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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 24: Pride

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 24, “Pride” opens with Hange Zoe treating a severely injured Levi Ackermann. She concludes that the only reason he’s survives is due to “being an Ackermann.” Hange wonders if they might end up imprisoned. When Eren sends his message, Levi awakens. Hange explains the situation to Levi, who’s still reeling from his failure to defeat Zeke Jaeger. At the end of the last episode Levi and Hange encountered Theo Magath and Pieck Finger. Their both searching for Zeke. Hange assumes Eren has him to make use of his “royal blood.” Conny Springer continues to manipulate Falco Grice as they camp in the woods. As I predicted, Conny is starting to feel guilty for deceiving Falco, who trusts him.

It all falls apart when Falco remembers Conny from when Gabi Braun murdered Sasha Braus. Conny reveals his mother, still trapped in the house for what’s likely been years now. He tries to trick Falco into getting close to his mother by suggesting they “clean her teeth.” It’s all so awkward. Suddenly, Gabi and Armin Arlelt appear and warn Falco. Desperate, Conny takes him hostage, holding a blade to Falco’s throat. Armin decides to risk his life by climbing on the a beam and preparing to feed himself to the Titan’s mouth. Conny drops Falco and saves Armin. When Conny asks Armin “what his backup plan would have been” he responds “Conny’s mother becoming human.” I wasn’t prepared for such a touching answer. This arc ending with the result I expected but not in the way I expected.

Jean’s great escape

Yelena and Onyankopon are set to be executed for opposing the Eldian Empire. Yelena seems ready to die but Onyankopon is more talkative. Onyankopon is a interesting character in Attack on Titan. He’s thinly drawn but innocent in a way that everyone else isn’t. He genuinely wanted to save his homeland and aid the Eldian people at the same time. Other characters notice this, even Floch. I don’t feel bad for most of the characters in Attack on Titan at this point, especially now that their all been indicted in someway. Personally, I would have been fine if Yelena got killed but not Onyankopon. Regardless, Jean and Mikasa have a plan. They collude with the Cart Titan to rescue Yelena and Onyankopon and escape with supplies. Hange, Armin, Mikasa, Levi, and Annie all join forces with the Marley to save the world.

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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 22: Thaw

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 22,” Thaw,” opens with Eren telling the Subjects of Ymir that he “will use the Titans to trample all life in the outside world in order to protect the people of Paradis Island.” Annie’s father back in Liberio realizes this spells doom for the Eldians. In the Shiganshina District, Reiner Braun tells Gabi that Falco was taken by Jean Kirschtein and Conny Springer now that he’s a Titan. Reiner tells Gabi she needs to escape. Reiner has no hope of stopping Eren, whereas, Gabi still thinks she can. Her first step is to find Falco. With Falco in their custody, Jean and Conny meet up with Mikasa and Armin. They discuss Eren’s plan and consider feeding Falco to Dot Pyxis or Conny’s mother.

This suggestion leads to conflict between Conny and Armin. Conny accuses Armin of not only hypocrisy, he’s only alive because he ate Bertholdt Hoover, but not caring about his mother. Armin tries to argue that killing Falco would “invite more conflict,” between them and the Warriors. While Armin has a point, I think it’s makes more sense to feed Falco to Conny’s mother or at least Pyxis. Before they can decided, a Titan interrupts and Conny escapes with Falco. Considering the fact that this is Attack on Titan, Conny is more likely to have to kill his mother, be killed by his mother, or by Gabi than save her. I have no hope for his plan.

Annie returns

Elsewhere, Jean, Misaka, and Armin regroup with others outside the fort. They collect Thunder Spears to slay the remaining Titans, including Pyxis. When the battle ends, all the Pure Titans are exterminated and so are the Marleyan forces. Floch Forster, Onyankopon, and Yelena are dejected after Eren’s betrayal and Zeke’s defeat. Gabi learns of Falco’s kidnapping from Armin and Mikasa, and begs Armin to asks Eren to focus only on the military. When she mentions that Eren stripped Reiner of his Titan armor, Armin realizes something. Suddenly, in a basement, Annie Leonhart is freed from her Titan hardening.

It should have been obvious that Annie was going to be apart of this episode once her father appeared. Despite that I was surprised that she woke up. Earlier in this season, Eren accused Armin of falling in love with Annie due to Bertholdt feelings towards her and Armin eating him. Considering he was lying during this moment I don’t know how much truth there is to it. Regardless, Annie was fond of Armin, famously allowing him to live when she was seeking Eren. She’s not trustworthy, but she could end up on any side of this conflict. I can’t image Armin, Mikasa, and the others allowing Eren to conduct a mass genocide. However, like I said before this is Attack on Titan.

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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 20: The power of the Attack Titan

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20, ends with a major reveal. Zeke takes Eren through the memories of their father, Grisha Jaeger. Zeke has one goal to show Eren how his father’s ideology is manipulating him. Zeke is clearly bitter for being “abandoned,” accusing Grisha of forgetting he “had a first son.” Zeke tells Eren that their father of using his position as a doctor to “cozy up to those in power,” so he can “hunt down the king,” and “steal the Founding Titan.” If Grisha fails his wife and son (Eren) would suffer as well. It’s Zeke not Eren that is shocked early in this episode. Eren and Zeke learn that Grisha found the King’s hideout years before they expected. Grisha appears to have stopped the pursuit of the King at this point. Zeke assumed that Grisha never loved any of his children, but he realizes that he did love Eren.

Eren gets more intense in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20
Eren gets more intense in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 20

After travelling through several more memories, Eren tells Zeke that the reason he betrayed him wasn’t because Grisha manipulated. He’s always destroyed those that tired to “steal his freedom.” We also learn that Eren wanted to join the Survey Corps since childhood. Eren doesn’t want to remain ignorant of the outside world. His father is terrified at the revelation. He goes to beg the royal family to stop the Titans and save his wife, daughter, and son. Eren begins to rage in the background as Grisha explains the significance of the Attack Titan, to “defy self-righteous kings.” Furthermore, Grisha claims that the Attack Titan “allows its holder to glimpse the memories of its future inheritors.”

The past can’t be changed

Grisha removes a scalpel from his jacket and prepares to eliminate the royal line. However, he can’t bring himself to do it. Grisha is a doctor. He can’t bring himself to take lives especially children. While he hesitates, the royal family beg their sister Frieda to kill Grisha. Eren tells his father to stand up and remember what he’s fighting for. To avenge his sister, comrades, Dina, and, Kruger. It turns out Grisha killed the Reiss family on the orders of Eren. With the Attack Titan’s ability to see the future, Grisha tells Zeke his dreams are dead. He’s seen the future, Eren wins, and it’s horrible. He tells Zeke, he have to “stop Eren.” Suddenly, Zeke returns to the Paths, with Eren looking down on him.

I will admit, I find the fact Eren is responsible for everything to be confusing. Time travel always has the potential to confuse. Eren is given more agency that everyone else and turns out to be the manipulator of events. It’s farfetched. Attack on Titan also rewrites it’s own story. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Regardless, I’m excited to see how this series ends. Eren violent behavior is getting worst. I guess he’s still the “good” guy, but I’m not sure what that even means in this series.

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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15: Recap and Review

Eren agrees to Zeke's plan in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 15
Eren agrees to Zeke’s plan

Sole Salvation

Attack on Titan season 4, episode 15, “Sole Salvation” focused on Zeke Jaeger. Since he told Eren that he would return to save him, his motives have been in question. We find out what his end goal is. Saving the world with his “Eldian Euthanization Plan.” Attack on Titan has given most of its characters more sophisticated portrayals this season. It makes sense that Zeke would get this treatment as well. All we knew before this episode was that Zeke turned his parents in to the Marleyian authorities. In “Sole Salvation” we find out why. Zeke’s parents pressured him to become the perfect warrior to save the entire Eldian race. In the effort to mold him into a freedom fighter, they destroyed the innocent boy Zeke was. Feeling distance between himself and his parents, Zeke finds a father figure, Tom Ksaver.

Ksaver was an Eldian researcher and warrior that possessed the Beast Titan before Zeke. He mentions to Zeke that he became a Titan researcher to cure his curiosity. Ksaver hated being a warrior. He considered it “stupid to shorten one’s lifespan just to invade other countries.” He suffered a personal tragedy. After his wife learns of his Eldian heritage, she kills their son and then herself. This made him into a bitter man that joined the warrior program as a “means of suicide.” This relationship filled the void in both Zeke and Ksaver’s lives. Zeke got the father he didn’t have, and Ksaver got the son. Ksaver treats him like a child and the two play catch. We know Zeke has a love of baseball because of his tendency to “pitch” when he’s killing enemies in Titan form. What at first appeared to be a strange behavior is actually a sentimental habit.

Eldian Euthanization Plan

Ksaver influence isn’t just fatherly. He encourages Zeke to turn in his parents and unintentionally leads Zeke to his master plan. After Ksaver tells him that “the Founding Titan doesn’t just have the power to change the Eldians’ memories; it can alter their physiology, too.” Zeke wonders if the Founding Titan can sterilize the Eldian. Sterilizing is far more preferable than genocide, but it’s still a shocking plan. That both Eren and Zeke have concluded that Eldian should be eliminated, despite being Eldian themselves, is interesting. Especially, if you consider even the Marleyian want to keep the Eldian’s alive, at least to use the Titan powers. That said, this plan would at least end the oppression between the Marley and Eldians. Despite that, war between nation would remain.

In the present, Levi overhears Zeke recalling his memories of Ksaver. He tells Zeke that “eaten by a Titan seems to be a merciful fate for him after killing so many of his comrades.” Zeke claims he saved “children from being born into this cruel world.” Suddenly, he jerks his head, pulling the trigger on the Thunder Spear. The resulting explosion sends Levi flying and splits Zeke in two. Levi and Zeke aren’t likely to be in excellent condition after the explosion, however, Zeke can heal. Would Attack on Titan kill Levi? I would say yes, but in a more epic way. I would guess that he survives.

With Levi unable to battle for a while, this will probably allow Eren and the others to succeed easier. With only one episode left, it’s difficult to imagine this season will end neatly. Despite the thrilling climax, the last episode can only leave us disappointed it wasn’t a longer season. Regardless, I can’t wait to see how it ends.

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Attack on Titan Episode 14: Recap and Review

Savagery (Boaku)

With only two episodes remaining, Attack on Titan Season 4 episode 14, “Savagery” steps up to the action. Eren, Mikasa, and Armins conversation ends in violence. Armin and Mikasa believe Eren was being manipulated by Yelena. He claims that he’s “free.” Eren starts verbally attacking his friends. He says that neither Armin nor Mikasa has “free will.” He tells Armin that he’s part Bertolt, now that he’s absorbed his memories. Then he turns on Mikasa. We had always assumed that Mikasa’s love and devotion to Eren was because of her gratitude. However, Eren claims that the Ackerman family are programmed to “obey orders,” and to protect. Mikasa refuses to believe him. It’s impossible to tell if Eren is merely trying to break the bonds between them or if he’s sincerely turned on them. Regardless, I think it will not work. AT least until Eren and his followers kill their friends. Armin attacks Eren. However, he’s no match and Eren beats him bloody. It’s difficult to watch as the trio’s friendship appears to have dissolved. That said, this is Attack on Titan. All this could be a plot.

Zeke’s Escapes (Kinda)

Zeke’s attempt to escape was only a matter of time. In the last episode, his spinal fluid scheme was exposed. Zeke runs off and lets out a scream. All of Levi’s squad falls out of the trees and transform into Titans. The rest of the Scouts feel the sensation, suggesting that Zeke needs to be closer to them. Once again, Levi has witnessed the death of his squad. This time it’s by his own hands. Zeke assumes Levi couldn’t do such a thing and would accept his death. He’s horrified when Levi catches up to him. It’s hard to believe that Zeke ever cares about anyone, so his “concern” for the lives of the Scouts comes off insincere. Desperate, he transforms into the Beast Titan. It’s remarkable that the once intimidating Titan is no match for Levi. The Beast Titan barely puts up a fight anymore. Levi quick defeats him with a barrage of Thunder Spears to his nape, blowing him up. Levi keeps him alive, hoping to pass the Beast Titan on to someone else.

Things are different now

The 109th Training Corps is preparing to simulate the defense of the Shiganshina District. The recruits are concerned that they will be unprepared to fight human enemies. One trainee believes they should create an Eldian army instead. Eren’s Jaegerists have inspired the next generation. They want him to lead them. Suddenly, Hange, Floch and the Jaegerists appear. They take over. Floch is right when he suggests that the “outside world” is a bigger threat than Titans. He asks for volunteers to join them. Several trainees step forward. Floch then demands that they “show their resolve” by beating Commander Sadies “until he can no longer stand.” They comply. Finally, Levi ties a Thunder Spear to Zeke’s neck with a rope. He then hacks his feet off. Zeke asks for his glasses before we get a flashback. The next episode will probably focus on Zeke. I wonder if we will learn the whole truth. It’s difficult to tell who’s the most sympathetic and I can’t pick a side. However, Eren and his Jaegerists are becoming monstrous.