Episode 2 – “Midnight Train”
Attack on Titan season 4, episode 2 opens with a meeting with the general. Despite the victories that Marley earned at Fort Slava, the general is concerned with the ability to kill Titans other nations gaining. Marley is beginning to lose the arms race. If they didn’t center their armies’ power around Titans, they might have been better positioned. That said, couldn’t they just buy the Titan killing cannons? Anyway, Zeke makes a case for resuming the Paradis Island Operation to recover the Founding Titan and regain their power. Zeke only has one year left and is eager to “make up” for his failure. Marley has been sending ships to Paradis for three years and not a single one has returned. Zeke speculates that it must be “two” Titans that are responsible.
Elsewhere, Reiner wakes after a nightmare. Sitting nearby is Porco Galliard, the Jaw Titan. Galliard seems to hate Reiner and blames him for his brother’s death. He confirms that Ymir is dead and he ate her. Suddenly, Pieck, the Cart Titan enters. She needs a crutch to reorient herself after walling on all four in her Titan form. She seems easy going, unlike her more jaded peers. The surviving Eldian returns home to Liberio. They’re excited to see their families. Attack on Titan has always had elements of Nazi Germany, but this episode invites the comparison. The look of the uniforms, the general reminded me of Hitler, and the segregation and the oppression that the Eldian suffer under invoke the image of Nazi Germany. I’m sure this is intentional and it’s effective.
Savage, Heartless devils
Reiner and Gabi are cousins and they have dinner with their family. After Gabi recounts her war story, Reiner’s mother is assured that Gabi will inherit the Armored Titan. These families are brainwashed to both accept their inferior societal position and to hate the Eldian that “fleed” to Paradis Island. This doesn’t seem to benefit anyone but the Marleyans. Reiner seems more conflicted when discussing his experiences on the island. He recounts them while characterizing them as being horrible memories. He tells them how an Eldian (Potato Girl) had “eaten a stolen potato during their entrance ceremony and attempted to bribe her instructor when she was caught.” He continues to discuss the other scouts in vague terms, but we know who he’s talking about. Gabe is surprised by his use of the term “all sorts of people.” To her, the Eldian on Paradis Island is only one kind of person, evil.
The War Hammer Titan
The warriors gather in a meeting room to discuss how to secure the Marley’s and by extension the Eldians security. This rests on acquiring the Founding Titan and the resources found on Paradis Island. However, this story needs to be “sold.” The Tybur family according to Zeke will play this role. We don’t know much about them yet, but we are told that their rich and possess the War Hammer Titan. If you saw the trailer for this season then the War Hammer Titan is the white one. So far Attack on Titan is doing a good job of humanizing the Eldian’s living in Marley. They’re blind to the truth of the world and have been duped. Reiner on the other hand was friends with many scouts until he had to betray them. However, once we return to Paradis Island and the war begins I think we will not have difficulty choosing Eren’s side over Reiner’s.