“Above and Below”
As one likely guessed last week, SnK’s grand finale was going to be anything but. Bombastic yes, over the top sure, leading off on ridiculous cliffhangers without a doubt – but giving a proper conclusion? Not in the slightest. To be fair, however, we knew this was coming, and while I’m only slightly irked the wait for the end will be a few more months (and even then don’t take that winter 2022 airing with more than a grain of salt, SnK has teased plenty before), at least we know that what happens next will be glorious.
Given the grand reveal of Zeke’s (and Eren’s) plan last week, no real shocker this episode continued delving into the nitty gritty. Eren remains as obstinate and ruthless as ever, nonchalantly marching his way towards a literal future of nothing (for Eldians) while the likes of Yelena – and even Armin (!) – are now getting in on the self-flattery and appeals to philosophical supremacy. It’s honestly a little disturbing how willing some are to march to their doom, until one starts considering the caveats at play. Just take Armin, I doubt anyone is going to believe he’s that deeply moved by Yelena’s ramblings, especially after calling Eren out as a slave to Zeke’s will last episode. Armin may see value in such a proposal (it’s in his personality), but not to the degree shown here.
Much like Pix and some other shrewd individuals are quickly picking up on, Zeke’s plan in practice isn’t seemingly so much to help save the world as create a new ruling class. It’s not a stretch for example to think that Eren (or the inevitable future holder of his Titan powers) could leave Historia’s child unaffected by his changes for the sake of securing additional royal offspring on the off-chance the heir happens to die prematurely. Add in a few opportunistic people like Yelena or those eager to retain the Titan power for their ends and the good intentions of euthanasia quickly become the next global threat.
The key unknown is what Eren specifically believes in all of this. Is he fully onboard with Zeke’s plan as we know it? Or are there other motivations at work? All the talk of spinal fluid and how Zeke acquired that peculiar ability hints towards a major break in what we (and the main cast) are being told and just what is actually at work. After all, when you have Pieck entering the picture and pulling some serious turncoat shenanigans, don’t think for a second similar things aren’t at work among the Yeagerists, especially those fully in the know of Zeke’s stated intentions.
What ultimately happens though will have to be found out when those final episodes air sometime in the next year (hopefully!). Well, unless you intend on spoiling yourself with the final manga release in April of course. In either case, I will be holding off on final impressions until we see SnK’s last anime hurrah, because without a doubt this is one show which can only be properly judged when looked upon in its totality.
Considering just what is on the menu to boot, I think summing up those impressions is going to be a blast.