Well this week may not be as balls to wall crazy as last time, but it certainly had its own flair. After all, you don’t gut punch harder than this. Or that. Unless you’re Levi of course, but I think we all know by now he doesn’t follow the herd. Even when sorely tempted to.
Given how successful the Survey Corps’ raid went you knew something had to give, and that something unfortunately was poor Sasha. Yes, this is one of big shockers for this season, and certainly serves as a bit of retributive whiplash for all the fun of watching Eren do Eren things without a care in the world. For those who love potato girl it’s incredibly disheartening, however it serves as the big reinforcement for what this part of SnK is all about: the cycle of violence. No matter the intricacies of who did what or when, notwithstanding any and all legitimate grievances, the cycle perpetuates so long as one is committed to vengeance. Everyone understands that it cannot reasonably continue for the sake of lasting peace (a la Jean, Armin, and Reiner), but solving the conundrum requires the one last wronged to voluntarily agree to break the cycle. And while those like Gabi remain committed to the path of retribution, the cycle will remain firmly locked in its motions. Poor Falco definitely has his work cut out for him.
Outside of philosophical musing, we also got the first taste of where things are going next courtesy of the Jaeger brothers. While I imagine some had an inkling what Eren did wasn’t entirely permitted by Paradis and the Survey Corps (read: not in the slightest), Zeke actually being a Paradis informant and in on the attack? Oh now that was a surprise. Yes, this little plan on Eren’s part was far more involved than may have been initially apparent, up to and including others like Yelena infiltrating Marley alongside him to maximize the damage done. While less successful than some were probably hoping for (I guarantee eliminating or consuming all the enemy Titans alongside offing Marley’s leading officials was the primary objective), given the damage done in comparison to the losses sustained it wasn’t a bad haul. At least enough to buy the good guys lots of time before the real test begins, and best be sure Marley and friends won’t take it lying down.
Although just how much of a good guy Eren will be going forward is firmly up in the air. Power after all has a funny way with people.
To get an idea of how incredibly hard breaking the cycle of violence can be consider that it’s been an issue for most of recorded history. A prime example is Aeschylus’ Oresteia which tackles it head on and notably sees its conclusion through force of law – i.e. the means we try and control it today.