Io runs through the Spartan, and Bianca corners Cornelius and asks about the woman, so he tells her that they thought Claudia was dead. Pike tells Claudia that they’re on a mission to clear out Zeon remnants and rudely demands that she get out of his way. A Gouf fires its bazooka as a warning shot, and Pike orders the spread of Minovsky particles. Daryl opens fire on the Dahle and destroys it. He finds that now he can’t regain the signal on his map for where the spy is. Io prepares to launch in a GM Ground Type-C and asks Bianca to support him with a Corvette Booster flight unit. The Spartan opens fire on the Goufs, and one of the Dodais fires missiles that knock out the ship’s optical and heat sensors. Daryl’s men ask him to order a retreat because they’re running low on ammo, so he gives the command. Billy has a Newtype reaction and tells Fisher to shoot in a specific spot. Fisher fires a missile at the area and destroys several Dahles. Daryl’s Acguy is knocked into the water after he picks up the spy. A Gouf is destroyed at close range, damaging one of the ship’s cannons. Monica tells Pike that it was a suicide attack to make way for its allies to approach the ship. The Gundam Ground Type-S team tries to counter incoming Goufs with hover units, including one piloted by priest Chow Ming, who praises High Priest Levan Fuu as he attacks. Soldiers with jet packs disembark from the Gouf’s hover unit and storm the Spartan. Water unit-equipped Dahles ride the river and give chase to Daryl, who speeds through the ruins of a submerged city. Gundam pilot Orphe attacks a Gouf with a beam javelin and slices into it with a beam saber. Chow Ming tries to attack him with a bazooka and is hit from above by Io’s GM. Io kicks the Gouf as he lands on the deck and knocks it off. Io then jumps onto the Corvette Booster to chase down Claudia’s Dodai. Billy decides to hang back and see if Daryl is actually a skilled pilot, or if his accomplishments were due to the Psycho Zaku. The Spartan‘s soldiers trade fire with the cultists, and Pike notes that they aren’t numerous or well-trained. Monica wonders if they have some objective other than invasion. Io jumps onto a Dodai to see if Claudia is in the cockpit, and he shoots it when he confirms that she isn’t. He jumps back to the Corvette Booster, and Bianca tells him that jumping on every Dodai is insane. He says he wants to find out what happened to Claudia, and Bianca tells him that she might’ve been brainwashed by the priests. A cultist sets off a grenade as he dies, damaging the outer hull. A wounded cultist staggers into the Gunperry hangar and gives a pouch to an EFF soldier who bears the cult’s tattoo, and the soldier shoots him in the head.
Daryl notes that the enemy has stopped attacking and thinks that something is wrong. Io grabs onto another Dodai, which attempts to shake him off. Bianca fires a missile at it, and he shoots it with his machine gun. They then destroy another Dodai when he sees that Claudia isn’t on it. Daryl speeds toward a damaged bridge and deploys frizzy yard to protect himself from attack as he jumps in the air. A Dahle grapples onto him, but he rams a spike through it and kills the pilot. The destroyed Dahle and the Acguy both fall into the water, and Daryl destroys the last remaining enemy unit. Io and Bianca destroy another Dodai and come under fire from the one that Claudia is in. He jumps off his Corvette Booster and lets his beam saber be destroyed by their machine guns to create a blinding flash. Io opens his cockpit and demands that Claudia say his name, which she does. However, Chow Ming wraps his shock wire around Io’s GM and pulls him off the Dodai. The Gundam pilots watch over Io’s GM after it returns to the ship. Cornelius asks about Claudia, but Io tells her he needs to talk to Monica. She reveals that she knew Claudia was with the cultists, which is part of the reason why Io was brought on for this mission. Pike asks about an item found in Monica’s room, and she explains that it’s an incense container she gave as a farewell gift to children who left her Newtype laboratory. The Zeon spy shows shows Daryl a picture of Sexton, who is now with the South Seas Alliance. Monica explains that Levan Fuu’s brain was severely damaged from long-term experiments conducted on him, so he developed telepathic abilities that allow him to control his cult followers. Monica says that she raised and abandoned Levan Fuu, and that he’s a Newtype. Elsewhere, Levan Fuu telepathically controls his followers as they pray in front of the Psycho Zaku.
The second season wraps up with some revelations about the nature of the South Seas Alliance cult, but it all feels rather anti-climactic. The shortened runtime of these episodes has always meant that a lot of material was being cut, but in the first season it didn’t matter as much since it was a simple Federation vs. Zeon One Year War story. But now we’ve moved into the post-war era and added a new faction, and there’s just not enough time to develop everything. Io spends the whole episode fighting his way to Claudia, with the end result being just a momentary flash of recognition. That’s fine in a regular length TV episode, but the time here is so limited that it seems like a drag on the story. This episode does feature some action on multiple fronts, and both Io and Daryl show off some impressive skills. Io performs well in a mere GM, and it looks like Daryl has adjusted to piloting regular mobile suits with two artificial hands. The second season did introduce some interesting characters like Bianca, and it’s nice to see an exploration of the immediate post-war era. This season’s compilation film Bandit Flower will presumably add some new scenes, but I wouldn’t expect too much out of it. Now the wait begins for season 3 and how much it will or won’t adapt from the manga.