Let's try to stay focused. The real point of this episode is not about Devimon returning, a freak of a Digimon emerging or TK laying the motherloving smackdown on Ken. It's about finally seeing some cracks in the Digimon Emperor's armor, and Ken starting to feel like he's getting in over his head. The little reactions he has as the darkness starts to overwhelm his plan is crucial in setting up the climax to this arc and his future role in the series.
Not that we won't spend an undue amount of time talking about TK laying the motherloving smackdown on Ken.
Ken's been quietly planning his ultimate creation for the last few episodes and he heads to a spooky whirlpool to gather the lightning for his Frankenstein monster. All of the Digimon nearby, from Wormmon to Pegasusmon to Armadillomon sense pure evil emanating from this thing. Ken momentarily flinches at it, but ignores Wormmon's pleas and goes forth to suck up some raw dark energy from Devimon, who freaks him out further by warning him about the danger of trifling with the powers of darkness.
Cody and TK had each infiltrated the base and see this go down as they work to free some captives. Devimon obviously holds a place of significance with TK, being the first Digimon to really scare the hell out of him and the one Angemon had sacrificed himself to defeat. When TK sees Ken mock Devimon and, by nature, the darkness itself, something just snaps. He leaves Cody and goes to find the Emperor himself, setting up one of the greatest moments in the franchise.
Clearly, TK has issues with Ken toying with such evil forces. With Devimon involved, it's clearly personal. TK doesn't usually get angry and you'd think he'd have no control over such rage when he meets Ken face to face. It would have been plenty awesome had TK just dove after Ken and started wailing at him uncontrollably like Ralphie against that bully in A Christmas Story. But no, TK goes to another level here. When Ken mocks Devimon, TK mocks Ken. Not only is TK cool, he's openly derisive of Ken's motives, actions and attitudes. Ken's already having doubts and is forced to confront it all again, defying his fears with petty name-calling and a whip to TK's face. TK brushes it off, finishes his speech, and socks Ken in the face. Everything lines up perfectly in this scene. Even TK's voice acting, which has been absolutely atrocious during intense moments this season, brings it.
In the meantime, Kari and Yolei are introduced to Ken's little masterpiece Kimeramon. It is truly an abomination, a composite of ten different Digimon into one indestructible beast. Ken went completely overboard with this thing, giving it two sets of wings and five or six different arms, with the only regard for aesthetic coming in the form of MetalGreymon's hair. It doesn't help much. This mockery of Equivalent Exchange subdues Halsemon and Nefertimon easily, but lets them retreat after Pegasusmon comes to the rescue.
After TK gets one more moment of awesome when he catches the whip with his bare hand, Ken is left dismayed and thrown by the whole thing. For all the abuse he takes and as much as Ken ignored him, Wormmon is still right there next to him.
Davis, meanwhile, was stuck on an island the whole time, as his Digimon is neither seaworthy nor capable of flight. He gets as much screentime as his sister, who spends the whole time trying to reach the campground, ultimately getting a ride with some “relatives.” They take her to the wrong place.
My Grade: A
- Yolei and Kari have their sleeping bags right next to each other, but there's about a mile of space between them and Davis.
- The parallels between Davis and Jun are quite amusing, as the episode often cuts from one directly to the other, often with the two in the same pose.
- Cody sees the core engine room, but merely notes it and walks on by. If the mission was truly to bring the Digimon Emperor down, shouldn't he just send Digmon in to tear a few thousand holes in the main reactor?
- Not to take away from the big TK/Ken fight, but the newscast in episode three states than Ken is a judo champion. In episode 13, Gatomon calls TK “a lover, not a fighter.” Who's really going to have the upper hand here?
- What's amazing about the fight scene is that TK's lines are completely different in English and Japanese, yet they're both equally badass. Despite the staring contest line, the dub gets the upper hand with the Patamon/Wormmon standoff as the Japanese version puts it to this weird polka music that doesn't fit the scene at all.