The Gundam Barbatos emerges from the ground and uses its mace to smash the cockpit of Orlis’ Graze Commander Type. Just before that, Mikazuki returns to the CGS hangar where Nadi and the others are preparing the Gundam Barbatos to sortie. Maruba had kept it around to sell off and stripped the cockpit, so to improvise Nadi decides to use the cockpit from Mikazuki’s Mobile Worker to interface with the Alaya-Vijnana System. Nadi hands over the pilot’s manual to Mikazuki before remembering that he’s illiterate. Kudelia interrupts by noting that the system is horrible because it only works with developing children and has problems, but Nadi cuts her off and says the system creates a pseudo-brain lobe that governs spatial awareness. This connection allows the brain to directly process mobile suit data. Addressing Kudelia, Nadi notes that without the system, an uneducated kid like Mikazuki wouldn’t be able to pilot a mobile suit. He then warns Mikazuki that a mobile suit’s feedback is worse than a Mobile Worker’s. Kudelia asks Mikazuki if he doesn’t value his own life, and he answers that he cared about his and everyone else’s. After connecting to the system, Mikazuki’s nose bleeds and he understands that the suit’s name was Barbatos. After launching, the other boys are impressed by Mikazuki getting the kill. Ein complains that they didn’t know anything about mobile suits, so Crank rushes in to attack. Ein tries to outflank Mikazuki and shoot him, but Mikazuki positions himself in front of the retreating Gjallarhorn Mobile Workers to use them as a shield. Ein then rushes in to attack, but Mikazuki tosses his mace and retrieves it before severing the Graze Standard Type‘s left arm. Crank then attacks to hold Mikazuki’s voice and shocked to hear his voice and realize he’s a child. Mikazuki confirms that he’s a child, as are all the victims that have been killed so far. Mikazuki pulls back to dodge rifle fire from Ein, but his thrusters run out of fuel because Nadi forgot to refuel the suit while preparing it for launch. Mikazuki strikes the ground with his mace to kick up a dirt cloud and use that as cover to run low and attack Ein from below. He manages to damage the Graze’s head and injure Ein, but Crank creates a dirt cloud with his thrusters so they can retreat. Mikazuki doesn’t want to stop, but more blood pours out of his nose and he passes out. Nearby, Atra drives her delivery truck and stops on the road for two small children. At a Gjallarhorn surface base, Crank calls Coral to report that the mission was a failure, which enrages Coral. He can’t believe that Kudelia is still alive because her death was supposed to increase the turmoil on Mars. Coral orders Crank to capture Kudelia and kill everyone at CGS, but Crank refuses to fight child soldiers because he doesn’t think they’re fighting of their own free will. Norba and Chad Chadan search the wrecks in the battlefield and find Danji’s earplug, which is all that remains of him. Akihiro informs Orga that the First Corps survivors are back. First Corps commander Haeda Gunnel yells at a subordinate that they’ll just grab what they can and run off like Maruba. Atra pulls up the base with the children Cookie and Cracker, who are looking for their brother Biscuit. Mikazuki wakes up still connected to the cockpit because Nadi couldn’t sever the connection while he was knocked out. Mikazuki asks about casualties and is told there were 42 from their group and 68 in the First Corps. Atra spots Mikazuki and awkwardly tries to speak to him, but she’s unable to give him the gift bracelet she has.
Kudelia recalls her speech before an assembly about how Earth’s four economic blocs strangle Mars’ economy, which leads to many children being homeless and starving on the streets, or serving as soldiers. She blames herself for the deaths of the CGS boys and relieved to see Fumitan, who had to report the situation to Norman. He wants Kudelia to return home, but given the attack during her supposedly secret trip and Norman’s uncharacteristic support, she suspects her father’s involvement and wants to confirm things first. Mikazuki walks in to pick up boxes, and Kudelia tries to thank him for protecting her, but he says he doesn’t need it. She blames herself for the deaths, but Mikazuki cuts her off and tells her not to look down on his comrades because no one died over her. Kudelia walks alone outside and realizes that Mikazuki was right and she was just being an ignorant young lady, and she felt as though he could see right through her. She comes across the children, and Atra recognizes her from the news. Haeda punches Orga in the face and accuses him of using the First Corps, but Orga plays dumb and says it isn’t his problem that they ran into trouble, so Haeda punches him again. Haeda threatens to discipline the others as well, but Orga volunteers to take the beating while they watch silently. After they leave, Norba says that he can’t forgive them, and Orga agrees. Orga proposes to Biscuit, Eugene and Norba that they should take control of CGS for themselves. Eugene wonders if they can do it with their depleted numbers, but Orga points out that idiots like Haeda will get them all killed eventually. Orga asks Akihiro what he’s going to do, and Akihiro answers that he doesn’t care because they’re all human debris and he’ll serve whoever’s in charge, be it Haeda or Orga. The others ask about Mikazuki, and Orga tells them that if he doesn’t agree, they’ll have to cancel, but he’s not worried about that. At the Gjallarhorn base, Ein argues with Crank about going out alone, but Crank doesn’t want an injured person being a burden. Also, if he has to fight child soldiers, he doesn’t want Ein to feel that disgrace. Orga gives Mikazuki a handgun and asks for his help, and Mikazuki agrees without even asking what it is. He answers that he’ll do whatever Orga decides. At the orbital station, Coral greets McGillis and Gaelio, but they can tell he’s trying to hide something. Coral is annoyed by their presence and hopes that Crank does his job properly.
Given that the first episode ended with the sudden appearance of the Gundam Barbatos in combat, I figured this episode would show the scenes leading up that, and I wasn’t disappointed. Mikazuki takes the Gundam’s reins at the risk of damaging his own brain (and the blood flow from his nose). Since he’s not the accidental pilot we see so often in Gundam, it’s nice to have someone who’s confident of their skills and isn’t fumbling through battles with their inexperience. The three-man Gjallarhorn attack reminds of of the same from the original series, but this time the reckless fool is the one in charge rather than the cautious veteran. Crank is visibly bothered by the revelation that he’s fighting child soldiers, but he’s resigned to his duty and decides to take that burden alone, thus joining the ranks of other honorable enemy pilots. Kudelia’s failed assassination throws Coral’s plans into doubt, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for him with an Earth inspection about to start. To Kudelia’s credit, she’s not the naive person she comes across as in the first episode. She can read the situation and piece together that her father sold her out, which means that she won’t be going home anytime soon. She blames herself for all the deaths, but Mikazuki shuts her down and shows her that she’s wrong. Haeda and his scum are abusive fools, so it’s good that Orga wants to take them down for the sake of everyone in the Third Group. However, I feel some doubt regarding Mikazuki’s attitude that he’ll do anything that Orga decides. If Orga ever takes a dark path, that attitude could create quite the moral quandary for Mikazuki.