Attack on Titan Final Season: Episode 2 – “Midnight Train”

Last week’s episode focused on the action of battle, this week’s episode slows things down to examine Marley, as well as the Eldians serving Marley. There’s also more of a look at the politics of what’s happening not only in Marley, but in other parts of the world that Attack on Titan is set in.

It’s made clear that while Marley has been putting their focus on utilizing Titans as weapons, the other countries in the world have been developing weapons in order to fight against Marley and its imperialistic actions. Since Marley hasn’t been developing other weapons, they’re starting to find that the Titans’ usefulness is waning. As someone at a meeting said, it’s getting to a point where other countries could rain down bombs on Marley, and all the Titans could do is stand there and watch. Zeke, who serves as an Eldian advisor, suggests using the last year that he has left to conquer Paradis Island and capture the Founding Titan. His belief is that having the Founding Titan should have a positive impact on Marley’s military strength. The Marley military agrees with this idea.

We also get a strong emphasis on Reiner and his interactions with the new set of candidates to potentially acquire the Armored Titan. It’s also revealed that Gabi, the girl who stopped the train in the previous episode, is his cousin. The interactions between Falco and Reiner make it clear that Reiner doesn’t want to see Gabi inherit his Titan even though she’s obviously the strongest of the candidates. I think Reiner senses that Falco has feelings for Gabi, and he tries to utilize this to convince Falco to become stronger in order to protect Gabi and somehow keep her from inheriting his Armored Titan. Later, we see Reiner and Gabi’s families gathered together, and it’s clear that the other family members view the Eldians on Paradis Island as evil monsters. Reiner talks about his former comrades in ways that would fit in with this worldview, but I sense that he has better thoughts on his comrades than what he’s saying to his family.

Near the end of the episode, when Zeke summons the Titan holders to an office to talk about his plan to conquer Paradis Island, we see that Marley’s military has the room bugged and is listening in on the conversation. We see that the military doesn’t truly trust the Eldians serving them. However, I think it’s safe to say that Zeke realizes they’re being listened to, because he moves the group elsewhere after sharing some of his plan.

We also get a scene when Reiner and the others return from the battlefront. We see families being reunited, but we also see Falco discovering soldiers who are suffering from PTSD being mocked by Marley’s military. We get a little bit of character development for Falco here, and we also learn that Falco’s not entirely sure if he can trust Reiner or not.

After such an action-packed episode last week, it was nice to have an episode that slows things down and expands on the new characters that we’ve been introduced to, as well as giving the audience the chance to catch up with Reiner and to see what he’s up to. I’ve read some of the manga past this point, so I kind of know what to expect for some of the upcoming episodes. However, it’s been so long since I’ve read these chapters that the anime is reminding helping to refresh my memory on the parts that I’ve already read. I’m looking forward to having my memory refreshed some more over the next few weeks, and getting to see how MAPPA will continue to bring this portion of the story to life.

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