|Do you know what I hate most in this world? Anyone who isn't free. They're no better than livestock. Just looking at her made me so angry.|
|— Eren expresses his anger toward "slaves"|
Niccolo is grilled for information concerning the wine. From this, Hange Zoë realizes that Zeke Yeager has lied about his spinal fluid paralyzing its victims. As Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert reassure Gabi Braun that they do not want to kill her, Eren Yeager walks into the room. Meanwhile, the other Yeagerists enter the restaurant, led there by another Marleyan worker. They restrain those present and revealing that they refuse to negotiate with Dot Pixis. They demand that Hange leads them to Zeke.
While Gabi sits nervously, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin sit down to talk. Armin questions Eren over attacking Liberio. Eren declares that he chose to do so of his own free will, though Mikasa disagrees, believing that he is being manipulated. Angered, he begins chastising the two for lacking freedom: Armin for being manipulated by Bertolt Hoover's memories, and Mikasa for her Ackerman heritage. He explains that the Ackermans were designed to protect Eldia's Kings, and as a result, the family instinctively protects one they recognize as their host. Speaking in disgust, Eren tells Mikasa that he has always hated her. Armin and Eren begin a fist fight, though the former is quickly beaten. Elsewhere, Levi Ackerman is informed about Darius Zackly's death, and tells the courier to let Pixis know of his plan to have Zeke eaten. As Levi is lost in his thoughts, Zeke darts off and lets out a scream. Levi's comrades fall from the surrounding trees, transformed into Titans.
Jean slams Niccolo against the wall and demands to know what he meant by Zeke's spinal fluid being in the wine. Niccolo mentions that, while having no proof, the amount of wine shipped by the survey ships was more than what a short-term surveying voyage would require. He goes on to reveal that Yelena ordered him to serve the wine to members of the Corps, starting with the high-ranking officers. To his knowledge, Yelena was acting alone although he did not know about the other volunteers. Onyankopon reassures Hange that he was oblivious of this. Connie objects and mentions that Eldians freeze up the moment they consume Zeke's spinal fluid just as what had happened in Ragako but Hange bitterly mentions it was what Zeke had told them and due to no one else being present, there is no way to confirm the validity of this claim. Hange says that if they were to believe that such a telltale sign of being dosed with Zeke's spinal fluid exists, no one would suspect of being poisoned by it unless the sign came about.
Niccolo affirms Jean's claim that he had no proof for it, but he says that it was common knowledge to any Marleyan soldier in what manner Zeke's spinal fluid had been used in the past. Niccolo recalls how about ten years ago, Marley took down an enemy nation's capital city in one night by sending several hundred Eldians into the capital after administrating Zeke's spinal fluid to them and all it took was one scream from Zeke for the Eldians to transform into Titans and utterly destroy the place.
When Jean asks why Niccolo stopped them from drinking the wine, he responds that he is not sure why he did that. He reveals that the original plan was to survey the island of devils and save the world. He becomes distraught on seeing Artur Blouse and regrets trying to kill Gabi. Mr. Blouse expresses his concern over Ben but Hange states that they will act assuming Niccolo is right and orders everyone present to remove their jackets and to not touch their faces or mouths, telling Onyankopon to inform Mikasa and the others of this.
Mikasa and Armin sit with Gabi at a table, who asks them why they protected her after she killed Sasha and knocked a guard unconscious with a rock; she asks Falco to be taken as a prisoner and for them to kill her. Armin muses that her ideology reminds him of Eren, who unexpectedly appears in the doorway. He silently raises his right hand, showing his palm has been sliced open and bleeding.
As the others clean Falco, Onyankopon calls out for Hange to come to him; when the others come out they witness the Yeagerists having Onyankopon at gunpoint and Floch demands Hange to take them to Zeke. Hange asks if they heard the proposal from the Corps, but Floch reveals they refused it and will not negotiate, on Eren's command. Niccolo notices his co-worker Griez and asks him whether he was the one who brought the Yeagerists there. Griez disregards his question and accuses him of getting too close to the Eldians. When Hange tries to negotiate and reveals the wine bottles have been contaminated with Zeke's spinal fluid, Floch merely scoffs at it; Griez, mentions they have no proof and calls Niccolo delusional while the other Yeagerists restrain the Corps members and the Blouse family. Jean suggests it is part of the enemies' plan, but Floch mocks the MPs claiming it will just make them look even more stupid. Stunned, Hange asks how he knew about the MPs drinking the wine without them mentioning it. Floch tells them to be quiet, with a grin on his face and informs Eren they are leaving.
Inside, Eren tells Armin and Mikasa that he wants to talk in a quiet setting and that Eldia's problems can be solved without any conflict; he does however request that they have their hands on the table at all times. Armin questions Eren if Zeke and Yelena were the reason behind him launching an attack on Marley all by himself. Eren merely replies that he is free and did it of his own free will. Mikasa claims that he is being controlled and recalls how he saved her from the kidnappers who killed her parents- she thinks he is not the kind of person who would involve innocent people in war, even if they live in enemy territory. She fiddles with the scarf he gave her, asking him if he wrapped it around her out of kindness. Eren ignores her pleas, telling her to keep her hands on the table. Eren claims that he learned a lot from Zeke while in Marley and asks Armin if he is still visiting Annie. He adds that if memories play a role in forming who a person is, that means part of Bertolt's memories have become part of Armin too. He condemns Armin of being soft and useless in contrast to his former self who used his judgment to lead them to the right answer. Eren then accuses Armin of being the one being controlled by the enemy.
When Mikasa interjects, Eren claims that during his time in Marley he even learned about the Ackermans. He explains by the Eldian empire's experimentations with the subjects of Ymir, an accidental byproduct, the Ackerman clan, came into existence who were capable of partly manifesting the strength of a Titan, in human form. As the Ackerman clan was designed to protect Eldia's king, an Ackerman awakens their instincts once they recognize an individual as their host. When Eren ordered Mikasa to "fight" in the cabin, all the necessary conditions were fulfilled and her instincts were awakened. This heightened her physical abilities, which was fueled by the battle experiences of the past Ackermans, because she had accepted Eren as the host she had to protect.
Mikasa desperately denies that her Ackerman blood made her stronger, instead, she claims that it was all because of Eren. Ignoring her, Eren states the true selves of the Ackermans resist their instincts (being forced to protect their hosts), which can manifest as severe headaches; he asks her if that sounds familiar. He says that the real Mikasa disappeared in that mountain hut at nine years old, leaving behind the current Mikasa, who Eren coldly calls a slave to her Ackerman instincts. Armin sees Mikasa is too shocked to react and tells Eren to stop; ignoring him, Eren reminds them that he hates only two things in the world: anyone not content with truly being free and obedient cattle. He vehemently tells Mikasa that he has hated her since he was a kid because she is both of those things. As Mikasa starts to cry, Armin lunges over to attack Eren, only to be stopped by Mikasa and slammed against the table: both are horrified by this and Eren merely repeats that it is due to Mikasa's lineage, and that everything she has ever done was according to what her lineage told her to. Armin punches Eren in the face and is sent into a shelf. After Eren beats him and mentions he would never last in a fight, he orders all of them to be taken and travels with them to Shiganshina District.
In the Titan forest, Levi meets with several members of the Survey Corps up in the trees and learns about both the death of Zackly and of Pixis's plan. He internally fights himself for having saved Eren so many times and his many friends and comrades have been killed over nothing. He tells the two Survey Corpsmen they will capture a Yeagerist and transfer Zeke's power to them until Historia is ready. Levi orders them to go inform Pixis and descends from the tree.
Barely looking up, Zeke asks if there is any wine left at the camp. Levi replies there is not, prompting Zeke to bemusedly state Levi comes up with the worst punishments. Levi walks away and grimly steels himself to kill Zeke, confident that he will not get away with the numerous Corpsmen in the trees. Composing himself, Levi internally tells Erwin that he will finally be able to fulfill the vow he made all those years ago when he notices Zeke running into the forest. Suddenly, Zeke lets out a piercing scream; horrified, Levi can only look as the numerous Survey Corps soldiers above him begin to fall out of the trees and transform into Titans.