In this episode, Matt decides he's been flying under the radar and gets all angry and emo. Since it's Matt, he still looks cool in the process.
Today we are presented with our very first Matt episode.
Forced as they can seem sometimes, Matt episodes are vital to making the series work. While everybody has some degree of inner turmoil, Matt's problems are largely to do with functioning as a member of a team, one of the key themes of the whole franchise. While there are always little spats here and there, stumbling in the role of team member doesn't come up often. Consider future lone wolves like Rika, who proves to be fully capable as a team player when she decides she wants to be, or Koji, who's far superior to most of his teammates and doesn't really need them in the first place. Matt wants to be part of the team, at least for most of the trip, but is still feeling his way around doing a proper job of it.
Much of his dilemma comes in handling TK. Awfully hard to step back and treat your fellow teammates as equals when one of them is your eight-year-old brother. It's not like TK's being completely smothered; he and Patamon were gathering food along with everybody else. Tai's concern is really unfair... especially considering his history with his own sibling. Sora echoes it, but she's an only child. What the hell does she know about being a big brother?
So yeah, Matt's totally in the right here. He demands that TK be excluded from night watch, which only TK objects to. I don't think anybody else would disagree. In fact, the final schedule excludes not only TK, but both girls as well. It ends up being Tai's picking on Gabumon that sets Matt off as he over-reacts, digivolves into Emo Matt and starts an unremarkable fight. The whole affair's pretty uneven, and the lack of cohesion prevents the episode from getting higher marks.
Matt manages to look cool not only when he's emo, but also when he's asleep. After a genuinely nice show of affection towards TK, Emo Matt apologizes to Tai and blames it on the stress. Then he runs off and plays some blues on the harmonica because apparently that's what emo kids did back then. Maybe they still do in Memphis or something. Sounds awesome though!
Then of course Seadramon wakes up, raises hell and Matt gets into enough trouble to prompt Gabumon to digivolve and be this episode's hero. Interestingly, it's portrayed as an effort to save TK, even though Gomamon totally has it covered (he's been on fire lately!). It's remarked that Digimon go Champion when their corresponding partner is in danger. Fair concept in sort of a limit break kind of way, yet nobody seems worried that they have to put themselves in that spot to make the magic happen. Hiding from the evil monster won't get the job done, and it would be nice to see a little more stress over that.
My Grade: C
- I defended Joe's complaining last episode, but Mimi was the worst offender this time. I'll... defend her later. She has her episode coming up.
- Tai's response to Joe saying the trolley might start up and take them somewhere: “Maybe that's how we're going to get home.” One of those lines you never pick up the first time around, and probably a happy accident by the writers.
- The scene with Joe, Sora and Tai trying to identify constellations was remarkable only because Izzy wasn't in it. Also that Tai was smart enough to acknowledge the possibility they were in the wrong hemisphere.
- I enjoyed hearing Gabumon's specific thought process as he evolved. Puts a nice framework to the whole digivolution process, mystical as it may seem.
- As someone who has spent time intrenched in the Digimon fanfiction scene, I have to point out how Izzy and Sora were sleeping back-to-back at the end of this episode. I've always found it funny that nobody ships Izzy and Sora despite them sleeping together in the show.