Toy Box launches from Seven on another mission. In the cockpit, Fee asks Tanabe if she and Hachi had a fight, as Tanabe seemed to be avoiding him lately. Elsewhere, Hachi notes that Yuri has a habit of staring off into space from time to time. He asks Yuri what he sees out there and Yuri cryptically replies ‘space… just space.’ The next day, back in Debris Section, Lavie scolds Yuri for not using any of his vacation days. It seems that Yuri hasn’t taken a day off in over five years. Yuri glumly agrees to take some time off soon, as Tanabe continues to space out whenever Hachi is around. Later on, Hachi talks with Cheng-Shin. Apparently, it was Cheng-Shin who asked Hachi to find out if Tanabe was seeing anyone. Hachi tells Cheng-Shin that he just doesn’t understand his taste in women. Tanabe’s unyielding, naive personality embarrasses Hachi–though he does note that she hasn’t really been herself lately. Meanwhile, Tanabe finally manages to get her spacesuit on in less than ten minutes–a goal Gigalt had given her. Her pride in her accomplishment quickly turns to melancholy as she flashes back to Gigalt explaining that he has terminal cancer and that she shouldn’t tell Hachi. Elsewhere, Yuri sits alone at a computer terminal, scrolling through a list of collected debris–something he apparently does often. Some time later, Hachi, Tanabe, and Yuri are out on the job in the middle of a debris field. Tanabe–still lost in thought–causes an accident that nearly injures Hachi. Back on the ship Hachi angrily scolds Tanabe, reminding her that her thoughtlessness could have killed him. Hachi doesn’t let off his barrage, noting that she’s been spacing out a lot lately and if she can’t get her head back in the game she should just go back to Earth and get married or something. All Tanabe can do is apologize profusely, still refusing to give up Gigalt’s secret. That night, Yuri finds Tanabe hiding aboard Toy Box–wallowing in shame over the earlier incident. Needing to get it off her chest, she asks Yuri what it’s like to lose someone important to you, and explains her situation without giving away who she’s really talking about. Yuri somberly explains that when you lose someone you really care about there’s no grief or sadness, only emptiness. Elsewhere, Fee tells Hachi that he was a bit too rough on Tanabe and that Tanabe has been secretly practicing in Toy Box at night, trying to get better at her job. Hachi heads down to see for himself, but runs into Yuri and Tanabe. Thinking that Yuri’s been teaching her and still emotional from earlier (and perhaps a bit jealous) Hachi lashes out and winds up targeting Yuri. Hachi is annoyed that Yuri hides things from him, even after they’ve worked together for so long. He wants to know what Yuri is looking for in the debris records all the time. But more than anything, Hachi wants to know why Yuri never asked him for help–they’re a team after all. Noticing that he’s being petty, Hachi takes a lighter tone, tells Yuri that he doesn’t have to sneak around all the time and leaves.
Yuri looks through debris records and begins to think back to an earlier time in his life. Seven years ago, Yuri was on board a commercial space liner along with his wife. He asks her why she would go and buy compass of all things. She explains that–as there’s no up or down in space–astronauts need to know their bearing more than anything else and thus keep things like compasses for good luck. Yuri notices something written under the lid, but his wife tells him not to look–every marriage needs a secret or two, she says. Yuri lets it go, but teases her for being scared of commercial space liner in this day in age and gets up to visit the back of the craft to get some coffee. His wife doesn’t want him to go, but he just brushes off her unjustified fears, telling her he will be right back. As he leaves, she shifts in her seat dejectedly and looks out the window–noticing a tiny point of light. Suddenly, a screw traveling at an extreme velocity impacts her window… Back in Debris Section, Myers yammers on to Tanabe about setting up marriage meetings–apparently a hobby of his. He happens to mention that Yuri used to be married, at which point both Tanabe and Hachi perk up. Tanabe inquires further and Myers explains that she was involved in the infamous Alnair-8 accident–in which space debris crippled a commercial space liner. Yuri happened to be in the rear and survived, but his wife’s body was never found. Back on the job, Yuri gazes longingly into a debris field and thinks back to shortly after the accident. He was led into a room filled with recovered belongings of the Alnair-8 victims to identify anything that may have belonged to his wife. Her compass was not there. Meanwhile, Hachi is a bit out-of-sorts, still a bit shocked after hearing about Yuri’s wife and a bit hurt that Yuri never told him about it. At this point, Fee orders everyone back inside, as a debris shower is headed their way on an intersecting orbit. Yuri, Tanabe, and Hachi begin to head back, but suddenly Yuri sees something sparkle in the distance. Fee notices that Yuri’s Fishbone is now heading away from Toy Box and orders him to come back, but Yuri isn’t listening–in the distance he sees his wife’s compass. Mesmerized, Yuri reaches out to grasp the compass, but just then the debris shower hits, knocking Yuri’s Fishbone down towards Earth. An unconscious Yuri is now being dragged down into the atmosphere by his Fishbone tether. He dreams that his dead wife is reaching out to him and wakes up to realize he has the compass in his fist just as Hachi and Tanabe reach him. Tanabe, riding on Hachi’s Fishbone’s arm grabs hold of Yuri as Hachi desperately tries to break free of Earth’s gravity. Yuri opens his hand and reads the message scratched into the compass’s lid–“Please save Yuri.” Hachi maxes out the Fishbone’s engine and barely manages to break away from the atmosphere. Later, safely back aboard Toy Box, Hachi and Tanabe look out a window. Hachi admits that he always thought Yuri was rather standoffish, but now wonders if he didn’t want them to know about his wife not because he didn’t think of them as his teammates, but because they are his teammates. Tanabe accepts this–thinking of Gigalt–and says that it’s sad that all Yuri can do for his wife is leave a single flower in orbit. Hachi agrees, but nothing can be done, considering what they do for a living. Fee notes that Yuri has worked harder than anybody she’s ever known bringing in debris over the years, so they can forgive him for this one. Alone amongst the stars, Yuri drops a single white carnation into the void and–still holding the compass–turns around to head home saying “mission accomplished.”
It’s good to see Yuri finally getting some screen time. Up until this point in the series, he had been constantly overshadowed by some of Debris Section’s more animated characters. The revelation that he once had a wife is given even more of an impact because we had already seen her fate in the prologue of the first episode. The last half of this episode was just beautifully done–Yuri’s retrieval of his wife’s compass and his subsequent silent funeral for her is truly one of the series’ most memorable moments. They even manage to tie it into Tanabe’s acceptance of Gigalt’s secret from the previous episode, which is a nice touch. One thing is for sure, Tanabe and Hachi’s relationship is just going to get more complicated from here on out.