Previously, on Attack on Titan: “Attack on Trost, Part 8”
John is still hiding out, waiting for his chance to swap out his rig so he won’t end up as a snack. But that big headed bastard is lingering. While he messes with the rig, that titan comes back and before he can pounce, Marco swoops in and draws him off. In shorter time than it took to strip it off the fallen soldier, John changes the rig and takes off. To facilitate his escape, Connie slams into the side of one titan’s face and Annie takes out another. They’re all in agreeance.
That was crazy shit.
Then they see Eren’s Titan form carrying the boulder towards the gate. The plan is finally coming to fruition. But it’s not over yet! Armin tells the others that if they can protect Eren until they get to the gate then they’ll win. In a singular loud voice, the squad leader orders everyone to protect him at all costs. Even if it costs them their lives, they must protect Eren. This also means they have to directly engage Titans, either to draw them off but really they have to just try and kill these bastards. Everyone understands and they spring into action. Armin and Mikasa are sent to protect Eren.
But the Titans aren’t going for the carrot on the stick any more. Eren’s presence is too strong for the Titans to ignore. Mitavi squad does the unthinkable. They get to ground level and threaten the titans with a steel endoscopy. That strategic taunt works and two titans peel off to hunt down the squad. It’s the only way it’ll be a success. So everyone does it. Eren, now fully conscious in his Titan form sees what’s going on. The danger that everyone’s putting themselves in. It’s obvious when you see Mitavi Squad get scooped up. Eren remembers why he wanted to go out into the world.
It’s a teary-eyed reminder that from the moment we are born, we are free. Anyone who sees the outside world with all the danger and horrors that await, will have achieved the greatest freedom. He would fight for that and die for it. In a final push, a titan is dispatch edand the boulder slammed in. The operation is a success. For the first time in recorded history, Humanity has beaten the titans. Reinforcements are sent in to extract what’s left of the elite squad.
They’ve stopped the titans coming in but they’ve still got the ones trapped inside of Trost. When all hope looks lost, Sergeant Levi appears in a flash of light and cuts down the two that would have devoured Eren and Armin. Eren opens his eyes and sees the Wings of Freedom. The rest comes quickly; it took an entire day of cannon fire to exterminate the rest of the titans that gathered along the wall. Any stragglers were quickly dealt with by the Scout Regiment and they even managed to capture two titans alive for the purpose of studying them. But with 207 dead or missing and 897 injured, the cost took the flavor out of celebrating a victory.
The worst part of any battle is battlefield cleanup. John has the unfortunate chance of identifying Marco’s body. As he walks away in utter shock, asking the other dead if anyone saw how he died, a medic stops him and tells him; “If you know his name, tell me.” This is a freakin’ cartoon, if you want to boil it down like that. But this is by far one of the most intense animes I’ve seen in a long time. Due to the fact the medic breaks it down for him; they don’t have time to sit and mourn their fallen yet. They need to identify them quickly they can and combat a secondary disaster. Disease from rotting corpses will kill the people than the titans will. The medic is glad that he was able to identify him. They carry on.
Sasha is locked onto Titan puke. Being that they have no digestive tract, once they’re full they vomit them out. It’s senseless and vicious process. They have to cut the gel open to identify what remains of the victims. But it’s a crap shoot. Annie apologizes to a corpse to which Reiner says forget about it. That won’t help them. A quick funeral will as they heave the bodies onto a funeral pyre.
Eren wakes up in a cell with Commander Erwin and Sergeant Levi looking at him. They ask him if he has any questions. Eren’s kind of star struck. These are his heroes, basically. He gets his shit together long enough to ask where he is. He’s in a dungeon if it wasn’t obvious enough. Because of his transformation, he’s in the custody of the Military Police. The Commander starts asking questions of his own. He asks about the key and the basement in Eren’s home district, if there’s any truth to it. Eren confirms that it is. Levi remarks that it’s a little convenient that his father is missing and that his memory is spotty. Erwin tells him to lay off. What reason would Eren have to lie? Still they don’t know a lot of things. Like Eren’s intentions. Erwin knows the fate of humanity will be decided by the titans. It could be that the Colossal and Armored Titans that plunged them into this hell are like Eren. They are humans with the power to transform. So Levi tells him to answer the question; and Eren looks at him. He looks like a starving wolf. He tells them that he wants to join the Scout Regiment and kill every last titan!
Levi says that’s fine and tells Erwin that he’ll be responsible for Eren. To contrast Eren’s savagery, Levi replies coldly. If Eren gets out of line or can’t control his transformation, he’ll kill him. It’s something the top brass can’t complain about. So watch yourself, it’s literally your ass, new meat.