86-Eighty Six released episode 8 on Saturday and it seems like any hope lost in episode 7 won’t be regained. The tone is set at the start of the episode for the rest of what’s to come. Shin tells Shuga that he and his brother, Rei, have found each other. And while that may be good news for Shin, it’s imminent death for Shuga and the others.
We’re even shown this at the end of the opening theme where it usually shows who has died or will die.
But Shuga reminds Shin that those left in the Spearhead Squadron, including himself, aren’t going down without a fight. And while they’re heading into the battle prepared for the worst together, Lena, on the other hand, is heading into the battle all by herself.
Lena shows up at Annette’s place to discuss the upcoming battle. She proceeds to ask Annette for help getting out of it and saving lives. Unfortunately, Annette explains why she will never help Lena. We learn that Annette was neighbors with people in the 86 growing up. She was eventually bullied for doing so and even admits to calling her friend horrible things.
Annette begins to tell how her father was the one who kickstarted the para-RAID and that they were used on 86 as human experiments. But since the Republic doesn’t see the 86 as humans, they didn’t consider it “human” experimentation. The worst part is that all the 86 experimented on were kids.
After her dad committed suicide due to overwhelming guilt, Annette admits to feeling herself just as guilty as her father was. However, Annette tells Lena that what she has been doing up to this point is way worse. We learned in episode 7 that joining Spearhead Squadron equates to being sentenced to death.
But the details in the upcoming mission show that if they were to retreat like they did the last battle, they would immediately be killed. So Annette feels as if Lena just shortened their life.
“I hate you, Lena. Never let me see you again,” says Annette. Lena’s supposed best friend hated her the entire time. She walks out of Annette’s place and never looks back.
Who exactly was this kid Annette talked about? There’s one older brother and one younger brother. Both are 86. Both are sent away. Annette also said that the kids next door, and the mother, had a “strange power”. And Shin is the one in the 86 who can hear the voices. Not only that, but this mysterious shot of a picture in Annette’s room could be telling the audience a lot.
Lena tries to convince Jerome to call off the mission but to no avail. Jerome is set in his ways and he’s not budging an inch. “The 86 all need to die,” says Jerome. He begins to state his argument that if any of the 86 live to tell what’s been going on, the Republic will crumble.
Lena thinks that he’s only saying all of these horrible things so that he can “justify his own despair”. But he reiterates that hope and despair are just two sides of the same coin.
Lena’s helping hands are no longer helping.
In one last-ditch effort to prevent this battle from happening, Lena tries to convince Shin, and those left in the Spearhead Squadron, to run away. In short, Shin tells her that Lena that they’re not going to.
With the legion in front, and land mines behind them, there is no running.
Lena surprises Shin by knowing that he’s doing this because his goal is to kill his brother. Obviously aggravated, Shin tells her not to monitor or contact them anymore. Almost as if it were his own way of saying, “This is my official goodbye.”
Before hanging up Shin describes that if he kills the Shepherd (aka Rei), that he may be able to save some people.
Those left in the Spearhead Squadron mentally prepare themselves for what looks to be their final battle.
The heartwarming music playing as the montage of preparation begins leaves a certain empty feeling. Rather than rain, it’s bright and sunny out just as Anju wished the day before.
In an emotional state, the scene truly feels like this is the final goodbye to everyone. The base is empty. No noise. Just silence and empty rooms. Something that may have gone over viewers’ heads is when they show the blackboard in a center shot. In previous episodes, we see this board with a day counter on it. But here, it’s blank
They rollout to begin their final battle.
One last ride.
One thing that’s been happening the past couple of episodes is we see these morbid flashbacks of Shin and Rei.
Well, we finally got the full scene. And it’s safe to say, it’s hard to watch. But there is one question on everyone’s mind…
Is Shin the childhood friend that Annette talked about?
Theory: Refer to the first picture earlier in the article. The boy looks eerily similar to Shin in the picture below. Not to mention, if you take a closer look at the pictures on Annette’s wall, they should two brothers, one with red hair and one with dark hair… just like Shin and Rei. Annette also said that they were sent away to camps as well, including the mother. It could also be the reason why Annette was so upset with Lena – she sent Shin to an earlier grave by trying to keep him and the others alive.
What do you think? Do you think Annette knew about Shin all along or was this just coincidence?
All images via Crunchyroll