Attack on Titan: The Final Season’s third episode, titled “The Door of Hope”, released this Sunday. While the previous episode revolved around the plans of Marley, this episode focuses more on Reiner, and his story. Additionally, it tells us more about Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt and their bleak situation in Paradis.
Despite having some great animation, the episode falls short of expectations as it fails to establish connection between a few crucial events.
The episode starts with Reiner’s mother telling him the sad tale of his parents. Reiner makes up his mind that becoming a Honorary Marleyan would help his parents get together.
Turns out that out of the 7 candidates chosen for 6 titans, Reiner is at the bottom. Porco (honestly who else would) points out how he, unlike the others, doesn’t exceed in any one particular field. Porco claimed loyalty was Reiner’s selling point. Enraged, Reiner accuses Porco for making fun of his loyalty and their mission and Porco punches him to the ground. We see Bertholdt being a source of comfort for Reiner in this situation, which sets the base for their great friendship.
On the other side of the ocean, we see a young Eren “waiting for something to happen”. This obviously hurts to know, because what happens next set them up for a life of struggle.
Meet the Warriors!- and Reiner’s Dad.
Arguably, this next scene was one of the highlights of the episode. We see a great introduction of the titans and their new inheritors, with the qualities of the warriors justified for the titans they got. However, it doesn’t take long to realise that one person didn’t make the cut, and it wasn’t Reiner.
Reiner finally gets his chance to one-up Porco. What really perks our interest is Marcel saying sorry to Reiner, again. On the procession taken out to celebrate the four warriors who will be leaving for Paradis (for context, the Cart and Beast titan were needed to fight other nations), Reiner figures out who his father is.
Sadly, his father wants nothing to do with him.
While seeing his dream of his parents reuniting getting squashed hurt; Reiner bravely accepts his fate as a warrior and moves ahead. While we can raise questions on Karina’s parenting skills, this scene shows us the righteousness and diligence that Reiner is famous for!
We’re sorry, Reiner. After all, you’re all just kids.
Attack on Titan has taught all of us to consider situations from multiple perspectives. While we have sympathised and cried with the pains of our main trio, this time we see the heart wrenching background to the infamous events of 845.
Marcel makes a surprising revelation. He put Reiner in a favourable position to save Porco from the fate of a warrior. Reiner is devastated, and things get worse when Marcel sacrifices himself to save Reiner from being eaten by Ymir.
Reiner makes a run for it, leaving Bertholdt and Annie behind. The image progression showing the events was an interesting way to put it. However, a violent argument ensues between Annie and Reiner. Annie berates Reiner for running away, and even ends up beating him when he makes her understand her and Bertholdt’s role in Marcel’s death. Reiner had suggested that they continue the mission, which angered Annie, who just wanted to return home safely.
Reiner transitions into becoming their leader, telling Annie that “Reiner is dead.” Next, we see the fall of Wall Maria from their perspective. Only when you see a young boy inside the gigantic Armoured Titan, do you realise that they were kids. With the conclusion in the refugee center, we see the birth of the brotherly Reiner we all loved.
The plan of action
The three remaining warriors infiltrate the military. Here, we see Annie trying to make her way around the capital (for information), but ends up meeting Kenny Ackerman instead. On the other hand, Reiner and Bertholdt seem to be mixing well with the cadets.
We see Reiner urge the destruction of Wall Rose next. However, its Reiner struggling to come to terms with encouraging Eren and managing to become attached to them that catches the eye.
Subsequently, a disturbing scene of Reiner trying to commit suicide solidifies the fact that Reiner is struggling with the horrors of his boyhood. Falco unintentionally makes him snap out of it, and we again see Reiner’s adoration and protectiveness over the candidates.
Long time no talk, Eren!
A frustrated Falco seems to be returning home, but makes a detour to meet Eren Jeager. Eren disguised himself as a soldier of the Eldian unit and has been living in the hospital. What indeed could Eren be doing in Marley though?
Eren confesses that he is faking it, but kind hearted Falco assures him that he won’t rat him out. According to him, he can’t face his family. He encourages Falco to vent, and we hear the same old struggle of Falco being defeated by Gabi.
Eren distinguishes between those who are pushed into hell, and those who willingly walk into it. He further says that these people either look for hope, or another hell. Regardless, they’ll only know if they keep moving forward.
A slightly disappointing episode?
Definitely, this episode was iconic in its own way. We finally hear more of the Warriors’ story, and get to see Eren. However, key information was left out. Karina still wishes for his father’s acceptance, contrary to what was shown. The whole sequence of the warriors’ struggle to break Wall Maria was cut out. This was necessary as viewer’s would understand the plight of Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt.
Attack on Titan is known for the way events are connected, but rushing through them would take away the beauty of the manga.
The whole conversation between them wondering what to do next would’ve been a great add on, as it would be easier to understand what Annie was doing. While its inevitable that some scenes would be cut out, for a story like Attack on Titan, depth is key or else there is no value to any episode. For example, the panel sequence with the Colossal Titan seems to be looking down at Eren, Mikasa and Armin would have shown the parallel between their childhoods beautifully.
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