A lot of both episodes 32 and 33 are battles and quick flashes of scout training. It does feel like we are putting off more reveals, but I’m a terribly impatient person and I understand that pacing is key. Objectively, we are looking a great group of episodes that build this arc so we can continue to empathize with Reiner and Bertholdt, though that time is long past according to Eren. The breakneck speed at which the show was moving in the first half has slowed to a more manageable pace, and it’s obvious this is where AOT wants us to be for the remainder of the season.
Welp. This season I am apparently having a ton of trouble with comprehension. First the issues with TAB, and now AOT. Looks like I had a complete misunderstanding of the situation in episode 31. Bertholdt is the Colossal Titan, and Reiner is the Armored Titan. Sorry about my confusion mixing them up- I’m sure that was either upsetting for some and only served to confuse more people.
The battle ensuing between Eren and Reiner is actually very exciting in a very Rocky Balboa way. Eren is at an obvious disadvantage since he isn’t much of a brawler and because he lacks the armor plating Reiner has, but this underdog edge gains him an advantage using techniques that the titans and Annie taught him during scout training.
During the titan battle, Mikasa, Armin, and Hange can only offer cursory advice since their blades are easily deflected by the Armored Titan. Bertholdt, still in the form of the Colossal Titan, is expelling enough steam to keep the scouts at bay. Everyone is unable to help in this battle of giants which likely knocks things into perspective for some scouts.
The titan battle is well executed and exciting, but past the basics of action, AOT is fleshing some characters out. With Hange taking her mantle as a commander since the beginning of this season, it was easy to dismiss the Hange we met in season one- the titan obsessed Hange. There’s a wonderful reminder of how much she loves titans when she instructs Eren and he acknowledges her. I’ve always loved Hange, and it makes me happy from the bottom of my heart to see her so happy.
There is also a considerable amount of time spent reinforcing Mikasa and Armin’s relationship with Eren. I don’t believe the show has ever come out and said that Eren relies on his friends a little too much, but it does at this point. There is a flashback detailing Eren’s hotheadedness, Armin’s ineptitude, and Mikasa’s strength that is reminiscent of most situations we’ve seen involving Eren- he finds trouble, Armin tells Mikasa, Mikasa runs in to help, Eren tries to act like he doesn’t need Mikasa and runs away after the trouble he’s caused. Mikasa and Armin muse over the fact that Eren always runs away leaving them behind to clean up whatever he left in his wake, typically a mess.
It could be argued that this particular instance isn’t necessarily Eren’s fault, but considering the events and the preceding battle- it’s a little difficult to imagine Armin and Mikasa not feeling abandoned. They are pitiable, but at the same time the two are roused to track down their friend because of Eren’s heroic archetype.
This next episode should me more explanatory since we have to catch up with the titan crew on horseback. Eren is missing his arms and Ymir doesn’t have her limbs regenerated, yet, so there isn’t likely to be much of a struggle on the kidnapped’s end. I am really curious what Reiner has to say for himself about the whole situation and if Eren will see his side of things at all what with his entire being consumed with revenge for his mother.