Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 11: A Place to Die
Dot Pixis gives Eren the chance to prove himself, and Armin conceives a plan that involves the majority of the remaining force to draw the titans away from the rock Eren is to pick up, and a smaller elite team to defend Eren as he patches up the hole in the wall. Pixis gives the terrified troops the option to return home without punishment for treason, but warns them of the possibility of the wall falling, and having their loved ones enduring the horror of titans. The elite force leaves with Eren, but when Eren transforms into a titan, he suddenly attacks Mikasa.
Dot Pixis is definitely an interesting person- his high rank puts him at the heart of matters, and it seems he has a further perspective than anyone else at this point. Where Verman was all for killing Eren for his identity as a titan, Pixis decides to spin it a different way.
The troops are completely terrified out of their minds of a second encounter with titans, and understandably so. It is clear that the higher-ups have very little interest in the sacrifice required to save “important” things, but there are some that care a lot more than others. Rico tells Eren and Mikasa that she knows all the troops by name, and hopes that their lives will not be wasted. Someone cares enough to say that, though Pixis points out another unspoken truth.
Pixis describes division of humans before the appearance of the titans, and the idea that the titans could just be a diversion for humans to unite against a common enemy. This is a very old tactic, much like the type of fanaticism illustrated in human history under the Nazis and communism. Eren implicitly understood that humans have not united after the titans appeared, and if anything, are more divided than ever. You have the high-ups that seem to care only that they are safe in the inner walls, the troops that care about food, and the many, many people that can be sacrificed as a diversion. Pixis’ speech upon the walls was very truthful- stating that the attack from several years back was a government tactic to alleviate the food and housing shortage, and all those lives were lost for the sake of the few. I keep thinking back to Armin’s grandfather leaving, and the hat in Armin’s hands, as if they knew this was the truth. Although, this is not to say that everyone can see the bigger picture, as books of the outside are banned, and fanatical religious types allowed to flourish. Another theme that keeps presenting itself is the loss of prior knowledge, and control of information. It is clear that ARmin’s grandfather kept the books and taught Armin to wonder is what is defined as “educated,” as is Eren’s father. However, his father has long been missing, and Armin’s grandfather killed in the suicide mission, as well as the murders of Mikasa’s family.
Verman sure looks terrified. Probably because if he doesn’t get his troops together, he’s going to be the one charge. I’m glad Pixis picked someone else to lead the diversion team.
Eren being a “weapon”- as demonstrated in the final scene of the episode with Eren attacking Mikasa, he is clearly not in full control of this other form. Maybe it’s a leftover emotion from talking back to Mikasa? Eren is a type of person that has a lot of pride, and I’m not sure if this titan form is something that is going to cause that to grow. Now that he has a power that is greater than being a skilled fighter, I think there will be a point where Eren will be in over his head (if his titan form can comprehend that)- and now is the time, more than ever, that he should count his friends.
After this episode, there should be 2 more episodes, and a recap (episode 14). I’m already looking forward to the next opening…? XD