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Phase 31: The Endless Night

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 5, 2005

 

Summary

 

Aboard the Minerva's mobile suit hangar, Shinn exits the cockpit of the Impulse Gundam and is arrested by armed guards. The guards escort Shinn to Talia's quarters, where she is waiting with Arthur. Talia reads off the list of Shinn's offenses and says she can't believe anyone would commit such a blatant violation of military regulations. She asks him why he did it, and he says it's because everyone treated Stella as just an Extended, not a human. He says she was going to die, but all anyone cared about was the autopsy results. Talia says she can't sanction such actions and that she'll have to report what he did to headquarters. For the time being, Talia orders that both Shinn and Rey be locked up in the brig. After being placed in a cell adjacent to Rey's, Shinn attempts to apologize, but Rey says it isn't necessary because he did everything of his own will. Athrun enters the brig and apologizes to Shinn, saying he didn't know Stella was so important to her. Shinn says that it's not so much that Stella was important to him, but rather that he couldn't stand how people treated her as an Extended. Athrun reminds him that it's the truth, and that she's responsible for the deaths of many ZAFT pilots. Shinn says that she's different because she couldn't choose to be a soldier, and Athrun says that's all the more reason not to have returned her. As the two argue, Rey steps in and says there's no point in them arguing because what's done is done. In the steppes of Russia, a transport plane carrying Neo, Sting and Stella lands next to the ground battleship Bonaparte. Sting asks Neo why they transported a half-dead person like Stella to such a remote place, and Neo tells him there's many things he doesn't know. In his quarters, Neo takes a shower and thinks about Djibril's orders. Djibril wants him to use the Destroy Gundam to make Western Eurasia fall in line to make up for not destroying the Minerva. Elsewhere, the Archangel emerges from the ocean and leaves Scandinavia. Amagi and the other soldiers pledge their support to Cagalli, and she tells them that when the time comes she wants to return to Orb and return things to how they were before.

 

Kira watches the snowfall from one of the observation lounges and is joined by Murrue. He tells her that he's been thinking about why the situation has developed as it has. He wonders why he has to fight Athrun again, and he also wonders if they're doing the right thing. Murrue tells him that it's never wrong to protect something that is important to you. She says that everyone has something that they want to protect, and the only thing that differs is their way of thinking. On the Bonaparte, Neo shows Stella the Destroy Gundam and tells her it's her new unit. He tells her that she has to fight and destroy all the scary things that want to kill them. At Gibraltar, Meyrin informs Talia that she has a priority transmission from headquarters. Arthur wonders what Shinn's punishment will be, and Talia says that the standard punishment is execution by firing squad. She thinks that headquarters may take into account Shinn's service record and spare him such a punishment. In her quarters, Talia and Arthur read the message, which states that Shinn and Rey will not be prosecuted for their actions. Elsewhere, the Bonaparte's hangar opens to allow the Destroy Gundam to launch. Sting asks Neo why he didn't get that unit, and Neo tells him that Stella has a higher aptitude and is more efficient. In Germany, a ZAFT attack force that includes a land battleship, BuCUEs and GAZuOOTs attack the Destroy Gundam, but they are all destroyed. Shinn and Rey enter the mess hall where Athrun, Lunamaria and Vino are sitting. Vino is glad that Shinn is all right, and Shinn apologizes for worrying anyone. He tells Athrun that it's obvious some people in headquarters agree with his actions and his way of thinking. In Berlin, the Destroy Gundam attacks ZAFT's BABI and DINN forces, and it cuts a path of destruction through the city, killing many civilians. Meyrin receives a message and tells Talia that all ZAFT forces have been mobilized to respond to the Alliance's attack. The Archangel receives video from the attack, and Kira informs Murrue that he plans to launch.

 

Commentary

 

The first half of this episode mainly deals with the fallout from Shinn's actions. Not surprisingly, he and Rey are both arrested and charged with a long list of crimes. These crimes would normally lead to both of them being executed, but instead both are pardoned. This goes to further increase Shinn's cockiness, especially his rude behavior towards Athrun. He doesn't believe he did anything wrong, and the vindication from headquarters simply reinforces that. Kira is starting to doubt some of his actions, but Murrue reassures him about what he's doing. It's a good moment, because the two never had much interaction in SEED. In this episode we also see the unveiling of the massive Destroy Gundam, which is inspired by the Psycho Gundam from Zeta Gundam. The Destroy Gundam is certainly powerful, but it's a bit unclear why Djibril wants to destroy cities like Berlin, which are presumably filled mostly with Naturals. It'd make more sense if the Destroy Gundam was designed for attacking PLANTs, because it certainly has the armaments to do so.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 31 Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 31
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