「追う者」 (Ou Mono)
And so the aftermath of the battle is upon us, and Eren gets forcefully dragged away as Mikasa and the rest can do nothing but watch. The questions about why Reiner and Bertholdt are so set on bringing back any human Titan aside—could it be that they know be something so mind-shattering that they think it’d change their minds about fighting for humanity?—it’s a rest and recover episode, and nothing really happens aside from the gathering of Erwin and reinforcements for the push to reclaim Eren.
With that and the fact that last episode was the best of the season, this episode certainly pales in comparison, but for what it’s worth—they handled things pretty well here. The flashbacks to past engagements with neighborhood bullies, Eren charging in first as usual, Mikasa stepping in the way the usually does, and Hannes sitting there in the back laughing… there was a sense here that they’ve come a long way, and in many ways they have, especially from a developmental standpoint. Still, for all the danger they’ve faced and the predicaments they’ve overcome to get where they are now, their recollection also highlights how there are things that haven’t changed, and their relationship—or more specifically, their friendship—is certainly one of them.
The fact that it’s Hannes giving the pep-talk about bringing the group back together only shows how much he’s grown as well, and for all the “nothing” that actually happens, there’s still a good adrenaline rush you get from this episode just because of how right it feels to have these specific people gathered here for the sole purpose of reclaiming Eren. It certainly would’ve been much more exciting with Levi on the front line as well, but given that he scares the crap out of the newly pushed up to the front lines Military Police, I suppose I’ll can take that as a “being there in spirit” kind of thing.
And so, it’s all about looking forward, and it certainly looks like we’ve got a clear view in regards to what they’re planning to go through this season. For better and for worse, the rescue of Eren will likely take the remainder of the episodes in this short second season, and I’m not quite sure what to say if everything happens the way it’s expected—a successful rescue—and we don’t get any additional answers to our many questions aside from that. Alas, I guess it’s just something I’ll have to take in stride as a series we’ve signed up for the long haul for. Here’s looking forward to at least few more action-packed episodes to make it up.
Author’s Note: Once again, please refrain from spoilers of the source material past what’s been covered so far. Use spoiler tags if you absolutely need to mention something that wasn’t explicitly shown/covered, as there is a zero tolerance policy in effect and comments with spoilers will be immediately deleted and bans handed out where necessary.