In the aftermath of the massacre, the Katharon survivors regroup and gather the dead bodies. Klaus made it out alive and is reunited with Shirin, but many others weren’t so lucky, and their surviving comrades put the blame on the Gundam pilots for leaking information until Lyle talks some sense into them. Tieria catches Saji acting strange, and when questioned, Saji reveals what had happened. After Tieria slaps him for his foolishness, Saji admits that he didn’t think it’d become like this and that he had just wanted to get away from the fighting. Tieria nevertheless blames Saji for taking away all those lives, and he specifically implicates how Saji felt that this had nothing to do with him and how he ran away from the truth. Saji ends up breaking down in tears, and when Setsuna walks in on this after having just returned from Azadistan, Tieria explains what happened. During all this, Sumeragi is watching the recovery efforts from onboard the Ptolemaios, and what one of the grieving men says reminds her of how Emilio had said something similar on his death bed after a disastrous incident in her past. She faints as a result of this, and Ian and Lasse take her to the infirmary.
Over on the A-LAWS ship, Lindt is proud of the fact that they succeeded in taking care of the Katharon base even though they lost two units to the Gundam counterattack, but Kati isn’t so happy. Lindt baits her by declaring that he loves exterminatory wars, and when she questions if he likes murdering people, he wonders why she’s so agitated. He then brings up how she had done something similar back when she was a tactical forecaster for the AEU where bad information had led to a friendly fire accident. This angers Kati, but she backs off and Lindt leaves her alone for now. Back on the Celestial Being shuttle near the Katharon base, Setsuna tells Tieria and Allelujah about the attack on Azadistan and how there was a Gundam involved. They’re interrupted by the news that Sumeragi has collapsed, and so they decide to return to the Ptolemaios with Saji, leaving behind Marina who is still being comforted by Shirin. Wang Liu Mei meanwhile is at her house talking with Hong Long about how kind the reborn Celestial Being is, and she wonders whose influence it is. Hong Long offers to make arrangements, but Wang Liu Mei wants to leave it to Nena. This prompts him to question why, so she points out that he – her brother – can’t use quantum brain waves, and she cites how Nena’s abilities are needed to deceive the Innovators.
On the Ptolemaios, Sumeragi is still unconscious, and she’s remembering how Emilio had once voiced his faith in her tactical forecasts. He had respected her for not running away from war and for endeavoring to end things quickly. Interlaced with this are memories of how her commander had praised both her and Kati despite both of them having forecast with bad information. Back in the present, at around this same time, Kati realizes that the Gundams’ tactics resemble how Kujoh did things. Elsewhere on the A-LAWS ship, Soma receives an encrypted message from Sergei apologizing for how she had to participate in the prior operation against Katharon thanks to information he obtained. Soma feels bad that Sergei worries about her even though he’s probably having a hard time with it himself, and it reminds her of the conversation they had about her becoming his adopted daughter. At the time, the two had talked about her last name and how she didn’t want to forget being called Peries. Moved to tears by all this, Soma now declares her gratitude towards Sergei and calls herself a tool to kill people. Sergei is at this moment getting slapped by Lindt for his failure at preventing Saji from escaping, and like a good soldier, he apologizes and takes responsibility.
Sometime later, Louise’s squad arrives and reports for duty on the A-LAWS ship under Kati’s command. In meeting the squad leader Barack Zinin, Kati asks him why he joined A-LAWS, and his motivation turns out to be the growth of the unified world. Over in the mobile suit hanger, Soma is telling herself that she’s a super-soldier who will faithfully execute any mission when she runs into Louise. After the two introduce themselves to each other, Soma senses that Louise is pushing herself too hard, is crying on the inside, and has been thinking about someone for a long time. Their conversation is interrupted by Andrei who came to tell Soma that it’s time for their briefing, and he’s taken back by the sight of Louise. The subsequent briefing is about attacking the Ptolemaios – which had decloaked so that it could serve as a decoy for the Katharon forces that were on the move – but Mr. Bushido claims sole rights to facing the 00 Gundam. By the time the A-LAWS forces arrive at the Ptolemaios’ location, it has already launched all four Gundams. While the others handle the Cherudim and Seravee Gundams, Soma’s group engages the Arios Gundam and Mr. Bushido takes on the 00 Gundam. Soma and Allelujah quickly figure out that they’re fighting each other again, and when Louise tries to help, she gets shot at by the Ptolemaios. Louise thus turns her attention to the ship, and Andrei follows her out of concern.
Onboard the Ptolemaios, the crew finds that they can’t hit their opponents with their guns set on automatic, so Ian volunteers to go man the guns. Saji catches Ian along the way and insists on helping because he wants to protect, but once they actually get to the gunner positions, Saji has a hard time opening fire on the two GN-XIIIs coming at the ship. All he can think about is everything he’s said to Setsuna and the others about his opposition to fighting and killing – including how he’d be the same as them if he killed someone – but his fear overcomes all, and he pulls the trigger. Back outside the ship, Setsuna is having a hard time with Mr. Bushido, so he activates the 00 Gundam’s Trans-Am system. At the same time, Allelujah is trying to get Soma to stop, but she declares that she’s a super-soldier and stabs the Arios Gundam with her custom Ahead. Despite the damage, Allelujah has the Arios reach out towards the Ahead.
Unlike last week where I felt that having an epilogue gave the episode two strong finishes, I thought this week’s epilogue actually took away from the cliffhanger of Saji facing against Louise (which I didn’t expect to see so soon). Certainly Setsuna activating the Trans-Am system and Soma clashing with Allelujah are important, especially given that the preview hints that next week will be focused on those two things, but they shouldn’t have cliffhangered on one part of the battle just to go back to another part of the same battle and end in a weaker way. Saji finally pulling the trigger against his former lover is a much stronger finish and probably should have been the entire epilogue, and the other stuff could have been moved to next week.
Speaking of cliffhangers, I had hoped for more between Setsuna and Ali Al-Saachez this episode, but there was pretty much nothing new shown there. I guess Setsuna can’t really face him without the 00 Gundam. In fact, on the whole, this episode was mostly background (particularly with Sumeragi’s flashbacks) and set-up for the battle at the end which will continue next episode, so it was interesting, but perhaps not as exciting as previous episodes. There are a bunch of little things that got introduced that could become more relevant in the near future, like Kati and Sumeragi knowing each other (where does Billy fit into that picture…?), Andrei’s attraction to Louise (which was creepy), and how Hong Long is Wang Liu Mei’s brother (which I suspect won’t end well). We’re still early in this series, so the outlook is pretty good if all those things are going to get developed.