Episode 8 – “Assassin’s Bullet”
Reiner attacks Eren and is quickly knocked down after Eren destroys his jaw with the Attack Titan’s hardened fists. Despite his defeat, Riener grabs the Jaw Titan from Eren. Out of energy, Eren emerges from the nape of the Attack Titan. The conflict finally ends. The Scout Regiment retreats to the airship. Gabi Braun refuses to allow them to escape. Armed with her rifle, she vows to “kill Eren.” On board, Levi kicks Eren and has him restrained.
The fallout from Eren’s manipulative behavior is just starting. Outside, Jean and the other Scouts board the airship while defending it. Former commander Lobov stays to defend the rear. Gabi races toward the airship, while Falco chases behind. Gabi’s perspective is irrational. Part of her drive to “improve herself” is based on the bigotry of Marleyians. She knows they hate her, and yet she aims to gain their approval. She engages in bigotry towards the Eldians from Paradis Island, calling them “devils.” Her desire for revenge is justifiable because the Scouts attacked her home. However, she denies that this is an acceptable justification for Scout’s.
Gabi kills Sasha
She’s spotted by Lobov, who hesitates to kill her after seeing that she’s a child. Gabi has no hesitation and kills him. His corpse drops to the ground, still tethered to the airship. Gabi with Falco grabbing on use the wire to get aboard the airship. Gabi fires at the celebrating Scout’s hitting Sasha in the torso. As Jean and Connie rush to the aid of Sasha, the other soldiers beat and restrain Gabi and Falco. Heading towards death, Sasha asks “whether they will eat soon,” ending with “meat.”
Elsewhere, Commander Magath and Pieck discusses the soldier she suspected. Most of us assumed incorrectly that the soldier was Armin, turns out it’s Yelena. She a soldier that was onboard the one of the missing fleets, she’s also a devout Zeke Jaeger follower. Yelena’s on the airship with the scouts, and so is Zeke. Hange leaves the cockpit and as Zeke, if “all has gone according to plan.”
Sasha’s death was shocking, but I think they foreshadowed it when Gabi witness her killing the two soldiers. Sasha is loved by the Attack on Titan fandom, but she never was a significant character. Her death will have an emotional impact on fans and of course her friends Armin, Mikasa, Connie, and Eren, but little effect on the actual story. I could be wrong, of course. Eren seem to take her death hard. Hearing her last words from Connie, Eren remembers Sasha wishing for the day that they can recover her lands so she can raise livestock.
While I don’t think that her death will have a narrative impact, it serves to make Eren look worse. He didn’t want her to get killed, but his behavior got her killed. As Jean points out, “she died because Eren had dragged the Scouts into battle.” Zeke’s betrayal is surprising. It explains why Levi’s and the Beast Titans fight wasn’t that intense. Regardless, Levi hates Zeke. He threatens Zeke when the Titan jokes he must have “wanted to kill him.” Zeke’s plan will unfold in later episodes, but in it seems to include getting the Founding Titan and a Titan “of royal blood.” With Gabi and Falco captured and Zeke “missing” I wonder what the Marley’s response will be.