This episode finally revealed the mystery regarding Lavi’s grandfather, Vlad Winslet, that involved Sarah Valestein’s past when she decided to quit being a Jaeger. It turned out that Sarah’s father was killed by a young Nidhoggr soldier during the battle between North Ambria soldiers and Nidhoggr soldier. Only a few like Rogan and Glark were the ones who knew the truth. Glark used it as an opportunity to throw Vlad off his position by accusing him for paying the child. Vlad, not wanting to ruin the boy’s life, decided to accept the blame and insisted to pay for the crime in the child’s place by abandoning his title as hero of North Ambria.
On the topic of heroes, we saw how the title of heroes impacted Rean and Lavi’s life. Rean was hailed as a hero of Erebonia for his part in the war, earning him praises from the citizens that sometimes got out of hands. Rean was modest in the title that he earned and never considered himself a hero. He just couldn’t leave behind people who were in trouble and did his best to help them. However, it can’t be denied that in a way, Rean was used as a political tool by Osbourne to gain public support by having and Valimar be promoted as a hero. Rean is fully aware of his position, but his wish to help as many people he can keeps him to continue fighting now matter how harsh the path he’ll walk.
At the same time, Lavi was faced with the truth that her grandfather was innocent all along. She has always been disliking being called the grandchild of a hero, but she then learned that the status she bears might help her country. Just being a Jaeger was not enough, she needs higher and stronger power to make a big change in her country. The only thing that can help her make that change is the title of the grandchild of the hero that she has.
I was always suspicious of Glark and true enough, he finally showed his true color in this episode. He said that it was Vlad’s wish to accept the blame so they can unite the divided Northern Jaegers, but I know that he only did it for his personal goal without a care for Vlad nor the Jaegers.
The North Ambria higher-ups were nothing more but idiots who couldn’t do anything themselves and depended heavily for others to do the work for them while they watch from the sidelines like cowards they are. Glark took this opportunity to take over the government in disguise of providing them a fool-proof plan that the idiots didn’t realize he’s trying to usurp their position for the sake of his delusional goal. Glark proceeded by proposing to use Automatic Archaism as the means to fight off the Erebonia Empire, baiting the Northern Jaegers to his side. Next, he roped Lavi into the conspiracy by using her status as the hero’s granddaughter.
The confrontation between Lavi and Rogan is the strongest selling point of the episode. Lavi herself is aware that Glark is trying to use her, but she is also aware that there’s a limit of what she can do as a Jaeger whose rank is far lower than a big shot like Glark. Wanting to protect North Ambria and decided to do what she can even if it means letting Glark to use her status but by no means she’s an obedient puppet. Rogan acknowledged her determination and staged a coup to stop Glark’s ambition from coming into fruition. He could’ve killed Lavi but he only ordered for her to be restrained, showing his respect for the girl and wouldn’t let her to be taken advantage by Glark.
Unexpectedly, Glark was murdered in the midst of it by someone. His cause of death is obviously poison. The last people shown with him as he took a sip of his glass were Jayna and Talion. I was honestly surprised that Talion is with Jayna. I thought Glark would die in later episodes, not expecting he’ll die this fast. Not that I’m complaining, very glad the old man left the stage. I couldn’t stand him and just want to punch his face. As Glark was killed in the midst of Rogan’s rebellion, the fault was put on Rogan. Perhaps this is exactly the Ouroborous’ plan, to kill Glark and let Rogan take command to lead the all-out-war against Erebonia.
EPISODE 9 – 10
Tension increased in North Ambria as Rogan took the credit for killing Glark and put the country under Martial Law, dividing the Jaegers in support to Glark and Rogan. Under disadvantage, the Jaegers on Glark’s side decided to once again use Lavi’s status as a hero’s grandchild to raise the moral and spirit of the Jaegers on their side. What none of them expected, however, Talion took a “neutral stance” like Jayna did. Though he claimed so and even shot Lavi, the shot he made helped her escape from her pursuers. I’d like to believe that Talion truly cares for Lavi and is trying to help her from his “neutral stance”.
Lavi ended up returning to the village she was born and reunited with her mother and the rest of the villagers who faithfully protect her by feigning ignorance when Rogan’s men came looking for her. While recovering, Lavi recalled her memory with her grandfather, wondering the real reason why her grandfather to be a hero. The reminiscence and talking with her mother and the villagers helped Lavi to understand what her grandfather was trying to protect.
Vlad didn’t become a hero because he made himself to be one, it’s the people around him who hailed him as a hero and that’s why he’s able to become a hero. His reason to fight was never really for something as grand as Rogan and Glark. It was actually pretty simple: he wanted to protect his family and the village where he was born. Maybe he can’t save the whole country and its citizens, but the most he can do is to protect the people he cherished, the villagers he had helped and who helped him in return. Lavi realized that she shares the same love for her village with her grandfather, and she’ll do what she can to protect it the same way her grandfather did.