Shingeki no Kyojin Episode 31 [Return of the Armored Titan]
The Scout Regimen has saved Ymir and Christa’s group and all is well. Naturally at this point you must know that either a horrible plot revelation is coming or people are going to die. Probably both! But maybe this time is different, right? Maybe this time the truth will be revealed and the Scout Regimen will finally earn peace and prosperity for human- who the fuck even thinks that might be true? For all two of you, no, bad, this is Attack on Titan and we’re in unhappy land for a reason. That being said, non manga readers will be shocked to see exactly what is revealed and how in this episode.
In a very Attack on Titan nature much of the actual episode takes place in one area through one major set of dialogue. Every member of the Scouting Division is climbing the wall when a few conversations happen, namely when Reiner recalls the things that happened when he almost died to the female Titan. Eren remarks about their hometown and then Bertholdt exclaims that they should just return to their hometown now. Conveniently every member of the Scout Regimen begins to fall back and then. . . Reiner pulls Eren aside and promptly reveals that he wants Eren to come with them: they are actually the Armored Titan and Colossal Titan and it would be better if he went with them now to avoid a fight.
Yup. It’s that simple, we hear characters nonchalantly talking as over the back of it Reiner and Bertholdt reveal the truth and simply say they won’t have to keep attacking the walls if he’ll just come with them. Bertholdt, actually, is horrified and actively encourages Eren’s response that this is just him going crazy. Eren flashbacks to reveal that this is actually something that everyone was prepared for- something that Annie’s background information revealed even though they had attempted to keep it an elaborate ruse.
On top of it, the female titan appearing and then suddenly knowing where Eren went lined up in Armins’ memory- she only knew where to go after Reiner was captured in her hand and then mysteriously freed himself. Even though no one wanted to believe it they went in tentatively understanding who they might be- and they were right. Once Bertholdt reveals the truth and begins to make a move Mikasa quickly attempts to strike them down. This results in an onslaught of titan transformations and even the abduction of the injured Ymir.
Well, shit. It does happen this suddenly in the manga but it’s so jarring to see how despicable Reiner seems to be. He wants to ‘spare’ everyone their pain but won’t change what he is doing or his ultimate plan. I used to think Bertholdt’s decision to be quiet and standoffish made him more of a jerk, but the fact that Reiner can ‘act like everyone’s big brother’ and still be so fucking terrible makes him much easier to hate. That being said. . . I’m ready for some fucking intense fights LET’S GO BOYS!