In this episode, a second team requires a second villain, so Etemon is dragged out of retirement with a new coat of paint. Ogremon's return isn't nearly as gaudy.
Yeah... he's back. Now he's silver. I will hand it to MetalEtemon for one thing: unlike zombie Kari, he at least recognizes the need to be entertaining with his exposition. He uses a full backing band to explain how he didn't die in episode 19 and was able to return in a stronger form. Kari's little holograms pale in comparison.
He's not exactly a welcome sight, but at least MetalEtemon slides into the picture really easily. With the digidestined split into three groups, there's a clear need to give Joe and Mimi a primary opponent (shame there's only one villain in this arc and not, say, a coalition of four to deal with). He also plays off of Puppetmon really well. Both are among the more colorful villains, presenting themselves as blithe and annoying rather than black-hearted monsters. Their differences jump out quickly, however, as MetalEtemon is greedy and power-hungry while Puppetmon is just a psychopath.
As such, they don't exactly see eye to eye. MetalEtemon shows up just as Puppetmon is owning Zudomon, and the interruption isn't appreciated. Their battle lets Joe and Mimi escape and is actually quite entertaining, particularly as it invokes their unique battle techniques. Eventually, they split up to hunt for the kids on their own, allowing them to each take a group.
Much as MetalEtemon steals the show, Ogremon's return is far more meaningful, particularly Mimi's concern for him when he is injured. By now, she's gone full pacifist, taking care of any Digimon who needs help, even a former enemy like Ogremon. Joe is quick to use his medical skills to bandage him up and, just like that, they have an unlikely new friend.
This is a big episode for Mimi. Her compassion towards Ogremon stands out in this increasingly hostile world, and she actively questions Ogremon's stated destiny of constantly fighting Leomon. She finds it pointless in so many ways, and the fact that she can say that so openly to a giant green monster who has attacked them in the past is quite impressive. She's taking this whole sincerity thing seriously, and she's better off for it.
As for Team Xros Heart, they hear and feel MetalEtemon's crash landing, but TK points out that they really should be getting on with the whole “beat the Dark Masters” quest. Tai has clearly had his leadership abilities shaken by the whole Matt debacle and is very indecisive at this point, agreeing to the plan mostly because TK, Kari and Izzy think it's a good idea. Sora does not, but she seems to have learned from all this: while she voices her disagreement, she does so politely and doesn't raise a big fuss over it.
Her hesitation seems to affect Tai, as he doesn't want to send the whole team into Puppetmon's house. Again, the others insist. It's not a big deal, but it's one of the few times we see Tai unable to control the group. He doesn't let it bother him and he leads a charge against the guards... or rather the Deramon and Floramon who were just standing there for no reason. Deramon, an affable fellow that forgives their assault quickly, leads them through the booby-trapped funhouse just as Puppetmon returns. Rather than run, they fire the cannons. Ready yourselves, men, and prepare to defend the fort you just rightfully stole!
My Grade: B
- When Gomamon sniffs out Ogremon, he and Palmon run towards him. Mimi yells for them to slow down. So does... Palmon?
- Network censors have always been very sensitive about showing blood, lest children get the impression that violence has real consequences. Yet Ogremon is shown to be bleeding from the forehead. For that matter... I didn't know Digimon could bleed at all.
- In an unsung moment for Joe, he was the only one who restocked his supply bag while they were home. His top priority was packing several rolls of toilet paper (which we'll just pretend is strong enough to form an adequate sling for Ogremon), but his bag also includes a toothbrush and towels. We can now say Joe is truly a man who knows where his towel is.
- Back in episode 28, Izzy's laptop was modded to load data from other digivices. At the time, I wondered how often Izzy would use it beyond that episode. Turns out he didn't use it again until now, unnecessarily downloading Floramon and Deramon's data from Tai's digivice.
- In an episode that saw the re-emergence of an over-the-top character like Etemon, it's nice to have someone like Deramon that can be funny without being bombastic. His tour guide mentality and mild irritation at being burned to a crisp is delightful.