There are strong parallels between the two sides of the war as members of the Survey Corps assess the cost of individual lives. Connie is unwilling to give up on Shadis, which echoes Gabi and Colt’s commitment to Falco, but Jean is also reluctant to give up on Eren altogether. After everything that’s happened, they’re still determined to give their friend the benefit of the doubt and find out his true motives. Various characters find unexpected reserves of support for Eren, which only makes him more painful when Mikasa reaches his breaking point. It’s a small gesture that only takes a few seconds, but Mikasa’s decision to throw away the scarf Eren gave her – what was once her security blanket – is one of the most symbolic gestures of all. series.
“Sneak Attack” is action-packed, but the most powerful scene of the entire episode is the most understated moment that occurs between Gabi, Falco, and Colt as they go into hiding. Their town is in ruins, but right now Gabi can’t help but be touched by the kindness the Eldians of Paradise have shown them. She truly understands that the only divisions that exist between them are the artificial ones they have created. She privately mourns Sasha and regrets being pushed to the point of cavalierly taking the lives of others.
This outburst of empathy grows even stronger after Falco confesses his feelings to Gabi, but this tender moment between two children barely has a chance to incubate before the harsh realities of war set in again. These two kids should be able to just run away and laugh together in a field, only they keep going as key players in a pointless war. Gabi’s removal of Falco’s black armband is heartbreaking because even though he brings them closer, they still feel like they won’t have time for a single party. At the same time, this discarded cloth represents Gabi and Falco at their closest and most honest, while Mikasa’s discarded scarf is symbolic of the dissolution of her relationship with Eren.
These themes of understanding and redemption become suffocating once they realize that the only thing stopping Falco from turning into a mindless Titan drone is Zeke’s own empathy for not going through with his plan because Falco will become collateral damage. . Most of the characters “Sneak Attack” focuses on are forced to do mental gymnastics to figure out if a single sacrifice is worth risking the lives of others. Warriors on both sides are willing to go the extra mile for their common man, but there’s no guarantee Zeke will do the same. It’s a devastating conclusion to an episode that’s about people working together and how an open mind and heart is the most powerful weapon. In the end, war and destruction still reign.
“Sneak Attack” sends the final season of The attack of the Titans into further chaos, but the characters are finally stepping back and acknowledging their mistakes in a time when it’s never mattered more. The bloodshed begins to drown out both sides and it’s easier to double down on fear instead of pivoting to empathy. So many characters in “Sneak Attack” consider alternate routes and are prepared for abrupt changes, but Eren stays true to his mission and keeps getting closer to his goal, one step at a time.