Era of Titans Nearing Its End // Attack on Titan S4E2 Review
Midnight Train // Attack on Titan The Final Season Episode 2
Eren Yeagar may still be absent, but we are full steam ahead in Attack on Titan: The Final Season episode 2. Reiner and the rest of the titan recruits are preparing for the journey home after the war. Everything is setting up for the final conflict between the armor titan and the attack titan as Zeke and the Marley military set their eyes on the walls of Paradise.
Most of this episode is just setup, but setup that feels right for the series. The previous episode of Attack on Titan hit us with some action out of the gate. Now we can sit back and get a feel for life outside of the walls. Some Eldians are celebrating their victory and end to the war. Others are unable to cope with the unspeakable horrors they witnessed. As a series, Attack on Titan always shows the after effects of battle in a poignant fashion. The final season is clearly no different. An Eldian veteran jumps from the roof of a building, and life moves on for Reiner, Zeke, and the rest of the Marley military.
There are some points in this episode that are a bit confusing, and most of that feels like it is translation issues rather than story. Reiner takes some time to detail his life inside the walls, and his words come off rather neutral in tone, but his voice and the reactions by his family feel darker than what is said. He describes Eren and company as people being people, and everyone at the table looks away in disgust and horror. It just feels a bit disconnected in this scene. Overall the general themes about the titans and their future comes through spectacularly this episode.
The Beginning of the End for the Titans
There is a very overt theme throughout these first two episodes, which will assumingly persist through the rest of the series. The age of the titans is coming to an end. It is a beautiful parallel between how the world around the titans is quickly advancing, and the rapid pace we are approaching the end of the series. Its not just the end for the titans in the show. It is the beginning of the end for the show itself.
We saw in the first episode of the season the titans, which have been seemingly invincible for three season, absolutely shredded by cannon fire. Even Zeke comments that this isn’t good. In Attack on Titan episode 2 we really see how the Marley military is handling it. Their window of colonial expansion is closing as the titans effectiveness is rapidly dropping. They spent four years trying to subjugate another country, only to be bogged down in conflict instead of retaking Paradise.
The plan Zeke is proposing in this episode, retake the island of the Eldian defectors known as Paradise, is intriguing. At the surface level it sounds like a desperate plan to regain dominance with more titans. On the flip side, it sounds like Zeke has more to prove than just titan supremacy.
Final Thoughts // Poor Ymir
My girl Ymir is done dirty this episode. Its been a while since she ran off with Reiner and never really made a return since. Now all she gets is a glorified flashback in a single scene of exposition. A scene that is only to give explanation to how Marley controls five of the titans now. Poor girl should have probably stuck around in Paradise where at least she might still be alive.
Despite the lack of action is episode 2, the whole story flew past this episode. There are so many little things to pick apart that are pretty subtly hinting at the future. Still no sign of Eren and company, but I don’t mind not seeing them yet. A few more episodes of setup and political maneuvering hopefully delivers a more satisfying battle than the some other shows have provided, see Game of Thrones.
[Sources and Further Reading]
[Image via Crunchyroll]
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