While Takato and the others continue their search for Rika, Guilmon picks up Calumon's scent. Meanwhile, Beelzemon, still searching for the Tamers, come across a bunch of Chrysalimon. Considering some recent episodes, the willingness of this series to divert from formula should be self-evident. "The Imperfect Storm" flies in the face of several conventions of the Digimon franchise, but the results, like many episodes of this season, show untapped potential. There are some good ideas here. For example, having technical difficulties in Hypnos cause storms in the Digital World brings a certain urgency to the latter. Unfortunately, the imperfect interweaving of subplots and lack of a central threat don't work to the episode's favor.
The tamers' parts in the story never manage to cohere to anything substantial or involving. For the most part, it's just their basic objective reduced to its bare bones. Namely, wandering about searching for their lost friends. There's no unique or memorable encounter specifically tied to the current situation. What's more, the predicament of the storms doesn't encourage progress in the group dynamic. The most we get is Leomon humoring the dense duo of Kazu and Kenta. Rika's subplot is less substantial and more perfunctory.
All of this wandering about wouldn't be too much of a problem if the series explored the Digital World more thoroughly, but this incarnation of said world isn't exactly the "Avatar" universe. It certainly has its bizarre features, but as a place it's not very expansive or detailed. Give me less rock formations and more surreal libraries.
As usual, the best parts of the episode belong to Hypnos and Impmon. It's certainly satisfying to see Yamaki reinstated as supervisor, with his superiors finally recognizing how indispensable he is to the operations. We also get our first chance to see Beelzemon in action, and his encounter with the Chrysallimon is quite cruel, providing a glimpse of his newfound ruthlessness. His first meeting with the group, however, betrays this episode's purpose as a mere means of checking off obligatory developments. The kids need a foil to keep us invested in their situations, and just having Beelzemon run into them at the end is too much of a tease. I think the whole thing would have been much more interesting if Caturamon clashed with the group several times throughout the episode.