There is a lot to unpack in this review, so buckle up and get ready!
Episode 19 is aptly titled “Two Brothers”. It is an emotional chapter in the series that tackles the relationship between brothers, and their desire to protect each other.
The first involves Falco and Colt. Things are starting to look grim for Paradis again, but Zeke proves himself once more as he stands up and prepares to unleash his powers… only for Colt and Falco to finally arrive and plead that Zeke postpones his scream until Falco is safely out of range.
The moral dilemma for Zeke is indeed strong, especially since he himself has a younger brother he wants to save. His inner struggle is obvious, and the animators did an amazing job in portraying his turmoil. It is in this scene that we also see how much Colt loves Falco.
Unfortunately, Zeke knows that he could no longer wait—not with Reiner restraining Eren and close to eating him. What comes next then is definitely the most epic and spine-chilling moments in the series as the Beast Titan roars. The use of still frames as the camera captures everyone’s reaction—from the Marleyans’ shock and surprise, to Pixis’s terror and eventual calm acceptance of his fate—only enhance the scene.
The saddest part in this scene is Colt’s final moments. Even though his brother’s transformation is inevitable, he choses to remain by Falco’s side until the end. It hits even harder when Gabi sees Colt’s burnt corpse.
It is a literal bloodbath after that, and the favor tremendously swings back to the Eldians. Zeke’s guilt is still shown here as he quietly orders Falco to kill Reiner, showing that he truly regrets having to sacrifice him and his brother.
Unfortunately, Reiner is reaching his limits. Combined with his shock at the situation and his hesitancy to fight his friend, as well as Eren still in fighting shape, it is only expected that both Eren and Falco would get the upper hand. The frightening thing about this is that Titan-Falco specifically targets his nape, perhaps a remnant of his subconscious thought and knowledge about Titan anatomy.
Reiner‘s resolve is absolute, then; after killing Eren, he would let Falco eat him so that the kid would inherit the Armor and thus be given a chance to survive, even if only for another 13 years. This would also realize his wish to finally rest in peace.
But in a startling twist, a heavily injured Porco appears! And so we get another view of how two siblings would protect each other. As it turns out, Marcel had a hand in ensuring that Reiner would get the Armor, saving Porco from his inevitable death. Of course, the events that had transpired still made Porco a Titan, but it is really sad to see the whole reason for Reiner’s inheritance of the Armor.
And now Porco is willing to sacrifice himself just so both of his friends would survive. The interesting part here is that while he did wore a Survey Corps jacket as a disguise, Porco did uphold the values of his perceived enemies. And with his sacrifice, Falco is finally the bearer of the Jaw Titan.
With that, Reiner is free to fight Eren in full force once more, letting out all his rage. But despite that, Eren is still more cunning, fully utilizing his hardening ability to entrap Reiner to escape and make his way to a waiting Zeke while his friends hold both the Cart and Armored Titans at bay.
And then Gabi takes a shot with the Anti-Titan rifle.
The subsequent frames look like they were taken straight out of the manga, lending a surreal quality to an already epic moment, especially with how accurately they portrayed the scene of Zeke catching Eren’s decapitated head, activating the Paths.
The Paths is an otherwordly place that initially doesn’t fit the aesthetics of Attack on Titan. But as we get to see it longer, we come to realize that it holds a greater importance in the grand scheme of things, more so because time seems irrelevant in that dimension where Ymir constantly rebuilds the body of all current Titan shifters.
Interestingly enough, Eren and Zeke’s state in the Paths emphasizes their level of freedom. Zeke is bound by chains, symbolizing the shackles of the royal family renouncing war. Meanwhile, Eren is free.
With the Power of the Founder finally in the brothers’ grasp, the plot thickens as Attack on Titan performs a twist on a twist: Eren reveals that he never planned to go with the Euthanasia Plan from the start but his own original plan, which is to use the Rumbling. However, Zeke counters him by showing that Ymir is a slave to the royal family, and that he was using Eren all this time even though he genuinely cares for him.
The betrayal from both siblings is a really scary revelation, but it just shows how much they are alike, separated only by differing ideals. It also emphasizes how dangerous the family of Yeagers are, especially if their origins are considered. Zeke still hates his father, of course, and is his motivation for his plan. But Eren values freedom above all else, and would stop at nothing to fulfill his mission. Unfortunately, Zeke has the advantage this time, binding Eren in chains while he frees himself, all in preparation for the Euthanasia Plan.
Overall, Attack on Titan continues to up the stakes with each episode, and episode 19 really hypes the series with epic scenes and moments.
Episode score: 10/10