Kira combines both his beam rifles and fires at Shinn, but Shinn blocks with his beam shields. Rey then deploys his DRAGOONs and fires at Kira, but Kira blocks the attack. Athrun then steps in and attacks Rey. Inside Messiah, Durandal orders his forces to concentrate their attack on the Eternal since it is the flagship. The Eternal and Archangel open fire and are attacked by several ZAKU Warriors, but Neo destroys them with the Akatsuki Gundam‘s DRAGOONs. Shinn fires at Kira, but Athrun jumps in and fires at Shinn. Nearby, the Gondwana begins launching squad after squad of ZAKU Warriors and Phantoms. Athrun realizes that they’ve fallen into Durandal’s trap and that the Orb fleet will be destroyed when Requiem fires. He then tosses a beam boomerang at Shinn and slams into the Destiny Gundam. Shinn then uses one of his beam boomerangs as a saber to attack Athrun. Nearby, Lunamaria joins an attack force that is closing in on the Eternal, and the Minerva opens fire on the Archangel. Hilda, Mars and Herbert launch from the Eternal in their DOM Troopers and destroy the ZAKUs that were attacking alongside Lunamaria. Kira attacks Shinn with both his beam sabers and then deploys his DRAGOONs. He tells Athrun and the Archangel to go on ahead and destroy Requiem before it fires. Murrue says that if they leave the Eternal will be defenseless, but Lacus tells her that Orb comes before the ship. Dearka asks Yzak what they’re going to do, and Yzak says they’ll cover the Eternal because it’s a ZAFT ship. Lacus tells Murrue and Athrun that Orb is the last stand against Durandal’s plan and urges them to go on ahead. A barrage of missiles approaches the Eternal, but Neo forms a shield around the ship with his DRAGOONs and prevents a hit. The Infinite Justice and the Archangel break away, and Rey chases after them. Kira deploys his DRAGOONs to block Rey, and Shinn attacks Kira. Kira goes into SEED mode, and he and Shinn both fire their cannons at the same time and cause their shots to intersect. Durandal calls Rey and tells him to protect the Requiem at all costs. Rey then tells Shinn to go with the Minerva and attack the Archangel while he takes on the Strike Freedom. He tells Shinn to make sure he kills Athrun so he can put an end to his past. Rey deploys his DRAGOONs against Kira, and his fighting style reminds Kira of Rau. Shinn chases after Athrun, and Rey says he will put an end to everything as he attacks Kira with a beam saber.
The Eternal approaches Messiah from the back, and Andy says it doesn’t matter how big the fortress’ beam is if it can’t hit them. Hilda and the others continue to attack ZAKUs, while Yzak and Dearka protect the Eternal. Yzak wonders what the Strike Freedom is doing, and Dearka asks him if he wants Kira’s help. Neo and Athrun attack enemy forces, and Neo uses his DRAGOONs to disable them. The Minerva closes in on the Archangel and the two ships trade weapons fire. Lunamaria spots Athrun and attacks him for getting Meyrin involved in his situation. Athrun falls back and says he doesn’t have time to fight her, but she presses on and attacks with her beam saber. Athrun uses one of his leg beam sabers to cut off the Force Impulse‘s right leg at the knee. He then tosses a beam boomerang and cuts off the right arm at the elbow. Shinn arrives and fires his cannon at Athrun, followed by an attack from his anti-ship sword. He yells at Athrun for attacking Lunamaria and goes into SEED mode. He then activates his thrusters while locked in sword combat to slam Athrun into the Moon’s surface. Durandal is informed that Neo GENESIS has been charged to 60 percent, and he asks if the Archangel and Eternal have been destroyed. Durandal thinks to himself that it’s amazing how people like to fight, and he recalls his conversations with Rau. He says that he doesn’t want to fight – just win, but Rau tells him there are things he can’t win. Durandal says there are some things that can’t be won even if you fight, and he wonders what people live for. Kira wonders who he is fighting, and Rey tells him that he is Rau Le Creuset. Kira dodges Rey’s fire, and Rey says that the two of them should disappear so that the world can be reborn. Rey recalls Durandal giving him a box of pills and telling him that Rau is dead. Durandal told Rey that he is also Rau and that it’s his destiny. As the Eternal approaches Messiah, Hilda and Dearka’s units are both damaged by enemy fire. Kira asks Rey why he’s doing the same thing as Rau, and Rey says that the world should go back to the way it was before. Kira says that isn’t right and tells Rey that he only has one life, which belongs to him and not Rau. Rey is momentarily distracted, and Kira fires all his weapons, destroying the last few DRAGOONs and inflicting heavy damage upon the Legend Gundam.
The Kusanagi and two other Izumo class ships fire their Lohengrins at Requiem, but their shots are absorbed by the beam shield. Murrue asks where Athrun is, but Miriallia tells her they can’t determine his position. Neo takes off with the help of a Murasame to attack Requiem. Athrun tells Shinn he shouldn’t fight because he’s trapped in his past. He says that nothing Shinn does will bring anyone back, and he asks Shinn if he really wants to use his power to kill his future. Shinn says that the world has to change and that Orb must be destroyed. Athrun asks Shinn if that’s the kind of world he really wants, and Shinn thinks about Maya and Stella. Shinn rushes in to attack with his palm cannon, and Lunamaria jumps in the way because she doesn’t want him to fight Athrun. Shinn continues his attack anyway, but Athrun goes into SEED mode and knocks him aside. Athrun attacks with both his beam sabers, and Shinn attempts to block them with his hands, losing both arms in the process. Athrun also destroys one of his legs, and the Destiny Gundam crashes into the Moon’s surface. Neo is attacked by several ZAKUs, and he wonders why they’re fighting to protect something like Requiem. The Minerva continues to fire at the Archangel and destroys one of its Gottfried cannons. Murrue tells Neumann to perform a barrel roll over the Minerva, and the Archangel opens fire and destroys the Minerva‘s Tristan cannons. Athrun approaches the Minerva and thinks for a moment about Talia. He then smashes his sub-flight lifter through the ship’s engines, and the Minerva crashes into the Moon’s surface. Durandal asks for a status report and is told that they’ve lost the signals of both the Legend Gundam and Destiny Gundam. With Orb forces centered near one of Requiem’s relay stations, Durandal orders that Neo GENESIS be fired at them. Rey wakes up and flies the damaged Legend Gundam to Messiah. Kira returns to the Eternal and docks the Strike Freedom with a METEOR. As Requiem begins its own charge to fire, Athrun and Neo fly straight into the heart of the cannon. Yzak calls the Eternal and tells Lacus to move her ships before Messiah attacks. Neo GENESIS fires again and destroys several ZAFT and Alliance ships. Athrun and Neo use the sub-flight lifter and DRAGOONs to destroy Requiem, and the two escape just as it explodes. He tells her she shouldn’t be around there, but she says she just wanted to see him for a while. She says that she was given her yesterday and can tell it apart from tomorrow. She tells him she will see him tomorrow and vanishes. Shinn wakes up in Lunamaria’s arms and sees the fire from Requiem, and she tells him it didn’t hit Orb. Kira uses his METEOR to destroy the outer ring surrounding Messiah, and he flies inside and destroys the space dock. Athrun approaches Messiah in the Infinite Justice and follows Kira inside. Shinn watches the fire from Requiem and begins to cry in Lunamaria’s arms. Talia tells everyone that they will cease combat operations, and she leaves Arthur in charge.
Kira enters Durandal’s damaged chamber and pulls a gun on him. Durandal pulls out a gun and tells Kira that if he continues what he’s doing, the world will fall into darkness. Kira says that people could choose a different path, and Durandal counters that people forget things and make the same mistakes over and over. Rey enters the room behind Kira, and Durandal is relieved. Athrun enters the room next to Rey, and Talia enters from another side. Durandal asks Kira which of their worlds humanity will choose. Just as Durandal is about to shoot Kira, Rey shoots Durandal instead. Durandal asks Talia if she shot him, but she says it was Rey. Rey cries in the corner and says he’s sorry. As the room begins to explode, Kira and Athrun moves towards Talia, but she tells them to leave and says she is staying behind. She asks them to tell Murrue to visit her son someday. Kira and Athrun then pause next to Rey for a moment before leaving. Durandal apologizes to Talia and says he’s happy right now. Talia asks Rey to come over, and he hugs her as the room explodes around them. Kira and Athrun reach their Gundams just in time and fly out of Messiah before it explodes and crashes into the Moon. Arthur and the Minerva‘s crew evacuate in a shuttle and fly over their battered ship. Lacus calls the Gondwana and asks for a cease fire, saying that any further combat is meaningless. Both sides fire signal flares to mark the end of combat. Shinn looks at the ruined Destiny Gundam and thinks about what Athrun told him during their fight. Kira returns to the Eternal, Neo returns to the Archangel and Athrun lands on the Moon to pick up Shinn and Lunamaria. The PLANT Supreme Council meets, and in C.E. 74 Orb and ZAFT sign an armistice. In space, the Eternal heads for the PLANTs because the council has asked Lacus to return. On Earth, Shinn, Lunamaria, Athrun and Meyrin visit Orb’s war memorial, which was damaged during the battle with ZAFT. Lunamaria lays flowers down on a memorial stone, which Shinn says is all there is because his family doesn’t have a grave. Shinn says he’s always hated the place, even though he thinks about it often. Kira and Lacus arrive and place flowers on the memorial. Athrun tells Shinn that Kira is the pilot of Strike Freedom, which leaves Shinn speechless. Shinn shakes Kira’s hand, and Kira tells him that no matter how many times the flowers are blown away, they will replant them. He asks Shinn to fight together with them, and Shinn cries and says yes. Kira then leaves with Lacus, Athrun leaves with Meyrin and Shinn leaves with Lunamaria. At Aprilius One, Yzak escorts Lacus into the Supreme Council’s chambers.
By now, most fans are familiar with DESTINY‘s rushed and lackluster ending. I’ve already discussed that in-depth in my review of episode 50, so there’s no need to get into it again. Now, we’re presented with a director’s cut of that episode which adds some new scenes and an epilogue. At double the length of an average episode, it takes more time to finish off the series. The battles between Kira, Shinn, Athrun and Rey have been spread out and lengthened so that they don’t seem so short. New scenes are added here and there, including some damage to Dearka and Hilda (perhaps to even out the Three Ships Alliance’s completely one-sided victory). One of the most noticeable changes is the insertion of Athrun into the final confrontation between Kira and Durandal. I’m not sure what this is supposed to accomplish because he doesn’t actually do anything. Even after Durandal is shot, Athrun doesn’t say anything to Talia or Rey. You’d think he would, given that they were once his comrades. A few new scenes immediately following the battle are included, such as Lacus’ cease fire and Athrun picking up Shinn and Lunamaria. Also watch for cameos by Conille and SEED‘s grumpy guerilla Sahib Ashman. Perhaps the most important part of this special is the epilogue featuring Shinn. Shinn clearly got the short end of the stick in episode 50, but this epilogue addresses that a bit. By visiting the Orb war memorial, Shinn is finally able to leave his past behind and move forward. He also makes amends with both Athrun and Kira. Everyone is happy now, and all’s right with the world. On a side note, the closeness between Athrun and Meyrin would seem to provide further evidence that he’s no longer with Cagalli. Who knows what’s going on there since their relationship was so poorly handled in this series. In the end, although FINAL PLUS is a better ending than episode 50, it’s still weak. This same ending could’ve been done during the TV run had the staff not wasted so much time on clip shows and flashbacks. This ending definitely provides much needed closure for Shinn, but it still can’t make up for the poor writing that plagued the series and the main character switch that occurred halfway through.