Strider, the main problem with this show is that it is built as a 50 ep. series split into two, rather than 2 separate seasons. The buildup is going to take some time...because the story extends into the next season unlike Gundam SEED and SEED Destiny which were very sloppily planned. The answers to the questions you are raising are most likely plot for the next season.... Plus the Director is quite skilled at making these gambles, He's not going to goof off like Fukuda did.
And as far as I am concerned, The trinity siblings are not going to be in good terms with the main characters... as evidenced not only by the OP2 video, but also by spoilers of future episodes. Besides, a thing that is good about this show is that it seems to surprise alot of people when people count it out.