In season 4 episode 12 of ‘Attack on Titan,’ Eren’s motivations and intentions are once again thrust into the spotlight. Despite his volatile and violent outlook, Eren has gained a considerable amount of followers who believe that he is the only one who can avenge their people and lead them on the right path. But Eren’s actions have consequences, especially for those he once called friends. So, let’s have a look at the nuances of the episode, shall we?
Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 12 Recap
Armin visits Annie again, but Hitch kids around with him about touching the crystallized Marleyan. In the newspapers, there are multiple reports that highlight the distrust between Eren and the Paradis Island military. Outside the headquarters of the latter, the public also hosts a protest and demands Eren’s freedom. (Of course, they are not privy to the same information as the military. Consequently, the people of Paradis Island perceive the actions of the military as a power grab).
Commander Pyxis and Yelena talk about a secret meeting that took place between the latter and Eren wherein she told him that “someone needed to light a fire under the administration” before it was too late for Paradis Island and its ever-so-cautious military. Essentially, she encouraged him to infiltrate Marley. Onyankopon tells Hange that Yelena proved her loyalty to Zeke and the Volunteers mostly with the use of deadly force. Hange also notes that Yelena had asked the government to bestow certain rights on Marleyans in Paradis Island.
Armin and Mikasa visit the Premier, but he does not allow them to meet with Eren since the Premier fears that Eren is being manipulated by Zeke. Eren’s two buddies hypothesize that the military also plans on picking the next Founding Titan so as to replace Eren. But just then, a bomb explodes in the Premier’s office, killing him instantly. As the Paradis officials discuss the incident and the possible culprits, Eren escapes from his cell. Eren meets up with his motley crew of followers, including Floch, that is later labeled as “Jaegerists” by the military. After learning that they killed the Premier, Eren instructs the insurgents to find Zeke.
Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 12 Ending: Whose Side is Mikasa On?
A recurring motif in the episode is the dilemma that Mikasa constantly faces, especially since she evidently loves Eren and wants the “old” him back. However, even she realizes that he is no longer the same person. In previous seasons, he indulges in violence to protect his comrades. But after the events at Marley, it is clear that he has been desensitized to annihilation and destruction. (It is almost as if Eren wears this as a badge of honor). So, will Mikasa choose the man she has always had feelings for, or will she stick with her comrades?
To understand the situation more, we need to review some scenes. In the episode’s climax, Commander Pyxis states that they will oblige Eren as too many enemies would have already infiltrated their ranks by now. Plus, the infighting is going to destroy them as well. However, Pyxis plans to use Zeke’s location as leverage and states that the preparation for the Rumbling will go on as planned. Kiyomi, who is present in the room, tells Mikasa to come to Hizuru for safety, but the latter is adamant about protecting the land and country she grew up in.
Following this, Connie and Jean also argue with Mikasa about where her loyalties lie, but Hange tells them to stop fighting amongst themselves. Hange also notes that Yelena has gotten Marleyan prisoners jobs in all industries and places, including restaurants. This is when we see Sasha’s family, Gabi, and Falco head to dinner. As the Paradis forces also go there, Pieck is revealed to have infiltrated Paradis Island.
It is no secret that Mikasa is torn between her love for Eren and her duty towards her motherland. Sure, throughout the series, we see Mikasa siding with Eren, even as children. After all, he is the very reason that she is even alive today. As an Ackerman, Mikasa is an incredibly skilled soldier, but every decision she has made has been influenced (to some degree) by Eren, even if it is not his intention to do so. The viewers really empathize with the character as she is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
But Mikasa has shown time and again that she is one tough cookie. Her conversation with Kiyomi only reiterates this. As the descendant of Hizuru’s lost shogun, Mikasa essentially holds a noble status. If she wanted, she could have easily accepted Kiyomi’s offer. However, Mikasa evidently chooses to stay on the front lines, confirming that she is, first and foremost, fighting for her people.
Having said this, it does appear as though Mikasa does not plan to give up on Eren anytime soon. After all, a part of her still feels as though she can get through to Eren after all this time. That is exactly why she and Armin approach the Premier as well. Plus, she will never stop fearing for Eren’s safety; this has been established from the first season itself. Suffice it to say that there is no right answer to the question and that Mikasa will most likely base her decisions on the need of the hour.
Pieck’s infiltration is quite reminiscent of Eren’s “reveal” towards the beginning of the fourth season. We already know that Eren enters Marley and causes wide-spread destruction after Tybur’s speech. That event, itself, makes us recall the events from season 1 wherein the Marleyan Warriors try to break into Paradis Island, killing thousands of innocent civilians in the process. Clearly, there is this vicious cycle of hatred, anger, and revenge that binds both Paradis Island and Marley – it’s a tale as old as time itself.
While this poignant message is one that is highlighted with Pieck’s infiltration, the scene is also important because it means that Marley has launched its surprise counterattack. In ‘Attack on Titan’ season 4 episode 11, Reiner advocates launching a surprise attack for obvious reasons – not only will it not give the Paradis forces enough time to react, but Zeke will also not have enough time to plan out a strategy. This will lead to Marley gaining the upper hand. Evidently, Reiner and his crew have set the wheels in motion, and they will ensure that they get the answers they are searching for at all costs.