The episode opens with Marley’s remaining Titans not having any more energy to fight. Eren is at his limit as well, so he flees the scene with Mikasa to the airship. Gabi and Falco see them leave, and an enraged Gabi grabs a shotgun and runs after them. Falco follows, trying to convince her to stop. They have a debate amongst themselves, and Falco is trying to defend the people of Paradis without letting on that he witnessed the conversation between Reiner and Eren. He had sound reasons for his stance, but was hampered by the inability to mention this detail. Gabi ultimately decides to continue following the airship.
When Eren makes it back onto the airship, he gets a less than warm greeting from Levi, which includes a kick in the face. Levi had a great line here: “This brings back memories, Eren. You have such a kickable face.” I admit that I laughed out loud when I read that subtitle. But on a more serious note, though, seeing Armin in this episode was a little unnerving. Unlike the character we knew before the timeskip, Armin’s eyes lack emotion, and he just looks like he’s dead inside at this point. But when you consider that he was forced to take on the power of a Titan with the Titan injection and eat Bertolt, it’s not surprising that he’s become so hardened.
When they realize that the people of Marley lack any weapons to take down the airship, everyone except one of the Scouts gets back into the airship. The one left outside is doing their last bit to protect the airship before boarding themselves. Unfortunately, Gabi catches up and shoots the Scout, killing him and making him fall to the ground. Since his maneuvering gear is still attached, Gabi intends to use it to board the ship and kill the Eldians that destroyed her home and her chance to rise above the abuse that she’s endured as an Eldian in the internment zone. Falco tries to plead with her to stop, but she goes on ahead… and Falco grabs on. Falco’s brother Colt arrives just in time to see this happen, and is helpless to stop it.
A little before this, though, we see a scene between Conny, Jean, and Sasha that shows how close they are. Conny makes it clear that he sees Jean and Sasha as special people to him. At this point, you know that something is going to happen, since a chummy scene like this in the middle of this kind of storyline is usually a form of foreshadowing.
When Gabi and Colt make it onto the airship, Gabi shoots at the first person she sees… Sasha. While Jean and Conny rush to her side, the others go over to Gabi and Falco and start beating them up. They are captured as a desperate attempt is made to save Sasha.
When Gabi demands to be taken to their ringleader, Jean obliges. Gabi and Falco are brought before Zeke, who is tied up next to Eren. The look of shock on Gabi and Falco’s faces really grabbed me. While it’s not surprising that they would react this way, I think MAPPA did a great job capturing their expression. When Hange enters the room and asks Zeke how well he thought the plan went, he responds: “For the most part, but there were a few miscalculations.” Shortly after, Hange notices Gabi and Falco and asks who the kids are. Zeke’s response: “Miscalculations.” Ouch, that had to hurt. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a shot showing the audience how Gabi and Falco reacted to that remark. While I praise MAPPA for capturing the look of surprise, I have to take some credit away because they didn’t animate the kids’ reaction to Zeke’s comment about them. I felt like this was a missed opportunity.
At the end of the episode, Conny joins the others and announces that Sasha has died. That tear going down his face as he said this was heartbreaking. Eren is visibly upset, especially after hearing that Sasha’s last word was “meat.” This leads up to a flashback from the first season, when they were all recruits. It’s the scene where Sasha stole meat and shared it with the others, and commenting that they could raise more cattle and sheep once they retook their land. I thought this was very effective and added some emotional weight to the scene.
Overall, I thought this was one of the stronger episodes of Attack on Titan The Final Season. While the earlier episodes weren’t bad, it’s just that the first two or three were kind of slow because they were having to establish Marley and the new characters that were introduced in this season. We had an episode or two of action, and now this episode finally starts focusing on the characters we’ve been following the previous seasons and showing us how they may or may not have changed during the timeskip. I’m looking forward to watching the next episode to see how this story continues.
Additional post about Attack on Titan: