Previously on Attack on Titan: “That Day”
This week on Attack on Titan, time slides forward three years. Erne, Arming, and Misaka are barely adults and have enlisted in the military. The Drill Instructor calls on Arming, asks his name and where he’s from. When Armin replies, the D.I’s reply is not unlike the scathing replies from R. Lee Ermey. He says the name sounds like a fool’s name and he’ll be great fodder for the Titans! Seems to me the D.I knows that to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.
“Row Three, turn around! You! What’s your name?” This necessary abuse, as another Officer with gray hair and glasses puts it is a rite of passage. He remarks that by doing this, he breaks the recruits down and molds them into soldiers. He asks his subordinate if he went through that and he replies; “Brings back fond memories.” Spliced in with this are the encouraging words; “Your name’s weird! Change it!” “You’re lower than pigs; you’re a dung beetle that sucks on a pig’s ass!” The subordinate notices that some recruits haven’t gotten razzed on. The Senior Officer tells him that for some of these kids, they already went through something similar. Hint: Like the complete annihilation of their Wall district.
The D.I stops at one recruit, same drill. NAME! John Kirsten is his name and when asked what he’s doing here he simply says that he wants to join the military police and live in the interior. You know, away from the fighting and the Titans and the danger. Like a bitch. The instructor gives him a headbutt and he drops to his knees. He moves to another recruit, and this one says the same thing. Join the police, live in the interior, but also give his life in service of the king! The Instructor nods, and then gets in real close and says;
“That’s fine and dandy but the king wouldn’t give a damn for a life like yours.” He continues on down the line, picking up a recruit by the head for saluting wrong. Just when you thought he couldn’t be any angrier, he spots a female recruit just snacking. In the middle of drill. He asks her what she’s doing. She reacts with her name, Sasha Braus. She tells him that she snatched a steamed potato from the mess. She started eating it now because everyone knows that a steamed potato is no good cold. After all that, she meekly offers him half of the potato. Cut to the other recruits watching her run. Her punishment for being so naively honest was to run until she dropped. To her credit she’s still running after five hours and even got a nickname out of it. You guessed it! Spuds.
They notice a wagon carrying away recruits that dropped out. They’re going back to the reclaimed wasteland. Only the first day and they couldn’t hack it. “If you’re weak, what choice do you have? Pulling weeds and moving rocks,” Eren says. They couldn’t hack it. Later in the evening, Eren tells the other recruits what he’s seen because none of these kids have seen a Titan before. Someone asks if he can describe them. This triggers his gag reflex, he’s remembering how an “ordinary” Titan ate his mother. He keeps up a bravado by saying they’re nothing to worry about once they figure out 3D Maneuvering Device, and after that he’s headed to the Scout Regiment. John, that guy earlier who said he wanted to join the Military Police? He tells Eren that he was being honest about living in the Interior and taking it easy.
“It’s more refreshing than faking bravery when you’re scared shitless.” Eren stands up because he’s ready to smack this guy around for implying he’s a coward. John retracts his statement and says he didn’t mean to criticize him. He offers a handshake to bury the hatchet and Eren refuses it. Misaka follows and we see John go all ga-ga eyes for her.
The next day is here! 3D Training has begun. That same Senior officer and his subordinate are back observing training. Our girl Misaka floats on the rig without a sign of hesitation but with every sign of talent. She’s got it in spades, just by floating there. Continuing down the line, he notes that this year’s crop is promising. A lot of the guys we saw earlier have got the hang of it. Except for Eren. The Officer remarks that he’s a genius. He might know what to do but he fails at something everyone can do. Eren is in shock as the Instructor berates him. Afterwards, Misaka and Armin are putting in some extra hours in to help him. The others are sneering at the kid who said he was going to slaughter all the Titans. The next day is the last shot he has or he’ll be heading to the reclaimed land. Which has already been established as a death sentence.
Back in the barracks, Eren is asking, begging-pleading with the others to help him pass tomorrow. Everyone either doesn’t want to help or can’t help. A few of the others throw Eren’s scathing remarks back in his face. Two of the recruits, Bertolt and Reiner tell him that they really can’t help him. Then they ask why they’re trying to be soldiers after witnessing the terrors firsthand. Armin says he couldn’t stand by as a government he’s under sent its own people on that suicide mission. Bertolt and Reiner reveal that they were in a small village deep in the mountains in Wall Maria. The titans came and laid waste before the news even got there. As they sneak out of the barracks, he tells them that none of the other recruits know the real danger. Most are here because of politics. If you choose agriculture, you’re a coward. Reiner says he’s not much different from the rest of the guys. He wants to apply for the Military Police so he can be safe. If he doesn’t make it he’ll probably just quit. At the end of their trek, the clouds open up to reveal the moon and a lake below them. Bertolt tells Eren to check how he adjusts his belt and he’ll make it.
The next morning, Eren’s in the saddle again. Everyone watches with bated breath. He knows he might not be talented, but he’s go guts. He doesn’t have basics or theory, but guts are who he is. Then he falls upside down. All that for nothing. Just when it looks like he’s about to be sent away the Instructor tells him to switch belts. The entire time he’s been failing because of a faulty belt. Eren thinks now, he won’t have to endure Misaka’s pestering. Misaka knows he’s relieved because he won’t have to leave her side. At the end of the episode, the recruits sail through the trees, commencing the final stage of their training.