Long before any combat occurs, military forces dot the desert with a communication network, and Sergei is still a little surprised that the Human Reform League is joining forces with Union and the AEU. All together, they have 832 mobile suits comprising 52 units to combat the Gundams. Saji and Louise meanwhile are unaware of what’s going on and are out shopping. Louise has her eye on an extremely expensive ring, but that price doesn’t stop her from insisting that Saji buy it for her. Back in the Human Reform League, there are now three mobile suits and three trucks headed for the enriched uranium site in the desert. Having not been informed of what’s really going on, Sergei quickly figures out that this was all planned after he gets an order to capture the Gundams. He knows now that, to lure out those Gundams, the government is intentionally neglecting terrorist movements. And just as they had planned, two Gundams – the Dynames and the Kyrios – arrive on the scene to take out the terrorists.
Shortly after the Dynames and the Kyrios finish their job though, they come under a heavy missile attack. A large force of Union Realdos then appear, and the Gundam pilots quickly have their hands full. Lockon is unable to stop a pair of Realdos from attaching themselves to the Dynames before self-destructing, and though this doesn’t damage the Dynames too heavily, it forces Lockon to land. The Gundams are then bombarded from all side by artillery and by bombs dropped from aircraft. Back at Wang Liu-Mei’s home, Christina reports that they’ve passed the scheduled finish time of the first phase. Sumeragi thinks that they should go to plan B2 – the one that has the Exia and the Virtue getting involved too. At the AEU command center, Kathy sends out an AEU mobile suit squad, but she keeps Patrick on standby. When he protests, she promises to make him a man. Elsewhere in the desert, Setsuna and Tieria go to plan B2 by removing their camouflage and taking out the two Union mobile suits that saw them. Tieria then activates the GN Bazooka’s Burst Mode and fires off a massive blast that completely vaporizes a large group of mobile suits and creates a way for the Dynames and the Kyrios to escape. However, the Exia and the Virtue soon find themselves to be the targets of another missile barrage.
It has now been two hours after this all started, and Sumeragi is worried about the shift to plan E5 that involves a certain mobile suit. She’s thinking about Allelujah in particular, and indeed at this moment, he suddenly gets that painful feeling in his head again. The reason for this is Soma who is rapidly approaching in her Tieren Taozi, accompanied by a Human Reform League force. She ignores the Dynames and goes straight for the Kyrios, and, unfortunately, Lockon can’t help because the other mobile suits are keeping him occupied. Having tackled the Kyrios, the Taozi repeatedly fires at it from point-blank range, but Allelujah then changes into Hallelujah and asks for Soma’s name over the broadcast channel. After hearing what it is, Hallelujah aims the blade hidden in the Kyrios’ claw at the Taozi’s head. Soma avoids it just in time, and at Sergei’s urging, she temporarily backs off to let the other Human Reform League forces to keep the Kyrios suppressed under fire. Without Soma around to fight him, Hallelujah decides to leave things to Allelujah and changes back.
As day becomes night and the battle enters its fifteenth hour, the united forces of the world’s superpowers continue to shell the Gundams. Each of the Gundam pilots is now feeling a significant amount of fatigue and mental strain, and it’s at this point that both Patrick and Graham’s Over-Flags get to join the fight. Patrick’s unit in particular is going after the Virtue, but before they show up, the bombardment on the Exia and the Virtue suddenly stops. Setsuna and Tieria use this opportunity to escape, however them heading in different directions allows Patrick’s unit to attack the Virtue without interference from the Exia. Four specially equipped Hellions then surround the Virtue and encase it in a force field. Soma meanwhile has successfully defeated and captured the Kyrios for the Human Reform League. As for the Over-Flags, they are approaching the Dynames’ position when Joshua suddenly breaks from formation to take on the Gundam by himself. Lockon, however, catches Joshua off-guard and destroys Joshua’s Flag in one shot. This leads to Graham personally using his Flag to tackle the Dynames, and as the dust clears, Graham’s Flag grabs the Dynames’ head to show that he’s in control of the fight.
In the end, the only Gundam that successfully escapes is the Exia, but even that is short-lived because it soon gets attacked by a mobile armor. Setsuna recognizes the custom Enact sitting on top of the mobile armor to be that of Ali Al Sarshes, but he can’t react quickly enough to avoid it knocking him into the ground. Ali Al Sarshes then positions the mobile armor over the Exia and unleashes its plasma field, causing Setsuna great pain. Meanwhile, word of what’s going on reaches Marina, and after Shirin describes how outnumbered the Gundams are, Marina thinks back to how Setsuna had come into her room the previous night. At this moment, in the midst of all the pain the plasma field is causing him, Setsuna recalls his past and wonders if he’s going to die in this warped world without becoming anything. Right as Setsuna remembers the Gundam that saved him back then, several red beams pierce through the mobile armor. Ali Al Sarshes is able to pull his Enact out before the armor explodes, and he and Setsuna both see that a new Gundam has appeared.
Other than episode ten, I think this might be the most action-heavy episode so far. It wasn’t short on excitement anyway, with the hundreds of enemy units and the Gundams pretty much all getting defeated (even Patrick seemed competent in this battle). The superpowers’ plan relied on the fact that the Gundam pilots would have gotten exhausted after hours upon hours of being bombarded, and it would have worked too, but the tides turn with the appearance of the new Gundam that saved Setsuna. As the end of the episode showed though, I don’t think being saved by a Gundam a second time is going to do anything to help Setsuna’s psyche after he tried so hard to become like that Gundam.
And if it wasn’t evident before, this episode appears to set in stone the conflict pairings: Lockon vs. Graham, Allelujah vs. Soma, Tieria vs. Patrick, and Setsuna vs. Ali Al Sarshes. Actually, I’m not so sure about the Tieria one, but all the others have gotten some development in previous episodes. What remains to be seen is what role in the overall conflict that the three new Gundams and their pilots will play. For now, they look to be on Celestial Being’s side, and at least one of them uses funnels. I point that out because I’ve always thought of those as being way too overpowered, but you could probably say that about Gundams in general (of course, this episode goes a long way in refuting that notion). Anyway, I look forward to seeing next week’s episode and to hearing what voice Kugimiya Rie uses for her new character (even though it’s probably the same one she uses for Shana, Nagi, Louise, etc).