I didn’t think much of this song when I first heard it, but I rather like the cut of it that they used, and the images of all the girls (including oddly Anew, but not Sumeragi – foreshadowing perhaps?) were really pretty. In fact, the OP in general just has a ton of eye candy.
Even though they just destroyed the Memento Mori, the Ptolemaios and its crew soon come under pressure again by a new mobile armor along with the Gadessa and Garazzo. By the time Setsuna arrives at the rendezvous point, all he sees is wreckage. Nena is there waiting for him and explains that the Ptolemaios descended back to Earth, so Setsuna wastes no time in heading back down as well. The Federation is at this moment announcing the destruction of a satellite as a terrorist act, and in response, they put the Federation military under direct control of the autonomous peace-keeping force. Related to this is how Pang Hercule tells Sergei of a coup d’état that’s in the works. Pang Hercule personally believes that the Federation government has become a puppet of A-LAWS and that the public needs to be alerted to this. Meanwhile, over on the Ptolemaios, Ian wakes up from his treatment and is surprised to find the ship back on Earth, surrounded by nature. The others fill him in on what happened, including how they got attacked again and how they were separated from Setsuna. They had managed to escape from the new mobile armor with a combination of camouflaging smoke and using the impact of the enemy blasts to accelerate, but the ship is pretty badly damaged.
In the ship’s hanger, Sumeragi apologizes to Allelujah for getting Marie involved in the previous battle. He doesn’t mind this time since Marie was willing, but he asks Sumeragi not to do it again. Outside, Lyle calls his Katharon allies to fill them in on what happened, and afterward, Anew comes and confides to him that she’s bothered by why A-LAWS was able to figure out the Ptolemaios’ location so accurately. Lyle thinks that she suspects him, but she denies this, and both suggest that the other call them by their first name. Nearby is Saji who is helping out with some of the repairs, but his thoughts continue to dwell on Louise. Over at the Katharon base, they get word of the coup and the desire of that faction to talk with them, so Klaus decides that he’ll go even though it could be a trap. The discussion about this is interrupted by the sound of Marina and the children singing. At around this same time, Setsuna, who is still searching for the ship, comes across a giant hole in the ground that was caused by the Memento Mori. By chance, he then runs into the Arche Gundam and decides to pursue it.
Ali Al Saachez leads Setsuna all the way to what used to be the Krugis Republic before landing and getting off. He had brought Setsuna here because Ribbons is waiting, and Ribbons reveals that he knows all about Setsuna’s past, including how his real name is Soran Ibrahim. What’s more, Ribbons claims that he first met Setsuna 11 years ago because he was the pilot of the 0 Gundam. That particular intervention was a 0 Gundam performance experiment, and the plan was to get rid of everyone there in order to maintain secrecy. Ribbons, however, had saved Setsuna and had later used Veda to recommend that Setsuna be a Gundam Meister. He now wants Setsuna to hand over the 00 Gundam because he feels that he’s should be its pilot. Setsuna refuses and tries to shoot Ribbons, but Ali Al Saachez is quicker on the draw and shoots Setsuna in the shoulder first. Despite his injury, Setsuna gets back in his Gundam and faces off against Ali Al Saachez again.
Back at the Ptolemaios, Lyle informs the rest of the crew that two unidentified mobile suits are coming their way, so Sumeragi sorties Allelujah and Tieria. The Arios goes up against the Gadessa while the Seravee faces the Garazzo, and even though Tieria initially has some problems against Bring, he eventually activates the Seravee’s Trans-Am and detaches the Seraphim Gundam. At close range, the Seraphim Gundam is able to break through the Garazzo’s GN field, and when Bring questions if Tieria is going to attack someone of his own kind, Tieria denies that this is the case because he sees himself as human. The Seraphim Gundam’s hands then turn into a pair of cannons, and the subsequent blast destroys the Garazzo. Ali Al Saachez meanwhile isn’t having as easy a time against Setsuna as he would like, but he notices an approaching shuttle – which happens to be transporting Klaus and Shirin – and tries to take it hostage.
Setsuna, however, quickly activates the 00 Raiser’s Trans-Am and knocks the Arche Gundam away from the shuttle. He then destroys all of the Arche Gundam’s Fangs and starts slicing it apart, but right before he can deliver the finishing blow, he hears Marina call out to him. As her song with the children then starts, the Arche Gundam falls to the ground, and Ali Al Saachez escapes. Meanwhile, up in space, Louise meets the Innovator pilot of the new mobile armor Empruss, and he explains that it’s a prototype of the one that she will eventually get as a small gift from Ribbons. Over at Billy’s lab, Mr. Bushido’s custom unit, the Masurao, has finally been completed. As they look at it, Billy reveals to Mr. Bushido that he’s also installed onto it some new technology based on some of Eifman’s notes on the GN Drive. After Mr. Bushido walks off, Billy tears up a photo of himself and Leesa Kujo, and he says goodbye to her.
I came into this episode thinking that it would be slower in pace and more relaxed after the flurry of things that happened in the past few episodes, especially since this is the start of the second half of the series, but to my pleasant surprise, they kicked things up a few notches instead with some plot twists and great action scenes. Ribbons as the 0 Gundam pilot was certainly eyebrow-raising, and it both explains why he feels entitled to the 00 Gundam and how Setsuna came to be a Gundam Meister. It also creates a connection between the two characters where before there was none, so now Setsuna potentially going up against Ribbons in the final battle would make more sense.
As for the battle this week, it was good to see Tieria using some new tactics and finally kicking some ass again. Granted, using the Seraphim Gundam currently doesn’t seem more than a close-range surprise-the-enemy move, and now that surprise has been used up to kill Bring. Maybe it still has some hidden abilities though like the Nadleeh did with the Trial System. Setsuna, on the other hand, proved that the 00 Raiser is powerful enough so that he can have a handicap and still win rather handily. The only person who can stand up to him now is probably Mr. Bushido in his new mobile suit. Despite the 00 Raiser’s power though, it was disappointing to see that Setsuna wasn’t able to kill Ali Al Saachez after getting so close. It was all thanks to Marina and that song (titled TOMORROW), and that in turn reminded me of the power of music in Macross. Whether or not that’s what they’re going for, I suspect that this isn’t the last time we’ll hear that song.
Speaking of which, although that song was the special ED for this week, the actual new ED has been announced as trust you by Itou Yuna. I’m really excited about it because she sings some good ballads, and it will probably premiere next week.