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And so the first part has ended!

Episode 16 feels like a 10-minute episode more than anything else, but that’s probably because a lot of interesting things happened in 23 minutes. First, Yelena has taken center stage as the de facto leader of the Yeagerists while Eren is busy doing his own thing, and it is clear why she is Eren’s go-to girl for diplomacy. She is calm and has a way with words, but extremely cunning and cruel, utilizing the very methods of Marley to subjugate her enemies.

But that doesn’t mean Yelena is not emphatic. This becomes evident when she kills a subordinate just for insulting Sasha, an act that shocks everyone, especially Niccolo. Whether or not this is a sincere move is a big question, though it is obvious that Yelena simply wants to bring peace to a hate-filled world, causing her to follow Zeke’s “euthanasia” plan.

Meanwhile, Eren is off terrorizing Gabi. But in a shocking twist, Pieck finally arrives to negotiate with her enemy, seemingly switching sides… or so it seems. While Pieck’s speech to Gabi about Marley being the true enemy sounds sincere in itself, her loyalty still lies with her friends and family. And we see just how strong that bond is when she executes the daring rescue operation made by Marley, catching Eren in surprise and beginning the counterattack.

With that comes a really frustrating cliffhanger as Eren faces off against a full Marley operation. And with Zeke at death’s door, it seems the young Jaeger and his minions will be hard pressed to defend themselves. Meanwhile, Armin and the Survey Corps might soon have to make a hard decision: will they fight with Eren and save Paradis or will they side with their enemy to defeat the one they once called a friend?

Let’s all find out when Attack on Titan: Final Season returns next year!

Episode score: 9/10.

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