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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.


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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 10: Recap and Review

Episode 10 – ‘A Sound Argument’

In Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 10, Zeke introduces Eren and the Scout Regiment to Kiyomi Azumabito. She’s an ambassador from Hizuru, a small nation from part of the Orient (East Sea). They’re known for their engineering skills, creating advance weaponry and aircraft. When Kiyomi meets the Scouts, she asks Mikasa Ackermann if she recognizes a crest. She does and reveals a tattoo of the crest on her wrists. Mikasa says they passed the crest down from mother to daughter. Kiyomi calls it “admirable” and explains that “a century ago the shogun’s son came to Paradis since he was on friendly terms with Karl Fritz.” After the Great Titan War, Hizuru was defeated, and they left a child of the shogunate behind. The Ackermann family are descendants of that child.

Kiyomi discusses how Zeke made this arrangement possible. After giving her the ODM gear and promising that she can meet Mikasa, Zeke convinces Kiyomi to help Paradis. Kiyomi seems to be interested in Iceburst stone. We only find the stone on Paradis Island and it’s the primary source of ODM fuel. The arrangement between Kiyomi and Zeke is first “a test run of the rumbling to show the world a sample of its power”, second strengthen the military of Paradis, with Hizuru’s aid. Finally, the Founding Titan and a Titan of royal blood must be passed down. Zeke, facing the ending of his life, will pass on the Beast Titan. He will choose someone of “royal blood” and they must “bear as many children as possible.” Historia agrees to accept this plan, but Eren rejects it.

Historia’s Pregnant

This turns out to be the reason Eren didn’t trust the Scouts. After eating the War Hammer Titan, Eren claims that “there is no prison that can hold him.” Eren grabs Hange through the jail bars wants to hear “if they have anything up their sleeve.” Eren continues to distant himself from the goals of the Scouts and probably Paradis. If this continues, he will probably abandon them and go at it alone. He already tried it once, and it was a disaster (mostly). Elsewhere, Historia is pregnant. The father is someone that grew up in the same area as Historia. Roeg suspects her pregnancy was a deliberate way to avoid becoming a Titan. He thinks they should turn her into a Titan, regardless. Attack on Titan signals the Military is souring on their Queen. They seem to see her as a tool more than a person.

A year in the past, the potential alliance with Hizuru falls apart as they wished to monopolize the resources of Paradis Island. They won’t help them trade. It’s useful for the rest of the world to see Paradis as the land of evil. It brings them together. Mikasa believes that if they can meet the people outside, they might change their minds about them. Eren worries they will run out of time and they would need to determine who inherits his Titan. Mikasa volunteers, but Jean says that “it should not be her since they do not know what the Ackermanns are and it might ruin their relationship with Hizuru.” He then volunteers. Arguing that he’s smarter than Eren. Conny believes that he’s the best candidates because he’s not that valuable and can die in 13 years.

Alliances fall

In the present, Eren and the rest of the Scout’s come into conflict. Jean has always had issues with Eren, and it’s not surprising that he’s leading the conflict. However, I think he’s right. Conny accuses Eren of siding with Zeke. If true, Conny says that they “cut him down.” Mikasa warns them. She wouldn’t allow them to harm Eren, besides he only wants to protect them. Jean disagrees. He points out that “Eren used to try keeping her off the front lines, but he made Armin destroy a port and pulled Mikasa and the rest of them into the raid on Liberio.” Armin and Mikasa will talk to Eren. But will he tell them the truth? All the alliances are falling apart in Attack on Titan. I don’t think Eren can be trusted or the military. Paradis Island may not need to worry about outsides, if they destroy each other from within.

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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 9: Recap and Review

Episode 9 – “Brave Volunteers”

Brave Volunteers is the 9th episode of Attack on Titan season 4. Armin is talking to the crystallized Annie Leonhart, he explains what happened three years prior. The Scout Regiment captures the crew of a Marleyan ship thanks to the betrayal of Anti-Marleyan Volunteers. In the last episode, they introduced us to Yelena. She’s leading the revolt. Naturally, the Scouts don’t trust her. She meets with Hange and Levi inside a tent.

While Hange marvels at the Marleyan pistol, Yelena explains the size and scope of the Marleyan military. It shocks Hange to learn that the Marleyan army has aerial capability. She asks, “why they haven’t attacked then.” Yelena tells her that “the Pure Titans that had been unleashed would have hindered a land assault and that Marley is currently already at war with multiple countries.” After the Scouts defeated and took the Colossal and Female Titan, Marley’s enemies to advantaged and declared war.

We will become devils

They forced Yelena and Onyankopon into the Marleyan military after they conquered their nations. Zeke inspired Yelena, and she shot their superiors on his orders. Their goal is to “free the Eldian people.” We cut to Hange, revealing the demands of Zeke Jaeger to Historia Reiss and the Military. Unsurprisingly, they’re resistant. After Eren reveals that a Titan of royal blood would work around the “vow renouncing war, and with that power they could wake the millions of Titans sleeping within the Walls.”

This was the secret that Eren kept from the Scouts last season. He feared it would cause problems for Historia. The military won’t use Marleyan soldiers, so Hange says they need to find volunteers. These volunteers use radios to trap Marleyan ships, allowing Armin’s Colossal Titan to destroy the ships. With Zeke’s life reaching its last years, Eren becomes concern they’re running out of time. Armin fears using the rumbling will make them into the “devils” they’re perceived as.

We have to fight

In the present, the Scouts deal with fallout from Sasha’s death. Armin doesn’t believe that he “understands” Eren anymore. At the gravesite, Conny and Jean stop a Military Police officer from beating Nicolo. The Braun family arrives to grieve. Nicolo offers a dinner invitation to Sasha’s family. Levi brings Zeke to his “hotel” which is a forest with giant trees. Yelena and the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers are being detained by Pyxis.

They don’t trust Zeke and need to keep him on “a short leash.” Yelena has given Pyxis Titan serum. It’s unclear why they want the serum, but I don’t think it’s good. Elsewhere, Armin, Mikasa, and Eren all accept that violence is necessary or they can’t win. Peace is no longer a possibility. Attack on Titan episode 9 marks the end of hope. The Marleyan military has been severely hampered, but as Yelena stated, their military might be great. The imperialism that Marley engaged in has created many enemies. If these forces join with the Scout Regiment, they could destroy Marley.

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Attack on Titan Episode 8: Recap and Review

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.”

Eren’s recknessless

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.