Attack on Titan season 3's final string of episodes have been major game-changers for the series. The latest episode, "That Day", explored the secret past of Eren Yeager's father, Grisha, and in doing so, revealed one of the most brutal and disturbing stories in Attack on Titan's history.
"That Day" recounts the pivotal moments of Grisha Yeager's younger years, that turned him into a hardcore spy and revolutionary, bent on restoring the greatness of Eldia, after the advanced human civilization fell in the uprising of its former conquer, the nation of Marley, during the Great Titan War. The galvanizing trauma for Grisha was the death of sister, who was brutally murdered by Marley's Public Security Authorities. The PSA's sadistic sergeant major, Gross, actually fed Grisha's sister to his son's dogs, as punishment for the two Eldian children sneaking out of their ghetto neighborhood to see an airship. When the PSA officers leaned on Grisha's parents after the murder, his dad forced Grisha to overlook the truth and stay quiet. That injustice broke something in Grisha, and the boy became a revolutionary who championed Eldia's great history, in hopes of restoring his people as leaders of the world.
Grisha eventually became a man and had a family of his own, marrying Dina Fritz, one of the direct descendants of the original Titan, Ymir, and had a son with her named Zeke. Grisha planned to have Zeke inherit Titan powers that would put power back in Eldia's hands - but Zeke instead turned his parents into the Marley PSA, brainwashed by the false history he learned. Grisha's entire group of Eldia Restorationists was captured and taken to the island of Paradis, where they were taken up onto the wall to face a sadistic punishment from none other Sgt. Major Gross!
Grisha recognizes Gross, and the evil Marleyan officer remembers the young boy whose sister he once fed to the dogs. Proving to be a total psychopath, Gross informs Grisha that the world is a savage place he's learned to accept, and that watching other people get eaten alive was "interesting." Gross plans to do just that by injecting the Eldia Restorationists he's captured with Titan serum, and letting them run amok as pure Titans. He plans to feed Grisha and a couple other Resotrationists to their friends-turned-Titan - but that's when Attack on Titan gives fans a sweet moment of Karmic payback.
It turns out that Gross's right-hand-man Kruger was actually an Eldian loyalist and leader of the Restorationists, who went by the codename "Owl." Kruger was there when Gross killed Grisha's sister, and so he uses the moment of Grisha's near death to finally set the scales right: he pushes Gross off the Wall and spares Grisha!
Gross is inevitably done in by his own sick philosophy, as Grisha and Kruger get to watch the Sgt. Major get snatched up and eaten by one of the Eldians he just transformed into a Titan. The anime spared fans the full horror of the moment, as the Attack on Titan manga details the Titan chewing off Gross's face, in one of the most brutal death scenes in the entire series.
Was Gross's death satisfying for you? Or did Attack on Titan take this one too far?
Attack on Titan season 3 part 2 is now streaming weekly on Hulu, Funimation and Crunchy Roll.