This episode is bookended with brief backstories. The opening of the episode features a brief backstory for Historia, and right near the end, some brief backstory for Erwin. For Historia, her backstory leads into what we saw at the end of the previous episode, which was Rod Reiss hugging Historia. With Erwin’s backstory, we get some insight into why he’s willing to take on the government.
Basically, this episode is setting up the idea that Erwin, along with the Scouts, are planning a coup in which they reveal the king isn’t legitimate, and that the Reiss family is the true royal family. And with this, they want to make Historia the queen. Erwin gets a surprising ally in Commander Pyxis, and it’s through a conversation between these two that we get Erwin’s backstory. But trouble arises for Erwin and the Scouts when they are accused of murdering the merchant who had aided Levi and the others in the previous episode.
Levi and the others, meanwhile, are about to launch a mission to rescue Eren and Historia. But now that they’re wanted fugitives, this could put their plan into jeopardy. And it’s hinted that Kenny is also aiming to take on Levi.
Oh, and it was nice to see a brief flashback clip from Season 2 when Hange is explaining the conversation Eren told her about that he had overheard back then. While it was important to impart the information to understand why Hange is concerned about what’s going to happen to Eren, the flashback was a nice reminder for the audience to help jog their memory of this particular conversation. The utilization of the flashback was very helpful, especially since it has been a while since I watched Attack on Titan Season 2.
It’s hard to give much in the way of commentary here. I guess I can say that the two backstory sections help the audience to understand Historia and Erwin a little better. But most of the rest of the episode is basically important plot points that have to happen in order for the story to progress. Another thing that makes it hard for me to comment on what’s happening is the fact that I know what’s coming, thanks to reading this section of the manga already. By giving too much commentary, I run the risk of providing unintentional spoilers.
I guess I can comment on how overall, the episodes of this season are following the manga rather closely. The main difference, though, is the fact that the pacing here is a little faster than in the manga telling of the same story. But I think the accelerated pacing works better for television, because the manga’s pacing would be too boring to watch.
I can’t wait to see how the anime continues to adapt this particular storyline, and I’m very curious to see just how much of the manga material the series will adapt before this season of the anime ends.