Multiple Salamis and Magellan ships open fire on Musais in the Thunderbolt Sector, while several Zaku Is easily destroy Saberfish fighters. Io wakes up from a dream where he found his father’s body after he committed suicide. Cornelius comes up the Gundam‘s cockpit and notes that Io is listening to the song his father liked, so Io abruptly turns it off and says it’s a bad song. Daryl thinks back to an earlier time when he saw Karla on stage receiving honors at A Baoa Qu. After having his leg adjusted, Daryl gets into the Psycho Zaku to test the Reuse Psycho Device System, which should allow him to control the suit as though it was his own body. Researcher J.J. Sexton has Daryl test moving the limbs before moving on to running in place. Daryl thinks of himself as a child running on the beach with his real legs, followed by a memory of losing them in ground combat. After completing the test, he tells Karla that the system is magnificent and will allow him to do more than being a sniper. She notes that there are better prosthetic legs than the ones he uses, but he counters that the Reuse P Device performs better than if he had real legs. Karla asks if he’s trying to get another medal and comments that she loathes war before leaving. Elsewhere, Io flies through space with the Gundam to perform speed tests. Gattle pilot Layton helps Daryl set up his Zaku I and Big Gun for sniping and asks if he believes in ghosts at Side 4. Layton is bothered that Daryl was given an old Zaku out of necessity, but Daryl explains that snipers don’t need mobility. Daryl picks up Io on his sensors and warns Fisher and Shawn, so they open fire. Io dodges their attacks and returns fire with missiles. He then fires his cannon to destroy Shawn’s Big Gun. Fisher searches for the Gundam and takes some damage, but Daryl fires at Io before he can make the killing blow. A lightning bolt strikes near Io, which deflects the shot from Daryl’s Big Gun.
Io leaves Fisher behind and uses Shawn’s Zaku II as a shield to approach Daryl. Io vows that his jazz will be the last thing that Daryl hears and fires missiles at Shawn’s suit, creating a distraction so that he can attack Daryl from behind. Io pins Daryl to colony debris and tries to stab the cockpit, but Daryl uses his hand to partially deflect the beam saber. He then sets off a blinder cracker, which forces Io to fall back. On the Beehive, Claudia directs the fleet’s attack as the Zeon forces pull back. Graham is pleased that they sunk two Musais, but Claudia isn’t happy about it and leaves the bridge in tears. Daryl has a dream of being a child at Christmas and getting a vintage radio from his father. He then wakes up on the Dried Fish and is shocked to see that his left hand is gone. Burroughs receives a grim status report on their remaining forces, so Sexton requests that he allow the Reuse P Device to be used in combat once the last piece is in place. Sexton tries to convince Karla that they should use it for their own survival, and she notes that the device requires the pilot to have all four limbs connected. Sexton mentions that Daryl recently lost his left hand, so all they have to do is amputate his right one, but Karla doesn’t want to use him like a lab animal. Sexton tells Karla that if she doesn’t contribute to the war, bad things will happen to her father, who is imprisoned for treason. Karla gives in, and Burroughs delivers the news to Daryl before the operation begins. At the same time, the Psycho Zaku’s armor and thrusters are attached to prepare for launch. After the operation, Daryl is hooked into the Psycho Zaku and launches at high speed. He believes he now has the power to take down the Gundam.
Thunderbolt‘s second episode opens with a larger fleet battle but then moves to a smaller one as Io hunts down the members of the Living Dead team. This episode adapts portions of the end of volume 1 and the start of volume 2, and with these brief runtimes it feels like these first two episodes combined make a proper episode. There’s not as much going on in these episodes individually, which probably contributes to that feeling. Sexton proves how low he’s willing to go to survive by having Daryl’s right hand amputated to allow maximum use of the Reuse P Device. There’s an interesting visual contrast in seeing the Psycho Zaku assembled as Daryl is losing more of his body. On another note, dreams give us the briefest of insights into the backgrounds of Io and Daryl, which is probably about all we can expect in such a short series.