|Did you think I wouldn't kill my comrades if they turned into Titans? You don't have a damn clue how many comrades we've killed!|
|— Levi Ackermann's response to Zeke Jaeger's plan of escape|
While Gabi Braun sits nervously, Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackermann, and Armin Arlelt 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 Bertholdt Hoover's memories, and Mikasa for her Ackermann heritage. 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 Ackermann is informed about Dhalis Zachary's death, and tells the courier to let Dot Pyxis 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. Levi is hesitant, but he soon steels himself to sacrifice the horde and begins ripping through them. He later catches up to Zeke and forces him to become the Beast Titan; however, Levi takes advantage of the Titan Forest to defeat him. Zeke's unconscious body is dragged out of the forest. Meanwhile, Floch Forster leads the Jaegerists to the Cadet Corps division in Shiganshina District.
Mikasa Ackermann and Armin Arlelt sit with Gabi Braun at a table, who asks them why they protected her after she killed their comrade and bludgeoned a guard with a rock. Gabi asks for Falco Grice to be taken as a prisoner and for them to kill her. Armin muses that her ideology reminds him of Eren Jaeger, who unexpectedly appears in the doorway. He silently raises his right hand, showing his palm has been sliced open and bleeding.
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 Jaeger 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. Ignoring this, Eren claims that he learned a lot from Zeke while in Marley and asks Armin if he is still visiting Annie Leonhart. He adds that if memories play a role in forming who a person is, that means part of Bertholdt Hoover's memories have become part of Armin too.
When Mikasa interjects, Eren claims that the Ackermanns were intentionally designed to protect Eldia's King. An Ackermann 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, all because she accepted Eren as her host.
Finally, he claims that Ackermanns find themselves fighting their true self at times, which can manifest as severe headaches. Armin sees Mikasa is too shocked to react and tells Eren to stop; ignoring him, Eren reminds them that he hates anyone who is not free, they are like livestock. Calling her both, he vehemently tells Mikasa that he has hated her since he was a kid.
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. 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 Forest of Giant Trees, Levi Ackermann meets with several members of the Scout Regiment up in the trees and learns of Dot Pyxis's plan. He tells the two Scouts they will capture a Jaegerist and transfer Zeke's power to them. Levi orders them to go inform Pyxis 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 Scouts in the trees. Composing himself, Levi internally tells Erwin Smith 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 Scouts above him begin to fall out of the trees and transform into Titans.
A numbing sensation ripples through several officers of the military due to Zeke's scream. It is powerful enough to cause Pyxis to drop his cup in bewilderment. Those affected are in both the Garrison and the Military Police Regiment. In a carriage driven by the Jaegerists, Falco wakes up, saying that he feels like electricity shot through his body. Hange Zoë realizes from his words that Nicolo's suspicion about the wine is correct and that Zeke must have used his power.
In the forest, Zeke leaves Levi behind to face the combined might of the Scouts who have been transformed into Titans. He taunts Levi and asks him if he would truly cut apart his own men when they have done nothing wrong. Levi realizes that Zeke's spinal fluid must have been in the wine, which his soldiers had been all too happy to drink. He also pieces together that what Zeke had told them about people becoming numb on coming into contact with his spinal fluid is also a lie.
The former soldiers move more quickly and intelligently than ordinary Titans, which Levi theorizes is probably because of Zeke's influence, and he is initially taken back by their quickness and increased ferocity. Forced to fight his subordinates in order to survive, Levi ponders if his subordinates are aware of their actions, as he is surrounded by them mid-air.
As he departs, Zeke laments their present circumstances, which cannot be properly called a battle or a war. He states to be disappointed that he and Levi never learned to trust each other, but chalks it up to them coming from different worlds and that Levi does not truly understand what it means to have the world preparing to attack Paradis Island. Zeke lets one of the Titans carry him away as he considers how his half-brother, Eren, is the only person who is capable of understanding him. He wonders if Eren remembers where the two of them are supposed to meet.
However, before he can escape the forest, a bloodied and angry Levi catches up to him, now armed with Thunder Spears. Zeke uses one of his remaining Titans to attack him, but Levi slices through it. In horror to have to face Levi again, Zeke bites his hand to transform into the Beast Titan and tears apart his last remaining Titan to use pieces of its skull as ammunition to throw at Levi. Noticing that there are no more Titans around, Zeke asks Levi if he really killed all of his own men.
Levi leaps through the trees, cutting down branches far above the Beast Titan's head to use as diversion. He says that all Zeke needed to do was sit back and read, and asks him what made him think that he would not kill his own men. Levi supposes that Zeke simply has no idea how many friends the Scout Regiment has had to kill just to get where they are now. He fires his Thunder Spears into the Beast Titan's nape, severely wounding Zeke and blowing him out of his Titan entirely. Levi grabs Zeke's broken body by the head and drags him away, saying that he will not kill him yet.
In Shiganshina District, Keith Sadies prepares the 109th Cadet Corps for a practice defense against invading Titans. However, some of the cadets find this a useless exercise given that their enemies are no longer Titans, but other humans from outside the Walls. One of them whispers to his companions that they should be training to use guns and form an Eldian army. The cadet feels that their commandant is stuck in the past. Another cadets adds that their best chance is for the Jaegerists to seize power. He feels that they should want a leader willing to make tough decisions.
Their training exercise is then interrupted by the arrival of Floch Forster and the Jaegerists, who are also leading a captive Hange with them. Floch points his gun at the group and says that they will now be following his orders. Keith tries to take him to task, but Floch fires a warning shot near his foot to shut him up. Floch explains that this has nothing to do with Keith personally, but calls on the Cadet Corps to join the Jaegerists. He asks them if they are willing to save Eldia and join them with Eren as their leader.
A few step forward and salute, pledging their hearts to Eldia. Floch then orders them to beat Keith until he can no longer stand, as proof of their resolve, since Keith represents the old order the Jaegerists are trying to get rid of. Anyone who does not participate will be sent to jail. Horrified, Hange tries to get him to stop, but Keith says to let it go, as he claims that the cadets will be no match for him. A short while later, Keith lies battered on the ground and Floch congratulates the Cadet Corps on a good job. He then tells Hange to lead them to Zeke.
Elsewhere, the members of the Scouts who were detained at the restaurant are waiting in prison. Inside a building with elegant windows, Eren takes a look outside.
Zeke wakes up to find himself lying gravely injured in a wagon with Levi sitting on a bench beside him. Levi tells him not to move and informs Zeke that the Thunder Spear impaled in his stomach is tied to a detonator around his neck. One wrong move and he will be blown in half. Zeke looks over his own body and vomits, and Levi almost pities him as he draws his blades.
He cuts off half of Zeke's foot and when Zeke screams, Levi tells him to shut up as he cuts off more chunks of his legs. Levi explains that he has to do this otherwise Zeke will turn into a Titan. In agony, Zeke asks about his now missing glasses and where they might be. Levi is unsympathetic and tells him that he no longer needs them.
As he falls unconscious, Zeke remembers when he was a boy playing catch with another Eldian, Tom Xaver. He asked Zeke if he was going to become a pitcher when he grew up. Zeke replied that he had a mission to do.
Currently Publicly Available Information
Spinal Fluid Wine
A red wine produced in Marley with Zeke "Wonderboy" Jaeger's spinal fluid mixed in. After consuming Zeke's spinal fluid and hearing his "scream," Subjects of Ymir will turn into Pure Titans who obey his orders. The wine and Titans have proven to be a cheap and effective weapon to conquer enemy nations.
Characters in order of appearance
- This episode originally aired on NHK General TV on March 15, 2021, but the airing was interrupted and subsequently delayed a week due to news coverage of an earthquake in Wakayama.