Last week’s episode featured most of our remaining characters teaming up to stop Eren. As they all had been pretty violently opposed to each other relatively recently, having no explanation for what happened to convince them to work together seemed fairly rushed. However, “Night of the End” sort of makes up for what “Pride” lacked.
“Night of the End” is a surprisingly wholesome(ish) episode where everyone sits around a fire and eats stew. You know an episode is going to be a banger when there’s no OP. It was almost like Festivus with the airing of grievances. Everyone was confronted with the lives lost in their wake, and Jean finally learned the truth of Marco’s death. The tension was palpable through my TV screen.
Something I’ve learned about Attack on Titan is that there is unlikely to be a happy ending. It’s just not possible with what we know. I appreciated the conversation Hange, Jean, and Mikasa had when Hange approached them to explain her plan. I liked that they had no answers. There are no easy answers in a situation like this. Eren is defending his people from genocide; but he’s doing it by also committing genocide, which is wrong. The shadows of the dead Scouts behind them was a powerful moment.
But Jean has a point that if they stop Eren, the rest of the world will still come after them. This is the problem with Paradis having been so isolated. If the First King Behind the Wall hadn’t erased everyone’s memories, they might have been able to spend decades preparing for this eventuality. If they hadn’t had their memories erased, this outcome might have never happened in the first place.
But with the island being off on its own, the rest of the world’s paranoia ran rampant. Suspecting an attack but having no idea when it would come, everyone’s fears of the island increased, while the island itself sat there unaware. Then Eren goes ahead and enacts everyone’s worst fears, and now every country on the planet will “know” that what they thought about Paradis – and Eldians – was true. They will feel justified with any action they take against them.
I think what had me most frustrated during “Night of the End” was Magath’s attitude. Reiner, Annie, Falco, and Gabi all sat there silent and chastened while Magath drank wine and blamed these children for something that happened ages before they were born. Yes, Eldia used Titans to reign with terror. Please tell me how Marley is any different?
It was also Magath’s repeated use of the term “devils”. Reiner and the others have spent considerable time among the people of Paradis. They know that they are all simply people; they are no less devils than any of their own people back in Marley. Magath has only been there to attack. He’s only been around others from Marley. That’s why he only thinks of them as an enemy – because he’s never seen them as anything else.
This was a moment where I really wished that everyone else knew the truth that we learned from Ymir. It probably wouldn’t make any difference to Magath, who seems unwilling to see Marley as anything but a victim even among its own imperialism. But I bet the others would very much like to know the truth about their origins.
However, I have seen some theorizing that Magath’s behavior was less his actual opinion and more purposely prodding the Scouts to test the alliance. After all, Magath never seemed so fully pro-Marley in the past. And considering his closeness with Pieck, who is also less gung-ho about Marley than might be believed, it’s possible he was trying to see how committed the others are to the plan.
I’ll tell you, I was mostly pleased with how this episode turned out. There was a lot of criticism about how last week left a lot out, and I feel that “Night of the End” did a great job in putting it all back in. But I wish there had been still more interactions between the different factions. I have no idea where Pieck stands on anything and I find myself very curious. I know she’s loyal to the people she served with, but it’s my understanding that they are probably dead now.
Also, there was not enough of the 104th dealing with Annie, given when they last saw her. Now, something may happen later, or it simply may be a case of it’s been literal years and everyone has moved on.
Marco finally got some justice, though. The truth of his death is finally out in the open. Jean even seemed willing to move past the tragedy, and then Reiner tried to apologize. Jean beating him felt like vindication, but it also felt like healing. Jean got to vent some of his rage over the death of his friend. Reiner has been wandering around guilt-stricken basically asking for punishment.
Now I have to like Gabi again. She was so obnoxious for so long, and it was difficult to remember that she’s a brainwashed child when she was so easy to hate. As her worldview crumbled slowly all around her, she started to recognize that what she had always known might not have been the truth. In “Night of the End”, she actually apologized to Jean for believing what she’d been taught and asked for his help. She really has had some great growth.
I liked the symbolism in all of these characters taking refuge in the forest. As Sasha’s dad said, everyone needs to be led out of the forest.
“Night of the End” was also hilarious. Levi waking up to ask why everyone was so loud, Hange calling after Jean that he’d forgotten his stew, Jean simply refusing to acknowledge Annie… Even the mid-episode information card was about Hange’s stew. These little moments helped break the tension, and prevented the episode from being a huge downer the entire time.
Where. Is. Historia. I’m getting angry now. She’s been barefoot and pregnant for ages and I want to know why. How much does she know? What is going on with her? Is she even actually pregnant? Will she be relevant again? She’s the literal Queen of Paradis, for crying out loud. Give me Historia!
With the Yeagerists occupying the port, we’re about to see a Scout versus Scout showdown. Our little band of rebels is very pitiful indeed, and in a direct confrontation, Floch and the Yeagerists would likely crush them – even with the Titan shifters. But while we still don’t know who was watching them flee the fort in last week’s episode, we do know that not everyone who remains is loyal to the Yeagerists. Many of them are potentially just going along with things in order to spare their own lives.
It’s also interesting to see the Azumabitos again. It was very weird how they showed up out of the blue, claimed Mikasa was royalty, and then peaced off. I wonder how they will come into play with what’s to come.
So few episodes remain. Will they be able to satisfactorily wrap up the story? Or are rumors of a wrap-up film true?
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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