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Episode 7: Unrewarded Souls

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 19, 2007

 

Summary

 

In 2299 A.D., Ali tells a group of children in the Krugis Republic that they will offer themselves to God in a holy war, but first they must do something: kill their own parents. A young Setsuna, then known as Soran, kills his parents and joins the other children in Ali's holy war. In the present, the custom Enact attacks Setsuna, and Ali comments that the Gundam Exia is a good suit, but that the pilot is lacking. Setsuna is shocked when he hears Ali's voice and recognizes it. Ali uses the blade end of his rifle and charges at Setsuna. As they fight, Setsuna is reminded of a knife fight he had as a child with Ali. Setsuna then recalls killing his father and hearing his mother plead for her life before killing her. The Gundam Exia's chest begins to glow, and Setsuna uses the increased power to cut through the blade, which Ali surmises is the Gundam's true power. Setsuna then uses the flashing light on the Gundam Exia's head to send Ali a signal to get out of his cockpit. Setsuna exits first, and Ali is surprised to see that the pilot is a kid. He takes off his helmet, and Setsuna is shocked when he sees Ali's face. He draws a gun and is followed by Ali, but Lockon fires the Gundam Dynames' sniper rifle between both suits, which forces Ali to retreat. Lockon attempts to snipe the Enact as it takes off, but Ali dodges and escapes. Lockon begins to chew out Setsuna, but Sumeragi interrupts over the radio and tells them to skip a couple of phases and complete the mission. On the ground, Tieria's Gundam Virtue mows down a bunch of Hellions, while Allelujah's Gundam Kyrios shots down some in midair. He comments that Setsuna has screwed up the plan again, and Tieria tells him to shut up. A Moralian military commander is informed that they've lost about half their combat force in just two hours. Watching the battle map on a monitor, Graham comments that the Gundams are overwhelming. Sergei also watches the battle and concludes that Moralia should surrender. A British foreign minister discusses a plan with other officials to assist Moralia. AT PMC Trust headquarters, several executives meet and are shocked that they're experiencing such losses to four mobile suits. Christina and Feldt report to Sumeragi that the Gundams have reached the rendezvous point and are starting phase six. The Gundams fly single file through a narrow ravine to avoid detection. Setsuna wonders why Ali is working for PMC Trust and what happened to his God. Tieria tells Setsuna that if he takes any further unilateral actions, he'll shoot him down. Setsuna asks Tieria if he's willing to lose a solar reactor, and Tieria says he's just protecting the Gundams' secrets. Ali joins up with his squad and wonders who the pilot of the Gundam Exia is. He recalls its fighting style and wonders if it's someone from his time in the Krugis Republic, but he casts that thought aside just as quickly. The Gundams emerge from the ravine and destroy all the mobile suits defending the Moralian military headquarters. After a tense moment, the Moralians fire out a white signal flare of surrender.

 

Feldt confirms for Sumeragi that Moralia has surrendered, and Wang congratulates Sumeragi for the operation. Sumeragi says something unexpected happened along the way, and Wang comments that everything unfolded the way Veda predicted. Sumeragi asks Wang if she knows how many people died as a result of the operation, and she tells Wang that it's probably at least 500. Wang asks Sumeragi if she was aware of this eventuality when she joined Celestial Being, and Sumeragi answers that she was. Eifman tells Graham and Billy that the battle is over, and Billy speculates that the battle will help the AEU drum up support for increased militarization. Eifman comments that no matter how brilliant their victories, Celestial Being will always be excluded from the world. Graham asks Eifman if Celestial Being is on a path toward self-destruction, and Eifman replies that it looks that way to him. At JNN headquarters, Kinue is surprised to hear the news that the battle is already over. Saji and Louise watch a JNN news report from the Moralian capital of Liber, and a reporter named Ikeda explains that stray ordnance and mobile suit crashes have caused high number of civilian casualties. Ribbons congratulates Alejandro, but Alejandro tells him the true thanks belong with the Gundam Meisters, and he wonders how the world will respond now. A PMC executive yells at Ali for his actions during the battle, and Ali tells him that some good news will be coming his way when he watches the news. On the uninhabited island, Lockon punches Setsuna and knocks him to the ground. He says that the identities of the Gundam Meisters are as a high a level secret as the solar reactors, and though he demands and explanation for Setsuna's actions, Setsuna offers none. Tieria pulls a gun on Setsuna and says that he's dangerous because his foolish actions have endangered all of them. Setsuna then pulls out his gun and says he won't be taken off the Gundam Exia because he's a Gundam Meister. Allelujah points out that they were all picked by Veda, so there must be a reason why Setsuna is a Gundam Meister. Tieria wants to know what that reason is, and Setsuna says the fact that he's still alive is the reason. In Tokyo, Saji and Louise go clothes shopping, and suddenly a bus explodes in front of them. Onlookers declare it a terrorist attack, and Saji and Louise run away from the scene. Ian tells the Meisters that a series of terrorist bombs just exploded in several major cities around the world. Allelujah asks about causalities, and Ian explains that the bombs were placed in dense public areas, and at least 100 people are dead. Wang calls Lockon and tells him that the unknown terrorists have issued a statement declaring that they will carry out indiscriminate attacks as long as Celestial Being performs interventions. Tieria says that such things won't stop them, and when asked, he says he doesn't care about civilian casualties. Lockon grabs him by the collar, and Tieria asks Lockon if he hates terrorism that much. Lockon asks what's wrong with that, and Tieria answers that as far as the world is concerned, they're terrorists themselves. Setsuna then says that since the terrorists have instigated a conflict, Celestial Being will intervene.

 

Commentary

 

Things certainly heat up in this episode, not only with the battle in Moralia, but also the terrorist attacks that occur afterward as a result. We finally have some light shed on Setsuna's past and learn that his real name is Soran. We also learn that he was recruited for Ali's jihad as a child, and he was required to kill his own parents. This would make sense from Ali's perspective, because it stops the parents from influencing the children and makes him their father figure. This also confirms that Ali was the voice in episode 1's prologue who was talking about a holy war on God's behalf. Ali tosses aside his speculation that the Gundam Exia's pilot is someone he knows, and he has no idea yet how right he was. We also see a lot of friction developing between the Gundam Meisters, much of which is instigated by Tieria's complete cold-heartedness and lack of concern for anyone caught up in the fighting. Still, he does have a point - as far as the world sees it, Celestial Being is a terrorist group that has caused the deaths of civilians, something that clearly bothers Lockon, Allelujah and Sumeragi. It's like the old saying goes - one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. As for the terrorist attacks carried out by unknown assailants, it doesn't seem like a typical terrorist attack of any kind. There'd be no reason for one terrorist group, whatever their ideology is, to conduct bombings to stop the attacks of another terrorist group that's fighting the superpowers. Given that Ali demonstrated advance knowledge of what would happen, I'm sure he set it up with his terrorist and mercenary connections as a way to strike back at Celestial Being and try to blackmail them into inaction. We'll have to see where it all goes from now.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam 00 Episode 7 Gundam 00 Episode 7
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