We’re inching ever closer to the end of Attack on Titan. Whereas “Sunset” revealed that several characters were back in play, “Pride” started moving the pieces into position.
I have got to stop trying to predict things that are going to happen on this show. It’s just too good at misdirection. Every time I thought I knew where “Pride” was going, the script got flipped. I can try to figure out where this is all leading to, but at this moment I doubt that I could. Too much about this show is unpredictable in the weirdest ways.
That said, most of what we saw were theories I had been bandying about. If you can even call them theories. But we now have most of the (remaining) main characters together (or close to it) as they mount an offensive against Eren. In the end, Conny didn’t sacrifice Falco to his mother. Though Jean seemed to be on the fence last week about the Yeagerists, he didn’t end up joining them. And Annie did meet up with Armin and Conny, though in an unexpected place.
Given Conny’s obvious remorse after rescuing Armin from being a self-sacrificial idiot, I don’t think he would have ultimately gone through with his plan. He was desperate and acted without thinking, but in the end, I think he acknowledges that his mother would not have wanted to be given a second chance at the expense of a child’s life. Not to mention that becoming a shifter would only give her a different kind of suffering.
Armin’s actions continue to confuse me. Part of his sudden crisis of confidence is because he is second-guessing everything in the wake of Eren’s betrayal. But he shouldn’t be comparing himself to Erwin. Erwin was an experienced military commander, whereas Armin is not. Plus, Armin – and most of the others, to an extent – have an idealized version of Erwin that I think we as the audience know wasn’t accurate. I’m hoping now that the 104th have reunited with Levi, he can knock some sense into Armin.
Levi must be a cat with all these lives. He was so close to that explosion at the end of season 3, and in the end all it seemed to cost him was two fingers and some scars on his face. Granted, with that injury to his hands, I doubt he’ll be able to fight the way he used to. Of course, Erwin still managed to kick ass with one arm, so we won’t count Levi out just yet. He has a rematch with Zeke, after all.
Hange speculated that the reason Levi didn’t turn into a Titan was because he’s an Ackerman. The audience knows that he didn’t drink any of the tainted wine, but she could be right anyway. I have to wonder if they included that bit for a reason. Maybe that will be important later? Or maybe it’s just Hange being Hange.
I was so sure that Hange was going to try to keep Levi hidden while meeting with Pieck and Magath. I didn’t really discuss my theories for their meeting, but I guess I must have assumed that they just stumbled across them by accident. Now I have to wonder if they were searching them out. While neither Levi nor Hange were really around for Marley’s invasion, they surely would have noticed the airships and drawn their own conclusions.
Pieck’s comment about Hange knowing more about the Titans than anyone in Marley makes me wonder what she could learn about them with access to Marley’s libraries. Even with learning the truth about Ymir and how Titans came to be, I really feel like there is so much we don’t know.
Was the rescue plan a combined effort? With Hange, Levi, and Magath calling the shots, anything is possible. This small band of resistors has five Titan shifters, two Ackermans, and two commanders. I am super excited to see what they come up with. (Also, who was watching them leave the fort? Could it have been Shadis?)
The scene with the Yeagerists and the attempted execution of Yelena and Onyankopon was uncomfortable to watch. But I am so glad that Onyankopon had that speech. He risked his life to join their cause, knew nothing about Zeke’s plan, and for his help he’ll be rewarded with his family being slaughtered and his home country being crushed. He wanted to fight one tyrant and unknowingly joined another.
“Pride” also, I feel, gives us another example of how propaganda works. The Eldians who live in Marley have been raised hearing one truth their whole lives. Now the Eldians on Paradis have been given a warped view of the world by the Yeagerists. Yes, the governments did unite to act against Paradis. But, as we can learn from what’s going on in the world right now, a country’s people are not its government. Onyankopon was right that indiscriminate killing isn’t the answer.
If I have one criticism about “Pride”, it’s the pacing. There were a few moments where I thought I must have missed a scene. Armin and the others just happening to sit down at the same table as Annie was actually hilarious but quite the coincidence. Likewise, Annie deciding to join up with them was offscreen and relayed secondhand in a note she left for Hitch. Considering everything that happened last time they saw Annie “alive”, I expected more of a reaction.
But also there was the moment after Pieck “ate” Jean, Yelena, and Onyankopon where Floch wondered where Mikasa was. Why would he have had any reason to ask after Mikasa? In one of the earlier scenes, where Floch is giving his rousing speech, Mikasa is hiding in the back, clearly uninterested. She flat-out says that she’s not interested in joining the Yeagerists when asked. It makes me think there was another scene before the “execution” that they just skipped.
Understandably, we are running out of time. There are only a few episodes left and still so much ground to cover. We don’t need to be shown every little detail. But things like that can take me out of an episode because I can’t help but concentrate on what I may have missed.
Speaking of pacing, I can’t believe it’s basically only been a day in canon since the end of season 3. That is just insane.
Judging by the preview for next week’s episode, we take a bit of a pause. Hopefully, we will get to see some of what we missed in “Pride”. The resistance came together so quickly; I’d love to see how that happened.
“Pride” reminded us that sometimes you have to join up with people you’d rather not in order to accomplish something. Pieck and Magath have ideologies that are essentially diametrically opposed to everyone else’s, yet they all currently have a common goal: stop Eren. Maybe through fighting together, Magath will realize that not all Eldians are bad. Maybe this will lead to change on a global scale.
Then again, this is Attack on Titan. I do not expect a happy ending.
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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