While Haruka is in space succeeding in taking out a Drop alone with the Imber, Yukiho can only watch from the ground as the fragments enter the atmosphere and burn up. Azusa later informs the girls that they have to take some supplementary exams: Haruka has to take a theory test and Yukiho has to take a skills test. Iori stresses the importance of these to the girls because they’re not allowed to make any mistakes or else terrible things would happen to the world. The pressure of all this reminds Yukiho of her own recent failures at just getting the Imber started up. Haruka and Yukiho decide to help each other with their respective tests, but even with Haruka’s help, Yukiho still has trouble in the simulators. Frustrated with Haruka’s teaching methods, Iori gets coerced into becoming Yukiho’s coach. Both Haruka and Yukiho work hard with less than two weeks until the exams, but Azusa still worries about Yukiho to Joseph. He, however, feels that they can only believe in the girls.
Despite a lot more training and practice, Yukiho still finds herself unable to pilot the Imber. When the day of the test comes, Haruka notices that Yukiho is out of it, so she takes Yukiho to a building she heard about on Yayoi’s radio broadcast the previous night where there is a small Inari who grants wishes. Unfortunately, they find that the stairs up to the rooftop are separated by a wide gap. Yukiho is ready to turn back, but Haruka simply jumps across. This surprises Yukiho and causes her to start talking about how Haruka is amazing because she works hard to find the answer. Yukiho reveals that she personally worries about failing and being hated, so her greatest wish won’t come true and she won’t be able to be with the people important to her. Hearing Yukiho talk about always being alone, Haruka recounts that she was like that too because she didn’t have a mother or father – they just disappeared one day. Haruka had been afraid of everything and had felt the same way Yukiho does now, but Yayoi and everyone supported her. They taught her that her greatest wish won’t come true if she’s afraid. She just needed a little courage and some strong feelings, and Yukiho has those too since she works so hard.
Touched by Haruka’s story, Yukiho takes her hand and the two head up to the rooftop where they find a small shrine. They then go to school to take their respective exams with Yukiho feeling that she can’t be afraid. Haruka finds out afterwards from Azusa that Yukiho still wasn’t able to start up the Imber, but Yukiho personally reveals later that she’ll be Haruka’s back-up – her logistical support. It seems that Joseph had felt that Haruka has the talent, but also that she’s still shaky, so he wanted Yukiho to support her. Yukiho then tells Haruka that she didn’t give up her greatest wish – it just changed shape. When she holds out her hand, Haruka responds by hugging her and saying that they should work hard together forever. With this, everyone living at the dorm once again seems to be happy. That night, Yukiho finds a message on her cell phone that makes her smile, and a sleepy Haruka hears someone leave.
I didn’t think it was possible for a single episode of this could make me change my opinion about this the show so much, but this is coming pretty close. My expectations were already pretty low since the show has been quite mediocre up until this point, yet I somehow found myself even more disappointed. Maybe it was because of the really-up-tempo-but-really-bad idol song they inserted randomly halfway through the episode or maybe it’s the incredibly unoriginal Yukiho story or maybe it’s because how they cut away from shots right before important events happen. I don’t know how much more of this I can stand… The preview does show the Nubilum appearing again next week, so maybe they’re finally getting something going.