Attack on Titan delivers yet another mind-blowing twist!
Episode 20 is an engaging episode, giving us a different perspective on the entire series and shedding light on some events that has shaped the story. It relieves the most crucial points of Eren’s life, all retold while he and Zeke watch the memories together.
It is interesting how everything plays out exactly as we’ve seen them before, along with new scenes that further expands upon Grisha’s role and motivations. Throughout the memories, Zeke remains untrustworthy of Eren, even though the younger Yeager seemingly agrees that their father’s ‘brainwashing’ is gone.
We get to see more of Eren’s personality in his childhood years, how warped his view of morality has always been. Naturally, Zeke would feel uncomfortable with it, especially since he has always thought that it is due to Grisha’s upbringing.
The Yeager patriarch is a tragic character, and it is here that we learn how he truly loves his second family, as Zeke acknowledges, to the point that he will postpone killing the Reiss royal bloodline to be with Carla and Yeager longer. But in a chilling revelation, it turns out that he foresees what Zeke and Eren would look like in the present.
This is due to the true power of the Attack Titan, of course, which is the ability to pass and see memories of both past and future inheritors. However, it soon becomes evident that it is much powerful than initially believed.
Eren’s memories of his father plays out exactly as before, with Grisha confronting the Reiss family. But it is here that everything we’ve come to know is but only a part of a greater truth, and a terrifying one at that. Grisha initially failed to kill them, losing his will due to his inherently kind nature, bolstered by his profession as a doctor. Even Zeke is shocked by this, knowing that the past can’t be changed.
Eren’s fury at this moment is only natural; after all, the Reiss family is the reason why Paradis has remained complacent and undeveloped, choosing to renounce war and simply waiting for the inevitable deaths of their people. But the past can’t be changed, and Grisha has lost his will to fight… until Eren directly tells his father to complete the mission.
And so Eren completes his transformation into an antagonist. Whispering dark thoughts to his father like a devil, Grisha finally massacres almost the entire family, leaving Rod Reiss alive so that Historia would survive, setting up a chain of events that would lead back to this very moment. In essence, Eren has been influencing most of the events from the very beginning.
It is heartbreaking to see Grisha having a mental breakdown after what he has done, especially since he has only seen fragments of the future through Eren’s eyes. Even sadder is the fact that he thought it would keep Carla safe, when her death is pretty much guaranteed. It would explain why he was desperate, almost frantic, to inject Eren with the Titan serum; he knew it must happen.
It is even more depressing when in a shocking twist, Grisha physically embraces Zeke, apologizing to him while begging him to stop Eren. The scene itself is truly emotional, but it is marred by a chilling turn of event: Eren breaks free from Zeke’s control.
Overall, episode 20 has arguably surpassed the entire series so far, despite its lack of action scenes. But it’s not over yet, and with Eren now officially Attack on Titan’s antagonist, we should expect a greater twist and an epic showdown between the Survey Corps, and the friend they once saw as a hero.
Episode score: 10/10