As we might have predicted in spite of all the bragging and bluster, when push comes to shove the assault to stop the encroaching Titans in their tracks soon turns to Hell in a hand-basket, as the military's new recruits are decimated in the face of their opponents.
Of the group that we were following towards the end of last week's episode, only Armin has survived, although even he is hardly psychologically intact even if he's escaped physical injury. He isn't the only one either, as most of those on the front lines are in pieces in some shape or form it seems.
Not so Mikasa however, who is seemingly in her element and not in the last bit daunted as she swoops and zooms around, slashing and killing Titans as though it were the most natural thing in the world. What kind of upbringing could have created this individual, one of her colleagues ponders. Well, we soon find out, flashing back into Mikasa's childhood, the gruesome death of her parents as Mikasa herself is kidnapped to be sold into slavery, and how her relationship with Eren was first forged in the bloody aftermath of said kidnapping.
It's this delving into the back story of Mikasa that really confirms the dark, blood-stained depths that Attack on Titan occupies - a world alarmingly preoccupied with death, murder and horrific violence. The concern here is that this is beginning to stretch towards the edge's of the show's credibility - Eren's ability to fend off and kill two grown men with no explanation as to how or why is tough to swallow even in a show featuring giant, man-eating humanoids. Still, for now there's no doubting the power of the show's narrative thanks to its bleak outlook, so the questions as to whether this can sustain it in the long run can be left for another day in the face of another episode that was compelling in spite of its gratuitous nature.