- "You can't beat yourself up over something that's already happened. We just have to find him. Now is the time for action."
- — Bear —
Despair is the twenty-first episode of .hack//SIGN.
Subaru meets up with Bear and Mimiru to discuss a way to find Tsukasa, who Subaru believes is still trapped in Morganna's field. In the end, no progress is made, but Subaru is still certain that there is a way to Tsukasa. Sora, BT and Silver Knight have another meeting and decide that they have no choice but to wait for Tsukasa to act since Bear's group has no new information. As BT gates out, Sora decides to go off on his own and investigate a rumor.
BT meets with Subaru, who speaks from the heart that all she desires in the game is to meet with Tsukasa again. She then asks BT to give her any information on Tsukasa as soon as possible. BT is affected by Subaru's words, realizing that The World with Tsukasa is more than just a game to Subaru.
Meanwhile, Tsukasa, still affected from Morganna's Data Drain, spends all his time in Morganna's field, sitting in a daze. Macha shows up and is surprised when the dazed Tsukasa gives her Aromatic Grass as a gift. Confused by the act, Macha gates out after taking another worried glance at Tsukasa.
At Hulle Granz Cathedral, Bear meets with Subaru and Mimiru and tells them that they will find the answers they are looking for by meeting with the broken man once again. Bear explains that the broken man is an AI Harald left behind by the genius programmer Harald Hoerwick. To find the AI Harald, Bear decides to ask Helba for help.
Morganna's new field is shown. At the focus of the field is Aura, apparently corrupted and frozen by Morganna. Upon seeing the corrupted Aura, Macha displays a look of shock and anger. Macha also wishes to know why Tsukasa isn't present. Morganna tells Macha that Tsukasa is unnecessary and that she should not worry about Aura. She promises that she, Macha, and Aura will live in a world where no one will bother them.
The episode ends with Bear meeting Helba, who apparently accepted Bear's request from the BBS, in a dungeon.