Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 3 was a brilliant set-up episode for the next few upcoming episodes which will be packed with both information and action. The entire beginning of this season is actually just set-up, putting the pieces on the board so the insanity can occur at the Utgard Castle as well as everything following in the climactic battle. I’m warning all of the anime only watches that the biggest reveal in the entire series will be happening in episode 9 or 10. (A prediction based on the pacing of the season so far) The Arc being adapted this season is, in my option, the best Arc of the manga up to this point so its balls to the wall from here until we hit episode 12! There will be numerous reveals but with every reveal even more questions are asked. As the late, great Roddy Piper once said, “Just when you think you have the answers, I change the questions.”
This episode clearly displayed some of Isayama best work as a writer with the way he created tension in the scene wear the scouts are seemingly approaching onlooking titans in the pitch blackness of night. However how the scene ended also corroborates what I said in the Episode 2 review, that he doesn’t have twitching trigger figure with his characters. That scene could have easily ended in all the characters being ripped apart but instead it ends with a massive plot twist related to storytelling. Also this part of the series in particular is the best because all the conventions established previously are being broken, not for simple thrills but because it’s the way the story naturally developed. Examples of these conventions breaking are the titans roaming at night for an unknown reason as well as titan’s seemingly having the capacity to have complex thought and in some situations even vocal ability. Isayama’s clever writing also shows at the beginning of the episode with an interesting mystery that is solvable to the most astute viewer or reader but probably not for you. Why are the horses still in the stables, why are there no bodies or any sense of blood but yet the houses are in ruin? All answers will be given due in time my friends!
There were three big moments in this episode: the talking titan that is seemingly Connie’s mother, the fact that Christa is apparently being monitor by an internal organisation within the walls and has information about the titans in the walls, and that we may know that humans are transformed into all titans. This may be perceived as a spoiler but I, as someone who is fully caught up with the manga, has no additional information on the fate of Connie’s village. So what seems to have happened is the Beast Titan is transforming people into titans; not into titan shifters but into mindless titans. Also Ymir and Christa have something of a love scene in this episode, there has never been absolute proof that the two of them are a ‘couple’ but it is heavily implied in the manga and especially in the fandom, but both Armin and Reiner won’t be very happy to hear it.
This season is, in my book, approaching the point of passing the first season in term of quality. I am much satisfied with the adaptation, the show is going a great job of following the manga and only adding characterisation scene like the scene with Ymir and Christa in the episode, instead of subtracting important scenes. When this episode first aired, I was concerned that the studio had cut the incredibly important scene between Ymir and Reiner in the castle because they only show a tiny bit of it in this episode but thankfully, in the next episode they cover the entirety of the scene. For these reasons as well as the great writing in this episode it gets an 8.