Slow but solid episode.
This episode was without a doubt on the slower side when relating to progression, but it was still high quality all the same. It sounds horribly mundane but series for the most part have the inherent outline to include slower parts in order to act as set ups. The difference always comes in the length of set ups, but for the most part they are almost always existent in a series with any form of serious plot. I’m sure people who saw Steins;Gate can also relate with old cliches like “patience is a virtue” since those who ended up dropping that series early only appeared foolish afterwards. Also the pace here is entirely due to the original material since the adaption itself has been amazingly faithful with any minor changes only being done to improve presentation [like the effects behind Eren's transformation].
Aside from obvious reasons like fear when concerning the soldiers reactions, would be the unfortunate existence of lack of trust. Due to the hellish circumstances, the government as was already well noted basically told thousands to commit suicide so as to avoid starvation. The masses who were fortunate enough to stay behind kept quiet then because it didn’t apply to them [like was said last episode, they were just happy to be alive], but when the orders effect their own lives that’s another story. It may seem selfish, no actually its entirely selfish, but outside of cowardice is also the concerning feature of the orders which they were given. When humanity never has achieved victory, there is little indication on whether any orders actually have a chance of success, and when you add in the given fear from having to face the titans, it all amounts to the breakdowns this episode.
There have often been times where people have preached unity under a common cause, and there have even been cases where unity has been passed off as a essential principle in history, yet despite it all, its really debatable where unity exists at all. People may join hands under a common ambition, but in the end the motivations behind such an act could easily be debated to be for self interest rather then for the whole. Individualism denies any actual unity of thought which only leaves unity in physical action, and this itself is consistently countered by the conflicting desires of those in question. The idea of sincerity behind acting for the whole isn’t helped either when you see things like blatant lies in lawyer commercials saying “for the people” when its more like “for my paycheck”.
Obviously a blatant lie, but under the circumstances it was the one and only method plausible. History has shown on several occasions how lies were used simply to keep the chains moving, and this case was no different. Pixis had to move quickly, and unfortunately the truth is a horrible defense here [particularly because the truth is so ambiguous]. By saying experiment, Pixis gave off the vibe that his plan was something years in the making rather then something he came up with a few minutes before. The soldiers obviously didn’t react well regardless, but the chances that they react even worse to a plan that they have already heard before [multiple methods have been used only all to end in failure] is fairly high.
While going back to the line of thought concerning selfish individuals would be addressing the core of Pixis speech. Pixis never bothered with cliche motivational lines until after he guaranteed that each and ever solider had a personal interest invested in the operation. Due to the reasons I already said, It is quite natural to assume hesitance existing in nearly every soldier [with the Recon Corps being the most resolute]. It’s not like they have anything to look forward to, the majority of the recruits like said in my earlier reviews merely join for social status [limited choices as it is, and doing nothing is social suicide in a society where everyone needs to work]. All of this merely highlights Eren’s resolution even more, since while he may indeed be naive, he easily stands out as the character in the series with the most determination. In the end Pixis wisely tackled the individual rather then the whole, since by addressing their personal problems he made it so they personally made the choice to fight rather then do so out of fear.
While Pixis’s actions may have been a gamble, it was one with little choice beforehand. Even with the degree of ripoffs that casinos pull, the choice is still there for the customer to gamble, that choice however was practically nonexistent here. To bet on Eren’s unheard of titan transformation or to play it safe and kill him, in the end only one had the chance to change anything leaving Pixis with little choice if he ever logically desired to snap humanities losing streak. Pixis referenced his pride and distaste for losing, but I highly doubt that amounts to any significant degree behind his choice. Pixis actions likely revolve around his ending statement of why they should bet on Eren, and that being opportunity. Humanity has never won a single battle, this clearly gives Pixis [who oversees a great deal of these operations] a great deal of info on these losses, as well as the multiple failed methods. So Pixis actions were actually quite logical, since he could fully well see that without Eren he was going nowhere anyway.
Presentation is something I repeatedly praise, but it excelled this episode as it allowed for a slow episode with little progression in content to still be enjoyable. The OST once again shined this episode, and the ending also flowed very well to set up the next episode. Considering the operation which has been set up the last two episode has begun, I look forward to the increased pace next episode.