be a big action sequence at the beginning of the episode where Loki and Sylvie had to fight their way to He Who Remains instead of cautiously wandering around the Citadel and running into him. Herron explained:
“One thing I can remember is that we used to have a big action sequence across the beginning of episode six where they kind of fought their way to the He Who Remains office. But I think something we found, and this came out of lockdown, when I’d filmed the majority of episode one when we got shut down, so I was editing episode one. Something that was really key was, it was really riveting, because we had these amazing actors, seeing them have this conversation, and I could change pace and keep the energy going through it and it wouldn’t feel slow and like, “Oh, we need a burst of action or energy here.”
One of the most satisfying and refreshing parts of Loki have been the extended conversations shared between characters, such as Mobius making Loki reconcile his place in the universe and any number of the conversations between Loki and Sylvie throughout the series. Clearly that gave Herron and the Loki team confidence that they could pull off this finale without any big spectacle. Herron continued:
“I think for us it felt like, episode five is our massive spectacle, it’s super fun, it’s got a big monster, it’s got all the crazy comic book references. So it felt like starting and ending a conversation, we could just do that. I think for me, it was way more creepy anyway, with them going through what looked like an abandoned citadel, and it’s a massive tension build until you meet this character. I think if there was action before that, the energy is lost, right? And then you have to build it up again.”
Letting the conversation with He Who Remains stand on its own along with the heartbreaking betrayal experienced by Loki and Sylvie is a bold move, even with the quick fight between the two Gods of Mischief towards the end. Sure, much of it is exposition that has larger ramifications on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that final scene with Loki and Sylvie is still heart-wrenching and serves as the real conclusion to this season.
The only downside to losing this action sequence to kick off the episode is that we didn’t get to see Miss Minutes get in on the action. Herron revealed to Marvel.com that the sassy animated clock would have been involved in this axed fight sequence. The director said, “At one point, we had a fight scene with Miss Minutes in the Citadel; we had all kinds of stuff [for her].” Maybe she’ll get her chance to throw her clock hands around in the second season.
You can stream the entire first season of Loki on Disney+ right now.
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