The tensions between the Earth Alliance and Coordinators reaches full-scale war due to the Bloody Valentine tragedy. ZAFT soldiers make an orbital drop.
The ZAFT Supreme Council debates over the use of nuclear weapons. One member argues that responding to nuclear attack with nuclear attack will only ensure that nothing survives, so they should use the Neutron Jammer instead. Another points out that since N-Jammers disrupt all nuclear reactions and radio waves, it will cause enormous instability on Earth, especially in terms of energy.
Rau narrates over clips of the Strikes first activation, its battle against Miguel and the destruction of Heliopolis. ZAFT responded to the Bloody Valentine tragedy by deploying N-Jammers. Without nuclear reactors or warheads, mobile suits became the dominant force on the battlefield. Rau points out that doves are the symbol of peace since they have no sharp beaks or claws to inflict damage with, but if two of them were to fight, that would only make the battle long and gruesome.
Rau reports to the ZAFT Supreme Council. After Rau finishes, Athrun gives a brief description each of the Gundams. GAT-X303 Aegis: a Transforming Mecha, can fire its powerful 580mm dual-phase energy cannon, the Scylla, when transformed. Superior to the GINN in terms of both armor and mobility. Its most notable feature, which is shared by all the Gundams, is its Phase Shift Armor, which requires power to operate but makes it Immune to Bullets when active. GAT-X102 Duel: a close combat mecha, but adaptable for multiple roles. Was the first one developed, and formed a basis for the other machines. Armed with a beam saber, beam rifle, and an anti-beam shield, plus the anti-air "Igelstellung" vulcan cannons, which the other machines are equipped with as well. GAT-X103 Buster: a long range artillery unit, intended to provide rear cover and sniper support. Wields a 350mm gun launcher and a high-energy focused beam rifle, which can be combined to form either a sniper rifle or a shotgun. GAT-X207 Blitz: equipped with the mirage colloid stealth system, which uses gas particles released over the armor to stealth, but is unable to use phase shift at the same time. Armed with the Trikeros (integrated shield, beam rifle, beam saber, and missile launcher) and the Gleipnir rocket anchor. GAT-X105 Strike: Can be equipped with various "striker packs". The Launcher Strike has a 320mm hyper impulse cannon, a 120mm Vulcan, and a 350mm gun launcher. Sword Strike uses a 15 meter anti-ship blade and a beam boomerang. The basic Strike carries two combat knives in its hips.
Rau's narration introduces us to George Glenn, a man who earned a doctorate from MIT at 17, was an Olympic silver medalist, a star football player, an ace air force pilot, and an accomplished aerospace engineer. He eventually decided to make a 14 year long expedition to Jupiter and back in a spaceship of his own design. While departing, he released a message from Earth orbit, revealing that he was the result of a genetic engineering technique that enhanced his mind and body. He also released a manual on how this technique was performed. He described himself as a "coordinator", meant to guide the way into the future. All of this caused great turmoil on Earth. When he returned 14 years later, he presented the plans for the PLANTs to the world.
The creation of Coordinators caused massive retaliation by conservatives on Earth; we see images of George Glenn assassinated, a car bombing, beatings and murders in the streets, a woman with twins, a blonde girl and a brown-haired boy. We're also shown clips of Flay telling Lacus she would never be friends with a Coordinator, and later denying being a member of Blue Cosmos.
At a ZAFT Supreme Council meeting, the members hear a message demanding that they meet their quotas or there will be an economic blockage. Patrick Zala makes a speech about the Earth exploiting the Coordinators. Clips of the Bloody Valentine are shown again.
In retaliation for the Bloody Valentine tragedy, ZAFT deploys N-Jammers to Earth. Neutron Jammers are shown entering the atmosphere, touching down on the surface, and drilling underground. The result is dark, abandoned cities. Bonfires burn in the streets, amid scattered wreckage and corpses.
The episode ends on several clips of Lacus, set to her singing.
Tropes used in this episode:
- Anime Theme Song: The first episode to feature the second OP
- Clip Show: Though there is some new material in it, mostly the backstory on George Glenn.
- Chekhov's Gunman: An important character that has yet to be properly introduced was briefly shown in this episode. Want to guess who it was? The mother with twins. Want to guess the later importance? The twins are Kira and Cagalli.
- Fauxlosophic Narration: Some of Rau's narration falls into this.
- Missing Episode: When the HD Remaster came along, this episode was mostly cut, due to being a clip show. The main points, such as Rau's narration, George Glenn's backstory and Caridad Yamato's brief appearance with baby Kira and Cagalli, where neatly condensed into the cold opening for the next episode instead.