Amuro and the White Base crew attempt to enter Earth's atmosphere, but are attacked by Char's forces. They must defend themselves or run the risk of being burned alive upon re-entry.
The White Base crew, after their encounter with the Federation forces at Luna II, are en route to Earth where they will regroup with other Federation troops. As they travel towards Earth, Amuro and Fraw Bow help the civilians on board by handing out supplies. While doing so, Amuro meets an old man and a young boy struggling to fix a toy car. Amuro fixes the toy car for them, and reflects on his own lost childhood. He mentions that his mother is somewhere on Earth and that he hasn't seen his father since his first battle on Side 7. During their conversation, the old man expresses his plans to stay on Earth regardless of what happens during the war, inspiring Amuro to hold a firmer belief in his own ideals.
On the bridge of White Base, Mirai and Bright discuss the logistical difficulties of piloting White Base into Earth's atmosphere. Mirai mentions that she has previously flown a space glider into atmosphere before, but that it was a very different ship. Bright reassures her, telling her that the basic principles are the same and that she will do just fine. The plan is for White Base to accompany the capsule launched from the Salamis cruiser nearby. However, their sensors indicate that Char's Musai is also close, and has recently been resupplied. The Salamis captain believes that Char's forces are too weakened to attack, but Bright knows that Char will most likely attack them while they are vulnerable during re-entry.
Meanwhile, Char has gathered his three best pilots on the bridge of his Musai to explain his battle plan. He will join the three of them as they assault White Base and the Salamis capsule during their entry into Earth's atmosphere. Because the inexperienced White Base crew will be distracted with re-entry procedures, Char theorizes they will be unable to fight off a full-on assault. Even with powerful Zaku IIs and veteran pilots, this is an extremely dangerous mission, as one wrong move can cause the mobile suit to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
As soon as Char begins his attack, Bright orders Amuro to deploy in the Gundam. As he prepares to launch, Sayla warns him that he only has four minutes until he must return to White Base--otherwise Gundam will be burn up as it enters the atmosphere. Amuro is, understandably, concerned about the battle, but Sayla assures him that Kai, Hayato, and Ryu will cover him with White Base's turrets. Amuro launches in Gundam and charges towards the approaching Zakus.
As soon as the Zakus deploy, a cruiser launches from the Musai to provide additional fire. Also, the Musai begins firing missiles at White Base and the Salamis capsule. Most of the missiles miss their mark, but one slams into the side of White Base. The civilians aboard are concerned about the attack, but trust that Amuro is strong enough to protect them. In retaliation, Amuro goes on the offensive, firing a round at Char. Char dodges the attack, and fires a missile at Amuro, punching a hole in Gundam's shield. Amuro keeps trying to fire at Char, but is unable to hit him. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Sayls radios Amuro and warns him not to get too distracted by Char and instead focus on defending White Base and the Salamis capsule from the other three Zakus.
As Amuro flies back towards his allies, he uses his last bazooka round to hit a Zaku, disabling its right arm. Amuro requests that Sayla send him the Gundam's beam rifle, but she claims that it is impossible to do so. After conferring with the engineering crew, she tells Amuro that they can send him the Gundam Hammer (a large, flail-like weapon). As Amuro is about to catch the Gundam Hammer, Char appears and fires another missile at him. Luckily for Amuro, the Gundam Hammer happened to be in the path of the missile and absorbed the blow. During the commotion, Amuro is able to use Gundam's head-mounted Vulcan guns to destroy one of the Zakus.
Elsewhere on the battlefield, the Salamis capsule gets hit with a round from one of the other Zakus. The explosion injures the pilot of the capsule and forces him to change his trajectory. The new trajectory is too steep for a safe re-entry, so Bright allows them to board White Base. The added personnel aboard White Base prove useful, as the crew is stretched thin trying to man the turrets and repair damage at the same time.
Back outside the ship, the battle rages on between Amuro and Char. Char calls to the nearest Zaku pilot, the one with the disabled right arm, to give him assistance while he orders the other one to continue attacking White Base. Char charges at Amuro head-on while the Zaku grabs him from behind. Amuro is almost killed, but he managed to break free of the Zaku's grip and destroy it with the Gundam Hammer in time. Char backs off his attack, realizing that the four minute are up and he needs to return to his ship for safe entry into the atmosphere. As he retreats, he orders the lone surviving Zaku pilot to retreat as well, but his orders go unheeded.
Amuro, rather than returning to White Base, decides to try to destroy the Zaku before it can cause any damage to the ship. Before he can defeat it, however, he and the Zaku are caught in Earth's gravity well and pulled down. Amuro uses Gundam's shield to slow his descent and applies a heat-resistant film to Gundam to mitigate the extreme temperatures. The falling Zaku, however, has no such luxuries, and radios Char. He requests that Char open his ship’s doors and rescue him; but Char is not able. Char is visibly saddened by the pilot's impending death, but assures him his death is not in vain, as he is sure Gundam cannot survive re-entry either.
Inside White Base, the crew is concerned for Amuro's safety. The high temperatures resulting from the descent cause their equipment to malfunction, meaning they have no way of knowing if Amuro survived the fall. Once the ship has cooled down, their sensors come back online, and they see that Amuro has indeed survived he descent into Earth's atmosphere. They open the hangar doors and let him onto the ship.
While the crew of White Base celebrates their continued survival, Char reveals his true plan to his comrades. Even though he did not manage to destroy Gundam or White Base, his attack forced them to change trajectories, such that White Base is now squarely in the middle of Zeon airspace. Char radios Zeon general Garma Zabi and informs him that the Federation ship is nearby and recommends that he send an attack force. Garma agrees and boards a ship to intercept White Base.
|Name||Re-Entry to Earth|
|Air Date||July 27, 2001|