Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Opening

As the Survey Corps set out to retake their greatest hope, we set in for a very non-action episode of Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 9

This Attack on Titan review contains spoilers.

Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 9

I can’t believe Attack on Titanspent the whole episode this week on four people talking in a tree.

Sure, we got glimpses and shots of Survey Corps Commander and Man-With-Sentient-Eyebrows Erwin Smith leading Mikasa and the rest of the scouts on their way to save Eren and Ymir, and one moment where Hange tries to brave through immobilizing pain for the sake of science. But those scenes aside, “Opening” turns out to be a pretty non-action 20-something minutes.

At least we learned some things, I guess?

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The Rescue’s on the Way

The episode started out with shots establishing that the Survey Corps is still on their way to save Eren and Ymir, that Mikasa is still worried as hell, and that Hange is still scientifically curious enough about Titans that she’s willing to put her life at risk to find out the truth.

All in all, these scenes feel like fillers because nothing was really concluded. Hannes repeated the same advice he gave last episode—that Eren is a tough cookie who can take care of himself better than Mikasa thinks; Hange brings up again the point that there’s something suspicious about the normal Titans. I supposed we have to wait until the next episode to see what follows.

Eren, Ymir, Reiner, and Bertolt Sitting in a Tree

We caught up with Eren finding himself awake on a branch of a giant tree, cut off from food, water, and friends, surrounded by his worst enemies, people he can’t trust, and hungry Titans below. Long story short, we stayed with him there for the duration of the episode, where he was unsuccessful at keeping his emotions in check, and learned a thing or two about the bigger picture that, ultimately, resulted in a lot more questions than answers.

Questions like:

– Reiner and Bertolt (and Annie) are obviously not from inside the Walls by this point. Otherwise, why would they want to destroy the only things protecting their own people. But since Reiner keeps referring to a “hometown”, does that mean there is a whole other human civilization out there?

– If so, why is this other human civilization presumably waging this war against the people inside the Walls with their Titan shifters instead of killing the Titans?

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– Who is the Beast Titan and how is he connected to all of this?

– Why don’t the people inside the Walls know anything about this other civilization? Or anything in general?

– Are we in a situation where the people inside the Walls believe they’re the last of humanity, but are actually surrounded by thriving, non-dystopic, non-post-apocalyptic countries who have already mastered subduing the Titans and are once in a while going, “Siiiigh, it’s those crazy Wall people again. Should we make contact or leave them alone? Let’s leave them alone. But next time, we should send a couple of our military guys to knock down one of their walls just to mess with them.” I don’t know. It’s a theory.

What does get answered is Reiner’s bizarre behavior, thanks to Ymir’s insights that all but confirms that he suffers from some sort of personality disorder. Looking back, it shouldn’t be much of a surprised considering what he’s gone through. Although, to be fair, almost every character in Attack on Titan should and is probably suffering some kind of neurotic/psychotic disorder.

This does highlight something surprising for me, and that is the idea that Bertolt may be the stronger and scarier of the two—he’s kept his cool and his sanity throughout all this double agent stuff. It’s always the quiet ones.

What Else?

– I’m not exactly sure why Bertolt and Reiner threatened Christa as a way to sway Ymir to their side. While it’s true that Christa may be the only person Ymir cares about in the entire world, it’s not like they’re in a position to do anything to her.

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– These episode titles are making less and less sense as of late. What does “Opening” have to do with anything?

Rating:

2.5 out of 5