Athrun approaches Orb in the Saviour Gundam and requests permission to dock with the Minerva. Orb ignores his transmission and scrambles two Murasames to attack him. Athrun dodges the attack and explains he has no intention of attacking Orb. A Murasame pilot tells him that ZAFT is now Orb’s enemy. Athrun gives out his secret codes under his Alex Dino alias and requests to speak to Cagalli, but he is told that isn’t possible. An Orb official tells him his excuse to attack is very flimsy considering that the Minerva is gone. Elsewhere, the Archangel hides in the depths of the ocean. Cagalli yells at Kira and Murrue for kidnapping her from the wedding ceremony. Kira says it couldn’t be helped because he didn’t want her to do something foolish. She asks what’s foolish about the situation in Orb and her decisions. Kira asks her if she really believes allying with the Atlantic Federation and marrying Yuna is the right thing to do, and she says it’s the only way to keep Orb safe. He asks her if keeping Orb safe is good enough when someday Orb could attack PLANT or some other country. Kira says they still have time to change things. He gives Athrun’s ring to Cagalli, and she begins to cry in his arms. Elsewhere, the Minerva is docked at the Carpentaria base for repairs. Lunamaria and Meyrin buy supplies from one of the stores, and Vino and Yolant discuss when they’ll go back to space. Rey sits down in a lounge to play piano, and Shinn has a look at the new transforming mobile suit BABI. He spots the Saviour Gundam approaching the Minerva and runs over to see it. Everyone wonders who the pilot is of the Saviour Gundam and are all surprised to see it’s Athrun in a FAITH uniform. While everyone else salutes Athrun, Shinn rudely asks him what’s going on. Athrun asks if Talia is on the bridge, and Meyrin volunteers to take him there. Lunamaria jumps in and offers to take Athrun to the bridge herself. Shinn asks Athrun if he’s returned to ZAFT, and Athrun says it looks like it.
In the elevator, Lunamaria asks Athrun why he was suddenly recalled to ZAFT. Athrun explains that he just went up to the PLANTs to meet with Durandal. He asks when the Minerva left Orb because he hadn’t heard about it. Lunamaria asks him what happened at Orb, and he says he was attacked. She says Orb is a strange country and tells him they were ambushed by the Alliance as soon as they left Orb. She says they would’ve all died if Shinn hadn’t done so well in battle. She then says she is disappointed in Cagalli for allying with the Atlantic Federation and marrying Yuna. Athrun is shocked at the news, and Lunamaria goes on to say that there’s a rumor about Cagalli being kidnapped during the wedding. Athrun then meets with Talia and Arthur and hands over orders from Durandal. Aside from promoting Talia to FAITH, the Minerva‘s orders are to proceed to the Gibraltar base with a submarine escort and assist the forces attempting to capture Eurasia’s Suez base. Talia explains that many parts of the Eurasian Federation aren’t happy about being part of the Earth Alliance and seceded when the war began. Despite the danger, ZAFT has to intervene to protect Gibraltar. Athrun asks Talia what happened in Orb, and she tells him rumor indicates Cagalli was kidnapped by the Freedom Gundam and Archangel. In the crew lounge, Meyrin, Vino and Yolant discuss the news about Talia being promoted to FAITH. Vino doesn’t really understand, and Yolant explains that FAITH is ZAFT’s top elite and answer only to the Supreme Council or Durandal. In the mobile suit hangar, Lunamaria follows Athrun around and talks about Cagalli’s wedding. Athrun gets into the Saviour Gundam’s cockpit, and she asks him if it’s similar to the Impulse or Chaos Gundam‘s cockpits. Athrun lets her sit in the cockpit, and Shinn walks by and ignores them. On the bridge, Talia tells Arthur to prepare the ship for launch. Elsewhere, Stella looks at the ocean from the deck of the flagship John Paul Jones. Two soldiers come up behind her, and when one of them tries to grab her, Auel attacks him and holds him at gunpoint. When the soldiers run off, Auel tells Stella that Neo has summoned them. At Carpentaria, the Minerva launches alongside the submarine Nyiragongo. On the John Paul Jones, Neo tracks the Minerva on radar.
Although this episode opens with Kira and the Archangel team, it quickly changes focus to the Minerva crew. Or perhaps I should say it switches focus to Athrun and his sidekicks on the Minerva. I’ve always liked Athrun, and while it’s good to see him, he’s not the star of this show. I didn’t mind at first, but it’s starting to become a bit annoying how little screen time Shinn is getting. Also, what screen time Shinn does have is usually spent bickering and complaining about Orb. Although he showed some respect for Athrun after the fall of Junius Seven, his bad attitude from before has come back again. With the Minerva heading into a major battle, maybe Shinn will straighten out his attitude problem. Also, Lunamaria engages in some sibling rivalry with Meyrin over Athrun. It’s hard to tell if she has a crush on Athrun, the Saviour Gundam, or both, but this is likely to cause some trouble if it persists.