Recap: Gundam Seed Ep 17 Cagalli Returns
After the ZAFT attack, the resistance fighters approach the Archangel. Kira notices the blond girl he spoke to earlier, watching her thoughtfully. Murrue and Mu, along with several armed crewmen, go out to meet the resistance fighters. Murrue thanks them for their help and introduces herself, saying she's from the Earth Alliance's 8th Fleet. A teenage boy asks how that can be when the 8th Fleet was wiped out, but he's silenced by an older bearded man, who introduces himself as Sahib Ashman, leader of the Desert Dawn. He says that they only attacked because ZAFT is their enemy, not to help the Archangel. Mu asks if they've been fighting the Desert Tiger for long, and Sahib says he recognizes him but can't remember from where. When Mu introduces himself, Sahib says he never expected to meet the Hawk of Endymion. Murrue comments that they seem well informed, and asks how much more they know. Sahib says that he knows they're the crew of the Earth Alliance's new assault ship the Archangel, and that they landed here to escape from the Le Creuset Team. He begins to mention the Strike, but is interrupted by the blond girl, who correctly identifies it as the X-105 Strike. Sahib asks what the Archangel's plans are, and Murrue asks if she can count on the Desert Dawn's cooperation. Sahib says that if they're going to cooperate, they should start by lowering their weapons and having the Strike's pilot leave the cockpit, which Murrue agrees to. Kira leaves the Strike to join Murrue and Mu, prompting most of Desert Dawn to mutter about his young age, and the blonde girl to react with surprise, and then anger. She approaches Kira, prompting Mu to reach toward his sidearm, but one of the resistance fighters steps in front of him before he draws it. The blonde girl demands to know what Kira is doing piloting the Strike, and tries to punch him, but he catches her hand. He suddenly recognizes her as the girl he met and left in a shelter back in Heliopolis. She pulls herself free, but before she can do anything else, the man standing in front of Mu calls out to her, calling her Cagalli. Flay, watching the scene on the monitor in Kira's quarters, does not look pleased with the situation.At ZAFT's Gibraltar base, Dearka and Yzak speak to Rau Le Cresuet via video. He expresses relief that they arrived safely, and says that although they didn't manage to destroy the Archangel or the Strike, it may have been lucky that Yzak and Dearka ended up on Earth. He orders them to remain in Gibraltar and help ZAFT's Earth-based forces against the Archangel. Dearka complains about being left on Earth, but Yzak's only response is to begin removing the bandages on his face, revealing a nasty scar, and swearing that he'll be the one to destroy the Archangel.The Archangel follows Sahib through a narrow canyon, approaching the Desert Dawn base. Kira uses the Strike to help camouflage the Archangel while Murrue, Mu, and Natarle follow Sahib into the base itself, built into the canyon walls. Mu asks if the fighters actually live there, and Sahib explains that this is just a frontline base and they actually live in the nearby towns. Murrue thanks Sahib for helping them; Sahib glances at Cagalli and has a brief flashback to the initial meeting with the Archangel, when Cagalli quietly told him to bring the Archangel back to their base in order to talk further. Mu notices where he's looking and asks who Cagalli is; Sahib says that she's the rebels' goddess of victory. Mu presses, asking her name, saying it would be rude not to know. Sahib introduces her as Cagalli Yula, then changes the subject, saying that the Archangel probably wants to go to Alaska.Kira stands on a cliff above the Archangel inspecting the camouflage job, while Sai congratulates him for doing a good job on it. He leaves just as Cagalli arrives, looking for Kira. She apologizes for hitting Kira, saying that it was just in the heat of the moment, and admitting that she'd been worried about him since they were separated in Heliopolis, though she isn't happy he's with the Earth Forces now. He says that a lot has happened since then, and asks her what she was doing here, since he assumed she was from Orb. While they talk, the same man who had put himself between Cagalli and Mu in their initial meeting watches them inconspicuously.In their HQ, Sahib tells Murrue, Mu, and Natarle that although it's nominally ZAFT territory, they don't have the forces to control the whole desert. Unfortunately, three days ago they took over the Victoria spaceport, and since then they've exerted much greater pressure on the area. The Archangel officers react badly to this news, while Sahib explains that although the northern African Community has traditionally supported ZAFT, the South African Union continued to fight against ZAFT even as the Earth Alliance abandoned them and the front line was inevitably pushed deeper into their territory. We see clips of GINNs overrunning OMNI positions, and surrendered Earth Alliance officers being executed by ZAFT soldiers. Mu remarks that even in ZAFT territory, Desert Dawn has continued fighting; Sahib glares at him, explaining that they see ZAFT and the Earth Alliance as equally bad. They try to plan a route to get the Archangel back to Earth Alliance territory, but every course they consider is blocked by terrain, ZAFT forces, or is simply too far for them to travel without being resupplied.Andrew Waltfeld's subordinate, DaCosta, enters Waltfeld's office to find him experimenting with another coffee brew, and informs him that the preparations for the next sortie are complete. Waltfeld says that he wishes such drastic measures weren't necessary, but guesses it can't be helped. Back in the Desert Dawn base, Sai remarks that their time on the Archangel is getting crazier by the day. Kuzzey says that if he had known where he'd end up, he wouldn't have agreed to stay on, but Tolle points out that if he had left with the rest of the refugees, he'd have been killed when their shuttle was destroyed. Miri points out that in war, you ever know what will happen next. Flay approaches the group, looking for Kira. Meanwhile, Waltfeld sends his men to attack the nearby town of Tassil. On the Archangel, Kira is making more adjustments to the Strike's OS, and Murdoch laughs, saying that all of a sudden Kira is giving his duties his full attention. Kira thinks to himself that he has no choice, because if he doesn't get stronger, the Archangel will never make it. Cagalli wanders around the Desert Dawn camp looking for Kira, but is called over by Ahmed, the same boy who asked Murrue about the 8th Fleet in the beginning of the episode. She asks if he's seen the Earth Forces pilot; he asks her why he wants to see him, and she tells him she forgot to ask him his name. He says he thought she already knew him, but before she can reply, the man who was watching her and Kira earlier calls her over. He tells her that she has to be careful or they'll find out about her. She agrees, but then tells him no one asked him anyway.Approaching the town of Tassil, DaCosta remarks that it's the time of night where almost everyone is asleep. Waltfeld says that some would prefer to put them to sleep permanently, but he's not one of them. He tells DaCosta to warn the town, then attack 15 minutes later. At the Desert Dawn camp, Cagalli overhears Sai and Flay arguing, just as Kira appears. Flay runs to him, hiding behind him as Sai explains that he needs to talk to Flay about something that doesn't involve him. Flay says it does involve Kira, since she spent the night with him last night. Sai reacts with shock, and Cagalli hides, embarrassed. In Tassil, people run as ZAFT burns down the town. Sai asks Flay to explain herself, but she says it has nothing to do with him. Kira tells Sai that he's chasing after someone who's not at all interested in him, and asks him to leave him alone because he's tired from the last battle, beginning to leave with Flay. Sai gets angry and tries to grab Kira, but Kira grabs Sai's arm and pins it against his back, telling him that Sai wouldn't stand a chance in a fight against him. Sai is completely shocked, and even Flay seems upset. Kira explains that Flay has been kind to him, and that no one else even cares about his feelings. Suddenly, the alarm goes up in the rebel camp as the lookouts spot the flames from Tassil.
Tropes used in this episode:
- Anti-Villain: Waltfeld seemed like a pretty amicable guy from the start, but the fact that he deliberately warns Tassil before attacking marks him as a definite Anti-Villain.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Remember that mysterious girl from way back in the first episode? Yeah, she's back.
- Cryptic Conversation: Between Cagalli and the man keeping an eye on her. "They'll find out" is a wonderfully nonspecific warning, isn't it?
- Jerkass: Stealing someone's almost-fiance and then telling them you'll kick their ass if they push it is not nice, Kira.
- See also Flay, who was hardly stolen—she manipulated him into it.
- Spell My Name with an "S": A strange case; when speaking to Cagalli, Kira pronounces Orb more like "Ahb". Probably a sort of Early Installment Weirdness where they hadn't figured out the final pronunciation yet.