The Beast Titan has scaled Wall Maria, Reiner leads some of the efforts to survive the night at Castle Utgard, and we don’t even get to see Eren stressing further about whether or not he can actually save mankind by sealing the nobody can find in Wall Rose — but the craziest thing to happen in “Soldier” is the appearance of a new Titan Shifter that nobody could have expected.
After a relatively action-lite third episode, Attack on Titan Season 2 continues with a somewhat Reiner-centric “Soldier.” Connie, Reiner, Bertholdt, Krista, and Ymir are all helpless without their gear while the Scout veterans — Lynne, Henning, Gelgar, and Nanaba — defend the castle against the dozen or so Titans assailing it. “Soldier” continues the Season 2 trend of focusing on some of the minor characters from the 104th training corps, this time honing in on Reiner, his obsession with duty, and a traumatic moment from his past.
Spoilers follow for Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 4: “Soldier”
To Reiner, being a soldier ultimately means the very simple risking your life to save others. We see as much in a brief flashback in which a friend pushes Reiner out of the way as a Titan’s groping hand moves towards him. He remembers it just as a small Titan breaches a door in the castle and he’s about to get killed. They’re able to take the Titan down with a team effort, Reiner saves Connie in much the same way a mere few minutes after that, maiming his arm in the process.
The Scout veterans mop up the larger Titans outside while the recruits barely survive two smaller ones inside the castle. Just when things seem like they’re actually going well, the Beast Titan starts throwing things at them from far away, killing their horses and then a pair of the veterans in a matter of moments. All hope is quite literally lost as the tower begins to crumble underneath them, and Ymir makes the out-of-nowhere choice to leap off the tower with a knife, slicing open her hand and shifting into a brand new Titan.
In the last episode, Pastor Nick made it seem like Christa was the important one that Eren and co. needed to find. But between her being able to read ancient cans of fish and do the following, Ymir will have a lot of questions to answer in Episode 5:
- Two of the Titans actually attack each other in the opening shot, which is strange. The Beast Titan really puts them in a frenzy.
- Conny remarks that Reiner always takes the most dangerous job on missions, which is absolutely true for some reason.
- Bertholdt mentions at some point that Reiner used to be “more of a warrior,” which seems odd.
- There’s a moment when Reiner realizes that Ymir can read the ancient language on a can of herring — but the tension of the moment is dismissed by the arrival of the Titans assaulting the castle.
You can watch the simulcast of Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 5 “Historia” on Funimation and Crunchyroll at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, April 29 or on Hulu at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.