Sometimes there have to be breather episodes in a long-running series, but that this season is so short it makes The Hunters look especially unnecessary here and that means that overall I think this was the weakest episode of season 2 we’ve had yet.
At least we got a quick conclusion to the fight that made sense after the huge cliffhanger we had last week, I was thinking we’d have to sit through a number of different flashbacks before we got to the result but it happened immediately and that was really an enjoyable start, we got an answer to what happened to the people who went into Bertholdt’s mouth, he killed the nameless scout for his gear and rescued Ymir, while also taking Eren, hopping onto Reiner’s back and fleeing the scene. Which is a pretty sensible strategic decision, he could probably kill all the scouts what with his heat putting many of them at least at risk of dying if not actually dead, but their goal is Eren and wiping out a few scouts does little.
We then see nothing from them until the very end of the episode where Eren’s arms have been removed, to prevent him struggling, I assume, I don’t think he needs hands to transform, and he and Ymir are facing off against Bertholdt and Reiner and that will be excellent for next time. I wish it was in this episode though as this episode had a ton of stuff that could have been glossed over if absolutely necessary.
There was the commander at Trost with his drinking problem, nice to get a bit of minor character representation but if he’s not going to die horribly soon how are we supposed to care?
At least we got some sight of Jean again, and it looks like he’s going to rejoin the group at last, and the clash between the military police who want to live a comfy life and maybe see some Titans to liven their days up a bit and the scouts who live life on the edge was a good thing to be reminded of, I had almost forgotten about that.
Also a good contrast between soldiers who work and soldiers who slack off was the show reminding me who Hannes is because even though I want to be a dedicated reviewer who remembers every little detail I am not always that. He used to be, back when Wall Maria was a thing, a soldier in Eren’s village who knew them and he saved them when the Titans first came. How did I forget that? Anyway, the flashback reminded me of his position in the story. And that’s all it did.
I already know that Mikasa is hellbent on keeping Eren safe, and she’s exceedingly good at everything. We’ve moved past the point when they were kids. Aside from reminding us of that and that Armin and Mikasa will do anything to get Eren back, the flashback to their days as kids didn’t really do much for me, they beat up bullies, Hannes also gets involved in a punch-up. It seemed like a bit of a waste, unless Hannes or someone else is going to horribly die in rescuing Eren.
In any case, I am sure that next week will be better. Even in a tight 13-episode series like this I’m prepared for one episode to be a breather.