Note: Originally published on my other blog Wonder | Wander.
The tension rises in this episode of Attack on Titan as mystery upon mystery is piled up quickly while the answers come at a much slower pace. There are times when the foreshadowing is laid on too thick for my taste – there’s only so much side glances and sweat dripping down their foreheads that I can take, you know. But, as usual, the show keeps its cards close to its chest. Overall, Chapter 28 manages to keep the storytelling tight despite the deliberate positioning of various set pieces for a still hazy endpoint.
It starts where Chapter 27 ended with Connie staring at the ruins of his old house that was squashed by a titan with flimsy legs and arms. He lightens up when he was told that there were no body parts or blood found in any of the houses in the town which means the villagers may have escaped the attack. However, Captain Gelgar feels something is amiss especially after seeing horses in the stables. He knows that the villagers’ chances of survival are very slim if they didn’t bring their horses with them. Having found no answers in the town, Gelgar decides to head further south along the wall and search for the breach. Connie was preparing to leave when he hears the titan mumble “Welcome home.” He turns around horrified and tries to tell Reiner about it, but he urges him on as the rest of the crew has left.
Okay. Let’s talk about that scene first because it’s such a WTF moment and also because it’s the second time that a titan spoke words this season – the first being the Beast Titan from Chapter 26. As I said from my previous post, I have an inkling as to what have happened in Connie’s village and it is this: that the titans currently invading the southern territories inside Wall Rose are actually the villagers themselves. If I remember correctly, during Connie’s journey back to his village, he pictures the smiling faces of his family members and his mom had blond hair and bright yellow eyes. The titan on their house has blond hair and bright yellow eyes. Coincidence? I think not. Even Connie feels it, too. But of course, no revelation is forthcoming… yet.
We then follow Krista and Ymir under Captain Nanaba. Their own explorations on the west of the wall went smoothly enough so Nanaba decides that they follow the wall to the South and see if they can find the breach. Ymir protests and requests to be sent back to barracks but Nanaba dismisses her and tells her that they are needed to relay messages in case something goes wrong with their mission. Krista confronts Ymir and tells her that she doesn’t need to worry much about her because it was her decision to be in the Survey Corps. In their conversation, Krista reveals that Ymir gave up her spot in the top ten to Krista so she can be eligible to join the Military Police and therefore avoid the front lines and be safe. Ymir doesn’t categorically deny this but she comforts Krista by saying that she is doing this for herself.
Again, unspoken words and secrets hang in the air. Why is Ymir devoted to Krista? We see a clue into how deep their relationship goes in this scene as it is also revealed that Ymir has ties to Krista’s family and this seems to be a major reason why she always keeps an eye out for her. Hmm. Just when you thought you already have your plate full of mysteries to solve, another one is served to you… and there seems to be no end in sight.
In another part of the wall, Commander Kitz and Captain Rico lead the garrison in defending their station from an approaching titan. With their teamwork, they are able to finish it off quickly. The other soldiers feel confident that their defenses can withstand the titans but Rico is a bit more skeptical, saying that the titans’ strength is in their numbers and they will surely have a hard time if the titans come in droves. Meanwhile, Hannes is also riding the length of the wall with his partner in search of the breach. He wonders why there aren’t any titans lurking in the fields; if there was indeed a hole in the wall as stated in the report, the titans will keep on pouring in – yet, the fields are empty and silent.
The search for the breach in the walls reaches its climax as Captain Gelgar leads his crew in the dark. The night is closing in and they still haven’t found what they are looking for. It could mean that they are nearing the hole and that they might be ambushed by titans waiting in the shadows. Instead, they come across Captain Nanaba and her crew. Their sweep of the walls also resulted into nothing. Of course, this only confirms my theory that there is no “hole” or “crack” in the wall where the titans entered because the villagers are the titans. The survey team hasn’t figured it out, though. They decide to rest for the night in an abandoned castle on top of a small hill and continue the search the following day.
We jump again, this time to Eren’s crew heading for Ehrmich District. Hange finally confirms Armin’s suspicions: that the walls are indeed made out of titan skin. She then suggests that Eren, as a titan shifter, could possibly help in sealing the wall. Armin stretches it out further and says that Eren’s ability will be instrumental in recapturing Wall Maria. Eren remembers the basement and the secrets it holds but he seems a bit taken aback by the suggestion that he could seal the wall. Levi does not like Eren’s hesitation and forces him to accept this new responsibility by saying that he has no choice because their supplies are very limited and logistics to transfer tons of materials and builders to the outside walls will be impossible.
The group arrives to Ehrmich District where Pastor Nick finally sees the impact of the war on the ordinary townsfolk. Levi explains to him the possible consequences of his actions, prompting Pastor Nick to finally divulge a bit of information. He tells the group that their organization has been monitoring – Sasha Braus? Nope. But Sasha arrives in the middle of Pastor Nick’s speech to deliver a report. He was actually referring to Krista Lenz.
Finally, we return to the abandoned castle where Captain Nanaba and Captain Gelgar’s group are stationed for the night. The lookout wakes up everyone and brings them up to the tower where they discover that a horde of titans has surrounded the castle. Everyone is shocked because they learned in the academy that titans get their strength from the sunlight and that they become immobile when night time falls. However, the titans surrounding them are very much alive and active. Not far away, they spot the Beast Titan heading towards the walls. With the castle on the verge of collapse, the officers bravely launch an all-out offensive to stop the titans. At the same time, Eren, Mikasa and Armin set out with Hange in the direction of the castle. Before leaving, Levi gives some instructions for each of the young cadets. He reminds Eren to calm down and learn to focus on their goals.
Let me recount all the major questions so far: (1) Why are there titan on the walls? (2) What is the Church of Walls involvement with the construction of the walls? (3) Who is Krista Lenz and why is she being monitored by the Church of the Walls? (4) What is Ymir’s role in Krista’s family and why does she always have to protect Krista? (5) Where did the titans come from? What happened to the villagers? And if they are truly the titans currently lurking and causing trouble in the south, how did they end up like that? (6) What (or who) is the Beast Titan? So far, only (1) has been answered; the rest remains a mystery. I love the effort in building up the dread and suspense, but the next episode should already provide some more answers. If not, at least an epic battle would do. All this tension must amount to something.
For the meantime, let us calm ourselves with this screenshot of Sasha and her beloved potato #OTP
Note: I have not read the manga as I don’t have the luxury of time to catch up with its 22 volumes and counting. Thank you for not posting any spoilers.