WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 58 of Attack On Titan, "Attack Titan."
After a relentlessly action-packed and revelatory third season, Attack On Titan pumps the brakes in its latest episode to give viewers some much-needed breathing space. That is, until the final minutes, which hurl yet another world-altering curve ball at us just before the cut to black.
"Attack Titan" starts in Grisha Jaeger's past, where the previous episode left off. Grisha was spared the fate that his fellow Eldian Restorationists -- including his wife -- were consigned to when the "Owl," their man on the inside of the Marleyean regime, revealed both himself and his Titan power. Now, as the dust settles, he resumes human form to give the shaken Grisha an exposition-laden pep talk.
As soon as we discover the Owl's real name is Eren Kruger, we have a pretty good idea of what’s to come: This Eren will transform Grisha into a Titan and then pass his Titan power onto him, who will later pass it on to his son -- as well as, presumably, Eren's name. Eren Kruger also passes on his important mission on, which is to seek out the Founding Titan power and ensure the Eldia's sworn enemy doesn't get its hands on it.
In the present, Grisha's son, Eren -- who is unlocking more and more of his father's memories during his solitary confinement -- finally learns his Titan power is called the Attack Titan, as stated decades ago by his namesake. Along with Mikasa, Armin, Levi and Hange, he then attends a meeting between the top military brass, Queen Historia and what's left of the Scout Regiment after their costly but mostly successful mission to retake Shiganshina. Hange relays everything they've learned about their people's hidden history, a welcome in-world catch-up for the show's viewers, too.
Drifting off into his own internal dialogue, Eren contemplates how he, a person of non-royal blood, can utilize the Founding Titan's coordinating powers effectively before slipping into a strange, down-the-rabbit-hole memory spiral featuring never-before-shown flashes of Ymir, whom we haven’t seen since her escape in Season 2. Considering that we now know she shares a name with the Eldian's founder and has a shrouded past beyond the Walls, it's about time she made a reappearance.
There's also an emotional contingent to the runaway Titan's possible return. Before the meeting, we’re reminded of her close bond with the teenage queen in the form of love letter; Historia wistfully runs her fingers over Ymir's words about marriage. It's worth reiterating that, even with all of its flaws, the fact that Attack On Titan's only prominent romance (aside from Mikasa's unrequited feelings for her adoptive brother) is a queer one continues to be worthy of praise. Of all the barriers these two face as a couple, being of the same gender has, refreshingly, never been one of them. Will Historia and Ymir get their happy ending? Three seasons of misery and heartbreak tells us ... probably not.
Let's get into the meat of this largely uneventful episode. Back in the past, Eren Kruger stands poised to inject Grisha with Titan serum and, just as the closing credits begin to roll, prophetically mentions Mikasa and Armin. When Grisha questions that, the Eldian spy is unable to answer, as if he knows the names but not the people they're connected to because, of course, neither has been born.
This throwaway exchange implies knowledge of an incredible power we didn't know the nine Titans had. It seems that not only can the Titans gifted with Ymir Fritz's abilities access the memories of their past hosts, but their future hosts, too. Does that mean that, as Eren gets closer to the end of his 13-year Titan lifespan, he too will be able to glimpse into the life of his successor? Beyond that, does it suggest that hosts are preselected as part of some kind of mystical lineage? Or, is there some kind of cycle of rebirth at play? Once again, the more we learn about Titan lore, the stranger our follow-up questions become.
New episodes of Attack On Titan are available to stream on Crunchyroll and FUNimation, and air every Saturday night as part of Adult Swim's Toonami block.