They say that home is where the heart is. Unfortunately, the darker side of that saying is that should a home be destroyed, a heart is too. And though a house may be rebuilt and, in turn, made a home anew, there is still something undeniably sad about the simple fact that it was broken in the first place.
Poor Connie. After Sasha’s reunion with her family last week, a small glimmer of hope and happiness had found its way into the world of Attack on Titan. But alas, it was not to last, as almost immediately we were hit with the harsh reality of what Connie found waiting for him in his hometown. Nobody. Not a single soul left in the village and only a single creature remaining: A Titan. And yet there is something curious about this in and of itself. As is so noted by a rather pragmatic soldier, though no people remain in Connie’s village, there are also no remains of people. From everything we’ve seen so far, Titans are not fastidious creatures. Though their seeming intention is to devour humanity, they leave a wake of destruction and corpses as they go. For their to be no blood, something unknown is at play. Another soldier immediately surmises that this means the village escaped, but I severely doubt that to be so. I did even before the first soldier noted that the village horses were all in their stables. Which really only leaves one possible explanation.
Titans are humans. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Okay, it’s not the most outlandish idea and is probably the first thing everybody thought when the Titans first appeared, but they really left no doubt after this episode. Let’s go over the facts. Connie’s village was left entirely empty, without a single trace of casualties and yet a number of destroyed buildings. A Titan with the inability to move was found lying on top of Connie’s home. Said Titan spoke to Connie and shared both hair and eye colour with Connie’s mother, as seen via a flashback. Wall Rose is discovered to lack any breaches, yet Titans have appeared within it. Do I need to go on? I doubt it, but it sure is fun to get on a roll with piecing stuff together. Though no characters in-universe have completely reached this conclusion, or if they have they’re denying it, it sure is nice to see some resolution on this front. Since their first appearance, the Titans were as frightening for their mysterious nature as they were for their violence. As the series evolved, we came to learn more about them and, though still unmistakeably frightening, they lost some of their unknown qualities. Yet we never discovered their origins, their motives, their purpose. The latter still elude us, but the former no longer. At least, not completely.
Contrary to the revelations of this episode, we are continually thrown for a loop by the entirely unique qualities appearing in the Titans of late. Beginning with the enigmatic Beast Titan and it’s seeming levels of intelligence, these terrifying creatures are reverting to being an unknown quantity. Though comparatively less alarming than our hairy, giant friend, Sasha’s run in with the Small Titan was deeply unnerving. Size variations have been seen since the outset, but for one to enter a house without destroying it, to calmly sit and eat someone slowly, to ignore another human in the room, none of that is Titan behaviour. The Unfortunate titan who remained on Connie’s house possessed an eerie calmness to it, never trying to struggle or eat any of the soldiers who arrived in the town. Not to mention it welcoming Connie home. It’s all just so odd. Combining that with the Titans who are able to move freely at night, something no Titan has ever done, and we are left with more questions than answers. And it is great. Not for the poor characters of course, but for us, the audience. After an entire season of slowly learning, the series is switching everything up and instilling the same unsettling fear of the unknown that grabbed people’s attention in the first place. What’s better is that these changes don’t seem contrived, like they are attempting to trip us up. They fit within the world and lean into the tone established since the Colossal Titan first kicked down that wall. Even going back to last week, wherein Armin realised that the Titans had never attacked the Walls directly, breaking through Gates instead. Though it could easily be a convenient coincidence, it still lends credence to the idea that, though we are only witnessing these alterations and advancements in Titan behaviour, they have been there all along.
So there you have it. Yet another cluster of questions and facts to be added to the rolling boulder that is this series. Each week it grows, speeds up and threatens to lose us as it ploughs through everything that lies before it without remorse. Less metaphorically speaking, the series is starting to present a more solidified concept as it widens the parameters of the world, having led with two episodes that, while solid, lacked that grander scale punch they were attempting to deliver. That in mind, the story looks to be running with that concept as Krista is suddenly a figure of great import and mystery. The smallest and sweetest of the 104th, she has apparently been under surveillance from the Church of the Walls. Why? Who can say, but it certainly is interesting. Ymir also seems to be more than she appears, as Reiner began to rather angrily question her before being cut off by a Titan attack and her name alone was enough to garner the attention of Hange. Here’s hoping we find out why sooner, rather than later. there’s only room for one long running unsolved mystery and that spot is already taken by Eren’s damn basement. Seriously, there had better be something really good in there. Like the answers to everything, or a really cool movie collection.