Kira launches from the Archangel in the Aile Strike Gundam. The Blitz Gundam, Buster Gundam and Duel Gundam activate Phase Shift and approach the Archangel. Kira encounters Athrun’s Aegis Gundam, and both pull out their beam sabers. Athrun tells Kira to put away his beam saber and says they shouldn’t fight. He says they aren’t enemies and asks Kira why he is fighting for the Alliance. The other three Gundams begin attacking the Archangel, and Natarle fires missiles at them and deploys all the ship’s cannons. However, the missiles have no effect. Yzak decides to help Athrun, and Dearka distracts the Archangel while Nicol attacks it from below. Kira tries to return to the ship, but Athrun blocks him and asks again why he is helping Naturals. Kira says he isn’t with the Alliance and is fighting only because he has friends on the Archangel. Yzak suddenly begins shooting at Kira, and Kira dodges his attack. As the Archangel evades the attacks from the Gundams, it moves into the range of the Vesalius. Rau tells Ades to fire as soon as the ship is in firing range. Undetected, Mu travels through a debris field in his Moebius Zero and approaches the Vesalius. Kira pulls out his beam rifle and shoots at Yzak repeatedly, but he misses each time. Yzak uses his beam saber to slice into Kira’s shield while Athrun watches from the side. Yzak asks Athrun to help him, and Kira continues to fire and drain his energy. Dearka and Nicol stop attacking the Archangel and join Yzak and Athrun in surrounding Kira. Mu emerges from the debris field and launches his weapon pods. He damages one of the Vesalius‘ engines and causes it to spin out of control. After completing his attack, Mu fires a hook into the Vesalius and swings around it to return to the Archangel. Rau orders Ades to withdraw.
Murrue tells Natarle to prepare the Lohengrin positron guns and warn Kira and Mu to get out of the way. The Archangel turns and fires the Lohengrins at the Vesalius. Rau has the ship evade, but it still gets hit on the port side and suffers heavy damage. Rau sends an instant message to the four Gundams to return immediately. Yzak doesn’t want to return until he shoots down Kira, so he presses the attack. Kira fires at Yzak, but the Aile Strike runs out of power and Phase Shifts down. Yzak moves in to slice up Kira with his two beam sabers, but Athrun transforms and grabs Kira with the Aegis Gundam’s claws. The other three Gundams follow Athrun, and Yzak asks Athrun what he is doing. Athrun says he is capturing the Aile Strike, and Dearka reminds him that their orders are to destroy it. Mu sends Murrue an instant message to get the Launcher pack ready. Kira tells Athrun that he refuses to go to a ZAFT ship, and Athrun says that if he doesn’t come he’ll have to shoot him. Athrun then tells Kira that his mother was killed in the Bloody Valentine incident. Mu attacks Athrun and allows Kira to break free. Kira speeds toward the ship and is chased by Yzak. Engineer Kojiro Murdoch sends out the Launcher pack, and Kira docks with it as Yzak fires a grenade at him. Kira fires the Launcher Strike Gundam‘s Agni cannon and damages the Duel Gundam. The Vesalius sends out a retreat signal flare, and the battle ends. After returning to the Vesalius, Yzak slams Athrun against a wall for humiliating them by not following orders. Nicol tells them they shouldn’t fight, and Athrun wants to be alone. Rau receives orders to return to the PLANT homeland, and Mu tells Kira he should lock the Strike Gundam’s OS so no one else can touch it. The ship approaches Artemis and is led in by an inspection ship captained by Biddulph. Armed soldiers surround the ship, and when Murrue asks what’s going on, Biddulph tells her to be quiet.
This seems to be the best episode of the series to far. After a few episodes, we finally get to see the first battle between the five Gundams. Kira is definitely outmatched, and he’s saved at least three times by other people. We see that Athrun is still conflicted about having to fight Kira, and he does everything to avoid that. He even comes into conflict with Yzak and Dearka over it. We also get a personal tidbit about Athrun: his mother was killed in the Bloody Valentine incident. From what has been shown so far, that involved the Earth Alliance using Moebiuses to destroy PLANTs with nuclear missiles. Perhaps Athrun’s grief over his mother’s death is what caused him to join ZAFT. Rau has been recalled home to report to the Supreme Council, and I wonder if he will be reprimanded for the destruction of Heliopolis. While this episode was mostly original, there was one thing that really bothered me: the ending. Armed soldiers waiting for a ship in an asteroid base… like we haven’t seen that before. We’ll have to see if the next episode copies the original series as I think it will.