After the two main groups of soldiers converged at the end of last episode, the plan is to send Ymir to Trost Ward to have her injuries treated while the rest of the soldiers try to figure out how to plug a hole that might not even be in the Wall — but everything gets sidetracked by the shocking revelation of the true identities behind the Armored and the Colossal Titans.
Christa — now outed as Historia Reiss — pleads Ymir’s case to Hange at the episode’s start, but Hange seems almost more interested in the fact that Historia is a member of such a noble family. The significance of her nobility has still yet to be made clear. But after that short exchange, the entire episode is about one thing and one thing only: the fact that Reiner and Bertholdt had been working closely with Annie, and they have been the Armored and Colossal Titans all along.
It’s a bizarre moment when Reiner straight-up tells Eren this, especially because this is a show where people get maimed, devoured, or slashed to pieces on the regular. To have one of the biggest revelations be told to both character and viewer is unnerving in the best way.
So it almost makes sense when Eren reacts with utter disbelief. Reiner must be joking, right? He’s like everyone’s “big brother.” But Reiner says that if Eren returns with he and Bertholdt to their village for untold reasons, then they won’t cause any … problems. Bertholdt’s immediate panic at being outed lends severity to Reiner’s confession, and a flashback shown shortly thereafter confirms it all from a report Hange receives about Annie: Reiner and Bertholdt are indeed Titan Shifters, and they had secretly been working with Annie for years. Eren was just playing dumb in the present day, stalling.
When Reiner starts to lose his temper, it’s the ever-reliable Mikasa that jumps to actions and nearly succeeds at killing Reiner and Bertholdt — but not quickly enough. The pair transform, grabbing both Ymir and Eren in the process. For a brief moment, it almost appears as if performance anxiety might get the best of Eren once again, but his unbridled rage pulls through and he transforms in the episode’s final moments for what will undoubtedly make for one of the series’s most epic battles in next week’s episode.
- Hopefully, Attack on Titan will explain soon why Historia Reiss’s identity matters and what these noble families might mean to the show.
- It becomes very clear in this episode that Reiner is the leader and Bertholdt is the follower in their dynamic. Bertholdt says something to the effect of “Are we really doing this right now?” And yes, they sure do.
- Why do enemy Titan Shifters constantly try to kidnap other Shifters? The Female Titan once tried to take Eren and now the Armored and Colossus have made Eren and Ymir a priority.
- If Ymir isn’t in league with Reiner and Bertholdt, then what exactly is the dynamic there? What were her motives? For that matter, what are Reiner and Bertholdt’s?
You can watch the simulcast of Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 7 “Close Combat” on Funimation and Crunchyroll at 10:30 a.m. Eastern next Saturday, May 13 or on Hulu by 11:00 a.m. Eastern.