This episode of Attack on Titan hit us right where it hurts, setting up a huge next episode that will surely see us saying goodbye to quite a few characters. With options running thin, can the Scouts make it out of this encounter, or will the Titans reign supreme? Spoilers, obviously.
With Bertholdt out in the open now, the few remaining Scouts are left stuck between the Beast Titan and Colossal Titan with only a Wall dividing them. Eren and his group, including Mikasa and Armin, struggle to find a way to take down the Colossal Titan, while Captain Levi and Erwin make a Hail Mary play to take down the Beast Titan. It’s not long into this episode we start to come to terms with the gravity of their situation, and the simple answer is a lot of people are about to die.
This episode digs into the idea of hope being ripped from us and how we react in spite of it. Since the show returned, we have seen the Scouts slowly pull off minor wins. We see hope being restored in some of their eyes, and when they come so close to bringing down the Armored Titan, we almost let out a cry of joy. Sadly, this episode reminds us that this is Attack on Titan after all, and this show doesn’t really mess with “happy endings”. A reminder only made crystal clear by the reappearance of the Armored Titan in the final moments of this weekend’s episode.
Inside the Wall Eren and his group try to work out a way to bring down the Colossal Titan. With the steam coming off his body, getting close enough isn’t really an option and it makes the Thunder Spears practically useless. It’s possible we could see the Scouts distract the Armored Titan while Eren figures out a way to bypass the steam, or even just scale Bertholdt and try tearing into him with his new crystal knuckles. This tactic would probably make the most sense considering the Thunder Spears effectiveness against the Armored Titan. If Mikasa, Armin, and co. could lure Reiner away from Bertholdt, it would at least buy both parties time to figure out a plan to take them down.
Becoming a Scout has always been about sacrifice. A point brought to light by a new recruit having a panic attack amidst the flurry of rocks being whipped into town on the outskirts of the wall. He reminds us that the Scout regiment has always been a death sentence. A fact reinforced by Erwin’s speech. It’s a route to an early grave, but one that is meant to instill hope in the lives of those living behind the walls. Being a Scout means giving your life for the greater good, but it isn’t surprising that some rookies begin to second guess that as shards of rocks tear through their comrades.
Sacrifice is exactly what Erwin asks of the remaining Scouts outside of the wall in order to give Levi an opening to take out the Beast Titan. Though he is out in the open, he isn’t really surrounded by many buildings or high vertical points of interest that would allow Levi to make a move. Erwin points out that there is a convenient line of lesser Titan’s Levi could use as a route towards the Beast. In order for Levi to even attempt to make his way out to the Beast Titan though, Commander Erwin and the remaining Scouts must give their lives in a desperate front on assault.
With the fate of the remaining Scouts dwindling, the last thing we see is the Beast Titan shredding the front lines of the charge, Erwin included. The next episode promises to be a nail-biter, but I think it’s smart to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to at least Erwin, and very possibly, Levi.