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The walls are coming down, and society on Eldia is in the midst of total collapse. This time, however, it is not because of some mass titan invasion, but rather the military strength of an entire country. Marley has decided the time is now, and in pursuit of Eldia’s demise, they fly into battle alone, without the support of other governments. Eren must now use his newfound power amongst the Jaegerists to fight against this now impending invasion.
Of course, that’s only the finale of this set of episodes, and while it was certainly well done, there are a lot of other things to talk about.
First, watching the various factions related to Sasha come together in order to find out how she died, only to be faced with her killer in Gabi, was a legitimately thrilling moment. For as nice a person as Sasha’s dad is, it would not have been surprising to attempt to kill Gabi in a fit of rage, especially considering how much her character has been set up in the interim between her death and that scene.
For as important as Nicolo has been in this season, though, it would have been nice to get a bit more about their relationship other than “they were probably in love,” but obviously it is nowhere close to the main plot, so I understand why they did not.
Speaking of Gabi, for as annoying as she can be, the internal conflict she has been going through based on her identity as both an Eldian and a Marleyian has been genuinely compelling to watch. On the one hand, she has been indoctrinated by the Marleyian government since birth, raised to believe that only by serving her country can she redeem her sinful existence.
On the other hand, when faced with Eldians who were cast out and labeled “island devils,” she is faced with nothing but kindness, despite having killed one of their comrades. The psychological conflict between what she has been told versus her immediate reality is something I hope gets resolved by the series’ end.
Sooner than expected, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin manage to reunite while Eren is holding them hostage. It was at this point in the episode that I started having even more conflicted feelings about Attack on Titan and his character than I already do, and where the conversation around the show’s political ideology has taken a decided turn.
Memes upon memes were being thrown around during the early Attack on Titan episodes about how Eren’s goal was simply to kill all of the Titans and get revenge. By the end of the third season, this goal was much closer to being a reality, but it is also at this point where also incredibly meme’d to death scene of Eren at the beach comes in, with him asking “If we kill all our enemies over there, will we truly be free?” This brings us to the restaurant scene, where Eren’s conception of freedom has warped into something decidedly more fascist in nature, where there is a clear black and white boundary between the free and those he would call slaves.
Of course, I am only halfway through this season, and there is of course one final part that is not coming out till next year, so I will save all the think-piecing until then.
Arguably the most compelling section of this group is the episode that focuses on Zeke’s past and his connection to Paradis. Owl, the leader of the group planning to overthrow Marley, is Zeke’s dad, and in order to save himself from being killed, Zeke rats them out at the order of his future mentor, the previous beast titan holder. While not providing a ton of information that was not already known, it is an interesting dive into his character and the origin of his twisted ideology, highlighting the circumstances which lead to his existence today.
Overall, this was a great set of episodes, both in terms of writing and animation, but also one that leaves me conflicted as to AOT’s direction ideologically.
How do you feel about Attack on Titan? Let me know in the comments (no spoilers please).
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