Let's run down all the big character moments in the last five episodes. The common Digimon lexicon calls them “cresty go glowy” moments, to be precise.
In episode 20, Tai lost his courage when he ended up face-to-face with his own mortality... and the fact that he ignored it in episode 19. When he summoned his courage to fight Etemon's final form, the crest glowed and Greymon evolved.
In episode 21, nobody was paying attention because we were all busy looking at the gorgeous animation.
In episode 22, TK lost his hope when he was led to believe that Matt had abandoned him. When Agumon exposed Demidevimon as a fraud, TK realized that his brother did not, in fact, hate him and his faith was restored. The crest glowed and Tokomon evolved.
In episode 23, Matt lost his friendship... er... his trust in his friends when Joe's clumsiness irritated him and Demidevimon suggested more sinister motivations (which in retrospect... nope, still no sense). When he saw what Joe did to save TK and how the whole team relies on each other, Matt was back on the friendship train, the crest glowed and Garurumon evolved.
In episode 24, Izzy lost his knowledge when he unwillingly sacrificed his sense of curiosity in order to not fall to his death. When he saw that Tentomon had de-evolved to Pabumon, he grew concerned, but was helpless until Pabumon physically retrieved his curiousity and gave it back to him. Izzy's knowledge was restored and the crest glowed... once Kabuterimon started getting his face pelted with asteroids.
Technically it fits the pattern, but file this one under “you're doing it wrong.”
Demidevimon's signs were amusing, Vademon's universe (and curiosities emporium) provided a different look and seeing Izzy as a zombie was fascinating to watch in a “so completely wrong” kind of way. That's fun and all, but the episode hinges on Izzy being forced to give up his defining trait. That in itself is pretty sitcom-y. The real crime was that Izzy did not do so because he wanted to or a situation made him question himself or annoyed the piss out of his friends. Dude was trying not to fall to his death. How can it be a character-building exercise when he's not doing this willingly?
As we've seen in these last few episodes, the best character moments arise when someone, whether Tai, TK or Matt, are partially responsible for the problem. Somewhere along the line, they all made mistakes. Tai believed God Mode was turned on, TK believed Demidevimon over Tokomon and Matt believed Joe was a saboteur (have I mentioned that makes no sense?). Izzy never believed that his curiosity and thirst for knowledge was a bad thing. In fact, several times in this episode Tentomon said it was a very good thing. While Izzy certainly valued his curiosity more after this incident, it's not like he ever detested it. That makes it a pain to see him without it... and not in a good way.
My Grade: D+
- We still haven't gotten a full glimpse of Myotismon, but at least we're hearing him now. Shame it's just the ol' “you failed me this time but I'll give you one more chance” bad guy spiel.
- Using the concept of being dragged into a bottomless pit as a metaphor for the thirst for knowledge is only truly effective when it applies to browsing Wikipedia or TV Tropes.
- How exactly did Pabumon steal the tag/crest from Vademon? That had to be a gutsy move.
- This episode features all of Tentomon's five forms that we will ever see in the anime- Pabumon, Motimon, Tentomon, Kabuterimon and MegaKabuterimon. They each evolve in succession just to get some added firepower against Vademon.
- Matt and TK are roaming around when MegaKabuterimon creates the big explosion that frees him and Izzy from Vademon's universe. I was totally hoping for Izzy to land on his feet in front of them, crack his knuckles, nod at them and go “'sup?”