Mikasa and Levi are in pursuit of the female Titan, and Eren too. When she slows down enough, clearly running out of energy, they move in for the attack. Levi plans to incapacitate her while Mikasa gets Eren out. We get to see bad-a Levi do his thing, moving so fast he’s just a blur of swords.
And we also see Mikasa’s inexperience as she tries to move in for the kill. She would’ve died except Levi moves in to save her, breaking his leg in the process. And as they leave with Eren’s Titan saliva coated body, Levi looks back and what appears to be tears stream down the female Titan’s face.
As the Survey Corps heads home, we see glimpses of the soldiers’ families preparing for their return. As if we haven’t been emotionally scarred enough by the deaths. Now we have to experience their families and know how distraught they will be upon learning of the deaths. There are so many dead bodies being piled onto the carts to be brought back for burning. But not all can fit without slowing their journey back. And so many have to be left behind. It seems disrespectful, but necessary.
But there are two soldier in particular who want to recover some of the bodies being left behind. There’s perfectly good reason to leave them; they could attract the attention of nearby Titans. And even though they are ordered to leave the bodies, they don’t listen. And of course, these two soldiers attract Titan attention. Idiots.
Dieter, one of the soldiers angry at the decision, thought Erwin and Levi uncaring for their supposed callous attitude towards the dead. He accused them of not having any human feelings left and, maybe it’s just me but, you can see how much those words affect Erwin. It’s that recurring theme, though, losing a part of your own humanity to save humanity itself.
And because of Dieter, one more of his friends dies at the hands (or i guess mouth) of a Titan.
When the Survey Corps returns to within the safety of the walls, it’s pretty obvious the mission was a failure (even if they didn’t know what Erwin had planned) by the number of people returning…or should I say not returning. The townspeople are in an uproar, angry at Erwin for wasting tax money and killing soldiers. And as a result, he’s to meet with commanding officers and Eren is to be taken from the Survey Corps (to be, what I assume, executed).
I wonder how I would respond if I was a civilian in this world. Would I riot and scream and point fingers? It’s hard to know because I see what the Survey Corps sees and can’t erase that knowledge. But if these average citizens knew what was going on, they’d feel a lot differently about Erwin and his decisions.