Myotismon certainly pays attention to detail, doesn't he? Here we are in one of the most critical moments of his plan and he's totally collected. With the digidestined safely distracted for the last five episodes, he raised both an attacking army and a garrison troop, had the gateway to the real world prepared, calmly deciphered the keycard puzzle that the kids will spend the next episode agonizing over, and marched on through like it was nothing more than a parade. He has things worked out to the point where he doesn't even flinch when the digidestined attack. It's not even arrogance! The plan's so foolproof that he doesn't even respond to the digidestined until the absolute end, when Gatomon takes care of things and activates some Devidramon that were just sitting around in the off chance the good guys cut it close.
Gatomon's debut really is the talking point in this episode, which otherwise wasn't that exciting. Part of the problem with a villain with such a foolproof plan was that some drama is taken away when he doesn't seem to care about the digidestined invading the castle. But Gatomon... it's easy to forget how much of a bitch she was! She's dismissive of fellow lieutenant Demidevimon, uses him to primp her own batch of recruits and bops five Champions at once in battle before summoning the Devidramon to do the grunt work. Meow.
Other than that, for an episode with such high stakes and a certain gravitas from Myotismon, it was mostly simple silliness that doesn't warrant much discussion. Gennai was almost useful, telling the digidestined about the eighth child and Myotismon's attempts to break through and capture her. Then he drops the ball by not knowing who the child is or how to save her.
The training camp infiltration was amusing but ultimately useless. In another illustration of how little Myotismon is concerned about the digidestined, the garrison army responsible for stopping them is a who's who of the most worthless Digimon we've seen so far- Numemon, Sukamon, Chuumon... Seal Team Six it ain't. They're mostly in it for the free food. Nanimon, the wrestler-meets-Pacman drill sergeant, attempts to whip them into shape. A disguised Agumon and Palmon seem to walk through the front door and join the team with few questions. After some hard drills, they scheme with the Numemon to get Nanimon drunk (or fizzed off soda... whatever...), which succeeds and allows them to sneak everybody else into the castle. Given that they had joined the apparent security force, they probably could have snuck in anyway.
The kids split up again, which results in one boring scene where Joe, Sora and Mimi encounter a locked door, one scene where Matt and TK find themselves upside down and one scene where Tai and Izzy find themselves in an MC Escher painting. Only the final scene has any sort of amusing payoff. It's all for naught anyway as they all get back together somehow and follow Gatomon's army where they need to go.
The climactic battle's actually pretty good. After the garrison team runs away screaming and Gatomon delivers her early blows, the Devidramon offer a good, honest fight. It's hard to tell who's winning, which is a rare sight in the series. Usually somebody dominates handily. Also, nobody loses sight of their actual objective. The digidestined are focused solely on getting through the gate, while Gatomon is focused solely on stopping them. Even Patamon is able to chip in, squaring off against Demidevimon and isolating him from Myotismon. MetalGreymon shows up and finishes off the opponent, but the gate closes behind Gatomon and Demidevimon and it's clear who actually won. Not that there was ever a doubt.
My Grade: B-
- Agumon and Palmon each use an alias when sneaking into the castle- PunkAgumon and ReggaePalmon. Feels like those two show up again in Data Squad.
- During the training, Agumon and Palmon struggle just as much as the Numemon. Given their training, battle history and strong bonds with Tai and Mimi, shouldn't they be running circles around the other recruits?
- Finally a Numemon we can cheer for! That little guy creeps up the wall, finds the booze and airdrops bottle after bottle straight to Nanimon.
- This is the first time we hear about the “eighth child.” Yet, as mentioned in episode 25, this was the debut of the second ending in Japan. It features Kari prominently... and Gatomon briefly. Spoilers much?