The Gundam franchise is well-known for delivering spectacular finales, and Witch From Mercury is no different. Its penultimate episode fully gives us yet another Gundam experience: an emotional and suspenseful 23 minutes filled with action and drama.
The Battle of Lions
The first part of this episode throws us immediately into the action and doesn’t stop. We have a dual battle between siblings, providing us with an epic and emotional showdown that finally answers a crucial question: who is the better of the two?
For Guel and Lauda, this is pretty obvious from the very start. Lauda, now piloting the Gundam Schwarzette, is shown to be a quite capable pilot, but it is his emotions that truly fuels his strategy and allows him to fully utilize Schwarzette’s every arsenal to great effect.
It is even more impressive when we consider the fact that this is his first time piloting a Gundam and yet he is already at Permet Score 3, maybe even 4. And we can tell that Lauda is greatly suffering, hence why Guel never goes all-out.
Of course, Lauda is also delusional by this point, and there’s really no way of stopping his rampage. But his love for his older brother is undeniable. This becomes clear with his dialogues, showing that he feels inferior because Guel wouldn’t rely on him more. And that is perfectly understandable for a little brother, and a half-brother at that.
On the other hand, Guel is the older brother; he’s taken upon himself to be the pillar of the Jeturk family. Not only that, but killing Vim is indeed his own sin. He couldn’t share that burden with anyone else, especially Lauda.
In most Gundam fights like this, it is a tradition that one of the two combatants would die. Indeed, Guel is ready to die by letting himself be impaled by Schwarzette’s sword. In a way, this is his atonement for killing Vim while also proving how much he loves Lauda.
But as is expected of Witch From Mercury, the show subverts expectations one more; Felsi arrives just in time to save Guel from an explosive end. The moment is a breath of relief, and funny enough, it also subtly takes a jab at the franchise’s trope of rivals killing each other for stupid reasons.
The Duel of Witches
While the Jeturk siblings is able to sort out their feelings by the end, the same couldn’t be said of Suletta and Eri.
Much like the fight between Guel and Lauda, there’s so much emotions in Suletta’s showdown with Eri. They aren’t looking to kill each other but to protect something while trying to convince each other to stand down. And frankly, this just makes their fight so much more impactful.
Suletta is a beast in the Calibarn! All throughout the story, her potential is hampered by her reliance on Aerial’s systems, which Eri partially controls. But now that Suletta is on her own, we can confirm that she is an exceptional pilot and truly deserves the Holder title. The fight itself is epic, and we see Suletta destroying Gundnodes while also dodging Aerial’s Gund Bits—a feat no one has achieved so far.
Of course, Eri is holding back due to her love for Suletta. And it is entertaining to see her getting riled up because Suletta refuses to stand down. But this only makes their fight even more tragic; we can feel Suletta’s love for Eri and Elnora, to the point that she keeps fighting despite the load from Permet Score 5.
What’s frightening, however, is that Eri’s compassion and patience can run out. In fact, it really does, and she doesn’t hesitate when she prepares to kill Miorine and the infiltration team that’s supposed to disable Quiet Zero from within. Even Suletta is powerless despite her skills.
But as luck would have it, Suletta is not alone in the fight. In a shocking twist, Quiet Zero deactivates the Gundnodes momentarily, allowing Miorine’s group to enter the station unopposed.
Who could have helped Suletta and briefly overrides Eri? Is there someone else within Quiet Zero? Or is Aerial not as dependent on Eri’s input as we’ve always assumed?
A Mother’s Love
With the path clear, Miorine’s crew is finally able to infiltrate Quiet Zero unopposed. Of course, Elnora would never go down easily. Apart from gun-toting Haros and Elnora’s own combat skills, Quiet Zero’s mainframe is protected by a password.
Which Elnora happened to change as a precaution.
At this point, it seems that she has won, though there are still people willing to resist her. Belmeria finally overcomes herself and tries to kill her friend as atonement for her own sins, and Elan 5 has proven to be a hero at last by subduing Elnora. However, it isn’t force that finally ends the Witch’s plans.
It is through a mother’s love.
All throughout the series, Notrette’s tomatoes have been given importance. And in the previous episode, we even learn that she has hidden a message for Miorine. But who would think that this seemingly sweet gift is actually the very thing that would bring about Elnora’s downfall? For Notrette’s message is the passcode for the main system itself.
We might consider this a dues ex machina or a very convenient plot twist considering the timing of its discovery, but we can’t deny that for a story where a mother’s love serves as an integral part of the plot, this twist fits thematically.
And this love is also what Miorine is willing to extend to Elnora—the love of a family. It may seem too idealistic of her, but after what Miorine has went through, it is really admirable to offer the olive branch to Elnora even though the woman’s sins are just as grave as Delling.
Unfortunately, they aren’t given time to sort things out as the Space Assembly League and Peil Technologies make their move.
A gigantic laser weapon is a staple in the franchise, and Witch From Mercury is no different. In fact, it is only revealed in this episode that the SAL has been hiding one such weapon in plain sight. But more than that, they are willing to use it despite the casualties it would cause—the entire Benerit Group fronts and even Asticassia—all for the sake of power.
And so we finally come to one of the series’s greatest and most emotional scene. Considering the output of the laser weapon, it initially looks like all of the heroes’ sacrifices would be in vain… until Eri performs a miracle.
Perhaps this is already expected. Eri is no longer a human but a weapon of mass destruction. She has already destroyed countless of lives, whether in defense of Suletta or acting on her mother’s orders, and would continue doing so for the sake of her and Elnora’s goals, even going as far as to try and kill Miorine and Suletta’s friends.
But in this moment, when all hope seems lost, Eri gives her first and last gift for Suletta: unrelenting kindness.
It is an impressive sight seeing the Aerial and the Gundnodes forming a gigantic energy shield to block the laser. But what truly makes this a heartbreaking scene is when we see Eri smiling at Suletta for the first time with love in her eyes. They may have clashing ideals, but there is no denying that Ericht Samaya does care a lot for her sister.
In the end, everyone is safe, all the Gundnodes are destroyed, and the Aerial is a floating wreckage in space.
Emotional and action-packed, episode 11 fully captures the series’s essence in a bittersweet way. But with one more episode left, Gundam: Witch From Mercury might just pull yet another unexpected twist.
Episode score: 10/10