This episode’s title card promises more information on Historia at first glance; however, this time we are provided with Ymir’s history and motivations more than any solid understanding of Christa. Which, considering we know very little about Ymir, too, works since her death is imminent.
When Attack on Titan goes back in time, I have trouble seeing the difference most of the time since the kids haven’t aged much. The only clues are that all the scout trainees are together, which is no longer a thing. This isn’t a huge issue with the show, so it’s possible that I am of the minority when these cuts jar me out of the viewing. I do believe that any flashbacks could be given a hazy coating or at least saturate the color a little? The lack of differentiation between flashbacks and reality is a little odd this episode.
Anyway, apparently part of scout training is walking through a blizzard. Humans are able to remain relatively mobile through the harsh conditions, unlike titans, so the kids are probably trained this way in case the fight goes north so they will have the severe advantage.
Here that the episode starts, and we see Eren and company make it to the training checkpoint without Ymir, Christa, and Daz. It seems that Daz was full of himself and ended up injuring some part of his body badly enough that he had to be put on a sled for transport. Christa and Ymir stayed behind to pull Daz through the blizzard, but Ymir sees through Christa’s facade. Ymir understands that Christa doesn’t want to save Daz, she wants them both to die because Christa doesn’t value her own life. If Christa dies saving Daz, people will remember her as a hero which seems to be the only thing she cares about.
Ymir also reveals that both she and Christa are illegitimate children of noble decent, though Christa was forced to join the scouts to remain alive whereas Ymir joined of her own will. After a tussle between the two girls, Ymir jumps down the cliff with Daz in her arms knowing Christa will be able to make it to the camp alive alone. Later, when Christa questions how Ymir was able to pull off such a feat without dying, Ymir says she will tell Christa her secret only if Christa promises to reveal her real name when Ymir inevitably has to expose her titan form.
We learn quite a bit about Ymir in the winter flashback, and it’s enough for us to care about her death at the end of the episode- which is great. Ymir was a great kid who wanted to live her life, her way, without anyone dictating her just because she was an illegitimate child. She wanted to prove the people wrong who thought poorly of her, and she wanted to save her friends. While Ymir may have often seemed cold, it’s clear through this flashback that she actually cared a great deal about her fellow scouts. I’m really sad that she had to go, but maybe now Christa can come into her own instead of riding on Ymir’s coattails.
Back in the present, Ymir kicks ass as a titan. She’s fast, brutal, and powerful for her size. Reiner actually does recognize Ymir’s titan form as the one who ate his friend, but he doesn’t harp on it too much. Which is strange. I do still wonder why Ymir would be eating a person, but it’s possible that she was just hungry and had no other way to eat. We did learn that she was disowned from her family, in a way, and had to fight for food- so it’s possible that eating humans was something she did simply as sustenance.
The episode wraps up with Eren and company riding and maneuvering up into battle to kill the remaining titans as Ymir is eaten and torn apart. We see Christa reveal her name as Ymir dies in her arms around Hange and some other scouts. I’m hoping that next episode we actually get a look at Historia as a person and who she really is. How much of her personality is a front, and how much of it is real? I’d also like to know where the Squatch titan went and what the end goal was of this attack; furthermore, if the townspeople did turn into titans- how was that possible?
Attack on Titan has a ton of new questions to answer at this point, not including the lingering ones from season one. Let’s pray we get some semblance of resolution before we move the next arc.