For many die-hard fans, the latest episode of Attack on Titan was definitive proof that Hange and Erwin are the smartest people in the military.
Episode 41, "Trust," saw the Survey Corps stretched to their absolute breaking point. As Levi led his squad to some dark and morally questionable places, Hange was back inside the capital, working to undermine the Military Police.
After rescuing Flegel Reeves, she helps him trick the Military Police into confessing the truth about his father's death in front of the local people. In one swift move, she saved an innocent man's life, exposed some of the truth about the Interior Police to the public, and took steps to clearing the reputation of the Scouts.
Her work was not over there, however. Hange finished the episode by patting Flegel on the head as the younger man looked timid. It is clear that the scouts will now have the resources and support of his community, when more trouble inevitably brews.
Meanwhile, Erwin spent this episode with his one remaining hand chained to the wall above his head. In a dramatic dialogue with one of his captors, he suggested that he had "given something to Pyxis.
After that, the scene conspicuously cut to a table of noblemen, who all agreed that Erwin must not have learned anything useful about Historia's true lineage. The battered and bruised commander was led to the king's chamber for an audience before his execution.
On the show's subreddit, fans lauded these two for being the real geniuses of the series. Hange and Erwin often drive the story with their quick deductions and decisive action, but lately they seem to be truly firing on all cylinders.
"Hange was so good in this episode," one person wrote. "She is one of the smartest characters and her schemes are always great to watch. Makes her easily a favorite of mine."
Through discussion, fans even devised a few ideas about Hange, Erwin and Armin possessing complimentary types of intelligence, allowing the Survey Corps to outmaneuver their growing list of foes.
"Erwin is the absolute logical intelligence while Hange is the chaotic genius," one commenter wrote.
"Erwin: lawful, Armin: neutral, Hange: chaotic," added another. These denominations were hotly debated for a time, but there is no doubt that they resonated with many fans.
Attack on Titan is racing through its third season at a breakneck pace. New episodes simulcast in Japanese with English subtitles on Hulu and Crunchyroll. They are available every Monday at 2 p.m. ET in the U.S.