Here’s everything you need to know about AOT EP 85, the tenth episode of the second half of The Final Season, “Traitor.”
Previous episode synopsis
Hange, Mikasa, Jean, Armin, Connie, and a still recovering Levi joined Marleyans Magath, Pieck, Gabi, Falco, Annie, and Reiner at a campfire as they discussed their plans to stop Eren and the Rumbling; Onyankopon and Yelena were with them, the latter more as a hostage. It basically became a retrospective episode, recapping everyone on the events that these characters were involved, notably Marco’s death at the hands of Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt.
As they departed the next morning after their tense night, they go to the port to use the flying boat to head off the Rumbling only to find that the Jaegerists beat them to it using the locomotive. Further, they not only have control of the port, but Floch took the Azmubito hostage, killing a few of the technicians needed to operate the flying boat. The episode ended with Floch holding a gun to Kiyomi Azumabito.
“Traitor” – AOT EP 85 synopsis
The episode opens with Magath and Hange using a scope to view the port, filled with Jaegerists equipped with Thunder Spears. They said it would be all over for them if the flying boat is destroyed, then wondered why they haven’t done so. Hange posits that the Jaegerists are unsure if they’re dead and seeking to stop Eren, and that if the flying boat is destroyed, it would take decades to recover the technology after the Rumbling. She said they probably want it to explore the other continents after the Rumbling.
After the intro, Annie and Reiner tell the others the plan is to kill them all and secure the boat, using their Titan powers and the weapons of the others to accomplish this. Mikasa mentions that if they indiscriminately attack, the Azumabito will be caught in the crossfire. Annie says they might be relatives to Mikasa, but to Marley, they’re enemies who attacked their homeland.
However, Pieck interjects and says it’ll be a problem if the Azumabito die. Onyankopon adds he could pilot the flying boat on his own, but without the mechanics, it’s “just a plain boat with no wings.” He says the wings are folded into the ship to make it easier for transport and even if they were able to extend the wings, that wouldn’t be enough to make it fly.
Annie shifts the plan and says they need to protect the Azumabito long enough to operate the flying boat, then quickly surmises the other four don’t want to kill the Jaegerists. Jean says they don’t as some of them “are our friends from the Training Corps, you know?” Annie then asks them to tell her the plan on how they’ll accomplish all that, at the end turning to Armin and saying, “Tell me your plan just like you did when you cornered me.”
Pieck jumps in again and says no plan exists; their only chance is to accomplish it one go or fail. Connie, angry, yells that they’re here to save people, “And yet, the first thing in our plan is to kill our fellow islanders?!” After pointing out this hypocrisy, Connie mentions there must be something else they can do than indiscriminately slaughter their old comrades.
Annie says he’s right and that they’re under no obligation to help them against the Jaegerists or to make such a tough decision. She adds that if those four were in their places that day, they wouldn’t have breached the walls. This prompts a flashback for Reiner to his conversation with Eren right before Eren transformed to kill Willy Tybur and the War Hammer Titan (plus a lot of civilians). Eren told Reiner they’re the same, and Reiner realizes Annie’s words are what Eren meant. While Eren and Reiner might be the same, the four before them now are not and would always seek a non-violent avenue if possible.
Reiner steps forward after this realization to tell the four not to fight and to keep a safe distance with Gabi and Falco. He adds if the Jaegerists do find them, they’ll be forced to choose regardless, but don’t get involved unless that happens. Hange and Magath slide down from their perch as Hange said she doesn’t want to be a spectator and besides, she’s already killed four Jaegerists. She says the most important thing is that humanity has little time.
She tells the rest of the group that they saw a massive amount of steam and judging on the speed, the Rumbling has already hit Marley. She adds the cities in the northeast of Marley have most likely been annihilated. Magath then approaches Yelena, puts his left hand over her mouth, and pins her right arm under his right foot against a rock wall, demanding she tell them where Eren is heading and he’ll “keep breaking your arm until you tell me!” He relents just before Yelena passes out from pain and lack of oxygen, telling her he won’t kill her.
Yelena says that’s a relief and, with tears in her eyes, says she wants to live long enough to see how all of this plays out. She adds she might tell them Eren’s destination if they take her with them. Hange grabs Magath and tells him they need to secure the flying boat first as Onyankopon tells him they don’t have time to torture Yelena.
Magath approaches the four and apologizes for his actions the night before and that he cowardly tried to justify his own actions. He said this was due to his failure to reflect and “see the despicable side of Marley within me.” He says it’s wrong for Marley to place the sins of the past on Eldians just because of their race. He turns to Pieck, Annie, and Reiner, saying they have no reason to be burdened by the world’s hatred, but they have a responsibility to remember this “foolish, bloodstained history and pass it to future generations.” He bows deeply to all of them, asking them to overlook this foolishness once more. Armin responds by refusing to stand by with clean hands.
Back at the port, Floch marvels at the steam and how history has never changed as dramatically in one day as it has today. He tells Kiyomi that they’ll make no exception for Hizuru, of course. He says the land will be wiped clean, and all they have to do is contribute to the island; lucky for them, Hizuru’s best engineers are with him! A wide shot shows some Jaegerists dragging away the fresh corpses of Azumabito engineers that Floch shot and killed.
Kiyomi, calmly, says to Floch that she just hates to interrupt his good mood, but what exactly about this change makes him so happy? She adds that if he thinks Paradis Island is safe now, then she pities him. She tells him all they’re doing is making their world smaller and the killing will surely continue “as it always has.”
Floch thanks her for the warning and adds that he’s actually begun to think the same, but now, what’s important is to know one’s place. He puts the barrel of his gun to her temple, saying they don’t need Hizuru’s technology, simply deciding it’s too good and give it all up. As the other engineers look on in horror, Floch nearly pulls the trigger all while Kiyomi still hasn’t shown any emotion.
She’s saved when Armin yells out for Floch. Armin and Connie ride up to the gates on horseback and tell Floch they were chasing the Cart, who was joined by the Armor, and escaped by the sea. He says they need the flying boat to track them and the other Marleyans who escaped with them to stop them. When Floch doesn’t budge, Armin says they killed Jean and Onyankopon after all (in the scene where Jean shot four times into the ground as a signal). Connie points out the boat, then he and Armin ride off to the pier.
Connie and Armin run to the end of the pier only to be stopped by Daz and Samuel, former comrades. Armin notices the bombs strapped to the flying boat, then demands they be disconnected so they can chase down the Marleyans. Daz and Samuel tell them there is suspicion that the two are actually working with Marley. Connie says how could they do something like that as Armin adds the island would become nothing if they stopped Eren (good cover?).
Daz and Samuel respond with tenuous smiles that they’re glad and saved now that they know, and they wouldn’t know what to do if Connie and Armin betrayed them. Daz goes to disconnect the bombs as Samuel adds he also got this feeling that they would try to stop Eren from slaughtering anyone, even if they’re enemies. Daz fully disconnects the bombs.
The mid-episode infographic was on the flying boat.
Floch begins to wonder aloud as he paces the room that it seems weird: if they (Connie and Armin) knew the enemies would be fleeing from the south, then it would have been faster to purse by locomotive. He asks why they would need to sneak around, but that he has no proof. Still, he says he should nip any concern he has now, then turns his gun on the engineers. Suddenly, a chair is dropped and three shots ring out for everyone to hear.
It turns out that Kiyomi forcibly disarmed and took down Floch with presumably a judo-type throw and control of his right arm. Guards rush in as he tells them to kill Kiyomi. Before they can do anything, Mikasa flies in through the window, kicking one unconscious and palm striking the other’s gun into his face so hard it left an imprint.
Floch uses his ODMG to fly out the window and yell out to everyone that they’re under attack and that Mikasa, Connie, and Armin have betrayed Eldia and to kill them – showing that he does believe the Cart killed Jean. Mikasa quickly gathers the Azumabito and rushes them to the basement as Thunder Spears are shot in from the outside. Their path is blocked by three Jaegerists who are gunned down by Hange and Magath, Jean in tow.
Back at the pier, Daz slowly returns to hook up the bombs. Armin tells him to stop and approaches, but Samuel quickly shoots him three times through the face, Armin falling to the ground. Samuel holds Connie at gunpoint as he tells Daz to blow up the flying boat. He asks Connie why he betrayed them when they made the promise to get more land so they could eat more meat together – something Sasha would support. He asks why this must happen as he shakily points his gun at Connie.
The Azumabito are shown hiding in the basement with Magath and the others playing defense. Floch flies up high to see them all there and wonders why they’re trapping themselves in a spot with no escape. Suddenly, Reiner and Annie fly in behind Floch using their own gear and trigger their transformations into the Armor (now without his armor) and Female Titans, respectively. The two Titans immediately start laying waste to the Jaegerists, teaming up to secure each other’s back (literally). Connie uses this distraction to trip and mount Samuel.
Samuel yells to Daz to blow up the flying boat, so Daz finalizes reconnecting the fuse. Armin crawls toward him and tackles him, blood and steam emitting from his body as his Titan power worked to heal his bullet wounds. Daz points his gun at Armin, placing his barrel right between the eyes. Samuel yells out and asks aren’t they friends, to which Connie responds in the affirmative. This prompts a triggering of Bertolt’s memory inside Armin about someone having to get blood on their hands. Connie wrenches the gun from Samuel with a guttural yell, shoots Daz dead, then turns and shoots Samuel three times point-blank. He yells out in rage and sorrow as the episode ends.
Why is the flying boat so integral?
For the Jaegerists, there are two purposes. One, it would allow them to easily and quickly travel to their newly conquered lands all across the globe. Particularly since most of them have only seen life inside the walls and the brief encounters outside of the walls, this would help them quickly gain a better understanding of the lands that they would perceivably control
Two, because the technology is so highly guarded and only workable by Azumabito engineers, preventing any of their enemies from gaining the flying boat is a must. Holding the Azumabito hostage is also a shrewd move as it prevents other nations from gaining their expertise, allows the Jaegerists to force them to do their bidding or die (as many have), or, at worst, destroy the machine (with the strapped bombs) and kill the Azumabito so the technology doesn’t fall into other hands.
For what is now basically the anti-Eren squad, the flying boat is really their only means to track the Rumbling and make it to the head before it’s too late as that is where Eren presumably will be – leading the Rumbling from the front. Without the flying boat, they stand little to no chance of stopping Eren.
What does the ending mean for the next episode?
The climatic battle of the docks will take place between the Jaegerists and the anti-Eren squad. With only two episodes remaining, it will be interesting to see just how much of the events from the manga are squeezed into the remaining 40 minutes or so of the series. There are still at least three notable deaths in the manga left before the final battle commences, for example.
The penultimate episode is titled “Retrospective.”
To watch AOT EP 85, check out Crunchyroll.