The battle continues on as Athrun launches from the ArchAngel. Neo/Mwu lands a missile on the Minerva but gets hit soon afterwords. He crash lands in one of the ArchAngel’s hanger bays and has a flashback of a similar event from an earlier time. On the other side of the battlefield, Kira is trying to handle both Shinn and Rey. He’s able to avoid Shinn’s palm beam cannon, but a full force shot by Rey sends him spinning out of control. Shinn locks on with his long range cannon, but a voice yells for him to stop.
Athrun makes his entrance in the Infinite Justice Gundam by knocking back Shinn, causing Shinn to get wide-eyed at the sight of him. He lectures Shinn about what he’s doing and what he truly desires, causing Shinn to have several flashbacks. Rey, however, is not going to sit around while Shinn gets emotionally beat around, so he attacks. Kira joins the battle again and faces off against Rey while Athrun and Shinn start to fight. On the ground, Jona escapes from ORB troops but runs right under a falling Gouf, presumably crushing him. His once-ally, Djibril, is impatiently waiting for his shuttle to launch so that he can escape the battle, and eventually convinces the troops to launch the shuttle. While the ArchAngel takes to the water and uses it as cover to attack the ZAFT forces, Shinn and Athrun continue to exchange blows. They both go into SEED mode, but Justice has the upper hand after slicing Destiny’s arms. In the command center, Cagalli sees the Saran shuttle flying off and orders two Murasames after it. On the Minerva, Talia sees the same thing and orders Lunamaria to shoot it down. The Impulse Gundam makes a valiant effort but ultimately fails to catch the shuttle. Since their objective got away, Talia orders a retreat.
With the battle over, Athrun falls unconscious, and Kira has to catch him from falling into the ocean. When they get back to the ArchAngel, Kira takes off Athrun’s helmet to find that he’s all bloodied up. In her office, Talia reports back to Gilbert about the outcome, telling him of the shuttle and how the ArchAngel, Freedom, and Justice are helping ORB. On the deck of the ArchAngel, Murrue finds Neo/Mwu staring into the sunset. He is confused about somehow knowing her, a comment that sends her into shock. He decides to remain on the ship, with her. She nods after he puts his hands on her shoulders, and they then share a hug.
As night rolls around, Cagalli makes a speech broadcast to everyone. She mentions how Djibril was in ORB, but goes on to question Gilbert’s actions. However, she is interrupted when Meer appears as Lacus and hijacks the transmission. She asks why ORB is fighting to protect Djibril. Watching on the screen in the medical bay, Lacus and Kira decide that it is time, and they use Freedom Gundam to fly out to Cagalli. Lacus then interrupts Meer’s transmission, saying that she is the real Lacus Clyne.
This episode has a lot going for it, but I feel that it still is not quite as good as some of the previous episodes. While I enjoyed the battle music this episode, the actual fight felt rather repetitive with a lot of reused shots. There were maybe two good moves that were pulled off: Kira’s kick after avoiding the palm cannon, and Athrun’s deflecting of the beam boomerangs. I think that if Rey and Shinn really worked together, they’d have a good chance against Kira or Athrun (but probably not both at once).
The scene with Neo/Mwu and Murrue, while very touching, seemed slightly far fetched. I am all for them rekindling their relationship, but I find it hard to believe that after some flashbacks, then talking about their shared emotional pain, he can embrace her just like that. He needs more angst before they can get back together! More awkward moments! (I can’t believe I’m saying that…maybe I’ve watched too many romances…)
And Jona’s finally dead! At least I hope he’s dead/stays dead. I would have honestly preferred if Cagalli had shot him for being an idiot, but I guess being squished by a falling mobile suit is the next best thing.
Anyway, the big kicker today is that Lacus finally reveals herself to the world as the real Lacus Clyne. I hope she has some hard evidence that everyone can believe her or else I can just forsee the propaganda machines on both sides getting ready for a who’s the real Lacus fight. However, the next episode, while called “The Two Lacus,” seems to be more about a fight in space and a new superweapon of Djibril’s than it is about the two Lacus. I’m looking forward to seeing Yzak in battle again.