|I didn't used to care about anything. But it's different now. I think I've committed irredeemable sins...But. If it meant I could return to my father...I'd do it all over again.|
|— Annie expresses her conviction to Hitch|
Hitch Dreyse reunites with Annie Leonhart and the two leave Stohess District, following in the wake of the departing Wall Titans. Annie shares her story with Hitch; how her father adopted and trained her, and how determined she is to reunite with him.
In Shiganshina District, others deal with the aftermath of the battle. Keith Shadis tries to convince the trainees to side with the Yeagerists until they have the opportunity to rise up, Armin Arlert leaves with Gabi Braun in hopes of saving Falco Grice from being fed to Connie Springer's mother, and Floch Forster has the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers imprisoned so they can contemplate whether or not to help the Eldians of Paradis Island. Outside the city, Pieck and Theo Magath are approached by Hange Zoë.
In Stohess District, Hitch Dreyse and other members of the Military Police Brigade dig out survivors from the rubble left behind by the waking Wall Titans. The Titans are not hostile to humans, and are walking in a line that will take them away from the island, but the human population is split over Eren Yeager's actions in waking them. Some blame Eren for the deaths caused by the crumbling Walls, and others defend them as an acceptable sacrifice.
Seeing the civilians begin to clash, one of the MPs tells Hitch to return to headquarters to bring back recruits and weapons. While she organizes that effort, she notices a trail of liquid on the floor coming from the basement and then ending at a closed door. Hitch opens the door and is immediately assaulted by Annie Leonhart, who threatens to cut open her neck using her ring with an integrated blade. However, Hitch is able to break free and throw Annie over her shoulder.
Hitch panics, trying to think of a way to restrain Annie before she transforms, only to realize that Annie has already injured herself and can turn into the Female Titan at any time. Annie uses this to threaten Hitch into obeying her, but Hitch calls her bluff, claiming that Annie is too weak to do that right now. Someone knocks on the door asking Hitch if she is all right as Hitch makes up her mind.
A short time later, Hitch and Annie are in the stables where Hitch prepares a horse so Annie can leave. She claims this works out for her since she will no longer have to stand guard over Annie's resting place in the basement, and Annie replies that this way she will no longer have to listen to Hitch talk about men either. Surprised, Hitch realizes that Annie has been conscious the entire four years she has been inside her crystal. Annie describes it like being in a dream, and she would hear both Hitch and Armin Arlert as if they were far away. She then found herself thrown out of her slumber as she heard Eren's voice. Annie asks if he is serious about destroying the world with the rumbling.
Hitch says he is, and as they ride out she tells Annie to look at the Titans' wake. She feels that the only worthwhile job she has done as a soldier has been to clean up corpses and rubble, in the aftermath of both Annie and Eren. Hitch asks Annie how she feels seeing all the bodies trampled for the sake of her plan, and Annie says she had a lot of time to think about it while she was in her crystal, and she realizes how little the Warrior Unit thought at all. They were praised for killing anyone outside of Marley's borders and saw themselves as atoning for their deeds as Eldians. But even though the Warriors were supposed to stop the rumbling, Annie tells Hitch that she never cared about saving the world.
Annie was abandoned shortly after birth due the blood tests that showed her mother having an affair with an Eldian, and she was adopted by an Eldian man from another country. He trained her mercilessly to become a Warrior in order to improve his own lot in life, and she paid him back by making sure he could never walk properly again. Despite that, he was happy, because it meant she could kill her enemies, even unarmed.
Because of her training, everything stopped mattering to Annie, even her own life, until the morning the Warriors were to head to Paradis Island to retake the Founding Titan. That was when her father apologized to her and said that everything he taught her had been wrong. None of what she had earned them, her status as a Warrior or being honorary Marleyan citizens, mattered as long she came back to him.
Annie tells Hitch that her father is waiting for her, and others have people just as important to them too. She knows she has committed irredeemable sins, but thinks that she would still do them if it meant returning to her father. Hitch appreciates Annie's openness with her, but is afraid that at this point, if Annie gets back all she will find will be rubble and corpses.
Meanwhile, in Liberio, the Eldians in the internment zone bunch up around the Public Security Authorities at the gate. Annie's father is at their head and tries to explain to the security officers that Eren Yeager is coming and has activated the rumbling. However, the officers are skeptical and accuse the Eldians of conspiring to escape. They begin to arrest the Eldians present, but Mr. Leonhart thinks of his daughter and her promise to return, which drives him to fight back.
Back in Shiganshina District, Keith Shadis and a few of the trainees overhear gunfire from the Yeagerists who have gathered to take over the fort. Surma suggests that they run, but Keith argues against it. Since the people support the Yeagerists, the Yeagerists will soon take over the island and there will no longer be a place for people like Keith. He tells the trainees to side with the Yeagerists to keep themselves safe and then rise up when the opportunity comes.
Elsewhere in Shiganshina, Armin prepares to chase after Connie Springer in order to save Falco Grice. Even if it might not work out, he feels obligated to do everything he can in order to win Gabi Braun's trust. Reiner and the Cart Titan are still somewhere in the area, and having Gabi on their side could make a difference in whether the two groups could work together. Armin is weary, and would rather not be doing this, but if he does not, it could have a massive effect on humanity's future.
As he gets up to leave, Mikasa Ackerman asks him what she should do and Armin tells her to help Jean Kirstein and to think for herself for once. When she asks him about Eren, Armin blows up in frustration over their collective helplessness and how many people are still in danger. He is clearly overwhelmed and tells Mikasa that they are no longer in a place to think about Eren, who is a lost cause. When Mikasa apologizes, Armin catches himself and laments that he was the one saved instead of Erwin Smith. Erwin would not have snapped like that. After Armin leaves, Mikasa notices that the scarf she had previously set aside is now gone.
Outside, the Blouse family is seeing Gabi off, and Mr. Blouse assures her that Connie would hesitate to feed Falco to his mother, so she should be able to make it in time to save him. Kaya says farewell to "Mia" and, embarrassed, Gabi reveals her real name. Gabi then rides away with Armin.
At the top of the fort, Floch Forster shoots one of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers in the hand to enforce their new position with the Yeagerists. He explains that Eren told him of his plan to manipulate Zeke Yeager ten months ago and Floch rounded up comrades to help Eren's cause. Floch tells the volunteers that protecting their homelands is now a lost cause, but they will be welcomed as Eldians if they choose to fight for the sake of the island.
When the volunteer he previously maimed objects, Floch shoots him in the head even as he praises him for refusing to submit in the face of a bullet. However, Floch says that pride is not worth dying for, and that submission is okay. He gives orders for the volunteers to be taken to their cells where they will have time to think.
Mikasa comes up the stairs to see the volunteers being led away and asks what happened. Floch summarizes his stance that Eren is wiping out the problems outside of the island, so Floch sees his own role as wiping out any resentment that remains inside of it. He tells Mikasa and a shell-shocked Jean that this is freedom and that they do not have to fight any longer. Floch reminds Jean of his dream to become an MP and tells him that he can do that now, but insults Jean's former attitude after Jean asks if their fight is over. Mikasa then asks what happened to Hange Zoë and Levi Ackerman, and Floch tells her that they were killed by Zeke.
Out in the wilderness, Connie is riding with Falco under the pretense that he is taking Falco to safety so he can get his amnesia treated. Falco is grateful since he has a gap in his memory of what happened after meeting up with Gabi and his older brother, Colt. However, he cannot shake the feeling that he has met Connie before.
Also in the wilderness, Pieck and Theo Magath watch the Marleyan airships retreating. Magath thinks it is a smart move since they can warn the rest of the country about what has happened, but Pieck is demoralized since there is no longer a way to stop the marching Wall Titans.
Hange calls out to the two of them, and Pieck, still partially inside her Titan, moves to attack when Hange asks for them to wait. Hange emphasizes that they are unarmed and motions to a sled being pulled by a horse, saying that the Marleyans do not need to worry about their companion either, since he is a harmless man who refuses to die.