Athrun thinks it’s terrible if someone tried to assassinate Lacus, but he thinks it’s hasty of Kira to not trust Durandal just because of that. He goes on to say that there are many differing ideals in PLANT, like the terrorist group behind “Break the World.” He thinks that whomever attempted to assassinate Lacus could be another group of extremist Coordinators. Elsewhere, Shinn helps Rey walk out of the research facility. Athrun says he will investigate the assassination when he returns to the Minerva, and he thinks Kira and Cagalli should go back to Orb and do something about the treaty with the Alliance. She asks him why he’s not coming back, and he says that as long as Orb returns to its old ways their paths will bring them to the same goal. Shinn sends an emergency message to the Minerva about the current situation. Kira asks Athrun if he’s going to keep fighting the Alliance, and Athrun answers that it can’t be helped. Kira asks him if he’ll fight Orb again, and Athrun says he’d rather not fight at all. Kira says that it’s more complicated than stopping Orb, and that the things lost in war will never return. Athrun tells Kira that she shouldn’t say sugarcoated words like that when he’s killed so many people. Kira acknowledges that and says he doesn’t want to do things like that anymore. Talia has the Minerva take off and fly to the research facility. Athrun looks at his ring on Cagalli’s finger and says there are things he can’t accept even if he understands them. He then walks away and takes off in the Saviour Gundam. After the Minerva lands at the research facility, ZAFT troops enter the building and discover many rotting corpses. Shinn doesn’t understand why he needs a medical exam when he feels fine, but the doctor says it’s better to be safe. Rey has visions of a younger Durandal and Rau before getting up and claiming he’s okay.
A soldier reports to Talia that the lab has been examined and all explosives removed. Arthur wonders what could have caused Rey’s strange behavior. Athrun arrives in the Saviour Gundam and asks Talia what’s going on. Elsewhere, the Alliance/Orb fleet docks for repairs, and a technician tells Neo that it’ll be hard to repair the Gundams without returning to Suez. A soldier informs Neo that the lab at Lodonia wasn’t destroyed as planned, but on top of that ZAFT discovered it. Talia, Arthur, Athrun and Shinn explore the interior of the lab, which is littered with the corpses of the research staff. Arthur panics when he finds the bodies of children in large tubes. Based on the situation, Talia thinks the staff may have had an argument about destroying the lab and killed themselves. Stella asks the others about the lab at Lodonia, and Sting says that’s where they were before. At the lab, Talia examines the records of a computer in a room filled with brains. She discovers that the lab was the home of the Alliance’s “Extended” program, where children were mercilessly altered with drugs to become living CPUs. Those who could not survive the training were eliminated. Athrun glances at the records and recognizes Raider Gundam pilot Clotho Buer. On the John Paul Jones, Auel yells with Sting and accidentally utters his own block word, mother. As he begins to panic, he also mentions Stella’s block word, die. Stella then runs away and heads for the mobile suit hangar. She activates the Gaia Gundam and blasts her way out of the hangar. At the lab, Shinn says he can’t understand how the Alliance/Blue Cosmos can think Coordinators are abominations yet think that living CPUs are acceptable. When the Gaia Gundam approaches, Talia orders Shinn and Athrun to protect the lab. Shinn and Athrun take off, and Athrun warns Shinn that the Gaia Gundam may be equipped with a special weapon to destroy the lab. Athrun flies around and fires his weapons, while the Force Impulse moves in close and slices the cockpit open. When the Gaia Gundam crashes into the ground, Shinn zooms into the open cockpit and is shocked to see Stella.
The first half of this episode is pretty slow with the continuation of the conversation between Athrun and Kira. They part ways due to their differing ideals, and it’s obvious that they’re going to meet again on the battlefield on opposite sides. Athrun also treats Cagalli rather harshly, with that comment about not being able to accept things obviously referring to her near marriage to Yuna. The lab at Lodonia turns out to be the home of the Extended program, which produced the original three living CPUs from SEED along with the current set of oddballs. Apparently, the lab workers killed themselves in a conflict over the self-destruction of the facility. We learn that Auel’s block word is “mother,” and in his panic the fool mentions Stella’s block word too. This time, Stella is finally defeated in battle by Athrun and Shinn. This leads to the (gasp) shocking revelation to Shinn that Stella is the Gaia Gundam’s pilot.