Four long years after the first season premiered, Season Two of Attack on Titan finally hits the screens! While anime similar to Attack on Titan have tided most fans over, nothing beats hearing that epic opening song by Linked Horizon. But with the scouts split into several factions after Titans are sighted within Wall Rose, the story has become increasingly non-linear, and some fans have been finding the time skips and constant flashbacks a little tricky to follow.
Whilst readers of the manga (that is considerably further ahead in the timeline) are more accustomed to these dramatic jumps back and forth, anime-exclusive fans might benefit from this chronological explanation of what's going on in Attack on Titan Season Two, from Episode One to Episode Eight.
CAUTION: This list contains spoilers.
It's been four painfully slow years (yes, really) since Season One concluded, so a little time spent refreshing the audience's memories at the start of Season Two is more than welcome.
Season Two picks up right after Titan Eren's brutal defeat of Annie Leonhart ("The Female Titan") and her human body encased in a defensive crystal. Veteran Scout leader Hange Zoe spots a Titan's face poking out of Wall Sina, which a woozy Pastor Nick suggests they get covered up before the sun shines on it. 'Operation Titan Shade' finishes just in time for a scout to bring ominous news to Hange and the group.
Then, fans are transported back twelve hours before the conclusion of Operation Titan Shade to witness what the ominous news is about - Titans have been spotted within Wall Rose! Is there a breach somewhere? Section Commander Miche puts up a valiant fight, but after a creepy confrontation with the mysterious "Beast Titan," he's gobbled up. Nanaba, Sonny, Reiner, and Sasha manage to escape. And remember: this is happening at the same time that Eren and Annie are going at it in Titan form.
Episode Two starts off at the "present," where news of the breach of Wall Rose has reached Trost. But then, the show flashes back to earlier in that same day to Sasha, who was part of the group to originally spot the first Titans within Wall Rose. Sasha peels off from her group to warn her home village. She recalls some handy backstories for the audience while traveling (so a flashback within a flashback). Specifically, Sasha remembers blaming refugees from Wall Maria for their farm's loss of income and her father's response about the duty they had to sustain what was left of humankind.
Later, Sasha also remembers a day during her cadet training when Ymir teased her for trying to hide her country bumpkin accent and for being overly nice to everyone, and Christa Lenz comes to Sasha's aid. Sasha dismisses the memory, wondering what made her think of something so trivial.
Episode Three, "Southwestward," continues not from the present time, but from the flashback of the group breaking up to warn different villages within Wall Rose of the breach. Conny gets the shock of a lifetime from a small, talking Titan, before leaving Ragako village with #TeamGelgar, which includes Reiner, Berthold, and Lynne.
Then there's a time skip of seven hours after the Titan spotting. Somewhere else in Wall Rose, #TeamNanaba are tasked with finding the breach, and Ymir asks Nanaba if she and Christa can withdraw from the front. Nanaba's having none of it though. Christa wonders what Ymir's motivations really are.
Still in Episode Three, the show jumps forward two hours after seeing what #TeamGelgar and #TeamNanaba are up to (and nine hours after the Titan spotting). The Garrison Regiment - the biggest division of the military, responsible for keeping order - are keeping incoming Titans at bay along the Eastern defensive line through a crafty combination of cannon fire and finishing blows to the nape. Both they and Captain Hannes are struck by the conspicuously small number of Titans in the area.