Shinn is having nightmares of all the people he’s battled, including Stellar, Kira, and Athrun, until Rey wakes him up. Shinn still feels bad about Athrun and Meyrin, but Rey tells him that it can’t be helped. The next day, our three aces get medals, and Shinn and Rey are inducted into FAITH. As Talia and Gilbert are walking towards the elevator, a report comes in that Jibril has been found in ORB.
Word spreads quickly that ZAFT is mobilizing forces towards ORB. Gilbert briefs his captains and tells Talia that he wants the Minerva to join the battle. Inside the ArchAngel, Athrun is still struggling to get up when Meyrin comes by and sees his condition. In ORB, Jibril is talking with Unato and seems pretty confident. Jona makes a public statement claiming that Jibril is not in ORB, much to Cagalli’s anger and dismay.
ZAFT launches the first wave of attacks, sending two suits to destroy the Saran home. They fly over a car carrying a surprised Jibril. Murrue wants to launch the ArchAngel, but is told that it’s impossible because the engines aren’t ready. Jona comes into the ORB command center and orders their forces to move out. Unfortunately, the ORB forces are seriously outclassed by the ZAFT forces. Cagalli is ready to go and launch in the Sky Grasper, but she’s stopped by Kisaka and Erica.
They take her to an underground hanger. When Erica turns on the light, everyone is blinded by the shiny new mobile suit. Uzumi’s voice comes on above them, and he tells Cagalli, in a recorded message, that he built this to protect his heir. He ends by telling Cagalli to be happy. Cagalli is bawling by the time Kisaka comes over and asks if she wants to get on the Akatsuki.
Cagalli launches and gathers her Murasame forces. The command center notices an unidentified mobile suit that is of course the Akatsuki. Cagalli makes her entrance and Jona is overjoyed. He takes the microphone and thanks and praises her. Cagalli asks is Jona believes that she’s the real Cagalli and he agrees wholeheartedly. She then invokes her powers and asks for Jona to be arrested. A swift punch by a senior officer and several tackles later, Jona is quickly apprehended. In the battle, Cagalli and her forces seem to be turning the tide of battle.
On the Minerva, after a bit of thought, Shinn launches in Destiny Gundam. Talia is not too happy, but can’t do anything because Shinn is now in FAITH. Cagalli notices that Destiny Gundam has arrived and heads toward Shinn. The two face off as the ending song starts.
This episode was everything I had hoped it would be and then some. ORB gets attacked, but Cagalli inherits the Akatsuki and saves the day (for now). We even got a new insert song, 焔の扉 (Homura no Tobira, Door of Flame) by FictionJunction YUUKA. Of course it reminds me a lot of 暁の車 (Akatasuki no Kurama) from GS, but that’s to be expected. I found it to be a rather fitting song for the scene they put it in.
Uzumi’s speech to Cagalli was a very touching scene. The music, Uzumi’s true parting words to Cagalli, and the recap scenes all allow you to understand why she breaks down crying. And when she finally launches, it’s just as good as when Kira or Athrun saves the day. Though I can’t help but be reminded of the Hyaku Shiki from the zeta series because of the golden color of the Akatsuki.
And the big story is that Jona finally got his due punishment. I thought the way Cagalli had him affirm who she was, then have him arrested was brilliant. I’ve been waiting so many episode for someone to smack Jona and we finally got it.
It appears that by all accounts, the next episode will more or less be a recap episode (and we were on such a good streak too). I guess I’m really looking forward to episode 42, when I’m sure some really BIG things will happen (Read: BIG).