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Southwestward (Episode)

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This article is about the 28th episode of the Attack on Titan anime. For the manga chapter of the same name, see Southwestward.


Quote1 If your church's wish comes true, and Titans come flooding through the Walls, we'll all be gobbled up in their stinking mouths and die in the most miserable way possible. All of humanity, digested as one. Quote2
— Levi presents a cruel reality to Nick

Southwestward (南西へ Nansei e?) is the 3rd episode of the 2nd season and the 28th episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.

Overview

The scouts prepare to depart from Ragako as Conny mourns the missing villagers. As he mounts his horse, the Titan atop his house welcomes him home. Conny is frozen in shock until Reiner comes to his side, urging him to join their team before they are left behind. Elsewhere in Wall Rose, Nanaba's team begins surveying the Wall for a breach. Christa wonders why Ymir shows so much concern for her, but Ymir insists that she is acting for her own needs. Elsewhere in Wall Rose, the Garrison establishes a defensive line while simultaneously searching for the hole in the Wall.

At night, Gelgar's team cautiously inspects the Wall at night until they come across Nanaba's team. Both teams report sighting no breach in Wall Rose, and decide to camp at Utgard Castle before searching again in the morning. Within Wall Sina, Hange reveals that in Stohess her research showed that the Female Titan's crystalline skin is identical in composition to the Walls' substance, proposing that Eren may be able to seal the breach in Wall Maria with Titan hardening power. Eren agrees to this future task. In Ehrmich, Levi shows Pastor Nick the refugees from Wall Rose, reminding him of the devastation a lost Wall yields, but Nick still admits he is unable to speak. However, Nick reveals the identity of a girl in the Scout Regiment who is able to reveal what the Order of the Walls cannot. Sasha arrives with news from Commander Erwin, and the scouts prepare to venture into Wall Rose.

At Utgard, Reiner confronts Ymir, but their meeting is interrupted when Titans are spotted inexplicably moving at night around the fort, the Beast Titan among them. As the Beast Titan climbs Wall Rose, the leaders of the scouts prepare to fight against the Titans. Elsewhere, the scouts from Stohess District prepare to assist in the search for the breach in Wall Rose, beginning at Utgard Castle.

Summary

Conny hears the Titan speak

Conny hears the Titan speak

In the ruins of Ragako, Conny stands by his house where the small-limbed Titan lies. Reiner and Bertholdt join him, asking if any survivors were found, and Conny tearfully informs them that no one was found. Reiner comes to his side to comfort him while Bertolt stands aside. Gelgar joins them and asks if any bodies were seen, and the three recruits admit to seeing none. Gelgar wonders at this while Lynne proposes the idea that they escaped to Wall Sina before the Titans arrived. Conny's mood is lightened at this possibility, though Gelgar remains secretly skeptical considering the houses were all destroyed despite there being no signs of blood or gore, and furthermore the horses remained tied up at the town stables. With no further investigation needed, the scouts depart, but as Conny mounts his horse the Titan atop his house speaks at him, saying "Wel...come... home...". Conny stares at the Titan in shock until Reiner comes to his side, urging him to join the rest of the scouts. Conny tries to explain himself, mentioning his mother, but Reiner reminds him of the urgency of their mission and the lives at risk. Conny agrees with Reiner and joins him and Gelgar's squad.

Elsewhere in Wall Rose seven hours after the Titan spotting, Nanaba's team concludes its task of sending out warnings to the towns in the area. Their next task is to head for the Wall and locate the point of the breach where the Titans are coming from. Ymir requests for her and Christa to withdraw from the front lines, but Nanaba denies the request, stating that the recruits may be needed to send a report to the interior if the need arises. Christa tells Ymir that she is content with the risks of fighting on the front lines but wonders why Ymir chose to join the Scout Regiment alongside her. Ymir brashly states that she did not do it for Christa's sake, but Christa reminds her of the fact that Ymir would have been the more capable candidate for the tenth highest placement in the 104th Cadet Corps but allowed for Christa to outrank her. Christa wonders if Ymir's interest in her is related to her family, and Ymir admits that it is true, saying that she fights for her own sake. Christa is relieved.

The Garrison's barricade

The Garrison fend off a Titan

Two hours later at the eastern defensive line established by the Garrison, Captain Kitz Woermann leads a blockade of cannons in stopping the Titans from passing eastwards, crippling them as Captain Rico Brzenska lands the killing blows. The Garrison troops rejoice in their success, though Rico states that their defense will not hold if a swarm of Titans approaches. Rico admits that something about the invasion does not seem right, and elsewhere Captain Hannes feels the same as his team rides alongside Wall Rose in search of the breach. The lack of Titans in the area stands out as a cause for concern.
The scouts spot Utgard Castle

The scouts spot the castle

Later that night, 11 hours after the sighting, Gelgar's team slowly investigates Wall Rose for a breach, the tension thick in the air as the threat of Titans lurking the darkness grows with each second. Suddenly, Gelgar's team spots Nanaba's team approaching. Nanaba asks Gelgar for the location of the breach, which they could not find, but Gelgar tells them that his team found no breach either. They consider if the breach could have been missed, though Henning says that a breach large enough for Titans to enter would not be easily overlooked. The teams consider searching again, though the tiredness of the recruits and the horses leaves them in need of a night's rest. Seeing the ruins of a castle nearby where they can rest, the scouts decide to continue their search in the morning.

In Wall Sina, the scouts from the assault on Stohess continue on their ride to Ehrmich District. Levi notices Hange eyeing a crystal and asks if her hobbies are dull enough to make rock collecting entertaining, and Hange agrees. Hange explains that the crystal is a fragment of the Female Titan's hardened skin, which did not evaporate with the rest of Annie's Titan form. Hange recounts her earlier research where she discovered that a fragmented piece of Wall Sina bore the same overall composition as Annie's crystal.

A fragment of hardened Female Titan skin

Hange holds the crystal

With this information, Hange concludes that the Walls must be a barrier of humongous Titans, just as Armin had theorized himself. Armin attempts to propose an idea, but Hange abruptly asks him to let her finish her train of thought. Given connection between the Walls and Titan hardening, Hange proposes that Eren could use his Titan form to harden its skin and seal the breach in Wall Maria. Armin additionally proposes the idea of holding an expedition at nighttime when the Titans are not active. Eren seems unsure of his ability to carry out the task in the future, but Levi states that they are not left with a choice as to whether or not Eren can do it, and that he must for humanity's survival. Eren accepts the task, thinking back to his father's basement where the secrets of the Titans presumably lie. Shortly afterwards, the scouts arrive in Ehrmich.

In the streets of Ehrmich, Nick witnesses hundreds of refugees wandering the streets. Levi reminds him that the sight before them is the result of a lost Wall and a direct result of the silence from the Order of the Walls, and that such a fate will fall upon all of humanity if the church continues in its silence. Afterwards, Hange asks Nick if he will remain silent, and Nick admits that his vow has not changed. He does, however, inform the scouts that there is an individual who joined the Regiment in that year who has the right to speak the truths of the Walls that the Order is unable to.

Refugees evacuating to Wall Sina

The refugees evacuating to Wall Sina

As he informs them if the individual's identity, Sasha returns from Wall Rose with a message for Hange. Eren, Mikasa, and Armin recognize the name Nick speaks, and Hange realizes that any recruits in the Scout Regiment would be on the front lines at that time. Before they depart, Sasha delivers her message to Hange and receives a steamed potato as a reward. Hange asks the other recruits about the individual Nick spoke of, and they tell her that the person is a short, young, blonde girl who is often seen with Ymir. Despite not knowing of the girl, Hange does recognize the name "Ymir".

At Utgard Castle, Reiner confronts Ymir in a storage room, discovering something about her as she stares at him with a look of dread. Their conversation is cut short when Lynne wakes up the recruits. From the top of the castle, the scouts look down to see a horde of Titans inexplicable moving in the absence of sunlight. Conny spots the Beast Titan among them heading for Wall Rose, and the others look on in shock. On the ground, the Titans begin to attack the tower. Meanwhile, in Ehrmich, Hange concludes delivering a plan of action to the other scouts. Before their departure, Levi speaks with the recruits present. He tells Armin to cooperate with Hange by combining their intellect, and he tells Mikasa to invest everything in protecting Eren, whom he turns his attention to.

The scouts begin to fight

The scouts being the battle

At Utgard, Gelgar begins to panic as Titans attempt to break through the front door of the tower. He draws his blades in a rage, blaming the Titans for his inability to have a drink for the night, and the other three Scout Regiment leaders join his side. Nanaba tells the recruits to stand aside while the leaders put their ODM gear to work, and the scouts begin a battle against the Titans as the Beast Titan climbs Wall Rose. In Ehrmich, Levi tells Eren to restrain himself in the battles to come in order to avoid any mistakes.

In the wilderness of Wall Rose, Hange sets a course for the scouts to assist in the locating of the breach, and they ride for Utgard Castle.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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