The first season was all about each of the digidestined figuring themselves out. Many of the challenges and conflicts came when they were holding themselves back or weren't being honest with themselves. In Zero Two, there's still plenty of inner torment, but it's not the point of contention nearly as often. Now the emphasis is on the way each kid relates with their teammates. There's a lot more bickering this time around, emotions run high and at some point Digimon evolution will ride on how well they get along with each other.
With that in mind, it's safe to say that Davis isn't off to a very good start. Until now, he hadn't actually been all that bad. Tai, TK, Kari and Yolei didn't much care for him, but other than a few rookie jitters he's been doing fine. This episode changes that. Now it is painfully obvious that Davis Motomiya is a complete moron.
This week's adventure centers around an enslaved Gazimon village kept in check by the Digimon Emperor's fancy new control spire. After a violent run-in with enforcer RedVegiemon, Gabumon calls for help and summons Matt to head up the rescue. Davis suggests charging in and blowing up the bad guys, but Matt reminds him that with the Gazimon captive, they need a more tactful approach. While I'll give Davis a pass for his crude strategy (remember- he's new), what we can't overlook is how strongly and vocally he disagrees with Matt's approach. TK, Kari and Cody all side with Matt, and at some point Davis needs to realize that sometimes it's best to let the pros take the lead.
This pales in comparison to the nerves Davis accidentally touches later. When TK mentions meeting Davis's sister, Davis goes off on how much he hates Jun and all the bad things she probably said about him. Now... forget for a moment that Jun later emerges as Matt's insane fangirl/groupie/stalker. Her introduction in this episode paints her as nothing more than a polite, albeit boy crazy, fan. Talking smack about her in front of TK, Matt and Kari? Three people that are incredibly sensitive about sibling relations? Yeah, that's not going over well. Matt's ready to slug Davis right then and there, and Kari looks like she might take a few swings herself. It is hard to piss off Kari; Davis did it in record fashion.
Normally, this would be the part of the show where Davis learns his lesson, apologizes and saves the day in dramatic fashion. Nuh uh. This one's all Veemon. Normally, the kid gets the credit alongside the Digimon, but Veemon does all the work here. With the Vegiemon tying up everybody else, Veemon submits himself to an absolutely brutal pounding from RedVegiemon, with the sole purpose of showing off his resiliency to cheer up Davis. In the process, the control spire receives collateral damage, breaking completely when Veemon dodges RedVegiemon's final shot. The malfunction allows Gabumon to evolve and he tosses the Vegiemon around like a salad. Flamedramon takes out RedVegiemon, but Garurumon totally steals the show.
In the end, Davis didn't really learn a whole lot. He didn't learn about the value of tactical maneuvers, since they won thanks to Veemon's stunt catching them a lucky break. Furthermore, nothing got resolved with the Jun argument. For all we know, TK, Matt and Kari are still stewing over that, ready to explode at him for the next dumb thing he says or does. In a season where interpersonal relationships mean so much, Davis has a long, long way to go.
My Grade: C+
- For those wanting a relationship thesis for each series, Adventure is about relationship with yourself, Zero Two is about relationship with your friends, Tamers is about relationship with your Digimon, Frontier is about relationship with the world around you and Data Squad is about relationship with your opponents.
- It seemed like Izzy borrowing Yolei's digivice for analysis did nothing other than take her out of the picture as she would have really screwed up the narrative. Given her family, she would be far more sympathetic towards Davis's issues with his sister, to the point where she may have even fought back against TK and Matt.
- In a stunning upset, during Matt's concert the song in the dub was far more appropriate than the song in the Japanese version. While I'm mostly unimpressed with most of the songs written for this season, I Turn Around is a fine bit of generic pop that suits a band like Matt's far better than his season one image song Walk On The Edge, which features a phantom horn section. I still have the full versions of both on my computer.
- Okay... now remember that Jun later emerges as Matt's insane fangirl/groupie/stalker! In hindsight, it's absolutely hilarious that Matt's this close to going to blows to defend her honor.
- Maybe it's just me, but Armadillomon's evolution at the very end just to destroy the spire for good seemed like an arbitrary time waster. Greymon's appearance at the end didn't get such fanfare, and he destroyed a second spire just as easily.