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This article is about the 42nd episode of the Attack on Titan anime. For the manga chapter of the same name, see Reply (Chapter).


Reply (回答 Kaitō?) is the 5th episode of the 3rd season and the 42nd episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.

Overview

Erwin Smith defends the necessity of the Scout Regiment to the King and assembled nobles. Without the Scouts to fight against the Titans, humanity could face a civil war if the Walls were ever breached again, since there would not be enough food to feed both the people of Wall Sina and Wall Rose. However, his justifications fall on deaf ears and the nobles call for his execution.

Before Erwin can be taken away, Anka Rheinberger announces that Wall Rose has been breached, forcing the nobles to confront the scenario Erwin just spoke of. Though Dot Pyxis calls for an evacuation of the civilians in Wall Rose, the nobles override his order and demand that the gates to Wall Sina be closed. Nile Dawk refuses, and Premier Dhalis Zachary arrives in time to agree. With all branches of the military turned against the Royal Government, they enact a coup d'état and the nobility is arrested. Despite their success though, Erwin expresses misgivings about the new path humanity has taken.

Summary

The heads of the military meet to dismantle the Scout Regiment as the gallows are publicly erected in the city for the impending execution of Erwin Smith.

Erwin presents his defense

Erwin presents his defense

In the throne room, Erwin tells the King and the assembled nobles about how the Scout Regiment serves as a spear to protect humanity. If Wall Rose was breached, its residents would take refuge in Wall Sina again, but the earlier evacuation decimated their stockpiles. This time the residents would be forced to fight for resources and a civil war would erupt between Wall Rose and Wall Sina. Furthermore, Wall Rose is always suffering from a food shortage, so the best way to avoid war is to reclaim Wall Maria. It is the duty of the Scouts to charge at the enemy.

When the nobles are unmoved, Erwin asks if they have a secret plan of their own to overcome this issue. Aurille deflects the question and redirects the conversation to the Charter of Humanity: "Thou shall not prioritize one's own gain over the longevity of humanity." Gerald brings up how Erwin has refused to hand over Eren Jaeger multiple times and calls that a violation. Deltoff adds that Eren is too risky to allow a single commander to control, even if Erwin finds him critical to regaining Wall Maria.

Pyxis disavows working with the Scouts

Pyxis disavows working with the Scouts

The nobles ask Dot Pyxis for his opinion, seeing as both the Garrison and the Scouts risk their lives on the front lines. Pyxis says that he is disturbed that they would suggest that the Garrison would align itself with the Scouts. He wishes to avoid humans killing other humans. If the Scout Regiment is a spark that would start a fire, then it must be smothered.

The nobles confer, and then Aurille announces Erwin's judgment. He is sentenced to death for his violation of the Charter of Humanity and his execution will be carried out immediately. Nile Dawk is visibly disturbed at how the audience has gone, and how Pyxis does not seem to be reacting.

Anka bursts into the throne room

Anka bursts into the throne room

As Erwin is brought to his feet to be taken away, Anka Rheinberger bursts into the throne room and declares that Wall Rose has been breached. She announces that the Colossal and Armored Titans have broken through both gates of Calaneth District. Refugees are currently heading this way for safety.

Aurille shakes visibly as Pyxis calls for the establishment of an evacuation route. But after Pyxis rouses his soldiers, Aurille countermands his order and calls for the closure of the gates to Wall Sina. Nile is shocked and protests that it would mean cutting off all the residents of Wall Rose. He asks if they plan to watch as half of humanity dies, but Aurille is only concerned about the possibility of a civil war and is willing to take no chances that one could happen.

Pyxis watches the conversation and discretely nods to Anka, who dashes out of the throne room. Meanwhile, the nobles speak quietly to each other. Deltoff is upset about the timing, but Aurille says they have a silver lining, in that the power has already been found. It is just a matter of the vessel taking it.

Nile refuses to close the gates

Nile refuses to close the gates

One of the MPs says they should close the gates as ordered. Nile tells him to wait, but another of his soldiers says it will be too late if they do. Noticing the delay, Aurille asks him what he is doing and to hurry it up. Disobeying would be treason. However, Nile refuses. He calls himself a human of Wall Rose and he will not allow the gates to be closed.

At that moment, Dhalis Zachary arrives and announces that he will stand behind Nile. Zachary is escorted by multiple soldiers, all equipped with rifles. Pyxis asks Zachary if he is surprised by the nobles' response, and he is not at all. Zachary goes on to explain to the nobles that the report they had just heard was a false alarm. Pyxis confesses to be the mastermind behind this plan, and while the Garrison is not aligned with the Scouts, neither is it aligned with the Royal Government. He would have been happy to leave things to the government if that was the better choice for humanity, but even though the military knows less about Titans than they do, they can save more people than the government ever would.

Pyxis declares their actions a coup d'état and Anka arrives to inform Zachary that the Interior Police have been restrained, to the horror of the nobles. Zachary informs them that soldiers will obey their superior officers over the King, and Pyxis adds that in the place of the false king they will put a new ruler of their own. Erwin informs Aurille that if the false disaster had actually happened, the nobles' decision would have violated Clause Six of the Charter of Humanity. He asks if installing a false king to personally control the government is not a crime punishable by death.

Erwin's manacles are removed

Erwin is freed

Zachary's soldiers escort the nobles away and Erwin is freed. Nile is puzzled that he is not happy since he won, but Erwin says that humanity has started down a new path more dangerous than the one before.

The night after Erwin's audience, Squad Levi prepares for an ambush, but the cloaked newcomers turn out to be Hange Zoë and Moblit Berner, who bring news of the coup d'état's success. Zachary has taken control of the capital and for the moment the nobility is not rebelling. Hange also reveals that the newspapers have printed the truth about the false charges against the Scouts, thanks to help from Flegel Reeves. The Scouts are free people now.

Hange holds up the book Erwin gave her

Hange holds up the book Erwin gave her

While the squad cheers, Levi Ackermann apologizes to Hange that he lost the three people she loaned him. The leader of the Interior Police, as well as Eren and Historia Reiss are still out there. Hange says she may be able to help with that and holds up the book Erwin gave her.

Earlier that day, following the audience, Zachary makes an announcement regarding the ousting of the previous government from atop the gallows constructed for Erwin. Nile speaks to the press, reassuring people that they are not trying to establish military rule but to install a new ruler from the true royal family.

As Erwin rides away in a carriage with Zachary, he expresses doubts about the road they have chosen. After all, the government had managed to keep humanity alive up until this point. Losing half of humanity is better than all of it. Zachary tells Erwin that dying would have been the easy option and asks him why he did not do it if it bothers him so much. Before Erwin can reply, Zachary tells him his own answer.

Zachary rants about the government

Zachary explains that he has always hated the government

Zachary explains that he has always hated the government and calls them pigs. He had been dreaming of this day for ages and had planned to give it a shot if Erwin had not done it first. Zachary does not care whether the coup is good or bad for humanity and says that Erwin is no different. That is why he did not want to die. He prioritized himself over humanity. Erwin does not disagree and tells Zachary about his childhood dream.

Returning to evening that same day, Hange explains the contents of the report Erwin gave her to Squad Levi. Five years ago there was an incident with the Reiss family on the day Wall Maria was breached. Some bandits raided and set fire to the only chapel in the area, while the Reiss family was inside. The entire family, save Rod Reiss, was killed. This was only a few days before Historia's mother was killed by the Interior Police, which means that Rod sought Historia immediately after losing his family.

Levi concludes that there must be something special about her bloodline. Hange is still uncertain, but what concerns her is that parts of the chapel were completely wrecked despite having been made of stone. Destroying it would take a lot of effort, especially for bandits interested in robbery. And then after the chapel's destruction, Rod used his own fortune to rebuild it. Because of that, Hange thinks it is worth checking this place out.

Vision of Frieda

Eren has a vision of a dark-haired girl

In the Underground Chapel, Eren has a vision of a dark-haired girl brushing her hair in a mirror. He wakes to find himself in a large crystal cave on a raised platform. Eren is restrained by chains on all four limbs and a gag in his mouth to prevent him from biting his own tongue.

Elsewhere, Erwin prepares the Scouts to move out, but Hange suspects they will not have enough time. She, Levi, and their squad members head for the chapel to prevent Eren from being eaten. Armin then wonders if a Titan gains the powers of a person who can change into a Titan by eating them, then when did Eren become a Titan and who did he eat.

In the crystal cavern, Historia walks up beneath the platform. She is wearing a white robe and looks up at Eren.

Currently Publicly Available Information

ACPAI42

Underground Chapel

A sacred location where the royal family's power has been passed down for generations. The walls are composed of a naturally luminescent ore which is thought to have been created by some form of Titan power.

Characters in order of appearance

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