Episode 19 of Attack on Titan Season 4 starts with Galliard, the Jaw Titan, trying in vain to stop Eren. Unfortunately, he’s left a bloody mess after repeated blows to the back of the neck. Reiner jumps in though, holding Eren down while Zeke regains consciousness and starts to move.
Just before the Beast Titan uses his Shout, intending to turn everyone into Titans, Colt jumps in and stops him. He gives an impassioned plea, asking him to keep kids (namely Falco) out of this. He also wants Eren to allow him to inherent the Beast Titan. Trying to prevent his brother from being hurt is something that Zeke resonates with… but it doesn’t deter him.
Despite his attempts, Zeke simply tells him “it’s a shame” as he uses his Shout and turns everyone into a Titan. Titan Falco runs straight for Reiner, trying to bite down on the nape at the back of his neck.
With Gabi watching on in shock, a bloodied Porco shows up and is brutally eaten by Falco, who turns his attention away from Reiner’s neck and eats the bloodied soldier.
While tis is going on, Eren slams a fist into Reiner and hardens. Jumping out of his Titan form, Eren charges toward Zeke, who lies on the floor in front of the skeletal remains of the Beast Titan. What Eren didn’t account for though was Gabi. With a gun pointed, she fires it at Eren, taking his head clean off.
This shocking moment paves way for an ingeniously planted flashback. This takes us back four years, where Eren reflects with Zeke how some of their father’s memories opened up to him. Namely that of him killing the wall’s royal family.
Through his father’s savage act, Eren understands that it was a necessary evil for him and Zeke to both still be standing and the Wall to be saved. Eren intends to put an end to Titan rule for the last 2000 years though, and does so with Zeke by his side.
This brief flashback throws us right back in the thick of action. Eren appears in a strange place where he finds Zeke, chained to the floor. I say floor, it’s basically an endless sea of sand, with dunes rising and falling. According to Zeke, this is “The Coordinate where all Paths converge.” All Founding Titans, those with Royal blood, show up.
Now, Zeke actually appeared here back when he was badly injured following the explosion at the end of episode 15. Ymir saved him, and slowly redeveloped his body, hence how he was able to be saved. This also seems to confirm that normally fatal wounds can actually be healed and saved by Ymir, if she decides to do so.
Zeke wants Eren to use Ymir to put his euthanization plan into action but at the last second, he decides not to. This was all a long game to gain the power of the Founding Titan for himself. Unfortunately, Zeke himself has actually been testing him too, revealing that he’s already got the Founding powers and wants to see if Eren was actually trustworthy and onboard with his plan.
With chains bound to his wrists, Eren is stuck while Zeke carries out his plan. Touching foreheads, a bright, dazzling light emanates out… and then the episode ends.
The Episode Review
Phew, what an episode! Attack on Titan returns this week with an absolute showstopper of a chapter.
The entire 23 minutes are nail-bitingly tense, with plenty of drama bubbling up right the way through. Gabi once again proves to be a deciding factor here, shooting Eren and taking his head clean off. That was certainly unexpected (I mean, maybe not for manga readers!) and the visceral detail and the way everything slows down to really drink in this shock, is beautifully animated.
Of course, there’s always a way out for this and Zeke touching Eren’s severed head and meeting him in The Coordinate manages to show exactly where everyone’s allegiance lies.
The middle flashback, showing Eren’s ideology and how the brothers are both the same and yet so different, is a great inclusion to have and it breaks up the drama and shocking action really well.
The ending featuring Founder Ymir is a big shocker too and with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, everything is left on a precarious knife edge ready for next week’s follow up.