Sasha’s impact on Attack on Titan is still present in the final season, and her bravest act even affected Gabi.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 11 of Attack on Titan, “Deceiver,” now airs on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
In Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 8, “Assassin’s Bullet”, Sasha was killed by Gabi, who snuck into the Eldian airship with Falco. The two Warrior candidates were later arrested and fans, as well as the Survey Corps, said goodbye to the fan-favorite character. While Sasha is dead, the impact she had on those around her still resonates, and her bravest act even impacts the girl who killed her.
Sasha’s bravest act
Back in Season 2, Episode 2, “I’m Home”, Sasha heads towards her hometown after learning that there are Titans nearby. On his way, he comes across a village, which seems abandoned except for an unfortunate mother and child, Kaya. The village abandoned them, making them easy prey for a Titan, who eats the mother while Kaya is horrified. Unlike the villagers, Sasha steps in to try to save Kaya and her mother, though she doesn’t have her ODM kit. Unfortunately, he can’t kill the Titan or save the mother, but he can get Kaya out. After the city abandoned Kaya, this act of kindness takes her by surprise.
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With the Titan catching up with them, Sasha tells Kaya to keep running while she stops him, knowing that his chances of survival are slim. However, Sasha refuses to give up, successfully blinding the Titan to buy time. This episode captures some of Sasha’s best qualities, and while she has often been one of the silliest characters in Attack on Titan, that doesn’t change the fact that she is one of the bravest and kindest members of the Survey Corps.
How “I’m Home” impacted Kaya, Gabi and Falco
In “Deceiver”, Kaya now lives with Sasha’s family in Braus Stables, and they help support the children who lost their families due to the Titan attacks four years earlier. While in the woods, Kaya runs into Gabi and Falco, who are arguing about what to do to get back with Marley. Unbeknownst to them, she listens to them, but despite this, Kaya invites them home.
Gabi and Falco are nervous at first at the thought of eating with “demons”, but what drives them back even further is the kindness of the Braus family. Gabi still clings to the anti-Eldian rhetoric Marley instilled in her, and does not accept that any Eldian from Paradis can be genuinely kind, even accusing Kaya of not taking responsibility for the sins of her ancestors. It’s here that Kaya reveals that she knows they are from Marley, and instead of judging Gabi for her offensive beliefs, Kaya simply asks if that’s what they are taught at Marley. This, coupled with Jamie’s attempt to kill her moments later, would be enough for most of the people in Attack on Titan to deliver the two, but Kaya covers them and takes Gabi and Falco to their old house.
Once there, he explains his mother’s death in hopes of getting answers as to why this happened. Gabi blames her mother for the attack on the Titan due to Eldia’s atrocities a century ago, but Kaya reminds her that her mother was not alive then, wondering how the living could possibly be responsible for the sins of those who died long ago. Gabi, trying to prove that she is right, blames Kaya and her mother for Liberio’s attack, but Kaya reminds her that her mother was already dead, so it couldn’t be her fault.
While this seems to break Gabi’s worldview, Kaya is not trying to attack her, she only loses it because she is defending her mother and wants answers on why the attack happened. After learning the truth from Falco, he apologizes and Kaya calms down, but also expresses that it is strange that he is apologizing for something he didn’t do. Where the Marley Eldians believe they must be held accountable for all that is wrong with the world, Kaya assures Warrior candidates that it is not always their fault.
Falco also asks how Kaya escaped from a Titan, and she shares Sasha’s story, adding that Sasha would not abandon “people like you with nowhere to go.” Like Sasha, Kaya understands that Gabi and Falco need help, and regardless of the risks, she is willing to help them, not only offering to take them to Niccolo, a chef at Marley, but also changing her world view of the Eldians as May they lead to the deconstruction of their internalized hatred.
This already seems to be the case, with Gabi unable to understand Kaya’s kindness, but for Kaya it is simply because she wants to be like Sasha. While Gabi ended Sasha’s life, the impact Sasha had on Kaya is now affecting her and Falco as they learn more about Paradis.
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