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Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 21: From You, 2,000 Years Ago

Ymir has been an important figure in Attack on Titan. Considered the mother of Titans. Ymir was a slave, who was orphaned by the Eldians. There cruelty extended to cutting out the tongues of the survivors. When Ymir is blamed for a pig escaping, she sentence to be hunted. While fleeing for her life she falls into a pool of water. There she comes into contact with a spine-like creature who turns her into the first Titan. Ymir doesn’t use her newfound power to liberate herself and her people but she serves Fritz, using her Titan form to build massive wealth for the Eldians. Ymir then becomes Fritz “concubine,” giving birth to three daughters: Maria, Rose, and Sina. Ymir’s devotion to Fritz costs her life, when a spy tries to assassinate him and she jumps in front of a spear. Fritz maintains Ymir’s power by having his daughters eat their mother.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 shows the tragic past of Ymir.
Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 shows the tragic past of Ymir.

In the Paths, Ymir builds Titans for her descendants to command. Eren embraces Ymir and tells her that “he will end her slavery,” and that she “has a choice.” Ymir has been waiting for someone to free her for 2,000 years, Eren is that someone. In Shiganshina District, a creature similar to the one that birth the first Titan, connects Eren with his body. The sky darkens and the walls begin to crack. The Titans emerge from the walls. Eren transforms into a massive Titan and marches the wall Titans toward Marley. However, Armin deduces that the number of Titans are unnecessary to defeat Marley, Eren must have something else in mind. Suddenly, Eren speaks to the Subjects of Ymir. He tells them he wishes to protect the “people of Paradis Island,” and since the outside world won’t stop hunting them, he must “trample every inch of the world beyond the island until nothing is left alive.”

Let the rumble begin

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 21 marks the major turning point in the series. Ymir Fritz’s backstory was depressing to say the least, but being enslaved made sense. The Eldian race have been tools for others power for centuries. Eren has always sought to free Eldians from their bondage. While this episode explained the origins of the Titans, I now want to know where the spine-like creatures come from. I doubt we would get that origin story. MAPPA has been making a point of zooming in on the detailed eyes of the character’s. However, in this episode Ymir and the Eldian’s eyes are “scratched out.” I can’t figure out what it means but it does have a major effect when Ymir begins to cry.

I was disappointed that Ymir didn’t just kill her enslavers but it’s understandable that a slave would accept their position in life. I would have been better to at least hear what Ymir was thinking as an adult. We also don’t get other details like why did the slaves turn Ymir in? Regardless, Ymir’s life is full of betrayal and brutality. I makes perfect sense that she would have rage. Which makes her very similar to Eren. Both are justified in wanting revenge and I’m excited to see if they get it.

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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 18: The Brothers Unite

Armin maintains his belief that Eren is faking in order to gain control of the Founding Titan. His goal is to “protect Paradis Island with the rumbling.” Despite remaining skeptical, Jean and Conny agree to save Eren. Outside, Eren is pinned down by Reiner Braun. Eren continues to struggle against Reiner, summoning more War Hammer spikes. Reiner wants to end everyone’s suffering. He wonders why Eren continues to fight. He doesn’t see why he and Eren are so similar but they’re both fighting desperately for those they care about. Suddenly, The Beast Titan hurls a bolder at Reiner, sending him flying. For the first time in the series I was happy to see Zeke. Attack on Titan Season 4 has successfully blurred the lines between friend and foe. I’m still bias in favor of Misaka and Armin. I’m uncertain which side Eren actually is on but I don’t want him to died.

Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18
Zeke turns the tables in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18

Zeke’s arrival dramatically turns the battle. His trademark pitching, overwhelms the Marleyian forces. He takes down the Marleyian airships down as the creepy Yelena enjoys the destruction. Armin, Jean, Mikasa, and Conny finally reach the roof. Jean notices Zeke and concludes correctly that something happened to Levi and Hange. Elsewhere, Colt and Gabi find Falco. Gabi releases that they were wrong about the Eldians. They aren’t devils just “people.” Both Falco and Gabi accept their roles in the current cycle of violence.

Yelena is just so creepy

Death of the Beast Titan?

With the introduction of the mysterious girl in the previous episode, it’s difficult to determine if Zeke will die or not. So when he’s shot through the nape by Pieck’s cannon I was shocked but not concerned. Maybe I should be. Attack on Titan has no issue killing off characters but the series haven’t killed any major ones in a while (Sasha wasn’t a major character, just a beloved one). Zeke is only useful for his ability to create Titans with his scream. If Eren eats him then the plan still worked. It’s unlikely he doesn’t turn at least some people into Titans. Considering Falco, Colt, and Gabi are rushing to stop Zeke. It seems obvious to me that Falco gets transformed, especially since he poured his heart out to Gabi. Zeke’s will probably die at some point but I don’t think it’s now.

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The Marleyian nation invades in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 16

Eren is ready

Above and Below

Mistrust leaves Paradis Island unprepared

The sound from the Thunder Spear echoes through the valley. HangeFloch, 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.

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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.