Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 25, “Night of the End,” defied my expectations in a way that left me feeling almost skeptical at first. But by the time the episode ended, I was really glad that they took the time out to explore a more dialogue-heavy storyline that helped us better understand how former enemies are creating an highly fragile, uneasy alliance.Check out this new #AttackonTitan review of 'Night of the End' for anime-only viewers. Click To Tweet
This Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 25 review will have spoilers for the newest episode, but the article is manga-spoiler-free. This Episode 84 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.
Jean’s Struggle Lends Authenticity to the Episode
Jean’s struggle was an authentic representation of what many people might struggle with if they were in the same situation. In fact, it’s almost surprising that more characters aren’t facing the same moral dilemma, and ultimately landing at the same decision Jean has reached.
In his heart, he knows that if he just went along with Floch, he could have that easy life he once dreamed of. Early Jean wanted to be part of the Military Police so he wouldn’t have to put his life at risk. He struggled intensely with joining the Survey Corps, but he ultimately did and ended up really rising to the occasion. He’s turned into an amazing leader who was able to direct his team to take out all the Pure Titans after Eren left them running amok when he launched the Rumbling. Against his own jealousy, Jean even considered that Eren might have had a different plan that was leading him to push Mikasa away and he wasn’t just being cruel.
We see that in Jean’s fantasy world, he would have a wife and child who would benefit from the good life he was leading too. It looks like Mikasa is even the woman he’s dreaming of.
All this time, he’s still carried a quiet love for Mikasa — ever since season 1 when he commented on how beautiful her hair was. But he hasn’t let that overshadow his duty (which is in contrast to how Mikasa has allowed her love for Eren to affect her.)
Jean is asking the tough questions that need to be asked. What will happen to Paradis if they stop Eren’s Rumbling? They won’t have the Founding Titan anymore and all their walls are gone, thanks to Eren deciding to wipe everyone out. If he had chosen to just take down one wall to wipe out Marley’s military, they’d still have two more walls and the Founding Titan. They’d still have a card to play to keep attacks at bay. There’s no perfect solution, of course, and this would only buy them a temporary peace. But Eren’s decision has made that path impossible now.
So they’re left with putting their own country and people at risk of annihilation by stopping Eren, but they also know in their hearts that genocide is wrong. While most people step up to the plate rather quickly (at least as far as we’re shown), we get a chance to see Jean’s inner struggle. In some ways, his decision to stop Eren – even after deeply contemplating what’s at stake — makes him one of the most honorable characters in the show.
The Truce Is a Fragile Alliance at Best
Although this episode was slower, I’m glad they took the time to animate and air it. Last week, there was a lot of concern about how quickly everyone was forgiving each other — including Annie — and forging forward with an alliance. This episode was the one we needed in order to lend more credibility and realism to the storyline. It’s not an easy decision, and the alliance is incredibly fragile at best, at risk of breaking down at any moment.
Take the conversation with Magath. It was so frustrating to hear him completely unmoved by Jean’s protests. No matter how much Jean shared his side of the story, Magath just didn’t care and was completely untouched. It made me angry to hear it. Hange did a great job in her role as mediator, however, and encouraging them to step back from a contention point where they’d never have a meeting of minds.
Annie and Mikasa’s near-showdown was equally realistic. Annie killed so many of their friends. But she also knows Mikasa very well, and knows it might be impossible for Mikasa to kill Eren. Mikasa wants to talk Eren out of the Rumbling, and never voiced a commitment to taking him out.
The two almost came to blows as a result.
But while they avoided fighting, Reiner and Jean did not. Jean had held back with Magath, but when he learned what happened to Marco — the purest heart of all of them — he couldn’t hold back. He beat Reiner, who was perfectly willing to take the punishment since he just wants to die anyway. Gabi stepped in and got kicked in the process, and that’s the only thing that stopped Jean. But Jean’s anger at Reiner’s apology is another authentic moment. In his mind, Reiner shouldn’t be able to get away with such a heinous act just by saying he’s sorry.
Gabi’s Voice Actor Deserves an Award
Gabi’s voice actor (Ayane Sakura) deserves an award. When she steps in to protect her uncle, and tearfully cries about all that’s happened, I cried too.
She says, “I’m sorry. We wanted to wipe out everyone living on Paradis Island. In hopes that the world would forgive us, we wanted this island, the devils, to be wiped out. And now my mom, dad, and everyone in Liberio will be wiped out. I’m sorry. I know it’s absurdly shameless of me to ask, but we need yoru help! Please! I’m begging you to help us!”
Gabi’s evolution in this series is absolute genius writing. I never thought I could feel for her, but now I’m crying as she speaks those words and begs for help.
Magath has always had a soft spot for Gabi. He pretty much hates all the other Eldians (except Pieck), but he loves Gabi in his own way. Back in the first episode of Season 4, he didn’t even want to send her out with those explosives until she called him out on how special she was to him, and he couldn’t admit that was true. Now in this scene, her words are the only ones that seem to reach him, possibly making him rethink his previous prejudices.
Yelena’s Reveal Was Completely Unexpected
I did not see Yelena’s reveal coming. Not one bit. It turns out that she was a Marleyan all along and invented her story of being a refugee from a world that Marley had overtaken so she could rewrite her own role in history. She worked with Zeke, believing his plan would ultimately save the world. But it turns out her motives may have been more selfish, and based on wanting to be known in the years to come as a person who helped save the world.
I still think she genuinely believed in her cause, and is likely in love with Zeke on top of that. But the revelation was shocking. She flipped the news and ended up calling every single person out on the number of people they had killed, only skipping over Falco. Falco’s just far too precious to call out.
Levi Gave a Much-Needed Moment of Levity
At a moment in the storyline when I was near tears, Levi came through with a comment that left me laughing out loud. It was a much-needed moment of brevity.
Completely unfazed by everyone crying and arguing around him, he simply wakes up and says, “so damn noisy.” I loved it.
The episode ends with harrowing news. Pieck scouts ahead for them (just as she did in her Cart Titan form for Zeke seasons earlier, before Zeke and Eren’s first in-person encounter.)
She informs them that the Jaegerists have taken control of the port and have it armed by soldiers with Anti-Titan gear. On top of that, Floch has taken Azumabito hostage. Things are going to get ugly fast.
All in all, although I might not rate this episode a full 10 stars, it’s certainly close. For a slower-paced episode that was heavy with dialogue, it covered a lot of character motivations and fears that we truly needed to see, and created a strong foundation for the rest of the season.