One month after the war between Arbrau and the SAU, Iok tries to pin the blame on McGillis at a Seven Stars meeting. Iok predicts that more conflicts will erupt between the economic blocs and wonders if Gjallarhorn can deal with it in its current state. McGillis’ attempt to expand his fleet’s control to Mars is questioned, and some of the family heads ask about Galan, but Iok and Rustal insist that no such man existed. After the meeting, McGillis runs into Rustal and takes responsibility for his mistakes. Rustal comments that McGillis has matured quite a bit and recalls when he first him as an illegitimate child adopted into the Fareed family. Rustal saw bruises on McGillis’ neck and spoke to him, but the young boy answered with a single word: Bael. Rustal notes that McGillis brilliantly engineered the downfall of Iznario, but McGillis plays dumb. Rustal presumed that McGillis’ motive was revenge and asks what he wants to accomplish in Gjallarhorn. After Rustal leaves, Isurugi reports to McGillis that their own investigation wasn’t able to find any trace of Galan. Kudelia visits Makanai, who muses on how an entire war was fought and ended while he was unconscious. She mentions that Tekkadan is leaving Earth, and Makanai is glad Chad is ok because he didn’t want a young man to die to save him. Makanai believes his time is limited and wants to pass on his connections, so he asks Kudelia to stay on Earth. Lafter and Akihiro find Chad reading a list of the Earth Branch’s casualties, which Chad says is due to his own shortcomings. Akihiro tells him it’s not his fault, and Chad comments that this must be how Orga feels all the time. Chad says he can’t bear to be alive and would’ve rather taken the hit. Lafter notices that Aston and Akihiro have the same last name, and Akihiro explains that many of the human debris from the Brewers didn’t have last names and took care of Masahiro. Akihiro regrets that he didn’t talk more with Aston. Orga, Merribit and Eugene try to sort out the Earth Branch’s finances, but Takaki tells them that only Radice knew about all those accounts. Takaki blames himself and quietly wanders off. He ends up running into Mikazuki and says he’s not fit to be in Tekkadan because he believed Radice’s lies and followed the orders of a stranger. Mikazuki notes that Takaki followed what he thought were Orga’s orders and put an end to Radice himself. Kudelia shows up when Mikazuki leaves, and Takaki tells her that Mikazuki was amazing because he changed their lives when he killed the men from CGS’ First Group long ago. Takaki did the same with Radice, but nothing changed for him. Kudelia thinks that Takaki has more to learn because there are many ways to interpret a situation, even if you only have one choice to make in the end. She says that if Takaki can look at things more broadly, he can reach a decision without having to follow orders. On Rustal’s flagship, Julieta runs a simulation in her Reginlaze and tells Vidar that if she’d been stronger she could’ve helped Galan. Vidar tells her that claiming her presence could’ve changed the outcome of the battle only belittles Galan. She explains that Galan taught her to fight and recommended her to Rustal, even though she had no family. Vidar comments that he knows someone like her who felt pride for the senior officer he served under.
Todo drives “Montag” to the Tekkadan Earth Branch and teases some of the boys about their casualties. McGillis takes off his disguise when he meets with Orga and thanks him for helping end the war. Orga comments on their internal problems with Galan, and McGillis says he thinks that was due to Rustal’s meddling. McGillis says that he can’t reform Gjallarhorn as long as men like Rustal are around, and a confrontation is coming. McGillis wants Tekkadan’s continued support, which causes Orga to ask what he sees in them. McGillis explains that the first time he saw them fight on Mars with so much vitality it reminded him of Agnika Kaieru, the founder of Gjallarhorn. He says that if he can climb to the top of Gjallarhorn, he’ll transfer all the power of the Mars Branch to Tekkadan. He explains that Gjallarhorn controls all the colonies of the economic blocs, so Tekkadan would be the sovereign of Mars. Elsewhere, Takaki tries to get Fuka to eat, but she’s consumed by a picture of them with Aston when they celebrated what they decided would be his birthday. Takaki thinks about Aston’s last words and how their friendship caused him to suffer in his final moments. Fuka hugs Takaki as he cries and says she never wants to forget those memories. Zack complains about how bored he is, but Hush is busy doing one-armed pushups until Dane sits on him. Orga tells Kudelia and the others about McGillis’ offer, which he wants to accept. Merribit thinks this will create problems with Teiwaz if Tekkadan gains too much influence, but Orga believes he can work things out with Naze. Orga asks everyone for their opinions, and all the guys agree with the exception of Takaki, who announces that he’s quitting. He knows that Orga is trying to create a better future for them, but he doesn’t want to make Fuka cry by dying. Orga says that he understands and thanks Takaki for all he’s done for them. After the meeting, Chad tells Takaki that Orga will find a job for him on Earth. Chad says that they’re family even if they’re far away, but Mikazuki disagrees and says that Fuka is Takaki’s only family, so he shouldn’t worry about them. Akihiro comments that that’s Mikazuki’s way of showing kindness. Akihiro tells Takaki to treasure his life with Fuka and thanks him for being Aston’s friend. Makanai thinks about Kudelia turning down his offer and deciding to go back to Mars. The Isaribi and Hotarubi leave Earth and begin the return trip to Mars. Chad and Akihiro look at the boxes containing all the belongings of the deceased, and Chad says that Earth was like a second home, which is strange because he felt he had no place when he was human debris. Lafter overhears them and tells Azee that it must be tough for Akihiro since he thought of Aston as a kid brother. Azee jokingly promises not to tell Naze anything, which causes Lafter to blush. Mikazuki tells Orga that he felt relieved when Takaki quit, but he doesn’t know why. He asks Orga why that is, and Orga tells him that soon they’ll find the answers to everything.
This episode serves the dual purpose of dealing with the fallout of the brief war on Earth, but also setting the stage for the next part of the story. Iok puts on a good show of blaming McGillis for the situation that he and Rustal are responsible for, but McGillis is unflappable. We see in a brief flashback that McGillis was abused as a boy by Iznario, and I’m sure this factors a great deal into his world view and his plans for Gjallarhorn. Takaki makes a fateful decision to bow out and quit Tekkadan, but he’s able to accomplish what Biscuit died trying to do. After what he’s been through, he deserves to have some happiness with his sister. There are also some good moments with Chad and Akihiro in this episode, including Chad learning what it feels like to lose subordinates and Akihiro’s regret at not being closer to Aston. McGillis has made Orga an offer that’s too good to refuse, and I suspect that Orga will be so sucked in by it that he loses sight of everything else in his quest to reach the top as quickly as possible.