Following the destruction of the assassination squad, Kira and the others examine the ruins of their house. Lacus wonders why someone would target her, and Andy says that the ASH is a brand new mobile suit that only ZAFT would have access to. If ZAFT wants Lacus dead, he thinks they’ll have to cancel their plan of heading up to space. Cagalli’s maid Myrna arrives and delivers a letter to Kira. She explains that she has come because Cagalli is unable to, and everyone asks if Cagalli has been hurt. Myrna explains that Cagalli is now in confinement at the Seiran house until the wedding. Kira opens the letter and begins to read. In the letter, Cagalli tells Kira she is sorry she couldn’t speak to him in person about the situation. She says Orb needs strong leadership, so she’s going to marry Yuna. Inside the envelope is Athrun’s ring, which Cagalli says she can’t wear anymore. She doesn’t want it taken away, so she asks Kira to return it to Athrun. Elsewhere, preparations are made for the wedding ceremony atop an ancient temple. Cagalli sits alone in her wedding dress and thinks about the first time she meant Athrun when they tried to kill each other. She also thinks about their confrontation at the time they both believed Kira was dead. In the city, Murdoch walks around and runs into fellow crewman Arnold Neumann. Elsewhere, Yuna has a look at Cagalli in her dress and tells her he’d like for her to grow her hair longer. They get into a limousine and head for the chapel, but she stays silent. Yuna asks her if she’s nervous and comments that she hasn’t said a word so far. She tells him she’s fine, but he pours himself a drink and tells her she has to smile. Murrue rides down an elevator with Kira and asks him if what he wants to do is the right thing. He says they have no other choice and can’t just sit back doing nothing. She agrees with him, and the two enter the hangar where the Archangel has been secretly docked.
Yuna waves at the crowds on the street and prods Cagalli to do the same. Cagalli thinks about her father and his attempt to talk sense into the other leaders of Orb about following the Atlantic Federation. She thinks about his death, along with Shinn’s many criticisms of her. When she recalls her first kiss with Athrun she begins to cry. As they get out of the limo, Yuna says he hopes Cagalli’s tears are tears of joy. Elsewhere, the Archangel‘s crew prepares for launch. Murrue asks Andy if he’d like to be the captain, and he tells her the ship is understaffed and he may have to sortie as a pilot. Kira speaks with his mother Caridad and apologizes for going out into battle again. Caridad tells Kira she loves him and asks him to promise he will return. Kira boards the ship, and the Archangel launches from the underwater hangar. At the temple, Cagalli and Yuna approach the priest. He begins to preach about receiving the blessings of the goddess Haumea and asks them their names. With the Archangel having launched, the Orb defense forces go on alert. Kira launches in the Freedom Gundam and heads for the temple. Word reaches the temple about an incoming mobile suit, and the guests begin to run away. Kira arrives and disables the four M1 Astray units guarding the temple. He lands in front of the temple, and Yuna panics and hides behind Cagalli. Kira grabs Cagalli with the Freedom Gundam’s hands and flies away. Yuna cries and orders the defense forces to shoot Kira down. Several Murasame units launch after Kira, so he brings Cagalli into the cockpit. He slices at them with his beam saber and heads back to the Archangel. Todaka’s fleet surrounds the Archangel with orders to be cautious in retrieving Cagalli. He allows the Freedom Gundam to land in the Archangel and lets the ship dive into the water under the pretense of being cautious. He salutes for the Archangel because he believes the future of the world is in the hands of Cagalli and its crew.
For the first time, I’m rather disappointed with an episode in this series. It falls victim to something that plagued SEED during its first half: constant flashbacks with little movement in plot. Yes, I’ve seen many times how Cagalli and Athrun met. I’ve seen Cagalli’s father more in flashbacks than when he was alive. I don’t need to see Flay, Mu and the Dominion exploding yet again. In essence, all that happens in this episode is that the Archangel launches and Kira kidnaps Cagalli. Why did this take a full episode to play out, and where is the crew of the Minerva? While I do like seeing a mix of old and new characters, it’s very odd to have two consecutive episodes where the main cast doesn’t even appear. Since the drop of Junius Seven, we’ve seen less of the Minerva crew. While there were other events playing out, there should be some kind of balance now between what happens on the Minerva and Archangel. I hope that Fukuda doesn’t end up completely sidelining the new cast to focus so much on the old one.