Episode 54, Hero
This was the episode I was hoping for. The animation was top notch, the action superb and still maintain the intense and sad moments. The Beast Titan (Zeke) is dismayed by the fruitless efforts of the Scouts. Marlo Freudenberg wonders what Hitch Dreyse is doing at this point as he rides to his death. The remaining Scouts continue to ride despite the danger. While they face their deaths, the Scouts both distract the Beast Titan and blind him with the smoke from the signal flares. This is what makes their sacrifice so valuable. Levi manages to reach the Beast Titan.
Enraged, Levi dominates the Beast Titan. Levi cuts up the Beast Titan arm up and it is ripped to pieces. Zeke recalls being warned by Reiner that he needed to be careful regarding Levi. This proves of course to be a good warning. However, it doesn’t help him as Levi proceeds to cut the Beast Titan’s eyes then his legs and other arm. Zeke falls to the ground and is unable to protect his nape as Levi cuts him out. The helplessness that even a Titan like the Beast Titan has in the face of Levi is still surprising. Levi and Mikasa have always been exceptional fighters. Watching them in action you wonder why humanity feels so disadvantaged.
Obviously, you need to have more than just Levi and Mikasa, but as war powers go they are significant. What saves Zeke from death is the value of his power. As Levi notes if he could inject a Scout with the “Titan injection,” they could consume Zeke and gain the Beast Titans power. However, the weird Cart Titan grabs Zeke in his mouth and the seemed to escape. Meanwhile, Armin finally takes control of the squad and gives them orders to stop Reiner. He concludes that the Colossal Titan has gotten thinner since the battle began. He decides that he and Eren can handle the Colossal Titan together.
Mikasa and the others battle Reiner, who has forgotten what happened to him. Mikasa takes his knee out with one of the Thunder Spears and he falls. Armin tells Eren his plan of screen. The wall give way resulting in Eren falling to the ground. Armin confronts the Colossal Titan by himself. Jean, Conny and Sasha try to break open the jaw of Reiner using the spears. They miss one and his jaw fails to open. The plan was to have Conny and Sasha break open his jaw and have Mikasa then use her spear to blow up the nape from inside his mouth.
Armin is being scorched by the Colossal Titans steam. Bertholdt is stunned that this was all Armin came up with. He decides to put Armin out of his misery. He turns up the heat and Armin’s body burns. Eventually his ODM gear gives and he falls. Meanwhile, a wounded Hange arrives and shoots her spear into Reiner’s jaw opening it for Mikasa. She takes the opportunity to finally manages to blow Reiner out of the nape. Bertholdt believing that he’s won, fails to notice in time that Eren has left a harden shell behind. Eren appears behind the Colossal Titan and cuts Bertholdt out.
I’ll admit I teared up when I saw Armin’s charred body. However, after realizing what Levi said earlier regarding how “the Titan injection could save someone even if they’re dying.” It seems obvious that Armin is the perfect candidate for the injection. He had been setup as a replacement for Erwin and it would save his life of course. The question is which Titan, Bertholdt or Reiner would he eat? It doesn’t really matter at this point. Armin is just to valuable to die. Overall, this episode as I mentioned was spectacular. The pacing, drama, intensity, narrative twists and animation all was great. I’m excited for the rest of this season.