Welcome back to my continued episodic review series for the final season of Attack on Titan. We’re looking at episode 10 today, so let’s dive right in.
Episode 10: A Sound Argument
In some ways, this was an episode about how things never change for the people of Paradis Island. We started the episode with plenty of Hange, which is always a welcome sight. Hange hasn’t really changed all that much, and still wants to understand everything. That led to them noticing Eren saying, “Fight, fight” and questioned whether that meant there were two fights Eren was battling now. I’ll come back to that point later.
The key here is that, while change seems to start, it never really gets going for any of them. We had a flashback to the island being visited by the Azumabito’s from Hizuru, a nation that was on friendly terms with the island prior to the Great Titan War. This seemed to start something, offering the Eldians a chance at peace and revealing that Mikasa was descended from the Hizuru shogunate. But then, it all fell apart.
The key to peace was to create destruction with the rumbling, bolster the army with Hizuru soldiers, and then have the Titan Shifters breed as much as possible to continue passing their Titans down. On top of that, the people of Hizuru are money-focused and want to monopolize the island’s resources. Not only would Paradis Island never truly achieve peace and trade with other nations, but they would also, in Eren’s words, have to breed like livestock. They would, essentially, be trading one form of captivity for another.
In other ways though, things do change. Hange was certainly hoping to achieve thing, offering a plan to open a secret base in Marley in order to show the rest of the world that they just want peace. The problem was, in short, Eren. He was opposed to Zeke’s plan from the get-go, and when the question came up of who should inherit his Titans, he didn’t want any of his friends to take the responsibility. He cared more about them than anyone and wanted them to have long lives.
Now though, he’s different. Despite not originally wanting to sacrifice Historia – who is now pregnant, and so can’t become a Titan yet – he went to Marley alone and caused the conflict we saw a few episodes back. Though he once didn’t want to sacrifice his friends, and even tried to keep them from the frontlines before, he pulled them all into his battle. He laughed when Sasha died. And now, he’s on board with Zeke’s plan too. Eren is not the same person that the remaining Scouts grew up with.
This where Hange’s theory on Eren fighting two battles comes into play though. Eren’s old friends are the only ones he isn’t hostile towards, which might indicate that he really does still care. At the same time, he is resigning himself to a plan he hates. For Eren this could be both a fight against Marley – and by extension, the rest of the world – but also a fight to keep his friends safe. He could be fighting for both Zeke’s cause, and his own goals.
Or, Hange could be overthinking it. That Eren hasn’t escaped at all means he is on the side of Paradis Island, regardless of how he plans to approach this. I think as well that he’s probably feeling the burden of whatever he has in mind, and that there is a single plan in place that he hasn’t yet revealed. Eren hasn’t been acting like the hero in recent episodes, but I think he probably still is the same person. He seems to have changed, but only by necessity. Deep down, this is just another example of how things don’t change for the people of Paradis Island.
But those are just my thoughts. What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.