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The Way The Loki Finale Introduces The MCU's Next Big Storyline

Contains spoilers for "Loki" Episode 6

Back when shows that were at least somewhat connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe aired on Netflix, they were often wary of even mentioning elements from the MCU movies, to the point of referring to Captain America and Hulk as "the old dude with the shield" and "the big green guy." The MCU shows on Disney+, on the other hand, want nothing to do with such an approach. Not only do they feature the characters from the movies, but they're actually perfectly willing to introduce major changes. 

"WandaVision" turns Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) into Scarlet Witch and introduces the white "Cataract" version of Vision (Paul Bettany). "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" ends as "Captain America and the Winter Soldier," and brings characters like Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in the MCU. 

"Loki" is no exception, and in fact, the changes this show brings will likely have even more repercussions for the mega-franchise's future. Here's how the show's finale introduces what seems to be nothing less than the MCU's next big storyline.

Allow He Who Remains to introduce you to the Multiverse

You may have noticed that several upcoming MCU movies seem to revolve around the concept of the Multiverse. "Avengers: Endgame" already played with alternate timelines and explained the concept in a neat science-against-magic discussion between the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and the former actually name-dropped the term way back in 2016's "Doctor Strange." More recently, the villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) teased the concept in "Spider-Man: Far from Home," though this was ultimately a fake-out. 

"Loki" Episode 6, however, is the spring-loaded snake that finally blows the lid off the Multiverse. The whole show is already about time traveling and various realities, but the finale introduces us to He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), the affable, but villainous secret leader of the Time Variance Authority — and the Sacred Timeline variant of the major Marvel villain known as Kang the Conqueror. 

After establishing his dominance over Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), the Kang variant gives them his origin story, which involves endless versions of himself duking it out in a Multiverse-spanning war. He managed to bring things to a close by establishing the Sacred Timeline, and forming the TVA to prune any and all potentially risky variance. 

He Who Remains' informative presentation includes handy holograms about universes stacked on top of each other, and you even get a neat visual of branching timelines after he crosses his threshold of knowing future events, and things start going haywire. Villain or not, the guy knows how to convey information ... and it looks like the characters and viewers need all that information sooner rather than later. 

After He Who Remains is out, the Multiverse is open for business

Over the course of Loki and Sylvie's meeting with He Who Remains, it becomes clear that he's pretty much the only thing that's been keeping the Multiverse — including other, even more villainous Kangs — from entering the MCU's equation. Unfortunately, Sylvie doesn't buy what he's selling, and after a huge battle with Loki (who believes He Who Remains), the TVA commander meets his final fate ... or not. After all, the villain's final words are "See you soon," and he's absolutely correct. The timeline branches that make up the Multiverse are now unfolding once more, and a new, Kang-ier Kang has already assumed his position as the driving force behind the TVA.

This marks the beginning of a new, exciting period for the MCU, and many of the upcoming movies seem to revolve around the events that the "Loki" finale just set off. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" will feature Jamie Foxx's Electro from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and Alfred Molina's Doc Ock from "Spider-Man 2," implying some serious Multiverse shenanigans. What's more, Kang is set to appear in the flesh in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," and the next Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) movie is actually called "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." 

In other words, something big is afoot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ... and it sure looks like everything begins in the season finale of a Disney+ show. 

All episodes of "Loki" are available for streaming on Disney+.