This week’s episode of Attack on Titan delivered impressive action, jaw dropping moments, and a farewell to one of the shows best characters. Did the Scouts live to fight another day, or did the Titan’s trap prove too overwhelming for our heroes?
Like every other recap/review, SPOILERS will follow.
This episode resumes immediately where last week’s left off, with Commander Erwin leading a suicide charge through an open field towards the Beast Titan. Their goal was simply to act as canon fodder so Levi could sneak in around the Beast Titan and take him down. All but one Scout ends up meeting their end during this assault, with Commander Erwin being one of the first to give his life. At least, that’s how it seems. Other than a shot of him getting his side torn through by a boulder, we don’t see him again, so it’s possible they might touch on him later, but for now, it’s probably safe to assume he didn’t make it.
The suicide charge ends up being more impactful than we might have imagined it would be. Where a show could have easily just shown us the charge into certain death, this one chooses to show us some select soldier’s final moments as well. I don’t mean what they’re doing on their horse as a speeding boulder takes off their head. I mean what is going through their minds as said speeding boulders take their faces off. Most think of family, loved ones and friends and one even asks if this is how he goes out.
It’s this additional level of detail that makes your stomach churn as you watch these young soldiers give their lives for a higher purpose. It makes this moment more raw and I commend the show for taking time to throw in this subtle detail.
In seconds the remaining soldiers are just a smear of blood and bone across the field, but the time they buy proves worthwhile, mostly.
Just as the Beast Titan is savoring the smell of blood in the air, Captain Levi blows through a cloud of smoke, slicing and dicing his way up the Beast Titan’s arm. It’s a beautiful, deserving moment made all the better by the amount of bitch Levi is slapping out of the Beast Titan. The titan’s level of shock and awe mirrors the viewer’s as we watch Levi go toe to toe with an enemy 20 times his size. In seconds Levi has our mysterious foe ripped from the comfort of his Titan’s nape with his sword placed nicely between his jaw. It’s a glorious moment, sadly ruined by Levi’s own hubris.
Like the Viper in the episode of the Viper and the Mountain in Game of Thrones, Levi let’s this victory get to him. In a moment that could have ended their struggle, Levi decides to talk too much instead of ending the Beast Titan’s life. As a result, the person known only as the Beast Titan is rescued by the abnormal titan that runs on all fours. It looks like Levi is about to give chase, but the show cuts to the other group of Scouts before we can learn more.
While all of this is happening outside the Walls, within the Shiganshina District, Armin and Mikasa try to formulate a way to take out the Armored and Colossal Titans (a.k.a. Reiner and Bertholdt). Armin devises a plan that means him putting his own life on the line in yet another Hail Mary attempt to pull off a win.
Armin notices the emaciated look of the Colossal Titan. For a titan of his size, his arms and legs should be massive, but for some reason Armin points out that the Colossal Titan is rather thing looking. He draws the conclusion that the steam ejected from the Colossal Titan uses up his size and power, making him more and more vulnerable the longer he emits it. Armin decides to use this to their advantage, by using himself as bait.
While Eren and Armin rush towards the Colossal Titan, Mikasa, Jean, and Connie decide it’s up to them and the remaining group to distract the Armored Titanr. Sadly, Reiner doesn’t take the bait this time and blows past them in an effort to close the gap between him and Eren. Mikasa decides to use one of the last remaining Thunder Spears to blow out the back of Reiner’s knee, crippling him. In a very badass moment, they synchronize their attacks and aim to take out Reiner’s jaw with the Thunder Spears giving them a clear shot at his nape and still recovering body. Though one spear misses, Hange swoops in at the last second and blows open Reiner’s mouth, leaving Mikasa to get in there and take Reiner out.
Meanwhile, Armin and Eren initiate the plan to take down Bertholdt. By attaching himself to the bone of the Colossal Titan, Armin prevents him from knocking him away with his steam. Instead, he instigates the Colossal Titan to emit as much steam as he can in an effort to blow Armin off him. While Armin distracts Bertholdt, Eren falls from the wall, plugs up the second hole with his crystallizing ability, and uses his EDM gear to get behind the Colossal Titan without him noticing.
Armin is battered by the increasingly hot steam. It’s a dramatic, gut wrenching moment to watch, if not beautifully animated. In short, sacrifices himself to allow Eren to take out Bertholdt. His skin is burned away, and with him being stuck on the bone of the Colossal Titan, he has nowhere to hide. Armin gives his life so Eren can exploit Bertholdt’s weakness, and in a near synchronized moment, Reiner and Bertholdt are ripped from their Titan bodies, limbless and helpless, shocked at the trap they fell into.
The Scouts have come out victorious, but at a steep price. With the Beast Titan escaping, but the immediate Titan threat mostly taken care of, where will our remaining Scouts decide to go from here?
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