Surveying the South African mine that the Dynames had previously laid waste to, a man named Ali Al Sarshes comments on how this will lead to the collapse of the country’s economy. He knows the effects of stopping war on the lower classes, and he speaks angrily on the phone with the PMC Trust about how, at this rate, a country called Moralia is going to collapse. Nevertheless, he’s happy to tell his subordinate that the AEU’s top people are finally rousing to action. At that time, a group of AEU representatives are debating the sending of AEU troops to Moralia. They need Moralia’s PMC for the space development program, but they worry about Celestial Being and the backlash of public opinion. Some of them think that leaving colony development to Union and the Human Reform League is fine because if the AEU doesn’t have the financial power, then the other two won’t be able to manage either. However, they don’t want to lose the final frontier to Union or the Human Reform League, and they can’t advance in space without a buildup of armaments. By sending their forces, they won’t miss the space development race any further and will become the white knights that save Moralia.
Meanwhile, on the Ptolemaios, Christina comments on how Allelujah has been in an isolation cell for over a week. Tieria pays him a visit to tell him that he’s not suitable to be a Gundam Meister, and he wants to be able to say that Allelujah is being taken off the Kyrios, but it seems that they need his abilities again. Sumeragi explains that the president of Moralia is secretly meeting with the foreign ministers of the three major AEU powers, and Allelujah realizes that it has to do with Moralia’s PMC. Over at the Human Reform League’s low orbit station, a scientist reports to Sergei that they examined Soma’s body thoroughly but found no problems. They analyzed the Tieren Taozi’s mission recorder and detected an abnormality in her quantum brain waves, but this phenomenon is normally impossible, so the scientist thinks that there might have been an outside influence. If that is the case, then there’s someone out there with the same kind of enhanced glial cells as her and uses the same brain waves. They’ve fixed her mobile suit to intercept these waves to prevent this from happening again, but Sergei isn’t happy with the idea that Soma will be put back onto the battlefield.
Back on Earth, Marina is meeting with the French foreign minister about getting technical assistance for solar power generation. The foreign minister claims to want to help, but he points out the unstable situation in Azadistan and says that the safety of the technical personnel would need to be ensured before this can be approved. Plus, the AEU’s own elevator isn’t completely up and running yet, so he wonders if they have the personnel to spare. He does promise to continue giving food aid to Azadistan though, and she thanks him for that. Over in Japan, Saji brings Setsuna some food because his sister had cooked too much, but Setsuna is on his way out, so he doesn’t take it. As he’s walking away, Setsuna comments on the space station misfortune, and Saji admits that he didn’t think that Celestial Being would save them. Setsuna quietly says that he didn’t think so either, but Saji doesn’t know what he really means.
By now, Sumeragi, Christina, and Felt are on their way down to Earth via one of the orbital elevator’s linear trains, and Felt briefly goes over Moralia’s background. The Moralia Republic is a small country located in southern Europe that was founded 23 years ago in the year 2284. Though the country has only a population of 180,000, there are over 3 million foreign workers there, and 20% of the approximately 4000 companies are part of the PMC. This private military company sends mercenaries, trains soldiers, transports and develops weapons, and maintains an army. Christina notes that Moralia gives preferential treatment to the PMC and asks Sumeragi why they haven’t targeted it up to now. Sumeragi explains that if war was reduced, then the PMC’s business would disappear, and it could have self destructed with the way things were going. At a Union base, Billy is telling Graham that the AEU is backing Moralia because the PMC’s human resources and technology are essential to starting colony development. Moralia itself wants to revive its economy, and even if this turns the country into a battlefield, they need the AEU’s support. Plus, they hope to obtain a Gundam out of this if things go well.
Around this time, Patrick Corlasawar lands at a Moralia airbase with some other AEU forces. He announces himself as the AEU’s ace and is really excited to face the Gundam again. Wang Liu Mei soon learns that the AEU, Moralia, and the PMC are going to be participating in a regimental scale joint military exercise involving over 130 mobile suits. She feels that with a mission of the largest scale, the world has no choice but to observe Celestial Being closely. Since they’re not going to start their mission until tomorrow though, Christina drags Felt out to go shopping with her while Sumeragi heads to a bar. Setsuna meanwhile arrives with the Exia on an island where Lockon and a man named Ian Vasty are waiting wait some new upgrades. For the Exia, this would be a pair of GN Blades that work similarly to the GN Sword in how they emit highly compressed GN particles. Lockon notes that this allows the Exia finally to become like the Seven Swords development code it was originally designated, but Setsuna quietly turns around without even thanking Ian because he’s so immersed in his Gundam. The group then sees the Kyrios and the Virtue flying in.
Sumeragi goes to a hotel bar and is watching a JNN news report on Moralia when Billy shows up. He asks her what she thinks about the Moralia stuff, but she doesn’t want to talk about it since they’ve just met after a long time. Billy wonders how many years it’s been since graduate school, however Sumeragi doesn’t care to remember because it would show how old she is. She feels that when a woman’s real age is stated, her youth decreases by that much. In any case, Billy is just glad she invited him and tells her about his new assignment to the Gundam investigation unit with Leif Eifman as its technological chief. When he reveals that Eifman has already noticed the special particles that the Gundam emits, Sumeragi doesn’t let on what she knows and asks what kind of particles they are. Billy can’t tell her, but he does ask her what she’s doing now, and she doesn’t give him a direct answer. He also asks her about a certain something, however she claims she’s already forgotten about it. Taking her hand, Billy then tells her that he’s glad they were able to meet again like this.
With the military exercise now almost underway, Ali Al Sarshes is entrusted with a new AEU mobile suit in order to capture a Gundam. Sumeragi’s group meanwhile arrives at Wang Liu Mei’s residence with the AEU and Moralia’s deployment information, and they get to work preparing for the mission. Unbeknownst to Sumeragi, Billy goes back to Eifman and reports on a person he calls Kujou. Graham isn’t sure who they’re talking about, but he suspects that it’s the tactical forecaster from a certain incident. The group then gets video feed of the Gundams who are approaching Moralia, and they don’t recognize the Gundams’ new equipment. Once the Gundams are spotted, the Moralia government declares a state of emergency, and the various news agencies around the world pick up on it. As he watches the JNN broadcast with Louise, Saji doesn’t understand what Celestial Being is doing because they’re not changing the world by fighting. He feels that they’re only giving birth to hatred and throwing the world into confusion.
The Gundams soon start their assault, with the Kyrios taking care of the airborne units while the others handle the ground forces. The Dynames in particular makes good use of its new armor plating, and the Virtue blasts Patrick’s mobile suit out the sky. Setsuna is also decimating enemy suits with the Exia’s GN Blades, as well as with its beam sabers. However, before he can finish announcing that he’s entering Phase II, he comes under attack by Ali Al Sarshes’ mobile suit. Since it’s able to hit the Exia with its rifle, Setsuna thinks that his opponent can read his movements. After knocking into Setsuna, Ali Al Sarshes laughs and comments on how the pilot isn’t so great even though the Gundam is. Setsuna is shocked to recognize this voice as belonging to someone who had been on the battlefield with him many years ago when he was still a child.
Like the Taribia episode, this week introduced and covered one particular act of Celestial Being military intervention, however it had the same problem of jumping around the various viewpoints as that episode did, so I was a little disappointed. Last week was good because it didn’t do that, and felt like a much more cohesive episode. This one threw us back into the political fray, and while I don’t hate the politics, I still think it makes some of the series unnecessarily complicated. Actually, all the talk of PMCs reminded me a lot of Metal Gear Solid 4, though fortunately there were no moo-ing mobile suits here.
For all the politics though, I thought this episode still did a good job developing the huge cast of characters. We now have yet another opponent who can stand up to the Gundams in Ali Al Sarshes (not Patrick as originally thought). He’s got some past with Setsuna, and that might make it that much harder for Setsuna to beat him, especially if Ali Al Sarshes discovers Setsuna’s identity and starts trying to break him down psychologically. That being said, he (like Sergei and Graham) seems too cool to be a bad guy for long, so I’m curious what direction his character takes. Maybe there’ll just never be any clear-cut good guys and bad guys in this series. Patrick, on the other hand, is beginning to feel like the joke antagonist who can never win. He could use a better mobile suit if he’s even dreaming of going up against the Gundams, but I think I almost prefer seeing him as a punching bag because it brings a little humor.
There’s also Sumeragi and Billy’s relationship which makes them seem really close, but there’s the matter of whatever happened back then that Sumeragi claims she forgot and that they mention with no specifics. Perhaps that incident is what drove her to join Celestial Being or why she’s such a heavy drinker. In any case, next week concludes this battle, and I’m hoping they can focus a little on Setsuna and his past.
As a side note, I really like how the Dynames looks now. The additional plates make it seem like it has wings or a wild-west style poncho.