Armin or Erwin, who gets to live and who gets to die. Who’s dream is worth achieving and who has the brighter outlook that can lead humanity to a victory over the Titans. That’s mainly the overarching theme of this episode, that and the immense feeling of loss, regrets and having to say goodbye.
Before any of that though, we get to see the man controlling the beast Titan approaching Eren. I believe the goal was to save Bertholdt, however, with Eren right by him ready to take his head off there is little to no chance of that. Eren is willing to die with Bertholdt if that’s what it takes, but it doesn’t come to that. In fact, he isn’t even attacked by the barrel Titan. The one in control of the Beast Titan’s power recognizes Eren for who he is, and says that he pities him and how he’s been brainwashed by his father.
He vows to return one day to save him, but leaves him for the time being.

However, Reiner is saved before he can be killed. It wouldn’t of been an issue if they had more information and if that had that information faster. Hange could of killed him in a heartbeat if they knew Bertholdt’s status. Who was alive and who was dead, and that they didn’t need Reiner to use the Titan surem.
It’s unfortunate and both Hange and Jean blame themselves for him getting away. It was Hange’s decision to spare him in the end, rather then just kill him straight out and Jean was the one who stepped up first to protest an outright killing. On the off chance they needed him, though, I think it was honestly because somewhere deep down. He wants to cling to the days they all trained together, the days that they were comrades in arms.
I can’t help but wonder how Jean would take it if he found out the truth behind Marco’s death. As the person who was closest to him and was the most torn up about his death, would he be so quick to stop a swift death for Reiner if he knew?
Well, he doesn’t so it’s really useless to speculate about. So after Reiner escapes, the secondary group goes to meet with Eren, Levi and Armin.

Meanwhile, we discover that Armin is still alive. Though just barely, Levi is about to hand Eren the Titan injection to use on him when the one lone soldier that survived outside the wall brings a dying Captain Erwin to the roof. A fight breaks out over who to save. Armin or Erwin, who is the one who will provide the most guidance going on?
Who’s dream is worth preserving?
In the end, when it really comes down to it and everyone but Levi is sent away. After hearing the debate and knowing his own feelings on the matter, he chooses to save Armin.

I love and hate how amazing quotes from this series can be some times.

“He had no choice but to become a devil. It was us that wished for that. And in the end, when he had finally been set free from hell, we wanted to bring him back once more. But I think…it’s time to let him rest.”

Levi saying this words to the one remaining soldier from outside the wall. The one who wanted to bring Erwin back, because he saw him as a devil. That he felt he deserved to suffer in this hell more. Was immensely powerful to me.Goodbyes happen, farewells are inevitable when fighting a war. Be it a war against superhuman creatures, or among humans themselves.
Eventually, you have to say goodbye. No matter what.
Such a deep message from Hange, in the end, Armin eats Bertholdt and will rise again as the one in command of the armored Titan’s power. I knew who was going to get the injection from the start, i did know the manga spoilers from this part.
It didn’t help though, just like last week, as I knew this moment was coming and still struggled to watch the pain Armin was in.

We bid farewell to Erwin. Next week, we’ll reach the basement at long last. Only took us 55 episodes!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Sam

    I’ve read a couple of reviews of this episode and there was one thing that neither review mentioned which surprised me. That was Bertholdt begging for his life as he was about to be eaten by Armin whilst Eren, Mikasa and the others watched.

    I found it disturbing in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. On the one hand Bertholdt is partly responsible for lots of people being killed and eaten by Titans so you could say it’s no less than he deserves. You could even be disgusted with him for begging for his life. Even so if I was in his position I would be begging as well. Death is frightening enough but there is something about being eaten that triggers a primordial fear response.

    Bertholdt may be a more of a clear cut “bad guy” in this story. However in some case in war soldiers on both sides often are and have to be ruthless even when their enemies are not neccessarily bad. Sometimes in wars there isn’t even a clear cut good side and bad side. A soldier may ruthlessly kill enemy soldiers even ones who are disarmed and begging for their lives because they don’t have the means to take them prisoner. Then find themselves in the opposite position later and be just as terrified and begging for their own life.

    Perhaps I found it disturbing because I simulatenously sympathized with Bertholdt and was disgusted with him.

    1. MidnightDevont

      Honestly, I did think about talking about it. I don’t think I would of been so sympathetic though, perhaps i’m just bitter about the truth about Marco. I know soldiers in both sides of a war need to be ruthless sometimes, but making yourself a mole in the enemy’s ranks and then betraying someone who saw you as a friend…it’s kind of disgusting.

      I can see where you’re coming from though.

      1. Sam

        Over the years I’ve watched quite a few movies and TV shows about spies and undercover cops. Those sorts of stories tend to step into some murky and morally grey areas quite often. The undercover cop or the spy is befriending people in order to betray them (sometimes even kill them) for what they believe to be the greater good.

        Sometimes the people the cop/spy are cosying up to are so disgusting that you root for the cop/spy all the way. Other times not so much.

        In addition when it comes to espionage between nations there aren’t always clear cut “good nations” and “bad nations”. Most nations are motivated by national self-interest first and the greater good second (if at all). It wouldn’t be unheard of for two nations that are actually fairly similar to be at odds over a struggle for resources and/or economic and military power.

        Often the spies and soldiers for a nation on either side of a conflict are just ordinary people who wish to serve and protect their own people. They have very little say over the choices their political leaders make for good or ill.

        I’ve seen spy dramas where a spy has been found out by someone they consider a friend and kills them because they would be imprisoned and possibly executed if they are caught. It often twists them up inside but they do it anyway because they believe it is neccessary.

        We still don’t know who Bertholdt was working for or why but he was obviously acting as an agent for a cause that he believed in. Whether that cause justified his actions or not I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

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