“Friends” was kind of low-key for much of the episode. Mainly a flashback about how Kenny became involved in Rod’s schemes, it nevertheless ended with some huge revelations that had me flailing incoherently for several minutes after the episode ended.
First of all, oh my god, they killed Kenny! For as much hype as he was getting before the season started, I thought for sure he’d be around for a while. I’m genuinely surprised that he died so early in the season. At least “Friends” ended with him telling Levi the truth about how they are related. I must say that Levi took that news with the same emotionless aplomb that he takes everything (except, apparently, being punched by a member of his squad).
Flashback episodes can totally wreck the pacing of a season, but in this case I think it was very nicely done. For a series like Attack on Titan, so much is going on that we as the audience simply don’t know, and sometimes it’s nice to take a break and get some answers. And what this episode did exceptionally well was humanize one of this season’s primary antagonists. Kenny’s family has been persecuted the brink of extinction. When it finally ended, he searched for his sister only to find her dead. He took care of her son the best way that he could, but he knew he couldn’t be any kind of parent. And he was desperate to get the Founding Titan power because he hoped it would help him see the world the way that Uri and Freida did, and he thought that maybe it would make him kind the way that they were.
Also, let’s think about the absolute crap life that Levi has led up to this point. His mother dies, he almost starves to death, he’s stuck underground, the only father figure in his life abandons him, his best friends are killed by Titans, he loses half of his squad, and then he finds out that he’s been fighting his uncle seconds before he dies as well. Damn, son. I think Levi needs a hug.
But that ending, everybody. That. Ending. Reiner and Bertholdt are back, and the Beast Titan kicked the Armored Titan’s big, armored butt. Things are nowhere near winding down! In fact, it looks like we’re just getting started!
- I loved how heartwarming Historia’s coronation was. Everyone has cheerfully accepted her as queen, and they’re already singing her praises. It shows that she had a great idea in insisting to be the one to bring down her father’s Titan form.
- I also got a kick of the lighthearted moment where Historia actually punches Levi (even if she has to psych herself up and gives him more of a love tap), because it had the whole squad egging her on, and then their terrified faces when Levi simply smiled and thanked them.
- An Annie mention! Oh wow!
- What do we think Levi is going to do with the serum that Kenny gave him?
- By the way, now that Levi knows he is an Ackerman, is he going to let Mikasa know? Is he going to be able to find out how they’re related?
- The animation in this series is unbelievable. At times it’s frightening (Levi’s dead mother’s face was grotesque and will haunt my nightmares), but the still frames can be quite beautiful (the sunlit lakeside where Uri and Kenny have one of their last moments).
Have you all seen “Friends”? What did you think?
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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