Biscuit’s sisters help him distribute dinner to the boys, and he thanks Atra for her assistance in preparing the food. He’s surprised that Kudelia helped out, and Atra explains that she insisted on helping with the meal. Eugene and Norba signal for Biscuit to come with them, and he brings a pot of stew to the First Corps dorms, where Haeda complains about the food and kicks him. Cookie and Cracker serve stew for Mikazuki, but Kudelia doesn’t want him to eat it because she sliced the cucumber pieces so big. However, he likes the big chunks because it feels like he’s really eating. Nadi notices that Atra has a crush on Mikazuki, but she says he’s being touchy lately and asks Nadi for a favor. The next morning, Haeda and the other men wake up and find themselves bound and crammed into a small room. The boys then walk in and Orga asks the men how they liked their meal with sedatives. Orga asserts that he’s in charge and blames Todo for his incompetence. Haeda spits at Orga’s feet, so Orga responds by kicking him in the face. Haeda offers to spare their lives, but Orga points out that he’s not in a position to say those things. Orga states that Haeda has to pay for letting so many Third Group boys die, and Mikazuki executes Haeda. Orga gives the men the option to leave or work under them, and Mikazuki kills a man who tries to charge them. Accountant Dexter Culastor asks to leave, but Biscuit tells him he’ll have to stay for a while. Later, Eugene is angry with Orga for giving severance to the First Corps men who left. Orga wants to only take on honest jobs, and he paid them so it wouldn’t damage their reputation. Old man Todo Mirconen laughs and tells them they shouldn’t fight because they’re comrades. Takaki is surprised that Nadi decided to stay, and he answers that taking care of kids seems right for him. Orga crosses paths with Kudelia, and after expressing her amazement at Mikazuki’s skills, she’s shocked to hear that this battle was his first time in a mobile suit. Orga explains that the Alaya-Vijnana System was originally created for mobile suits, so it must be intuitively easier to operate than a Mobile Worker. Orga asks Kudelia what she’s going to do, and she’s worried that innocent people might be sacrificed for her goals. He asks if she blames herself for the death of his comrades, but she answers that she’s just angry with herself over how powerless she is.
In Maruba’s former office, Dexter calculates the company’s assets after deducting all the money Maruba stole when he fled. Norba is impressed by the number that Dexter shows them on a tablet, but then he further subtracts severance pay and Mobile Worker repair/maintenance costs, which produces a much less impressive number. Their current assets would only allow them to run the company for three months, and Orga points out that they need to take on jobs immediately. Todo reminds them that Gjallarhorn is gunning for them, so he suggests selling Kudelia off to them to solve all their problems. An alarm then sounds when a Graze Standard Type with a red cloth is detected on radar. Takaki asks what the red cloth means, and Nadi explains that it’s a challenge to a duel. Crank announces his presence and demands a one-on-one fight with the Gundam Barbatos. Nadi recalls that prior to the Calamity War, problems were solved with duels, but he’s surprised someone would try it now. Crank lays out his terms, which are that after the duel, CGS hands over Kudelia and the captured Graze Commander Type for no further problems. Kudelia decides to hand herself over to avoid an unnecessary fight, but Orga disagrees because he can’t trust Crank. Orga accepts the challenge, and Nadi helps Mikazuki prepare to launch. Kudelia thinks she’d be more useful if she got the Alaya-Vijnana surgery, but Orga dissuades her by explaining that four kids who had the surgery at the same time as he and Mikazuki did were hospitalized and probably still can’t get out of bid, if they’re alive. As the battle begins, Mikazuki and Crank rush toward each other and attack with their melee weapons. Mikazuki asks if the winner is determined when one of them dies, but Crank counters that there’s no need for that. Their original goal was just to kill Kudelia, so he doesn’t want to further victimize children over that. Mikazuki disagrees with that and says he has orders from Orga to kill him. Kudelia wonders why Mikazuki would get the risky surgery three times, and Orga answers that he’s full of contradictions, which is what makes him strong. Kudelia decides against the surgery and knows where she has to fight. Mikazuki tells Crank that he’s never been victimized by anyone and is just doing what he can for his comrades. Crank knocks away Mikazuki’s mace, but he’s able to reclaim it in time and slam it into the Graze’s cockpit. Orga spontaneously decides to rename CGS to Tekkadan, and when Kudelia asks if the “tekka” is as in “iron fire,” he tells her that it’s “iron flower.” Mikazuki rips open the Graze’s cockpit and gets out of his own, asking what happens if he wins. Crank explains that he had no option for that because he was violating orders and couldn’t go back with negative results. He asks for help because he can’t end his own life now, so Mikazuki quickly shoots him. After the battle, Kudelia asks Orga to carry out their original job and offers to get money from wealthy Martian independence backer Nobliss Gordon. Orga accepts the job to escort Kudelia to Earth.
This episode is basically the delayed conclusion to the series’ opening battle, and not surprisingly it ends with Crank’s death. He couldn’t bring himself to carry out Coral’s murderous orders, so he tried to settle things honorably with a duel. However, Mikazuki isn’t interested in such notions and will kill as ordered to by Orga. It’s his third execution this episode, and it’s noteworthy that he’s wearing Atra’s bracelet and hides that arm behind his back when shooting Crank. Does he feel some guilt over what he’s doing and doesn’t want to associate thoughts of Atra with that? While his earlier execution of Haeda might seem cold-hearted, it was completely justified. Haeda was an idiot and would’ve gotten all the Third Group boys killed without a care. Drugging them all was a great tactic to avoid an unnecessary head-on fight with adults. Still, I think that Mikazuki’s blind adherence to killing anyone Orga says to will be a problem in the future. Kudelia has been struggling to find a purpose since the first attack, so it’s good to see that she’s decided to stick with her original mission, despite her father’s betrayal and Gjallarhorn’s attempt on her life. Their attacks won’t cease, and I’m curious to see how a bunch of child mercenaries plan to get off Mars and travel to Earth.