Attack on Titan 4×04: “From One Hand to Another”

From One Hand to Another Attack on Titan

We’re still on the other side of the sea in “From One Hand to Another”, and I should probably stop opening my reviews with that phrase, because it honestly looks like we’re going to be here for a while, if not for the rest of the series. Things are moving forward, and I’m not entirely sure I understand where this story is going.

“From One Hand to Another” introduces the Tyburs, an Eldian family who for reasons yet unknown sided with Marley in the Great Titan War more than a century ago. Their ability is the War Hammer Titan, and it must be extremely powerful if it can help defeat the other shifter forms. Also, I was under the impression that the issue was just between Eldia and Marley, but Willy Tybur has a fantastic relationship with VIPs from multiple nations and they all call him “the kin of our saviors”.

True, we saw how other nations have the same prejudice against Eldians when Falco was rejected for offering help to their enemies in the war zone, but I guess it never occurred to me that the Titan War would have been about more than just Marley and Eldia. However, this episode firmly establishes that the rest of the world hates Eldians just as much (except for in Hizuru, apparently), and that the Eldians in Marley comparatively have it relatively easy.

I just want an unbiased history lesson about what the heck happened back then. Is that so much to ask?

It’s interesting to me that Magath wants to start a draft for Marleyans. I think I noted before that Marleyans entire primary fighting force is made up of Eldians; the military brass and all the important people are Marleyans, of course, but the infantry and the actual soldiers are Eldians. Magath mentions that he thinks if the people of Marley had to actually fight in the wars they continually wage, they’d be a little less eager to continually wage them. It makes a lot of sense.

But then we find out that it is the Tybur family, and Willy in particular, who actually run things in Marley. This is abhorrent to me, that an Eldian family manipulates the government of a country that treats Eldians like third-class citizens. The Tyber family essentially allow the Marleyan government to do whatever they want, and this includes the way they treat Eldians – their own people.

What “From One Hand to Another” also reveals is that everything about this entire conflict comes down to essentially two warring families. The Tybur family backed the Marleyans and the Reiss family backed the Eldians, and the Tyburs won and banished the entire family along with apparently everyone else to Paradis and left them there to rot. I find myself wondering why, if the Tybur family defeated and banished King Fritz, they didn’t take the Founding Titan when they had the chance. What was it about this time specifically that necessitated the recapture of the Founding Titan?

Is the “rat” in Magath’s “house” meant to allude to the fact that they know Eren – or a spy of some sort – is in the military? It’s clear by them eavesdropping on the shifters that they don’t trust the Eldians in their army. Do they suspect it’s one of them, or do they suspect infiltration?

From One Hand to Another Attack on Titan

I’m concerned about this festival that happens in “From One Hand to Another”. Yes, we get a lot of hilarious shots of the Warriors enjoying foreign foods while an increasingly irritated Reiner pays for everything, but something about Willy’s speech to the VIPs from other nations gives me a great sense of foreboding. It sounds a lot like – and I am aging myself here – that whole plan from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West where Cat R. Waul intends to hold a giant celebration that is really masking a giant mousetrap, with which they intend to kill all the mice.

There are probably other examples; this is just the first one that came to mind.

After all, Willy basically came out and admitted that he has a plan to end the current situation forever. This has a lot of Final Solution vibes and is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Does that mean destroying all of the Eldians by, say, setting off a bomb in the middle of the internment zone? Or turning all of the Eldians into Titans who will then turn around and eat all of these ambassadors? Why is this important event being held in the internment zone in the first place? There are so many questions.

Then we have the long-anticipated reunion at the end of the episode, where a giddy and completely unknowing Falco brings Reiner to his old friend Eren. The fact that this is where they choose to end the episode indicates that things are going down in the next episode. It can’t be a coincidence that Eren choose now to reveal himself to Reiner.

Eren meets his own grandfather in the hospital in “From One Hand to Another”, and the fact that he doesn’t react at all may be the biggest sign of how much he has changed in the last four years. It was really noticeable in last season’s finale, but this further cements it. His personality has been fundamentally altered, and now there’s no telling what he will do. 

Also, can we appreciate that he adopted the alias Kruger?

Another little thing that I appreciated was the black cat that appeared when that woman called that man “bad luck”.

The soundtrack was fantastic in this episode. I feel like the soundtrack is always pretty great, but I have a tendency to not notice it a lot and so I tend to not comment on it. However, I particularly liked the music while they were visiting the festival. It felt very light and celebratory and very unlike the score this series usually has.

All of these questions I still have after watching “From One Hand to Another”, and we have two weeks to wait for a new episode instead of our usual one (because of the new year).

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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