In a news conference, a Federation government spokesperson confirms that Gundams attacked the prison and that, in order to put an end to this terrorist organization, the government is dispatching A-LAWS. Watching this news conference are Ribbons and Regene, and the latter wonders if it was Ribbons or Veda that foresaw the revival of Celestial Being and planned the expansion of authority of A-LAWS. When Ribbons doesn’t give a direct answer, Revive Revival appears and notes that it’ll be their turn soon, but Ribbons feels that it’s unnecessary for them to bring out something called the Gadessa because he’s already asked a certain person to do it. Meanwhile, the Celestial Being group is en route to the Katharon base at Rub’ al Khali, and along the way, Lyle explains that the Federation is scattering GN Particles in the Middle East to paralyze the economic activities of all the nonmember countries there. As a side effect of the GN Particles, Katharon’s base there hasn’t been discovered. Upon arriving, Setsuna and Sumeragi meet with Klaus and Shirin and hand over Marina and Saji so that they can be under the care of Katharon.
During the meeting, some kids come running into meeting room, and they remind Setsuna of all the violence during his youth. He thinks that the children are being raised as members of Katharon, but Shirin explains that they’re just protecting the children who have no relatives. Unfortunately, they’re limited in funds, so they can’t accept all the children. After the kids recognize Marina and drag her off to play, Klaus starts to talk about overthrowing the Federation government, but Sumeragi makes it clear that Celestial Being doesn’t act by political ideology – their enemy isn’t the Federation government but rather A-LAWS. Despite this, Klaus and Shirin still want to work together with and help Celestial Being. While this is going on, out in the Persian Gulf on the A-LAWS ship, Arthur Goodman is lecturing Lindt over the loss of the Trilobite and has Kathy work together with him. Afterward, Kathy tries to tell Mr. Bushido to follow her instructions, but he refuses and reveals that he has a license to act independently as a one man army.
On the deck of the ship, Soma is on the video phone with Sergei about his mobilization with a regular army force dedicated to searching for the Gundams. Sergei then asks about his son and reveals that Andrei resents him for not being a parent. Soma uses this moment to decide that she’ll accept Sergei’s offer to adopt her, and she feels that she’s a lucky person. Back at the Katharon base, Setsuna watches Marina play with the children and is reminded of his own mother and how he killed her. Saji sees this and points out that those children are victims of the world that Celestial Being changed. Setsuna doesn’t deny it, and when Saji questions why he fights, Setsuna notes that there’s a reason and doesn’t care if Saji hates him. Setsuna then gets approached by Marina with a request to take her to Azadistan. When Setsuna discusses this with Sumeragi and the others, Sumeragi suggests not using a Gundam so that they don’t hurt Azadistan by association if discovered, so Setsuna takes the shuttle instead.
Elsewhere on the base, Saji decides that Celestial Being and Katharon are the ones who cause fighting, and he doesn’t want to stick around. He’s caught sneaking out by a guard, but the guard recognizes him as a member of Celestial Being and trusts him enough to lend him a car. At around this same time, Setsuna, Marina, and the Gundams depart from the Katharon base, and the shuttle heads towards Azadistan. Although none of them are spotted, unfortunately for Saji, his car gets caught by the Federation ship that Sergei is on. Saji soon finds himself being interrogated and is roughed up since he’s suspected to be a member of Katharon, but Sergei himself then takes over the questioning. Sergei knows just by looking at Saji that he’s not a soldier and not a member of Katharon. He guesses instead that Saji is working with Celestial Being based on the fact that Saji was at the Proud colony where a Gundam appeared and is here now in a region where a battle with Gundams recently took place. Saji denies being in either Katharon or Celestial Being, so Sergei promises to remove the suspicion from Saji if he talks. Unbeknownst to either of them, another member of the crew is eavesdropping.
News of the location of the Katharon base soon reaches A-LAWS headquarters, and Arthur Goodman sends very specific instructions for Kathy’s force to carry out. Kathy is shocked that she’s being ordered to use the Automaton in their Kill Mode, but Lindt reminds her that orders from the top are absolute and that there’s no need to show mercy against an antigovernment force. Soma isn’t happy about this operation either, and it causes her to finally understand why Sergei opposed her reassignment to A-LAWS. Andrei thinks that she misunderstands and claims that Sergei would abandon even his blood relatives for the sake of a mission. He still holds a grudge against Sergei for letting his mother die. Meanwhile, Sergei finds out that one of his men reported everything to A-LAWS, so he lets Saji go because he knows that he can’t use his authority to protect Saji from them. As Saji is driving away, he sees a group of A-LAWS mobile suits flying towards the Katharon base. However, it is not he who alerts the Ptolemaios to the attack but rather Wang Liu Mei. Regardless, Sumeragi decides to go rescue Katharon.
Katharon learns about the attack right before it happens, and knowing that they’re outmatched, Klaus orders them to strengthen their defenses and wait for Celestial Being to save them. After Katharon’s old mobile suits are destroyed by the GN-Xs and Aheads, the A-LAWS forces release into the base a group of Automaton that start slaughtering everyone. Fortunately, the Gundams – minus 00 Gundam – soon arrive, and Lyle immediately heads towards the base. In addition, Mr. Bushido chooses this moment to withdraw because this doesn’t interest him. Soma is sent after the Cherudim Gundam, giving her a close-up look at the massacre occurring in the base, and she can only watch in shock as Lyle gets to work destroying the Automaton. In the skies above, Soma’s allies are getting shredded by the Seravee and the Arios, and their commander orders a retreat since they’ve already accomplished their initial objective. Soma is the last to go, and as Lyle shoots at her mobile suit, he is filled with hatred towards A-LAWS.
In the aftermath, the Ptolemaios arrives, and everyone is shocked at all the carnage. As she flies back to the A-LAWS ship, Soma tells herself that she’s a super-soldier who exists to fight. She realizes that she tried to obtain an ordinary happiness, and she wonders if what she saw was a sort of punishment for that. By now, Saji has also returned to the Katharon base and is shocked to see what happened. Thinking of all the victims, he falls to his knees because he realizes that this is his fault. Meanwhile, Setsuna and Marina’s shuttle arrives at Azadistan and find it up in flames. Setsuna quickly notices that there’s a Gundam in the distance, and its red color makes him realize who it belongs to: Ali Al-Saachez.
I find it ironic that of the two people Celestial Being entrusted to Katharon, neither of them ended up staying there. It’s like the entire trip was for naught, and it ended up causing so much death and destruction. A lot of the blame falls to Saji for being a dumbass by leaving and getting caught, so I didn’t feel any sympathy for him when he assumed his orz position at the end. What this does probably mean is that Saji will feel the need to atone for his sins or to prevent this from happening again, and that might lead him to join Celestial Being for good. And if that happens, then he and Louise will truly be on opposite sides of the conflict, and I can’t wait to see it when they realize that. As for Marina, the destruction of the Katharon base probably means that she’ll inherit custody of all the children, as is shown in the ED.
Despite the massacre though, it’s at least good to see that there are people – Kathy and Soma – in A-LAWS who are against their extreme measures. Soma in particular is showing signs that she might be more open to being convinced by Allelujah sometime in the future. She’s not quite at the point of finding A-LAWS completely detestable, but she might get there if Sergei dies by their hands or something – which I could see happening because he’s being too nice of a guy for this environment. I also get the feeling Graham/Mr. Bushido doesn’t approve of A-LAWS’ way of doing things given that his name implies he has a strong sense of honor and since he stressed his independence this episode. Then again, if Setsuna had been there in the desert, I’m sure Mr. Bushido would have gone all out without a care for what was in his way.
As a final thought, I like how having an epilogue allows an episode to have not one but two strong finishes. I really enjoyed the slow intro into the ED, and the cliffhanger (if it could be called that) with Ali Al-Saachez was great in the “he’s back!” sort of way. He wasn’t actually in this episode as much as last week’s preview suggested he might be, but I expect to see a lot more of him in the future, maybe as soon as next week.