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Recap / Attack On Titan S 3 E 11 Bystander

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Queen Historia Reiss utilizes most of her time and effort to assist the underprivileged children within the Walls. Eren continues experimenting with his Hardening ability, notably to help Hange create a Titan "guillotine" to safely kill Titans outside the walls, but risks overexerting himself. New recruits join the Scouts, including Marlowe. Eren remembers seeing Cadet Commandant Keith Shadis in his father's memories; we see more of Shadis' backstory as he explains to the Scouts how he met Dr. Yeager.

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Tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The majority of the episodes second half focuses on Keith Shadis' past including his relationship with Grisha.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Shadis was in love with Carla, but she fell for Grisha.
  • Blatant Lies: Grisha's claim that he doesn't remember anything about himself yet still retains enough physician knowledge to be the most skilled healer in the Walls. It's not particularly believable even in-universe, but Shadis doesn't press the issue because it saves Carla and several people from a plague.
  • The Bus Came Back: Commandant Keith Shadis returns. Sasha is still terrified of him.
  • Character Development: Eren is a lot more contemplative and solemn thanks to inheriting his fathers memories and discovering that the war between Titans and humans isn't as black and white as he initially thought. Even when asked about what he will do if he runs into Reiner and Bertholdt again Eren just solemnly notes he will have to kill them with none of the heat he used to put into his words.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: The red-headed recruit that briefly appears will come up again.
  • Death Glare: Mikasa has an understated look of disapproval as she separates Eren and Historia.
  • Determinator: Shadis used to be this, ordering his Corps into the breach again and again in order to make some difference for humanity. It eventually wore him down that his efforts and sacrifices didn't go anywhere.
  • Everyone Can See It: It's obvious to everyone why Hitch doesn't want Marlowe to join the Scouts... except for Eren and Marlowe, amusingly. You know it's bad when even Connie and Sasha think he's an imbecile.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Done humorously with Mikasa who doesn't appreciate how close Eren and Historia have gotten since their adventure together, promptly gives the both of them a Death Glare, and takes Eren's workload so she can get between their conversation. Eren, as usual, seems oblivious and is just annoyed that Mikasa seems to be babying him again.
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  • I Just Want to Be Special: Shadis planned on making a difference as Commander of the Survey Corps, but he realized he's not particularly gifted after numerous disasters. He gave the reigns over to Erwin, Levi, and Hange partly for this reason. He also resented Grisha Jaeger for a while for being a gifted doctor, though Grisha has a different opinion on the matter.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: When Shadis says that he's not special like Grisha or Eren, Grisha tells him that it's better off to be normal. What Grisha and Eren end up doing next proves Grisha's point.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Grisha ran into Shadis he claimed that he had lost his memory and needed his help to explain how the World behind the Walls worked. Shadis however notes that at the time he was highly sceptical about Grisha's claims and, knowing what the audience knows about Grisha now, it seems likely that he was lying.
  • New Meat: Jean dismisses the new recruits as this.
  • The Reveal: All over the place in this episode.
    • The soldier in Eren's father's memories, as well as the man that Eren saw leading the Survey Corps and breaking down in front of the mother of a dead Corpsman at the start of the series? They are one and the same man Keith Shadis.
    • Grisha was discoved outside of the Walls by Shadis and is heavily implied to have been from the same place as the Warriors due to his surprise at the state of humanity.
    • One almost fifty episodes in the making as its revealed that the broken belt Eren practised with that almost cost him his chance to joining the Scouts? It was intentionally sabotaged by Shadis to try and prevent Eren from getting into the Corps.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: By comparison, Squad Levi is this compared to the optimistic, inexperienced Survey Corps recruits (complete with the Thousand-Yard Stare).
  • Shoot the Dog: Eren considers the planned slaying of Reiner and Bertolt like something he has no choice but to reluctantly do, in sharp contrast to him screaming bloody revenge a season ago.
  • The Unchosen One: What Shadis realises over the cource of the flashback is that, while their are special people in the world, he was not one of them and was doomed to always be a bystander.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After hearing his story Hange is unimpressed to learn that the reason Shadis' quit the Survey Corps wasn't to seek atonement for all of the lives he lost under his watch as the former Commander but instead because he wasn't "chosen". She promptly calls him out on letting his inferiority complex out way his duty to humanity.
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