- "If I want to see something, all I have to do is open my eyes."
- — Tsukasa —
Return is the twenty-sixth episode of .hack//SIGN and marks the end of the TV series.
Tsukasa, Mimiru, and Subaru awaken in a strange new field while the others wonder what has happened to them. They agree that although they have discovered several secret areas, there are likely many more they don't know about, and that the three are likely in enemy territory. Crim sees it as them being right next door to the final boss.
In the new area, the three each encounter dark versions of each other. Although the fake Tsukasa, Mimiru, and Subaru try to discourage them and incur their hatred, they don't fall for the enemy's tricks and eventually find each other. The reunion is cut short as they are warped to Morganna's area, where she and the sleeping Aura await. Morganna tries once more to goad Tsukasa into remaining with her, but he decides to disobey her and awaken Aura. After a heated argument about what awaits him outside, Tsukasa stands firm, desiring to leave the game and return to his world. With those words, Aura finally awakens. The angered Morganna threatens them, but Sora unexpectedly appears, telling them to escape. Sora stays behind to tell her that he is betraying her, but Morganna blocks his escape and summons Skeith to Data Drain him. She then commands Skeith to go after Aura.
The three players, with Aura in tow, gate into Net Slum, where the others await. Bear informs Helba that Aura has been awakened just as Skeith appears in front of them. Helba realizes that the new opponent is far more powerful than anything they fought before, so she shuts down Net Slum's server.
In the real world, Tsukasa's player, An Shoji, leaves the hospital and soon meets with Subaru's player, Mariko Misono. Mariko welcomes her back to the real world and the two happily approach each other.
The series ends with Morganna repeating the same words she said at the beginning of the series: "I've been waiting for you for such a long time. I need you, just as you need me."