# Hand in Hand (Gundam Seed 10)
A return to form for *Gundam Seed*'s first real climax, and a taste of things to come. Kira and Athrun find some common ground and some differences, resolving Kira's concerns about fighting once and for all (ish). Rau answers dishonour with treachery, balancing the books. Flay cries and shouts, but like the best of villains she fundamentally has a point: Kira did promise her things would be ok, something that was grossly beyond his powers.
Most significant, though, is the change in Lacus. In previous episodes she'd seemed childish, perhaps even to the point of disability, and with an art style to match. But this time she was Kira's conversational equal, practical about their escape (complete with a ludicrously gratuitous pantyshot), and then outright authoritative in the finale. Intentionally or not, it leads me to wonder whether her previous behaviour was all an act.
Or maybe I'm just desperately scrabbling for a way to make her interesting. I've said before that Lacus is the worst character in this show: in a series that's all about moral shades of grey and tough choices, she somehow never has to make any. Rather, she magically knows the right course of action under any circumstances, something that will become stifling later on. Even at this stage, while she's still little more than a plot device (not helped by her complete lack of any chemistry with Athrun), Lacus is strikingly more competent than her cohort (with the possible exception of Natarle), on a par with Mu and Rau (who, indeed, she speaks to as an equal). There's a fun sense of parallel worlds here - the fighters and the politicians, the kiddies and the grown-ups, it sometimes feels like there's another show going on in the background - but Lacus is simply not up to being the bridge between them.
Another character who's shifted dramatically is Murrue; gone is the bold action woman of early episodes, and in her place is someone remarkably ineffectual. There is no hint of discipline for Natarle - something that was understandable in the heat of the moment last episode, but unthinkable now that the immediate danger has passed. And in any remotely realistic military, Kira's current actions beggar belief. Admittedly the EDF have no alternative pilot, but even so, no commander could allow such betrayal to go unpunished.
But that's for next week. Despite my whining, this was a cracking episode, a true high point, and I'm genuinely looking forward to the remaining 39.
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