Adventure Episode 45: The Ultimate Clash

In this episode, come for the epic Matt/Tai showdown, stay for the massive info dump that spawns as many questions as it answers.


There are three pretty compelling episodes all rolled into one here. We have Tai and Matt squaring off and threatening to take everybody out with them. We have a possessed Kari explaining how they were selected as digidestined. We have the band going on hiatus so Matt and Mimi can pursue solo careers. All three are big deals. Shame they don't all fit in the same episode.

The execution on the first two is a bit suspect as well. When we last left, Matt was cold and hostile, intimidating Tai, who's just plain confused. Now there's suddenly a lot more jawing going on between the two. Matt's gone full asshole, insulting not only Tai but the entire team as well. One of the reasons Matt's doing this is because he questions Tai's leadership and can't stand to stay in his shadow. Now he claims to have no interest in running a team full of losers. I'd make a joke about him suddenly turning into Koji, but at least Koji's tactful.

As the drama escalates, everybody starts to get snippy with each other. Gomamon and Gatomon argue about whether to intervene, which Tentomon is quick to diffuse. While breaking up WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon isn't happening, nobody bothers to separate Tai and Matt. This would have been another good moment for a slap to the face, but Sora's busy being angry that Mimi, who's hiding in a corner, hoping this will go away.

Luckily, it does! The delightful little mess stops abruptly when Kari starts talking to some stray data floating in the air. Suddenly, she's possessed and launches into a massive wall of exposition that could have came out of a Dan Brown novel. The episode crashes into the wall head-on and comes to an immediate halt.

She's nice enough to explain how she is able to manipulate data to present this series of flashbacks more visually. She's not nice enough to explain what she actually is, merely that she is a random array of data temporarily borrowing Kari to get this message across. The message, unfortunately, doesn't achieve much. We already know that these eight kids were chosen because they witnessed the Highton View Terrace incident. We only learn that their data was analyzed and their Digimon programmed to respond to each child's strongest trait. Joe needles Matt about the whole friendship thing, one of the few reminders of what went down just ten minutes ago.

This part only leads to more questions. We learn that a younger, handsome Gennai was one of the cloaked figures facilitating this, but who are the rest? The Dark Masters attempt to infiltrate the operation... why were they dormant while the baby Digimon were developing? Couldn't they have swept through and finished the job? And what the hell's up with that black ball Piedmon inserted into Gennai? That damn thing isn't referred to again until one of the audio dramas, and even then nobody explains what it is!

The shinies release Kari and deposit the group back in the forest, having learned everything and nothing at the same time. They don't even know what the Dark Masters are plotting (although my guess would be world domination). Despite the extended interruption, nothing has actually changed. Matt and Tai have calmed down, but Matt recognizes that he's still frustrated with the whole operation, and himself. When he wants to distance himself for the time being, Tai finds the notion silly, but it's Sora who supports the idea. She even reassures TK that he's still in good company.

What really ties this moment together is when Mimi realizes that she needs a breather of her own. She's been a wreck since they got back to the Digital World and rather than let herself break down constantly and hurt the team, she too needs some personal time. Joe offers to look after her and the once-unified group is now split into three... which is completely antithetical to what zombie Kari was preaching.

My Grade: B

Loose Data:
  • Tai claims that the team doesn't need a “hothead with attitude.” Of course, that pretty much describes every other gogglehead from here on out...
  • Possessed Kari starts out discussing how light and darkness must remain in balance, and that the digidestined being summoned is a product of the light fighting back. This provides a nice parallel with the ending of season two, where TK emphasizes that the darkness will always fight back too.
  • Even though Piedmon is the only one of the Dark Masters who appears in the flashback, judging from the Guardramon and Mekanorimon that attack, it's clear that Machinedramon provided the muscle.
  • Gatomon frets when she sees Gennai drop her egg, which caused her path to start differently than the others. Biyomon is quick to cheer her up. Apparently spontaneous Gatomon angst is forbidden, but spontaneous Sora angst is free to cause havoc at any time.

4 comments:

  1. Okay, now that we've reached this episode, I really need to bring this up: anyone else thinks that Gennai is supposed to be inspired by Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars?

    Think about it: he's an old guy mentoring a group of youngsters; the American pronounciation of his name sounds like "Jedi"; and in this episode, his younger self reminds me of Ewan MacGreggor in Episode 1.

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    1. Yeah, that seems plausible, especially given that in season 2, one of the Gennai clones goes by the name "Benjamin".

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  2. I can't remember why (something from season 2 maybe), but I thought that the black ball was a virus that weakened Gennai. That's why he appears as an old, fragile man now. I also assumed that when Kari heard a voice two episodes ago, it was supposed to be foreshadowing for this moment.

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  3. To the part about Mimi leaving the group, it seemed like the only logical choice for who to go with her was Joe. Tai, obviously can't go since he needs to fight and has a Mega on his side. Izzy can't go cause Tai needs his expertise and knowledge when it comes to things that he can't understand. Sort of like his right-hand man. T.K. can't go cause even though he's shown that he can handle himself, he might not be as big a help to Mimi + Angemon alone couldn't handle a Dark Master had they encountered one and I think Tai sort of has a responsibility to watch T.K. as much as Sora does. Kari can't go cause obviously, she's Tai's sister and he's not letting her out of his sights. The only other logical choices were Matt and Sora. Matt(obviously) couldn't go cause of the events that transpired and his unstable behavior might actually deter Mimi rather than help. Had this not happened, I could have seen Matt and possibly T.K. go with her. Sora was the most logical choice other than Joe because she's one of Mimi's closest friends and can console her. You could say that Sora needed to stay with the main group cause of her motherly role with T.K. and Kari(and honestly, that's a good argument since Joe probably might not have that parent effect as good as Sora does, although both T.K. and Kari definitely see Joe as an imprtant member of the group) but with either Sora or Joe, the group wasn't really missing anything crucial if either of them had volunteered to go with Mimi. The only reason I mention this is because(in my mind) Joe not only did this to help Mimi and keep her safe but also to show that he can be that guy that the group can depend on(which plays into what happens later) if someone is not feeling the way the others do and is uncomfortable with what is happening around them. He can be that shoulder that the others can lean on when they need someone to be there for them. He also does this knowing that his Digimon can only reach Ultimate level with potential threats from Megas and powerful Ultimates around showing that he was willing to risk a lot for being there for a friend. (Although, I consider Zudomon to be the 3rd most powerful Ultimate behind Magnaangemon and Angewomon) It gave me a newfound respect and admiration of Joe(who was my favorite character in the series even before this happened and doesn't get enough credit/recognition for what he does in this season. T.K. might not be with them if it weren't for Joe) and it also helped in developing his character, even if it was just a little bit. Sorry for the long post. Lol it seems like I'm just ranting like a Joe fan but I needed to say it. X) Merry Christmas everybody! :D

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