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.