Carta apologizes to Iznario for her failure, and he responds that she’s brought shame to her family’s name. But as her guardian, he gives her a chance for redemption if she can stop Makanai and Tekkadan from reaching Edmonton. Iznario feels it was too heavy a burden to assign to her, but McGillis insisted upon her. Carta sees McGillis outside Iznario’s office and thanks him for helping someone miserable like her. He says that she hasn’t changed at all from when they first met and that she was someone he could look up to and never reach. As a child, loner McGillis met Carta and Gaelio, but she insisted on playing with him. McGillis tells Carta that he wants to help her because humiliation doesn’t suit her. Kudelia watches a news report stating there are rumors of Makanai running for re-election. Earlier, Makanai met with Alesi at Anchorage, with the latter promising to do his best in lobbying at parliament. Nadi reports to Orga that maintenance is done on their mobile suits, but the 20 new Union Mobile Workers they bought in Anchorage don’t have the Alaya-Vijnana System. Orga says they’ll have to get by with them since Ahab reactors aren’t allowed in urban areas. Merribit confronts Orga and tells him that Biscuit’s death has driven them all mad. She asks him not to drag the small children into things, and Ride tells her to stay out of it, with Takaki adding that this is done of their own free will. Gaelio is taken to see Ein and is shocked to see he’s been incorporated directly into a mobile suit, the Graze Ein. However, Ein is simply happy for the chance to avenge Crank. McGillis tells Gaelio that this was Ein’s wish, so all he can do is give the man the stage for his revenge. McGillis comments on how Gaelio’s heart has remained pure and that he might be able to reform Gjallarhorn. McGillis thinks to himself that Gaelio and Carta were great friends and will certainly change Gjallarhorn. Orga tells Mikazuki that the path they’re taking now is exactly why Biscuit wanted to quit, and Mikazuki tells a lie that Biscuit said he wouldn’t quit and they’d go home together. Orga tells himself that there’s no turning back now.
Mikazuki prepares to go off standby and switch out with Lafter until they pick up Gjallarhorn mobile suits. Carta’s Graze Ritter and two Graze Ritter Ground Types block the tracks ahead of the train, forcing it to stop. Makanai notes that the route was supposed to be safe, and Orga wonders to himself if McGillis betrayed them. Carta gets out of her cockpit and introduces herself. She challenges Tekkadan to a 3-on-3 mobile suit duel, with Tekkadan surrendering and handing over Kudelia and Makanai if they lose. Ignoring the challenge, Mikazuki takes off in the Gundam Barbatos and smacks one of the Graze Ritters while its pilot is outside the cockpit. The other manages to get back into his suit, but Mikazuki still hits him with the wrench mace and crushes the cockpit with his foot. Kudelia asks about what Mikazuki is doing, and Orga repeats that they’ll crush anyone in their way. The children cheer as Mikazuki fights Carta, but Merribit wants them to go back inside. Mikazuki tells Carta that he doesn’t care who she is because she’s still the enemy. Carta vows to win and clear away her disgrace, but Mikazuki continues to tear away at her suit. Takaki and Ride tell Merribit to stop because they have to see their enemy. Carta makes a feeble attack and then tries to fall back, but Mikazuki grips her with the mace and pierces her cockpit, which starts to fill up with melted snow. Carta begs for McGillis to save her, and Mikazuki is interrupted when Gaelio attacks with the reconfigured Gundam Kimaris Trooper. Orga gives Mikazuki orders to cease pursuit when Gaelio grabs Carta’s suit and runs. Orga tells everyone that they don’t have a place to return to, but they have a destination and will get there together. In her last moments, Carta thanks “McGillis” for saving her, so Gaelio plays along to comfort her. Later, Kudelia looks out a window and sees Edmonton in the distance.
The season chugs along toward its conclusion with the aptly named “The Final Lie.” There are multiple final lies going on here to convince people that they have to do something. McGillis completely set up Carta to fail and die, knowing she’d be no match for Tekkadan. He’s also setting up Gaelio and Ein for failure, and most ominously, he refers to Gaelio and Carta in the past tense. A flashback establishes that he was an angry kid, so it looks like his disdain for Gjallarhorn goes back a long time. He was also referred to disparagingly by a butler, so I wonder if he was a bastard child of Iznario’s who was legitimized. Similarly, Mikazuki gives Orga a final push with the lie that Biscuit wasn’t going to quit Tekkadan. In episode 21, the way Mikazuki and Biscuit’s conversation was framed, Biscuit only said “I…” before the scene cuts to the opening sequence. The way Mikazuki tells it, he immediately said without any hesitation that he wasn’t quitting. It’s certainly a lie, but it clears away Orga’s doubts about his plans. Merribit isn’t happy at all about it, but the kids don’t want to hear what she has to say. The episode features a brutal melee fight with Mikazuki taking down Carta’s team when they were unprepared. I’ve seen criticism that Mikazuki acted dishonorably, especially compared to past Gundam protagonists, but I don’t see the problem. Gjallarhorn is the enemy for a reason. They didn’t act honorably when they set off a false flag attack as a pretense to massacre innocent civilians on Dort 3. They didn’t act honorably when they pre-sabotaged the ships and suits the union workers later stole, leading to another massacre. Carta was an incompetent buffoon who was emblematic of a corrupt organization, so she deserves no sympathy.