Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 10, “A Sound Argument,” has just aired. And once again, this show proves just how phenomenal it is. Even when there isn’t a huge amount of action in an episode, the interactions among the characters, the unexpected moments of humor, the military strategy, and the political intrigue all serve to keep moving forward an intriguing and compelling storyline. To be honest, we rarely see TV this good since Game of Thrones (and I’m most definitely excluding that final season.)
Below is an Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 10 review. This article will have spoilers through the latest episode, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free. Please don’t add spoilers from the manga in the comments. Thanks. 🙂
Hange’s Scene with Eren Had So Many Layers
The episode begins with a tension-filled but funny scene between Eren, who’s in jail yet again, and Hange. I’ve always loved how this show can balance humor and tension so perfectly (and it’s very similar to real life.) Eren was in a really dark place, trying to psych himself up for continuing to fight, when Hange started poking fun at him. Personally, I saw this as Hange trying to shake Eren out of his angst by making fun of him and using the humor to form a connection with him so they could have a heart-to-heart talk like they used to. This was especially apparent when Hange started joking about his hair.
But Eren was not in the mood, and as we saw in a later scene, he kind of lost it, threatening Hange and briefly “shining” like he would if he were turning into a Titan. The bond he and Hange had isn’t there any longer, which makes me sad.
I Didn’t Predict the Mikasa & Azumabito/Hizuru Reveal
Special Envoy Kiyomi Azumabito’s arrival on Paradis provided quite a few unexpected revelations. I had always assumed that Mikasa was related to Azumabito’s nation, I just wasn’t sure if it was on her mom’s side or on the Ackermans’ side. Now we know that Mikasa and her mother were direct descendants of the shogun of Hizuru and Mikasa is the rightful ruler. She’s the last descendant of the royal bloodline. At one point there were more from her bloodline in Paradis, but she and her mother were the last.
It’s interesting to me that Historia did not know this about Mikasa. King Fritz was friends with the shogun, and so surely he knew that the shoguns’ baby was left behind after The Great Titan War. Perhaps he kept the baby’s true nature a secret. Or perhaps, for some reason, that knowledge simply wasn’t passed down to Historia.
This is a good time to point out that we saw Eren smile today, which might have been the only time in the entire season so far. Too bad it was just in a two year flashback:
Interestingly, Mikasa has had a tattoo of Azumabito’s tribe that she always kept covered. I think that was retconned into the story, because I don’t recall her having a bandage on her arm before this. My understanding is that the tattoo was mentioned briefly in the manga, but WIT chose not to include it in her backstory for the anime, perhaps wrongly thinking there was nothing important about the tattoo.
We learned more about Azumabito than simply Mikasa’s future role (which, as it turns out, isn’t really Azumabito’s driving motivation anyway.) Like Marley, Azumabito wants her nation to have control of Paradis’ resource. And that resource is the Iceburst Stone, the only source of fuel to power the ODMs. Only Hizuru and Marley know the secret of this resource, and they both want to control the production of the only weapon that can kill Titans.
Azumabito lost all interest in negotiating with Paradis once she learned they didn’t want to give her people sole access to the ODM fuel source. She wasn’t really that interested in Mikasa after all.
Tybur’s Plan Was Truly Sinister
I think it’s important to touch on what I believe is the truly sinister nature of the Tyburs’ secret plan. First, they allowed their own Eldian people to be subjugated in Marley — a government that they controlled. They also kept attacking Paradis with Eldian Titans under false pretenses, not revealing that King Fritz was now peaceful. The Tybur in The Great War, who had the Warhammer Titan, somehow managed to defeat all the other Titans after the Founding Titan retreated and put them all under his subjugation. (Perhaps he had the Jaw Titan on his side, which possesses the only weapon that can kill the Warhammer Titan.)
Now, the Tyburs want to use Marley (and the rest of the nation) to attack Paradis, supposedly to gain the Founding Titan and the Attack Titan and create peace. But I believe it’s more sinister than that. They also want to control the ONLY resource that can be used to kill Titans. If they control the only weapon AND all the Titans, then they can be like the first Titan Ymir and control and subjugate the entire world to their whims.
I Loved the Train Scene
No review would be complete without mentioning that amazing train scene. It was bittersweet, knowing that Sasha is dead. But I loved all the exchanges. Eren deeply cares about his friends. Each one is willing to sacrificially take on the Titan power, but their reasons for doing so were really funny. Jean talking about how much smarter he is than Eren, Conny and Sasha’s exchange about how they are both idiots. I laughed out loud even when I watched the episode a second time.
So About That Wine…
I think we all know there has to be more to that Nicolo wine scene. Is he going to poison the Paradisians who are eating and talking sh** about Historia, while also trashing the Marleyans who have been working so hard in Paradis to build peace?
Why did they focus on a different wine bottle in the closing scene with Zeke?
There’s definitely going to be more to that, I’m sure.
Historia’s Pregnancy Hides Another Mystery
Now this one was a surprise: Historia’s pregnant! In the flashback from two years ago, we saw that Eren was firmly opposed to the idea of turning the royal family into “breeding cattle,” and he was also opposed to Historia’s life being cut short by turning her into a Titan. Historia is the last member of the royal bloodline (and so is Zeke), so I can’t really imagine that she doesn’t want children to carry on her family’s inheritable skills and her legacy. (And for that matter, I have a tough time believing that Zeke doesn’t have secret children somewhere in Marley. Since he hid from Marley that he had royal blood, he might also be hiding children from everyone, couldn’t he?)
Now we learn that in the present-day, Historia is pregnant. The story is that her former childhood bully felt really guilty about what he did and worked hard as a farmer to try to pay off his debts, so to speak. She sought him out one day, they fell in love, and now they have a child. But I find a lot of this suspicious. First, why isn’t she living in her royal home while pregnant? Why is she living on his farm? And second, she looked really depressed while pregnant.
I’m guessing the farm boy thing is a cover story and she’s not really pregnant by him.
Which leaves a question of who is the father. Could it be Eren, having changed his mind once again? Or someone else from a special bloodline that she’s trying to keep secret? Or is the farm boy really the father and she just became pregnant to avoid being turned into a Titan for some reason? I have so many questions.
What Is Eren’s Plan? Why Did He Change His Mind About Zeke’s Plan?
Things with Eren are confusing, to say the least. Two years ago, he was fervently opposed to Zeke’s plan. He didn’t want Historia and the royal bloodline breeding like cattle. He didn’t want Historia to have to die to claim the Beast Titan’s power. He didn’t want to have to start a Rumbling to keep the Eldians safe and hurt so many other people. And yet, two years later, we see him making a secret plan with Zeke and supposedly suddenly siding with everything he had opposed.
As with all things AoT, I’m guessing there is more to all of this than meets the eye. Maybe Eren changed his mind after living in Marley or after hearing Willy Tybur declare war on Paradis and have all the nations backing him. (It’s understandable if that is what triggered him.) It’s also possible that after Eren and Zeke had a secret meeting, Zeke changed his plan slightly and now that is what he and Eren are working toward. I’m betting they touched and opened memories for both of them that neither had seen before.
I’m of two minds regarding what Eren’s plan might be. For a time I thought that maybe he wanted to subsume all the Titans and then kill himself without passing on the power, thus destroying the Titan lineage. But that makes no sense because we were told in a previous episode that if a Titan’s power isn’t “eaten,” it will simply pass on to a randomly born Eldian. So I’m out of ideas regarding a secret plan Eren might have.
This episode also helped me understand better why everyone was mad at Eren. They had devised a plan to go undercover at Marley and befriend the Marleyans over time. From what I can tell, it seems that their plan was to eventually reveal their identities and that they weren’t the devils everyone thought they were. But Eren’s attack cut that plan short. Of course, most of them also didn’t hear Tybur declaring war on them. I wonder if that would have changed their minds?