It’s a bit unnerving to listen to Eren ruminate on how Reiner and Bertholdt are “pieces of shit” in Attack on Titan — but it’s kind of accurate considering they’re the ones entirely responsible for the Fall of Shiganshina and the death of Eren’s mother, as a result. “I bet in the history of mankind,” Eren thinks, “nobody’s done anything as terrible as you.” That rage helps, but it’s Eren’s self-control and focus that serves him even better, as he’s outmatched in almost every way by the Armored Titan.

Brutal spoilers follow about humanity’s greatest enemies in Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 7: “Close Combat.”

There’s no turning back for Reiner and Bertholdt after outing themselves as the Armored and Colossal Titans in last week’s episode, and now, in “Close Combat,” it’s Eren vs. Reiner in their Titan forms as the Scouts struggle only briefly against Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan before it … just sits there for awhile.

The episode opens with a flashback scene of Eren, Reiner, and Bertholdt bonding over their reasons for joining the military. In case you forgot, Eren just wants to slaughter every last Titan, but Reiner humbly longs to return to his hometown. He genuinely seemed like a nice guy, but as it turns out, he’s the furthest thing from that.

Hange leads the charge against the Colossal Titan, but there isn’t much to do, as he emits lots of steam, preventing any direct attacks. The Colossal Titan is huge and much slower than other Titans, but that added defense is enough to neutralize their confrontation.

Whereas Eren’s connections to Annie in the past made it difficult for him to transform; it’s easy for Eren here in the wake of Reiner and Bertholdt’s betrayal. He had always admired Reiner, and the revelation that he’s his greatest enemy hits Eren hard.

Ultimately, it’s that oft-remembered fight during training with Annie, and her combat maneuvers, that help Eren figure out how he can win the fight against the Armored Titan.

Rather than just bludgeoning everything to death like he usually does — including when he defeated Annie’s Female Titan — Eren is able to fight smart. He actually listens to the advice of his fellow Scouts and wrestles with the Armored Titan rather than engage with him in a direct slugfest.

Especially in the second half of the episode, the tide turns, and it looks like Eren is sure to win. He broke off an arm and gradually chipped away at the armor plating all over the Armored Titan’s body. But in the episode’s final moments, the decaying pieces of the Colossal Titan dive right off the Wall and directly onto Eren for what promises to be an “abrupt conclusion” to the fight by next episode.

Bonus Thoughts:

  • Conny somehow totally missed the memo about Reiner and Bertholdt being the Armored and Colossal Titans.
  • Christa (now Historia) reminds us that although the Colossal Titan ate Ymir, she’s probably still alive in his stomach somewhere.
  • The Colossal Titan consistently emitted steam to prevent any attacks, and its body seemed to gradually decay as a result. The “steam” powers are kind of strange, but even they seem to have limits.

You can watch the simulcast of Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 8, “The Hunters,” on Funimation and Crunchyroll at 10:30 a.m. Eastern next Saturday, May 20, or on Hulu at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

Photos via 'Attack on Titan'