In the surprise attack against the Trinity siblings, Setsuna directs the Exia to strike at Nena’s Throne Drei first, but Michael steps in to protect her with his Throne Zwei. Johann meanwhile tries to reason with Setsuna, saying that they’ve been acting to eradicate war, however Setsuna feels that they aren’t representative of Gundams. This leads to Johann giving his brother permission to fight back, so Michael sends out his GN Fangs. Setsuna is able to destroy most of them, but when Michael releases the last two Fangs, it’s a particle beam blast from the Gundam Virtue that blows them up. Up in space, word reaches the Ptolemaios of the battle, and Allelujah notes the possibility that the Trinity siblings’ behavior is part of the master plan. Sumeragi responds by pointing out that their own actions might also be part of the plan, and though she decides to have Lockon try to stop the fight, she’s willing to respect his judgment based on the situation down there. Wang Liu Mei also learns of what’s going on, but she’s less concerned about what to do about it and instead cares about changing to world, no matter what it takes. As for Alejandro, he tells Libbons that this happened faster than he thought it would. He thinks about how this transitions them to the third stage, and that means that there’s no turning back.
Back at the Gundam battle, Tieria and Setsuna are working together using various formations to attack the Gundam Thrones. When Johann tries to get Nena to dock her Drei to his Eins so that he can use his main cannon, Tieria refuses to give them the chance to do so and attacks them both. They respond by pointing their guns at the Virtue and preparing to fire, however Tieria then activates the Gundam Nadleeh’s Trial System. After the Virtue loses all of its excess parts, thereby completing the transformation into the Nadleeh, it begins to emit a constant wave from its core that causes the Throne Eins and Drei’s systems to shut down. As a result, both the Gundam Thrones go crashing down, and Tieria explains that the Nadleeh’s true ability is to gain control of all mobile suits that are linked with Veda via this Trial System. Declaring that the Trinity siblings are unfit to be Gundam Meisters, Tieria says that they deserve to die 10000 times and dives towards them with beam saber in hand. Unfortunately, the Trial System mysteriously stops working just moments before the Nadleeh reaches the ground, and that’s enough time for the Throne Eins to get out of the way. Seeing that the system was forcibly turned off, Tieria remembers how he had been denied access to Veda earlier, and this confirms his suspicion that something was done to Veda.
The Throne Eins and Throne Drei then circle around so that they can strike back at the Nadleeh, however they suddenly come under fire from a third source: the Dynames. Instead of standing and fighting, Johann orders a retreat because he knows that their plan will be hindered if the Gundams destroy each other. Before he leaves though, Johann tells Lockon that there’s someone else that Lockon should be fighting first. Addressing Lockon by his real name Neil Dylandy – which he supposedly found out through Veda – Johann reveals that Soran Ibrahim, a member of the Kurdish anti-government guerrilla organization KPSA that killed Lockon’s parents and younger sister, is here. Soran Ibrahim’s codename is Setsuna F Seiei. Meanwhile, someone who claims to be involved with Celestial Being contacts leaders from around the world, and the Union president thinks that there might be an internal division within the organization. In Spain, Saji listens to a news report about the American company that was attacked by Gundams while he fills a vase with water, puts flowers inside, and brings it to Louise.
To his surprise, Louise tells Saji to go back to Japan because he’s missing too much school. She’s happy that she was able to be with him, but she doesn’t think that he should be stay here indefinitely and cites how his dream is to work in space. She doesn’t want to be the reason he doesn’t realize that dream. Louise then reveals that her own dream is for Saji to realize his dream, and she proceeds to entrust her dream to him. Saji eventually agrees to go, and as he’s walking out of the hospital, he remembers all the time he’s spent with Louise, including how they first met when Louise approached him out of the blue one day to lecture him about falling asleep at a table. Watching Saji leave the hospital now, Louise can’t hold back the tears any longer. Back in Japan, Kinue’s partner brings her a report on a person named Laguna Harvey who is the president of a linear train business, meaning that he both has the money to build mobile suits and the ability to use the orbital elevator whenever he wants. Her partner thinks that they should stop looking into this because this man is a major shareholder of JNN stock, but Kinue refuses to give up now that she’s finally gotten a clue.
Meanwhile, on their secret island, Setsuna confirms that what Johann said was true. Lockon then tells the story of how his parents and younger sister were killed by a KPSA suicide bombing. It all started with the solar power generation plan that came after global oil export regulations, and the Middle Eastern nations had been hit the hardest by this. The people who were poor had only God to rely on, and they listened to those who supposedly represented God. Citing all the fighting that had occurred, Lockon implicates the people who undertook holy wars and the United Nations for unilaterally deciding on the export regulations, though he doesn’t think that God or religion are necessarily bad. He mainly feels that the world has been warped, and he attributes the loss of his family to that. Lockon knows that him being a Gundam Meister is contradictory since he’s engaging in the equivalent of terrorism, but he asserts that the world needs to change fundamentally for such a tragedy never to occur again. He’s willing to accept his punishment for killing people after that happens, however he’s still got things to do until then.
Pointing his gun at Setsuna, Lockon admits that he really wants to shoot Setsuna right now to avenge his family. He ends up firing, however Setsuna doesn’t even flinch as the bullet sails past his head. When Setsuna finally speaks up, he talks of how he was made to believe in God, but he now feels that there is no God in this world. He blames the KPSA’s leader Ali Al Sarshes and tells the others how he had found out that Ali Al Sarshes had been part of the PMC in Moralia. Back during that incident, Setsuna had wanted to confirm that Ali Al Sarshes was alive and to question where Ali Al Sarshes’ God was. Still pointing his gun at Setsuna, Lockon then changes the subject to what Setsuna wants to do with the Exia. When Setsuna replies that he wants to eradicate war, Lockon comments on how this would be impossible if he shot Setsuna. It turns out that Setsuna doesn’t care if that happens and would want Lockon to change the world in his place. Setsuna will fight if he’s alive, but it won’t be as Soran Ibrahim – it’ll be as the Gundam Meister Setsuna F. Seiei. After hearing Setsuna declare himself Gundam again, Lockon puts down his gun and calls Setsuna a Gundam fool, but Setsuna actually thanks him for saying that. Setsuna thinks of it as the highest praise, and this causes Lockon to start laughing.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the Celestial Being pilots, representatives of the three major superpowers are currently being shown a room in a secret Antarctica facility that houses 30 large pod-like objects.
Well that was a little surprising. This was not the spot I expected them to work in Lockon’s back-story, nor did I realize that it tied together with Setsuna’s. Now that I think about it though, that part wasn’t quite back-story since we didn’t even get to see Lockon’s family – it was instead more of a look at what motivates him. It was a smart move by Johann though – turning the Gundam pilots against each other – even if it only lasted a short while. The end result is that both Setsuna and Lockon have a reason to go after Ali Al Sarshes now, and the Gundam Meisters understand each other better too. On a related note, I found it a little strange that Tieria, when he saw Lockon laughing, commented on how this was a man. With the way he said it, it sounded like he wasn’t personally human or at least doesn’t acknowledge his humanity.
And if there were still any doubt that Alejandro isn’t pulling the strings behind all this, the random shot of him smiling right before the Nadleeh’s Trial System turned off is as good an indicator as any that this man can’t be trusted. It’s more a question now of how far his influence goes – in other words, is he supporting Ali Al Sarshes as well as the Trinity siblings? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s also the one who contacted all the superpowers and is giving them what look to be GN Drives at the end of this episode. In any case, life isn’t going to get any easier for Setsuna and company if and when the superpowers get new mobile suits, and the preview shows that next week will debut at least one of them.