Early on this season, one of the prevailing themes is comparing the newbies to the more experienced digidestined. We're eleven adventures in, so it's no longer stated outright, but Davis, Yolei and Cody are all very inexperienced at this and the Digimon Emperor isn't cutting them any slack. When he raises the stakes by enslaving MetalGreymon, all three are suddenly expected to step up and do what it takes to save him, even when they haven't fully grasped the magnitude of their positions. The more experienced kids have no patience for their hesitation and indecisiveness, so things are understandably heated this time around.
This episode marks a turning point for Davis, where it finally starts to click that the job isn't as sexy as the classified had indicated and sometimes he'll need to do some nasty stuff. It's a sound concept, and certainly fun to talk about and describe, but just because the story is interesting doesn't mean the episode covers it well. The dialogue is weak and there are far too many friendship speeches for its own good. It also makes Davis very unlikeable before suddenly flipping and making him into the big hero. It's a common tactic, but doesn't fly so well since neither of them should really apply here.
The problem is that Davis's actual feelings about attacking MetalGreymon are completely understandable, while his ability to emote them isn't. Let's put it this way: this is the first serious test for the new kids. It's no longer a happy adventure and they are now expected to do cruel things to a friend whether they like it or not. I don't blame Davis in the slightest for having second thoughts. It's too bad he conveys this by angrily accusing TK of not being concerned about MetalGreymon getting hurt, goading him on with poor arguments until they get to brawling.
TK's not entirely blameless here. Davis raises concerns that may not be valid (they've removed several rings before without harming the Digimon), but could be answered calmly with minimal drama. Instead, TK starts fighting with him. He's understandably frustrated, but he needs to take a page from Tai and Matt and be a little more gentle in pushing Davis into the battle. While we all love this new Angry TK and he's responsible for probably the most awesome moment in the season, this isn't a good time to introduce him.
Now Angry TK when Patamon is held captive? That's a different story. He can do whatever the hell he wants. Even after Garurumon rescues Patamon, TK gets a pass for sheer awesomeness for the guilt trip he lays on Davis after Patamon saves Veemon. Both he and Veemon get on Davis hard for his unwillingness to say he would definitely sacrifice himself for his partner.
This new digiegg causes some headaches as well. At first, it fails to respond to anybody, including Davis. Then it only responds when Davis breaks down completely, frozen in hesitation while all the others are attacking MetalGreymon at full strength. Only then does he see the true power of friendship and the digiegg responds. WHAT?!
He doesn't do a damn thing other than realize just how poor a digidestined he really is, and suddenly he's rewarded with a second digiegg and a sweet new Armor form for Veemon. After establishing that he's clearly the worst friend of the bunch, he gets the egg of Friendship. Yikes. At least he's unfrozen and Matt's able to nudge him onto Raidramon. From there, Davis is able to step it up and save the day.
Tai and Matt are smart in realizing that he also needs some encouragement for this rare show of good behavior, so they make sure to provide it. His “initiation” is awkward and we will not speak of it.
My Grade: C
- What was the point of the scene where Tentomon finds a control spire and a scattering of enslaved Pagumon? We don't see either again this episode.
- They're sailing along on the train on their way to saving Tai's partner, yet they stop halfway in order to investigate some egg that they have no reason to believe any of them could use. Nice to see they have their priorities straight.
- Why exactly is Davis so hesitant about pulling the egg? Once he's accused of not being a good friend, he should be the first to try to prove them wrong. Even if he's afraid it wouldn't respond to him, it's not like any of the others did any better. Yolei may have gotten a concussion trying to pull it out.
- While Raidramon was the big hero, you have to give it up to Garurumon for not only swooping in and getting Patamon into his mouth without hurting him, but also removing the black gear from Flymon in the process. Ta da!
- It is a little unfair to show Matt's ability to attack MetalGreymon as the epitome of being a good friend. It's not like Matt has ever had a problem with attacking Tai or his partner.