Welcome, one and all, to my latest weekly episode review for Attack on Titan Season Three. Today, I’m looking at the episode Perfect Game. This was all about trying to rally the troops, so to speak. Let’s have a look at what went down.
Leadership – Armin and Jean
The Scouts left inside Shiganshina weren’t given as much screen time this week, but boy did they have a rough time of things when they were on screen! For them, things picked up where we left off, with the Colossal Titan forming and laying waste to the town. The problem is that, with Hange and her squad now missing-presumed-dead, everyone is looking to Armin for leadership. And who can blame them? We’ve got Eren, Mikasa, Conny, Sasha, and Jean left standing. They’ve all come up through the ranks together, and all trust Armin implicitly. Unfortunately, Armin’s lack of self-confidence rears up.
Armin, unsure what to do, tells Jena to take control. He points out that he’s good at reading situations but that he’s not got a single idea here. With Armin stubbornly unable to lead though, he does seem to take control for a time and comes up with a very direct approach to things. He knows that Colossal’s hot steam prevents them from harming him, but feels like there must be a weakness. So, while Mikasa looks for an opening, he tells Eren to charge in and tackle the Colossal Titan’s legs. Eren does so, and for a moment it appears to work. He forces the Colossal Titan’s leg back…only for him to punt him through Shiganshina and up onto the top of the Wall.
Jean, I think, honestly, panics here. Even knowing that it likely won’t work, he calls for the remaining Scouts to attack and try distracting their foe while Mikasa comes in form behind to attack with Thunder Spears. Jean realizes that it’s a failure first because the distraction is too obvious, and the Colossal Titan uses his hot steam to block the Thunder Spears. Battered, they retreat to where Armin is watching and ask if he has any ideas for a counter-attack. Armin responds, “not one.” With everyone worrying now, they suddenly get to drop into outright terror as the Armoured Titan reappears.
From the preview of next week, Armin is looking pretty determined, so I suspect that he’ll figure something out. I like the general set-up of these moments though. Armin has all the potential to be a great leader, and his greatest obstacle is himself. Now, being forced into this situation, he’ll have to rise above it or die. It’s a real growth arc for him. Meanwhile, Jean was shown to be a fine soldier but not have the foresight or tactical imagination that Armin has. That was fine because it makes Jena’s role clear. The Armoured Titan…like I said last week, I’m not fond of how unkillable he appears to be right now.
Leadership – Erwin and Levi
Those on the frontline had an even rougher time of it than the others. Just as it looked like they were turning the tide a little, the Beast Titan started launching boulders. The result of that was a combination of mass slaughter and a quick reduction of hiding places as the experienced Scouts and the buildings were wiped out in short order.
In all of this, Levi asks Erwin how things are looking, and in an honest moment, says ‘terrible’. He doesn’t know if Hange and company survived the explosion, and their cover is not going to last. Panic starts to set in for the rookie Scouts, and they all start to lose hope entirely. Levi takes control a little, suggesting to Erwin that he act as a distraction by tackling the Beast Titan while the rest try to escape by riding Eren out of there. He doubts that any of them will survive though. Erwin says, “Yes, if there were no way to counter-attack.” He has a plan but isn’t entirely happy about it because Levi is right that they will likely all die. He needs an expert con man – himself – to lead the charge into death or the recruits won’t follow, and their sacrifice now is a requirement.
For Erwin, this was a tough one because he’s within touching distance of the basement, but now probably won’t live to see it. He sees visions of the soldiers that gave their lives under his command, and they want to know why they died. Levi talks him down, telling him that it’s because of him that they got so far and that he will defeat the Beast Titan. This all led to Erwin giving a rousing speech where he essentially told that the recruits that it was all hopeless, and that their hopes, dreams and the lives they lived, are meaningless. But those that died before weren’t meaningless, because their sacrifice meant that others had a chance.
And so came a charge over open ground, right at the Beast Titan and his boulders. The idea is that while the Scouts essentially charge headlong into death, Levi can use his ODM gear to use the still standing Titans as a way to get close to the Beast Titan. It all feels very heroic, and the episode ends with Erwin taking a boulder to his side.
This plan was undoubtedly the focus of the episode. I’m not sure Erwin is dead just yet though, as the chunk of flesh that he’s lost is far smaller than those that fell around him. No, I expect him to reach the basement while bleeding out and die after finding what he wanted. Meanwhile, I’m salivating at the thought of Levi vs. the Beast Titan.
this was such a well-done episode, and it flew by to watch. In a way, I feel like we’re moving to a passing of the torch. Erwin will perish and Levi will take over, with the main goal to be to move Armin to full control of the Scouts. That’s what I think, anyway.
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.