Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 7 was everything I wanted and so much more. I can’t say enough about this episode and I’m still trying to process everything that happened. There are no easy wins on Attack on Titan. No battle is simple. There are always losses, and I love how this show truly displays the atrocities and hopelessness that go along with war, along with the long-lasting damage that propaganda can wield.
This article is a review and recap, so it will have spoilers for Season 4 Episode 7, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free. Please don’t add spoilers from the manga in the comments, as this is only about the anime. Thanks. :)
Marley Began with an Unexpected Advantage
Last week I expected the episode to begin right with Eren’s epic appearance in the middle of Liberio, but instead, the episode started more gently with a flashback from Willy Tybur’s recent past. This week was the complete opposite. The episode hit the ground running and never slowed down on the intensity, not even once.
We began with the “devils of Paradis” attacking Porco Galliard, aka the Jaw Titan — exactly where the cliffhanger left off. Who hasn’t been waiting to see Levi Ackerman at work again, with his new ODM gear? Levi was holding back for the majority of this episode, as he waited for Armin’s moment. We saw him last season go full on “tornado speed” when attacking the Beast Titan. And while he did that again at the end, he had to slow himself down for a good part of the battle as part of the overall strategy.
But I digress. We start right back with Porco’s shock at these humans who are somehow able to take on a Titan without fear. But my expectations were subverted (and in a good way, not in a Game of Thrones way.) Pieck had time to transform into the Cart Titan and her weaponry turns out to be a formidable weapon against the Paradis ODM-equipped warriors.
This puts an unexpected spin on the battle, giving the Marleyans an advantage I had not anticipated. But as with any war, the casualties are really and the unexpected twists will happen. This isn’t a fairytale story where the hero makes short work of the opponent. Attack on Titan is about the shades of grey, the hard decisions, and the sacrifices.
The Titans in this battle — including Eren — are far more advanced than they were in Season 3. Eren and the others can transform back into a Titan quickly. Eren especially has upped his skills of recovering from injury and being ready for battle again. In fact, he’s quickly becoming the most powerful of the Titans, at least in terms of stamina and sheer will to fight. The Warhammer Titan was worn out from their battle, but Eren could keep going. Even Porco was shocked when Eren could transform again so quickly.
Eren’s Solution for the Warhammer Titan Was a Reminder of Just How Dark War Can Get
Last week I had speculated that Eren’s eagerness to eat the Warhammer Titan while she was encased in a hardened shell meant that he might have eaten Annie. As it turns out, I was very wrong. And I love how often my speculation and theories aren’t right because this show is out-thinking me. Not many shows can do that! Instead, Eren admitted that he cannot eat a Titan who is in a hardened “egg,” so that means Annie is probably still sleeping in hers back in Paradis.
By the end of the episode, Eren had devised a dark workaround. He’s a genius in battle — just like his half-brother Zeke. Both carry the unique ability to devise new battle plans and schemes right in the middle of a fight. Eren is now just as formidable as Beast, if not more so.
So this time, Eren realizes mid-battle that the Jaw Titan’s unique ability is being able to crack a Titan’s hardened shell with his own jaw. For some reason, Ymir’s Titan never developed that Jaw. I’m not sure why, and it’s a question to certainly ponder. But this Jaw Titan has the skill, which seems to point to the Titans having a “check and balance” on each other. This also explains why the original Eldian clans fought each other for so long without anyone gaining a true advantage.
So Eren realized that by defeating the Jaw Titan, he could rip him from limb to limb until he could simply force his jaw to break through the Warhammer Titan’s shell. He did just that, in an incredibly dark scene, and then ate the Warhammer Titan. Although from a strategic standpoint it would be better for a different Paradis Eldian to take on the Warhammer Titan’s powers, there really wasn’t time for that during this battle.
What happens if Eren one day subsumes all the Titan’s powers? Would that make him like the original Ymir before the Titan powers were spread among the Eldian people? How long before he can use the Warhammer Titan’s powers in THIS battle?
Levi & the Beast Titan’s Battle Ended Quickly & Perfectly
We finally got to see Levi in battle again, but his face-off with the Beast Titan was unexpectedly short. And to be honest, I loved that.
At first, I wasn’t sure why Levi was looking at a watch so closely, but I later learned that it was because he was watching for the time when Armin would appear as Colossal. He was willing to wait for the exact right moment in battle. And right when the Jaw Titan broke rank and they were all distracted by Armin’s transformation, that was Levi’s cue to engage hyper speed and attack. Even as a viewer, I didn’t see it coming until it was over.
Levi appeared in a flurry of wind and motion, taking out the Beast Titan before anyone was even sure what had happened.
And then he was gone again. Is Zeke dead? I think it’s a distinct possibility. We don’t see him rescued, and surely Levi wouldn’t just leave someone that important to survive and transform again later. But I don’t know for certain.
Armin’s Appearance as Colossal Was Epic
Armin’s appearance as the Colossal Titan was much briefer than I had anticipated, but also far more epic. With one transformation, he took out their entire fleet of ships. And his action allowed Levi the opportunity to sneak in and take out the Beast Titan. He didn’t stay in Titan Form for long though, but it was long enough.
Armin has a much softer heart than the other Titan warriors. I really think it broke him to see so many innocents dead as a result of his transformation. I think he will likely struggle with this a lot, even if it’s a necessity. Still, he gets right back to work in his Erwin commander role, and he won’t let emotions get in the way.
By the end, Porco the Jaw Titan has been ripped limb to limb and Eren is about to eat him. The Warhammer Titan has been eaten by Eren. Pieck is barely alive, likely to die (although she might pull through.) According to Gabi, her body doesn’t heal as fast as some of the other Titan’s human forms can.
Hange is leading the airship that has come to retrieve the warriors. I love that she is a part of this too, and still very much alive. And I love Sasha and Jean’s arcs, and how much more assured they are about battle. Every part of this episode was phenomenal.
Things are looking bad for Liberio and Marley. And once they’ve lost the majority of their Titans, they’ll be weaker in their fight against the other countries too.
Reiner Is a Wild Card
Meanwhile, Reiner is in a very difficult position. He confessed to Eren that he feels like he was the cause of all of this, by inflicting all that pain on Eren all those years ago. He wants to die. He turned into a Titan just enough to shield Falco from dying. But now he just wants to die. He doesn’t want to revive himself and fight. He’s tired of war. The cries of Falco and Gabi, whom he loves, were enough to revive him. But his heart isn’t in this fight anymore. He knows the propaganda of Marley and how they are just as bad as Paradis. So what is he going to do? His opening words after his transformation is that he wants to just die in peace. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of fight left in him. But the propaganda of Marley is strong and his love of Gabbi and Falco is strong too. That might propel him into battle, even if his heart isn’t in it anymore.
Gabi, meanwhile, is being subsumed by the war, just like Eren does. She’s gearing up to be the next Eren and start the cycle all over again. But Falco, I can tell, is more like Reiner. His heart isn’t in this battle anymore either. And he feels a lot of guilt, like he somehow caused all of this to happen.
As the episode ends, I’m left with a few questions. Can Eren cause the Rumbling — does he have that ability even though he’s not of Royal Blood himself? Is the Rumbling even true, or is it another bit of propaganda legend that has been twisted over time, like the tale of Helos?
And who will Reiner side with? Or will he become like King Fritz and refuse to fight at all?