Warning: This article contains spoilers for ‘Attack on Titan.’
The treacherous anticipation for Sunday evenings is nothing new for “Attack on Titan” fans. After nearly 10 years, viewers of the popular anime series have exercised their patience but we are finally approaching the finish line.
“Attack on Titan” is now airing the second half of the final season with its fitting heavy metal opening credit scene. The critically acclaimed first half of the season that aired last year was deemed the most in-demand series globally of 2021 by the Global TV Demand awards.
The last time we saw Eren Yeager, he was almost eaten for his titan power by Marley soldier Porco Galliard. The Yeagerists and the army of Eldia begin to fight, and Eren faces Reiner.
The tragedy and chaos for the past few episodes have been some of the best in the series. In episode 20, we see a slower but captivating episode of Zeke Yeager and Eren passing through the memories of the sins of their shared father in the Paths.
“Before I save the world, I must save you,” Zeke said.
Zeke now possesses the Founding Titan and tries to save Eren from his assumed brainwashing from their long-deceased father, Grisha Yeager. Zeke, who strongly disdains his father for killing the Reiss family and abandoning him as a child, begins to see his father’s torment and regret throughout the episode.
Grisha calls for Zeke thinking he sees him, only to realize it might be a dream. As Zeke and Eren walk through their shared father’s memories, there are slight hints of their father being able to see them. They watched their father create the last note and photo, locking it all in the desk we were all dying to know about in season one.
As they walk through the memories of Grisha, Zeke finally realizes he cannot save Eren from the brainwashing. Eren was never brainwashed.
Eren was surrounded by love and affection from his friends and family, including their father. The flashback of Eren killing the men who tried to hurt Mikasa made it clear Eren was capable of harming others for the sake of his freedom as well as his friends’.
Zeke calls out the irony we’re all thinking during this scene. He became a sympathetic man that wanted to end the sins and horrors of the Eldian people with an awful upbringing. In contrast, Eren became dark and a major pawn of war.
We see Eren’s true self when looking back at the memories of Grisha killing the Reiss family. What audiences did not expect was that Grisha held back and could see into the future due to his Titan abilities. A distraught Zeke watches Eren whisper in their father’s ear, “You keep moving forward. Even if you die. Even after death.”
Grisha expectedly kills the family and cries out to Eren, questioning the future. Although we see a warm embrace and a plea of forgiveness between Zeke and his father, we’re met with the fact that Eren is still the god we expected him to be.
The episode leaves viewers wondering who will have the final say in Eldia’s future. It seems to be Eren.
Watch the new episode next week at 3:45 p.m. on Hulu.