Mappa has been hitting it out of the part with the pacing of the past few episodes, so this one ended up feeling a bit weird with its pacing. There was a lot of stuff crammed into this episode that made it a little hard to follow, but I do think it got its point across. As I said in last week’s post, this is indeed the much needed cool-down episode that would let us just sit down and take a breath and take in what happened. Because whew, did stuff HAPPEN.
I appreciate that this episode took the time to show us what exactly we missed from in between the end of season 3 and the start of season 4. While the pacing was a bit fast, at least we got the low down. Like how the Zeke supporters defected from Marley and were the ones to help Paradis progress technologically. Which explains their new ODM gear. They already had the base for it with Kenny’s gear, but with the Marley technology, they were able to refine it so it doesn’t have as big of a weakness as Kenny’s crew did. We even found out what happened to the fleets that would go to Paradis and why they would always disappear. And then there’s the stuff from Zeke and how he turned traitor on Marley. Though we didn’t really learn as to why he did so or what his headspace was. For the time being, Zeke SEEMS to be working with Paradis, but we don’t exactly know his exact reasons.
While continuing on with the flashback, it was honestly pretty sad to see Sasha so soon after her death. But it was nice to see her one last time eating like her life depended on it as per usual, even gaining the affections of Nicolo (a captured Marlyan) by how genuine her love for his cooking was. It was also pretty interesting to note that they never had sea food before, which makes sense since they were never exposed to the ocean until recently. It’s just these little details that we tend to overlook until it’s placed right in front of us.
Seeing all the bouquets on Sasha’s grave just demonstrated again how many people loved her. I think my heart went out to Connie in this moment as he viewed Sasha as his twin and now feels like half of himself is gone. The two were definitely the closest and it’s heart-wrenching to see Connie so down. The poor guy has had his family and entire village stripped away from him and Sasha’s death feels like the final breaking point for him. And when Sasha’s family showed up… not gonna lie, I felt a bit misty eyed. A parent never wants to live longer than their child and we knew how close Sasha and her dad were in the second season. Not to mention we actually see the small girl that Sasha saved back in her village with them. Sasha was literally the one to bring life back in that child’s eyes and it had to be absolutely crushing to find out the person you looked up to was dead. Ugh… my heart…
Though we do get a very touching scene of Nicolo offering Sasha’s family to come eat his food some time. Which I think is a pretty important scene of of showing how both sides can come together in understanding and breaking the cycle of hatred. Since Sasha’s dad had every right to despise the Marleyans for killing his daughter but instead took Nicolo up on his offer. Especially when literally not even five minutes before, an Eldian was beating Nicolo up for being Marleyan. It may seem small and insignificant, but it’s a step in the right direction. People are just people, no more, no less. They are all the same no matter where they come from.
We also are starting to see a rift between the Shiganshima trio. While they’re probably still considered friends, they seem to be slowly drifting a part due to circumstances. The three of them were isolated from each other in the final moments of the episode, all in their own thoughts. Even Armin commented that growing up, he was the one who understood how Eren thought the best. But now, he’s realizing how much Eren has changed and he isn’t able to understand him as well as he used to. And it’s sad because out of everyone, Armin was probably the one that Eren valued the most. They were most likely best friends. But now, it seems like their friendship has been strained if that look Armin gave Eren before pulling him into the airship had anything to say about it. Even Mikasa seems to be having difficulties with her current feelings towards Eren as she seems incredibly saddened by the atrocities that Eren has committed (which is understandable) all the while mourning Sasha’s death. And then Eren we have no idea what Eren is thinking besides most likely continuing his warpath with his declaration of having to keep fighting. Everything that was said back in earlier seasons feel like they keep getting twisted or take on a double meaning.
Also, MY GIRL ANNIE IS BACK. Kind of… She’s still there encased in crystal since the first freaking season. But it’s nice seeing her again lol. Especially since Armin seems to be using her as a sound board as he sorts his feelings out verbally.
Lots of things were being set up this episode while also explaining some missing information between this and last season. I’m definitely excited to see how this season continues to adapt this series because so far, it’s been doing AMAZING.