Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 24, “Pride,” was the calm before the next storm. The Rumbling served as mostly a backdrop in this episode, while the main characters made tenuous, fragile alliances with their enemies as they sought to stop a threat to the entire world. But these alliances are painstakingly poignant when you consider that Eren’s best friends are working together with their enemy to try to stop Eren. It’s a true act of self sacrifice because if they’re successful, they’ll leave themselves more vulnerable in the end without a Wall to protect them.
Although not quite as powerful as some of the previous episodes in Season 4 Part 2, “Pride” was still a work of genius, filled with emotional decisions and painstaking plans. While some scenes felt rushed, it was still a gripping story that continues to move the characters toward another clash of ideals.Check out this new #AttackonTitan review of 'Pride' for anime-only viewers. Click To Tweet
This Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 24 review will have spoilers for the newest episode, but the article is manga-spoiler-free. This Episode 83 review is written for anime-onlies, from the perspective of an anime-only viewer. For more anime-only discussions, join us on Discord or in our AoT Facebook page.
Hange & Levi Form an Uneasy Marleyan Alliance
The episode begins with Hange killing a Survey Corps member who has now sided with Floch, in an attempt to keep a badly injured Levi safe. It’s heartbreaking that she has to do this to survive. While she certainly made her own share of mistakes getting to this point, Floch is pushing the division even deeper with the militaristic, tyrannical approach the Jaegerists have adopted.
But good news quickly follows: Levi is alive. Hange doesn’t know he didn’t drink the wine, but she drops an interesting tidbit — the only reason he survived the explosion like he did is because of his Ackerman abilities. And while the manga has told us more about what those are up to this point, the anime is still leaving viewers in the dark.
Levi returns to consciousness with one thing on his mind: killing Zeke. And although his fervor seems a bit misplaced at this point (shouldn’t it be focused on Eren instead?), it does appear that if he can kill Zeke or feed Zeke to someone else, that might be a way to stop Eren’s Rumbling. Up until this point, I had wondered if Eren had the full power of the Founder. But Hange believes that Eren has to keep in contact with Zeke’s royal blood to continue his Rumbling, and she might be right.
Levi says that Zeke outmaneuvered him because Zeke was fully prepared to die, which Levi hadn’t bet on. Now Levi’s left with serious wounds and he’s missing two fingers. But if what Erwin could do even without an arm is any indication, Levi will still be a badass fighter once he’s recovered.
But for now, he has to rely on other people to do the fighting for him — including an uneasy truce with Magath and Pieck.
There’s an interesting moment when Hange corrects herself and says that Zeke isn’t being held by Eren, but by the Founding Titan. This makes me wonder if it’s possible that even Eren is no longer fully in control of himself, but the Founding Titan is directing his actions to some degree? But if so, why is this Founding Titan’s form so different than it was with Frieda or Uri? Is this the form of the Founding Titan when it can access the full extent of its powers without limitation?
Armin Is Prepared for a Major Sacrifice to Save Connie & Falco
Connie, meanwhile, has fully committed to feeding Falco to his mother, but he’s also having a deep inward battle with that commitment. He has a heart, and he’s not doing this without a deep sense of unease. He recognizes that Falco is a good kid, and in some ways what he is doing is wrong. But he also doesn’t want to continue seeing his mom suffer. So he tries to trick Falco into brushing the Titan’s teeth as an excuse to get him close enough to push him into her mouth.
Gabi and Armin arrive just in time to try to stop him, but their threats make Connie more militant about his decision than he had been before.
Last week, I wrote that I was concerned Armin was going to sacrifice himself to save Falco. And that’s exactly what he attempted to do. I don’t think it was an Erwin-type gamble where he was pretty sure Connie would save him. Armin was fully, 100% ready to die if that is what it took. And he decided it was better to sacrifice himself than kill Connie’s mom to stop Falco from dying, which is an action he also could have attempted.
All of this is further proof to Gabi about how wrong her brainwashing was.
Connie did step in and save Armin. But knowing how AoT can be, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or if we might be saying goodbye to Armin.
There’s a heartbreaking moment after this, where Gabi is comforting Falco in the background as he weeps over his brother Colt’s death. At the same time, Connie struggles with his own inner darkness — a darkness his mother would not have approved of. He’s determined to change now and save lives, returning to being a son she would be proud of. All of this happened because Armin was willing to sacrifice himself.
Mikasa Is as Cold to Louise as Eren Was to Her
There’s an interesting scene where Mikasa tracks down Louise, who is holding on to her scarf after a fatal injury. (Last week, we guessed that Louise was the one who had Mikasa’s scarf.) Louise’s devotion with Mikasa after Mikasa saved her life is a strong analog to how Mikasa has acted toward Eren all these years. Louise simply took the scarf to be closer to Mikasa.
But just like Eren recently was cold to her, Mikasa does not offer even an ounce of affection to Louise. It’s heartbreaking to see and hard to understand. Her only concern is getting back her scarf — she doesn’t even attempt to feel anything for Louise. Why is she so cold? Is it because she sees herself in Louise and doesn’t like what she sees?
Louise tells Mikasa that she had only the briefest of moments to talk to Eren about her. She tells Mikasa, “He talked about wanting to throw the scarf out.”
Many viewers were confused by this, wondering when Eren had a chance to tell Louise that after Mikasa abandoned the scarf. But it looks like their conversation actually took place while Eren was in prison, and while Mikasa was still holding onto the scarf. Eren was already wanting Mikasa to abandon her love for him and move on — which he attempted to make happen himself when he told Mikasa that he hated her. I don’t think Eren truly hates her, but simply wanted to distance himself from her so she would be less hurt while he carried out his plan.
Armin & Annie’s Reunion Was Funny But Anticlimactic
After all these years of Armin talking to Annie and visiting her while she was encased in a shell, their reunion felt a bit anticlimactic. It helps that we know from last week’s conversation with Hitch that Annie doesn’t get emotionally attached to anyone and literally the only person in the world that she cares about is her dad. That was shown in how easily she left Hitch, and the lack of emotion we saw when she and Armin were reunited. In fact, she’s more interested in the food she’s eating than the fallout of seeing Connie, Armin, and the others again. Gabi is there with them, and Annie doesn’t react to that either.
This was my only complaint about the episode and the reason why I won’t rank it quite as high as previous episodes from this season. I feel like the Annie part, funny as it was, was a bit rushed. It’s a big coincidence that they ended up sitting next to her, and while I enjoyed Connie making fun of her, I had hoped for a bit more when they all first saw her again. Still, it was enjoyable to see Armin defending her, as I assumed would happen. But Annie did a lot of damage to them – including twirling Survey Corps members around like yo-yos – so the lighthearted reaction did feel a bit out of place.
Floch Loves Being a Dictator Far Too Much
Floch, meanwhile, is enjoying being a dictator far too much. I’m still holding out hope that Eren has a long-term goal that doesn’t including genociding the entire world, and we just haven’t seen it yet. But Floch is feeling pretty irredeemable. (Admittedly, I once felt that way about Gabi too.) He seems to be celebrating the genocide of the world, and enjoying forcing people to bow down to him. And he’s really enjoying the chance to execute Yelena and Onkyapon, seemingly feeling no remorse about the action at all. It’s just heartless.
Basically, we are seeing the cycle of hate starting up all over again. There’s a resounding theme in this series about hate and propaganda. Marleyans were once subjugated by Titans, and they responded by enacting the same persecution on the Eldians for hundreds of years. Now we see the cycle starting again, with Eldians — after hundreds of years of being persecuted — immediately jumping to doing the same thing that the Marleyans did to them. They’re calling Yelena a “filthy Marleyan” and reacting with intense hate. Someone also yelled “Send her to hell!” which is an exact echo of how the Marleyans treated the Eldians.
As we saw with Sasha’s father and Gabi, the only way out of a cycle of hatred is by extending radical love in the most unexpected of circumstances. But Floch is definitely not living out this mindset. He’s simply continuing a cycle of hate.
The group’s hatred toward Onyankopon is the most gut-wrenching to watch. He’s been persecuted by everyone, but all he wanted was for all people to live in harmony with each other and celebrate their differences.
Floch said about Onyankopon: “He aided Eldia without knowing of the euthanization plan, however he said he’d rather die than live under the Eldian Empire!”
Ohhhh no, how terrible of Onyankopon to not want to subserviently celebrate the Eldians right now. 🙄
Floch offers him a chance to “change his mind,” but it’s not a true offer of freedom. Floch wants Onyankopon to pledge allegiance to Eldia, and basically no longer have his own thoughts and opinions. Onyankopon is heartbroken because Eren’s plan is leading to the massacre of his family and his people. All he sees around him is hate, so he says, “Sucking up to you guys for life isn’t worth it!” (He knows he’s not being offered freedom, but just a new life of subjugation.)
We saw earlier that when others agreed that indiscriminate killing was wrong, Onyankopon got along with them just fine, although he was still heartbroken. It’s Floch’s tyrannical rule that is leading to him to this choice. And when he begs for anyone in the crowd to agree that indiscriminate killing is wrong, he doesn’t find a single person siding with him.
I was glad to see that Jean had not turned to Floch’s side (and it was part of his plan to push Floch out of the way of Cart and not an actual attempt to save his life.)
Jean later tells Onyankopon that he couldn’t partner with Floch because “those ashy bones would never forgive me.” This is reminiscent of how Erwin used to speak of the ghosts of those who died before him sometimes guiding his courage and resolve.
As the episode ends, we see Reiner approached by Annie, Falco, and Gabi, telling him that they’re now allying themselves with Connie, Mikasa, and Armin to try to save the world. It’s an uneasy alliance, to say the least, and one that I never thought I would see occur.
“Pride” served as a warning against its very name. When Floch and his group had too much pride in themselves, it lead to a hatred that contaminated everything around them, including themselves. But the episode also showcased the type of pride that is beneficial — a pride in wanting to do the right thing and help others through sacrifice and compassion.