|Everybody I've met... was all the same. Drinking... Women... Worshiping God, even... Family... The King... Dreams... Children... Power... Everyone had to be drunk on somethin' to keep pushing on... Everyone... was a slave to somethin'. Even him...|
|— Kenny Ackermann finally realizes something about his friend, Uri|
Years ago, Kenny Ackermann forged a lasting friendship with Uri Reiss, even though circumstances should have led to one killing the other. As Uri's confidant, Kenny became a part of the government, relieving the persecution of the Ackermann family and allowing him to look after the son of his deceased sister, Kuchel. Though Kenny was taken by Uri's sense of compassion, he found himself unable to understand what would allow a person to be that way, leading him to desire that power for himself and create the Anti-Personnel Control Squad to obtain it.
Now dying, following the collapse of the Underground Chapel, Kenny tells an inquiring Levi how he is related to his mother and why he eventually left him behind. Kenny gives Levi a syringe he stole from Rod Reiss and passes away. Elsewhere in Capital Mitras, Historia Reiss is crowned as the new Queen.
Meanwhile, Levi Ackermann searches the ruins of the Underground Chapel. He finds the remains of the Anti-Personnel Control Squad, crushed by falling debris. A Scout runs up to him and announces that they have found Kenny Ackermann.
Some years ago, a much younger Kenny Ackermann encountered someone stronger than him for the first time. It was a man, Uri Reiss, with the power of a Titan, which he used to partially transform and grab on to Kenny before he could kill him. Uri's brother Rod wanted to shoot Kenny, but Uri asked him to wait, noting that whoever told Kenny about them was likely part of their council. When Uri could not compel Kenny to divulge information, he correctly concluded that he was a descendant of the Ackermann family.
Upset by how much Uri was reading into him and his motivations, Kenny threw his dagger at him, but Uri blocked it with his human arm. Rod said he would kill him, and Kenny began whining about forgiveness, that Uri is the true King, and wanting to escape. However, his expression changed, making it clear that Kenny was not remorseful and simply wanted another chance to kill Uri. Despite his ranting, Kenny was well aware that Uri could kill him in a moment, and he could do nothing about it.
To his surprise, Uri set him down and tore himself free of his Titan. Rod asked what Uri was doing. Since Kenny was an Ackermann, Uri would not be able to erase Kenny's memory. Shaking, Kenny drew a gun he still had on his person, but Uri knelt in front of him and apologized for the persecution of the Ackermanns. He could not allow himself to die either. Uri bowed to Kenny and asked for his forgiveness.
Kenny was deeply moved by the fact a King with so much power would bow down to someone like him, and offered to help him. He replaced the person on the council who had ratted out the truth about the Reiss family. It became his new job and ended the persecution of the Ackermanns. With fewer enemies, he was able to visit his sister, Kuchel, only to discover she had passed away, leaving behind a young son, Levi, who did not go by anything else. Kenny understood why she did not give Levi their family's name.
He introduced himself to Levi as "just Kenny" and explained that he knew Kuchel. Kenny took the boy in, and made sure that Levi was fed, but he did not consider himself fit to be a parent. What he did though, was teach Levi how to survive, with lessons like learning how to hold a knife, how to handle himself around the neighborhood, and how to cut a deal.
At a meeting of the Order of the Walls, Kenny met Djel Sannes of the Interior Police and apologized for killing so many of his compatriots. Sannes was unbothered though, because Kenny now served the King. It was because of Sannes's own reverence for the King that he was able to do his job. He asked if Kenny was any different, and on thinking about it, Kenny supposed he served Uri simply because he was the strongest around.
As Kenny watched a slightly older Levi beat down another man, he reflected on that statement and how the one on top is the one who is the strongest. Or at least, a person who would not end up like his sister, Kuchel. Kenny chose that moment to leave Levi behind.
Years later, Uri told Kenny that he did not have much time left and Kenny noted that despite being a monster, Uri was no match for age and disease. Uri corrected him though, saying that his power would be passed on to Rod's children and he would live on in their memories. Their world would be crumbling in the near future, and Uri wished that he could have built a paradise for humanity, but he found violence to be an unavoidable truth. However, despite that, he and Kenny had managed to become friends. Kenny did not understand how their friendship happened either, but admitted that if Uri had not grabbed him with his Titan he would surely have killed him. Uri did not disagree, but chose to believe that a miracle had happened then.
Kenny never agreed with Uri on that, but saw the result of him passing down his Titan in Frieda Reiss, who had taken on his demeanor to the point Kenny could see from looking at her that Uri was inside. Frieda even talked about love and peace in the same way that Uri had. Kenny wondered if being powerful was what gave them the freedom to talk about such things, and if it would work for someone else, possibly even him.
Two years after the fall of Wall Maria, Kenny introduced himself to the newly formed Anti-Personnel Control Squad as their captain. He acknowledged that it did not make any sense that a former serial killer with no military experience was their new boss, but Caven informed him that it did not bother her at all. Since the Wall fell people have been fighting over the land that remains. That would be the reason for the existence of their new squad. Following the rules and climbing the ranks got them here, and she found it all pointless.
Her response pleased Kenny and he assured her that their squad's reason for existence, to counter the Scout Regiment, was not legitimate. It was just his excuse to get it approved. He told his startled and confused squad members that they were truly here for a grand dream, to obtain the power rivaling a god.
In the present, Kenny wonders if he could ever see the world the way Uri had. Levi then finds him and realizes that Kenny's wounds are fatal. However, Kenny shows him a syringe that he swiped out of Rod Reiss's bag. If he injects that in himself he will be come a Titan, though unfortunately it would be one of the dumb ones. Still, it would extend his life.
Levi asks him why he did not do it already, and Kenny muses that perhaps he was afraid if he did it wrong, he would become a messed version like Rod Reiss. Kenny admits that he does not want to die and that he wanted power. He reflects on Uri and thinks he finally understands after all this time why he spared him that day. Kenny begins to laugh and tells Levi that everyone he met has all been the same; whether it was through drink, devotion, family, or power. Everyone had to be a slave to something in order to keep going, even Uri.
As Kenny begins coughing up blood, Levi drops his gun and grabs him by the shoulders, demanding that he tell him everything he knows, starting with why the First Reiss King does not want humanity to survive. However, Kenny does not know any specifics, only that the reason is why the Ackermann family opposed him. Levi then asks what Kenny's relationship was to his mother. Kenny laughs and tells Levi that he was Kuchel's brother. He left because he was not meant to be someone's father.
Kenny shoves the box with the syringe into Levi, who looks down as he takes it. When he raises his eyes again, Kenny has passed away.
In the capital, Historia receives her crown from Dhalis Zachary before a crowd of people and high ranking members of the military. The story of her slaying the Titan in Orvud District and overthrowing her father has spread throughout the crowd.
As he kneels before the newly crowned Queen, Erwin Smith remembers their argument on top of the Wall at Orvud. Historia had asked to deal the killing blow to the Titan, so they can unite the Walls and stabilize the political situation. He admires the fact she actually did it.
After the ceremony, her squadmates walk with Historia, asking if she is really going to follow through on Mikasa Ackermann's suggestion to punch Levi. Eren Jaeger tries to get Mikasa to acknowledge it as a joke, but she doubles down and tells Historia to dare Levi to punch her back. Historia says she needs to be able to do this to call herself Queen, and Jean Kirschtein eggs her on.
When they finally see him, Historia psyches herself up and punches Levi in the arm. She asks him how he likes that. Unbothered, Levi smiles back at his squad and thanks them.
Elsewhere, Reiner Braun's Armored Titan lies face down in the ruins of Shiganshina District. His armor has been torn in places and he does not appear to be conscious. Bertholdt Hoover runs up to him, calling his name. He pulls Reiner out of his Titan body and turns to see the Beast Titan squat beside them. The Beast Titan declares that he won, so saving Annie Leonhart will come later, and retrieving the Coordinate remains their priority. If they wait, it will come to them.
Currently Publicly Available Information
A family of warriors who once served the royal government. They began to be persecuted after distancing themselves from the royal family. The details are unknown, but some experience a mysterious 'awakening' and gain abilities exceeding a typical human's.
Characters in order of appearance
- This and the previous two episodes are the only three to be rated TV-MA when it aired on Toonami/Adult Swim in the United States and also the last one to receive it.