Gundam 00 – 05
With Taribia’s return to Union, the US president promises them an increase in aid and energy supplies. Marina thinks that this series of events was a scheme that used Celestial Being, but Shirin disagrees because Celestial Being is carrying out their will of eliminating war, even if they’re turning their backs to public opinion. She suggests that Marina revise her idea to try to use them, and she sees Marina off to a multi-country tour. Marina promises to do her best because solar energy is necessary to save Azadistan, and when Shirin asks her why she embraced this role, Marina confidently claims that it’s because only she can do it. Meanwhile, at the Human Reform League’s orbital elevator linear train terminal, Saji and Louise are about to embark on their trip to space, and his sister instructs him to study hard because, even though he’s going on this study trip on a scholarship, she’s paying for the travel expenses. She feels a little better that Louise is going with him, but she still warns him not to go too overboard and not to do anything weird to Louise. Unbeknownst to them, Sergei and Soma are also at this terminal, ready to depart.
Over on the Celestial Being side, Allelujah gets a mission plan for observing a mobile suit’s performance experiment, and Lockon warns him to be careful because they’re now hated after the Taribia incident. Back on the linear train, Louise is having fun with the pseudo-zero-gravity, but a decidedly more somber atmosphere is present in Sergei’s cabin. When Sergei mentions that he hasn’t heard yet the reason why Soma volunteered for the superhuman organization, Soma reveals that she didn’t volunteer. Instead, she’s a designer baby created for the superhuman program. Sergei then remembers to how a scientist had earlier filled him in on the nanomachines inside Soma’s body that allow her to be active for extended periods of time in space environments. He hadn’t cared to hear the technical explanation and was more concerned about the course they were taking. The linear train eventually arrives at the Human Reform League’s low orbit station, and Saji and Louise are greeted by a man named Bols Assan who is supervising the study trip. Bols takes them out in spacesuits, and Saji and Louise are able to see the beautiful view of Earth from above. However, Louise falls off the edge, and Saji does too when he tries to save her, though fortunately Bols grabs both of their safety tethers in time.
Elsewhere in the station, Sergei and Soma are introduced to the MSJ-06II-SP, the Tieren Taozi. It is to be Soma’s mobile suit, and Sergei wonders if it’s the trump card against Gundams. Two days later, Allelujah is headed up on the linear train and has a chat with a flight attendant about enjoying the view of Earth from above. The flight attendant claims to understand how he feels since there’s so much trouble on Earth that an organization like Celestial Being would appear. Around this time, Saji and Louise are walking through the low orbit station’s gravity block and pass by Wang Liu Mei and Hong Long. Wang Liu Mei sees Saji looking at her and smiles at him, but Louise pulls on Saji’s ear for looking that way. Outside the station, Soma is testing out the Tieren Taozi, and is following a designated course so well that Sergei marvels at the super-soldier’s power. However, he notes that she’s still a young girl. Part of the way through, Soma senses something and starts feeling a pain in her head. At almost the exact same moment, Allelujah experiences the same thing, and the headache causes him to switch to a different, more volatile personality that is angry at whatever got inside of him and wants to kill it.
The pain is so traumatizing for Soma that she starts firing on the station, and it breaks a section of the gravity block off – the part that Saji and Louise are in. Allelujah is distracted from his anger when he sees the block floating away, but his inner voice calls out to him, referring to this new him as Hallelujah. He remembers back to a scene from his past where he and someone else were onboard a ship wondering if they were going to die, and someone had asked Allelujah to kill him. This memory causes Allelujah to regain control of his body, and he rushes off to do something about the gravity block. Soma meanwhile has calmed down, so Sergei radios the control room for a damage assessment. He learns that there are 232 people in the block needing saving and that it’ll take another seven minutes for the rescue team to come out. The problem is that the gravity block will get pulled into the Earth’s gravity in 14 minutes, so Sergei decides to start the rescue operation by himself. He gets there with 450 seconds left and assesses that he’ll have to raise the orbital altitude of the gravity block. Sergei tries to accomplish by accelerating his Tieren against the structure, but he quickly realizes that it isn’t enough due to the gravity block’s mass.
With only 200 seconds remaining, Sergei is worried that he’ll get caught in Earth’s gravitational sphere too at this rate. Right as he is wondering if they’ll have abandon all these people, he notices something rapidly approaching on his radar: a Gundam. Wang Liu Mei is at that moment trying to tell Allelujah that this isn’t the mission he was given, but he cuts off the transmission because she doesn’t understand what it feels like to drift in space. With less than 20 seconds left, the Kyrios pushes against the gravity block and gives it everything it has. Allelujah also broadcasts a message to everyone inside to gather in the center of the three blocks. Following his instructions, everyone in there dons a space suit and does just that, but Louise is still worried and wants to tell Saji something before its too late. Sergei meanwhile tries to tell the Kyrios to leave before this gravity block gets pulled in, but Allelujah feels that failure is not allowed in Celestial Being and declares that there’s not just one Gundam Meister. As if on cue, a beam rifle shot originating from Earth then blows through one of the connectors between the three blocks, and it breaks one of the now-unoccupied blocks off.
The beam rifle shot came from none other than Dynames piloted by Lockon, and he has Setsuna in the Exia clear away some clouds so that he can fire a second shot. This shot separates the remaining two blocks from each other, and the Kyrios pushes the only occupied block away. It is at this point that Sergei finally realizes that the Gundam pilots have succeeded in decreasing the mass so that they can accelerate the remaining block into a stable orbit. The Human Reform League’s rescue team soon arrives, so the Kyrios takes off, and Sergei lets him go since he’s very grateful. Everyone is saved, but onboard the Ptolemaios, Tieria isn’t happy that their given mission was abandoned to prioritize the rescue of lives, especially since they’ve now let the world know about the Dynames’ ability to fire to high altitudes. He notes that Sumeragi was the one who changed the mission and gave Lockon those instructions, but she tries to defend herself by saying that she wasn’t helping Allelujah – she was protecting the Gundam. This leads to Tieria declaring that a person lacking in aptitude shouldn’t be piloting a Gundam, and Sumeragi quietly questions him back about that.
On the rescue ship, Saji asks Louise what she was about to tell him earlier before they got saved, but she refuses.
They finally stopped jumping around so much and concentrated on one thing! I spent a good deal of the episode wondering if they were going to suddenly switch to some Union/Graham stuff, but they never did, and I think it was for the better. With the politics also kept to a relative minimum, needless to say, I loved the episode and hope there are more like it. The political stuff isn’t horrible, but I much prefer this type of pacing for a Gundam series.
In terms of the story, Allelujah’s change of personality was one of the more interesting things this episode had to offer. It’s been hinted at in previous episodes, but this was the most definite proof we’ve seen so far. They hint that he was drifting out in space as a kid with someone, so I wonder if he had a twin or something named Hallelujah, and the two of them somehow became one. His mental change has a physical manifestation too since it’s accompanied by a change of which side of his face his hair is covering and a change in eye color. Perhaps he also has nanomachines inside of him, and that could be what caused the Newtype-like reactions that he and Soma got.
The way Tieria sees Allelujah will probably lead to tension down the road, especially if more things like this start happening. Come to think of it, given Tieria’s personality, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he became an antagonist eventually, and he might already be on that path. Speaking of which, it’s also becoming clearer that Sergei is likely to end up being one of the good guys given how concerned he’s been over the age and maturity of the various pilots and just generally how honorable he seems. I could see him as a voice of reason of sorts inside the Human Reform League for as long as he’s alive, or for the entire series if he can survive it. For the time being though, it looks like Patrick Corlasawar (or someone who resembles him except with more hair) and a new mobile suit are going to be appearing next week.