Hei is riding on a bus towards the Hell’s Gate when the female passenger beside him asks him if he believes in the urban legend that says you can regain things you’ve lost inside the Gate. However, you have to pay the appropriate price, and the girl wonders what that is. Looking at Hei, she doesn’t think that he believes in it and admits that she doesn’t either. The girl then introduces herself as Corinna Moku, a third year Peking University student. Their bus soon arrives at the entrance of the Gate and pulls into a PANDORA (Phisicalqantity Alternation Natural Deconstruction Organized Research Agency) facility where Hei is first sent through an MRI-type machine. Earlier, Huang had assigned the mission to infiltrate PANDORA, and Mao had been worried about Contractors getting so close to the Gate because of the danger of them going out of control. Huang notes that the Organization is serious about this recovery mission and explained that two weeks ago, there was an explosion at a research facility where two guards died. PANDORA had investigated the incident and treated it as an electrical system accident, but several days ago, they learned that the explosion was caused in order to steal a meteor fragment that was from inside the Gate. The Organization thinks that the fragment is still inside the wall and wants Hei to bring it out. To help him, Huang had given Hei a special sticker that looks like a clear piece of plastic.
Hei is now secretly wearing that sticker on his neck and has to go through a series of questions about if he’s seen UFOs and if he believes in the existence of God. The final question, which Hei answers “no” to without hesitation, is if he knows any Contractors. He manages to pass the test and gets in line with the others to enter the facility where he sees Corinna again. However, Corinna is now staring into empty space and has a shocked look on her face when Hei tries to talk to her. When she angrily tells him that it’s nothing, she attracts the attention of guards who taser her when she screams and resists. Hei meanwhile heads to his new job as a janitor, and the supervisor first goes through a long explanation about how ghosts aren’t unusual and how their job is to provide the best environment for the scholars here. The supervisor then shows Hei and the other janitors the third block – the most important area that they have to handle. It is here that Hei notices a room full of telescopes, but he doesn’t get to stare for very long before his supervisor yells at him and explains that they don’t have to clean that room. They are interrupted when they have to get out of the way of two of the researchers – an old man named Sergei and a young woman who bumps into Hei even though he’s standing still. Hei quickly realizes that she slipped something into his pocket and finds a note asking to meet with him in the supply room.
When Hei heads there, he figures out that the girl is from the Organization. She reveals that there are other people from the Organization here, but she hasn’t met them. Before she tells him more about the meteor fragment, the girl first warns him not to expect her to provide help and explains that she’s been doing research here for two years before this suddenly came up. As for the fragment, she doesn’t know the details, but a similar material was confirmed in South America before it disappeared. It is thought that the data from that time is highly beneficial for unraveling the mystery of the Gate. She questions why the CIA would steal it, but then decides that this isn’t her job and excuses herself. However, she soon returns so that she can introduce herself properly as Mina Kandaswamy. She also informs Hei that the sticker he’s still wearing on his neck is meaningless because there’s no real way to spot a Contractor. Later that night, Hei heads back to the telescope room and is about to touch one when someone tells him not to because they’re still in the middle of an experiment. Standing in the doorway is a male researcher who is surprised when Hei explains that he used to use the Satake model of telescope. This man, in turn, surprises Hei by asking if Hei wants to see the real stars.
The man, whose name is Nick, brings Hei to the rooftop of the facility where he notes that Satake was a Japanese manufacturer who used a cheap, but high-quality lens. When Hei questions what Nick is doing, the matter-of-fact response is that he’s looking at the stars. Nick wonders if Hei gave up just because the sky was fake and feels that although life got crazy after this sky appeared, he had no intention of changing this stargazing habit. He then allows Hei to look through the telescope, and since Hei doesn’t see anything, Nick suggests that Hei has forgotten everything. By following Nick’s advice to believe that this starry sky is the starry sky they used to see, Hei is able to see a blue night sky. Nick feels that things that usually can’t happen can happen inside the Gate, though what Hei experienced is one possibility of the stars’ future. He then asks Hei what would happen if everyone around the world experienced what they did and reveals how he can’t help feeling that the stars would be recovered in such an event. In any case, Nick wants Hei to join his circle of friends, though it’s just him and his sister right now. Although his sister’s body cannot move right, Nick dreams one day of erasing the fake sky and taking her up into real space. In response, Hei feels that it would be good if this dream could be fulfilled.
The next day, Hei finds a tired-looking Corinna in the lunchroom sitting by herself. He tries to sit next to her, but she tells him that she sees dead people. Corinna has decided to leave this place and mentions giving something to someone before she starts yelling at the empty space to her side where she supposedly sees a dead person. After Corinna runs off, Nick comes by and comments on how it might be hard for her to get rehabilitated into society. Later that night, Corinna is inside the telescope room fiddling with a lens when she gets electrocuted from behind. Soon after she dies, the lens beside her glows blue briefly, and the person who killed her takes it. Corinna’s body is discovered the next morning, though her shoes are not on her feet but have rather been placed neatly upside-down beside her. Hei’s supervisor incriminates him, so Hei is taken in for questioning, though he doesn’t reveal anything. Afterwards, Hei runs into Mina who suspects that it wasn’t Hei who killed Corinna, and Hei confirms that he had no reason to do so. When Mina wonders if Contractors need to kill, Hei seems to get angry, so she apologizes. Hei doesn’t know who really killed Corinna, but he does warn Mina not to move alone. The leader of the guard is meanwhile talking with someone on the telephone about how Corinna was a courier sent in by the CIA. Instead of handing over the meteor fragment to them, she had wanted to be released from the Gate facility, and they don’t know where she hid it.
Later, employees of the third block are gathered in front of Sergei and a video screen to help him make observations about some exploration being done by a robot inside the Gate. Before it begins, Nick reassures Hei with a pat on the head that he’s an ally and that he doesn’t think Hei is the kind to kill someone. Inside the Gate, the robot proceeds forward towards what turns out to be a giant crater. As the robot backs away, Hei suddenly catches sight of something in the video feed: a girl with blood running down her face standing in front of a car. The others in the room also see something, but for them it’s just a bright blue flash of light. As Mina realizes this light to be the same as what is emanated by a Contractor when they use their power, Sergei questions if this is the meteor fragment.
Finally, we’re getting some more main character story advancement, and additional stuff pertaining to the Gate and PANDORA. Bai’s appearance raises a lot of questions for me, including if that was really her (I have my doubts) or if it was something projected specifically for Hei to see. The preview for next week would suggest that regardless of if she was really there, we’ll be finding out a lot more about Bai and what happened to her.
As for the meteor fragment, it appears to be actually a telescope lens based on the empty case with the round indentation from the flashback to the explosion aftermath scene. That would also fit with why Corinna was in the telescope room before she was killed. Speaking of which, her killer seems to be a Contractor with similar electricity powers to Hei. I get the feeling that the Contractor is actually Nick, and I wonder if he also influenced what Hei saw by patting him on the head.
Overall, I really liked the direction this episode is going. It got me really excited for what will be probably an even more interesting episode next week with Hei’s past.