At this point, it is only expected that the series would get progressively darker as we near the climactic ending. And episode 27 is no different from the previous ones. There are a lot of bloodshed, and at the end of it, a sense of hollow victory and extreme grief. It’s like the series is breaking its limit, and the viewers, every episode.
Once A Comrade, Now An Enemy
Continuing from where the previous episode left of, the opening scene is every bit as depressing as the ending of the last one. We witness a different view on Armin and Connie’s scuffle with their former friends, and the quick shots lend a heart-rending sense of helplessness as we watch Connie brutally killing Samuel while Daz’s corpse falls into the waters. Connie’s horrified expression is truly chilling and emphasizes the gravity of what he has done.
But it is not just them. Mikasa and the others have to fight against an army of Yeagerists to protect the Azumabito from total annihilation. It is very gruesome fight scene that even surpasses the violence whenever they fight Titans. Mikasa is a total beast here, giving testament to the Ackerman name. And in a way, it proves that humans killing each other is far worst than humans killing monsters.
The Warrior Unit
Of course, the ground force is not without assistance. Reiner proves that he is the best inheritor of the Armored Titan, protecting his comrades like a true shield. Meanwhile, Annie and Pieck, seasoned warriors on their own, are slaughtering the Yeagerists left and right.
However, as we’ve seen in the first episode of the final season, Titans are no longer the ultimate weapons, with the sole exception of the Wall Titans. With the advancement in technology and tactics, humans are capable of killing them, even if they are the Nine. And it is even more apparent if the enemy are veteran Titan slayers; people who are specifically trained to destroy the monsters.
Thus, the Yeagerists eventually gain the upper hand, and we just how strong and powerful they could be even in the midst of these towering giants. Their determination, and perhaps even fear, also fuels them to fight.
The New Jaw Titan
Thankfully, Falco arrives to save the day. All throughout the last few episodes, and arguably throughout the season, Falco has been nothing but a passive observer to the events happening around him. He was held hostage, locked up, and almost became Titan food. But this time, the newest Jaw takes a more active and violent role by transforming into the Jaw Titan for the very first time.
The thing about Falco’s Jaw is how unique it looks from the others. While the deceased previous holders take a more humanoid shape with very prominent jaws, Falco’s has more bestial traits. It seems that Zeke’s spinal fluid enhances the Titan shifters, and it is an interesting concept. For example, what would happen if the fluid is ingested by the Armor or even the Colossal?
In any case, Falco’s arrival is an epic moment, and we finally see him in the thick of action. He is vicious, terrifying, and brutal. And only Pieck’s experience stopped him from going on a total rampage. After this, it is certain that Falco would take a more active role in defeating Eren.
The Rage of Floch
With his comrades either dead or in full retreat, it is only natural that Floch will snap and go on a rage. His target: the flying boat.
Floch is a terrifying opponent. Who would thought that a seemingly background character would be able to evade the attacks of both veteran soldiers like Hange and the Cart Titan? And yet he did, easily slipping away like an eel.
Understandably, Flock is fueled by rage and even fear for the fate of Paradis should Eren is stopped. After all, Eren is the only one who could control the Wall Titans, Paradis’s greatest weapon.
Thus, this rage and fear turned Floch into a monster of a warrior that nearly jeopardized the Alliance’s mission. But thankfully, Gabi saves the day with her marksmanship, and Floch finally falls to his death… apparently.
A Great Sacrifice
With the Yeagerist defeated, an exhausted Alliance makes their escape. Unfortunately, some of Floch’s men remained, and they would undoubtedly pursue the retreating heroes. It is at this moment then that Magath chose to stay behind and hold off the enemy.
Magath is a complex character with a tragic but honorable arc. All throughout the season, he has been nothing but a “good” soldier, obeying Marley’s every whim all for the sake of his homeland, no matter how vile it may seem. But now that he has been on the side of the enemy, it is obvious that he has changed.
The highlight of this episode then comes with the fated meeting of Magath and Shadis, who both chose to die fighting together for the greater good. The bittersweet thing is that Magath wears the uniform of the Survey Corps to his death, symbolizing his change, and that his final words are a friendly introduction to Shadis. They are both strangers to each other, but both of them share similarities: they truly care for their students and would gladly sacrifice their lives for them. It is just heartbreaking that no one would ever know of Shadis’s sacrifice.
A Bittersweet Victory
Our heroes has finally escaped Paradis, but the cost was great. Magath is dead, and now they are left without a leader as they make their way to one of the ports that could get the flying boat airworthy.
The atmosphere is gloomy and depressing in this scene, but what’s shocking is how Annie has a mental breakdown at last after all the deaths she had seen(and caused). It is sad how the once proud Warrior is now in emotional turmoil, and we could only wonder if Annie would still be able to continue fighting after this.
Resolve, sacrifice, and atonement. These are just some of the themes that the penultimate episode has presented to the audiences. Attack on Titan tackled them really well, creating an impressive episode full of emotions.
Episode score: 10/10.