Here’s everything you need to know about episode 87 of Attack on Titan, the twelfth and final episode of the second half of The Final Season, “The Dawn of Humanity.” For making things easier to understand, we wrote a comprehensive AOT episode 87 synopsis.
Previous episode synopsis
The anti-Eren squad continued their battle with the Jaegerists at the harbor. As the Jaegerists began to gain the advantage, two things happened that turned the tide. First, Floch was shot out of the air by someone as he launched a Thunder Spear at the Azumabito ship, causing it to land in the water instead. Second, Falco activated his Jaw Titan power for the first time, going on a rampage to the point of attacking Pieck; Theo Magath cut him out of the nape of his neck.
As they fled on the ship after the battle, Magath stayed behind. Keith Shadis joined him, taking out some remaining Jaegerists. Magath and Shadis entered the Marleyan battleship and locked themselves in the ammo supply room. Magath laid out gunpowder and told Shadis this was his chance to jump in the water. Shadis simply replied, “I was looking for a place to die, anyway.” They explode the ship – with the remaining Jaegerists onboard – as their comrades watched in horror and sadness.
“The Dawn of Humanity” – AOT episode 87 synopsis
The episode begins with Mikasa on the deck of the ship, thinking about how everyone says Eren’s changed. She says maybe Eren hasn’t changed and this is who he’s always been, making her wonder what part of Eren she’s been seeing for most of her life. Instead of the intro, the show graphic displays as it cuts right back to the episode.
A flashback is shown when Connie, Jean, and Sasha were on the deck of a ship, amazed at the world beyond the walls. Jean tells Connie not to talk about the walls so loud, but Sasha proudly proclaims their identities to Jean’s chagrin. Hange is shown to the side with Levi and Armin as she says to begin the survey. They’re all dressed in clothes befitting of those on what appears to be a luxury liner as the title screen displays.
Scenes of a busy port town are shown to the shocked faces of the six Eldians. Onyankopon greets them, dressed in a fine blue suit. A car drives by and Connie, in shock, yells and asks if that was even a horse! Sasha says it has to be a cow, while Hange, blushing, says it was a car. She even calls out to the car! Jean tells Armin to act like they don’t know them as the three chase after the car. Levi tells Onyankopon if he doesn’t stop them, they might actually try to feed carrots to the car. Onyanokopon says that won’t happen…only to see them buying carrots!
Mikasa is with Eren, who was looking off in another direction. Armin approaches and tells Eren to get it together as they’re in “the outside world.” Eren just quizzically states that this is the other side of the sea.
Sasha is shown buying an ice cream with reverence, almost like she was holding a holy relic. She tries some, reacts to its coldness, and then Connie tries some. Suddenly, the two of them and Jean are telling everyone to eat some ice cream as the vendor just laughs at their first time trying ice cream. Hange says no one would think that they’re the “‘devils’ from that island.“
Mikasa brings her cone to Eren to try. He mentions he only knows about ice cream from “the old man’s memories” (Grisha’s) and that Eldians inside the internment zones rarely had a chance to eat ice cream. Mikasa, in real time, then narrates that they didn’t notice, or rather refused to notice, Eren’s changes.
Levi is then shown holding up a pickpocket, who stole Sasha’s purse, as the Marleyans around start blaming immigrants for crime. The Marleyans discuss whether to throw him into the sea or smash his right hand. Another says to tie him up so all can see. Sasha says that’s too far and she already has her purse, but they dismiss her. They tell her as merchants making a living there, they have to set an example. They say he could even be a Subject of Ymir and nobody could sleep knowing “these devil blood are lurking around nearby.”
Suddenly, Levi grabs the boy and says no one called him a pickpocket, just that the purse wasn’t his. Levi says it belongs to the kid’s “sister” in Sasha. When the merchants call them on the story, Levi and the others take off at a sprint away from the angry mob, a mob willing to commit violence against a child. They escape and as Levi looks for the boy, they see him waving at them with tears in his eyes…and a bag of coins in his hand. Levi checks to see that it’s his bag in the kid’s hand!
They then meet with Kiyomi Azumabito, who gives a rundown of the history of the Eldian empire and the current state of the Subjects of Ymir outside of the internment zones being discovered thanks to advances in blood testing technology. She says this makes the Paradis Island plan for peace extremely unlikely, but Armin says if they abandon that plan, then they’ll have no choice but to enact Zeke’s plan. Hange says they’re there to stop that, and will observe the “Association to Protect the Subjects of Ymir” international forum, which Kiyomi reminds them they still have no idea the intentions of the group.
Suddenly, Mikasa realizes Eren is gone. Eren is shown standing on top of a hill at night, watching as the boy from earlier ran down to his family. Mikasa approaches to scold him since he’s the target of the enemy, then notices him wiping tears from eyes. They look down to see what amounts to a huge refugee camp where people gathered to survive after their lives were upended by war. Eren says these people are being deprived of their freedoms.
He then turns to Mikasa and asks her why she cares for him so much. He asks if it’s because he saved her life when they were kids, or if it’s because they’re family. He bluntly asks, “What am I to you?” She stammers, then says Eren is family. They turn to see a smiling old man offering them warm drinks and to join them inside, using his native language. The others finally make it to them, and they all join the old man’s family for what amounts to a feast.
He pours Eren some vodka (presumably), and Eren downs it one go. The others, after Eren’s example, then down their drinks. Scenes of a merry, drunken feast play. When the alcohol runs out, the entire camp joins to make one big happy celebration in the sea of oppression they were facing. Levi, Hange, and Onyankopon come upon the rest of the group during the dead of night, seeing everybody unconscious and even one person in the back vomiting!
They cut to an assembly meeting, where a man asks for aid for the Subjects of Ymir across the world. He argues they’re not associated with the “deadly ideology” of the Eldian empire and their hatred should be directed at Paradis Island. He calls the “island devils” the true enemy and receives a rounding ovation from the crowd.
Mikasa turns to see Eren’s back as he left the hall, and in real time, she narrates that was the last time they saw him until the attack on Liberio that saw the death of Willy Tybur, the War Hammer Titan, and Sasha, who was shot by Gabi. She says the letter they later received from him entrusted everything to Zeke’s plan and the next time they met, in Liberio, “it was already too late.” She wonders if everything was always meant to be this way, but she can’t help but think things would have been different if she had just answered differently that day overlooking the refugee camp.
After the mid-episode graphic, the perspective shifts to Eren, who wonders where it all started, then says that doesn’t matter. Flashes of scenes throughout the series play as he says it was all what he wanted. A scene plays where Yelena met with Eren and Floch to discuss the euthanasia plan, saying that Zeke is showing trust in him so please show trust back to Zeke.
Eren is shown telling Floch to appear to go along with the plan, then telling Historia the military plans to turn her into a Titan and feed Zeke to her. He says the only options are to fight or run. Historia tells him whatever plan ensures the safety of the island and its peoples, she’ll go along with that plan. She thanks him for standing up for her “back then” and says that’s enough, but he says it’s not good enough for him.
The scenes cut between his discussions with Floch and Historia as he reveals his plan to wipe out humanity and his enemies. Historia tells him he’s making a huge mistake and that not everyone outside the walls are their enemies. She tells him most will be like Eren’s mother, Carla, dying without even knowing why. Eren affirms her concern, but says the only way to break the cycle of revenge born from hate is to “completely bury that history along with the civilization that created it.”
Historia says if she doesn’t do everything in her power to stop him, then she can’t live a life she’d be proud of anymore. He tells her if she can’t take it, he can just manipulate her memories with the Founding and she just has to stay quiet until the plan is fulfilled. He tells her after she saved him back then, she became “the baddest girl in the world.”
Next, Eren is shown speaking with Zeke while Eren played a patient at the Marley hospital. Zeke tells him that while research shows Ackerman’s abilities manifest when their survival instincts are triggered, he’s pretty sure there’s no such thing as an ingrained behavior for them to protect their “host” – which is the opposite of what Eren told Mikasa, leading Armin to surmise Eren was lying about that fact. Zeke says Mikasa just likes Eren so much that she’d snap a Titan’s neck for him.
Eren is then shown in a trench during a battle, dead soldiers around him. He puts a cloth in his mouth to clamp down on as he cuts off his left leg with a small battle knife. He’s then shown holding a large caliber ammo to his eye before puncturing it, though the screen turned black instead of showing the puncture.
All the while, he’s telling Zeke he only has four years left to live at most (from that time), but he still wants everyone to live a long, happy life as he dies. A scene in Eren’s mind plays, showing most of the core group as kids at a table eating happily with people like Hange, Levi, Commander Erwin Smith, and others.
The episode cuts to the present as they show the world’s naval fleet with the largest cannons in existence along the ocean, readying for the approaching Rumbling. Hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds fill the air and crash into the water, tearing apart the Colossal Titans swimming underneath. However, there were too many, and even with all of the artillery fire, the Titans advance. As they swim past, the steam literally disintegrates people and the ships are thrown into the air like toys.
The Titans rise from the water as they approach the shore, some healing from being struck with the rounds. The next wave of soldiers launch their attacks to no effect, then abandon their posts and make for an escape. They turn to see Eren, in his Founding form, as they yell that it’s him, “The Attacking Titan!“
Eren, as flashbacks of Titan Dina Fritz eating his mother, Carla, play in his mind, says that he will exterminate humanity and wipe them from the world until “none of them remain!” The episode ends with a graphic that says the “Conclusion Arc” of the Final Season will air in 2023!
When did these flashbacks take place?
Most of the flashbacks – which took nearly the entire episode – occurred shortly after Armin became the Colossal Titan around year 851 and over about a three-year period. Remember that Eren used his Titan power to basically kidnap a Marley ship by breaching it from below the ocean and lifting it up, which is how they came to know the likes of Yelena, Onyankopon, and others. Yelena actually killed the ship’s captain saying they hoped to be captured as she was there to contact Eren and enact Zeke’s plan.
Marley sent over 30 scouting ships over the next three years, all of which were destroyed by Eren and Armin. Then, in 854, Eren infiltrated Marley by posing as a wounded soldier. Shortly thereafter, Willy Tybur was assassinated by Eren in his Titan form, the War Hammer was killed and absorbed by Eren, and Paradis’ assault on Liberio began.
What was happening in real time with the anti-Eren squad?
Presumably, they were making their way to to ready the flying boat for the final battle, still reeling from the deaths of Magath and Shadis, though it’s unlikely they know of the latter’s death. While some of the Rumbling has reached the shoreline across the sea, most likely Marley, remember that the anti-Eren squad is also trying to reach their destination and ready the flying boat before the Rumbling hits that area.
In the manga, the port where they ready the flying boat is the scene of one of the more memorable moments in the last parts of the story.
What does the ending mean for the “Conclusion Arc” set to air in 2023?
It’s a race against time as the anti-Eren squad not only has to ready the ship, but locate Eren as the Founding and engage the final battle. As was shown at the end of this episode, most of the world’s military was obliterated, so the fate of the world essentially comes down to if Hange, Levi, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Connie, Reiner, Annie, Falco, Gabi, and Pieck can stop Eren.
That was all for the AOT episode 87, and if you want more, catch Attack on Titan on Crunchyroll.
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