Ever since, episodes ago, when they mentioned that there was a oxygen supply tank named after Brian Jay, I knew they would use it–in the nick of time. And when Hibito was stranded up there with three minutes of oxygen, two, one, and they did flashbacks of good ol’ Brian needling and supporting Hibito during training, I was certain of the last-second rescue. But how would they do it, and this being Space Brothers, how long would it take?
It’s been, what, three episodes since they bowled over that cliff, the event which started the first truly dangerous moment of the series (well apart from blasting off into space in the first place). And I suppose that in SpaceBro time, the five minutes of oxygen could have been stretched into two or three episodes on its own, so I suppose we ought to be grateful that episode 43 marked the end of the crisis. It had time for everything. We got those flashbacks, mostly prompted by the astronaut doll Brian stuck on that rock, though that seemed to make Hibito’s thoughts about the footprints being proof of being there moot, but hell, that’s another minute or two used up, and it was nicely done.
Most everything in the episode was–up to the big crisis. There was the desperation of the two astronauts rushing to save them, knowing they would be too late. Meanwhile Mutta, kept in the dark, slumped in his chair looking bored. Hibito’s response to the whole mess was effective, part consternation, part trying to come to grips with his situation while sparing moments for Brian. The final depletion of oxygen and his suffering was especially well done and made me think I maybe he actually WOULD die. The tone through out the arc was appropriately serious. No Apo clowning permitted. The appearance of the Brian-robot lovely. Everything after it, well, he should have been dead already. Never mind. And never mind the time it took to tell this story arc. We all know this show loves to take its time; this was the most important event it’s had, I don’t mind that they stretched it out.