All right. This should be--I don't know. It's probably at least a four-parter. I give up. Actually, let me check this. Yep. Nine-parter. So we'll uhhh just do the thing I said I would do with Mikasa and Eren at the end of this one.
The title will be a mystery until the end of the episode.
The intro informs us that no one in Trost and Rose was lost except the soldiers. Well, that's surprising. Humanity has made some advancements in evacuation procedure in five years. Good on them.
A captain wants to sneak inside the gate, supposedly to organize the reinforcement troops. Desperate, the supply troops want him to stay to help defend the wall. He says he will try them as traitors if they don't let him through. The fear has gotten to him.
Mikasa heard the bells (silver ones!) sound a temporary retreat, and she wonders why no one is gathering on the walls. We're about to find out.
There's an image of titans physically mounting the roofs of a building where the supply troops are stationed. Inside, they are all sure it is the end, and they're going to die. One of them calmly loads a gun and celebrates his success. The girl beside him asks what it's for, and he puts his mouth around the barrel and blows out the back of his skull.
Jean explains to an irate Connie that they don't have enough gas to climb over the wall to the other side now that the gates are closed. He blames the supply team for being to afraid to resupply them, but he can't really since the HQ is swarming with titans. They can't even get inside to get to the gas. Sasha insists they can't give up. Everyone needs to stand up and work together. Everyone stares despondently at nothing, including Armin.
Annie asks Bertholdt and Reiner if they should do "it." Reiner says that if they do it, they do it together. I can see how this could be seen as a question as to whether they should jump off the roof and kill themselves. It's interesting that that is equated to what they're actually talking about. Exposing themselves as titan shifters would be tantamount to suicide in the sense that they would no longer be accepted as human. That part would die.
Marco thinks they will all die, but he doesn't know why. He can see his future! Eren would tell him he will die so that people in the future will kill the titans. How is that working out for him?
Someone notices Mikasa approaching and wonders why she is there when she was assigned to the rear guard. She asks Annie, personally, if she has seen Eren's team. I have no idea why she would ask Annie and not, say, Reiner, who seems like he might care a lot more about Eren. One could interpret Eren learning her moves as her taking an interest in him, and she does have one, but just not sure why she'd be number one. Or even three of the four huddled together.
Reiner (yeah, that's what I'm saying) said he saw Armin over in the corner.
Mikasa asks if Armin is okay. He can only nod. When she asks about Eren, Armin lists his five comrades, including Eren Jaeger, who died valiantly. That's all of Team 34 except Armin. Mikasa tells him it's not time to be sad. She marches to the end of the roof and says she will get the supplies. She is disappointed in them. They are not only weak, but spineless cowards. So she will fight the titans alone. She is strong, very strong. And she will fight. If she loses, she will die, but she will not win if she does not fight.
Jean mocks her vocabulary--bet he'd feel worse about that if he knew where the speech came from--but he asks everyone around him if they were trained to let their comrades fight alone, and the rest follow Mikasa and Jean to the HQ.
The implication is that, obviously, she now has the death wish. And a blatant disregard for her fellow trainees--she always sort of had that anyway--but just imagine the quality of this story if Eren actually died and Mikasa just bamfed this shit for like three arcs until she finally had to face his death or something. No idea.
ONWARD. Let the angry girl music guide you.
Mikasa takes out a couple titans, and everyone but Armin is thinking about how amazing she is. Armin notices she's using gas at an unsustainable rate. She is trying to ignore her shock by taking action. No. Shit. He watches as she runs out of gas and falls to one of the rooftops. Connie tells Jean to take charge--like he wasn't already--and he'll go after Mikasa. They need his skill.
And so begins Jean's descent into Hell.
Mikasa has fallen from the roof and his examining her blade. She thinks she has lost her family again. She wonders if she will have to start over again.
The commercial bookend says the maneuver gear houses wires and contains two rotational axes. The control system is a black box of secrets guarded by engineers--either this is suspicious, or just lazy writing. The cylinder unit contains compressed gas to power the apparatus.
Jean thinks they cannot even get close to HQ without risking casualties. Then he spots some guy on the ground, out of gas, as a titan approaches him. Two soldiers rush in to try to save him, but get intercepted by titans. One is Hannah, and she screams for her life as Jean wonders why he didn't stop them and if he is fit for a position of authority. I'm wondering if they have the Marco scene here. We'll see in a second.
But first, Mikasa is wallowing in an alley as a titan approaches. She thinks the world is cruel, but also beautiful--as she remembers Eren giving her the scarf that she then wore for many summers to come--and that her life was good. But as the titan attacks, she cuts its hand and jumps away. She continues to jump aside as it goes for her, wondering why she's fighting, why she keeps getting back up. She sees a cut pomegranate, illuminated by the wall. She hears child!Eren in her head, telling her to fight. As another titan appears from the other side of the rubble, sandwiching her, she thinks she will keep fighting, and she apologizes to Eren's memory. If she dies, she can't remember him. So she will not give up again.
In mythology, pomegranates can symbolize many things, from a vow or an unbreakable promise--Persephone eating the six pomegranate seeds kept her in the underworld for six months out of the year because she vowed she would not eat the food--to fertility and prosperity. So that's worth noting.
As she is about to fight the first titan, the second titan attacks him. This second titan is tall and well-muscled with black hair, and it looks a little like a body builder version of Eren. Mikasa is confused as it smashes in the skull of the first titan. Titans do not usually attack others. This one beats in the other's skull repeatedly, like Eren repeatedly stabbed the thug from Mikasa's childhood. Hmmmm.
Armin desperately looks for Mikasa. He finds her, dazed and staring at this new titan, and swoops down to rescue her and take her to the nearby rooftop. Connie zips down to join them. He insists they need to get going or they're sitting ducks, but Mikasa is unconcerned as they watch the new titan take out another one by smacking its head off into the tower of HQ and stepping on its neck before it can regenerate. They are shocked to know that this one seems to possess knowledge and intent regarding how to fight and kill titans. Connie says they must just assume it's another type of aberrant for now and head for the HQ, but Armin reveals Mikasa is out of gas.
Armin exchanges Mikasa's gas cannister for his and tells her that she can't waste it this time. She must use it to save everyone. Mikasa is taken aback because she asked everyone to follow her without any intention of protecting them and almost gave up on her own life without thinking of them at all. Armin gives her all his blades but one and says he will keep that one so that he can at least prevent himself from being eaten alive. Mikasa takes it and throws it off the roof, stating she will not leave him behind.
She could have just said that instead of wasting valuable resources.
Mikasa remembers the new titan killing the first one and thinks she saw the rage of humanity itself embodied in it.
So the relationship between Mikasa and Eren goes like this. It isn't really romantic on either side, though it could be without it changing its fundamental structure. Mikasa recognizes the contradiction in Eren's personality and clings to the side that seems more practical: the side that acknowledges the world as cruel. She wishes to protect the other part, though she does not really believe in it. That they can win. She only fights for memories and her family, while Eren's ideas are more grandiose. She acknowledges that he doesn't need her like she needs him, and so she is constantly clinging to him. She is stronger, so she tells herself he would die without her.
Not to validate her point or anything.
Meanwhile, Eren sees her as his friend. But his friends, to him, are secondary. They exist to further his ultimate cause to kill titans and see the world. From that perspective, Mikasa and Armin are always second. This creates a tension in their relationship that must eventually come to a head. But for now, that's how it goes.
Also, gas is hope and will to live. Yep. As Mikasa gets hers back, Armin acknowledges he still wants to die because Eren died for him and he did nothing.
As for the title, it refers to both this new titan--as a small blade to fight the titans--and the blade Armin tries to keep to off himself. Both of these symbolize humanity's rage, which is its ultimate weapon against the titans.