It’s quite befitting that just as the Rumbling leaves Paradis’ humbled shores the first stages of rebellion are conceived and the story of SnK turns from Marley vs. Eldia to Eren vs. the world. If there was a point to catch your breath before this train goes off the cliff this would be it – because the ways of dealing with Eren himself are (spoiler alert) going to make what came before look like a walk in the park.
While there’s something to be said for Connie’s state of mind, his speed running the five stages of grief, and Armin making a play that’s likely not as selfless as indicated (don’t think he would’ve died that easy), I must admit the satisfaction for me this episode came with Annie’s reunion. What can I say, shocked face and Connie busting a gut was perfect, and only made better because I knew it was coming and was eager to see how it would be animated. Only real annoyance is not getting the inevitable Armin realization of Annie hearing everything he said to her while in stasis, but hey, good things take time. After all, it took this long for Levi to finally reappear and confirm his living status – never doubt what the future can bring.
On a more serious note, the appearance and reunion of key SnK characters is in part confirmation of just what’s coming down the pipeline next. Levi for example helps fill the void which Armin and company have felt since Erwin’s untimely demise while Annie provides a key connection alongside Gabie for linking together the likes of Falco, Pieck, and Reiner. In short it’s all solidification around the unspoken understanding that Eren must be dealt with for the sake of the world and that success will need support from both Marley and Paradise forces, even if the way to do so is currently unclear. Escaping from under the thumb of wannabe dictator Floch is only the first part, next comes actually doing something and in that regard we’re right back to wait and see.
The eagle eyed might have already guessed that Hange will play a big part in what’s to come, but I won’t comment too much on that. When the enemy has the power of foresight let’s just say letting your imagination run wild will get you a good bit of the way there. Keep the popcorn handy boys and girls – you’re going to need it.