Funny how an episode with lots of babies and no real violence leads right into a scene where a possessed lion monster attacks an eight year old. Sets the tone pretty nicely, actually. Matt and Tai arrive in the nick of time to save TK... and Mimi and Izzy swoop in later to save him again. This first sequence also features Devimon's Rita Repulsa moment as he makes his monster grow. Leomon gets bigger and blacker, but by now the kids have figured out the whole digivice thing and cure him that way.
Things settle down after that and while the climax makes it hard to say the episode was predictable, it was certainly telegraphed. Leomon explains the concept of the digidestined in more detail: the kids were brought here to help their Digimon defeat Devimon. With the assumption that victory would send them home, there's a big collective speech about how unified the team is. I wonder if they've noticed that Joe and Sora haven't arrived yet.
They do, just in time to save the whole team from a super-sized Devimon and buy them enough time for four evolution sequences. Devimon takes care of them easily and focuses his efforts on TK and Patamon. Apparently the legend says the smallest will take him down. Hmm... wonder who might be digivolving to save the day this time? This is what I mean by telegraphed.
So Patamon digivolves and it is awesome. The power of the digivices fuel Angemon and give him enough strength to defeat Devimon. It's a classic moment, but watching it now makes me think of how exponential the awesome could have been if it wasn't so telegraphed. We see both of them fading away as Devimon laughs at how other bad guys will take his place while Angemon is out of commission for the foreseeable future. Imagine what it would have looked like had we actually seen Angemon struggle, finally putting every drop of energy into breaking through, clearly at the expense of his own life. They totally could have done that instead and it would have been even more epic.
It's still epic though. For all the buildup to Angemon's debut, it's heart-wrenching to watch TK suddenly lose his partner. Just like that, he went from having a friendly-but-meek Patamon to a badass Angemon to a simple egg. This scene alone makes me wish they had stretched this to two episodes. I wanted more reaction shots. I wanted stunned faces from the other six as they realize what TK was experiencing. Honestly, I wanted more tears.
It's funny, but of everybody who loses their partner through the seasons, TK seems to handle it the best. Maybe it's because Angemon calms him down in his final words, but TK ends up putting on a braver face than Ken, Jeri or Marcus will. I don't know how I feel about that. Not saying that I want to see him get sucked into D-Reaper, but for being the first kid to lose a Digimon partner, there's far too little angst.
In the end, what matters is that the show went there: one of the main Digimon died. In a season defined by having so many heroic sacrifices, this is the trailblazer and deserves acknowledgment. For all the things they could have done to present it better, remember that they do so in such moments later on, and those wouldn't have happened if Angemon's death hadn't gotten the ball rolling.
My Grade: B+
- I should really ask what the hell's going on with Ogremon in this episode. Devimon crushes him until he turns into black gears, then he later pops out of Devimon's torso to beat back Leomon. This makes no sense! I'm not going to ask, however, because I really don't want the details about something like that.
- Did anyone notice that of all the kids, it's Joe and Ikkakumon that land the first blow on Devimon?
- For everything that happened in this episode, couldn't Gennai at least let them catch their breath before popping up? Honestly, this episode could have ended on a simple, yet ominous “we won... but we're still stuck here” tone and it would have been perfect.