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Phase 43: What Stands in the Way

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 13, 2003

 

Summary

 

At the Alliance's Ptolemaeus lunar base, the Dominion flies in orbit and performs a combat simulation. Natarle gives out orders, but her crew responds too slowly and the simulation ends in failure. She receives a message that a shuttle is about to dock, which is carrying Azrael and being escorted by the three Gundams. An officer introduces Natarle to Azrael and tells her that she's very capable because she used to be the Archangel's executive officer. Azrael tells her she's beautiful and thinks her experience will be helpful since they are setting off to destroy the Archangel. On the Vesalius, Rau, Ades and Yzak examine the projected course of the Eternal, which leads to L4. Ades is surprised that Andy would betray ZAFT, and Rau says that Andy probably fooled Patrick with his personality and his status as a hero. He tells Yzak that Athrun is now his enemy and asks if he can fight him. Yzak hesitates at first, but he says he has no problem fighting a traitor. Rau sits in his office to relax, and Flay tells him he looks tired. Rau tells her he's found a key to end the war, but he says he can't open the door yet. Andy asks Mu about Mendel, which is the colony where a biohazard incident occurred before the war. A strategy meeting is held on the bridge, and Lacus says that the Alliance has sent countless numbers of reinforcements to the Moon via the mass driver at Victoria. Murrue wonders if the Alliance is planning a full scale attack on the PLANTs, and Andy says that's what they've planned from the beginning to create their "blue and clean world." Cagalli leaves the bridge and finds him by himself in an observation room. She asks him if his wound hurts and says it must hurt to be shot by one's own father. Athrun says that his father is a lost cause, and Cagalli tells him he can't give up yet. Athrun suddenly hugs her and apologizes. On the Dominion, Natarle examines the personnel files for Clotho, Shani and Orga. She sees that they are classified as "biological CPUs" instead of pilots. Azrael asks her how much longer before they reach L4, and Natarle questions why they are going there. She says that the intelligence they have could be a trap by ZAFT. Azrael tells her that three Nazca class ships are trying to get the Freedom and Justice Gundams, and they have to get there first. He also reminds her that though she is the Dominion's captain, she has to follow his orders.

 

Murrue tells Lacus that since the Eternal can only carry the Freedom and Justice Gundams that she is sending them over and will keep the Strike and Buster Gundams to defend the Archangel. Nearby, the Dominion approaches from behind an asteroid and prepares to fire its Lohengrin guns. The Archangel is confirmed as being inside Mendel, and Azrael tells Natarle that it looks like they arrived on time. Sai tells Murrue that an unidentified battleship is approaching, and she orders the Archangel to move out so they can discover who's there. The Dominion fires the Lohengrin guns as the Archangel exits Mendel. Natarle calls Murrue and tells her to surrender or be destroyed. She says she heard about Alaska and thinks that if Murrue surrenders perhaps they can discuss something with the Alliance. Murrue refuses and says that her problem is with the entire Alliance and is about more than Alaska. Azrael laughs and says that they will never understand each other because they are enemies. He says that enemies must be shot, so he orders his Gundams to launch and promises that he will destroy the Archangel. Orga launches from the Dominion in the Calamity Gundam, followed by Shani in the Forbidden Gundam and Clotho in the Raider Gundam. Kira, Athrun, Mu and Dearka all launch from the Archangel. Natarle has missiles fired at a specific area, and Azrael asks her why she fired them there. She tells him if he doesn't know he should stay quiet. The Kusanagi launches and gets caught in a large cable, so Kisaka orders Asagi to cut it off. Shani spots the immobilized ship and moves in to kill Asagi, but Athrun has his backpack separate and slam into Shani. Kira is left alone to fight Orga and Clotho while Mu and Dearka fight off Strike Daggers. Kira dodges Clotho's hammer, but he is shot from behind by Orga. On the other side of Mendel, Rau's fleet arrives, and he wonders what's going on. He decides to investigate and launches in his new GuAIZ, followed by Yzak in the Duel Gundam. The Dominion appears above the Archangel by surprise and attacks, and the pre-fired missiles hit the Archangel and destroy the starboard Gottfried cannon. Kira moves in to attack, and the Dominion fires its cannons at him. Mu feels Rau's presence and flies off, followed by Dearka. Natarle targets Kira and fires a barrage of missiles at him.

 

Commentary

 

Well, this certainly was an interesting episode. After being assigned to the Dominion in episode 41, Natarle gets to take it into action against her former crewmates. Though she makes a small effort to talk to Murrue, she doesn't seem to probe too deeply to try to find out why her former captain has defected. Maybe she's hesitant because Azrael is bossing her around, but she seems to go into battle a bit too easily. She doesn't have much hesitation in fighting her old crewmates and even manages to outsmart Murrue. Also, Mu goes into combat and something very strange happens: he has a Newtype-style flash when he senses Rau. It's the exact same visual brain flash and sound effect used in the original series. What's even stranger is that in Mu's two previous encounters with Rau, this effect was never used. Is this series trying to somehow establish some form of Newtypes? Either way, we'll see next episode.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED Episode 43 Gundam SEED Episode 43
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