This episode seems to intercut between scenes taking place at the current moment with scenes that take place two years earlier. The first time the episode moves from current time to two years ago, the audience was given a title screen to indicate the scene was taking place two years earlier. After that, though, there were times when it became confusing because the scenes would intercut between time and not clearly mark when the story switched back to two years ago.
In the story that takes place two years earlier, Paradis Island’s port has been built and the Scouts welcome their first outside visitor. It’s a delegation from the land of Hizuru, a nation that has always been friendly to Paradis. We learn that Mikasa’s ancestors came from Hizuru, and that at one point in time, a child from Hizuru was accidentally left behind. The delegation from Hizuru plays up how Mikasa is the hope for their land. But during a meeting, we learn that the people of Hizuru are really money grubbing people, and what they really want is exclusive rights to a resource that’s only found at Paradis. During this meeting, it’s also revealed that Zeke shared a plan with the people of Hizuru, which they share with the Scouts and delegates of Paradis. We witnessed the first part of the plan with the attack on Marley. But we see the third and final part is a sticking point… which basically requires Historia to inherit the Beast Titan when Zeke dies. While she agrees to inherit it, Eren is pissed off that the second part of the plan basically calls for the people of Paradis to breed like livestock. It’s interesting to note in this portion of the episode, Historia may look more mature, but she still shows some of the energy and life that she had prior to becoming Queen. Which is quite the contrast from the Historia was saw in the previous episode, who looked like she was almost dead inside.
There’s a later scene that takes place two years earlier, where Eren and the other Scouts are talking about who will inherit the Founding Titan when Eren’s time runs out. Each person volunteers themselves, but everyone has a reason why that person shouldn’t. The whole thing ends with Eren saying he doesn’t want any of them inheriting his Titan.
These scenes are a stark contrast to what happens in the current time. The episode actually begins with Hange talking to an imprisoned Eren, but the conversation devolves into Eren becoming enraged. Meanwhile, some of the higher ups are getting drunk and are pissed off that they didn’t follow the original plan of having Historia devour Zeke when he was brought in, because now she’s pregnant. With her pregnancy, they can’t pass the Titan down to her because it could hurt her unborn child, and if anything happens to Historia, everything is over. Apparently, somebody tipped Historia off that getting pregnant would delay her inheriting the Beast Titan. Of course, this now means she basically has to keep having children in order to avoid inheriting the Titan. Historia has had her role downgraded considerably at this point. And for anyone who’s wondering, yes, the baby’s father is revealed here… it’s someone she’s known for a long time (from before she joined the Scouts) that is now helping out at her orphanage.
The final scene of the episode, though, shows a schism developing between the Scouts due to Eren’s behavior and the fact that he seems to now be embracing Zeke’s plan (when he had been one of the vocal dissenters two years earlier). When Conny mentions the possibility that they may need to cut Eren down, Mikasa says she won’t allow it. But Conny comes back with a question for Mikasa: “Why did Eren laugh when Sasha died?” Mikasa and Armin, of course, don’t have an answer for this, and you can tell by their expressions that this question really stings them. At this point, it looks as if the Scouts could potentially start splintering apart due to the politics and events that are happening.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the character dynamics evolve over the coming episodes of the series. With this episode. the situation is starting to look more and more bleak, and there’s a lot of potential for major changes to happen for both the plot and for the characters themselves.
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