This week’s episode starts with some new stuff integrated into Gilbert’s speech from last week. The council is initially taken aback by what he said. After he speaks with them personally though, they support him. In ORB, Jona asks his father what’s going on. Back in the cold, we find that the ArchAngel is being tracked by ZAFT forces.

Pretty soon, the ArchAngel comes under attack by ZAFT forces. Athrun and Talia argue about their mission and the ArchAngel. Athrun once again appears to be on the losing side of the argument. Shinn leaves the pilots room just as Athrun arrives to try to talk some sense into him.

The Minerva fires several shots, but the ArchAngel is very good about dodging them. Going past a ridge however, the two ships appear to be on a collision course. The ArchAngel does a roll (thanks to Neumann’s amazing flying abilities) and gets out of the way. Kira and Shinn start their fight pretty evenly in skill. To the chagrin of the ZAFT commander, Talia contacts the ArchAngel and offers them a surrender way out. Murrue contacts them back and refuses after Kira sends a message saying “Take Cagalli to ORB”.

Kira and Shinn’s battle continues. Apparently Rey had briefed Shinn earlier on how Freedom targets appendages and doesn’t go for the cockpit. Shinn hits SEED mode and starts to shine as he lands a hit on Kira by using his shield as a reflector. He also narrowly dodges pretty much every shot Kira makes.

Kira and Shinn whittle each other’s gundams away, but Shinn has the advantage of being able to call on spare parts from the Minerva. Using everything at his disposal, including two Force packs and a Sword pack, Shinn manages to destroy Freedom, but Impulse is completely wrecked. On the battleship end, Talia orders the firing of the Tannhäuser. After a giganormous explosion clears, it appears that both the AA and Freedom are gone. As Shinn laughs in his cockpit exclaiming to Stellar that he’s done it, Athrun cries “Kiiiiirrraaaaa!”

So this was the epic fight that we were promised last week. I have to say, it was pretty good. It seems like Shinn got really good really fast, but that may have to do with his SEED mode, which he hasn’t accessed all that much. I really liked how he fully utilized all of Impluse’s abilities (even if it did seem sorta cheap). The battleship fight seemed to end rather quickly. They didn’t really seem to be doing much damage to each other and it was over once the Minerva fired its Tannhäuser. Neumann once again shows his skill at flying a battleship. It was great seeing everyone’s reactions after Murrue contacted the Minerva (The “OMG, she’s the mechanic from last time” look).
Next episode looks to be a aftermath episode. ZAFT is preparing a lot of its forces for something. It seems like the Minerva is going back to space. Lacus also appears in the preview, so hopefully she will get a good amount of screentime next week. The most important thing in the preview, however, is the last shot of the extended part. It shows the heads of Legend Gundam and Destiny Gundam (on the left and right, respectively).

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