Synopsis of 2×01: The second season begins with a gritty reminder of the delectable despair the series has gained a following for. News of the wall titan fosters unease among soldiers as the fall of Wall Rose and the impending titans prompt commanders to send the training corp out to warn neighboring towns. 

Opening montage. There’s no better way to deliver exposition and remind us of the story’s events than a brief retelling of key turning points of the previous season. Still, not sure if I needed it.

Onto the elephant in the room, or in the wall I suppose. We’ve been waiting for years now to learn the nature behind the titan in the wall. Where did it come from? How did it get there? Why hasn’t it broken out yet? We’re not going to get answers to any of these questions in this first episode, but there will be hints. 

Section Commander Zoe Hange notices the titan in the wall when she follows the sight of distressed soldiers near the wall.

Pastor Nick comes running up, panicked and latches on to Hange as he catches his breath. He brazenly insists that the titan in the wall must not  catch any sunlight. Pretty interesting. While we still have no sign of the titan’s nature or purpose, the pastor’s fear over the titan receiving sunlight suggests that the lack of light immobilized the titan. But, I guess we’ll just have to see.

In the meantime, they cover the titan with sheets. Commander Erwin Smith states that while most occupants were unaware of the wall titan, there were some who knew, like the pastor and other yet-to-be named individuals.

Hange questions the pastor on the titan in the wall. He has the gall to blame them for Stohess’ destruction.

Hange holds him out over the wall and orders him to talk, to no avail. He wants to be let go, over the edge of the wall and accepts his would-be meaningless death. She brings him back from the edge of the wall and laughs it off, claiming that she was only kidding.

News of the titans in Wall Rose makes it to the Stohess district of Wall Sina, where the survey corp are cleaning after the mess left by Eren’s titan-form fight with Annie.

The training corp has been staying in a cottage in Wall Sina, not allowed to train or wear their gear. The only one who seems to find it suspicious is Reiner. Sasha is the first to hear it; steps of the titans approaching from the south. The training corp members are given orders to spread news of Wall Rose’s fall to districts throughout the territory behind the wall.

Everyone rides out. Section Commander Miche launches at the titans head-on and the others scatter to reach the towns.

Eren arises from a flashback to Mikasa sitting next to his bed, asleep. She wakes and they banter for a moment before Armin rushes in with news of Wall Rose.

Miche is still fighting the titans that came from the south. We see a new abnormal titan, covered in fur and walking around without paying attention to the section commander. Miche calls for his horse and as it gallops towards him, the furry beast titan plucks it from the ground. For no conceivable reason, the titan slings the horse at the commander like a 30-story quarterback. The horse slams into the rooftop he’s standing on and he evades it too late, causing him to roll down the shingles right into the open hands of a voracious little titan. Just like that the section commander becomes finger food.

The beast titan speaks, which is a surprise to the commander, but shouldn’t be since there’s been two human-titan mixes so far. He tells the mini-titan to wait and the titan pauses for a moment before biting further into the commander’s lower half. Apparently, beast titan doesn’t like disobedience, so he squishes the titan’s head and Miche falls the ground freely.

Now the beast titan turns his attention to Miche and asks about the vertical maneuvering equipment. Miche sits there so speechless from terror, the beast wonders if they even speak the same language. He decides to take Miche’s waist mechanism and as soon as he reaches for it the commander cowers in a fetal position. All of that bravado he exhibited in front of his fellow soldiers earlier is missing. Is this even the same dude?

The beast takes the gear and walks away, leaving the commander wide-eyed and gasping from shock. He remembers what he told a colleague earlier about the difference between accepting loss and fervently fighting a losing battle. This sparks a stupid idea to lift his sword and yell out in… I don’t even know what. I don’t know what this man is yelling out for because it only gets the beast titan’s attention and prompts him to let the other surrounding titans descend upon the commander.

Once again, bravado disappears. He makes a run for it, but they snatch him into the air before he can take a second step and start their shared meal. It’s a pretty intense scene. Miche releases whelps and cries of anguish as tears stream down his face and the titans tear into him simultaneously.

The beast titan looks back, says, “So you can talk?” and walks away. So wrong, R.I.P. for the section commander we used to know, the first casualty of the second season.

Great start in my opinion. They managed to capture the series’ distinct grisly tone, give us a bit of a rehash of the important details, and ramp up our anticipation for what’s to follow, all in the first episode. I’d say the only fault was the matter of me being confused at the wall layout and the areas all the characters happen to be in at any given time. Considering how essential the walls are to humanity’s survival and any substantial plot points there should be minimal confusion over them. Other than that, consider me hooked.

What did you think? Did the season premiere regain your interest for the show? Had you forgotten some of the side characters, like Bertolt or Reiner? Were you glad to see Hange reprise her serious, yet eccentric duality? Leave a comment and let us know,we’d love to hear it.

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