Above and Below
Episode 16 of Attack On Titan Season 4 begins with the Thunder Spear explosion booming across the stormy sky, as thunder threatens to drown out the devastation. Zeke happens to be lying on the floor, beaten, bloodied and in pieces. A titan approaches, snatching him up and placing him deep in her belly.
Meanwhile, Shiganshina sees a change in management as Yelena sits opposite Dot Pixis. Their dinner serves as a formal surrender, as Pixis comments nonchalantly on the different arm bands and the operation Eren has going on.
Pixis is under no illusion though, he knows this a ticking time bomb, as the various guns around the room are evidence that he and his men could turn into Titans at any moment.
At the same time, Armin and the others find themselves confined to a jail cell in the basement. There, they’re approached by Greiz, Yelena and the others supporting Eren’s plan.
The two sides come to blows, especially when Greiz calls Sasha a devil. Nicolo is beside himself with rage, but a gunshot from Yelena, killing Greiz in cold blood, is enough for her to silence them all and apologize. This gunshot essentially paves way for Yelena to break the news about Zeke’s real plan, which of course is the euthaniziation.
Meanwhile, Pieck arrives before Eren, who happens to be in the same room as Gabi. Tellingly, she refers to her as the “girl who killed Sasha” rather than her actual name. Pieck immediately turns the gun on Eren though and tells Gabi to do the same.
Eren knows her plan is just to retake the Founding Titan and not to kill him, which sees her realize he’s called her bluff and surrender. With Gabi watching on, horrified and shocked, Pieck decides to join Eren and help slaughter Marley no matter what. Gabi is confused, unsure which side to fight on. Pieck eventually tells her that they’re neither side, instead fighting on as a loyal Subject of Ymir.
Pieck decides to show her loyalty to Eren, leading him and all the other soldiers up to the roof where she intends to point out where the traitors are. As a contingency plan, Pieck is chained to Gabi. If she even tries to transform, it’s fair to say Gabi would be killed. Yelena does her best to convince Eren not to trust her but Eren already senses something afoul, admitting that he too doesn’t trust her.
Up on the roof, Pieck suddenly points out the real traitor – Eren. Just like that, Porco rises out the blocks, trying hard to bite into Eren. It’s a good plan in truth but for one problem – he misses. Eren transforms into the Founding Titan and leaves things wide open.
Pieck is still fighting for Marley, despite not trusting them, as numerous Marleyan airships get ready to attack for revenge of Liberio. This is, of course, a nod toward the earlier fight in Liberio. With Eren transformed, Reiner inbound too, the season ends on an agonizing cliffhanger ready for next year.
The Episode Review
It was perhaps inevitable that Attack On Titan would end with a cliffhanger, especially given how much material is still left to adapt from the manga and how open all these plot threads have been over the past weeks.
This first half has been a real pressure cooker of tension though, with divided sides and lots of debate around who’s right and wrong in this growing feud.
The ending sets the scene nicely for the second half of the season though, with lots of action and tension to come.
One of the bigger talking points comes from Zeke and whether or not he’s alive. It seems like the Titan was acting on behalf of Zeke and kept him inside to heal and save him. In a way, it seems like he was a sort of Titan cocoon to allow him to become whole again. Either way, I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of him – or Levi.
That cliffhanger is absolutely agonizing though, especially with the sudden reveal that we’ve got a second half chock full of episodes to come during Winter 2022 (essentially the start of next year.) I’m not sure about you guys but I think I’ll read the manga when it releases instead!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|