The Vesalius approaches ZAFT territory, and Rau decides to take Athrun with him to the PLANT Supreme Council meeting. On the Archangel, Mu reports that the attack on Artemis seems to have covered their escape from the Gamow. Tolle and Sai tell Flay that she has to apologize to Kira for blurting out that he is a Coordinator back at Artemis. They tell her it will become awkward when she sees Kira, so she reluctantly agrees to do it. Rau and Athrun board a shuttle with Athrun’s father, National Defense Chairman Patrick Zala. Patrick tells Rau and Athrun that he will cut out from the official report the part about a Coordinator piloting the Strike Gundam. He says if everyone knows about that it will only give the moderates more reason to delay action against the Alliance. He is personally amazed that the Alliance could create such a powerful mobile suit, even if it was supposed to be piloted by Naturals. In the cafeteria, Tolle chokes on his food and Flay complains about not being able to take a bath because of water restrictions. Kira comes in, and Flay apologizes to him about Artemis. He tells her not to worry about it because the truth doesn’t bother him. Murrue wants a fast course to the Moon, but a debris belt is in the way. Neumann tells her that if they go through the debris belt at their current speed that they’ll probably end up as debris themselves. Mu decides that he will have to make the impossible possible. Inside the Aprilius One PLANT, Athrun and Rau take an elevator down to the habitable area. They watch a TV conference held by Supreme Council Chairman Siegel Clyne on the one year anniversary of the Bloody Valentine incident at Junius Seven. Standing near him is his daughter Lacus, who is also Athrun’s fiancé. Rau and Athrun arrive at the Council meeting and give their report on Heliopolis. On the Archangel, Murrue and Mu tell Kira and the others that they will be passing through the debris belt to get supplies from wrecked ships. Murrue asks them for their help in getting what they need to survive.
Rau gives his report and says that it was never his intention to destroy Heliopolis and that the blame falls on Orb for violating the treaty. Patrick asks Rau if it was worth the sacrifice to get the Gundams, and Rau says that Athrun should be the one to explain that. Athrun gives a report on the Gundams and their abilities. The rest of the Council members debate about how far the Alliance has come with their mobile suits. On the Archangel, Kira launches in the Aile Strike Gundam, followed by Natarle, Tolle, Sai and Miriallia in Mistrals. Patrick reminds everyone that they wanted to live in peace until the Bloody Valentine incident when the Alliance used nuclear weapons to destroy Junius Seven and kill more than 243,000 civilians. As Kira and the others explore the debris belt, they realize to their horror that the ruined PLANT they’ve found is Junius Seven. Inside buildings, they’re shocked to find dead mothers floating with their children. Kira and the others object to taking things from the dead, and Mu says that since they are alive it is their duty to continue living. After the meeting ends, Siegel talks to Athrun and wonders when Athrun will be able to spend time with Lacus. Rau tells Athrun that they will set out in 72 hours to chase the Archangel again. Athrun leaves, and Siegel asks Patrick what he hopes to accomplish by escalating the conflict. Patrick says they can’t forgive those who will get in their way. Athrun and Rau drive through the city as screens fill with images of Lacus singing. Flay and the children make origami flowers and spread them in space to remember the dead. Athrun visits a cemetery and lays down flowers at his mother Lenore’s grave. As water excavation work begins, Kira spots a GINN Reconnaissance Type. He hesitates before blowing it up to save Kuzzey and Chandra. He then finds an escape pod and brings it back to the ship. The escape pod is opened, and inside is Lacus and her pink robotic Haro toy.
For a change, this episode features a new story and doesn’t follow the original series. Perhaps this series does have a chance, if it can keep making episodes like this. We’re introduced to a host of new characters here, including Athrun’s father and the Clynes. Lacus seems to be an idol singer, and she’s also Athrun’s fiancé via an arranged marriage. I hope that as an idol singer she doesn’t turn out to be a Minmay type. We get some more background on the Bloody Valentine incident, and Patrick makes a rousing Gihren-type speech about fighting the Alliance. The thing is, you knew Gihren was evil, but from this episode it looks like ZAFT is pretty justified in fighting the Alliance. We also get to see a new type of GINN here, and you have to wonder why Kira is still hesitating to fight. People’s lives were in danger, and other Gundam pilots would have given up their hesitation long ago. Also, just why the heck was Lacus in a lifepod out there? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.