Attack on Titan season 4 episode 16 prepares fans for a bleak ending

After 8 years, 4 seasons, and hundreds upon numerous dead characters, Attack on Titan is lastly in its endgame. The last episode of season 4, which premiered on Sunday, assured a bleak and bloody dispute to bookend a bleak and bloody program. The program is now anticipated to cover after the manga ends in April, with Last Season part 2 due throughout the next winter.

Last season, Attack on Titan audiences discovered that our primary characters were not the last residues of mankind, however a little group of Eldians — a race reviled both for its capability to become man-eating Titans, however likewise for a long history of conquest and declared atrocities versus other countries. Attack on Titan Final Season doubles down on its complex and anxious appropriation of genuine Asian history by moving viewpoint to individuals that have actually been subjugating our heroes for the previous 8 years. The villains are now made complex and even supportive characters with understandable morals, while the program acknowledges that our heroes might not be that brave any longer.

Attack on Titan started as a program about survival, and became one rooted in morality and ideology. Reiner, the person who started the occasions of the program by breaking the walls of the city where our lead characters lived, was made to think his registration in the Titan Warrior program would reunite his damaged household; Zeke matured with the weight of a whole resistance motion on his shoulders. At the very same time, the program has actually turned its own lead character into a difficult figure to root for: Eren went from a bright-eyed kid swearing vengeance on the meaningless animals who eliminated his mama to killing innocent guys, ladies, and kids in episode 6 of this season. Now he prepares to euthanize the whole Eldian race.

Attack on Titan season 4 episode 16: guy kicks a titan

Image: Funimation

Though these characters have actually devoted dreadful acts, Attack on Titan invested a considerable quantity of time in the very first part of the Last Season highlighting a world that would not just accept those atrocities, however motivate them. Gabi, a character that quickly drew out strong viewpoints in fans after she eliminated the fan-favorite Sasha Braus in episode 8, invested the 2nd half of the season spouting propaganda lines about Eldian devils and attempting to show herself a “good” Eldian, in spite of her being on Paradis Island without a single Marleyan officer in sight. As a prospect to change Reiner as the next Armored Titan, she’s elevated the social status of her household to “Honorary Marleyans,” permitting them to sometimes leave their internment camp, along with get health care and other unclear advantages. Gabi’s even made the authentic regard of some Marleyan soldiers and officers, who would otherwise never ever even look her in the eye.

Also, Eren has actually followed a course of violence and damage given that the minute the program started. He’s removed his house’s Titans, and even tidied up the federal government of those who concealed the reality of the world from individuals. At this moment, violence and death have actually ended up being a sunk expense for the characters in Attack on Titan, and they have no factor to believe that violence isn’t going to serve them now.

However the ending of Last Season part 1 makes it clear that violence is not a long-term service. When Pieck, another Eldian warrior in the Marleyan armed force, infiltrates Paradis and briefly techniques Eren into believing she’s relying on his side, Gabi is stunned at the idea of a coach signing up with the Eldian devils. However Pieck instantly discusses that no matter what they do, no matter just how much they attempt to please the Marleyan authorities, they’ll never ever be anything besides “Subjects of Ymir” (another name for Eldian). Gabi may think that she’s found some successes by pleasing Marley, but it will never ever be enough because their power as a nation depends on using Eldians as a military force. In episode 10 we learn that Zeke became a double agent for Eldia and offered Eren and company a plan to save Eldia forever: wielding the power of the Titans as both a weapon of mass destruction and a bargaining chip to keep other nations at bay. Eren briefly went along with the plan, but eventually decided against it because he thought of it as only a temporary fix, rather than a solution.

A smiling Eldian on Attack on Titan

Image: Funimation

His new solution, or rather, the addendum to the previous plan, is using the power of the Titans so no Eldian can ever have children. Yelena, a zealot follower of Zeke who believes him and Eren to be the equivalent to gods, sees this as the solution to the entire world’s problems. If Eldians can’t have children, she argues to Mikasa, Armin, Jean, and Connie, there is no reason for Marley or other nations to invade. All the suffering brought about by Marley using Titans as weapons of war will disappear gradually, and Eldians will be free to live the rest of their lives in peace.

Of course, it doesn’t take long before other characters find flaws in the plan. Jean points out that the euthanizing effort will leave only old people able to defend Eldia from an attack that will inevitably come because nations are giddy to invade other nations. While talking to Gabi, Pieck also acknowledges that the time of the Titans will soon come to an end because of technological advancements in warfare, meaning Marley will probably want to slaughter all Eldians when they no longer have a use for them.

By “both sides”-ing the central conflict of Attack on Titan, and asking the audience to consider Eren as a monster while sympathizing with characters like Gabi and Zeke, the show finds itself on an even more nihilistic path than the one hinted at by its initial premise. If Reiner, Zeke, and Eren are victims of circumstance rather than motivated war criminals and mass murderers, then fault becomes a messier game, as any unspeakable act of violence is justifiable by someone’s logic.

So far, the show has mostly avoided the ambiguity by being clear the characters make their own choices for themselves, rather than for some higher purpose. Back in episode 5, Reiner confesses to Eren that he didn’t destroy the wall of Shiganshina District because of his duty to Marley or because he wanted to save the world, but because he was a selfish little boy who wanted people to respect him. At that moment, Eren recognized Reiner as an equal, and said he was also doing what he does because he has always “moved forward,” throwing himself head-first into danger because that’s what he does.

But neither Eren nor Reiner might be as in control of their own destinies as they claim. At first, Eren’s reckless behavior was meant to be a good trait, a sign of a hero protagonist who genuinely cared so much about his loved ones that he disregarded his own safety. Final Season’s Eren is different, and it seems like he may just be too deep in his own endless pursuit of vengeance versus a replaceable and vague entity that he simply cannot stop himself.

If the Final Season part 1 finale made anything clear, is that every character in Attack on Titan is too far deep in their own vision of justice to even think about an alternative. Before this is all over, the sunk-cost fallacy will bring about a violent, ugly, and very deadly ending this next winter.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.