The fate of humanity rests on Historia in a suspenseful episode that brings Eren’s kidnapping and the Reiss family drama to a head!
It’s also worth pointing out that this is the first time that many of these characters (Sasha, Connie…) have killed other humans. This battle looks incredible, but the mental toll that it must take on Levi’s team is also considerable. The episode doesn’t shy away from this darkness and shots will linger on the light leaving characters’ eyes as they meet their ends. Everyone is either close to their breaking points or just becoming increasingly numb through battle. None of these people signed up to become Scouts so they could kill other humans.
“Wish” features an incredibly action-heavy first act, but it turns into a really touching episode that’s all about characters who have eternally been used as pawns in other people’s games, but are now finally trying to make their own choices. This inspiring concept is reflected in Historia’s decision to go against her father’s wishes and deny his plan to turn her into a new powerful form of Titan. She decides to break the destructive cycle that’s been a part of the Reiss bloodline for generations. She will not be his mindless weapon of destruction and Historia instead chooses to align with Eren. This episode is very much about reveling in Historia’s badassery.
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A few more details on the Reiss family’s sordid history come to light. Frieda Reiss was in control of a coveted ability that could essentially wipe out the Titans, only she wasn’t able to activate this skill before Eren’s dead killed her and claimed it for himself. Now the talent lies within Eren, but it’s true powers cannot be activated unless it comes in contact with the Reiss bloodline (sorry Kenny). Since this mammoth ability is “wasted” on Eren, Rod wants Historia to claim it and finish off what Frieda couldn’t. What’s interesting here is that Historia does want to have control and power, but she wants to acquire it by her own means rather than give her father any satisfaction at all. She can do this by herself.
“Wish” pulls the trigger on Historia’s pivotal decision in the tensest way possible. The episode generates some real anxiety in its climactic final minutes as Historia contemplates what to do. Up until this point the audience also has no real indication where her allegiances really lie, which makes the scene even more suspenseful. The metamorphosis that she undergoes at the end positions her as a real wildcard that may even be more dangerous than her father. Furthermore, Rod Reiss’ addendum that humanity is apparently supposed to be ruled by the Titans for some unknown reason complicates everything in a delicious way. Just when it seems like Attack on Titan’s larger backstory is finally clear, it throws a Titan-sized wrench into the machine.
With the clock now ticking, Eren doesn’t try to talk his way out of a grim fate, but rather takes responsibility for his father’s selfish actions and the twisted chain of events that has led them all here. He sees all of this as his fault and while the accuracy of that is up for debate, Eren couldn’t be more different than his father during this emotional confession. It’s a pitiful display that Historia even insults Eren over, but it’s a pivotal moment of acceptance for the character. Eren and Historia both rebel against their “fates,” albeit in deeply different ways.
“Wish” is a wonderful episode of Attack on Titan that continues the exceptional run that this season is experiencing. The plot continues to advance in exciting ways and this installment even throws in a Titan in the most chaotic way possible. Attack on Titan is almost a third through the season and there’s already been a ton that’s happened so far and a very clear vision of what lies ahead. There are still an abundance of mysteries and subterfuge that hang over these characters like a heavy fog, but it’s exciting to see the show have such a passionate energy driving it forward this year.
With a Titan showdown front and center in the next installment, it looks like Kenny said it best: “This is gettin’ good.”
Keep up with our Attack on Titan Season 3 reviews and news here!
Daniel Kurland is a published writer, comedian, and critic whose work can be read on Den of Geek, Vulture, Bloody Disgusting, and ScreenRant. Daniel knows that the owls are not what they seem and his perma-neurotic thought process can be followed at