It's New Year's eve for the Nanba household, and with their parents visiting the US for the occasion Mutta and Hibito can relax and enjoy the company (and some impressive impressions from their dad).
However, Hibito is far from his usual self as he mooches in the back yard rather than spending time with his family, and when quizzed by Mutta about it he wastes no time in casually announcing the cause of this funk - despite recovering from his panic disorder and proving such to his superiors, there's still a very good chance that he won't be returning to space. Taken aback by this, Mutta is left uncertain of what to say - a hesitation which he regrets as events move forward apace.
Not that Mutta has all that much time to think about his brother's statement, as he's off to learn about being a CAPCOM (no, not the video game publisher) as part of his training, allowing him to find out about the nuances of communicating with astronauts in space during a mission. In a way, this education in what to say and when to say it is exactly what Mutta needs to tackle his brother's predicament, but perhaps it's too late as it seems that Chief Butler's recent cheer-leading of Hibito has also come to naught.
As is so often the case, this week's Space Brothers seemed to fly by in no time at all even though, when you look at it properly, it didn't even cover all that much ground. The key here is that what was there is all top-notch stuff - in hindsight Hibito's situation was never going to be resolved as easily as he (and we) had hoped, and that in itself seems to be leading to some interesting times ahead, matched by another fascinating glimpse into Mutta's training to be an astronaut. As per usual, there's no shortage of reasons to keep coming back to this series.