Welcome, one and all, to my latest weekly episode review for Attack on Titan Season Three. Today, I’m looking at the episode Descent. This one was mostly about Reiner and Bertholdt, and really fleshed things out a bit.
Annie was actually given a little focus this week, despite not appearing for a long time now. I’m happy to see that, as I’d like to see her get back into the storyline. Here though, she was used as a way to show the division in the Titan Shifters. First, when Marco overhears Reiner and Bertholdt talking about their plans, she sui ordered to remove his ODM gear so that a Titan can eat him. She really wasn’t happy about the situation at all, showing that she’d gained a connection with her comrades in the division. Unfortunately, she goes through with the plan.
Later, when Armin tackles Bertholdt, he brings Annie up as a last ditch effort to negotiate. He even says that only Bertholdt can stop her from being tortured by the military police. This attempt fails too, leading to the final moments of the episode.
Like I said, it would be nice to see Annie re-emerge somehow. It could even be that, following this battle, Armin tries questioning her. We shall see though.
After last week’s attack, Reiner is first seen in a series of flashbacks. The interesting thing is, he seems more resolute that Annie and Bertholdt during the scene with Marco, at least up until the Titan starts eating him. That’s when he snaps. This kinda ties into the second flashback too, set just before the start of the current battle. Here, Zeke points out that Reiner isn’t fully committed and that he’d happily fight him again, but if Reiner were to lose, then he’d have to give up his armour power to another warrior. This makes it seem like Reiner ahs his doubts over their cause.
When we jump back to real time, we find that part of his head has been blown off. There’s some minor celebration from the Scouts – though Conny and Sasha are upset – but it doesn’t last. Reiner manages to summon enough strength to roar, summoning Bertholdt. This is where we learn that he transferred his consciousness into his nervous system as a last resort, and is just about still alive. By the end of the episode, he’s rolled himself onto his back to protect his body and started healing.
I’m not overly thrilled with this, if I’m being honest. It’s great that the Titan Shifters are formidable foes, and having the odds stacked against the humans is great, but if they’re this indestructible, it kinda lessens it for me. Reiner feels overpowered at this point.
Bertholdt may not have been entirely happy with having to kill Marco, but he obviously cares about his current comrades. In fact, he actually delays their plan in order to check on Reiner and give him a chance to roll over and protect himself. Where this gets interesting is that the other Shifters have described humans as evil and filthy, but Bertholdt outright states that they aren’t. He says that nobody is wrong, the world is just cruel. This worldview is, in some ways, more dangerous, I think. It means that Bertholdt can view destruction as a must, without a dedicated cause that could be swayed.
The reality of the situation dawned on the Scouts this weeks. From the upset about Reiner to Armin making an effort to bring about a peaceful end, only one thing was clear: conflict and death is inevitable. This was never going to end peacefully. When the Colossal Titan finally transforms, Hange Squad is caught in the blast too, leaving it unclear whether any of them survived. This just leaves the Armin led Levi Squad within the Walls. At the end of the episode, Erwin is left waiting for the Beast Titan to make a move.
Even with the issue I have with Reiner surviving, this was still a really enjoyable episode. I like that there’s a division in worldview between the Titan Shifters, as that creates a little weakness for them. I also enjoyed seeing that not everyone was okay with the rampant death. As the battle rages on I suspect that things will just get worse for everyone, and it’s going to be interesting to see how.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.