Why did Loki prune himself in the MCU show? Unlike a lot of what’s happened in Loki so far in Season 2, the answer is pretty straightforward, and it can be traced back to the show’s first episode, and the character’s time-slipping problem.
Loki Pruned Himself in the MCU Show Because He’d Already Done So
In Loki Season 2, Episode 1 we saw Loki time-slipping as a result of being pushed through a time door by Sylvie after she killed He Who Remains in the Loki Season 1 Finale. According to Ouroboros, this is the result of being caught between through times. The solution? As O.B. presents it to Mobius and Loki in the first episode of Season 2, Loki needs to be pruned while not in the present.
That’s exactly what happened in Episode 1, where we see Loki get pruned by an unseen person while in the future. Not much is made of the identity of this person, mostly because that was exactly what Loki needed at the moment, and Loki isn’t exactly the type to look a gift horse in the mouth. In Episode 4, however, we find out the identity of the person who pruned Loki at just the right time: Loki himself. Convenient indeed.
How did that happen? Easy. What was the future for Episode 1 Loki was now the present for Episode 4 Loki. So Present Loki ran into Episode 1 Loki and as he did, he realized that he had to have been the one to prune himself. The time and the place match exactly, and Loki has been accused of many things, but being dim is not one of them. That meant he had to go ahead and do it then, otherwise, he would have never stopped time-slipping and would have never gotten to be Present Loki in the first place.
Time travel is complicated like that. Basically, Loki was stuck in a time loop, and being that he is Loki, he recognized that he was so and realized that he had to keep the time loop or risk making everything so much worse. Though considering how weird things already are in Loki and how likely they are to get even worse, we’re not sure two Lokis running around, one of them time-slipping wouldn’t have been better. With two episodes to go in this season, we’re willing to be Loki pruning himself is going to rank low on the list of strange things that end up happening.
If you’re looking for more, check out our recap of Loki Season 2, Episode 4.