Al looks up and sees a Zeon pilot with a gun standing atop the Zaku. Unfazed, Al comments on the pilot, Bernard “Bernie” Wiseman, getting shot down. He then asks if he can hold Bernie’s gun, but Bernie refuses. Frustrated by Al’s presence, Bernie sits down on a large rock and asks if there’s soldiers in the colony, but Al answers that this is his first time seeing a soldier and a real mobile suit. Bernie sees Al looking at the gun and again refuses to let him hold it. Al starts to walk away, and Bernie then says he can hold the gun. Once Al gets close enough, Bernie uses the opportunity to snatch away his camera and start looking through its videos. Bernie comments that Chris is cute and notices unusual activity in the footage from the spaceport, but at that moment Al knocks him to the ground to get the camera back. The two briefly struggle until Al bites Bernie’s hand and snatches back the camera. Bernie then notices that Al’s eyes are transfixed on his pilot insignia patch, and he offers the patch in exchange for the camera. Al makes the exchange and is amazed by the patch, and Bernie removes the camera’s disk before returning it to Al. Another Zaku lands nearby to pick up Bernie, and he asks Al to keep this all a secret. Al is amazed by the Zaku and cheers over his new patch. He later returns to town and sees firsthand the devastation from the battle before running into Telcott and Chay. They ask him where he went, and he quickly changes the subject by asking if the teacher was mad by his absence. With morning classes canceled, they return to school for lunch, and Chay teases Dorothy for having claimed that the EFF didn’t have mobile suits. Another student runs into the classroom and announces that afternoon classes have been canceled as well, to everyone’s delight. Al goes home and pretends to do military salutes and pilot a mobile suit. At the Zeon base in the Lunar city of Granada, the Cyclops team meets with Col. Killing, who shows them the video Bernie retrieved of the spaceport activity. Steiner is convinced that the container in the video is the same one they encountered at the Arctic base. Killing explains that the video was recovered after a battle in Side 6 and may have saved the team from their prior failure. Steiner then notes that it was Killing’s idea to send in only one team based on the intelligence that the base was merely a laboratory. Killing asks if Steiner wants him to admit that he was wrong, and he then shifts to noting that the EFF is being too careful and must be trying to hide something they don’t want the Zeon to get. Killing declares that they must either obtain or destroy what’s in the container, and Steiner asks if he thinks it’s a Newtype-use Gundam. Killing announces that he’s going to listen to Steiner for this mission and has assigned an excellent pilot to replace Andy. Bernie walks through Granada and is teased by a fellow young soldier that he’s going to get a horrible assignment as punishment for losing a Zaku on his first mission. Bernie reports to the Cyclops team’s room and is informed by Steiner that he’s now special forces and a member of their unit. Steiner introduces Misha and Garcia and criticizes Bernie for not sounding sure of himself. He then explains that the team will be undertaking another mission at the Libot Colony. The plan, Operation Rubicon, involves Bernie using a camouflaged ship to smuggle a mobile suit into the colony during a battle. The rest of the team, having infiltrated in advance as civilians, will handle the off-loading of the suit. Bernie asks about the risks of getting shot down by his own side, and Steiner answers that the team doesn’t need idiots who will get killed by friendly fire.
At school, Al is called to the teacher’s office and told that if he keeps getting Cs and Ds on his grades, the school will consult a counselor or call Michiko. Al returns to class and tells Telcott and Chay that his mother will ground him for a month when she finds out about his bad grades. At dinner, Michiko asks Al if he was picked on at school and comments on how his test scores will be coming out soon. Later, Al lays on his bed and thinks about the Zaku. He then sneaks out of his room through the window and climbs down a tree to the ground. Chris asks Al what he’s doing out so late, and he asks her to keep it secret that he’s meeting his friends on a dare. Chris agrees and asks if she can come next time, but Al makes up the excuse that girls aren’t allowed. Al runs through the town until he reaches the forest and the Zaku’s crash site. He notices that the weapons have been removed, and then he loses his footing and falls into the cockpit. He’s surprised when the systems activate, and he puts on the patch that Bernie gave him. At Granada, the Kampfer is loaded onto the civilian transport ship Aqua Verde. A dead man in a normal suit is strapped into the seat next to Bernie. Outside the ship, a soldier fires a bazooka round into the cockpit, hitting the dead man to create the appearance of combat damage. The Aqua Verde then launches from Granada and heads for Side 6. Multiple Zakus, Rick Doms and a Gelgoog Jager then launch and head for Side 6 to start a battle and provide Bernie’s cover. Bernie flies the Aqua Verde through the battle and calls the colony to request landing clearance. One of the gates in the colony’s bay opens, and Bernie takes the ship inside as a GM Command Space is destroyed nearby. Al wakes up and sees the lights from the battle outside the colony. Bernie disembarks from the ship and meets with a customs officer who asks to see his passport and landing permit. Bernie complains about a battle within the Riah Republic’s perimeter and gives the false name Walter Peterson when asked. He hands over his paperwork, but the customs officer notes that he’s lacking the receiver’s credentials. The customs officer then declares that the ship will have to be inspected, and Bernie pleads with him not to make such a big deal about one form. Steiner and the others arrive with the proper paperwork, which the customs officer notes has to be submitted by the sender. Steiner tells a sob story that his firm will go bankrupt if they don’t deliver the construction equipment in the shipment, and the customs officer reluctantly accepts. Al runs back home after realizing that he spent the entire night sleeping in the Zaku. He runs into the street without looking and is nearly run over by a truck. He’s shocked to see that Bernie is the driver and starts running after the four trucks. He jumps onto the back of Garcia’s truck when it stops for a red light. Al laughs about the Zeon soldiers coming back to the colony.
Picking up where the first episode ended, Al gets to see a real life mobile suit and its pilot. Of course, he’s completely thrilled by that and is totally unconcerned with the peril of having a soldier pointing a gun at him. Bernie makes the prudent move to take the disk from Al’s camera, which proves critical for the story. Despite looking cool to a kid, it turns out that Bernie is a total rookie and was shot down on his first mission. Which means that his getting assigned to a special forces unit like the Cyclops team is meant to be an insult. Steiner clearly has no love for his superior officer Killing, who returns the favor by saddling to team with a greenhorn. It’s impressive the lengths that the Zeon go to create the cover to allow the Cyclops team to infiltrate Libot, and I really have to wonder, where did that dead guy come from, and what was his story?
Original Review: June 2, 2000