It has been four weeks since Attack On Titan has returned for its second season and with each passing week, we get to know more about the characters, the world, and the strife of humanity against the Titans. While on the first season we got a better picture of the problems that the fall of Wall Maria caused them, the second season continues following a slower, more character-focused approach while still retaining its dark and gory style.
Episode 4 titled “Soldier” seems to continue down the same road like the previous episodes of this year’s season. Like usual, I will start with a short recap of the episode before jumping into the review. The next part will be full of spoilers so make sure you watch the episode before continuing. You can watch the episode here.
The episode starts with the scouts getting ready to fight the Titans atop the Utgard Castle. However, we are quickly treated with a rewind two hours earlier, before the Titans appeared on the horizon. We see the gang discussing the fact that Conny heard the Titan welcoming him home as soon as he arrived. Ymir quickly brushes it aside and laughs it off by saying it’s impossible. Then, we see Reiner searching for food with Ymir. They come upon a can of herring, but when Ymir passes it to Reiner, he can’t read the writing on the can while Ymir can.
Before she can explain why is that, Lynne alerts them of the incoming Titan attack. The senior officers battle the Titans outside but warn the rest of the people inside the castle that they won’t be able to protect them and that they should do everything in their power to barricade the lower levels. As chance would have it, one of the Titans manages to infiltrate inside the castle and now they have to find a way to stop them. They quickly find the rampaging Titan.
Reiner barricades the door but the Titan is too strong for him to hold him back. There is a moment that Reiner believes that he is done only to remember an instance five years ago when he and Bertholdt witnessed a friend of theirs getting eaten by a Titan. We are led to believe that that instance was the reason he decided to become a soldier and protect the people around him. Before things get worse, the others come to his rescue, but Reiner is already heavily wounded. They manage to help him but the fight seems futile.
The senior officers keep fighting the Titans and they seem to be doing well until the Beast Titan starts tossing chunks of the wall at them. He manages to kill two out of the four and all the horses making their escape impossible. At the same time, the Beast Titan sends another horde at them, making it impossible for them to survive. They keep fighting until they run out of blades and gas.
All the members of the gang now get to the top of the castle in order to see what is going on. There is no way for them to fight without their gear and all they can do now is wait, unable to do anything. Conny takes out a small dagger, hoping it’s sharp enough to help them fight, but they all know full well it is futile. That when Ymir grabs the dagger and starts talking to Christa, urging her to remember the promise they made that day back in the mountains, during their training.
After that, she jumps off the tower and during her way down, she slices her hand and transforms into a Titan.
That’s where the episode ends.
Now, for the review. It’s impossible not to start with discussing the main twist of this episode, the fact that Ymir is a human that can transform into a Titan. To be honest, the scene with the can acts like a tease to this twist. Even though we know nothing of the Titans, Ymir is able to read the text while Reiner is not, something that doesn’t make sense.
Still, the fact that we are starting to see more and more people involved in the dark mystery of the Titans makes it all the more interesting to find the truth. Still, unlike all the episodes before it, this one had equal parts action and plot development, something that in my opinion makes it the best episode of the season so far.
Other than that, we find out more about Reiner and his past, as well as keep getting hinted on the mystery of the Titans inside Wall Rosa. Conny’s village seems to be at the center of this whole mess at this time. No bodies, no Titans except the one who couldn’t move, and no clue about what happened to the villagers gives us little room for speculation.
I don’t know yet for sure, but as we are moving closer to the middle of the season, we find out more about the Wall Titans and the fact that the Beast Titan can talk and control other Titans at will. I hope that episode 5 continues with this change of pace and they keep airing more interesting episodes every week.
What did you think of episode 4? Did you like it? Did you think it could have been better? What about Ymir being a Titan? Tell me in the comments section below. Until the next time, devour as many anime shows as possible!