So. Who saw that coming? ‘Cause I wouldn’t have had I not been spoiled even before I read the manga.
But let’s start at the beginning. In the aftermath of the mess at Utgard, the Survey Corps are on top of Wall Rose, waiting for news on the breach. Historia takes the time to passionately defend Ymir to Hange who’s receptive but also concerned about how her existence throws things into even more confusion. The Corps have as many questions as we viewers do and much more at stake in the answers so Hange’s stance is completely understandable.
Speaking of Ymir, she’s gravely injured – lacking a couple of limbs and her insides are a mess – and in a coma but the wounds are steaming so there’s hope.
Reiner, with his arm still in a sling, complains to Eren about how this is the second time he’s almost died at titan hands, the first being when Annie almost crushed him. He refers to himself as a soldier and all this as part of his duty.
Unfortunately, Eren mentioning Reiner’s hometown in the conversation that follows flips Reiner’s switch – to what, we’ll see soon – and Bertolt, who’s been making the most distressed faces at Reiner since two episodes ago, seizes the opportunity to cajole Reiner into getting their business done and going back home. Eren is confused by the conversation since their hometown is supposed to be in the titan-infested Maria territory. ‘Supposed’ being the key word here.
Hannes arrives at this moment to deliver the news that there is indeed no hole in the wall. There is much confusion but Hange decides that they’ll return to Trost for the time being. As they’re about to do so, Reiner takes Eren aside for a quick conversation and casually reveals that he’s the Armored Titan while Bertolt is the Colossal Titan.
No seriously, it’s the most chill confession ever. In the manga, it happens in a tiny side panel that’s easy to miss and the anime recreates the effect quite well.
He says their plan was to wipe out all of humanity but if Eren goes with them, they’ll be content with that.
Eren is in WTF mode in record time but then we find out in a flashback that he’d already been warned of this possibility. Remember the report Sasha gave Hange in episode 28? Turns out it was Annie’s background report. It doesn’t have much that’s useful except that Reiner and Bertolt are from the same area as her. All three lack family documents. That alone is not evidence but then Armin recalls something that happened during the expedition where the Female Titan attacked.
Mikasa’s expression here is pure gold
Reiner’s group, which included Armin, was given false information about Eren’s place in the formation. But Armin guessed his true whereabouts at Reiner’s prompting. Soon afterwards, Annie attacked and Reiner was caught in her grip. He escaped by carving up her hand but after that, she looked at her palm and started heading towards Eren. Armin speculates that Reiner may have written Eren’s position on her palm with his blades under the guise of escaping.
Let’s…ignore the improbable mechanics of that maneuver, yeah? Because I never did get how he could manage to write something accurate on her hand with hugeass blades while still making it seem like he was escaping her hold.
Anyway, Eren, despite his experience with Annie – or maybe because of it – is reluctant to accept that the two of them are traitors. Reiner especially was a big brother figure to them all and it’s hard to see him as being devious enough to play them like that. And if we consider the way Reiner acted in episode 29, we can see why Eren feels that way. Still Eren, you could stand to think a bit more.
Hange decides that they’ll do everything to avoid arousing Reiner and Bertolt’s suspicions and then confine them underground.
Alas, that doesn’t quite work out. Eren does try to pass it off as Reiner spouting delirious nonsense and Bertolt even plays along but Reiner is not so easily swayed. He is visibly distraught though as he says that they were just children who didn’t know any better and that three years surrounded by idiots have made him into a half-assed shit. But no worries, he’ll face the consequences of his action and fulfill his duty as a warrior.
The terminology change reflects how ‘big brother’ Reiner is unceremoniously replaced by our very own Armored Titan.
Mikasa, who’s been keenly observing the whole interaction, is quick to attack the two of them. She even injures them both severely but they just use the wounds to trigger their transformations.
And what wonderful transformations they are!
Reiner in his titan form grabs Eren and Bertolt as the Colossal Titan, grabs Ymir’s comatose body. In Reiner’s hold, Eren sheds a few tears and takes a moment to reminisce about the good times he and the rest shared with Bertolt and Reiner.
Then it’s time to say bye-bye to grief and get his rage on.
One hell of an episode, this one. The build-up to something being off about Reiner has been going on for a while. Now we know why Bertolt gave him such odd looks whenever he behaved in a way that was too sincere. The while warrior/soldier confusion is not yet wholly cleared up but that will happen in due time.
My favorite part of this episode was the bit at the end where Eren thinks back on how kind and helpful Reiner and Bertolt were back when they were trainees. It parallels the way he behaved when Annie transformed in front of him. But while he froze up and was unable to transform then, this time around, he allows himself only a brief instant to mourn the loss of two people that may never have existed. It’s a nice, lowkey emotional scene.
That’s it for this week. Please do tell me how you reacted to The Reveal.