On the surface, this is a very obvious episode, driving several things home that we either already knew or already assumed. The Digimon Emperor's real-life persona is a genius with such rounded hobbies as chess, judo and puppy punting. The dub didn't show the actual kick, but he seemed to get pretty good distance on it. In the Digital World, he enjoys sitting back and watching two identical Digimon squaring off against each other in his custom-built Pokémon arena.
He also takes issue with the digidestined meddling in his affairs, claiming that they aren't really digidestined because they are flawed. It's an interesting discussion on just how righteous someone needs to be to serve as a digidestined, but it's a moot point here: the Digimon Emperor can be classified as “evil,” which is certainly a worse defect than whatever the hell's wrong with Davis.
At least when it comes to being evil, the Digimon Emperor doesn't screw around. After failing to stop them with one Monochromon, then three different monsters, this time he gives it a go with five Tyrannomon. It's super effective! Especially since Flamedramon is useless against them. Halsemon and Digmon have more luck, allowing Cody, TK and Kari to run off in search of some digieggs that popped up on radar. The eggs are for Hope and Light and Patamon and Gatomon get new evolved forms to save the day. You have to dig pretty deep to find something interesting about all this. But that's why we're here.
First off, this isn't actually a TK or Kari episode. It's secretly a Cody episode, as we're finally getting glimpses of who this kid is. First, he's late to the computer room because he insists on finishing his entire lunch, including the part he's not fond of. See, his late father told him not to waste food. He has enough reverence towards this that he's willing to be late to Save The Digital World club in order to eat one disgusting tomato. It's also the first time we learn that his father passed away, which becomes important later. When Cody finally arrives, nobody notices.
Once the fighting starts, Cody's also the only one who puts a priority on finding the digieggs. The others don't see any point as there aren't any new kids left to claim them. His insistence is what ultimately saves the day, even though the rest of the group agrees to it out of desperation. It gives you an idea of what the group dynamic looks like at this point... namely that everybody hinges on what TK and Kari say, while Davis and Cody are mostly ignored.
This treatment of Cody is vastly different from the first season. There, everybody worked very hard not to ignore little TK. Everyone listened to him, to the point where his opinion could actually end arguments. Nobody wanted to be accused of treating him like a little kid except for Matt, who paid the price for it. Years later, everybody's more than happy to dismiss Cody's opinions, valid as they may be, because he's so much younger.
Under close scrutiny, the scene in the cave is just fascinating. Kari recognizes the crests on the eggs, but is very hesitant to pull them. As Sora and Izzy proved last episode, there's no harm in trying, but initially Kari wants no part in it. Gatomon has to urge her along, and even she's apprehensive. It's not the kind of fear you have when the worst that could happen is nothing. No, they're afraid that something will happen. Neither of the two say it, but it's very clear that they're both thinking the same thing. It's not fear of Gatomon not receiving new powers... it's fear of Gatomon being replaced.
That makes for some heavy drama right there. Too bad the audience already knows better.
My Grade: C-
- Yolei introducing the new In-Trainings to sugar is the most adorable thing ever. The look of disgust on Gatomon's face seals it. Patamon, meanwhile, is showing them how to get fully buzzed.
- While I don't mind most of the shoehorned humor in the dub, sometimes it does get a little too amused with itself, particularly in the news report where Ken's ability at chess and math are diminished for the sake of comedy. The lines are funny, but it sells him short in what is essentially his introduction.
- Davis and Yolei were left fending off the Tyrannomon while the others looked for the eggs. How the hell did they end up backed up against a cliff? I totally buy that those two are capable of it... I just wanted to see how it happened!
- As a Chrono Trigger fan, I still think it's awesome that Pegasusmon and Nefertimon have a Double Tech attack.