Not gonna lie, it’s bit concerning how a lot of the first part of the episode was recap. Though it is understandable that they wanted to end the episode where they did. But it also makes me worried how the rest of the season will pan out and if can be wrapped up in the remaining amount of episodes. Especially since there is still a lot the series needs to cover before it ends. I hope they are going beyond just 12 episodes, but I kinda doubt it. Hopefully they’ll make better use of their time moving forward.
Anyways, as much as they feel like they can’t trust Eren, they still care for him. Even risking their lives to try and save him still. However, that still doesn’t erase the fact that he’s hurt them, especially Mikasa. I never enjoyed Mikasa’s attachment and near obsession with Eren. So while it is sad that she’s going through something like this, I do think it is best for her development to stop depending solely on Eren. And the notion of her leaving her scarf behind was HUGE for her character. Especially since the scarf is the thing that links her to Eren as he was the one to give it to her all those years ago.
Despite Eren’s side being on the brink of getting wiped out, Zeke comes in and turns the tide to their favor… As he does. And if the situation was different where what Zeke and Eren were doing was just, the moment where Zeke says to let him as Eren’s big brother handle things would have been very sweet. If only they didn’t commit mass homicide together. However, now that Zeke is in the vicinity, everyone who had drank the spinal fluid are in great danger of being turned into titans.
And then there’s freaking Yelena having the time of her life seeing Zeke come in like a savior to turn the tides of the battle. I never really liked her to begin with and after THAT freaking face, I never will. She absolutely terrified me with that face in the manga and boy… did they do that face justice in the anime. She even scared Mikasa of all people with that expression. I don’t even fully know WHY she went and made that face. Maybe to see whether or not Armin was lying? Either way, I’ve been having a lot of fun watching people react to her face. Every reaction so far has been absolutely priceless and just cracks me up. But goodness, if Yelena didn’t scare you before, SHE SURE AS HECK WILL NOW.
Nile has always been a character I’ve been attracted to in a sense. While he didn’t make the best first impression with how he wanted Eren under the custody of the military police and threatening Erwin out of confusion. However, he was shown that he isn’t someone to just follow orders mindlessly. He was someone who could be reasoned with and when presented with information that could lead to helping others, he’d take it. He keeps to his morals and even when the people he worked under ordered him follow them despite clearly being in the wrong, he went against them. He even allowed Falco to escape with his brother, wanting at least someone to make it back to his family since he knew he probably wouldn’t see his. Which just hits me so hard. Especially when he said he still had a lot to tell his daughters. I nearly teared up at that. He’s such a good guy and has had such positive character development, even if it was more in the background. However, you can tell that he’s a different guy compared to how he was in the first season.
However, the biggest character moment for this episode had to be from Gabi. The fact that she grabbed Colt’s gun before he could shoot Nile was HUGE. Especially with how trigger happy she has been up to this point. However, it seems that everything is finally sinking in for her and the kindness she experienced with Sasha’s family allowed her for this important revelation. It was honestly so hard hitting to hear that Sasha’s parents held no ill will towards her and were still worried for her and Falco’s safety. Though I’m sure it must have hit Gabi even harder to have the family whose daughter she murdered still care for her. It even seemed as if she wanted to reach out to them. However, you can’t take back the past as Kaya refuses to forgive her and even claims she wants to kill Gabi if she sees her again. She finally started seeing the severity of her actions and probably saw herself in Kaya in that moment. Both wanted to kill the person/people that killed the people they cared about. Gabi had burnt the bridge of a possible friend and nothing she could do or say would change that.
The biggest highlight for me in this episode had to be Gabi’s turnaround. Finally… FINALLY. THIS was the moment I was waiting so long for in the manga where Gabi finally understand what Reiner meant about the people here in Paradis are just people. She even realized the cycle everyone was stuck in and she was a part of it. That’s such a big step from how she started out and I admit, I’m proud of her development. She was a character so full of hate and pride at the start of the Final Season and now she finally came to terms with the fact that everything she was told was essentially a lie. It’s a hard pill to swallow and I’m proud that she’s finally understanding the state of the world and it wasn’t as black and white as she thought it was. We got to appreciate good character development even it comes from an “unlikable” character.
I absolutely love the symbolism of them being a room full of cages and one of them has the door open. Basically symbolizing Gabi leaving her caged mindset and started seeing things as they were without the brainwashing. She was free of her initial mindset. I also really like the parallel between Gabi and Falco clutching the bands on their arms. While Gabi wore the band with pride and desperation, Falco wore it out of shame and defeat. Especially when he started talking about how he played a role in the destruction of Liberio while clutching it. And while his confession to Gabi came out nowhere, it’s understandable that he’d want it to be said since he didn’t know when he’d become a titan. Which just added a layer of sad to it. And yet another parallel is drawn between the two when it’s Gabi who ripped off his armband as he did to her. However, this time it was to show how far Gabi has come and I’m all for it.
Though I just had to laugh at both Zeke and the Yeagerists deciding the outcome of the battle too early before getting completely bodied as a result. At the start of the season, Flock and the others celebrated too early, essentially causing the death of Sasha in a way since their celebration prevented them from hearing Gabi climb on board. And then back in season 3, Zeke underestimated the scouts, believing his victory was already assured and then humbled immediately by Levi. Then once again, believing Pieck was dead got his arm and a large part of his titan’s neck blown off because he didn’t realize they were pulling a fast one on all of them. I just had to laugh at the irony as both parties believed they had won too soon, only to be completely humbled soon after. You’d think these people would have learned their lessons.
While I’m worried for the future pacing of this final part of the series, I’m still really hyped to see how this all plays out especially since everyone is fighting so desperately to prevent Zeke and Eren from touching because they know if they do, everything is over. And if they let Zeke scream, things will be even more difficult. But come on Colt, after what Zeke did, I really doubt he wouldn’t scream if he found out Falco ingested his spinal fluid.