The Minerva docks at the port of Tarcuius on the Sea of Marmara for repairs. Aves reports to Talia that the Diocuia base will be sending supplies immediately, but the damage to the bow is pretty serious. As body bags are offloaded from the ship, Talia thanks Aves for his work and walks away. A soldier loads Heine’s personal effects onto a truck and tells Shinn and the others that the items will be held in custody. Shinn is angry and says that if the Archangel hadn’t interfered, Heine wouldn’t have died. Later, Athrun tells Talia that he knows the crew of the Archangel very well and can’t understand why they acted as they did in the battle. He thinks they might be missing some information or be wrong, so he wants to speak to them. Talia tells Athrun she has no authority to stop him, but she approves his request to leave the ship. Athrun launches in the Saviour Gundam, and Lunamaria wonders where he went. Athrun drives through Tarcuius and happens to run into Miriallia. He tells Miriallia what happened, and she tell him she knows about the battle and shows him pictures. She thinks he’s confused by the Archangel‘s actions and asks him what he intends to do. Athrun says he wants to talk to Kira and Cagalli, and Miriallia agrees to arrange it. Elsewhere, the Archangel lies submerged underwater. Kira rests in the male side of the hot springs while Lacus joins Cagalli in the other. Lacus thinks Cagalli looks depressed, so she splashes water in her face. Cagalli wonders if they did the right thing in the battle. Lacus says that the only way to accomplish anything is to decide to do something and then carry it out. After leaving the hot spring, Cagalli gets dressed and places Athrun’s ring on her finger.
Arthur meets with Shinn and Rey and tells them they have a new assignment from headquarters. He explains that the Alliance maintained a large research facility outside of Tarcuius, and recently it was heavily trafficked by cars, trucks and mobile suits. Their orders are to launch in the morning and investigate the site. Shinn rudely asks why they have to do such a job, and Arthur asks Shinn what he will do if there are enemies barricaded inside the facility. In the city, Athrun sits in a hotel room and is unaware that Lunamaria is watching him from across the street with a pair of binoculars. Miriallia sends a coded message to the Archangel that Athrun is back and that she wants to meet with Kira. They consider the possibility that it’s a trap, but Kira decides that he and Cagalli should go out to meet Athrun. The next day, Athrun receives a message from Miriallia and launches in the Saviour Gundam, followed by Lunamaria in a gyro heli. Kira and Cagalli arrive at the assigned place and meet with Miriallia. Cagalli asks where Athrun is, and Miriallia explains that she wanted to be careful and warn them that Athrun re-enlisted with ZAFT. Athrun arrives and circles around the area before landing the Saviour Gundam. Cagalli asks him why he joined up with ZAFT again, and he says that at the time he thought it was the right thing to do for himself and Orb. He then asks Kira why he did something so foolish and says that because of his interference there were many unnecessary deaths. Kira asks Athrun what he plans to do now that he’s back in ZAFT, and Athrun says he wants to stop them from doing foolish things. He tells Cagalli that what she should have done was prevent Orb from signing the treaty. On the Minerva, Shinn and Rey launch in their mobile suits and head for the Alliance facility. Athrun says Durandal is trying to stop the war, and Kira asks him about the fake Lacus. Lunamaria overhears with her spy equipment and is shocked. Kira then mentions the assassination attempt on Lacus and says he can’t trust PLANT until he finds out who was behind it. Shinn and Rey arrive at the facility and explore it on foot. When they enter a chamber filled with bodies in giant tubes, Rey has a panic attack and falls to his knees.
The pacing of this episode slows down dramatically after the battle in the last episode. After suffering some heavy damage, the Minerva docks at another city for repairs. Shinn is angry about Heine’s death and blames the Archangel and Freedom Gundam. Understandably, Athrun is confused now that the Archangel is back on the scene and interfering with battles. He meets with Kira and Cagalli to talk with them, but their discussion doesn’t seem to be going well. Lunamaria follows Athrun around, and while some may characterize that as stalker behavior, I think she’s acting under Talia’s orders. In fact, Lunamaria’s attempts to romance Athrun began after he returned to the Minerva as a member of FAITH, so I think Talia may have ordered her to watch him from the beginning. If that’s the case, it would explain why she’s following him in small helicopters and listening to his conversations with spy equipment. Now that she knows the secret of Meer, what will she do with that information? And not so importantly, when did the Archangel get a cliched anime hot spring? On another note, Rey has quite a reaction when entering the secret Alliance base. His panic attack seems very similar to when Rau needed his pills to survive.