This article is about the manga chapter. For the anime episode, see Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3.
|I don't know the answer. I never have. Whether you trust in your own strength... or trust in the choices made by reliable comrades. No one knows what the outcome will be. So, as much as you can, choose whatever you'll regret the least.|
|— Captain Levi urges Eren to choose for himself|
Standing by at the edge of the Titan Forest, Jean and Armin discuss the strange orders Commander Erwin has ordered. Deeper in the forest, the Female Titan catches up to Squad Levi. The squad wishes to attack, but Captain Levi remains quiet as other soldiers begin to attack the Female Titan, only to be quickly killed. Eren considers turning into a Titan and fighting, only to be scolded by his squad mates. Levi says that the choice is Eren's to make, and that he should chose whatever option he will regret the least.
Thinking back to the time before the expedition, Eren recalls when the squad made an attempt to have Eren transform from the bottom of a well for examination. At the time, Eren is unable to transform for reasons he cannot explain. Later that day, when Eren reaches out to pick up a dropped teaspoon, a Titan arm is suddenly and violently generated, causing Squad Levi to panic. Levi stands between Eren and the now hostile soldiers, urging them to remain calm.
Waiting outside of the Titan Forest, Jean questions their new mission of standing guard and making sure no Titans enter. After vaguely threatening the squad leader in front of Armin, he eventually admits that he is going to follow the orders he was given. A 5m Titan approaches the edge of the forest, attracted by the soldiers in the trees. Well out of reach, the soldiers do not attack, opting instead to let the Titans gather at the bottom of the tree.
Inside the forest, the Female Titan finally comes within view of Eren and Squad Levi. Petra tells Captain Levi that they should switch to vertical maneuvering equipment and he readies his weapon. Before they start their attack, two soldiers rush in from behind the Titan and attempt to get to the nape of her neck. As they are about to deliver their blows, the Female Titan crushes one against a tree and then swats the other and tosses him behind her.
Looking back at the scene, members of the squad beg Levi to give the order for them to attack. Levi pulls out a flare gun and tells them to cover their ears before firing off a sound grenade. He reminds them of their mission: they are there to protect Eren, leaving him surprised as he thought they were there to protect others from him. With those words, the squad decides to continue on horseback. Another small group of soldiers comes up behind the Titan. When another soldier is killed by the Titan, Eren insists that they go back and help the other. They order him to keep riding forward. Enraged and unable to bear the thought of anyone else losing their life, Eren prepares for transformation. Upon seeing what he is doing, Petra tries to talk him out of it, but he ignores her and tries to transform anyway until he hears Levi say he does not blame him. Levi tells him that there is no wrong decision in this situation but he has to decide if he is going to trust his team and the people risking their lives or himself. One last plea from Petra causes Eren to second guess transforming.Thinking back on a time when he was still in the Survey Corps headquarters in the past month, Eren remembers Levi devising a plan that would allow them to stop him from losing control without killing him. Similar to what Armin did when Eren lost control, they will cut him out of the Titan body, albeit at the temporary loss of his limbs. Hange creates an experiment to see if the new plan will work. Eren is put at the bottom of a dry well and will try to induce a transformation when given a signal. He repeatedly bites his hands, hoping the pain will cause the change. However, even after seriously injuring his hands nothing happens. Adding to his dilemma, his ability to quickly heal seems absent as well.
Later that day, everyone is gathered for a meal and Levi tells Eren that their mission to plug the hole in Wall Maria, and consequently getting to the basement of his old house in the Shiganshina District, will be scrapped. He orders Eren to do something about it and then walks away, leaving Eren worried about the effects his failure could have on everyone. He tries to eat his food, but due to his injuries, he drops his teaspoon. As he bends down to grab it, he explosively generates a muscular Titan arm from his hand, surprising everyone, including Levi. Confused, Eren tries to free his arm from the Titans torso he has just created when he sees Levi ordering his hostile squad mates to calm down.