Monica addresses the crew of the Spartan and notes that in addition to Zeon remnants, they also have to contend with the South Seas Alliance that is planning to break off from the Federation. The cult members in the alliance have obtained something dangerous: the Psycho Zaku, which Monica notes destroyed the Beehive, three Salamises and the Full Armor Gundam. The Zeon used amputees to maximize movement synchronization, and Vincent is sure that the cultists would have no problem severing limbs for their beliefs. Monica explains that they’ve brought in the Atlas Gundam to destroy the Psycho Zaku before the cultists can use it. Bianca walks up to Io after the briefing and says that she likes the song “Groovy Duel” that he was listening to as he landed. They both boast about being able to play without mistakes, so later on they play a duet with her on the keyboard and him on drums. Kaufmann wakes up in a drunken stupor on the Mad Angler and has his bottle taken away by Lt. Bull. He cries about how he and his wife had to pull their six-month-old son’s body out of rubble. After the Spartan takes off, Bianca watches as some team members get tattoos. She takes off her shirt, revealing multiple tattoos from her many assignments. Vincent tells Marie that she’s clear to launch on a patrol mission. Io and Bianca talk about how jazz has developed in the UC. Bianca suggests they should play “Groovy Duel” with no mistakes if they survive this next battle. The four landing craft take off from atop the Spartan and deploy Ball Marine Types to search the icy waters of Antarctica. Kaufmann takes off in a Gogg from the Mad Angler. Ball pilot Carolina is surrounded by glacier fragments and is then killed by the Gogg. The landing craft launch their GM Marine Types, which dive underwater and are attacked from above by Z’Goks that shoot glacier fragments and cause them to sink in the water.
Bianca launches in her Guncannon Aqua and sees the GM Marine Types being crushed by glacier fragments. She spots the Mad Angler below her and opens fire on it, but Kaufmann deploys freeziard to dispel her attacks. He then slashes into the Guncannon Aqua with his claws, and she stabs the Gogg with a beam saber. The two jump onto the surface, and Kaufmann slices off Bianca’s right hand. Io launches in the Atlas Gundam and heads for the battlefield on his support craft. As the Gogg and Guncannon Aqua slide across the ice, Kaufmann tells Bianca that he won’t pity anyone in the Federation, even a woman. Bianca quickly changes some energy settings and activates both sabers for a blast through the Gogg’s torso, and she uses her feet to flip the Gogg off of her. She then fires a missile at the Gogg, and both suits eventually roll to a stop. She doesn’t want to wait for her energy to recharge and grabs a handheld machine gun. Bianca walks out on the ice and finds the Gogg cockpit empty. She sees Kaufmann in the distance with some penguins and targets him with her scope, but she stops when she hears the loud steps of a Z’Gok approaching from the rear. The Z’Gok moves to smash her and is sniped by Io. He fires his railgun at multiple Z’Goks and dives into the water when one escapes. The blade shields combine with his shield to form a sled, and Io boasts about how the Atlas Gundam is amphibious. Io dodges the Z’Gok’s attacks and stabs it with his beam saber for the kill. He then comes under fire from Bull’s Grublo and barely dodges its mega particle cannon. Bull fires a barrage of missiles at Io, and the cloud of bubbles allows Bull to get close and grab the Atlas Gundam. Io fires his rifle as the mega particle cannon charges, but he runs out of ammo. Io manages to break free at the last second, but takes damage to his legs. He then stabs the Grublo and causes water to flood into the cockpit. The Grublo sinks and implodes when the pressure becomes too great. Io sinks as well and can’t use his leg thrusters, so he uses beam sabers to propel himself. However, the beam sabers stop working, causing him to sink again. As the Atlas Gundam sinks, Bianca’s Guncannon Aqua grabs it and pulls it up. Bianca tells Io that they saved each other and are even now. Kaufmann returns to the sub and says a silent prayer for Bull. On the Spartan, crew members mourn their many losses from the battle.
This episode is a bit of an improvement over the last, if only because it isn’t trying to speed through as much material. However, even then the story is cutting out and reordering many events from the manga. Much of this episode focuses on Bianca, and she’s also a fellow jazz lover. She’s an interesting character so far, and I hope in the future she isn’t killed just for the sake of making Io sad. She proves her resourcefulness against a tough opponent, which is more than can be said for Io. He recklessly fights underwater despite having no experience and gets the brand new Atlas Gundam wrecked. If not for Bianca he’d be dead, but hopefully not with the same unrealistic depiction of implosion that they showed with the Grublo. I don’t know what kind of training Federation pilots get, but it seems that so many people died needlessly because they lacked any concept at all of how to fight in the water. As has always been the case with this series, you feel that something is missing with its shorter running time. The animation is also inconsistent, especially in the jazz duel scene. With only about 36 minutes left this season, I don’t expect there will be much progress made against the South Seas Alliance, which by this same point in the manga has gotten some more explanation about their leader and their goals.