Attack on Titan Episode 87 highlights the relationship between Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman, one of the longest-lasting bonds of the entire anime. However, things between the two have been shaky ever since Attack on Titan Season 4 opened. And the latest installment suggests both characters lied to each other in the lead-up to the Rumbling. How will their unspoken feelings factor into the show’s finale?
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan Episode 87, “The Dawn of Humanity.”]
Mikasa dodges her feelings for Eren in ‘Attack on Titan’ Episode 87
Eren and Mikasa have had a fascinating relationship since Attack on Titan began, and it’s always been underpinned by romantic feelings. Those have been most obvious on Mikasa’s end. However, there are a few moments that suggest Eren returns the sentiment. And Attack on Titan Episode 87 adds another scene to that list.
During the Survey Corps’ first trip to Marley, Eren asks Mikasa what he means to her. “Why do you care so much about me?” he wonders. “Because I saved you when we were kids? Or… because I’m family? What am I to you?”
Startled by the question, Mikasa tells him that they’re family. But as she looks back on the interaction, she wonders if she should have answered differently. Anyone watching the series can tell Eren means more than that to Mikasa. And she doesn’t seem to be alone in her dishonesty.
Eren lied to Mikasa earlier in ‘Attack on Titan’ Season 4
As Mikasa wonders if her answer impacted the chain of events in Attack on Titan Season 4, the anime reveals that Eren hasn’t been completely honest with her either. Earlier in the fourth outing, Eren told Mikasa her attachment to him stemmed from being an Ackerman. He insisted her free will was compromised because of some instinctual need to protect a “host.”
However, a flashback to a conversation between Eren and Zeke suggests Eren made this up. When he asks his half-brother about it, Zeke tells him that he’s never heard of such a phenomenon. He concludes that Mikasa just likes him so much she wants to protect him — a realization most fans have already come to.
So, why does Eren tell Mikasa something different in Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2? The most likely reason is he wanted to push his friends away before enacting the Rumbling. He likely knew they’d fight his plan to save Paradis Island, and keeping them at arm’s length made that easier to deal with.
That leaves a lot unsaid between Eren and Mikasa as we approach Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3. Will either of them come clean during the final batch of episodes?
How will Eren and Mikasa’s unspoken feelings factor into season 4 part 3?
With so much unsaid between Eren and Mikasa, one has to wonder how their relationship will factor into Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3. The final arc doesn’t arrive until 2023, but it promises to see Mikasa and the other characters confronting Eren. If anyone has the power to stop him from completing the Rumbling, it seems like it would be Mikasa.
Recent episodes have put a lot of pressure on her to admit she’ll kill Eren if it comes down to it. But could speaking her truth provide an alternative to that option? At this point, it seems like too little, too late. But it’s clear the dynamic between these two characters will play an important role in the anime’s conclusion. We’ll have to wait to see what it is.
In the meantime, Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.