Kira and Athrun stand in shock near the wreckage of the Blitz Gundam. Dearka and Yzak land nearby, and Yzak starts shooting at Kira. Kira prepares to fight back, but the Archangel flies overhead and starts attacking. Natarle orders Kira to return, and the others are forced to escape when the Archangel continues to attack. Murdoch and the other engineering crew congratulate Kira on destroying the Blitz Gundam, and he tells them to stop. He asks them how they can congratulate him when he just killed someone. Mu steps in and takes Kira aside to talk to him. He tells Kira that they’re soldiers and not killers, and that any hesitation can result in their death. On the Vosgulov sub, Yzak curses and punches Nicol’s locker, asking why he had to die. Athrun slams him up against the locker and says it’s his own fault because Nicol died trying to protect him. As they argue, Dearka steps in and reminds them that their enemy is the Strike Gundam. Yzak says that the Strike Gundam was responsible for his injury and Miguel’s death, so he intends to destroy it now. After they leave, Athrun picks up Nicol’s uniform and sees several pieces of sheet music fall out. He realizes that Nicol died because he was too hesitant all this time in killing Kira. He vows that now he will kill Kira no matter what. On the Archangel, Natarle and Murrue switch shifts, and Natarle asks if they’ve contacted Alaska yet. Murrue says they haven’t and thinks they should be able to once the cross into the Tropic of Cancer. Elsewhere, Flay walks by the mess hall and listens in as Tolle describes his experience piloting the Sky Grasper. Miriallia tells him he’s too reckless and needs to be more careful, but he assures her he’s fine. In the hangar, Kira looks at the Strike Gundam and thinks about killing Nicol. He remembers what Andy told him during their last battle about fighting an enemy to the end. Birdy flies around the hangar, and Kira wonders if he really is Athrun’s enemy.
Flay walks to the mobile suit hangar and finds Kira sitting in front of the Strike Gundam. The Vosgulov sub picks up the Archangel on sensors, and Athrun orders an attack. The Aegis Gundam, Buster Gundam and Duel Gundam launch from the sub and fly away with Guuls. They are soon detected by the Archangel, and Murrue orders battle stations. Flay tries to speak to Kira, but he tells her he doesn’t have time and she has to wait until he returns. Mu takes off in the Launcher Grasper and asks Kira if he’s ok. Kira says he is and stands on the ship’s deck to hold off the enemy. Mu vows that today he will shoot everyone down and attacks Dearka. Kira jumps into the air and uses his beam saber to fight Yzak in midair. Yzak says he won’t forgive Kira, and Kira uses his beam rifle to blow a hole in the Duel Gundam’s right leg and knock it off the Guul. As he falls, Yzak fires and destroys the Aile Strike Gundam‘s beam rifle. Dearka fires at the Archangel and seriously damages the ship, causing it to lose altitude. Tolle impulsively decides to launch in the Sky Grasper before the situation gets worse. On a nearby island, a thunderstorm rages and several children tell their blind guardian Malchio that they’re scared of thunder. In the air, Athrun sends his Guul to crash into Kira and blows it up. The two land on the nearby island and continue to fight. The Archangel loses altitude and crashes into the island. Dearka tries to attack the crippled ship, but Mu attacks him. Dearka damages the Sky Grasper, but Mu manages to blow the Buster Gundam’s right arm off before crashing into the island. With all the Archangel‘s guns pointed at him, Dearka decides to surrender. Tolle fires a missile at Athrun, but Athrun dodges it. He tosses his shield at the Sky Grasper, which smashes the cockpit and beheads Tolle. The Sky Grasper explodes, and Kira goes into his SEED mode and wildly attacks Athrun. He slices off the Aegis Gundam’s right arm, and Athrun goes into SEED mode and attacks Kira. Kira slices off the Aegis Gundam’s head, but Athrun cuts off the Aile Strike Gundam’s left arm and cuts into the cockpit. He transforms to fire his cannon at point blank range, but he runs out of power and Phase Shifts down. Athrun then sets the self destruct and flies away as the Aegis Gundam explodes while wrapped around the Aile Strike Gundam.
It looks like everyone has been affected by Nicol’s death. Even though Kira didn’t know Nicol, he feels bad about his death because he didn’t want to kill him. That’s rather strange, as I don’t recall him reacting that way to killing most GINN or BuCUE pilots. Athrun is also quite angry about Nicol’s death, and the death of one friend causes him to vow to kill another. As the battle continues in this episode, practically everything is either damaged or destroyed. In the case of Tolle, he foolishly decided to fight and ended up getting beheaded by the Aegis Gundam’s shield. That’s a gruesome death, and it’s probably even worse than Nicol’s, which kind of lost its dramatic effect here by being replayed three times. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with the Aegis Gundam self-detonating. Will Kira survive? Of course he will…the main Gundam boy can’t die halfway through the series.