Previously on Attack on Titan:
The citizens within Wall Rose have been successfully evacuated but the Titan forces still have to be quelled, fearing for her brother’s safety, Mikasa goes out to find Eren. Spoilers Ahead.
Mikasa eventually comes across the rest of the trainees on the far side of town in her search for Eren. There the groups lament over the fact that the Titans are swarming their HQ, preventing them from getting gas for their Maneuver Gears. Mikasa asks Armin what happened to Eren and he tells her the bad news. Seemingly not caring she begins to berate her teammates and takes off towards HQ, killing 2 titans. However she runs out of gas and falls into an alley, as a Titan closes in on her, Mikasa recieves help from the most unlikely of sources.
Before I get to the nitty gritty I have an announcement: IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING ATTACK ON TITAN, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WATCH IT NOW! Now that we have that out of the way let’s get into the details of the episode.
Mikasa again takes the focus of the episode and once again she steals the show. She is a pretty compelling heroine and the reasons for her behavior are understandable. When Armin tells her what happened to Eren, she seems unfazed at 1st but is very upset by it. She berates her teammates, not because of some cliche motivational speech, but because she thought it was something Eren would do. The only who can see through he facade is Armin, and he notices after he and Connie follow her that she is recklessley wasting gas. All of her emotions come to a head when she lands in the alley and the Titan approaches, she has lost the will to live, since her “brother”, the only person she cares about in the world was taken from her leaving her alone again. It is very heart breaking to see her in such a state but even when her death approaches she somehow continues to fight after having some kind of introspective moment with a pomegranate (seriously) she resolves to fight again because that’s what Eren would have wanted. She even manages to wound the Titan trying to kill her.
The rest of the trainees get development as well, mostly Jean, Connie, (and my second favorite female in the show) Sasha. They rally the rest of the troops to follow Mikasa, but they are soon halted by the Titans leading to a few gruesome scenes where some of them get eaten because they ran out of gas, this leads to another moment for Jean as he watches his comrades get eaten, wondering why he didn’t save them. Things get so dire that some of the trainees in HQ commit suicide for fear of the Titans getting to them. This continues to drive the point home that the Titans are as fearsome as they played up to be.
“The Small Blade” while not as character heavy as last episode still is another good offering from this so far stellar series. The fear is real, the characters are relateable, and the action scenes are still very well done. The fight to survive continues next week as the trainees mount an assault on Headquarters and the mystery of the “Rogue” Titan is revealed.