Sorry. I stuffed up the schedule on this one and it came out earlier today than intended. Here it is at the intended time slot.
This week Attack on Titan seems to want to look at all the possible choices and outcomes of the current internal conflict. And so we have a characters finding their time to fight, their time to run, their time to listen, their time to gloat, and their time to shout, in an episode that is undeniably a bridging point and yet perhaps one of the better episodes from a narrative point of view that this series have ever delivered.
With the exception of the newly introduced antagonist, Kenny, and the currently held hostage Eren and Christa, this episode runs us through almost all the major players in the current internal conflict. The titans have definitely become a footnote to those in charge rather than an actual threat that needs to be dealt with and while that might diminish some of the horror felt earlier with the appearance of the titans, it does go a long way to explaining this world and why only a small group of Scouts were ever interested in actually expanding territory or exploring beyond the walls. Those in charge are looking only inward and only to their own lives. It seems a terribly flawed and short sighted approach to leadership, and it is framed that way, and that is why as an audience we can continue to tolerate the violence Levi, Hange, and other characters we’re supposed to like unleash upon the people that technically their role is to protect.
It isn’t as if this human on human violence came out of nowhere. Season one brought us the horror of titans, but also showed us Eren’s savage treatment when his nature was revealed, refugees being sent out as fodder to reduce the number needing to be fed, and the general broken nature of the command structure of the world. One of the earlier scenes with Levi involved him literally kicking a tied up Eren so the fact that he is capable of extreme violence is hardly news.
However, what differs in season 3 to season 1 is the context. In season 1 we constantly had the threat of the titans breathing down the necks of characters who were desperate to fight them back. Season 3 so far has none of that. The only threat presented in this season has been other humans and they are doing a fine job of supplanting the titans as the real monsters (and again that was pretty clearly hinted at in both previous seasons).
So while we’re getting no closer to Eren’s basement, I can’t say I’m unhappy with the direction this has taken so far this season. As plot and character points start converging and a real picture of this world comes together, it makes the viewing a far more satisfying experience. And if the characters would stop shouting that would be fantastic, though I did mention that this episode a lot of characters found their time to shout. Eren being gagged last week and absent this week apparently left an opening and every character except Armin and Erwin decided to take their turn at shouting. Now if only anyone was listening.
- Attack on Titan Series Review
- Attack on Titan Season 2 Series Review
- Season 3 Episode 1: Why Not Add Another Faction
- Season 3 Episode 2: Whatever It Takes
- Season 3 Episode 3: Rewriting the Past Won’t Make It Go Away
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