Welcome to another Attack On Titan recap! Today’s episode was a bit different than how I expected it to play out, but that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the best episodes in the series.
Picking up directly after the Scouts began slaughtering the Titans advancing to their hideout (Utgard Castle), “Soldier” focused solely on this group and their attempts to survive against overwhelming odd that seemed to be most certainly NOT in their favor. While I was expecting it to be like Episode 2, where we got lengthy scenes informing us of Sasha’s past, a mere few seconds is shown to detail Reiner’s backstory. I would’ve liked to see more, but there was a lot going on this week, so I can’t really blame them for not going deeper into his past.
Quite a few characters die in this episode, including the Scout Regiment members that took off to butcher the advancing Titans. While none of them know quite yet that the Beast Titan is controlling the Titans, our heroes are starting to figure out that the Titans now have some sort of strategy. There was a lot of development in this episode as well, which I heavily enjoyed. Reiner and Bertolt have some important dialogue between them, and I really enjoyed seeing their horrified faces in the flashback. By now, I’m pretty used to their characters being stern and not really being scared when the ginormous beasts approach the group, but seeing what they were like before they joined the Survey Corps was a nice touch.
There were some really tense moments this week as well. Since I haven’t gotten to this point in the manga, I don’t know what to expect in this season. However, I think it kind of helps not knowing what’s going to happen so I can be more shocked at important events. Conny nearly got eaten in this episode but was saved by Reiner, who allowed a Titan to bite and break his arm. Through all this, there was an astoundingly creepy Titan, but it got its eyes stabbed in with a pitchfork by Bertolt.
I’m really excited to learn more about the relationship between Ymir and Christa next week. While there’s no doubt that the two have a very close friendship, it’s been quite unclear throughout the series as to what that might entail. As mentioned before, I’m really excited to learn more about the pair, and what the “promise” mentioned in this episode was.
The action sequences this week were more thrilling than ever before. While there were some snippets of scenes from the past episode, it ultimately served as one of the best aspects “Soldier” had to offer. Ymir turned into a Titan at then end of the episode, which was epic, to say the least. Can’t wait to see more of that!
There was some appreciated humor involving a bottle of booze this week. Gelgar (one of the lives lost in this episode) finds a bottle of booze early on in the episode, but while he’s out fighting, Christa uses it to patch up Reiner’s arm. After falling and being saved/thrown into the tower by Nanaba, he crawls to the bottle and finds it empty. Not realizing a Titan is reaching out to grab him, he begins to cry and screams to express his rage at the use of his booze. He is (obviously) eaten, and so is Nanaba, the deaths being brutal as always. By the way, there was no Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, or Hange in this episode. It was focused solely on the group in Utgard Castle.
Time for the final verdict! Overall, “Soldier” was one of the best episodes the series has ever produced. It had great dialogue between the characters, really good action, and heavily interesting plot points that I’m excited to learn more about. “Soldier” gets a 9/10.