It took me a bit to figure out what was going on here. At the end of last season the TVA had changed and Mobius didn't recognize Loki and that is probably how the old show runner thought they should go on, but the new show runner wanted everyone to know what had happened. To cover for Mobius not recognizing Loki, they had to do a whole episode of time-slipping to explain that when Mobius didn't recognize him, Loki had time slipped to the past before they met, but present day Mobius is all good.
The time slips also gave them a "done in one" threat they could focus the first episode on. Season-long arcs can get old unless there's a significant accomplishment every so often, and giving Loki a problem that could be fixed also solved the story beat issue. Sure, the "close the blast doors" thing could have been made more complicated without the timeslips, but this let them resolve any possible mind-changing between seasons while also providing a ticking clock threat.
(The timeslips also let Loki get confirmation of some other plot points, like He Who Remains's face on the mural, and the multiple mindwipes.)
Yeah, there's no way that last line this week wasn't at least a little reference to Doctor Who.
ETA, as someone whose first "fandom" was Norse Myth (I was reading the children's library stuff on it back in kindergarten), when I saw stuff dissolving into threads that were mostly gold, red, and black/gray, I immediately thought, "Norns!"
I have never both loved and hated a series finale as much as this one. Loved because it absolutely was the best way to end the series, hate because I'm human and I would rather take something great and ruin it a little just so I can have more of it.
I like how they gave us Yggdrasil without actually using the name. I suppose if they do want a third season (or to use this Loki elsewhere), they could always have the Norns show up or be summoned by him to take over the duties, perhaps introduce them as helpers he pulls from doomed variant Asgards.
I'm finally watching Loki 2. Just up to two eps. I didn't like Everywhere All At Once but liked Ouroburos actor a lot. Feels like they could trim the run time a bit more but I do enjoy Loki and Mobius interacting.
The torture of Zaniac gave me Saw and Animated Blurr death vibes. I hate it, ugh.
Edit - OMG, I'm on ep 4 and all the prisoners, OMG!
Victor Timely being a confidence man is odd but ok. I knew Miss Minutes isn't to be trusted from the start but would that they didn't do the AI wanting love trope.
Cool on the mystery of who pruned Loki. I just didn't think the time was that close.
Edit again - I finished it. I'm so sad about Loki, ruling everything but can't leave. It went with Be Careful with what you wish for, but I'm sure Loki gave up ruling everything beforehand already. Poor guy.
I could the World Tree thing. Maybe Loki can make a new set of Asgardians.