Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18 was explosive, fun, and intense. Shingeki no Kyojin Season Episode 77 (“Sneak Attack”) had such a major cliffhanger at the end that I actually yelled at the screen when the credits came on. So much happened that there’s a lot to process. So let’s not delay. Here’s a review of Episode 77 (aka S4E18) of Attack on Titan.#AttackonTitan Season 4 Episode 18 was an explosively perfect new episode. Click To Tweet
This Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18 review will have spoilers for the newest episode, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free beyond this episode. For anime-only discussions, join us on Discord or in our AoT Facebook page.
Armin Still Believes in Eren
The episode kicked off by replaying part of a scene we saw last week, where Mikasa said she wanted to fight for Eren but she wasn’t sure if she was fighting out of her own free will or not. Armin is convinced that Eren was making everything up as part of his plan, and they really aren’t under the control of the Titans that came before them (or the power that was given to the Ackerman family line.) Armin’s also convinced that Eren isn’t working toward Zeke and Yelena’s plan, but simply playing along until he can make contact with Zeke and enact the Rumbling to protect Paradis.
Personally, I think Armin is half-right/half-wrong, but that’s just my guess. I think he’s right about Eren’s intentions to enact the Rumbling rather than follow Zeke’s plan. But I think Eren was being honest when he said that Armin and Mikasa were being influenced by powers outside of their control. I don’t think he really hates them, like he claimed, but I do think he hates that they aren’t free. Eren has always fought for freedom, and will continue to do so no matter what the cost.
There’s a flashback to Armin remembering when Eren wondered if they would finally be free once they killed all their enemies. It’s a good reminder of Eren’s primary motivation. (It was a bit jarring to see that memory animated differently than what we originally saw, however.)
In the end, even Jean and Connie agree that it’s in everyone’s best interests to join the fight and help Eren. Marley gaining control of the Founding Titan would just make things worse for everyone and might end their existence altogether. At least by siding with Eren, they have a chance.
Yelena overhears their conversation, and there’s a brief moment when it looks like she heard too much. But instead, she’s just thrilled and believes Armin has wholeheartedly bought into her euthanization plan. It’s funny. A manga from much earlier in the series revealed that Armin had once even considered a false flag in order to help the Survey Corps’ ultimate plan. Mikasa, Eren, and the rest commented at the time about how “dark and insidious” his plans can sometimes be. Armin is not beyond lying if it will help the greater good. And he’s really good at it.
Reiner Is Fighting for Very Little, While Eren Is Fighting for Everything
The fight scenes this week were amazing. I have to compliment MAPPA on their amazing animation for Season 4 Part 2. Galliard’s motivations are easy to discern (he’s still upset about his brother being eaten by Ymir, and the way Eren used him to kill the Warhammer Titan.) But Reiner’s motivations are tougher to discern. He’s already freed himself from the brainwashing of Marley and he knows the people of Paradis aren’t devils. He begged Eren’s forgiveness and acknowledged that they were the same.
But now he’s saying that they really aren’t the same and he wants to kill Eren because “you’ve suffered enough already.” He also believes that Eren is worst person to unlock the Founding Titan’s full power (likely because he knows that Eren wants to kill all his enemies and would most definitely enact the Rumbling.) So while he might be fighting to keep the Rumbling from happening, it’s still unclear why he’s fighting for Marley. Especially after he saw that Zeke had defected to the other side.
Perhaps it’s a case of the “sunk-cost fallacy,” where he’s already sacrificed so much, he feels he would be abandoning too much if he left his current course of action. Maybe he doesn’t believe in anything at all and is simply still suicidal, fighting for whatever is the strongest force pushing him forward.
What is clear is that Eren will not be stopped, and is a force to be reckoned with. No matter how badly he is beaten, he keeps moving forward. In the past, he was able to leave his broken-down body and re-emerge as a new titan (such as when he was fighting the Warhammer Titan.) I’m not sure why he can’t do that at least once during this battle, but perhaps his reserves were depleted far too quickly.
Gabi Is Realizing the Truth
A military police soldier named Nile takes pity on Falco and helps him reunite with Gabi in the middle of the battle. It was interesting to see him show up, since I’m catching up with the manga and just read a few pages where Nile and Erwin were interacting. I can’t recall if this was shared in the anime or not (it’s not a spoiler), but Nile and Erwin knew each other when they were young. Nile was going to join the Survey Corps with Erwin until he met his wife, and decided to join the Military Police instead to protect her. Erwin had actually be interested in Nile’s wife too, but chose to fight the Titans instead. Knowing Nile’s story provides an interesting backdrop to his interactions with Falco.
The concern that Sasha’s parents had for Gabi, even after learning that she killed their daughter, has really penetrated her soul. (Bringing me back to my belief that in the end, love is always the most powerful force, not hate.) Gabi has realized that what Marley taught her was a lie. The people of Paradis are not monsters, and she was wrong to kill Sasha. Her eyes fill with tears in grief over this revelation.
That’s when Falco confesses his love to her, bringing just a touch of humor when Gabi wonders why he had to confess that to her right now. But that humor quickly turns sad when he says it’s because he could be turned into a Titan any minute. They decide his only chance at living is to let Zeke know what happened, so he doesn’t activate everyone around him.
Everything Hangs in the Balance at the End
In the end, Zeke is just barely still alive after being hit by Pieck’s anti-Titan cannon. Eren is trying to slowly drag his beaten self close enough to Zeke to touch him, and we still don’t know exactly what Eren’s plans are. Meanwhile, Gabi and Falco are rushing to Zeke to try to tell him about Falco’s condition so he doesn’t activate the Titans around him. But that may be the only way Zeke can survive long enough to enact his plan! I have a hard time seeing Zeke put his plan at risk, even for Falco. He’s already sacrificed so many lives in service to his cause.
Eren is still being pursued by Reiner, meanwhile, and Eren’s friends are trying to do whatever they can to help. Anything could happen at this point.
My only small complaint about the episode is that Levi’s fate is still hanging in the balance. He was brought up briefly when Zeke showed up and there was no sign of Hange or Levi. I hope this isn’t a situation where we don’t find out until the very end of the season what happened to Levi. Until then, I’ll be holding my breath.
All in all, I’d give this episode a full 5 out of 5 stars again. It was amazing to watch, action-packed, and I was genuinely upset when it ended. I’m counting down the days already to next week.
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