Plots, schemes, and some defining reveals—it’s time to get down to business boys and girls. SnK may often belabour the duty of handing out answers for its many outstanding questions, but with this arc and the information dropped this week, the picture just became slightly clearer. The king? Fake. The people? Potentially brainwashed. Eren? Still playing second fiddle to that giddy Mikasa rage. Alright the last isn’t really anything new, but everyone’s favourite scouts going up against the leadership of humanity’s last bastion? Yeah there still be some action on this horizon.
The two big things this episode naturally lay with Historia and Erwin and a different plan for a kingdom under siege. As revealed last week Historia is actually the true heir to the throne, kept quiet and out of the way for reasons which will make their appearance before too long (if a few scenes aren’t already enough formulate a guess or two). This little fact is what enables Erwin to place his trust in a coup that uses Historia to replace the current—and illegitimate—king with a better, kinder government. Or in other words, finally let his Titan slaying Scouts actually become the good guys in everyone’s eyes for once; god knows hiding out gets boring after a while. In reality Erwin’s scheme is just the latest manoeuvre to retain control of Eren. With the enemy desperate enough to try and hand Eren’s abilities over to someone more psychologically malleable (with the reason still remaining shrouded in mystery), the good guys need a solution which stops this and prevents such a situation from occurring again. Thus a change in government. As far as strategizing goes it’s a pretty impressive idea, although as with most plans the devil is in the details. Coups are hard enough to pull off even with substantial support, and to do so without the spilling of blood? Yeah isn’t happening. Pixis might provide the manpower needed, but in the end it comes down to successfully recovering Historia (and Eren), and there’s no guarantee Levi and friends will manage that in time yet.
Part of the reason for this is the fact the scouts have been officially outlawed. With Erwin arrested and the maniacal Hange (who should really dump the goggles—and not just for hiding in the crowd reasons) now in nominal charge, there’s a noticeable lack of manpower for quickly breaking into the Reiss estate and recovering the damsels in distress. The enemy knows they’re coming after all, they can reasonably assume their number, and while Mikasa’s combat prowess (read: Eren-napping rage) may be unconsidered, even she can only do so much before being overwhelmed. The upcoming battle will be the most important one Levi and friends have fought to date, for failure will cost more than a simple change in kingship. Without Eren there’ll be no sealing the wall, no discovering the truth, no breaking through the collective miasma covering recent history.
It’s a pretty hefty weight for our scout squad to bear, and they’re about to quickly get the first real taste of it.