Yakov is first seen together with Victor and Yuri after the Grand Prix Final, both of whom Yuuri catches sight of. He appears again later back in the rink in Russia, shouting to Yuri to get back to the ice instead of watching Yuuri's viral skating video.
A flashback revealed Victor's decision to leave Russia to go to Japan. He hugs Yakov, who had advised him not to go, and apologises for not listening to Yakov. Following Victor's abrupt departure, Yakov is bombarded by reporters asking about Victor. Yakov becomes furious and shouts at the reporters that Victor had never once listened to Yakov. Later on, Yuri also travels to Hasetsu to look for Victor and makes the mistake of posting his location on Instagram, leading Yakov to call and scold Yuri as well.
Yakov finds Mila at the Sports Champions Club rink lifting Yuri above her head, and asks the two if they wanted to switch to pair skating, to which Mila apologizes and puts Yuri down. He and Mila watch Yuri skate, noting that Yuri was starting to take skating more seriously ever since the Hot Springs on Ice against Yuuri. Some of the skaters whisper the arrival of Lilia Baranovskaya, who Yakov warmly greets and thanks her for coming. Yuri is pointed out to Lilia, who then starts examining of Yuri's flexibility and mentions that she would give Yuri ballet lessons and choreograph his free skate. Lilia invites Yuri to stay at her house for the duration of the training, and ropes Yakov into living with them as well, though she reminds Yakov that she has no intention of getting back with Yakov, to which Yakov insists that the thought had never crossed his mind.
Later, when the season's assignments are listed, Yakov bursts into a room where Lilia is having tea to inform her and Yuri of the news.
Yakov is seen following Georgi around. Victor, who sees Yakov at the airport, invites his former coach for dinner, to which Yakov declines. He tells Victor not to talk to him unless he wanted to come back under Yakov's guidance, but Victor simply walks off unfazed with Yuuri. During the short program, Yakov is seen watching Georgi's performance.
Yakov is seen watching Georgi's free skate. When Georgi falls on a jump, he mentally urges Georgi to wake up and perform well, as Georgi was the most receptive to Yakov's instruction. Yakov, however, also acknowledges this as a weakness of Georgi's. Yakov reprimands Georgi after the free skate, albeit not unkindly. As Yakov accompanies Georgi off the kiss and cry, he sees Yuuri patting Victor on the head. Yakov believes that seeing as Victor needed to be comforted by Yuuri, Victor still had a long way to go as a coach.
Yakov arrives at Sheremetyevo International Airport with Lilia, Mila, and Yuri. When Yuri leaves to hide from the Yuri Angels, Yakov explains to Mila that Yuri had gone to meet his family. During the short program, Yakov accompanies Yuri to the rink along with Lilia, and attempts to comfort Yuri, who is upset that his grandfather would not be watching. Yuri gets angry at Yuuri and Victor cheering for him and skates onto the rink, leading the coach to shout angrily at Yuri. Despite all this, Yakov is proud of Yuri for being able to analyze his performances halfway to make a comeback later in the program.
Following Victor's wish to return to Japan to watch over Makkachin who had choked on some sticky buns, Victor begs Yakov to be Yuuri's coach for the free skate.
Victor leaves Yuuri at the airport, asking Yuuri to hug Yakov if he needed the coach's help. Later at the rink, commentator Morooka notes that Yuuri had not talked to Yakov at all during the warm-up. Yuuri nervously avoids the question, stating that he would simply do what he had been taught by Victor.
Yakov only fully appears in the second half of the episode, when Yuri is set to perform his free skate. Yuri insists on pushing his jumps to the later half of his program, which Yakov does not fully approve of, but Yuri does anyway. After Yuri's program, Yakov does not accompany Yuri to the kiss and cry, instead staying at the rink side to watch over Yuuri's performance. Following Yuuri's free program, he accompanies Yuuri to the kiss and cry, where he starts lecturing Yuuri for not taking advantage of Victor's guidance. After Yuuri's score is announced, Yuuri thanks Yakov in Russian and embraces the coach.
Yakov makes a short appearance at the start of the episode, nagging Yuri to check into the hotel, to which Yuri rudely asks Yakov to do it for him. He is seen the next day with Yuri during practice with the GPF finalists, asking the latter to go over the program once more. He does not appear again until the end of the episode, walking Yuri to the rink for the GPF short program.
Yakov appears rinkside for Yuri's short program. While Yuri performs, a flashback shows that Yakov believed that Yuri's only weakness was a lack of experience. He also revealed that Yuri was diligent in asking for help and that Yakov, Lilia, and the other Russian skaters had given assistance. For a short moment, Yakov sees Victor in Yuri's skating. After Yuri's short program, Yakov hugs Yuri proudly when the program score is announced, which had surpassed Victor's personal best.
Yakov makes a short appearance, accompanying Yuri to the rink. Victor stops him halfway, and tells Yakov that he wanted to return to competitive skating. Later, he watches proudly as Yuri performs the free skate.