Facing off against the Union Flag-type mobile suit, Setsuna knocks away its sword and tries to go in for the kill, but Graham dodges. After batting away the Flag when it grabs the Exia’s shoulders, Setsuna charges with beam saber drawn and slashes Graham’s rifle in half. This leaves Graham no choice but to retreat, and Billy calls him really unpredictable when he returns to their transport plane. Still, Billy doesn’t care that Graham lost a rifle because the Gundam data from the battle is worth losing even an entire Flag suit for, and he thinks that the paint from when the Flag came in contact with the Gundam will allow them to trace it. Graham is actually more concerned with how he thinks the Gundam’s pilot is young based on the feelings riding on its movements. Meanwhile, the JNN agency is scrambling for stories related to Celestial Being and the Gundams, and a woman named Kinue Crossroad is doing her research on Aeolia Schenberg. It seems that Schenberg was a rare master of invention from the late 21st century who was an advocate of the basic theory of the solar energy generation system. He didn’t appear in public, and his existence was only known through that name in the generations after. Despite this information, the question for Kinue still remains why Celestial Being has only started acting now after over 200 years.
At that moment, a man is reporting to the head of the AEU’s intelligence agency about the lack of leads on Schenberg, from his blood relatives to his assets. The head of the agency suspects that the information could have been tampered with given the security of the 21st century, and he asks his subordinate to prepare materials for a Parliament report. Over at the Human Reform League’s orbital elevator, Setsuna arrives late for a meeting with the other three Gundam pilots concerning their next mission, and Tieria leaves for space soon after. They are transporting Tieria’s Gundam back to space using the elevator by disguising it as raw materials for colony development, and this leads to Allelujah worrying a little about their weakness if they didn’t have their Gundams. Setsuna warns him not to talk about secret matters, and the guys leave the terminal once Tieria’s train takes off. Riding alone, Tieria thinks about how he’s finally returning to space and how he hates the Earth. Unbeknownst to them, Sergei is arriving on the planet via the same terminal, and he tells his escort that he wants to stop by Ceylon first because he’s someone who only believes things he sees with his own eyes.
Across the planet at Union’s MSWAD headquarters, Graham and Billy get orders to transfer to the new Gundam investigation unit because of what they had witnessed, and they’re to work with Professor Leif Eifman. Back in Japan, Saji and Louise are in class learning about the ongoing Irish conflict and are assigned a report on Northern Ireland. Once they get out, Saji voices his frustration with how he has to take a history course even though he’s in the engineering department, so Louise points out that he needs to have historical perspectives if he is to work with engineers from across the world. She then starts talking about how her study abroad is going to end in two years, and she wonders if she’s in Saji’s plans for the future. After Saji admits to only having vaguely thought about it and says that she’s vaguely in it, she gets angry with him and stomps off. When he doesn’t immediately try to stop her, she turns around and tells him that he should be chasing after her in times like these. Later that day, Wang Liu Mei meets with a man named Alejandro Corner in a lounge to talk about watching the third mission. Her butler is watching them from the bar, and Alejandro’s subordinate surprises him by asking if he’s peeping.
By now, Sergei has arrived at the Human Reform League’s base on Ceylon and inspects something that is identified as a mobile suit’s optional equipment for bombing made of the latest materials. In investigating the residual traces of the missiles, they learned that 300kg guided ones were used, but there is no country or maker for this kind. This leads Sergei to conclude that it was independently developed. He also learns about the light particles coming from the Gundam and speculates that this is why their radar and sensors didn’t catch it. Around this same time, Graham and Billy are discussing how the Gundam has the output power of six Flag-type suits and how the light allows it to achieve its mobility. Graham thinks that the particles aren’t only for stealth, but also for controlling the mobile suit, and Professor Leif Eifman appears at that exact moment to suggest that it can be used for weapons too. Eifman then comments on how Schenberg is a frightening man for having technology that’s years ahead of them, and he expresses his desire to capture a Gundam. Agreeing with him, Graham asks Eifman to tune his Flag for this purpose and gives him a week.
Both Graham and Sergei then get word that Gundams have struck in two places: at a South African mine and in a South American region called Taribia. Graham wants to go to the Taribia location, but Eifman stops him and notes how much he hates narcotics, so he actually wants to support Gundams if they burn the fields down because he recognizes that they are trying to eliminate a source of strife. Indeed, Allelujah is doing a bombing run on those fields and completes his mission. Sergei meanwhile gets word that the third Gundam is coming to Ceylon again, and he wants to personally confront it because, as he said earlier, he only believes things he sees with his own eyes. He arrives on the scene as the Exia finishes off some Tieren-type suits, and to Setsuna’s surprise, Sergei tosses his gun and wants to fight melee. The Exia manages to cut off the modified-Tieren’s arm, but Sergei responds by immediately whirling around and grabbing the Exia’s head. Setsuna isn’t able to cut through the modified-Tieren’s other arm with just the Exia’s blade, so he’s forced to pull out the beam saber to do the job before the Exia’s head gets crushed. One more slash completely disables to modified-Tieren, and, as the Exia stands over its defeated foe, Setsuna tells his opponent not to touch him.
Up in space, the Gundam Virtue emerges from a container and returns to the Ptolemaios. Once it’s onboard, Sumeragi informs Tieria that their mission ended safely and proposes a celebratory drink, but he respectfully turns her down. Setsuna meanwhile returns to his own apartment and happens to run into his neighbor Saji on his way in. Since Saji introduced himself and revealed that he lived with his sister, Setsuna gives his own name, but he doesn’t stick around any longer than that. Saji then enters his own apartment and finds his sister leaving because of her job. Shortly thereafter, he gets a call from Louise telling him to turn on the news. It seems that the Real IRA terror group announced today that they were completely freezing all terrorist activity. With this, the 400-year-old Northern Ireland conflict is over, a new path to peace will be opened, and Saji is amazed at how the world has changed.
Well, things are starting to come together (Setsuna being Saji’s neighbor, Graham and Billy transferring the Gundam investigative unit), but the episode itself still jumps around a bit too much for my tastes. It feels like we’re trying to look at too many sides at once – the Gundam team’s, Billy & Graham’s, Sergei’s, the governments’, Saji’s, etc – and I’m just not a big fan of this approach. That being said, characters like Graham, Sergei, and Saji are still getting a decent amount of development – to the point of overshadowing the Gundam team this episode – so I can’t complain too much. The only places Setsuna got to shine were in battles where he proved that no one can currently stand up to him and the Exia.
Politically, this episode was as involved as the others since we have the Gundams going after sources of conflict that are extensions of things going on right now: African mining (think blood diamonds) and drug-producing countries. I find it hard to believe that just using military might will put an end to things like that, and since the Gundams and Celestial Being don’t exactly look like they can offer an economic solution too, I don’t know how much good they’re actually doing. Perhaps the best proof that Celestial Being’s tactics might be working is the Real IRA announcement, but I almost find it unbelievable that a group like that would just randomly give up without being directly targeted. In any case, next week looks to continue what got started this week with Taribia declaring independence from Union and the Gundams getting involved.