Oh, wow. OH WOW. “Assault” was just… I have no words. This episode was action-packed. I remember last week how I mentioned I couldn’t sit still, and then this episode comes along and then just completely blows the previous episode out of the water. I have no idea how I’m supposed to choose screencaps to accompany this review because literally every single one I took is awesome.
“Assault” had almost every Titan in action (sort of). We still don’t know Annie’s fate (some people thought they spotted her in teasers for the season, but aside from flashbacks and a couple of name drops we have no idea where she is right now), but literally everyone else made an appearance, and it was incredible. I legitimately squealed when I realized Armin was on the little boat in the port; he and Hange were the only ones who didn’t appear in last week’s episode and I was so excited to see both of them pop up in this one.
Armin used the nuke power. Wow. Bertholdt had used this previously, but he held back some in order to still have the energy to throw the burning houses and use the steam defense. Armin went all-in on the boom, which is why his explosion was so much bigger. I mean, it sent those warships flying, and the shockwave alone did some massive damage. I appreciate he called back to Bertholdt as he was standing among the destruction.
His use of this – and also Hange appearing on a zeppelin (where did they get the zeppelin, by the way?) – indicates they indeed did have a plan. This whole thing wasn’t just Eren going off half-cocked and expecting the Survey Corps to come in and back him up. One of the Warriors – Porco, I think – acknowledges that and seems surprised by it. I wasn’t really that surprised, because I doubt they would all be risking their lives if they didn’t have something planned. Pieck was correct in that they’re at a disadvantage, because they have limited fuel and blades for their 3DM gear.
I get the sense that this attack has been planned for a while – and not by Eren. He’s getting better but he’s not this calculating. Armin, however, absolutely could have planned this. I suspect, though, that Eren got impatient and forced the Scouts’ hand.
No, seriously, where did they get the zeppelin? Also, I don’t remember there being Black people on Paradis, so is it possible the zeppelin pilot is an ally from another country? I still have my suspicions that the ambassador from Hizuru is involved in this somehow; she seemed highly sympathetic to the plight of the Eldians and she left just before the attack.
Also, there’s still no real confirmation on if Armin was the bearded soldier who led Porco and Pieck into the trap. It does kind of look like him (with a fake beard), but it was a different VA, and it would have taken him awhile to get out on the boat for his transformation. Also, would he have needed the fake beard? None of the Marleyans should have recognized him, and Pieck said he looked familiar. But if it wasn’t him, who was it?
I am not sure whether I should be suspicious of Zeke or not. I mean, I’m pretty much always suspicious of Zeke – dude’s shady as hell – but specifically in regards to this assault. He mysteriously disappeared before the attack and didn’t show up until it was well underway, and he went down way too easily. He had all that time to think up a plan and his best idea was just to taunt Levi? Then he mentions how Levi is running out of time, and we cut to Levi checking his watch.
How does Zeke know Levi is watching the clock? Are they in on this together? Was this an elaborate plan to fake Zeke’s death? I honestly can’t imagine him defecting – this is a man who turned in his own parents, after all. Nor do I believe that Levi and the others would willingly cooperate with the man who basically single-handedly wiped out their entire army and killed Erwin. But Eren did have a baseball glove in the hospital and told Falco “a friend” gave it to him. So then what is going on? Is this a double-cross?
It’s funny. I’m a person who generally shies away from gore. I don’t like horror movies or slasher movies and I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch war movies. But then something like Attack on Titan comes along and I love it. “Assault”, however, I had to watch through my fingers at certain points. I have weird squicks about things like broken teeth and stuff like that, and the scene where Eren uses Porco’s Titan teeth to smash the War Hammer Titan’s crystallized egg thing (and then drinks the blood) was difficult to watch. Seriously, that entire scene was brutal.
Absolutely genius, though. Even though Eren is basically still running on pure rage and hatred, it’s nice to see he’s not a complete idiot. That was savage and cold-blooded, but tactically a good idea. I guess he has them sometimes.
Some people think that the War Hammer Titan went down a little too easily, especially given how impressive her powers are. But the Tyburs withdrew from society and have stayed out of Marleyan affairs, so Lara Tybur has absolutely no experience fighting, whereas Eren has a considerable amount.
The battle tactics in “Assault” are simple, yet effective – on both sides. Sasha may get the kill of the episode for shooting one of Pieck’s gunners, creating a blind spot that allowed for Jean to come in with the thunderspear and take out the Cart Titan. Levi perfectly timed his attack on the Beast Titan for when Armin’s transformation would distract everyone. Meanwhile, Cart Titan is mowing down Scouts with machine guns. Both sides are successful in turn because the Marleyans are used to finding humans but the Paradisians are used to fighting Titans.
I do believe the Scouts have become almost completely desensitized to violence, though. It’s very easy to see in “Assault”. The fact that Armin blew up the port despite the substantial loss of life and that Jean fired at Pieck even with Falco in the way (he missed, but he still did it) show that at this point they understand that if they don’t fight with everything they have, they will be annihilated. Marley was gathering together all the nations of the world to come and wipe them off the map for – again – the crime of being descended from people who did bad stuff a long time ago.
Reiner is often referred to as the “Plot Armored Titan” because the guy just never seems to die, but here it looks like that’s all he wants to do, so maybe he finally will? He was seemingly roused to action by Gabi’s and Falco’s cries for help, but his Titan form at the end of the episode looked different than normal, like he didn’t have the energy to fully transform.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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