Gale sleeps on the shuttle and is visited by subordinate Egiel Karla. She asks for a chance to deal with Eiji and says she has a plan. She notes that the reason they’ve wasted so much time with Layzner is because Gosterro didn’t plan out his operations well. She believes her Dimarge and two Dtols can cover both air and ground in battle. Her intention is to force Eiji to divide his attention between both air and ground, and Gale gives his authorization. In the hangar, the damaged head is removed from Gale’s Grimekaisar. On Mars, Eiji sits outside the tripod carrier and thinks about how he killed Gosterro. He wonders if his half Earthling nature is the reason why he killed Gosterro. Elizabeth thinks to herself that they’ve reached the limit of Eiji being able to protect everyone by himself. Arthur wonders what the big deal is about Eiji killing someone, but Anna doesn’t think he should talk about it like it’s nothing. Elizabeth addresses the students and notes that the carrier has two extra SPTs, which Roanne and Arthur think means she wants them to fight. She says they have to find a way to survive on their own because there’s only so much Eiji can do. She thinks they need to at least learn how to use the SPTs in the worst case event of Eiji being killed. David sees that this is something she thought out on her own and not something Eiji asked her to do. Arthur asks David if he intends to pilot an SPT, and David answers that it’s better than doing nothing and getting himself killed. Roanne asks Elizabeth if she’s ordering them to learn to pilot, and she answers that she is. Anna goes outside and tells Eiji that Elizabeth wants to speak with him. Elizabeth tells Eiji that she has a duty to protect the students, and David adds that anyone who attacks them is an enemy. Eiji agrees and starts modifying their helmets so that they can interact with an SPT like his. The next morning, Arthur shows up late for training after spending all night working on helmets. Eiji starts and notes that Layzner, Buldy and Baybull have similar controls and high levels of automation. Arthur decides to try piloting first and gets into the Buldy’s cockpit. Eiji starts instructing him on what buttons start it up. David hops into the Baybull, while Eiji gets into Layzner to keep instructing. Eventually, Roanne and Elizabeth try out the cockpits too, but Eiji receives an enemy warning on radar.
A tripod carrier descends into the Martian atmosphere and launches two Dtols piloted by Ash and Dal. Everyone else returns to the observation base while Eiji takes off to confront the SPT that launched from the carrier. Karla’s Dimarge approaches at high speed and opens fire on Layzner. Rei pulls up the Dimarge’s stats and reports that it has the highest thrust power of any current SPT. Eiji decides to descend to the ground to negate her advantage, but he then comes under fire from the Dtols. Rei switches to ground detection mode, and Karla opens fire from above. Rei’s actions are too slow, so Eiji gives instructions to track the Dimarge while he follows the Dtols by sight. One of the Dtols heads for the observation base, so Eiji calls to warn them. Eiji gives chase and is attacked by the other Dtol, so he fires calf missiles at the first one. He damages the Dtol and comes under fire from the other one. Elizabeth checks the observation cameras, and David runs off, followed by Roanne. Rei keeps suggesting attacking the Dtol pilot directly, but Eiji refuses to kill him. Roanne reaches the surface, where David is watching the battle with binoculars. Eiji is pinned down while trying to fight off the three enemies. He knocks down one of the Dtols and hesitates when Rei suggests killing the pilots. He’s then hit when Karla lands and fires at him. Eiji is sick of killing and tosses his rifle aside to activate the knuckle shot. Karla jumps and backs off, and David exclaims that Eiji is going to get himself killed. David gets into the Baybull’s cockpit and struggles to stand it up. He then starts running toward the fight and rams into the Dimarge before Karla can shoot Eiji. Roanne backs them up in the Buldy, forcing the Dtols to fall back. Karla orders a retreat, and David and Roanne are happy that they won. Anna thinks to herself that David’s hatred of Eiji is slowly fading away.
The shadow of Gosterro’s apparent death hangs over Eiji this entire episode, and it almost gets him killed. I don’t know if Eiji is the first, but over the years there have been many mecha pilots who have used “no kill” policies in battle, including Gundam‘s Loran Cehack, Kira Yamato and Kio Asuno to name a few. It’s an admirable moral belief to want to hold, but it generally doesn’t stand up in practice. It’s particularly annoying when a character’s desire to not kill an enemy is so strong that they stupidly put themselves or others in danger. A no kill philosophy is just a self-imposed handicap, because the enemy certainly isn’t going to abide by that. Eiji nearly gets killed multiple times, so he’s lucky that David and Roanne came to his aid. It serves to prove Elizabeth’s point, because if Eiji had been killed and no one had learned about piloting SPTs, everyone would be dead. Also, it’s interesting to see David rush into battle and put himself at risk to save Eiji. An episode or two earlier, he would’ve said he didn’t care what happened to Eiji, but it looks like he’s finally getting over his hatred. That’s a welcome sign, since his behavior was getting tiresome.