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Recap / Attack On Titan S 3 E 17 Hero

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We begin where we left off: the first barrage takes down Erwin and a few dozen other Scouts and horses. The terrified recruits press onwards. The Beast Titan laments the waste of human life as he wipes the rest of the charging Scouts (save for one), including Marlowe, who in his last moments thinks about Hitch. The Beast Titan celebrates his victory prematurely before realizing his right flank of Titans is gone. Levi ambushes him and decisively carves up the Beast Titan in an extremely one-sided fight, sequentially taking out its arm, eyes, legs, then prying out and capturing its human. As Levi looks for someone to save with the Titan injection, he loses his quarry when the quadrupedal Titan rescues him and runs off.

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In Shiganshina, Armin formulates a two-pronged strategy: he and Eren will defeat the Colossus Titan if Jean and the others hold off the Armored Titan. Reiner ignores them in favor of Eren at first until Mikasa disables his leg with a Thunder Spear. Their initial plan to force open the Armored Titan's mouth with two Thunder Spears fails until Hange delivers a third blow, letting Mikasa land the last shot straight into the Titan's nape, blasting Reiner out of it. After explaining his plan and reminding Eren of their shared dream, Eren's Titan seemingly falls from the wall. Armin anchors himself to the Colossus Titan's skeleton and allows himself to be blasted with scalding steam for as long as he can. This buys Eren (in ODMG) to manuever behind the Colossus and cut Bertolt out; the latter realizes too late that he was deceived. Bertolt and Reiner are both captured but Armin has been severely burned.

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Tropes:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Hange comes in at the last moment with another Thunder Spear to hit the Armored Titan in the jaw.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Marlowe's head is exploded by a chunk of rock about a quarter of its size.
  • Call-Back: Several:
    • Armin reminds Eren again about their dream to see the outside world, particularly the sea, like he did at the end of the Uprising Arc and towards the end of Trost.
    • Levi rapidly destroys the Beast Titan's arms, eyes, then legs to eliminate his target's ability to fight back, just like he did with Annie.
    • Eren using his ODMG to go for the Colossus Titan's nape like he did when it reappeared at Trost. This time he succeeds.
    • Mikasa fires a Thunder Spear into a vulnerable spot behind of Reiner's knee to disable him, the same spot she sliced up during Eren and Reiner's first Titan fight.
  • Character Death: Marlowe gets killed off.
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  • Character Development: Mikasa hears the Colossus Titan fire off steam and worries for Eren and Armin, but decides to not rush to their aid. This is a marked change in how much she trusts her closest friends to handle themselves, and this time she didn't even need anyone to remind her to focus on her own mission.
  • Combat Pragmatist: To ensure that his target has minimal chance to fight back, Levi first slices up the Beast Titan's arm, then his eyes to blind him, then his legs to disable him (much like he did to Annie). He does this so fast that the Beast Titan has no chance to react.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Levi versus the Beast Titan, full stop. Humanity's strongest carves up his target so thoroughly and quickly that the Warchief doesn't get control of the fight for even a moment.
  • Determinator: Credit where it's due, the Survey Corps recruits don't rout or break away, even with the loss of their commander or most of their number.
    Scout: COMMANDER ERWIN [has fallen]!
    Marlowe: Keep going! ADVANCE!
  • Didn't See That Coming: All three of the defeated enemies. Bertolt was completely blindsided by Eren sneaking up on him in human form by Armin's sacrifice, Reiner is astonished by the use of Thunder Spears to defeat him (having lost his previous memory of them), and Zeke flat-out didn't think that it was possible for anyone to defeat his entire flank of Titans and defeat him in combat.
  • Eye Scream: Three counts.
    • Hange appears to be missing her left eye.
    • The Beast Titan has his eyes slashed out by Levi to blind him.
    • The Beast Titan's human gets his right eye stabbed out when Levi pushes his blade through his mouth and out his eye, though he seems to focus his regeneration on that one first.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Levi shoves his blade through the Beast Titan's human's mouth and out through his eyeball, we cut away to a less direct shot.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Armin willingly allows himself to be burned up by the Colossus Titan's steam to buy Eren time.
    • Dozens of new Scouts perish in the frontal charge against the Beast Titan.
  • Love Epiphany: Tragically, Marlowe realizes moments before he dies that he cares about Hitch. He also dies never knowing that she liked him back since he expects that she's still sleeping in without a care in the world, when she's shown worried and unable to sleep later.
  • Mercy Kill: Bertolt at this point just wants the fighting to be over with, and views his attempts to wipe out his former comrades as putting them out of their misery.
  • Oh, Crap!: Zeke has one inside the body of the Beast Titan when he realizes just how dangerous Levi is.
  • One-Man Army: Levi wipes out the Beast Titan's entire right flank of 15 meter Titans by himself (with no trees or buildings nearby no less), and makes quick work of the left flank after he single-handedly defeats the Beast Titan.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: At the moment, the Scouts seem to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by defeating three of the enemy intelligent Titans, but at great cost. Defeating the Beast Titan cost the lives of most of the veteran squads, all of the recruits (except for one), and Erwin is at least mortally wounded. Likewise, capturing Reiner and Bertolt cost all of Hange's squad and Armin's life. And even if the Beast Titan has been temporarily removed as a threat, his human escaped courtesy of the quadrupedal Titan.
  • Screaming Warrior: Played with. Erwin and his troops all scream during their frontal charge, but it's less bloodlust and anger and more stark terror.
  • Sole Survivor:
    • The red-headed recruit is incredulous that he alone seems to be the only one that survived their suicide charge unscathed.
    • At the moment, it looks like only Hange survived when her squad got caught in the Colossus Titan's transformation blast.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Regarding the 3 different skirmishes going on:
    • Colossus Titan: Armin explains his diversion plan to Eren (without us hearing it) and it goes exactly as planned.
    • Beast Titan: The suicide charge explained last episode actually goes according to plan, up to the point that Levi defeats and captures Zeke. It fails in the end when Levi lets himself get distracted and Zeke gets rescued.
    • Armored Titan: Played with. Jean states his plan to defeat Reiner right before it goes into action, but Sasha gets injured and misses her Thunder Spear. The plan ultimately succeeds when Hange swoops in with the last Thunder Spear needed for Mikasa to finish him off.
  • War Is Hell: Erwin's suicide charge starts off with a degree of glory, but quickly turns nightmarish as soldiers and horses alike are smashed to pieces by boulders.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • Erwin's frontal charge screams as loudly as they can and fires green smoke flares to mask the sound and sight of Levi attacking Zeke's Titans.
    • Armin's big Heroic Sacrifice moment distracts Bertolt long enough for Eren to harden his Titan's body all-around and sneak out of it, letting him get the drop on Bertolt in the end.
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: In an eerily self-aware moment, the Beast Titan expresses frustration that the Scouts are throwing their lives away against him. He doesn't blame them them (in fact he shows them pity), but rather the Reiss family for wiping humanity's memories so that they keep making the same mistakes.
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