Now that all of the preliminary round performance are complete, it's simply time to nervously wait for the results to come in to see whether μ's have qualified. The news when it comes is shocking... they've failed in their goal.
At least, that's how Honoka envisaged everything panning out in a dream she had - in reality, μ's squeeze into the fourth qualifying slot for the second and final preliminary round. With no wriggle room left in their rivalry with A-RISE in that second qualifier, as only one idol group will go through, it's time for the girls to up their game in terms of practicing... except Nico is nowhere to be found, and when they do finally track her down she does a runner. Just what is she playing at?
The truth starts to emerge when the rest of the group happen to run into one of Nico's little sisters, who refers to them as "backup dancers" and, when pressed, eventually tells the tale of her sister the "super idol" who lives in a waterside apartment provided by her agency. To say that this isn't quite true is an understatement, and eventually Nico can't run from her group-mates, leaving her to at least hint at the reason for these untruths - in short, after losing her previous chance to be a school idol she didn't want to let them down by telling them the truth, thus entering an ever-spiraling tissue of lies to keep up appearances. Rather than out her, Nico luckily discovers that the other μ's girls want to help her out, providing her with a chance to perform and show her super-idol self to her siblings which also doubles as a chance to meld her story back into a truthful one.
Once again, this was a great episode of Love Live - funny with numerous laugh out loud moments, and doing just enough to add a little depth of character and work with it to make for a satisfying ending to the instalment. The series continues to be effortless in its attempts to be fun to watch, throwing out gags and great lines whenever it feels like it as part of its colourful and entertaining package, most of which is powered by the glorious interactions between its main cast of characters. That it also manages to cheekily surprise the viewer here and there is just the icing on a particularly delicious cake.