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Phase 20: On a Calm Day

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 1, 2003

 

Summary

 

In a PLANT, Athrun drives to Lacus' mansion and identifies himself at the gate. After arriving, he greets Lacus and is surrounded by all her bouncing and screaming Haros. He gives her a bouquet of flowers and thinks that all the Haros are a bit annoying. Lacus says they're just excited to see him since it's been so long since he last visited. Lacus gives the flowers to a robotic dog named Okapi and sits at a table on the lawn with Athrun. She takes a blue Haro and paints a white mustache on it so that all the other Haros chase it. Athrun apologizes for not being able to come to the memorial ceremony, and Lacus says she prayed for his mother on his behalf. She says that more and more of her friends are enlisting in the military, and she feels that the war is escalating. She wonders what Kira is doing, and Athrun says he's down on Earth somewhere. She asks if they were friends for a long time, and Athrun says they have been since they were four or five. He says they were on the Moon for a long time, but he had to come back to the PLANTs when his father asked him too. Lacus says that when she told Kira about Haro, he told her his Birdy was also made by Athrun. Athrun is surprised that Kira still has Birdy. Elsewhere, Patrick gives a speech on TV saying that the Alliance can't be trusted. At home, Nicol watches the speech with his father Yuri, a member of the PLANT Supreme Council. Yuri says that Operation Spit Break needs to be approved to end the war. He tells Nicol it means going back into battle, but he says he's proud of him. Yuri and his wife leave, and Nicol plays his piano. Siegel meets with Patrick and tells him that the motion for Spit Break is likely to be approved. Siegel doesn't want to drag the war on, and Patrick thinks they've evolved into a new species and don't need to exist alongside Naturals. Siegel disagrees and points to the decreasing birth rates in the third generation of Coordinators. Patrick believes those problems will be solved, and he says he doesn't want to de-evolve to the level of the Naturals. He leaves, and Siegel says that they can't de-evolve if they never really evolved to begin with.

 

The PLANT Supreme Council meets, and Yuri presents the motion for Spit Break. Elsewhere, Rau writhes in agony and falls off his bed while trying to take his medication. He gets a phone call from Patrick saying that he wants to meet later and discuss some of the details of Spit Break. Patrick laughs and says that if they raise the stakes that Earth probably will as well. They hang up, and Rau says to himself he'll let Patrick be as arrogant as he wants for now. Athrun says goodbye to Lacus and tells her that if can arrange it in his schedule he'll try to see her again. He gives her a kiss on the cheek and leaves. As he drives, he remembers seeing the destruction of Junius Seven on TV and enlisting with the ZAFT military. On the Archangel, Flay follows Kira as he walks with Kuzzey. Kuzzey goes into Sai's locked room to give him food while he is locked up for a week. Nearby, Murrue, Natarle and Mu discuss their battle plan with Sahib. Sahib suggests using an area that they've already filled with land mines. Mu says he's worried about casualties among Sahib's men, and Sahib thinks a lot of the women want them to just surrender. He says that his people have been oppressed for hundreds years and are tired of that. He says they don't want to rule others, nor do they wish to be ruled themselves. He says they need the Archangel's help and tells them not to worry about casualties. Murrue agrees that they will commence the operation to break past the Lesseps. In the hangar, Neumann, Miriallia and Tolle watch Cagalli score high in the mobile suit simulator. She goes over to have a look at a Sky Grasper, and a panicked mechanic tells her she can't actually use the real thing. Flay comes to visit Kira and tells him that Sai is an idiot. She kisses Kira and knocks him onto the bed, but he struggles and breaks away from her. On the PLANT, Patrick asks for Rau's assurance that he'll help him with the "real" Spit Break. Elsewhere, Athrun returns home and looks at a board filled with pictures of him and Kira playing together as kids.

 

Commentary

 

In a rather strange occurrence, a non-action episode gets followed by another non-action episode. However, it seems that the writers finally got it right this time. This series has a large cast, but most of the development is focused on Kira, causing all the other characters to fall by the wayside. Seeing things from Athrun's point of view is a long-delayed and welcome change. He hasn't been seen since the atmospheric battle, and it's interesting to see what he's been up to. It's clear that he's still very conflicted about the situation with Kira. And though Athrun technically isn't the star of the series, he seems to have a better motivation for being a Gundam pilot than Kira does. Kira's excuse of protecting his friends is wearing thin, but Athrun fights for several reasons. The main reason of course being the destruction of Junius Seven and the death of his mother. Operation Spit Break is mentioned many times, and it seems to have caused a rift between Siegel and Patrick. Things will likely get worse since Patrick is mentioned as a shoe-in for Siegel's job as Chairman. From the sounds of it, it looks like a major offensive to end the war quickly. However, it seems that Patrick has a hidden agenda with Spit Break. On top of that, it seems that Rau has his own hidden agenda in regards to Patrick's hidden agenda. Finally, on an odd note, Lacus paints an upside down white mustache on one of her Haros. Is this supposed to be some kind of subtle (or not too subtle) nod to Turn A Gundam?

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED Episode 20 Gundam SEED Episode 20
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