Attack on Titan Season 3 – Episode 56 – “The Basement”

It’s been a couple weeks since my last AoT recap. That’s because I was moving to a different home along with a bunch of other crazy shit that has happened. If you want to know, it’s on Twitter somewhere if you want to catch up, but I know that you don’t read recaps (if you do) to hear about my personal life. No, you read them to know what happened, and well… we are finally here at the most talked about secret of all time, at least on this series: what is in the basement that holds the truth? The truth is about to be revealed.

Before we get to what is in said basement, we start with Bertholdt exploding into his transformation and him saying it hurts. Armin wakes up and is faced with a half-Titan/half-skeleton face staring right at him, and it’s crying. He knows it’s Bertholdt as he wakes into the real world with someone else saying it hurts. It’s Sasha who is still recovering from her injuries.

Eren, seeing his friend awake, rushes to Armin and hugs him, happy to have him not be barbecue. Levi arrives as well, as Armin doesn’t remember anything after Bertholdt transformed. Levi has Eren tell him everything that happened while Levi shoots a flare to tell the others Armin is up.

Armin now knows that he, along with the 8 here, are the only survivors, as it has been 4 hours since the fight. He also learns that Erwin is dead, he got the Titan injection and then ate Bertholdt. It’s a lot to take in.


But why did Levi pick Armin, and not Erwin? Levi kicks Eren for not telling him this and how he and Mikasa were this close to fighting him for Armin’s sake. The two are ready for whatever punishment comes, which is just being disciplined for insubordination. This was all Levi’s choice… or rather, the choice of the place to let Erwin die at. Armin can’t understand why they let Erwin die like that, since they lost a commander, which Hange agrees with and hates that it came down to this decision. However, it was Erwin who let Levi make the decision, and Levi did. Erwin’s life and the Titan power now are all a part of Armin, but he doesn’t want to replace Erwin. Levi knows he can’t, but he does acknowledge the strength Armin has inside him. Levi doesn’t regret his pick and hopes that Armin won’t have himself, Eren, Mikasa, and the others regret this either. That is Armin’s mission now. Sasha, still asleep, tells them to shut it, which makes Hange, now the new commander-in charge, laugh.

Enough of this: it’s time to move on to… the basement. Hange, Eren, Mikasa, and Levi are the ones who’ll investigate it, and the others stay on watch duty. Eren still has the key on him as we flash back to when he was close to going in there in his youth, but his mom (who has short hair and looks like a damn clone of Eren) scolded him for it. Armin sees the 4 take off as they look at all the damage done from the past battles. Eren and Mikasa lead the way as they walk through their old hometown. Their kid-selves come out from them as they reflect on the town through the good times and the bad times as it got attacked. Finally, the duo make it to their home they once knew.

The fire from the Colossal Titan didn’t make it to the house, but there is a bunch of damage from the other attack. After some cleaning, they find the entrance to the basement. They get a boulder off the door and open it, finding stairs leading to the basement where no flooding has occurred. The 4 go down, and get to the basement door. They’re finally here.

There’s a lock on the door. Eren takes the key and puts it in, but there’s one problem.

Yeah, that’s a BIG problem. Luckily, they got a solution: Levi  kicks a hole into the door to open it. They light a lantern to see the dark place. It shows it’s a laboratory of srts owhere Eren’s dad did doctor stuff by mixing medicine. Basically, it’s a normal doctor’s study.

At least, that’s what the place is telling as Grisha had to hide anything suspicious from the Interior Police. Levi tells Eren and Mikasa to start searching. As they search, Mikasa knocks over a cup, one that she used to give to Grisha when he would do all-night work sessions in the basement. As she goes to pick it up, she notices a keyhole in the desk drawer. Eren puts his key in and unlocks it. Eren opens the drawer up and finds nothing, but Levi is quick to notice there’s a wooden board over whatever is hiding and takes it off. They find a book and other stuff that smells of peppermint oil and charcoal, keeping bugs and moisture away. Putting his hands on the book, Eren wonders what it holds. Mikasa joins him and together, they open it. They find a photo of a family.

It then goes back to Erwin’s question he had as a kid, wondering if any humans lived outside the wall. He told this to one of the committee members as a young cadet, as he sees all the history books say they got wiped out, but it should’ve said “it is believed they got wiped out” for a fair POV. Erwin believe they do live outside there, but the government is hiding this fact. The committee dude knows it might be true after all. The committee gets told of the Scouts coming back and recapturing Wall Maria, as everyone in town and the country get the news and celebrate their victory. However, Eren has the books from the basement, and it goes back to the photo, which they detail what is on it: Grisha’s handwriting, which tells them he came from outside the walls, where humans have not only NOT died, but they live in elegance. He hoped whoever found this book is a fellow patriot.

After the ED, we see Grisha as a kid with his little sister named Fey. They’re going outside, but their mom gives them their armbands to wear first. They need them, and they can’t go outside the walls. When they go outside, there’s an airship up above, and the place looks like a late 1800’s/early 1900’s establishment. Grisha is starting this story of “that day,” as he and Fey are focused on the airship and chase it through town, but it leaves their view as it passes over the wall. Fey hopes to ride one when she becomes rich someday, even if that’s a pipe dream. The ship goes pass the wall, which has security around it. Grisha wants his sister to see the airship, and he knows of a place his teacher told him about. He takes Fey’s hand, and runs passed the guards. This was how Grisha started to see the truth of the world.

So there you go. That is *the* basement in a nutshell. It’s not much to look at, but the secrets that are going to come from this are big, as the next couple of episodes are going highlight, and OH BOY, will I go into detail about it for the recap. Plus, the secrets are going to raise some eyebrows for anime-only people that manga readers already know about. Hell, some anime-only people may know what it’s leading to because of what has been said already, but that’s for the next recap. For now, there’s the basement you all been wondering about for all these years in all its glory.

However, it’s not just the basement. Sure, this episode stalled for time getting there, but it did highlight the broken town well with how destroyed it was and the reflections of Eren and Mikasa’s younger selves going through the town in the different days. The animation in present day was just as good with the walkthrough of the town.

The different colors and the setting of destruction show off the craft WIT Studio puts in this series. Yes, it’s padding, but in a way, it can show the nice qualities and hard work the animation team put in for AoT.

So you now seen the basement. And now? You get the secrets. Be prepared, because there is going to be a big info dump and a couple of history lessons in the next recap, along with some familiar Titan faces you may have remembered. It’s going to be a packed one.

Attack on Titan Season 3 is licensed by Funimation. Episodes can be seen on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Funimation on Sunday at 8:45 PM ET. The dub version is airing Saturday at 11:30 PM ET on Toonami and Sundays on Funimation.

Leave a Reply