Attack on Titan Season 3 – Episode 40 – “Old Story”

Are you ready for some backstory? Because this episode has plenty of it.

It all starts with Krista/Historia telling her story. She was born on a small farm in the Northern region of Wall Rose, on land owned by the Reiss family. She helped out there as far as she could remember. Historia’s mom was there and was very beautiful. However, she did no housework and only read from books each day. Each night, she’d dress in fancy clothes and was escorted by wagon to the city. This was Historia’s life every day with her mom.

When Historia learned to read, write, and imitate her mom, she saw how alone she really was doing this. She also learned from the books that her relationship with her mom wasn’t normal, as the books showed parents care for their kids in any way. So one day, Historia decided to hug her mom, as she was curious to how she’d react. She hops on her mom’s lap, and in a scared experience, her mom shoves her the hell off.

Move, bitch! Get out the way!

Even with a bloody nose, Historia was very happy, as that was the first thing her mom ever did with her. Then her mom says her first words to Historia: “If only I had the courage …. to kill this girl…” Yup, real edgy. Afterwards, her mom left the farm and lived somewhere else for years.

Flash forward to 5 years ago, a day after Wall Maria fell. Historia meets her dad, Rod Reiss for the first time. He introduces himself, and Historia knows who he is already. Her mom is with him as well, but she is frightened. As they leave, a group of men surround them. Her mom tries to run but gets captured as she does. One of the men asks Rod if Maria falling made him scared. Her mom pleads that Historia isn’t hers and she knows nothing of the girl. Seeing if this is true, Rod hesitates, then says it’s true for both. The man then pulls out a knife and tell her she never existed. As she pleads to Rod, Historia watches this all unfold in front of her. Her mom’s last words are “If only I didn’t have her,” and Historia sees her throat get slashed. As she’s about to get killed too, Rod proposes a deal. Historia will be sent far away and live a quiet life, and for now, her name will be Krista Lenz.

Nothing like seeing your mom be killed to make great, childhood memories.

To go back to where the last episode ended, Rod has dreamed of this day, to hold her like this. He tells her that since the royal blood runs through her, and with the Reiss family being the royal family’s true line, Historia is the only one who can now save humanity. They can now go back to the place where it all began. She cries, as Eren, still tied/gaged up, watches all of this.

Back with Hange, she throws Sannes in a cell with Ralph. He’s glad Sannes is fine, but Sannes literally chokes Ralph out, thinking he snitched. But Hange tells him Ralph not only didn’t, but that they didn’t ask Ralph anything. She shows him the script and what they did, showing Sannes fell for it all. He calls them devils, but Hange couldn’t care less, as she berates and make fun of them for how pathetic they are. It’s going to be fun seeing this dubbed. As she leaves, Sannes has one more thing to say. There’s always someone playing a role they do. When one part is done, another person takes their place. He wishes Hange good luck, and it doesn’t make her happy. She goes into another room and kicks a table in rage.

Levi comes in, as Hange lies about this, but he doesn’t care. They have to tell the others what is happening. As they tell them about Eren, his memory of Ymir and Bertholdt’s convo and all that, Hange has a theory. Seeing as Ymir was a Titan wandering alone outside the wall, she ate Bertholdt, Reiner and Annie’s comrade (as shown in S2.) However, she was a Titan, and Titans eating humans is normal, but what if a Titan ate a human who could transform into a Titan? They could revert back into a human, and obtain their powers as well. It’s why in the battle last season, Reiner threw Titans at Eren: so they could steal his Screaming power. Basically, Eren is just a vessel that can be replaced. If the government has a Titan, they can use it to eat Eren and steal his powers. This makes Mikasa mad, but Levi stops her, because rampaging won’t help. Squad Levi is going to Reiss’s land, while Hange will go see Erwin and tell him all she knows.

Commander Pixis meets up with Erwin, as he got Erwin’s letter. He’s questioning Erwin, because he is going to overthrow the government and retake Wall Maria. Pixis knew this would happen one day, as he too would have to point a gun at the King. However, Erwin’s plan won’t require military force or anyone to die, but he needs one more factor to come in. If it doesn’t, he knows he and everyone around him will get the noose. It’s another big gamble, but until news comes to him, Erwin is going to tell Pixis about his childhood that involved his dad.

As Hange makes her way to Erwin, she sees the crowd outside covering around a dead body. When she gets to him, she tells him everyting, and Erwin’s happy as his gamble paid off. He tells Pixis all this too, as now his plan to overthrow the government without fighting is to enthrone Historia as the new Queen and to reveal to everyone within the wall the fake system they been living in. Pixis is in on this plan, but he knows it’s not for them to decide. As for the Reiss family, Erwin found as much as he could. He did find one incident that stood out, but as Hange starts to read it, a messenger arrives. He tells Erwin that the Interior Squad wants him to turn himself in, as they believe the Scouts organized a murder. Knowing the government is starting to get to them, he tells Hange to leave. He’s going be the face of the Scouts for this, which means they need a new commander in place. And that new commander is… Hange herself. It’s shocking news to her.

Erwin goes to the scene will Reeves’ body is, as his wife and daughter mourn him. One of the MPs tells him Eren was taken by the Reeves Company, but it was all a scheme between them and the Scouts to not hand Eren over to the government. It’s all blackmail to get the Scouts arrested for violating their codes. Flegel is nearby and runs off crying. A bunch of Scouts are taken in as Kenny and his right-hand are watching this. They know Levi is still out there, but he’ll come to them. Hange and Molbit make a break for it too. Before Erwin is taken in, he wants to talk with Reeves’ family. They’re not happy with this, but Erwin does have some good words about him and how his company helped Trost to revive after the big battle. Someone killed his dream, and Erwin will make them pay.

As Erwin is taken, we see the rest of his convo with Pixis. Erwin’s dad was a teacher, and in school one day, they were learning about history.

Looks just like him, huh?

To protect them from Titans, humans took refuge within the walls, and had 100 years of peace, and yet all the records of the past are lost to time. They were taught that, but beecause Erwin had doubts, he asked his dad a question. His dad brushed it off in class, but at home, his dad told him his theory. All the books in school are filled with mysteries and bull. His dad’s theory amazed Erwin, even as a kid, but there’s a reason he didn’t say this to the class, which young Erwin didn’t catch on to. He told other kids around town, and then MPs questioned him. His dad never came home and died in an accident in another town. His dad’s theory? 107 years ago, humanity fled within the walls, and the King altered their memories to rule them easier, because humanity may not have recovered from this. Erwin kept thinking why his father was killed for this, but he soon saw it. The people in the government only care for themselves, and will get rid of anyone who threatens their easy life. Erwin’s dad was killed by Erwin’s own foolishness and human greed, but he keeps that theory as truth within him and wants to prove it right.

The news spreads about Reeves’ murder by the scouts, as they are still looking for more of them. The civilians believe this, as Jean and co. sneak around and out to get supplies. They also have flyers the MPs are handing out, and it looks like they’ll be hunted tonight, with guards covering every route. Levi knows it will take a day by wagon to get to Reiss’s land, so they have to think of a plan quickly. However, Sasha hears some footsteps. Two people with guns are coming towards them.

So that was something, huh? Krista/Historia’s past is full of unpleasant memories. Her mom was basically a lonely whore, her dad didn’t want anything to do with her, she had no love, and saw her mom killed in front of her like that by a face you may recognize if you look closely enough. Yes, her past is very dark, as is Erwin’s. Maybe not as dark, but still: getting your dad killed because of the truth is still just as edgy. But that’s what Attack on Titan is. It’s not supposed to be sunshine and rainbows. It doesn’t run on Sasha’s imagination. We might be done with Erwin’s past, but we still aren’t done with Krista/Historia. There’s more to go with her story, and there’s also a big reason why Rod only show up late in her life, but it’s a big spoiler, so I won’t say anything yet.

Overall, this was another good episode to start the 3rd season, and unlike the last two, this one followed the manga almost point-to-point. Historia and Erwin’s past, the Titan eating theory, the Pixis meeting, and the Scouts being blackmailed, all of it. As said in the first recap, Historia’s past is being shown a bit later, but that’s all right. The only, very minor change that happened was with Hange kicking the table, as it was Eren who saw her do this. Kinda hard to replicate this with him kidnapped. The only minor gripe I have in this episode is with the animation. Was it as fluid as the Levi fight from last week? Hell no, nothing is going be like that with just childhood stories on a farm or in school, but the animation in the dark settings can still be hard to see. It happens with a lot of shows, and it’s not the worst example, but still, when you can barely tell what a person’s face looks like in the dark, you used too much black coloring to illustrate. Again, that’s the only minor issue I had. For now, the show is 3/3 so far in its return.

Attack on Titan Season 3 is licensed by Funimation. New episodes can be seen on Crunchyroll and Funimation at 2 PM ET Sundays. The dub version is premiering on Toonami on August 18th.

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