Shinn asks Rey what’s going on, and Rey says he doesn’t know, but that there is no disputing that Athrun attacked several soldiers. Rey then takes off in the Legend Gundam, followed by Shinn in the Destiny Gundam. Athrun flies by Kisaka and the Alliance fleet, followed by Shinn and Rey. Around Gibraltar, soldiers whisper to each other about a spy escaping. Durandal asks several officers to quell rumors of the spy because he doesn’t want any trouble with the Alliance fleets that recently arrived. A soldier reports to Durandal that the fake alarm was initiated from Meyrin’s computer terminal. Durandal calls Rey and Shinn and asks about Meyrin, and Rey says she’s with Athrun. Durandal asks if she’s a hostage, but Rey answers that she went with Athrun willingly. He says they can’t let an intelligence expert like her escape, so he asks for permission to shoot the GOUF Ignited down. Talia asks Rey to wait for a moment, but Durandal grants Rey permission to shoot. Shinn objects, and Rey asks him what he will do if Durandal’s plans are ruined by the betrayal. Rey and Shinn open fire on the GOUF Ignited, and Athrun dodges and returns fire, but his shots are blocked by beam shields. Shinn asks Athrun to surrender and return to Gibraltar, and Athrun uses his heat whip to destroy Shinn’s beam rifle. Athrun tells Shinn that he’s being deceived by Durandal and Rey, and that what they say will lead to the world’s destruction. Rey attacks with his beam saber and tells Shinn that Athrun has become unstable. Athrun asks to at least let Meyrin get out of his cockpit, but Rey says she’s just as guilty as he is and there’s no reason for her to live. Shinn hesitates, and Rey reminds him that he said he would fight any enemy, no matter who they are. Shinn breathes heavily for a moment before going into SEED mode and activating his wings of light. He pulls out his anti-ship sword and cuts off Athrun’s arms before stabbing the GOUF Ignited in the torso. The GOUF Ignited falls into the ocean and explodes. Rey tells Shinn that they did what was necessary to take care of enemies who betrayed them. As they fly back to Gibraltar, Kisaka monitors the situation on a small boat and heads for the crash site.
Durandal is informed that the GOUF Ignited has been shot down. He orders an officer to prepare a report on the incident because the Alliance officers are asking questions. He also requests that Lunamaria be summoned for questioning. Talia asks for a moment to speak with him privately, and he promises that he will make time for her. He also says he wants to search Athrun and Meyrin’s quarters on the Minerva, and that he may have questions for her too. Several soldiers question Lunamaria, but she refuses to believe that Meyrin and Athrun are traitors. The next morning, Durandal thanks Shinn and Rey for completing a difficult mission. Rey comments that Shinn destroyed the GOUF Ignited, and Durandal asks Shinn if he’s all right. Shinn says he is and asks why Athrun and Meyrin become traitors. Durandal lies and says that there were signs that the Ragnarok data had been compromised. He explains that Ragnarok is the code name for the attack on Heavens Base, but it also contains information on their new Gundams. Shinn wonders what could be done with that info, but Durandal doesn’t know. He says that Athrun was angry about Operation Angel Down, and Rey theorizes he may have been bothered by losing his supporters. Durandal says that early in the war, Athrun came to him and asked him to avoid fighting, which is why Durandal reinstated him into FAITH. He doesn’t understand why Athrun would be angry about fighting Logos, which would end the fighting. Rey says that there’s no need to keep speculating, and that everyone will support his plans. In space, ZAFT forces prepare for a mobile suit drop operation to Earth. At Gibraltar, the new Gundams are loaded onto the Minerva. Vino talks about Meyrin, and Yolant tells him to never bring up the subject again. Talia asks Arthur how the crew is handling the situation, and he says everyone is shaken. She asks him to stay in command a bit longer because she feels she isn’t up to it yet. Shinn passes Lunamaria in the hallway and says he’s sorry. She begins to cry while holding onto his back, and he turns around and hugs her. Later, the Vosgulov fleet launches from Gibraltar, followed by several squads of BABIs. The Alliance fleet also launches with the Minerva as its flagship. Aboard the Minerva, Durandal sends an ultimatum to Heavens Base with two demands. First, they are to hand over Djibril and any other Logos members hiding there, and second, they are to surrender and disarm. As the Archangel docks at Orb, Miriallia reads out the ultimatum. Kira tells Murrue he wants to contact Lacus. Kisaka loads Athrun and Meyrin onto a transport plane and takes off. On the Eternal, Lacus, Andy and Martin DaCosta hear the ultimatum. She says if they don’t act quickly, Durandal will become unstoppable if he takes down Heavens Base and Orb. In his quarters, Shinn looks at Maya’s cell phone and vows to end the war.
This episode is the turning point for Shinn. It’s here that he becomes the Gundam equivalent of Anakin Skywalker. Up to now, he’s willingly gone along with everything Durandal says, but on top of that, Rey has been manipulating him all along. Every time that Shinn attempts to speak to Athrun during the fight, Rey makes an effort to interrupt with some lie. On top of that, Durandal has fabricated evidence with this nonsense about the Ragnarok data being compromised. Given his past manipulations of the truth, he’d probably lie about Lunamaria’s photos and say that Athrun was meeting with Kira to give him ZAFT secrets. You can see Shinn struggling to make his choice during the battle, but ultimately he chooses ZAFT and blames things on Athrun. However, Talia clearly has reservations about what happened, and despite her past relationship with Durandal, I think she’ll come to be suspicious of him. One thing that bothered me was the explosion of the GOUF Ignited. It seems that if you’re a main character like Athrun or Kira, your mobile suit can explode over the water, but somehow your cockpit magically survives. Twice in the span of 4 episodes is pretty lazy writing on the behalf of the staff. It’s also lucky for Athrun that Kisaka infiltrated the Alliance and just happened to be in the right place at the right time to rescue him and Meyrin. With the ZAFT/Alliance fleet closing in on Heavens Base, it’ll be interesting to see how Shinn acts as Palpatine’s…err…Durandal’s dark apprentice.