|So Eren... did all this?|
|— Jean comes to a realization|
I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost, Part 4 (心臓の鼓動が聞こえる ―トロスト区攻防戦④― Shinzō no Kodō ga Kikoeru -Torosuto-ku Kōbōsen (4)-?) is the 8th episode of the 1st season and the 8th episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.
As Jean leads the cadets to the Trost HQ, the mysterious Titan is lured there by Mikasa, Armin, and Conny. The Titan fights the others outside while the cadets enact a strategy to clear out the Titans from the supply room. After resupplying, some cadets notice the mysterious Titan collapsing from exhaustion after killing the remaining Titans. Miraculously, Eren Jaeger emerges unconscious from the Titan's nape, alive and healed.
Armin wishes to be left behind to die and allow Mikasa and Conny to live. However, the two brush off his pleas and prepare to make a run for the supply headquarters. Armin knows they will not get past all the Titans and looks back at the rogue Titan currently looking for more Titans to kill.
He stops and suggests that Mikasa and Conny kill Titans close to the rogue one in order to lead it to the heavier concentration of Titans currently assaulting HQ so that it will lessen their numbers and give the troops a chance to resupply. Although initially reluctant, Conny and Mikasa agree to the plan and begin heading in the direction of the mysterious Titan. Meanwhile, as Jean watches the failed rescue of Tom, he questions his ability to lead soldiers into battle. He suddenly realizes that the Titans are clustering here and uses this as a diversion to lead the other cadets around the emptier streets. However, Jean is caught by a Titan, but manages to slice off its fingers and escape its grip. Marco thanks Jean for his quick thinking and tells him that he truly is cut out to be a leader to which Jean replies that he does not know.
Most of the cadets manage to reach the building and break in to the upper levels by crashing through the window panes. Jean notices a couple of members of the supply squad and punches one of them for abandoning everyone outside. Marco pulls him off as they begin to argue, but Titans begin to break through the windows. The cadets evacuate to the HQ interior, but Jean loses heart as he questions the ability of humanity to challenge such huge monsters. At that moment, a fist enters Jean's view and he sees the rogue Titan punch the Titans attacking the HQ to the ground as he lets out a tremendous roar. Mikasa, Conny, and Armin successfully make it to the HQ as they point out the Titan's instinct to ignore humans and target other Titans.
Jean and the other cadets are mystified, but Mikasa states that they will be able to use this habit to their advantage and get everyone out alive as the rogue prepares to engage more Titans around the building. Using an arm lock, he throws a large Titan against a small group of other Titans before roaring again and charging at another one. He quickly punches the jaw off of this one and kicks a couple of smaller Titans that get in his way.
Using this as a distraction, the cadets commandeer the lift to reach the gas supply room on the ground floor. Reiner questions Conny on what they know about this Titan, but Conny says they can talk after they escape to which Reiner agrees. Jean brings in some old firearms and Armin lays out their plan of action to take out the seven 3-4 meter Titans currently infesting the supply room. By using the guns to blind the Titans, the most physically capable soldiers can leap down from the rafters and dispatch all the Titans simultaneously. Although Armin harbors doubts about the plan, everyone agrees that it is the best thing available and Mikasa further reassures Armin by telling him that his plans have saved Eren and Mikasa's lives before.
The lift is ready and everyone gets into position on the lift or in the rafters. A bit of humor results as Reiner tells Conny that the second Titan weak spot is a sword "up their ass". As expected, the Titans begin to close in on the human concentrated lift and when they are closest, are exposed to the devastating volley of gunfire to their eyes. At that moment, Mikasa, Reiner, Annie, Bertholdt, Jean, Conny, and Sasha leap from the rafters and kill their designated Titan. However, Sasha and Conny fail and Mikasa and Annie come to their rescue. Reiner comments that he is happy Annie was not hurt in the attack. The cadets, although shaken, are elated as the supply room is cleared and begin refueling their gas tanks.
Marco and Jean then talk about Jean being a leader. Marco elaborates by saying that since Jean is not strong, he knows how it feels to be weak and also is very good at judging the best course of action in a situation. When the cadets finish refueling, they all leave the HQ and begin heading for the safety of the Wall. However, Mikasa is watching the mysterious Titan as it has been pinned down by multiple other Titans. She believes this anomaly could help unravel some of the mystery surrounding the Titans and contemplates aiding it. Reiner agrees saying that if the rogue died, they will have learned nothing.
When Jean argues that it is still a Titan, Annie replies that it could be a potential ally. At that moment, Armin spots the abnormal that killed Thomas to which the rogue Titan angrily bounds toward, losing both arms in the process, and slays the abnormal by biting fiercely into its neck. The Titan then lifts the Titan's corpse-turned-weapon, and crush the Titans pursuing it, before sending the body and another Titan flying into a house. Grimly, Jean asks which Titan needed help, but then the rogue Titan lets out one final roar before falling to the ground. Jean remarks that it probably ran out of strength, and turns to leave, but the others look speechlessly at the Titan's corpse as a figure removes itself from the nape of the neck.
The figure who emerges is Eren, unconscious but alive. While the others are in shock, Mikasa quickly goes to check on Eren. She is in shock, but embraces him before listening for a heartbeat, and cries as soon as she finds it. The scene shifts to Stationary Guard spotter monitoring the situation in Trost before turning back to the top of the supply HQ, where Jean, Armin, Reiner, Bertholdt, Annie, a crying Mikasa, and an alive Eren are now present. Armin notices Eren has regenerated his missing limbs, but questions arise, as he saw Eren get eaten. He grips Eren's hand and breaks down into tears as well. Jean, one of the speechless spectators, realizes something and turns around. He observes the disintegrating corpses of the Titans and realizes that Eren was the cause of it all.
Currently Publicly Available Information
The ODM Gear Mechanisms
- The fans spin when gas is blown on them
- Adjusting gas compression allows users to control output
Characters in Order of Appearance
- The Titan that attacks Sasha Braus and is killed by Mikasa is the same one that killed Mina Carolina.
- One of the very few times Bertholdt Hoover speaks is when Sasha and Conny Springer are in danger.
- In the manga, it was Marco who said that Sasha and Conny were in danger, however in the anime, it was changed to Bertholdt.