The alliance is sealed!
Episode 25 is a sad yet engaging episode as the Marleyan force and the Survey Corps enter a strained partnership. Secrets are revealed, and we get to see the different sides of several characters that we’ve never seen before.
The first scene begins with Jean’s dream of what his life could have been. We’ve always known that he has a crush on Mikasa, but this is the only time that the series has shown just how much he really loves her. And it is sad because Mikasa’s heart only belongs to Eren.
Much of his current mental state is obvious here. Jean’s wish has always been to live a perfect life after the horrible struggle against the world, and it shows in his dream where he is living a carefree life in an expensive real estate. Thus, his agreement to Floch’s policy, at first, is partly voluntarily; after all, Eren’s genocide could turn his dream into a reality. This is evident when he points the benefits of the Rumbling to Hange.
But Hange obviously takes after Erwin, and it is obvious from the get-go that she would not, and could never, condone Eren’s genocide plan. After all, Erwin and the late members of the Survey Corps all died to protect humanity from the threat of the Titans. It would be an insult, then, if Hange and the others agree to use the Power of the Titans just so Paradis could survive.
With that, we finally get to the juicy part of this episode: the first gathering of Marleyan and Paradis soldiers around a campfire.
Naturally, there would be tension between the two sides due to the blood each and everyone has shed for their respective nations and goals. Magath and Jean has a philosophical spar about why each side is trying to annihilate the other, very much like how Gabi and Kaya once were. And as we saw before, none of them is really right or wrong. Meanwhile, Annie and Mikasa celebrated their reunion by once again coming into blows.
The interesting part about this reunion is how Yelena played mind games to unsettle everyone despite the revelation of her secret: that she is actually a pure Marleyan who fell in love with Zeke, giving him her utter devotion even if it means betraying her homeland. The way she perfectly illustrates the hypocrisy in both sides shows how much of a cunning and skilled manipulator she was, even causing Jean to beat Reiner up for Marco’s death.
Of course, Gabi comes to the rescue and surprises us once more by humbling herself and apologizing for what her side has committed, all for the sake of gaining the Survey Corps’ trust. It is quite a surreal scene, considering that Gabi was once violent and racist. Now we see her actually kneeling in front of the people she once called devils.
Thankfully, her pleas to save the world is answered, and the Survey Corps and Marleyan force officially enter a truce. However, things are never going to be easy for our heroes as they discover that Floch and the Yeagerist has blocked their only means of transportation.
Overall, episode 25 is an engaging and bittersweet episode. It perfectly presents a moral dilemma where the lines are blurred between good and evil, and that even heroes can be monsters in their own ways.
Episode score: 10/10