Attack On Titan Final Season Assembles Its Avengers In An Emotional, Surprisingly Funny 'Pride'

With only four episodes left to go, "Attack on Titan" spends this week's episode positioning its chess pieces and resolving some lingering conflicts before putting everyone on their final warpath. In the meanwhile, the series takes one last chance at lighthearted comedy while reminiscing about where we started and how we got here. It's a lot for one episode to do, but "Pride" manages it splendidly.

None of us end up where we imagined

After a brief cold open that shows the return of a very much alive Levi (I still had my doubts!), "Pride" starts with yet another apocalyptic scene that hammers home the psychological effect the Rumbling is having on everyone on Paradis Island. The inescapable sight of the Colossal Titans and the endless earthquakes and tremors have been keeping everyone up all night, while a later scene shows people rejoicing once the last Titan finally leaves the city limits. One of the best things this season has done is truly making the audience feel the inescapable scope of the Rumbling as a truly apocalyptic event — something that took an extra layer of meaning this past week.

After that, it is time to revolve Connie's subplot. A lot of this episode is just resolving the conflicts of the season so everyone is free to join the final fight, while characters ponder how their lives turned out so much different than they thought/hoped. For Connie, it means that our loving, caring, comic-relief soldier who loved to goof around has turned into a cold and hateful guy who is about to murder a child to save the last semblance of his old life left, his mother. Having lost her once, having lost Sasha, it is understandable to see Connie wanting to go to any length to take back some control. It is also heartbreaking, especially since everyone on the show can agree that Falco is a precious child who must be protected at all costs.

But before Connie can shove this kid down his mom's throat — he even tries to trick him by asking Falco into washing the Titan's teeth for some reason, in the first of two jokes about it — Armin arrives with Gabi. Armin has also spent the past season struggling with accepting who he turned into and how different his life turned out than he expected, especially once he became a Titan at the expense of not saving Erwin and realized the world was even crueler and more complex than he thought. In a heartbreaking moment, Armin thinks of Erwin (whose MAPPA-updated design may be the worst of the original characters) and in a moment of genius does what the old commander would have done — he bets his own life on a crazy gamble. Armin decides to sacrifice himself to save Falco and turn Connie's mom back into a human, but right before he can do that, Connie saves him, and recognizes his mom would be ashamed of him if she could see him. Armin may still have doubts about his self-worth, but Erwin would have been proud of his actions. And also, we're lucky he didn't go through with it, because could you imagine Connie's mom as the Colossal Titan?

Even Mikasa is struggling to come to terms with the person she's become and the way her actions have inspired people in all the wrong ways, as Louise lies on her death bed and still clings onto Mikasa's scarf.

And now, some awkward but much-needed comedy

"Attack on Titan" has never been afraid to bring some levity in the harshest of moments, mostly via Connie and Sasha doing awkward jokes, and this episode was not any different. In what feels like Hajime Isayama taking the opportunity to do some funny things before things get truly ugly and serious with the final battle, we get Armin and Connie grabbing some food with Gabi and Falco. Just as Armin explains his theory that Eren taking down all Titan hardening means Annie could be alive, he and Connie realize Annie is sitting literally next to them, munching on a whole pie all by herself. With everyone's shocked eyes staring at her, the poor girl starts quickly chewing like a tall, blonde squirrel, and Connie starts laughing hysterically and making fun of how bizarre it is that Annie just happened to be sitting there.

Though that scene could easily feel out of place and distracting, it fits perfectly with the tone of the show. After all, it is Connie who is making the inappropriate jokes, the same Connie who joked about Eren's house right as Bertolt was literally throwing houses at the Scouts and mercilessly killing them in season 3. Later in the episode we also get a moment of levity when Hange asks Pieck (whose last name is Finger?) whether she brushes her teeth, in the most Hange moment we've seen in years, a reminder that some things stay the same even after everything that's happened.

Of course, the scene also serves as a breathing moment before we get yet another scene with Floch and his fantasy Nazi posse, who arrange a public execution for Yelena and Onyankopon. Floch also tries to make Jean a full-blown Yaegerist by making him pull the trigger. Like everyone in this episode, Jean has also struggled with the decisions he made that turned him away from his dream of living comfortably and off danger. Then, just like when he was convinced by Eren to reject the Military Police and join the Scouts, he is convinced to reject the Yaegerists and join the anti-Eren Avengers as he signals Pieck to pick him, Yelena, and Onyankopon up, while sadly leaving Floch alive and well. Marco would be proud of him.

What are we, some kind of 'Attack on Titan'?

Last season, there was a moment where Eren hesitated to start the attack on Liberio, but ultimately went ahead with it when Willy Tybur declared war against him, uniting the world forces against the young Yaeger. Well, whether intentional or not, Eren is once again bringing everyone together, for better or worse. With Jean secured, Armin, Mikasa and the rest also escape from Shiganshina to reunite with Hange and Levi, while a somber Shadis watches from inside the fortress.

There is just one missing piece: a still depressed Reiner, who gets woken up by an iconic kick from Annie. We end the episode with what can only be described as the "Attack on Titan" equivalent of THAT shot from "The Avengers" where Hawkeye leads a team-up pose with everyone threateningly staring down at Loki. Reiner is absolutely aghast to see not only Annie alive and well in front of him, but also Gabi, Falco, and even Armin, Mikasa, Pieck and Connie all together. Connie tells him to hurry up, because they have to go, and when Reiner asks where, Connie answers: "to save the world," as we cue the heroic tunes of Alan Silvestri — err, Kohta Yamamoto. Yes, it's corny. Yes, it perfectly fits with the Avengers theme. Yes, it's an epic moment that also fits with the show, and is probably the most exciting cliffhanger the show has done in a while, now let's hope that the upcoming fight ends less chaotically than the last time Eren caused a global conflict.