When they were young and out stargazing, Hei’s little sister Bai had spotted a shooting star, and he had told her about making a wish. He had explained that shooting stars are light that escapes when God opens the lid to heaven; therefore, if you make a wish at that time, God can grant it. Bai was excited to hear this because she had a lot of wishes to make, including becoming a nurse and living in space, so she searched intently for another shooting star and made her wish when she saw one. Hei suddenly notices something wrong with his sister and rushes over to her, only to just as quickly find himself alone in a red-tinted world. All of this has been happening in his head, and Hei’s supervisor knocks him out of the daydream because he’s trying to vacuum in a room where there’s a meeting going on. The meeting, which Mina is a part of, is about how the blue synchrotron radiation in the video is coming from the meteor fragment. Afterwards, Mina tracks Hei down in the men’s bathroom and confronts him about what he saw earlier. She knows that many people have seen a phantom that they don’t want to see and asks that Hei not to carry this alone – it’ll be easier if he talks about it. Mina cares because she doesn’t want him to leave without leaving behind some research findings for her. Hei tries to reassure her about the Organization not having any expectations for her and then suggests that she leave the bathroom before someone sees her. On the way out, Mina accidentally bumps into Hei’s supervisor and claims that going in was a mistake before running off. However, she stops again and turns around to smile at him.
Hei meanwhile heads by the telescope room and finds Nick cleaning up it up. Nick explains that he’s been put on the recovery team to get the substance inside the Gate that emitted the synchrotron radiation, all of which he isn’t too happy about. Before getting called away to join the team, Nick remembers that he wanted to give the telescope to Hei, and after Hei gladly accepts, Nick suggests that they can see the stars together again if he comes back. Hei later finds a note in his locker asking if the shoes placed upside down beside Corinna’s body was the price of a contract. He figures out that it’s from Mina and heads to the supply room to tell her not to act on her own since there’s someone dangerous around. However, their conversation gets interrupted by an emergency announcement asking researchers to head to the laboratory. It seems that the research team is sending back video of them getting attacked, and Mina immediately notices that something else is strange: all the individual letters on signs are facing backwards. What shocks them even more is when they get a look at the dead team and realize that all of the shoes have been taken off and placed upside down beside the bodies. Nick is the only person who survives, and he didn’t bring back the meteor fragment. After learning that Sergei isn’t willing to risk anyone else on his team, the leader of the security team returns back to his office to find Eric Nishijima waiting. Nishijima makes it clear that the head security guard is pretty much out of time to get the meteor fragment and that the higher-ups are getting impatient.
Hei meanwhile finds a wheelchair-bound Nick back in the telescope room, which has since been emptied. Nick reveals that he’s decided to quit this place and wants to apply to return to NASA, so their promise to watch the stars together again will have to wait until later. Offering his hand, Nick explains that Hei didn’t feel like a stranger to him when they first met – he had thought of Hei as another of himself and is glad to have met him. After the two shake hands, Nick notices that Mina is watching them from the doorway and asks if she needs something. She wants to talk with Hei again, but he gets angry at her once they’re by themselves because she had contacted him in front of someone else. However, Mina is more concerned about why Nick was the only one who came back safely. In fact, she had checked the video from earlier and Nick is the only one who isn’t in it. Those things along with all the overturned shoes make her think that this wasn’t something caused by the Gate but rather something done by Nick himself. Hearing this, Hei questions how long Mina’s worked with him and if she’s ever thought him to be a Contractor. Mina has not, but she feels that Hei is much gentler than other people and so she doesn’t want him to get hurt. She’s been fighting with her own feelings since she met him, but Hei doesn’t care and just walks away.
Later that night, the head security guard follows Nick into the Gate and stops Nick right as he’s about to open a locker. He suspects that the meteor fragment is in the locker and tells Nick to spread his hands where he can see them. However, when the head guard goes to open the locker, Nick uses his Contractor powers and electrocutes him. Since the first jolt doesn’t kill him, Nick has to touch him arm to finish the guy off. As Nick is placing the guy’s shoes upside down afterwards, he suddenly realizes that Hei is watching him. Nick feels that it can’t be helped if Hei is now suspicious of him, but he still wants Hei to believe him. Opening the locker, Nick then takes out a lens that he calls the meteor fragment. He explains that he is employed by the CIA, and the condition for him to return to NASA was to bring back the material from inside the Gate. Nick doesn’t like working here because any research findings are taken by the higher-ups and are not shared – he doesn’t even know what the other teams are researching. This makes his dream become distant, meaning that he can’t restore the starry sky and take his little sister to space. Nick thinks that this must all sound wild to Hei, but it’s all true. He’s only telling Hei now because he wants Hei to believe his dream.
In response to all of this, Hei admits that he’s seen something similar to the meteor fragment in the past. Remembering that his sister had given it to another woman, Hei explains that no Contractors can control themselves in the boosting of their abilities. He knows that they killed each other, and feels that everything Nick said was a lie. This includes what Nick said about dreams because Hei doesn’t believe that Contractors should see dreams. Realizing that Hei isn’t just any regular person, Nick suddenly rushes forward and places his hand on Hei’s head. Hei reacts by placing his hand on Nick’s chest, and both of them try to electrocute the other at the same time. Nick doesn’t understand why his power isn’t effective on Hei, but for now, he grabs the dead guard’s gun and runs outside. It is on the deserted streets that Hei suddenly spots his sister, so he starts to walk towards her. The culprit would actually be the meteor fragment that’s in Nick’s pocket which has started to glow, and Nick uses the distraction to get behind Hei and point the gun at his head. After commenting on how similar they are because of them having the same power, Nick addresses what Hei said about Contractors not having dreams. Nick had thought that way too, but that’s also the reason he trusted in Hei: he felt that Hei was the only person who understood that dream.
As Nick is talking, the meteor fragment starts to glow brighter and both of their blue auras activate. Nick takes the chance to fire the gun at Hei, but a bright light in the form of a girl protects Hei, and the two are soon enveloped in a growing ball of blue light. They find themselves in a yellow-tinted world, and Nick starts to rapidly grow younger until he reverts to being a boy. Nick then notices that there is an opening directly above them with the real sky and real stars. Nearby is a rocket with Nick’s name on it, so he runs to it and blasts off – his sister inside with him – towards the star-filled gap in the sky. When Hei wakes up, he’s inside a large crater and notices Yin looking at him through a puddle of water. Hei manages to escape before the researchers and security teams get there, though he stops to catch his breath against a building wall. To his surprise, Sergei is standing nearby and informs him how to get out. Realizing that Sergei had known about him all along, Hei questions if he also knew that Nick was the culprit. Sergei reveals that he had indeed known everything, and the reason he hadn’t settled things quicker was because they needed to confirm the power of the meteor fragment. This gets Hei mad enough to place his hand on Sergei’s head as if he was about to use his power on him, but Hei manages to restrain himself. He asks instead about what will become of Mina, and Sergei tells him that her daily life won’t change.
In the aftermath, Hei asks Mao if he thinks the starry sky will ever return, and Mao answers that only inside the Gate are lost things recovered. Mao is forced to run away when Hei’s landlady catches sight of him, and Hei meanwhile heads the other direction to the cigarette shop that Yin runs to give her a candy and to thank her. Unbeknownst to them, a new girl has appeared in town.
Well, first things first, I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw Amber because of how amazingly similar she looks to CODE GEASS’s C.C., down to the same eye color. I mean, I knew from the OP and what people have told me about promotional images that she was supposed to look similar, but that’s just uncanny. I wonder if she enjoys pizza as much as C.C. does.
As for this episode’s story, although Nick ended up being the Contractor as expected, it left me a bit puzzled on several fronts. The whole sequence with Nick and his sister blasting off into space didn’t make much sense to me except to say that it was part of the meteor fragment’s power in perhaps fulfilling his dream. It was surprising to see the cartoony-style of the rocket with his name emblazoned on it, but that was overall one of the most beautifully animated scenes in this episode.
I was also a bit confused about what Yin’s part in all this was and why Hei specifically thanked her at the end. As far as I could tell, she either somehow saved him from the large blue explosion or she alerted him of the approaching researchers and security people. Regardless, it shows that there might be a connection between the two, one that segues nicely into next week’s episode which appear to be focused on Yin. Heck, between Yin and Amber, I think this is the most excited I’ve ever been about this show.