For all the joy of buildup now turning into execution (quite literally in some cases), there’s some sadness in effectively knowing that this season of SnK will be leaving off on a cliffhanger. Don’t even need to be a manga reader or have knowledge of certain Q&As: does it seem like our new motely gang can finagle a flying boat, find the screamy boy, talk him down, and leave a satisfying conclusion within the span of two episodes? We ain’t dealing with a light novel adaptation here; best prepare for that sequel/movie/OVA announcement soon, because this cow has plenty of milk left to give.
While I’m somewhat duplicitous in these weekly posts owing to having read SnK’s manga (not spoiling things is tough work!), I’m fully honest when I say I found some lighthearted humour in having discussions of compromise and mutual forgiveness last week turn into that here. Theo and Reiner are the hallmarks of what it takes to truly let go of grievances, men who are willing to face the fact they too share in the blame of what has happened and how they can help stop it going forward. It’s arguably (for me) one of the better parts of SnK’s last arc, a sign of how reconciliation is possible even under the most arduous of circumstances and among the most combative of enemies. Although the caveat is that Eren single handedly drove this response and the actions we’re seeing now, the takeaway remains the same: it’s always possible to find common ground.
The problem of course (as mentioned last episode) is being willing to find such ground, and we got that in spades with Armin, Mikasa, and Connie vs. Floch and company. To some degree I can sympathize with them, you never want to hurt those close to you, let alone kill them. The problem, however, is when those former comrades have no intention of coming around over their beliefs. This has always been especially Armin’s and Mikasa’s biggest issue, they are still operating on the (increasingly desperate) belief that everything Eren is doing, everything his followers are instigating, can be stopped simply through reasoning and discussion. Valiant? Certainly. Naïve and arguably stupid? Oh you bet. We’re well past the point where that is likely to succeed, and as Connie has unfortunately had to show certain actions will now be required to see the mission through.
You can pretty well guess how this will play out in practice courtesy of Reiner and Annie, but the aftermath – and how it all leads back to Eren – is something we’ll just have to wait and see happen.