Everybody has a rough day at the office sometimes. The weather could be bad, the stress could be piling up, the project may not be coming together right, somebody may be pissing you off... the evil mastermind is using your Digimon for his nefarious experiments. It's all typical stuff, really.
That's what makes this episode interesting. It's just a bad day for everybody. Ken has Agumon captive, which just wrecks Tai. He takes his frustration out on the new kids. First he's angry at Davis for being late, not that Davis's excuse helped matters. Then when Yolei shows up in a funk of her own, Tai practically demands that she stay behind, as she's in no condition to be on his team. As we soon find out, neither is he.
Yolei's funk is weird in that it's never fully explained... at least in the dub. In the Japanese, the team has come to rely on her positive energy, but she finds herself unable to bring it given the intensity of the situation. It's certainly a strange thing to omit, but the ambiguity is fascinating in its own right. Whatever reason she has for her lack of motivation, that's what has her upset. Yolei knows that she needs to help, but has no desire to. It may be less specific, but certainly more people can relate to that.
Ken's problem is a little less familiar: his experiments on Greymon reveal that his beloved Dark Rings don't control Ultimates worth a crap. The testing process is very cruel, evolving Greymon into SkullGreymon twice and watching the ensuing temper tantrums. It's almost reminiscent of Gendo working on EVA-00 in Evangelion. The ultimate solution, however, comes from a different Gainax series- spirals. In a rare betrayal, Wormmon frees Agumon before Ken can test these Dark Spirals.
Wormmon's motivation for freeing Agumon is insane, and it adds to his character greatly. While he's often played Ken's ignored conscience, that's not why he does it. No, he wants Ken to experiment on him instead. He wants to be the one evolving. Much as Wormmon dislikes Ken's behavior, he ultimately tolerates it for the selfish desire to stay close to his partner and potentially grow stronger. Ken wants no part in that business, mocking Wormmon's theoretical evolved forms.
Agumon steals a train (which is the weirdest thing that never gets commented on in this episode) and rides back to Tai and company. Davis wants to attack right away, but Tai and Kari want to hold off. Too bad Ken sides with Davis and his opinion matters most. While the Armor forms all perform exceptionally, Agumon is hit with the Dark Spiral and Ken successfully gets the corrupted MetalGreymon on his team.
Pegasusmon and Nefertimon manage to subdue the Ultimate, but Tai really loses it here as he freaks out and prevents the Armors from attacking MetalGreymon at full strength. As a result, MetalGreymon breaks his bonds and escapes with Ken. More angsting follows, until Yolei arrives with Matt, who appears for one reason and one reason only- to punch Tai in the face.
And it works! Tai snaps out of it and orders the group to attack MetalGreymon at full strength until they have him back. Or he's destroyed. Either way.
Yolei's suddenly upbeat again too, with no explanation. She was last seen sullenly helping Izzy relay a message about Agumon's whereabouts. Now she's happy again. Did Matt punch her too?
My Grade: B+
- There's not much to say about it, but Cody's really moody in this episode too. He's normally the stoic one, but he's really pissed off by what's going on, often to his own dismay.
- The Woodmon battle was short and awesome. Woodmon boasts that he can't be defeated. Flamedramon defeats Woodmon with one shot. Flamedramon knocks spire on top of Woodmon. Done!
- Davis gets very physical in this episode. He practically shoves Kari in order to voice his point about attacking right away. He tackles Tai to get him away from MetalGreymon, physically restraining him until the battle is over. Then he wants to go after Matt for punching Tai. Because violence is wrong.
- This is the third time Yolei stayed back in the real world and later showed up with one of the older kids. The whole “older kids can't open the gate” thing seems to have pinned the writers into a corner. Need a dramatic entrance? Leave Yolei behind to hold the door open.