In Medias Res
Chapter 1 of Attack On Titan: The Final Season Part 3 Final Arc begins with a young Mikasa waking a young Eren as they pick food from outside the wall of their district. He says he feels like he has just woken up from a long dream and has tears streaming from his face. It just turns out to be a memory as we are taken back to the present day.
Two refugee boys, Halil and Ramzi are in a forest hiding money. They see a couple of Marleyan people running and notice thousands of wall titans making their way. In a flashback when Eren was undercover in Marley, he confesses that he will kill its people as it is either them or Paradis.
At that moment, he sees Ramzi being beaten up for being a refugee and while he thinks it is pointless as he will anyway kill everyone, he saves him. He realises he is like Reiner if not worse for being a hypocrite. He apologizes to Ramzi and reminisces about the time he and Armin had dreamt about the world beyond the walls and is disappointed at how different the reality is.
Back in the present day, most of the Marleyans have fled while the refugees are cornered by the wall titans. As they run, Ramzi’s money falls and Halil stops to help him. They are killed in the melee but just before Ramzi dies he sees Ymir. As the titans continue their rampage, Eren recalls the world that Armin had promised him and how he has finally achieved it. He turns to see present-day Armin who is in the Path and looks shocked.
Annie calls out to Armin and he comes back to reality and sees that he is on the warship. She finally thanks him for talking to her for years when she was in the crystal but wonders why Armin spent time with her. They blush as he confesses that he likes her and she is surprised.
The mood again turns sombre as she wonders about the death toll. She compares herself to Eren as Armin continues to give monsters a second chance and he says that he is not a good person either as he has killed people too. They reached the empty Odiha and Hange realises that the Azumabito clan is their only hope in repairing their airship. Inside, Falco is having a breakdown as he is told that his family and Liberio are destroyed.
Mikasa gives some flying ODM gear to Annie but she refuses to fight. She points out that the same Marley they are trying to save used to prosecute Eldians. She says she hopes to live the time she has left peacefully while looking at Armin. Mikasa puts two and two together and is shocked but doesn’t pry.
She however reveals that Armin will be joining the Survey Corps in finding Eren and Annie asks if they will kill him. Mikasa says that she is going to bring Eren back and Annie notices that she is not wearing the scarf Eren had given her. Mikasa just states that she has it and walks off.
Inside, while Armin tries to stop an injured Levi, he hopes to wring information out of Yelena about Eren’s plan. In a flashback, we see that Yelena and Eren had planned to activate a few wall titans and take out the Global Allied Fleet’s port. She had assured him that once it was out of commission, the world would no longer be a threat to Paradis.
As a backup plan, she had mentioned Marley’s airship base in Fort Salta which could be a problem. She relays this to the Survey Corps and is sure that Eren will attack Salta. She also tells them that Zeke was the only one with a good plan of eradicating titans when he suggested euthanizing their race by making all currently-alive Eldians sterile. Hange agrees and says it is partly her fault as she could not help Eren come up with a better plan.
Meanwhile, Pieck tells Kiyomi to look after Gabi and Falco. The next day, everything is in order and while they see Levi struggling with the ODM gear he refuses to stay back. Pieck, Reiner and Annie have a sad farewell as Reiner apologizes for forcing her and Bertholdt to join his undercover plan. As Annie stays back, the rest of the Survey Corps tell her goodbye.
Meanwhile, Pieck tells Hange that she will cooperate as per Magath’s wishes. Hange is excited and starts wondering if she can ride on her Cart Titan only for Pieck to get creeped out. Levi approaches Hange and she asks if their dead comrades would be proud of them. He tells her not to be morbid like Erwin while the Azumabito crew finally finishes repairing the airship.
But just before take off, Floch who had been hiding the whole time shoots the airship’s fuel tank before Mikasa fatally wounds him. The crew rush to repair the ship but the rumbling begins. Floch tells them not to face Eren but Hange says she cannot give up yet. The group watch the titans quicken their pace and while Armin and Reiner plan to stay back and hold them off, Hange takes responsibility as she was the one who led them till the point of no return.
She names Armin the next commander of Survey Corps and jokes that Levi is his junior now. Before she leaves, she tells Levi she is excited to make a cool exit and he tells her to give her all. The Survey Corps try to stop her but she leaves. As they watch in shock, she takes down titans one by one while the crew hurry to repair the airship.
While they fix it, they have no time to refill the tank as the titans almost reach the hangar. Hange tries to buy them more time and the heat, speed and friction lead to her cloak catching fire. She tries to kill one last titan before she bursts into flames but the airship takes off in time. Armin and Jean tear up as they watch her die while Levi hopes that she will watch over them.
As they escape and the warship with Kiyoma and Annie gets away, Hange wakes up to see that the titans are gone. She is welcomed by Erwin and other fallen comrades as he tells her that she has fulfilled her duty. She watches the airship in the sky and jokes about how difficult it has been since he decided to name her commander.
In the airship, Onyankopon notices that they are almost out of fuel but promises to get them to Fort Salta. In return, he asks Armin to do his best in stopping the rumbling. They realise they don’t know where Eren is located in the Founding Titan’s body. Pieck suggests Armin use the Colossal Titan to destroy everything like Liberio and he says that will be the last resort.
Levi deduces that since Eren is controlling Zeke, they can stop the Founding Titan just by killing Zeke. Jean offers to help as he cannot let all the past sacrifices including Hange’s death be for nothing. Connie feels miserable for killing comrades in the name of saving humanity and he looks to Reiner for comfort who had to do the same when he first came to Paradis.
They promise to save whatever is left of humanity. Reiner thinks he understands Eren and suggests that maybe he wants them to stop him. Armin feels the same as he points out that Eren can easily control their titan powers but doesn’t. Armin and Pieck realise that he is allowing them free will and Mikasa hopes it is enough to get through to him and stop the rumbling.
They are suddenly transported to the Path and Levi wonders if Eren has been eavesdropping. Armin calls out to Eren that they can come up with a peaceful solution and the group share the responsibility for all the sins he has committed while protecting Paradis.
Eren finally responds that he will not stop and the group spot the younger version of him standing next to Ymir. He tells them that he will not take away their free will but as long as they have opposing ideas, they will continue to fight. Armin asks what is the point of their interaction then and Eren says that the only way to stop him is to kill him. The group comes back to reality and they are upset at the outcome.
Meanwhile, the warship heads to Hizuru but Kiyomi is not sure about the state of her country. She tells Annie how she was the one who brought Zeke and Eren together which set off the catalyst for the rumbling. Annie shares her regrets and at that moment Falco and Gabi approach them. Since Falco was turned with Zeke’s spinal fluid, he sees a memory of Zeke flying which surprises Annie.
Meanwhile, the remaining Marley Eldians head to Fort Salta on a train. Leonhart and his men control the Marleyan crew and plan to steal an airship to escape along with the parents of Gabi, Falco, Reiner and Pieck. As they reach the fort, they notice that all of the airships are in the air heading towards the wall titans to bomb them.
A Marleyan commander suddenly announces that they are the last stand and that the soldiers must not fail. He says that the rumbling is a consequence of Marley demonizing the Eldians and if they survive, Marley will not make that mistake again. Mrs. Braun and Mr. Leonhart realise that this hate was used to make their children tools for revenge and they tear up.
Just as Eren notices the airships, they start bombing the titans. However, they miss while Eren who has caged Zeke in the Beast Titan form uses him to throw the bombs back and wipe out all the airships. At that moment, the Survey Corps’ airship finally reaches Salta but as they run out of fuel, they plan to jump out the moment they see the Founding Titan.
Levi notices the Beast Titan and orders them to use everything they have to take him out. They jump out of the airship but struggle to land. Reiner turns into the Armored Titan and uses the impact to crash into the Beast Titan. Pieck too transforms into the Cart Titan and we notice that rows of explosives cover her body.
The Marleyan military notices the ODM gear and wonders if Paradis will save them while Braun tears upon seeing Reiner. The Survey Corps land on the Founding Titan and Armin asks Eren to tell him in what way is he free after they extract him.
The Episode Review
Leave it to Isayama to shock fans in the very first second of the special episode with the possibility that all of it was a dream and our favourite deranged and psychopathic antihero just imagined everything. And well, say what you want of the marketing tactic of Attack On Titan’s season 4 (aka the final season) but it continues to be one of the best manga and anime of its time.
We are dropped right in the middle of the action as Eren’s plan of annihilating the world is in full swing. Meanwhile, the Warriors and Survey Corps join hands and try to stop him.
Armin pretty much is the best character as he always sees everyone in a good light including mass murderers like Annie and Eren. He is also under no impression that he is a saint but doesn’t wallow in self-misery. Hange as usual kept the anime from going too dark with her quirkiness. She was also more than just comic relief as she single-handedly held off the titans till the group escaped.
A lot of fans noticed that her wings of freedom cloak was the first to catch fire, symbolizing her sacrifice. And even till the end she was funny and badass as while burning she continued to kill titans and then went back to her old self while teasing Erwin for his decision to make her commander.
The special instalment while long was a thrilling, adrenaline rush of an episode. Meant mostly for fans who have watched the previous seasons, the show skips exposition and introductions to keep the action going and the story moving.
It gives us four of the most exciting chapters of the manga’s last arc and stays true to the storyline. Meanwhile, Mappa raises expectations with a graphic and detailed animation as it brings the ambitious rumbling to life and in the same breath makes us wait till fall 2023 for the epic finale.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|