Honestly, it feels like every episode just one ups the other the further we get into this season. But man, I have been looking forward to this episode for a while because it just hits a lot of things I had been hoping for in Gabi’s character and also just addressing the core issue of the cycle of hatred.
But man, the restaurant scene was just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Not only was Gabi among Sasha’s family and around the guy who loved her, but then Hanji and the others show up and was just in the other room. Stuff HAD to go down and boy did things go DOWN. Once Falco and Gabi split away from the group to talk to Nicolo, I think everyone knew everything was just about to explode. Falco seems especially attuned to a mood shift (probably due to his upbringing of being related to a Restorationist) and could immediately catch that something was wrong during Gabi and Nicolo’s conversation. Gabi just seems to have tunnel vision as she is completely oblivious to the shift in mood when she admits to having shot a female soldier on the airship, which clues Nicolo in that she was the one who killed Sasha. And he reacts in a predictable manner considering his mental and emotional state and bashed Falco over the head with a wine bottle. Falco really be taking way too many hits for this girl.
And then we get one of the best scenes from this season with Nicolo revealing Gabi to Sasha’s family, Falco and knife in hand. It was only a matter of time before they made this reveal to Sasha’s family and it couldn’t have come at worse time. The Braus family just came here to have a good meal, only to find the one they were sheltering killed their daughter. And I just have to give it to the voice acting and music during this scene. Nicolo’s voice actor did AMAZING just portraying all the anguish and hatred in his delivery.
I didn’t care all that much for Nicolo back when I read the manga, but seeing him here, I just felt so bad for the guy. Sasha meant so much to him as she helped him find his true passion through his cooking. She essentially saved him from a miserable life in the war. I wish we got to see them together more. I probably would have shipped them if we got to see more of their interactions. In any case, he was already freaking out over having possibly been a part of a plan to essentially poison the MP’s, but then found himself face to face with the person who killed Sasha and was basically bragging about it almost. It’s no wonder he flipped out as hard as he did. Since he did notice that some of the wine went into Falco’s mouth, which freaked him out even more than he already was.
The argument between Nicolo and Gabi was hard to watch. Both lost beloved people to the other side and you could tell that they were just going in circles, just like the entire cycle of hatred. And honestly, I can’t really blame the other for how they were acting. Sasha was Nicolo’s one solace and Gabi has literally had one traumatic experience after another. While I still don’t particularly like Gabi, I can’t really blame her for how she thinks if this sort of thing has been drilled into her since she was very young. But the MVP had to be Mr. Braus because not only did he deescalate the situation, but he actually saw the bigger picture. Despite being faced with his daughter’s killer, he showed so much mercy towards Gabi by seeing just how messed up her upbringing left her. He even said that it should be left up to the adults to keep the kids out of this mess so that this stuff won’t keep happening. He knew killing Gabi wouldn’t solve anything but continue the cycle. Mr. Braus and his wife are such strong and wonderful individuals and it says so much about them from how they handled the situation. Even going as far as to show concern for Gabi’s well-being and it just hit so hard. It even hit Gabi as she was just so shocked that Mr. Braus didn’t hate her despite everything.
However, the same could not be said about Kaya. But I could hardly blame her because of how much she loved and looked up to Sasha. You can tell that Gabi’s ideals were starting to crack. The person who bailed her out of trouble despite knowing she was from Marley, shared such a personal part of her life with her and viewed her as a friend tried to kill her because of what she did. Basically showing the stark contrast of how an adult and child think in this sort of situation. It was here that Gabi suddenly realized that her actions had consequences, seeing just how hurt the family that had taken her in and showed her nothing but kindness. Especially since she seemed to have finally warmed up to Kaya possibly as a friend of sorts. When they first got to the restaurant she even went to Kaya’s side and put her hand on her shoulder when a little nervous about the plan. And man, seeing the family just cry together hurt made me tear up a bit. Kudos to Kaya’s VA (again) by portraying such believable emotions during that scene and making me emotional. This definitely was a giant breakthrough for Gabi as she has been shown nothing but concern and kindness from Paradis’ people since she escaped from prison. She finally is starting to see that these people are just people. She even started talking like Reiner when he wanted to be judged by Eren by listing out all that she had done and why they would want to kill her. Man, those little details are so good.
Also can I just say that I absolutely love the camera work in this episode? The way they framed everything was perfect from the shaky frames during intense moments to when they cut over to where Kaya and the other kids were, they didn’t show Kaya’s eyes while Mr. Braus was talking. SO. GOOD.
And after ALL THAT, freaking Eren just casually walks in like he owns the place. Not gonna lie, it was really funny seeing people react to him just coming into the room all of a sudden. Armin literally just spoke of the “devil” and he appeared… and is essentially holding all of them at gunpoint with his wounded hand along with Floch and the other Jeagerists. At this point, Floch is just a straight up villain and I just cannot stand him and where he stands. He acts all high and mighty while looking down on Hanji and the others. I’m literally like: Who the heck do you even think you are??? This kid literally just appeared in the 2nd half of the third season and he’s acting like hot crap. Especially with that evil smirk after revealing that he knew about the spiked wine the whole time. Someone punch this guy, PLEASE.
We also learn as to how Zeke was able to turn Connie’s entire village into titans using a gas that had his spinal fluid in. Also wow, I must have skimmed heavily over this part because I don’t remember this part at all. Haha, whoops. However, the fact that they took Zeke’s word at how Eldians will seize up and go unconscious when exposed to his spinal fluid was rather foolish as it completely blinded them to his attack on the MP’s. Especially since there were no other witnesses. It was a careless mistake that cost them dearly as Zeke can now just scream and turn Paradis’ government officials into titans and wreak havoc within the walls AGAIN. But it’s not only the MP’s. Do you remember that lingering shot of Levi’s men sharing some wine with each other in the forest and episode or two back…? >_>
There really were no brakes in this episode but the pacing felt pretty darn good despite it. But man was this a roller coaster. This episode was so strong with Gabi’s development and Mr. Braus just straight up putting a stop to this cycle of hatred. And while Sasha may have seemed like a throwaway character since she didn’t have a big impact on the plot, she made a big impact on the other characters. Everyone she knew loved her and were affected by her in one form or another. The message in this episode was so powerful and seeing just how understanding and willing to forgive Mr. and Mrs. Braus were just hit me in the heart. I absolutely loved this episode, even if I want to bash Floch over the head for being the absolute worst and Eren came in at the worst possible moment. Because the Braus family just wanted a good meal and now they’re being held at gunpoint along with the scouts.
A lot of things are going down with Levi having doubts about things, Falco possibly having Zeke’s spinal fluids in his system and Eren is finally going to talk with Armin and Mikase
and Gabi. But what kind of conversation is this going to be? A good or bad one? Well, judging from how Floch and the others just tied up Hanji and the others… things aren’t looking too good. Especially since this is almost a reenactment of what he did with Reiner and Falco. Not to mention that the Marleyan warriors are probably close by. Eren has started to move things forward and I’m sure people aren’t going to be happy next episode. I sure wasn’t.