This episode spent a bit of time trying to remind us that there are other characters in this story that have relevance (you know, like people who are actually in charge of things and aren’t just new recruits), but mostly they were just relaying information about stuff we’d already viewed, planning, or, in Levi’s case, delivering thinly veiled threats.
Then we spend some time flashing back to the ‘good old days’ where Mikasa was always rescuing Eren after he threw himself into a situation he clearly couldn’t deal with. I love the nostalgia lens they put on those days like starvation, bullying, and public brawls are something we should look back on fondly. And this is a very optimistic assessment of Eren’s character. I forget sometimes that he is supposed to be the protagonist so other characters in the show view him through that lens.
Anyway, the upshot of all of this is the Scouts are heading out to get Eren back or take out the other titans, or who actually knows what they really want. Mikasa and Armin will work to get Eren back. Christa is only tagging along for Ymir. Their motives are clear if a little stuck in tunnel vision mode and missing the slightly bigger picture.
I didn’t dislike this episode, but it really did feel like we were just waiting. Waiting for the horses, for the scouts to recover, for reinforcements and then for the pursuit to begin.
Sometimes this show gets its logic just right. While I still think my theory that the people in Connie’s town turned into titans is sound (and nothing this episode refuted that even overly optimistic girl) the group continued onto the wall to look for a hole. At that moment I started thinking if the villagers turned into titans there wouldn’t necessarily be one. And sure enough not long after group coming down the wall one way runs into group going the other along the wall and neither group found a hole.
This episode sets up quite a lot. The scouts by the wall for some reason take refuge in a castle ruin (why there is a ruin inside the walls where space is short is still something I’d question) and as soon as they set up there I just kept thinking death trap. End of the episode, they are besieged by Titans and half of them don’t have any gear or weapons. Awesome. Hange and Armin continue to theorise about Titans from limited and incomplete knowledge but at least they are trying to use their heads and the end of the episode sees them, Eren and Mikasa heading to the castle (though they don’t actually know that the other guys are there or that the Titans are attacking it). This could be an interesting next episode.
Also, Beast Titan makes a brief cameo doing a King Kong over the wall.