Attack on Titan Final Season: Episode 13 – “Children of the Forest”

The episode opens with Levi interrogating Zeke, and it’s revealed that a gas weapon containing some of Zeke’s spinal fluid was used on the village of Ragako. This was Connie’s home village, where the residents had been turned into Titans and obeyed Zeke’s commands. But the way Zeke talks about this pisses Levi off, because Zeke shows no remorse for what he did. A little later in the episode, Levi is informed of what happened at headquarters, and the normally cocky Levi finds himself wondering why they ever saw Eren as the hope of the world. I felt bad for Levi, especially when he was making comments along the lines about how what he believed in during the series has turned into a colossal joke.

While these scenes are important, I got them out of the way first so I could focus on where most of the episode is set: the restaurant that Nicolo works at. Mr. Braus takes up Nicolo’s offer of food on the house, and brings everyone with him (including Falco and Gabi). The Scouts also make an appearance because they need to talk to Nicolo, but he asks them to wait so he can finish the meal for Mr. Braus and his guests. The Scouts are sent to a room that’s usually reserved for MPs. They notice a wine that soldiers have been talking about, and joke about taking a sip. However, Nicolo suddenly swoops in, grabs the bottle, and starts saying things and acting differently than normal. Even if I hadn’t already read this part of the manga, I think Nicolo’s actions here would have raised a red flag for me.

Kaya encourages Falco and Gabi to go see Nicolo, and they manage to slip away from the table. After revealing who they are and how they got there, Nicolo asks if they killed anyone, especially a female soldier. Gabi foolishly starts bragging, and Falco picks up from the look on Nicolo’s face that this is the wrong thing to say. He tries to shut Gabi up, but she keeps going… and brags about killing the female soldier. In a rage, Nicolo grabs the wine bottle he took from the Scouts and aims to hit Gabi… but Falco takes the hit instead. When he realizes what he’s done, Nicolo punches Gabi in the nose.

Nicolo (armed with a knife) goes to the dining area with Gabi and Falco, and tells Mr. Braus and his family what he learned about Gabi and Falco. The Scouts hear the commotion and enter the room. He offers the knife to Mr. Braus so he can avenge Sasha’s death, and after a little bit, Mr. Braus takes it. However, instead of using it, he simply holds it. Mr. Braus talks about how Sasha grew up as a child in the forest and was a hunter from a young age, and how he sent her out in the world because he knew that one day, the family would have to give up that kind of life. However, he surmises, he sent her out into a larger forest, where she shot others and got herself shot… and that larger forest is where everyone is fighting for their life. He also says they need to keep the young out of that forest, and that the adults needs to shoulder the sins of the past. During this, he hands the knife to his wife, who sets it down on a nearby table. Mr. Braus’ words were needed at that moment, and they helped calm Nicolo down from the crazed and angry state that he had been in leading up to this point. Unfortunately, Kaya becomes enraged with Gabi and grabs the knife off the table. Fortunately, Kaya is stopped before she can harm Gabi. Kaya’s anger and grief are understandable, especially since she had seen Gabi and Falco as her friends.

Nicolo is taken by the Scouts, and he asks Hange to wash out Falco’s mouth because some of the wine got into it. When he’s asked what’s in the wine, Nicolo answers that he believes that Zeke’s spinal fluid is in it. From seeing the interrogation earlier, we know that this could cause trouble, especially since it was being served to the MPs. Nicolo admits that Yelena was behind this plot, and that he had no actual knowledge about it.

Armin and Mikasa accompany Gabi to another room, and they’re just starting to talk when a group of Jaegerists burst into the restaurant and take everyone (except these three) hostage. Eren appears in the room with these three, with a wound on his hand. Armin and Mikasa are caught off-guard, and the usually cocky Gabi takes one look at Eren and has visible fear on her face. After what she saw him do in Marley, it’s not surprising that she would be scared of him. The episode ends with Eren saying he wants to talk with Armin and Mikasa.

This was a very intense episode, especially once we reached the point where Nicolo learned that Gabi was the one who killed Sasha. I thought that MAPPA did a great job of capturing these scenes from the manga, and I have to give extra kudos to the voice actors for their performances during these scenes.

There’s only three more episodes left for this season, and I’m curious to see what kind of a cliffhanger the season will end on. There’s no way that the story is going to be wrapped up in three episodes, so I feel confident there’s going to be more of the anime to come, whether it’s another season or an anime film. I’m hoping for the former, of course.

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