Attack on Titan continues to shine this week with another great episode. This is primarily about Gabi and Falco’s escape from prison as well as some other tangent points that will be relevant in the future. It contains some excellent character development as well as raises some very interesting questions about the show’s themes. It also nicely sets up the next major clash between Marley and Paradise. This review will contain spoilers so be warned.
Gabi Finds Out who the Real “Devils” are
As Gabi and Falco begin to explore Paradise, they start to meet the island’s inhabitants. While Falco remains calm, Gabi is so irrational and angry. I personally don’t hate Gabi for Sasha since I do understand her point of view yet at the same time it is legitimately disturbing that a child can be raised to harbor such irrational hatr*d towards other people because they’re different. It is even more disturbing to think that there are actually people like Gabi that exist in the real world. As the pair made their way to the Braus residents, I was worried about the safety of the people there. This girl does not only hate these people to the core but has already beaten a man’s brains out during their escape from pri*on. Who knows what she would do to these people?
But what follows is some excellent character development. As she begins to interact with the Braus residents, the belief that these people are “devils” begins to fall apart. This is best illustrated when Gabi and Falco are taken by Kaya( the same girl that Sasha saved in Season 2) back to her abandoned village. There Gabi faces the reality that the people who di*d including Kaya’s mother were innocent people.
This is probably the best scene in the whole season. This is a microcosm of the entire series. How innocent people are meaninglessly slaug*tered in w*r. How there are no true good or bad guys. And how good people can turn cruel. Gabi’s face changing from one of anger to one of shock as Kaya asks her why her mother lost her life was such a fantastic way of showing us how her whole belief system was shattered. Overall, this was such fantastic character development for Gabi and a sign that her character is worthy of redemption. I am looking forward to seeing where she goes from here. What will happen when they discover that she was the one who took Sasha’s life? Will she join with Paradise or remain true to Marley. So many great possibilities to explore.
“Jean’s ” Revenge
On a side note, one thing that I will always continue to praise this series for is that for such a dark and serious show, it knows how to inject humor and levity at just the right time. Easily the funniest scene this season and probably in the whole series was when Gabi’s head got bitten by a horse and she falls into the mud while still blaming this on the “devils”. I honestly could not stop laughing at how cute and funny this scene was. It almost made me forget that she has already murdered several people.
When the Heroes Turn to Villians
While the episode is primarily about Gabi and Falco’s escape, we also get some scenes of the internal politics of Paradise Island. We get to see that the government and Scouts, led by Hange, are implementing censorship on the press to keep the information, particularly about Eren a secret, a secret. If attacking civilians isn’t bad enough, now the Scouts are starting to turn the island into a police state reminiscent of the old regime in Season 3.
Not only does it add more moral ambiguity to the story but it works because it is believable. You understand why they’re doing this because it has been built up over the previous episodes. If they told people the truth about Eren and the Rumbling then it would almost definitely compromise the security of their plan. Combine this with being in a state of w*r, distrusting Eren and Zeke’s true intentions, and hostile Marleyans on their soil and you can imagine why they would be on edge. It is also excellent character development since, in Season 3, it was the Scouts who were the rebels and truth seekers fighting against an authoritarian regime. Now that they’re in charge, they’ve become the new gatekeepers of the truth. And it isn’t because they suddenly became evil but because the circumstances of the situation have forced them to do so.
This episode also raised some very interesting philosophical questions about freedom versus security, and responsibility. Are people responsible for the crimes of their ancestors? How should society respond to historical injustices? How should the state react in times of crisis? Is it ok to sacrifice freedom for security? All very relevant in today’s world. Unfortunately, this episode only raises them without any further analysis of these questions. However, since the arcs of Hange and Gabi are not yet done, I am hoping the next episodes further explore and develop these philosophical themes since it would make the show infinitely more interesting than it already is now.
Marley Gets Ready to Make it’s Move
However, what was by far the best scene in the whole episode was the one after the credits where Marley and the remaining Warriors decide to launch their attack on Paradise Island. While the past few episodes have been excellent, I will admit that they have lacked the epic action scenes that this series is known for. I hope that the next few episodes use this opportunity to present some truly mind blowing action set pieces that will put to shame anything in the past seasons. If it is anything like what MAPPA has shown us so far such as the battle at Liberio, then I simply cannot wait to be blown away.
I also really want to see what has been going on on the other side of the ocean. What has happened to Reiner, Porco, and Pieck in the aftermath of the previous battle? How are they coping after having sustained such a crushing defeat? What are they planning on next? Just thinking of this makes me excited. I was honestly disappointed when that scene ended since I wanted to see so much more. I just hope that the next episodes live up to the hype of a rematch battle of Marley vs Paradise.
Overall, this was another solid episode from an already fantastic season. If Attack on Titan is good at one thing, it’s just hyping up the audience with every episode. After watching this I just felt so hungry for more and just can’t wait for next week. I just hope that all of the hype and build-up these past few episodes will pay off. The end is almost near and I wish this series concludes with a bang.