The Sword Impulse rushes towards the Gaia Gundam and attacks with its swords. Stella dodges and fires her vulcans, so Shinn shoots at her with his beam rifle. Sting and Auel don’t understand what’s going on because they weren’t informed that a fourth Gundam existed. Arthur Trine calls Shinn from the Minerva and reminds him that his mission is to capture the Gundams. Shinn asks how the Gundams could be stolen so easily, and Captain Talia Gladys tells him that he shouldn’t bother asking those questions during a battle. In space, the Earth Alliance battleship Girty Lue lies in wait thanks to Mirage Colloid cloaking. Commanders Neo Roanoke and Ian Lee order the Mirage Colloid to be dropped for attack. The Girty Lue fires its cannons at a Nazca class ship and destroys it. Immediately after, several Dagger L mobile suits launch from the Girty Lue and head for Armory One’s spaceport. The Girty Lue unleashes a volley of missiles onto another Nazca class ship. In the spaceport, two Laurasia class ships prepare to launch into space. Two Dagger L units attack the bridges and engines of the ships, causing the both of them to crash into each other and the spaceport. Inside Armory One, Auel destroys several DINN units that are attacking Stella. He reminds Sting that the explosion at the spaceport is their signal to leave. Athrun feels the explosion from the spaceport and is reminded of the destruction of Heliopolis two years earlier. Shinn continues to attack Stella with his swords, but he is attacked from above and behind by Sting and Auel. He dodges their attacks, but Stella attacks him again and knocks him down. Auel sweeps in for the killing blow, but Athrun rams him and throws his beam axe at Stella. Auel fires the Abyss Gundam‘s chest cannon at Athrun and blows away the ZAKU Warrior‘s left arm and shield. Athrun retreats when Cagalli is wounded and knocked unconscious. Nearby, workers remove the rubble covering Rey’s ZAKU Phantom. He gets into his cockpit and clears away the rubble covering Lunamaria’s ZAKU Warrior. Nearby, several officers urge Durandal to retreat to a shelter, but he refuses to do so until he learns more about the situation. Shinn throws a beam boomerang at Stella and blocks a beam attack from Auel that destroys several mobile suits on the ground. Lunamaria and Rey arrive and attack Auel and Sting. Sting tells Stella to retreat, but when she refuses, Auel tells her she can go ahead and die. Stella panics and flies away with Auel and Sting closely following. Shinn, Rey and Lunamaria chase them, but Lunamaria is forced to pull back when her thrusters fail.
As medical teams rush to tend to the wounded, Athrun lands the ZAKU Warrior and decides to take Cagalli somewhere safe. She wakes up, and he tells her that jumping into the mobile suit was a bad idea. In space, the Girty Lue continues to attack the crippled Nazca class ship and destroys it. Several GuAIZ R‘s attack the ship, and Ian fires back at them and destroys them. Neo hasn’t heard a report from the Gundam pilots yet, so he launches in his mobile armor Exus to buy them some time. Shinn continues to attack and wonders how the pilots can fight so well in suits they just stole. Rey tells Shinn they have to get the suits back before they leave the PLANT. On the Minerva, Meyrin Hawke reports to Talia that evacuation orders have been issued due the release of poisonous gas. In space, Neo uses his wireless gunbarrels to destroy several GuAIZ R and CGUE units, which causes Rey to have a strange reaction inside the PLANT. Lunamaria’s damaged ZAKU Warrior lands on the Minerva at the same time that Durandal boards the ship. Shinn throws two beam boomerangs at Stella, but Auel destroys them with his cannons. Shinn calls the Minerva and asks them to send out the Force Silhouette pack. Talia approves, and the Force Silhouette pack is prepared for launch. Sting attacks Shinn with his gunbarrels and destroys his swords. When the Force Silhouette pack approaches, Shinn dumps the Sword pack and docks with the Force pack to form the Force Impulse Gundam. He then attacks Sting and slams into Auel. Auel fires his cannons at Shinn and blows a hole into the PLANT’s wall. The three escape with Shinn and Rey in pursuit. Meyrin tells Talia that the Impulse Gundam only has 300 seconds of power left, so Talia decides to launch the Minerva. Athrun lands his damaged ZAKU Warrior on the Minerva, and Lunamaria grabs a machine gun and asks him who he is. He introduces Cagalli and says he is her bodyguard Alex Dino. He explains that they were meeting with Durandal and that he would like to speak to him. The three Gundams land in the Girty Lue‘s mobile suit hangar, and Rey has a strange reaction to Neo’s presence. Gates begin to open underneath the Minerva as it prepares to launch. Talia orders battle stations, and Cagalli accidentally calls Athrun by his real name in front of Lunamaria. Neo emerges from his hiding spot on the PLANT wall and attacks Shinn with the Exus’ gunbarrels. As the Girty Lue approaches, the Minerva emerges from Armory One and spreads its wings.
This was certainly an action-packed episode. In fact, this episode probably has more action than any single episode of SEED as it is in essence one non-stop battle. Athrun doesn’t seem to have lost any of his mobile suit piloting skills in the last two years, and that ends up saving Shinn’s life. It’s kind of amusing that Athrun goes by the alias “Alex Dino,” only to have Cagalli blow his cover in front of the Minerva‘s crew. Surely they all recognize the name Athrun Zala, which might place him in a troublesome situation as a ZAFT defector. As a pilot, Shinn shows some impressive skill in fighting off three attacking Gundams by himself. This episode introduces some new characters, most importantly masked man Neo Roanoke and his Mirage Colloid-equipped ship Girty Lue. Although he is a masked man, Neo bears quite a resemblance to Mu La Flaga. Also, Rey looks somewhat like a teenaged Rau Le Creuset. Rey has a Newtype reaction to Neo’s presence, much like the way Rau and Mu reacted to each other in episode 2 of SEED. What exactly does this mean? Also, what is with Stella? When Auel tells her she can die, she goes completely berserk. Perhaps she has some bizarre conditioning that causes her to react negatively at the idea of death.