You want the synopsis? Well, here it is!
HACK! Cute Programmers’ Club, Season 4
New Semester, New Room!
Everyone comes back from the break, refreshed and happy, and the club are introduced to the new clubroom they’ll be using, since the club is old enough! It’s fancy and shiny and there’s a whiteboard. But for some reason, Shuffles thinks there’s something wrong – and they talk about how the old club room reminded them of things they’d done together. The club’s whole membership is present – Mispy, Ael, Emi, Shuffles, Little Cory, Catherine, Misty and Demi. Flashbacks to major events in the past nine months and how they’ve influenced the club members. The episode ends with a flashback to Emi, wondering, all those months ago, “Ever noticed how they run out of money?”
Misp Not Found
Mispy doesn’t turn up to class, or to club. While the club doesn’t need him to fulfil quorum any more, they’re all concerned. The club pool their wits and try to deduce what Mispy’s planning, as their mysterious leader – which prompts a study in Mispy’s passwords, checking his online footprint and trying to deduce what he’s up to – without invading his privacy. It has something to do with a school report on metadata, but what does that even mean? And why does Mispy need a little fake black mustache?
For The Fairy!
Shuffles comes back from a quick break to find interlopers in the club room – Catherine, the girl from a lower class, and Yuki, the senior programmer seem to be having a contentious argument about how to best improve a kernel. The collaboration has some mysterious purpose, but all the shy clubsters know is the two are yelling at one another the whole way! The intimidating older lady, or the sassy younger genius – who has the right approach?
Oh Ex’s Friend?!
Another day, another data survey – the club are stumbling the street by the canal, testing how far across town they can make a publically accessible wi-fi VPN Tunnel to Mispy in the clubroom. Mispy’s confused, however, when several club members go quiet! Turns out, out by the bridge that leads out of town, several club members saw the one, the only, Oh Ex, no doubt plotting something! What follows is a strange echo of Rashomon as the club members tell Mispy about the blue-haired stranger who she punched, or fought, or possibly duelled… with a sword?! And what does it mean, in reference to her message left on the whiteboard – Three More Months?
“Teachers say words like genius like they don’t know what they mean.”
The fatalistic words are written across one of the whiteboards in a formal, strained hand. The Hack! members wonder where it came from – until Shuffles deduces it’s Catherine, begging for help. It seems teachers and her parents are focusing on what they think her skill is all about – and Catherine doesn’t want any of it. The HACK! club come together to talk to Catherine about what it means to feel different, and what it means to be friends.
“Why, I wanted to hornswaggle Shuffles, once!”
Attack Of The Mall 2
A backhoe digging tears up the phone line leading into the school – and that ruins the club’s internet access! People aren’t willing to go home yet, though, so Mispy makes an executive decision! The club pile into a bus for a trip back to the mall, seeking out places that offer free Wi-Fi… but the mall has distractions.
Distractions like a reptile enthusiast. Like a transfer student who keeps teasing Emi with carrots. Like a pet store that has bunnies you can just pat.
Like a tall, blue-haired stranger last seen talking to Oh Ex!
From Inside The House!
To help Mispy with his school report, Ael and Shuffles offer to stay late after club hours to deduce an unauthorised access to the club’s router, and how security leaks can happen in real time. Pulling an all-nighter, Ael and Shuffles and Mispy all show elaborate fantasy sequences where they visualise their programming in different ways. It’s just reverse-engineering the router, but every time, someone keeps hacking it and messing with it!
Oh Ex’s Betrayal!
Mispy doesn’t show at club again, but he was in class! That’s strange – and when Emi asks a teacher, she tells Emi that the last time she heard, Mispy and Oh Ex were meeting with the principal over a clubs issue!
The club members aren’t going to take this lying down though – has Oh Ex turned Mispy against them? Has she found some way to destroy the club and turn them into her Cryptocurrency mining doges?! The club unite with a new purpose. Oh Ex will learn of the terrible might of the HACK programmers club as they construct a vast Revenge Machine to punish her! Then, prepared for war, the club march on the Principal’s office, open the door wide and see–!
Programmers’ Note: In this episode, methods of password retrieval, denial of service attacks and amplified denial of service attacks are all shown in particular detail. Some broadcasters opted to cut such scenes and run an extra ad break.
Before the Club…
In the split second looking at the tableau of Mispy and Oh Ex working on some club paperwork together, the whole club flashes back to what has happened in their lives since they joined the club. The episode shows backstories of the whole club, including a full music video showing how similar and lonely their routines were.
Programmers’ Note: This episode was roundly criticised for forcing the cliffhanger to last another week. In subsequent rebroadcasts, it was often positioned as Episode 10.
The Trial of Oh Ex
In an episode animated like a Phoenix Wright game, the club members demand their explanation from the terrifying villain Oh Ex. Why has she been scaring the club so much?! What was she planning to do with the club? And why did she leave that terrible threat on the board! And what has she done with Mispy to convince him to betray the club!?
With the news that the Senior Programmers club and HACK! are going to merge with the graduation of all the seniors – and the sudden revelation that Oh Ex was working for the club the whole year, not against them, the club have to rush back to dismantle The Revenge Machine, and forge bridges with the members of the Senior club in the time they have left!
Oh Ex’s Departure
It’s not the end of the school year, but it is for the seniors, who have to do their final exams and graduate. Normally, junior students wouldn’t attend – but Oh Ex, as the class valedictorian pulls one last set of strings for the HACK! Club members – and has the whole club, as well as old friends like the Anarchy Fairy, attend as she and the rest of the Senior Programmers graduate. She gives a stirring speech about leaving school, and about the plans for the future that her friends and her have. The final line of the main series is hers, as she says Never Be Satisfied With Almost Good Enough, as caps are thrown in the air.
Just before an arranged Group Let’s Play of Castlevania, for Halloween. Catherine is startled when her phone is remotely accessed – and her lock screen replaced with a bloody axe! Suddenly the whole class are stuck at school, late at night, with their digital devices being hacked and locked out, one after another! Dun. Dun. DUN.