The battered Minerva sails across the ocean on a course for Carpentaria. Shinn returns from his sortie, and everyone is amazed by his performance in battle. Talia thinks they owe their escape to him, and Arthur believes that even the famous Freedom Gundam couldn’t have done as well. He thinks Shinn deserves a medal for destroying six ships, and Talia thinks he will probably get one. She comments that she finds it odd he was given the Impulse Gundam instead of Rey, and she wonders if Durandal saw something special in Shinn. Shinn comes down from his cockpit and is greeted by Vino and the rest of the engineering crew. Lunamaria asks him what he did during the battle, and he says he’s not sure. He tells her he was angered by the Orb fleet, and suddenly his mind cleared up. As they walk through the corridor, Rey congratulates him on his work. In Orb, the news agency announces that Orb will be joining the Atlantic Federation and the other nations of Earth to form the World Security Treaty Organization. Cagalli visits a memorial and thinks about things her father told her in the last war, as well as Unato’s recent comments about the Atlantic Federation. Yuna appears out of nowhere and tells Cagalli she shouldn’t be out without a bodyguard. As they drive off, she bluntly asks Yuna what he wants from her. He tells her she needs to work on her manners and says he vowed by her father’s grave to protect her. He wants to have the wedding coincide with the treaty, and she objects. Yuna tells her that she can’t be involved with Athrun, lest the people of Orb think she is risking them to ally with Coordinators. She objects to that, and he asks her if she’ll abandon her responsibilities to Orb and dare to still use her family name. At the cliff side mansion, Andy prepares coffee for himself and Murrue. They’re not happy about Orb’s decision, but they know Cagalli did the best she could. Andy thinks that soon he and Kira and Lacus will have to return to space if the anti-Coordinator sentiment continues to grow. He tells Murrue she could come along if she wants, and she tells him she wants to live her life somewhere where she can be at peace.
At night, a special ops squad of Coordinators approaches the mansion on a mission to assassinate Lacus. As they enter the mansion grounds, Haro detects them and alerts Murrue and Andy. The two quickly dress and arm themselves with pistols. They wake up Kira and prepare to evacuate the children into the shelter. As they move through the halls, Murrue and Andy shoot at the attackers. Murrue fights one group off by herself while Andy fends off another group. One of the commandos stabs Andy in his prosthetic arm, but Andy shoots him with the gun built into the arm. He then joins up with Murrue, Kira, Kira’s mother and Lacus. Malchio opens the shelter door and leads the children inside. A sniper tries to shoot Lacus, but Kira knocks her aside while Andy and Murrue kill the sniper. Once inside the shelter, Murrue tells Andy that the commandos are Coordinators, and Andy comments that they’ve had military training. The leader of the commandos is determined to kill Lacus and calls in a squadron of ASH amphibious mobile suits. The ASH squad begins to bombard the mansion, forcing Kira and the others deeper into the shelter. Andy assumes they are attacking with mobile suits and knows the shelter can’t handle a long barrage. He asks Lacus to give him the keys to the hangar. When she hesitates, he asks her if she wants everyone to die. Kira asks her for the keys and says he will open the door. He hugs her and tells her it would be more painful for him to not protect her and everyone else. Kira and Andy open the door, which leads to a hangar housing the restored Freedom Gundam. As Lacus and the others head to safety, Kira launches in the Freedom Gundam and blasts out of a mountainside. The commandos are shocked by the sight of the Freedom Gundam and begin shooting at Kira. Kira goes into SEED mode and attacks with all of his weapons to disable the ASHs without killing the pilots. When Kira lands, the ASH pilots all self-detonate around him.
With the characters we see here, this feels more like an episode from the original SEED series rather than DESTINY. Yuna continues to manipulate things and push for his marriage with Cagalli. As devious as he is, he has a good point with everything he says about the current political situation. Cagalli is basically in a corner with no options, but I’m not sure she had any to begin with. Although Kira and Lacus have been living peacefully for the last two years, that time is over. This episode raises a few questions. Who sent a squad of black ops Coordinators to assassinate Lacus? The obvious suspect would be Durandal so that he could present Meer as Lacus without having to worry about the real one messing things up. However, I don’t think he’s the one. Despite having been trashed by Rau Le Creuset, the Freedom Gundam has been fully restored. I guess someone didn’t think the peace would last. It’s somewhat humorous that Kira makes the effort to disable all the ASH units in battle, only to have all the pilots blow themselves up in front of him. Maybe that’ll teach him to ditch the sentimentality when piloting a weapon of mass destruction.