Previously, on Attack on Titan: “Eve of the Counteroffensive, Part 3”
The action ramps up in this week’s episode. They blow through the ghost town and titans and deploy the regiment’s trademark formation. Now the purpose of the formation is to serve as an early detection system for all threats, all threats being titans. The Scouts have a high survival rate not because they kill every titan they come across, but by avoiding them. It’s a relatively simple yet highly effective system. It’s not without flaws though, considering the amount of territory they have to cover. Some titans slip through the formation.
After Armin’s squad leader takes out a titan, he wonders what the hell happened to the search squad. As if to answer that question personally, the only female titan we’ve seen in the entire series comes thundering through. In the time it takes to asset the threat and fire off the flare, the squad leader and his subordinate are killed in some of the most brutal ways possible and Armin is de-horsed. As
That search squad that should have told them that she was coming; all slaughtered by a horde of titans that she brought. It’s something Arming would learn as he prepares to face the jaws of death again, the Titan kneels down and pulls his hood down. As they stare each other in the eyes, a smirk appears on its face. Then it takes off. Holy. SHIT. We are all thinking it right now. What just happened!?
Before another titan can stroll up and snag him, Reiner rides in with a spare horse. John joins them and fires a flare. He confirms that the right flank took a heavy hit. Armin tells them that this isn’t a variant but a human with titan powers. Reason being it didn’t eat anyone, just kill them in ways that requires at least a little thought. That human is also looking for someone in particular. Safe money is on Eren. Where he is, in the formation is anyone’s guess.
John gets the bright idea that maybe they should slow it down. Slow it down to buy the rest of the regiment time to retreat. Reiner asks what the hell happened to the John from the Cadet days. He shrugs it off and tells him he doesn’t want anyone else to end up a pile of ash. So he knows what he has to do. Armin tells John and Reiner to put on their hoods. If it can’t identify them, it might give them a window to work with. They’re not going to try and kill it; that titan knows the weak spot is the nape. But maybe, Armin muses that maybe Mikasa and Levi could take this monster down. Before that gets any more thought however, John fires off his hooks and the titan turns and knocks Armin’s horse out clear from under him.
Déjà vu anyone? As the female titan kneels over Armin, John fires off his hooks again. She takes a swing at him and he narrowly avoids. He’s scared shitless but recognizes that the titan moves way faster than any other titan they’ve seen or fought. When he swings around to get to the nape, it blocks it. John’s seeing this for the first time and it might’ve been for the last had Armin not cried for blood. He tells John to slice that fucker up for killing their guys. The Titan stops in mid swing and John slides behind a tree. Reiner takes advantage and propels himself at her. Here comes the wind up and…
…She catches him and crushes him in her fist. In a splash of blood Reiner ceases to exist and now Armin and John are really in the shit. Right as all hope is lost, Reiner in a flash of steel and gore explodes out of the fist, grabs Armin and tells John to haul ass. The female titan takes off and Reiner cheers, saying that they managed to scare her off. Armin doesn’t buy it though. He knows where she’s headed. To the rear of the formation, which is where Eren might be.