Since she can’t pilot the Imber, Yukiho has adjusted very well to being Haruka’s logistical support. Little do either of them know that Chihaya is plotting to take back the Imber, which was originally hers. The two girls are in the hanger getting a lesson from Ritsuko when they overhear Iori arguing with Makoto about the Nebula’s maintenance. Makoto thinks of the Nebula as a tool, but Haruka butts in to say that iDOLs have hearts. Makoto responds by saying that if Haruka thinks that way, she’ll someday make a huge mistake, especially when something bigger comes. Just as Haruka says that she and Imber will be okay handling whatever that comes at them, the base’s alarms go off. Both the Imber and the Nebula are sent out to meet the threat with Haruka and Makoto as their respective pilots, but things start to go wrong with the base’s computer as Drops are appearing and disappearing erratically. Azusa and Joseph realize that the base’s systems are being hacked, and since Azusa suspects a Wizard-class cracker, she leaves the control room with a plan in mind.
To complicate things even further, the person behind all this – R.I.F.F.A – cuts off all communication between base and the two iDOLs. It is at this point that Haruka picks up a real Drop on her monitor and springs to action with the Imber to destroy it. She succeeds, but from behind the rubble appears the Nubilum with Chihaya piloting. It immediately punches the Imber and knocks it back down to the planet, though Haruka manages to stop the Imber in mid-air right before hitting the ground. She thinks she’s saved, but then the Nubilum comes charging down from the sky and smashes her into the ground anyway. After the Nubilum beats the Imber around, Chihaya demands back what’s hers, and Haruka can only think of Makoto’s warning about making a huge mistake. Regaining some of her resolve, Haruka charges the Imber towards the Nubilum, and the two iDOLs’ fists clash in a large explosion. Meanwhile, a cord breaks in R.I.F.F.A’s own room, and she soon overheats in the bath water, allowing communications to be restored. Azusa returns to the control room soon afterwards, and they find the battle between the Nubilum and the Imber over.
The Nubilum is now holding the Imber’s head section and crushes it as everyone watches from the monitor. Haruka isn’t responding to the calls from base, and since the Imber is heavily damaged, Azusa calls Makoto from space. However, Chihaya then decides to take the Imber up to space and throws it back down to Earth.
Well this was a lot more interesting than last week’s episode, if for no other reason than the fact that the Chihaya and R.I.F.F.A are back as antagonists, and there’s plenty of action. I actually found Azusa and R.I.F.F.A most interesting since R.I.F.F.A was the one who hacked into the computer system and messed things up, and Azusa was the one who appeared to stop her (this shot from right before R.I.F.F.A overheated showed Azusa’s necklace and jacket). I was also rather amused by how they had to show each person in the control room gasping at the end when the Imber gets thrown by the Nubilum.
All in all, I’m hoping that this episode is a sign that the show is going to take a turn for the better plot-wise. Though the preview for next week shows only Haruka, I’d like them to develop Chihaya’s character more, especially with what happened in the past with the Imber.