Gato attacks Kou and engages him in a close fight, but his inexperience makes him no match for Gato. He’s unable to fight properly, so the GP01 gets knocked around quite a bit. Gato tells him he’s an amateur and is not ready to fight him. As Gato’s GP02A takes off, the U-801 launches more missiles at the base. Nearby, the Xamel begins attacking from far away and kills base commander Marnery in the main building. After Gato escapes, Burning organizes a team to pursue consisting of himself, Allen, Keith and Kou. The four men track Gato into the Outback during the night. Nina and Maura go out in a jeep to find the Gundams. Nina claims she is concerned only about the Gundams, but Maura thinks otherwise. A Komusai II shuttle enters the atmosphere and contacts Gato to pick him up. Elsewhere, Dreiser, the commander of the U-801, waits to help Gato as back-up. A subordinate wonders why they are waiting if there’s a Komusai II around, and Dreiser says someone like Gato always has a backup plan. Burning decides they will split in two teams, and he chooses Kou as his partner. Kou apologizes for messing up in battle earlier, and Burning says he’s there to help him not screw up again. Keith and Allen find the Komusai and watch as the GP02A is loaded onto the ship. Gato can’t wait to get into space and back into a Zeon uniform. Allen lines up his bazooka to shoot the Komusai, and Keith wonders if all the Zeon suits have left the battlefield. Suddenly, Gaily’s Dom Tropen flies between the two of them. He attacks Allen and corners him against a large rock. Allen tries to shoot, but Gaily fires his bazooka directly at the Powered GM‘s cockpit and kills Allen.
Kou is concerned about Keith, but Burning orders him to attack the Komusai II. The Xamel attacks Burning’s GM Type C, and he tells Kou to proceed with his orders. Kou jumps in front of the Komusai II’s flight path and shoots at it with his beam spray gun. The Komusai II explodes as its takes off and slams into the ground. Gato emerges from the flames and is angry that Kou has interrupted his plans. Kou fights him, and Gato says that Kou has to believe in the big picture if he wants to be more than a grunt. Gato and his forces head for the Slave Coast, where the U-801 is waiting to pick them up. Burning, Keith and Kou follow Gato through thick fog. The Torrington base sends the Kalent GM squad to locate the GP02A. They believe they can handle the situation, but Gato destroys them all. Kou and Keith freak out at the prospect of fighting Gato, whose tactics are so famous they are in warfare textbooks. Kou doesn’t like the idea of leaving Allen’s body behind, but Burning tells him to leave that to a recovery team. Burning manages to talk some sense into them. He tells them to bring up maps of the area and try to guess where Gato is heading. Kou and Keith both incorrectly guess where Gato is going, and Burning reminds them that Gato is on the run. Nina radios Kou and asks him to bring back both of the Gundams to her. Kou and the others locate the Zeon and attack. Kou attacks Gato and asks him why he stole the GP02A, but Gato refuses to answer. Keith fights Adamsky’s Dom Tropen, and his Zaku is beheaded. The Xamel stays behind to cover Gato’s escape, and Burning attacks it. Keith runs around without a head, but he uses his heat hawk to destroy the Dom Tropen. Gato corners Kou, and Nina tells him to hit the cooling system in the shield. Kou strikes at the shield, and Gato is forced to retreat and escapes on an MS Landing Ship sent by the U-801. Keith runs over to Burning’s damaged GM and sees that he destroyed the Xamel, but his leg was broken in the fight. Kou stands outside of the GP01’s cockpit and is angry that he couldn’t stop Gato.
Another solid episode for this series. Kou and Keith are wisecracking fools, but now they realize that war is no easy job. The death of Allen shows how green they are and opens their eyes. Gato explains his motives to Kou, saying he wants to free the citizens of space from the evil of the Earth Federation. This makes him more than a standard villain who would just want revenge (though Gato certainly wants that too). It’s admirable that Gato has such faith in his beliefs, but unfortunately he believes in a fascist dictatorship. It’s a given in almost every Gundam series that two pilots must face each other as bitter enemies. In the original series, we had Amuro and Char. In Zeta Gundam, there was Kamille and Jerid. Gato and Kou seem to be on the path of beginning a bitter rivalry. On a side note, one of my favorite exchanges in Gundam occurs when Kou nervously addresses Gato as “sir.”