Garma Zabi and his forces attack the White Base as they try to flee to Federation airspace. Amuro prepares to defend the ship, but is worn out, mentally and physically by the previous fights.
White Base has just completed the arduous descent into Earth's atmosphere. Unfortunately for the crew, they accidentally landed in Zeon territory and are being approached by Zeon general Garma Zabi. His Gaw Attack Carrier docks with Char Aznable's Musai capsule. Char makes his way to the bridge of the Gaw and reminisces with his old friend, Garma. The two went to militarty academy and after spending some time discussing Char's recent failures fighting White Base, they formulate an attack plan. Garma orders his forces to attack White Base in an effort to evaluate its fighting capabilities. He suggests that Char take some time to rest since he has been on continuous duty since the incident at Side 7. Char agrees, but before he leaves, he again warns Garma about White Base's power. Garma politely thanks Char for the warning, and jokingly asks if Char intentionally let White Base survive so long so Garma could impress his older sister, Kycilia.
Back on White Base, the crew works diligently to repair and resupply Gundam and the other mobile suits. Hayato spends his time training in a simulator, Kai slacks off and tries to avoid work, and Sayla tries to manage the crew. Lieutenant Reed, the pilot of the Salamis capsule from the previous episode, is now the commanding officer aboard White Base. He suggests that they deploy Gundam to break through the Zeon line. Bright disagrees, suggesting that Amuro needs rest. The lieutenant snaps at Bright, ordering him to send out the Core Fighter and Gundam. He then yells at Fraw Bow and the children as they try to bring food to the crew on the bridge. While they are arguing, Amuro informs the bridge that he’s ready to deploy in Gundam. After multiple unconvincing assurances that he’s capable, Bright agrees. Just then, Hayato suggests they use the Guntank instead, as it is better suited for long range combat, and they wouldn’t have to be so dependent on Amuro.
In a few minutes, Amuro and Hayato deploy in the Guntank. Even before they launch, they disagree about battle strategy. Hayato wants to move away from White Base and disrupt the Zeon offensive, while Amuro wants to stick by the cover of White Base and fight from there. As soon as they leave the ship, they are confronted by Zeon fighter planes. They manage to shoot down one plane, but Zeon ground reinforcements quickly arrive. The Zeon tanks overwhelm Guntank and White Base. Lieutenant Reed orders White Base to retreat, but Bright counter acts his order, instead ordering the turrets to target the tanks. Lieutenant Reed is furious, but Bright insists that he has more experience commanding White Base than Reed does, and that Reed just needs to shut up and let him work. Reed accuses Bright of insubordination, but Bright counters, saying that Reed originally wanted White Base to break through the enemy’s offensive line and that Bright is just following those initial orders. As a part of Bright's new offensive plan, Sayla and Kai take over White Base's turrets. Even though they are almost completely untrained, Sayla and Kai prove to be much more effective than the Federation soldiers previously manning the guns, even managing to hit a few Zeon tanks.
Back on the ground, Hayato again suggests that Guntank move away from White Base to attack the enemy. This time, Amuro agrees, and they prepare to charge the Zeon offensive line. As they do, Bright radios them, saying that Guntank is too slow to fight against so many enemies. He orders Amuro to pilot Gundam, and says that Ryu will take his place in the Guntank. Both Amuro and Hayato like the idea, especially since they will no longer have to co-pilot the same mobile suit. But Amuro only agrees on the condition that Bright let Kai or Sayla pilot the Guntank, and Ryu take the Core Fighter.
On the Gaw, Garma receives a report from his forces on the Guntank's capabilities. Once he realizes it’s a mobile suit and not simply a regular tank, he orders a Zaku squadron to deploy and take out the Guntank. Garma realizes that if he doesn’t stop White Base before they reach the sea, they will be able to regroup with the Federation forces still on Earth. Just as the Zakus arrive at the battlefield, Guntank docks with White Base. Kai takes Amuro’s place in the Guntank, while Amuro runs to Gundam and Ryu deploys in the Core Fighter to cover the mobile suits. Amuro grows impatient with the time it takes to deploy the vehicles, a further sign of his fragile mental state.
While the Zeon and Federation forces prepare to renew the battle, Char watches from his quarters on the Gaw and speaks with his top lieutenant, revealing his master plan. He knows that Garma will lose the battle, despite Garma’s beliefs to the contrary. When Garma loses to White Base with a more powerful force than Char had, it will justify Char’s massive losses to in previous battles and vindicate him in the eyes of the Zeon High Command. Char thinks to himself and is surprised that Garma did not deploy personally. His hope was that Garma would be killed in the battle, or that Char could come in and save him at the last minute, making Char look even better.
As he waits to deploy from White Base, Amuro daydreams of potential battle plans, but does not pay attention when Sayla details the actual plan. He realizes he’d look foolish if he asked what the plan is after she explained it, so he just launches and hopes for the best. Immediately upon landing, Amuro has a hard time dealing with Earth’s gravity. He manages to shoot down a few Zeon planes and tanks, but before long the entirety of the attack force is focusing their fire on Amuro. The concentrated attack causes Amuro to snap out of his stupor and charge the nearest Zaku, throwing it into a Zeon tank. As the other forces attempt to retreat, he charges at them in a berserk rage, destroying most of the attacking force.
Garma orders the Gaw to return to base, much to the surprise of his soldiers. While they expected him to continue attacking White Base and Gundam, he explains that now he has evaluated the Federation force's fighting capabilities and is going to completely renew his strategy. After returning to his base to regroup and resupply, Garma will attack again. This time with a better knowledge of his opponents' tactics.
On the bridge of White Base, Mirai and Bright plan their next move. Although they are pinned down in Garma’s territory, there is still a Federation underground working in the area. They plan to make contact with them before Garma can replenish his forces. Bright is not convinced the plan will work, but Mirai encourages him, saying that everyone is counting on Bright to come up with a plan and that he must remain confident in his decisions or the crew's morale will suffer.
In White Base's hangar, Amuro emerges from Gundam, visibly shaken. Fraw Bow comes to congratulate him, but he silently pushes past her. The other pilots also come to see him, but he walks past them, too. As he nears his room, the children run by, wanting to celebrate. Amuro asks to be left alone, much to the disappointment fo the children. He flops down onto his bed and tries to deal with the stresses he has encountered since escaping Side 7.
At the Zeon base, Char and Garma discuss their next move. Garma thanks Char for the opportunity to prove his worth to his sister, saying that Char is a good friend. As Garma leaves, Char gives a knowing look to the camera, further insinuating his intentions to have Garma killed at the hands of the Federation.
|Air Date||July 30, 2001|