During the Battle of A Baoa Qu, GM pilot Bianca Carlyle struggles to break free from a Bigro‘s claws before stabbing it through the cockpit with her beam saber. Zeon pilot Billy Hickam uses his Psycommu System Zaku to destroy multiple EFF targets simultaneously. Inside the space fortress, a Gundam Head team takes down Zeon resistance and clears the path for Creed and Sonia’s troop-carrying Guntank, which blasts a door open and deploys its troops. At Confeito, an EFF staff officer named Monica Humphrey wonders how the Zeon can’t even grasp the situation until the fighting ends. As a Chibe crashes into the surface of A Baoa Qu, Daryl pilots a Gelgoog and evacuates a pod carrying Karla’s medical capsule. He lands a few hits on some GMs, but his prosthetic hands struggle with the standard cockpit controls. A GM nearly kills him, but he gets saved by Fisher’s Rick Dom. A battered and naked Io rescues his comrades from imprisonment. After the battle ends, EFF special forces troops secure a manufacturing site where three additional Zeongs are under construction. Daryl and Fisher retreat to a Musai, which is carrying Io’s wrecked Full Armor Gundam. Monks fish through the debris and reclaim the bodies of dead pilots to cremate them. In August UC 0080, Luggun pilots Kate and Janice fly over the Sydney Crater and pick up several Medeas on radar, so they fire signal flares. A squad of Core Fighter pilots led by Barclay launch from the Medeas and turn to attack incoming Dopps. Inside one of the Medeas, Io listens to jazz from the cockpit of his new Atlas Gundam.
Daryl carries a radio as he walks on a beach and thinks about being a boy with all his limbs intact. Fisher works on his Acguy and complains about the heat, but Daryl is amazed by how beautiful Earth is. The team’s mechanics spray paint an emblem on Daryl’s Acguy to honor him as a survivor of the Living Dead Division. Billy and Sebastian Morse talk about how no one can match Daryl’s self-sacrifice and patriotism. At night, Daryl, Fisher, Billy and Sebastian head into the ocean with their Acguys. In space, the assault carrier Spartan begins atmospheric re-entry. Cornelius conducts maintenance on Bianca’s Guncannon Aqua, and she asks him about being a survivor of the Thunderbolt Sector. She wanted to see the famous Gundam, and Cornelius wishes that Io were here for this operation. As the ship travels through the atmosphere, Bianca unstraps from her seat to see the ocean from a window. She wants to get out and fight, vowing to crush any enemy in her way. An orbiting Musai launches a Komusai piloted by Julio and Gregory on a mission to kamikaze attack the Spartan. The Spartan fires its anti-air guns at the Komusai, and Captain Vincent Pike wants to fire anti-air missiles even though they can’t lock on. The Atlas Gundam launches from a Medea and uses a small fighter as a booster sled to ascend rapidly. Io then takes off and uses the thrusters on his blade shields to speed past the Spartan. He fires his railgun at the Komusai to knock it off course, then moves in close and uses his beam saber to slice the shuttle in two. On one of the Medeas, Monica declares that the Atlas Gundam will be essential for this operation. Io lands the Atlas Gundam on the Spartan‘s deck, and Cornelius is surprised when he hears jazz music. Below the surface of the ocean in a Mad Angler sub, a Zeon officer named Phillip Kaufmann vows to get revenge against the Federation.
Gundam Thunderbolt‘s second season starts by wrapping up the One Year War. It features a mix of new footage plus the extra stuff created for the December Sky compilation movie in 2016. This episode is a bit of a mixed bag due to its choppy editing. You’d hardly know that the One Year War was over and that the story moved to UC 0080 based on the rough transitions. Io’s escape is dramatically cut down from the manga, which showed him being beaten and questioned by Zeon soldiers. Sexton’s rescue by the monks is also cut, so I wonder if that’ll be shown later in flashback. Given the shorter running time of these ONA episodes, Io and Daryl sort of take the back seat as new characters are introduced. This being Gundam, we have to see the combat debut of the Atlas Gundam before the episode’s end, although I’m not a fan of its design or the odd blade shields. Ridiculously advanced technology existing during the OYW is something I’ve long accepted from spin-offs, but I just don’t care much for the design. Given that the series is being adapted from an ongoing manga, I wonder how much ground will be covered in the next three episodes.