Attack on Titan Season 3: Episode 11 – “Bystander”

The episode starts by showing Historia not exactly acting like a typical queen. But, it turns out that what she’s doing falls into the mission she’s set for herself: to help anyone, regardless of who they are. She is especially putting an emphasis on the orphans, including the orphans in the underground. With Levi’s youth growing up in the underground, he’s very supportive of her mission.

For a lot of this episode, Eren is depicted as being down on himself, moody, and mumbling things to himself. Early on, he’s spending a bit of time with Historia, and we definitely see some hints of jealousy from Mikasa. I was actually surprised that Mikasa didn’t react at one point, when Jean comments about Eren hanging out with Historia and “holding hands” (they actually aren’t from what we see on screen, though).

We also see some of the newer recruits to the Scouts, some of which were former classmates of Eren and the others. They comment that they notice that Eren and the others have changed and wonder what happened. When they offer to explain to their former classmates what happened to cause the change, they decide against hearing it. But it’s being depicted that all of the newer recruits are excited about joining the Scouts, especially after Hange comes up with a new weapon that utilizes Eren’s hardening ability. Hange’s reactions to the success of the test was very amusing to see, though. We hadn’t seen Hange act this way in the series for quite a while.

While Eren’s Titan hardening powers are being put to good use, we see that the tests he’s been undergoing are affecting him physically. But at the point we see this, he’s at a point of just resigning himself to this, thinking he isn’t all that special.

In an earlier episode, when Eren was able to get a glimpse of his father’s memories, he saw a man who had been with his father after Wall Maria had been breached. Eren finally puts two and two together, and realizes that he knows who this man is: Commandant Keith Sadies. Eren, Levi, Hange, and the other main Scouts go to see the commandant, and we are treated to some important backstory. Not only for Sadies and Grisha Jaeger, but for Eren and his mother as well. And during the ending credits, which run through the last sequence of the episode, we finally learn a fact behind something that happened all the way back in the early episodes of the first season. What’s interesting, though, is that this is something I hadn’t caught when I read this section of the manga. Perhaps it had been in there, and I just missed putting two and two together somehow. But there’s something that Sadies says right near the end of the episode that Eren really needed to hear. I think these words will help him to start recovering from the funk he’s been in for the past few episodes, but I think these words will also help to keep him more on the humble side.

While there wasn’t a lot of action in this episode, the backstory we get from Sadies’ flashbacks more than make up for it. I’m really looking forward to how future episodes will adapt the manga material, especially since the anime is getting a lot closer to what I’ve already read in the manga.

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