Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 27, “Retrospective,” was an action-packed episode that served as a great penultimate point in Season 4 Part 2. While not digging deep into the lore, it moved the plot forward and had some stunningly beautiful animation sequences, bookmarked by chilling moments that will haunt viewers for weeks to come. It served as the perfect segue into what will likely be another mind-exploding episode coming next.
This Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 27 review will have spoilers for the newest episode, but the article is manga-spoiler-free. This Episode 86 review is written for anime-onlies. For more anime-only discussions, join us on Discord or in our AoT Facebook page.
The Fight Was Chilling & Heartbreaking, But the Animation Was Amazing
When the episode opens, the fight continues right where we left off last week: Conny shooting Samuel and Daz, while Annie and Reiner fight other Jaegerists in the background. The fight lasts for the majority of the episode, and it’s a chilling reminder of how haunting and horrific war can be. The Jaegerists fighting Annie and Reiner are armed with thunderspears that Hange helped invent. They’re so skilled at what they do because they trained right alongside Mikasa, Armin, and Jean, many also under the direction of Erwin.
But time is of the essence, and there is simply no time to think too long about the emotional consequences of this battle. Hange’s team is killing their own comrades. Dealing with that will have to wait until later.
There are far more Jaegerists fighting to destroy the Hizuru’s flying boat than I had any idea. More reinforcements are coming soon by train. It will take half a day to get the flying boat ready to take to the air and stop Eren. But since they don’t know Eren’s exact location, it will take even more time after that to find him and engage in battle. As Hange points out, the Rumbling is moving fast. Liberio will already be destroyed by the time the flying boat is ready.
But on top of that, Magath points out that the Titan warriors cannot maintain their shape and fight for a full half-day. (Which I had no idea, because I thought Eren had much more stamina than that himself.) They won’t be able to hold the port against the Jaegerists for a full half-day, so they’ll lose. Their only choice is to escape, head to a port on the mainland, and hope the engineers are finished before Eren’s Rumbling reaches them.
It’s an Erwin-style gamble, but it’s also their only chance at possibly stopping the Rumbling.
For the rest of the episode, the Hange-crew is fighting the Jaegerists, just trying to hold them off long enough so the ship that is tugging the flying boat along can escape with everyone on board.
The battle is heartbreaking, chilling, and also amazingly well animated. I have to give immense kudos to the team who brought this episode together. It was beautifully done.
Floch’s End Actually Left Me Feeling a Little Sad, Thanks to Brilliant Writing
Although Floch’s maniacal love of power and senseless killing made me despise him, it was simultaneously easy to forget just how smart and quick he is. He figured out the plan and decided to make one last attempt at saving Paradis. Hearing everything from their side — without the power trips mixed in — help us to see that they truly do have a cause they believe is noble.
Floch’s not wrong when he thinks that if the Rumbling is stopped, there’s a good chance that they will be decimated and killed by the people outside Paradis. Eren took down all their walls to start the worldwide Rumbling, so they have been left with zero defenses. Everything is on the line.
So I found myself feeling a little sad when Gabbi shot him. Even though it had to be done, we were able to see things from the Jaegerists’ perspective and understand how desperate they felt. They truly believe this is their only chance at helping their people live.
Floch believed he was the one to save Eldia. But he was killed before he could, and as he fell into the sea, he saw all his dreams die along with him.
Falco’s Transformation Was So Intriguing
Of course, I would be remiss to not point out how utterly amazing Falco’s transformation was. There was a moment when he was desperately trying to force himself to transform, while he watched Reiner and Annie get pummeled by the Jaegerists. Armed with thunderspears, they were a far more formidable bunch than they encountered in the earlier seasons.
But as Falco desperately watched the carnage around him and struggled to transform, he reminded me a lot of Eren’s early days.
Once he was able to transform, his appearance was decidedly different from both Porco and Ymir. Ymir never developed a jaw and was more of a human-appearing Titan. Porco had the jaw and resembled a lion.
Falco, meanwhile, has the jaw too and looks exactly like a bird. Perhaps a Falcon?
Another interesting thing to see was how Falco’s eyes were red.
I looked back at previous seasons, and when Zeke ordered his Pure Titans around, their eyes weren’t red. Zeke’s own Beast Titan eyes aren’t always red, but sometimes they are.
Eren’s Titan eyes have always been green or white, from what I was able to find. And when he first transformed in the early days, his eyes didn’t glow red. They glowed distinctly green.
His eyes were still glowing green when he almost killed Mikasa.
Porco’s eyes didn’t glow at all when he was a Titan.
Although I don’t have a lot to back this up, I’m going to guess that Falco’s eyes are red based on either Zeke’s spinal fluid or his lineage. We know that the warrior Titans come ultimately from Ymir’s three children. Maybe one lineage is green-eyed, one red-eyed, etc.? Since this is an anime-only discussion, we don’t know the answer yet. But I’m guessing it has something to do with that.
But I’ve digressed quite a bit here.
Falco was warned that the first transformation is “messy.” And we see that in action when he tries to eat Pieck’s nape.
It seems that at first, Titan Warriors have a tough time keeping their conscious minds intact, and are in danger of succumbing to pure Titan furor. We saw the same with Eren when he tried to kill Mikasa during one of his early transformations.
Shadis & Magath’s Last Stand
Magath finally came around to seeing the error of his ways, and Shadis emerged a hero once again over these last few episodes. It was nice to see these two men interacting, but sad to see them die in the same scene.
Everyone on the ship knew that Magath was the one who blew up the only ship that could rescue them, dying in the process. But no one knew the role Shaddis played – how he blew up the train before it could reach them with reinforcements, and how he helped Magath at the very end. When Magath told him he would be remembered, it was an ironic statement because they both knew that he would not.
Can Mikasa Kill Eren?
I honestly don’t know if Mikasa can ultimately kill Eren or not, and that question hangs heavy in the air as the episode concluded its post-credits scene.
Annie knows the only person she cares about, her dad, is in Liberio and there’s no chance of saving him from the Rumbling. She’s heartbroken and doesn’t want to fight the people of Paradis anymore either. She doesn’t want to fight Mikasa.
Mikasa still doesn’t have an answer for Annie when Annie tells her that she doesn’t want to fight her and doesn’t want to be stopped if she tries to kill Eren.
But now that her dad is all but dead, her motivation is gone anyway. She concludes by saying that she doesn’t just not want to fight Mikasa, she doesn’t even want to fight Eren anymore.
It’s at this sad point that the episode ends, with many questions still hanging in the air. Where is Eren? Why isn’t he communicating with anyone anymore, even though he could? Where is Zeke? Does Mikasa have the resolve it takes to see this through?
Overall, this was a 9 out of 10 episode. It was phenomenal, and the only reason I’m not ranking it a full 10 is because I reserve those for episodes that dig deep into the lore and show me plot twists that I didn’t see coming. But as a second-to-last episode of Season 4 Part 2, it was the perfect segue into an episode that is surely designed to reveal more hidden secrets about the Titans.