All right, clearly this episode will be all about TK, climaxing with Patamon's epic evolution into... wait... sorry kid, the plot just showed up.
While the rest of the team scales the mountain (which was exactly what Tai wanted to do in the first place until Matt objected), they show that overdue dismay about being trapped on an island. But who cares about them, right?
It's a very disorienting episode as we suddenly are thrust into the timeless, legendary and incredibly overblown rivalry between Leomon and Ogremon. It's kinda funny... if you enjoy dialogue that sounds like it belongs in an old samurai movie. Or the Star Wars prequels.
Or the Mortal Kombat movie, because Devimon totally pulls a Shang Tsung here and unites Sub-Zero and Scorpion as slaves under his power. In all, he's a pretty stock archvillain- looks evil, sounds evil, acts evil, and is just generally out for conquest and destruction. Quite possibly one of the most boring archvillains in the show... which kinda makes sense seeing as he's the first one.
Damned if he's not smart though. He sets Leomon and Ogremon on opposite ends of a narrow ledge to surround these kids, primarily as a test drive to see what they're capable of. He stands at the top and watches the battle, interfering only once to start an avalanche because he's just a dick like that. It paints him as a shrewd, cunning villain... never mind that he lets the kids go even after all their Digimon go back down to Rookie in exhaustion. He needs to set the trap and catch them in a moment of weakness... even though they were all clearly in a moment of weakness right there.
Our heroes then stumble upon a mansion and, despite half of them expecting a trap, they all eat, bathe and sleep in comfy beds. Yes, yes, amusing bathhouse scene, bare bottoms cut from dub, Gomamon's a perv, blah blah blah. The angel painting on the wall was classy, providing TK and Patamon a much-needed moment and some obvious foreshadowing. Still, while everybody was leery of the place in general and half-expected to get poisoned eating the food... nobody took issue spending the night there? And did no one wonder why there were seven beds in one room, but no beds anywhere else?
Long story short, they fall for the really obvious trap. Devimon announces his presence and sends all the beds flying. Tai, who got up to use the bathroom, has to stand against the evil mastermind alone in his underwear. Considering this is the big bad making his grand entrance and explaining how the black gears were his doing... that probably could have been planned better. If you want to have all the kids naked and helpless flying around on rocket beds, that's cool. Tai just looks ridiculous.
The digivice single-handedly removing Leomon's gear was a little suspect as well, but at least it leads to more stilted dialogue from him and Ogremon. Plus Leomon makes the dramatic move to get Tai to safety and hold off the bad guys. Leomon's cool like that. Shame Devimon just goes and corrupts him again.
So here we are- a primary villain for the first arc of the first season of Digimon. Shrewd, perhaps a little too shrewd for his own good, but the kids are underpowered, underdressed and isolated. Not exactly the ideal way to go about it, but at least we're getting somewhere.
My Grade: B-
- There's a weird dub continuity error at the very start of the episode where Joe replies to Matt, despite not traveling together. When starting off an episode, don't do that to us!
- After Meramon, Monzaemon and Unimon, you'd think the gang would accept that good Digimon can be corrupted and not just assume that Leomon will be friendly.
- Silly a joke as Tai's awful map was, you have to hand it to the show for bringing it back not once but twice in unexpected, ridiculous spots.
- Sora says she won't sleep on the ground even though she spent last night in a cave. And yes, it was Sora, not Mimi.
- From a comment Izzy made last episode, they've been in the Digital World for five days. And yet some of them suggest that their families may have given up hope already. Given the widespread familial angst, I wonder if that would be true for anybody... from any season.