Episode 79 of Attack on Titan, “Memories of the Future,” aired, the fourth episode of the second half of The Final Season. Here’s everything you need to know.
Previous episode synopsis
The fight continued as Eren made his way to Zeke, now grounded after being shot with an anti-Titan artillery. Zeke regained consciousness as Colt arrived, telling Zeke to call off his scream until Falco is out of range. Zeke said he understood, but told Colt it’s a shame as he activated his ability. Colt held Falco as Falco implored him to leave. Falco and the others who drank the wine with Zeke’s spinal fluid became Pure Titans, with Colt dying in the process.
Zeke told Titan Falco to attack Reiner. Magath shot Zeke again as Reiner fought off Falco. Reiner then resigned himself to his fate of being eaten by Falco, but Porco, in his mangled human body, appeared and told Reiner he knew he was always better than him as he willingly was eaten by Falco, who will eventually inherit the Jaw from Porco’s body.
Reiner, in a rage, punched Eren through the mouth, but Eren used that to harden himself to the ground up to Reiner’s forearm. He emerged in his human form to run for Zeke, who played dead like Pieck. Gabi shot Eren, decapitating him, but his head made contact with Zeke before death. This brought both to the Coordinate, where all paths meet. Zeke tricked Eren, then explained that the little girl is the founder Ymir, and detailed more of the history. The show ended with Zeke meeting heads with Eren, triggering something.
“Memories of the Future” synopsis
The show opened with a bird circling high above, then a baby’s hand reaching up inside a house. The baby was crawling before being picked up by their father, who is shown to be a young Grisha Jeager as Eren and Zeke, in their modern forms, are shown as invisible observers. Zeke says Grisha seemed to be enjoying his life for someone who threw his previous friends and family into hell and left them there.
Eren asks what Zeke’s goal is, and Zeke says he will show Eren until he understands just how his father brainwashed Eren and “planted those seeds of nationalism in you.” As Grisha is holding baby Eren, Zeke congratulates Grisha for being able to completely forget about his first family and that he had a son (Zeke), living a life where no one’s here to blame Grisha.
They see Eren learning to walk with Grisha in town, then Grisha working as a doctor to, as Zeke says, “get close to those with power,” all to steal the Founding Titan from the King of the Walls. Zeke asks Eren why Grisha would continue to put his family at risk with his tactics, to which Eren replies that Grisha was a piece of crap who would throw his own family into a pile of crap to restore Eldia. Eren says he sees now that he shouldn’t have been born and he’s free of the brainwashing. Zeke says there’s no need to rush.
They show scenes of Eren eating dinner with his family, then meeting a drunk Hannes while still in his father’s arms, Grisha working as a doctor, and Kenny Ackerman tipping his cap in thanks to Grisha as the latter walks away. They then appear outside of a small church, Eren saying he can’t believe Grisha found The King of the Wall’s base so quickly. Zeke says Grisha doesn’t steal the Founding until the day the walls fell, which was years away. They watch Grisha leave the hideout without invading, returning home and clutching a young Eren as Grisha cried.
Zeke flashes back to his time with Grisha, saying it seems that Grisha did indeed love his second son enough to put aside his mission as a restorationist aside, something Grisha never did for Zeke. Zeke says still, Eren will do exactly as Grisha desired. Eren notices the photo next to Grisha, asleep at his desk, which is of him, Dina Fritz, and a young Zeke sitting on her lap. They hear Grisha, in his sleep, say “I’m sorry…I’m sorry, Zeke,” which shocks Zeke. Grisha then awakes and things get more meta.
He calls for Zeke and acts as if he sees Zeke, but sits back down. He tells himself how can that bearded old man be Zeke and it must be a dream. As Zeke tries to reconcile what he just witnessed, Eren opens the door and tells his elder brother they’re going to the next memory, seemingly taking control from his brother. The opening credits finally air.
The episode picks up with Eren and Armin at age nine, waving to Grisha as he walks by. Zeke says Grisha loved and raised him freely, not brainwashing him. Eren says that’s why he said it was pointless to wander their father’s memories for years. Zeke asks why did Eren betray him, then? Zeke said without telling Eren, Grisha passed down his Titan to Eren and Eren continued the fight. Zeke asks Eren what he was planning to do with the Founding Titan.
Eren says that ever since he was born, he’s always been himself. They show flashes of Eren as a baby, then Eren after killing Mikasa’s attacker. Zeke’s shock is the same as Grisha’s at seeing the dead man by Eren’s hands. Eren tells Zeke that though Zeke thinks they’re the same, unlike Zeke, Eren says he won’t hesitate to take someone’s freedom if they threaten to take his and those he loves.
They show the scene of Grisha asking Eren what happened and Eren explaining himself as present-day Eren tells Zeke he’s been like this since he was born and not because of anything Grisha told him. He says the pitiful younger brother Zeke wants doesn’t exist, nor does one who shares the same wound as him. Eren bluntly tells his brother that what he sees is nothing more than a man “who doesn’t know any other way to define himself beside continuing to destroy his father’s wishes to restore Eldia.” He calls Zeke a pathetic man still haunted by his dead father.
Zeke thanks Grisha for opening his eyes and ultimately saving the world from the danger Eldia poses. He says in an ironic way, Grisha is the man responsible for saving the world. As they continue to view Grisha working with children in his role as a doctor, Zeke tells Eren the Founding is in his hand and he can carry on the euthanasia plan whenever he wants, but he will never abandon Eren just like what Mr. Ksaver did for him. He says before he saves the world, he wants to save Eren.
They show Grisha writing his last words, then looking over the old photo of he, Dina Fritz, and Zeke together. He places the journal in the locked drawer that was one of the first main missions after Eren and his friends joined the Survey Corps. Eren and Zeke look on as the scene from years before plays out where Mikasa lets slip that Eren wanted to join the Survey Corps and Eren’s forceful response to Grisha’s question of why Eren wants to go outside the walls. This was the day where Grisha promised to show Eren the secret in the basement with the key around his neck. Grisha is shown grimly walking to the church, then entering the trap door. He is shown telling the royal family that he’s an Eldian from outside the walls, a Subject of Ymir like them.
The mid-episode infographic was on the Coordinate.
Grisha implores the King of the Walls to kill the Titans that are approaching before his family and any others get eaten. Frieda Reiss, the holder of the Founding Titan, refuses, saying the Subjects of Ymir must pay for their sins. She tells Grisha the tragedy of the Titan War opened her eyes to the realization that the power of Titans must be protected from the hands of people. She says if the Founding were to once again fall into the hands of the weak, the world would once again be “turned to hell.” She says their only choice is to perish, to which Zeke replies he feels he could get along with her.
Grisha says his house is just beyond the broken wall, where his wife, son, and daughter live. He says no one inside the walls knows about their past sins because the Reiss family erased their memories. He then asks if having them eaten by Titans without knowing anything what they would call atonement?
Freida Reiss says no, they cannot give back the lives of the Eldians that have been taken, but they can make sure to never take another life outside of the walls. She says as long as they remain ignorant and the target of the world’s rage, then only Eldians will have to die. Grisha’s eyes turn as present-day Eren’s rage builds, almost looking like he is going to go Super Saiyan. Freida Reiss continues by saying she can’t be convinced otherwise and even if Grisha took the Founding, but he cuts her off.
He says he knows he can’t use the power of the Founding. He then reveals that the Nine Titans all have unique characteristics, including the one within himself: the Attack Titan. He says throughout history, the Attack Titan has never obeyed orders and he knows why. He says it’s all been to resist the self-righteousness of the King of the Walls. Grisha says they’ve all been led to this memory for this one moment; Eren starts walking toward Freida Reiss. Grisha then says the Attack Titan can “see the memories of its future inheritors,” in other words, capable of knowing the future. Both Frieda Reiss and present-day Zeke react in shock, the latter demanding Eren explain.
Freida Reiss reveals she’s never heard of that trait, to which Grisha responds he knows that fact as well. He says he knows this because she’s unable to use the full power of the Founding due to the vow to renounce war. Grisha emphatically states he will eat the Founding and end the royal family because, “That is the future already set for us!” He grabs a scalpel, his shaking hand belying his proclamation.
Freida turns for the others to run as Grisha…drops the scalpel after seeing the panicked faces of the Reiss children. Grisha says he can’t do it, that he can never kill children. He says he’s a doctor who saves lives. Zeke, in shock, says that Grisha certainly took the Founding that day and the past can’t be changed. Frieda, who didn’t transform after the scalpel was dropped, turns back to see every member of her family telling her to kill that man because he threatens their paradise.
Suddenly, Eren becomes active in the memory as he asks his dad what he’s doing, then telling Grisha to stand. Eren kneels down and grabs his dad’s shoulder, asking him if he forgot why he’s there. Eren reminds him that it’s to get revenge for his little sister, Faye, who was eaten by dogs when Grisha was a child in Marley. Eren, now with his head against his father’s, tells him it’s for the fellow restorationists in Dina (his wife) and Kruger, that he has to avenge them even if he dies, “and even after you die.” Grisha, in a manic state, grabs the scalpel and plunges it into his hand as Eren asks this is the story that Grisha started, right?
Eren is then shown kneeling and kissing the hand of Ymir as images of Grisha’s battle with Freida Reiss is shown. Zeke looks at his brother with a mix of shock and horror. Grisha is shown leaving in his human form, looking haggard. He despondently cries out that he killed all of them, even the little children. He shouts to Eren that he killed all but the father, and asks if that’s enough. He asks if Eldia will really be saved with this. Grisha then asks why Eren won’t let him see every memory, including the day the walls fall and Carla’s safety.
Grisha then says he knows Zeke is there (the syringe box is open next to Grisha). Grisha tells his eldest son that from here on out, it’s Eren who will get what he wants, not Zeke. He says he saw Eren’s memory of what’s to come, but couldn’t imagine it would be something so horrible. Grisha looks up and actually sees Zeke. He apologizes to Zeke for being a terrible father and putting him through so much. He embraces Zeke, telling him he loves him and that he should have spent more time with his son. Grisha sobs as tears form in Zeke’s eyes. Grisha tells Zeke to stop Eren. Eren forcibly undoes their link. Zeke looks up at Eren at the Coordinate as the episode ends.
What are the characteristics of the Nine Titans?
As Grisha Jeager stated, each of the Nine Titans possess unique qualities. Some have one ability while others have multiple. Titans after the Founding will be listed in alphabetical order.
- Founding Titan: Can turn Subjects of Ymir into Pure Titans with a scream while also controlling their minds with the ability to alter memories if the inheritor holds royal blood.
- Armored Titan: Can harden areas of its already hardened body except for places needed for mobility (such as the back of the knee), and the hardening can extend from its hand and feet to create claws to climb walls.
- Attack Titan: Can see the memories of all past and future inheritors, which have been used to fight against the “self-righteousness of the King of the Walls.”
- Beast Titan: Can take the form of various animals in its Titan form depending on the inheritor, with its current holder, Zeke, resembling a large ape in his Titan form.
- Cart Titan: The only quadruped of the Nine, it has incredible stamina and endurance, allowing it to stay transformed for extended periods, and its speed is only rivaled by the Jaw Titan.
- Colossus Titan: Can emit large sources of intensely hot steam at the expense of its muscle tissue, though the inheritor can control the blast radius and power of its transformation, not to mention trample foes easily by taking a few steps.
- Female Titan: Can learn skills quicker than the other Titans, has the ability to harden areas of its body to increase attack and defense (remember Annie’s first fight against Eren in the forest?), and the Female Titan can also summon Pure Titans with a scream.
- Jaw Titan: The fastest of the Titans, it has an incredibly powerful jaw with teeth that can shred almost anything that is coupled with razor-sharp claws.
- War Hammer Titan: Can use its own hardened flesh to materialize various shapes and objects, and has a unique ability where the inheritor does not need to be inside the body as long as as a cable was attached to the body, with the inheritor inside a solid crystal casing similar to the one Annie trapped herself in after being caught.
How were Eren and Zeke able to walk through the memories of Grisha together?
Even though only Eren possesses the Attack Titan and its ability to see the past and future memories of all inheritors, Eren also possesses the Founding Titan. The power of the Finding Titan was activated by Zeke both in real-time and at the Coordinate once Eren’s head landed in his hand, though not to its full extent. Zeke was then able to use the Coordinate – where all paths meet – and the Founding’s power to enter Eren’s head and walk him through Grisha’s memories. However, as shown with Zeke’s reaction later in the episode, he didn’t know that it was actually Eren’s power as the Attack Titan that was showing Zeke the memories of their father.
How was Eren able to influence his father in Grisha’s memory?
The answer is due to the power of the Attack Titan. With the ability to see the past and future memories of all the inheritors, Grisha even admitted that it was all leading to him eating the Founding from Frieda Reiss. When he failed at first, Eren was shown in his present-day form to influence Grisha by reminding him of his younger sister, Faye, being eaten by dogs just so the Marley soldiers could have a laugh. It’s probably a safe assumption that what was shown happened both in the memory being shown with Eren and Zeke and in Grisha’s head in his real-time. It could be surmised that the Attack Titan inheritor in the future (Eren) was also able to affect the current Attack Titan (Grisha) from the future because of also having the Founding Titan and its ability to control minds and memories.
It would fit with the episode title, “Memories of the Future.”
What does the ending mean for the next episode?
It appears the next episode will be another adventure through some memories of Historia Reiss. Ymir was shown hauling sand in buckets. The preview ended with Eren looking to escape the chains applied in last week’s episode.
Catch Attack on Titan on Crunchroll outside of Japan.