Welcome, one and all, to my latest weekly episode review for Attack on Titan Season Three. Today, I’m looking at the episode That Day. And so, we finally learned whether humans still exists outside the Walls. Let’s unpack some of it.
The episode started where the last one left off, and the parallels with Nazi Germany continued to shine through. For one, Grisha and Fay are referred to as ‘devil-bloods’ and ‘vermin’. That Grisha comments to Fay that she should be used to it by now was very telling too. The day seems to be going well when Grisha finds where the airship is landing, and Fay has a moment of amazement there. Then it all went wrong.
Two soldiers – Kruger and Gross – were also watching the airship. When they see the two kids, Kruger asks if they’re from the Liberio Internment Zone and asks to see their exit permit. As they don’t have one, he says that means they can face hard labor or a beating. Grisha chooses a beating, as it’s easier for his parents, and also insists that he forced Fay to come along, and so should have her punishment too. Kruger agrees and starts to beat him while Gross escorts Fay home. With the beating done, Kruger lets Grisha watch the airship for a little while.
When the next day comes, Fay’s bloody body is found in the river. Gross meets with Grisha’s family and tells them that he took her to the gates and left, and has no idea what happened next. He says that Grisha’s dad should teach his son about the sins of his ancestors. Grisha grew to hate both Gross and his father at this point, as his father was very willing to demean himself to avoid trouble.
We then learn a little about the past. One thousand, eight hundred and twenty years ago, Ymir Fritz made a contract with the Devil of All Earth and obtained the Power of the Titans. Upon her death, her power was split into nine Titans and they formed the Eldian Empire. This group defeated the nation of Marley and ruled over the continent. Thus began the Dark Ages. The subjects of Ymir viewed other races as inferior, took land, and forced people to bear their children to increase their numbers, leading to one thousand seven hundred years of ethnic cleansing. In the end, the Marley race brought seven of the Titans under their control to subvert the Eldian Empire from within, and eighty years ago, won the Great Titan War. The Eldian King fled to the island of Paradis with many of his remaining people and erected three walls to live within. Those that were left behind, live in internment camps under Marley rule.
Grisha viewed his father’s acceptance of this as shaming his ancestry. Even if his ancestors did bad things, he and Fay didn’t, so why do they get punished. His dad shuts him up, and Grisha simply goes along with it, though you can see that he isn’t happy.
This was a harsh series of events. Obviously, it’s built to show that the people who became Titans suffered, and Grisha is the foil to show that things are not what they seem. Which brings us to what happened next.
At eighteen, Grisha was supposed to take over his father’s medical clinic. It’s during a day here that he meets Grice, a young man with a cross-shaped scar that he says marks him as a Patriot. Grice explains that they have an informant in the Marley Public Security and that they know Fay was torn apart by dogs on Marley’s order. Grisha responds as you’d expect, joining the Patriots and starting a quest to restore the Eldian Empire.
The informant is known only as the Owl, and leads the Restorationists without ever being seen. He has found some historical texts, which appear to show that Ymir helped the nation prosper, cultivating the land, building roads and so on. Grice mentions that it’s impressive that Grisha can read the old texts, and he reveals that he hasn’t translated much of it, but he knows that what he’s saying is correct because he believes in their founder, Ymir, and declares them all the Chosen Children of God.
This was an interesting moment because Grisha is essentially saying that the Marley people have lied, but is in a way lying himself because he hasn’t finished translating everything. He is seemingly driven by the cause of restoring his race to a place not being oppressed, but I think that the reveal about Fay’s fate left him blind to anything other than revenge, at least on some level.
Dina Fritz, the last direct descendant of Ymir left in Marley, soon joins them. Grisha believes that the King took the Founding Titans into the walls and that if they can find them, they’ll be able to wield the power and annihilate Marley. Dina is overcome with emotion at his conviction, and within a year, the two are married and have a son: Zeke.
It All Falls Apart
In much the same way as Grisha’s father tried to force his beliefs on Grisha, Grisha does the same to Zeke. Their repeated mistake leads to a similar result too. You see, the Marley Empire’s dominance is in decline, as other nations are advancing their military tech. In an effort to capture the fossil fuels on Paradis Island, they announce that they will be choosing Eldians to become vessels for the nine Titan Powers. Those that are chosen will see their families be given the same rights as Marleyan citizens. Grisha tries to raise Zeke to become one of these warriors, but the child rebels, and betrays his parents in order to save himself and his grandparents.
Grisha and his band of Restorationists are taken to the borders of Paradis Island. In an unexpected reunion, it is Kruger that is there to keep Grisha under control, and it is Gross that is leading the Marley troops. Gross boots Grice – who is thoroughly regretting trusting Grisha now – down the Wall they’re standing on and tells him to run North and see if he can reach an inner Wall. Gross reasons that when they’re done here, the Titans they make will chase Grice and leave the soldiers alone.
All but Grisha are injected and transform as expected, then do indeed start chasing Grice. Kruger stalls on turning Grisha, claiming he wants to interrogate him a little more, and Dina is brought out. Grisha starts to scream that she’s a Royal, but Kruger stops him. Dina tells Grisha that it doesn’t matter what form she’s in, she’ll come and find him, and Gross injects here. She becomes a Titan and…
We get another unneeded cutaway. Eren awakes in tears, yelling, “Who am I?”. He and Mikasa are in prison for insubordination, and Eren is upset as he’s connected to his dad’s memories. This achieved little more than showing Eren in conflict, which could have been saved for later.
We’re soon back in the past though, and see the Dina Titan move after Grice. Grisha confronts Gross about his sister, and the soldier says that he remembers him now, so he won’t turn him, he’ll make a 4 meter Titan for him to fight. Gross finds that peace is lacking, and suffering is more interesting. He turns a random guy into a Titan, and Grisha asks him if he feels no remorse.
Gross’ monologue here was a good one. He says that he sees what Grisha means, and it would crush his heart if this happened to one of his sons. He describes Grisha’s people as poor things, and says, “If only you weren’t Eldians’. He then turns on Grisha and says that one injection of Titan spinal fluid causes his people to revert to their true form, which is why the world wants Eldians wiped out. He points out that Grisha planned the same for Marley, and that he doesn’t appear to have remorse for that. That was a good point because, when combined with Grisha’s focus on his cause, it shows that they aren’t that different in approach.
Gross is undoubtedly worse though, as he taunts Grisha about his sister before attempting to throw him to the Titan. It’s Kruger that makes the save though, shoving Gross down and leaving him to be eaten. He then reveals himself as the Owl, and tells Grisha to remember that ‘a Titan uses his power like this’ before cutting his hand, turning into a Titan and destroying the Marley ship.
This one felt slower paced than the last episode. At the same time though, it covered a lot more ground. Seeing the origin of the Titans was great, as was the confirmation of a whole world existing outside the island. It’ll be interesting to see how it all advances from here, especially as it pertains to Zeke. It certainly appears that he’s on the side of Marley now, and thoroughly believes that Grisha was wrong in his beliefs.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.