The common opinion among fans is that the first season doesn't really hit its stride until the Myotismon arc. While that's generally true, some of the episodes in the first half of the season get pretty crazy. Most follow the same path- kids wander, bad guy shows up, digivolution, fight, bad guy goes away, profit. Sometimes the way this path is executed is very special.
We start out as always with aimless wandering through the desert. Tai has his shiny new crest, annoyingly heralded the Crest of Courage before anybody should know that. With Etemon chasing after them, Tai wants to put it to its advertised use and get Agumon to evolve further. Izzy posits that the two criteria remain the same: the Digimon must not be hungry and the partner must initially be in some sort of danger.
Tai takes care of the first by stuffing Agumon's face with food, falsely believing that “overstuffed” equals “not hungry.” As the rest of the gang gets meager rations as a result, they develop the impression, somewhere around the time Agumon falls over and nearly chokes, that Tai may be going overboard. The flashback Sora provides is delightful. She cites a soccer game as evidence that Tai shows good teamwork, when it actually illustrates that he's kind of a ballhog. Sora just prefers to view her peers in a positive light. Good for her, I guess.
Once they end up in the coliseum of random soccer pitches, Sora's the one who wants to start a pick-up game while Joe looks around for his crest. Tai will have none of it, because there are important matters at hand that require everyone's full attention. Even if he plans on saving the day himself.
It's definitely an exaggeration of Tai's character. Being brash and occasionally self-centered is a requirement for goggleboys (still not sure how Takato snuck into that club), but this is quite the extreme, and a tad forced given what we've seen of Tai so far. Blame it on the stress of having Etemon looming over his shoulder. Blame it on the power trip of being the only guy on the team with the key to a new ability. Blame it on global warming. I don't know. You just wonder why Matt doesn't pick these moments to start fighting with Tai. You know, when it would have done some good.
Regardless of the way it all went down, it pays off nicely as Tai's abuse of Agumon puts him at a disadvantage against his Greymon doppleganger. Then Tai throws himself into the battle intentionally to spark a dynamic digivolution (a term coined in my legendary fanfiction series for an evolution prompted by their partner in danger... and a term I'm quite fond of and will continue using). The result is... actually quite epic. It's the only time I've ever wanted to throw up heavy metal horns during an evolution sequence.
So yeah... Skullgreymon. Everybody quickly realizes that Tai done f-ed up good. Skullgreymon launches Greymon into the giant video board, then blasts him away with a missile (Awesome!). Then he swats away Garurumon, Birdramon and Kabuterimon like nothing (Awesome!). Then he runs off, taking out half the coliseum in the process (Awesome!). Out of energy, he devolves all the way back to Koromon which, as I said way back in episode one, means that something is horribly wrong. Awesome.
Tai accepts the blame, learns his lesson and apologizes. And somewhere in all that, Joe found his crest. Who the hell cares? Not Skullgreymon, that's for damn sure.
My Grade: B+
- The implication of this “dark network” thing is that it powers Etemon's surveillance system across Server. Yet the first time it really comes up, Etemon's clued in after Joe trips over one of the cables. Networks don't work like that. Usually when you trip over a cable, it breaks something.
- TK wants to play soccer so much he answers Sora twice. At the same time. It's a neat trick!
- It's rather odd that everybody attempted to escape TV Etemon by running into one of the goals. Those nets are rather hard to get through, even when they aren't electrified.
- I loved the slightly meta conversation between Joe, Izzy and Gomamon about where the marching fishes come from. And that the marching fishes randomly showed up to begin with.
- This is now the second straight time they found a crest at the precise spot where Etemon trapped them. He should really do something about that.
- Koromon has a very different voice now than he (or maybe a she now?) started with in episode one.