As if this past weekend wasn’t hard enough between the premiere of Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones’ Battle for Winterfell, the fight to reclaim Wall Maria has also kicked off. 2019 is going to be a rough year.

Warning: Possible minor spoilers for the premiere episode!!

In Season 3, Part 2’s premiere episode (Episode 13) we see the Scout regiment reaching their destination, Wall Maria, home to our three (remaining) protagonists, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. It’s been 5 years since the titans broke through one of the last remaining strongholds humanity has, and the opening moments of the premiere episode remind us of that day when everything changed…

“On that day, humanity remembered. The fear of being in control by them. The humiliation of being imprisoned.”

These words set the tone for the first half of the episode as our remaining Scouts return to the once great outlying city. They spend some time reminiscing, reminding us viewers of how much these characters have endured in the time since Wall Maria fell victim to the Titan horde.

Where Game of Thrones occasionally rips your heart out by killing off a main character, or two, Attack on Titan makes that a sport; shredding through half of a main cast in minutes of one episode. It’s a show that constantly reminds you how brittle humans are, how fragile and easy we are to break, mentally and physically. At the same time, Eren Yeager continues to be the show’s last remaining beacon of hope, constantly vowing to wipe the Titans from the face of the Earth, always pushing himself to become stronger and better. It’s a weight few would be able to bare, but regardless, he perseveres.

This glimmer of hope carries over from the season’s part one finale back in November. As our Scouts leave the Trost district to shouts of good luck and cheering, we see that hope continue as the Scouts begin to seal of Wall Maria to surprising success. It’s easy, actually. Too easy.

It’s clear this second half of the season looks to finish this chapter of the story, and that becomes rapidly apparent as the episode, fittingly titled “The Town Where Everything Began,” comes into it’s latter half.

The animation has been refined yet again, and there are sequences in this premiere that absolutely get you pumped up as you watch all of these Scouts whizzing through the air over the rooftops of the Shiganshina District. Even Eren’s Titan transformation has received a welcome visual update that will surely leave some with chills.

The episode ends with a wild event that I won’t spoil for those yet to watch it, but it leaves you drooling for more. The Souts set their sights on an actual Victory, and for the first time in this series it almost feels like that might be a possibility. This doesn’t mean a lot more people aren’t going to die, but until the next episode airs, we can live in this tiny bubble of hope, at least for a few more days.

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