Unfortunately, unlike at the beginning of Season 2, the audience is not provided with a recap to refresh the audiences’ memory as to where the previous season had ended. Instead, the writers just throw us right in where the story left off. It’s been a while since I saw the end of Season 2, but I at least have read further along in the manga and could piece together where the story had to be at this point. But if I hadn’t already read this part of the story in the manga before watching this episode, I think I would have potentially been a little lost right at first.
Basically, whether you’ve read this point in the manga or not, you can piece together that Levi, Eren, Historia (aka Christa), Misaka, Armin, Hange, and the other characters who are in Levi’s unit are currently in hiding. We do see a couple of quick flashbacks and hear a couple of references to events that happened in Season 2, but this just isn’t the same as a recap of Season 2.
Hange is trying an experiment with Eren, but it’s not working very well… and this failure puts a mission in jeopardy. This is just the start of a chain of events that make it clear that the goals of Levi’s squad aren’t going to be achieved very easily.
We also learn that Pastor Nick, who Levi and Hange had captured in the previous season, has been murdered, and Hange figures out it was the work of the military police. And thanks to forewarning from Erwin, Levi and his crew get out of their hiding place just in time before the military arrives to try to get their hands on Eren and Historia.
When Levi and his crew arrive in Trost District, poor Armin ends up used as a body double for Historia… and has some creepy lecher going after him, thinking that he’s Historia. Poor guy. And I have to say that Jean isn’t a very good body double for Eren.
But near the end of the episode, there’s a major revelation about Levi’s past… and he comes directly face to face with this revelation right at the end. In fact, there’s no ending theme in this episode, because they use the time to focus on Levi and the revelation. With how this episode ends, it’s likely that the next episode will have an exciting start.
In some respects, it’s a little frustrating to have already read this portion of the manga, because I have to make sure not to inadvertently provide any spoilers in these write ups, since there will be readers who only follow the anime. But with what I know about what happens later, I’m very curious to see how the anime will portray these future events.