Above and Below
Mistrust leaves Paradis Island unprepared
The sound from the Thunder Spear echoes through the valley. Hange, Floch, and the other Jeagerists notice. Zeke lies on the ground near death. His body above the upper chest remains. He contemplates the possibility of dying. A Titan appears. Shockingly, she doesn’t eat him; she tears open her stomach and places him inside. The last episode of Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16 Part 1 opens in a surprising fashion. Elsewhere, Commander Pixis is being held by Yelena and the Jaegerists. Pixis surrendered without incident. With the military “dosed” with “spinal fluid”, he felt like he had no choice. Pixis notices Yelena has replicated the color-coded armbands that Marley used. The Red ones symbolize those that were forced to submit, the Black for those who refused, and the white for the Jaegerists.
By creating this hierarchy, the Jaegerists know who they can trust. Yelena argues that she’s just learning from her enemies. Pixis believes all she’s accomplished is making more enemies. She suggests that all this could have been avoided if they were just accepted. However, because they tainted the wine from the beginning, it’s hard not to see the military as being justified in not trusting them.
In the prison, Yelena, Onyankopon, and Greiz arrive. After Jean and Conny berate Yelena and Onyankopon for betraying them, Nicolo and Greiz argue over Sascha. Greiz calls her a “whore” and says that he “hoped Nicolo would have come to his sense after she died.” Nicolo tries to strangle him through the bars. Suddenly, Yelena kills Greiz by shooting him in the head. Yelena says that the “island no longer needs any who would curse them as devils.” As an olive branch, it’s an extreme act, but it might be effective.
As Yelena tells the captives Zeke’s plan, we cut to Gabi. Eren enters the room and tells her he wants her to help. Before she can consider it, Pieck kills the other guard and aims her gun at Eren. She orders Gabi to grab the dead man’s rifle. Eren is calm despite the situation. He calls Pieck’s bluff. She can’t shoot him because he has the Founding Titan, and she’s under orders not to kill him.
He reminds her of the consequences of disobeying a military order. She surrenders, but not before revealing that she think’s he can “defeat Marley.” Gabi is confused, as I think most of us would be. Who can she trust? What are they fighting for? Pieck asks, “Are we Marleyan? Or are we Eldian? Gabi still believes that their “Honorary Marleyians.” Pieck makes an excellent point I hadn’t realized. With the military weapons becoming more capable of killing Titans, the value of the warriors will decline. Meaning they’ll probably all get killed.
The Consequences of Mistrust
So far the theme of this episode is the consequences of mistrust. The military on Paradis Island didn’t trust Yelena and her group, so there couldn’t be camaraderie between them. The relationship between the Eldians and Marley is even more toxic. Naturally, the result is betrayal, mistrust, and revenge. If they can’t get their right themselves, they will never have them. Back at the prison, Yelena explains that both the Foundering Titan and Royal family will need to be maintained if the plan is going to work. As Yelena admires Eren and Zeke as “Gods”, Armin cries. He just didn’t understand their “noble” intentions. I don’t buy it. Armin has a manipulative streak. It doesn’t matter, they’re interrupted and told of the intruders. Eren escorts Pieck to the roof. She’s chained together with Gabi so she can’t transform.
Suddenly, Porco (Jaw Titan) emerges from the floor and bites both Eren’s legs off. From the air, five blimps from Marley arrive, and Eren prepares to meet them. Well, that was an ending. Part 1 of Season 4 of Attack on Titan ended with all the Jaegerists, Paradis Military, and Scouts unprepared. As I predicted in earlier reviews, the infighting left them fractured and exposed. Levi is possibly dead, and if not, he certainly can’t fight. Zeke isn’t in better shape. The Scout’s particularity, Mikasa and Armin are trapped in the prison. Armin can’t transform without killing everyone. The military is in shambles. The Marley military has the advantage. It probably won’t last, but it will cause casualties.