Perhaps the most lovable yet simultaneously frustrating thing about Davis is that every time he does what anybody in their right mind would deem the wrong thing, the end result is always better than what would have happened had he done the right thing in the first place. It's not always blind luck: usually the “right thing” is determined based on set assumptions or certain details that Davis has no interest in heeding. He takes a very narrow viewpoint on a certain course of action, filters out such things such as common sense, probability and physics and winds up being right consistently. This episode is a prime example, and thus it too is lovable yet simultaneously frustrating.
Were this a simple filler episode with no mandate to introduce a new evolved form, this one would be cute and harmless. The Digimon Emperor has been defeated and all that's left is the reconstruction and plenty of time for silly hijinks to ensue. The kids are seen doing typical school stuff: Cody puts his usual emotion into a depressing story. Yolei's showing off her (lack of) science skills while offering to “tutor” the boys... if you know what I mean. Kari's dancing with the other girls in gym, a class which apparently stops so they can watch the boys play basketball. She cheers TK as he schools Davis pretty hard, leaving him with a sore bum, a sore face and a sore ego. Better pick it up champ, you're playing Team Xros Heart next week and they have two goggle boys.
In the Digital World, Davis laments the way Kari cheers for TK and not him, while Veemon is equally bothered by Gatomon's relationship with Patamon. This thing about Veemon wanting to be closer to Gatomon comes in out of left field, but it's a welcome addition to the mix. In the first two seasons, we see precious little involving the relationships the Digimon have between each other, so any insight we get into that is appreciated. Somewhere in this conversation comes the odd belief that Kari and Gatomon would show a little more affection if Veemon were able to evolve to Champion. It stems back to Davis's “angel envy” from episode seven. In reality, Kari and TK's bond has more to do with the shared experience of them being chased by a maniacal clown four years ago, but Davis remains fixated on Veemon evolving. They're threatened by a monster with the worst outfit this side of ChoHakkaimon, only for it to be exposed as a ploy to coax Veemon into evolving.
Last season, Tai forced Agumon to evolve by throwing himself in front of a very real threat. It ended badly. Next season, Takato will force Guilmon to evolve in a moment of uncontrolled rage. It, too, will end badly. Both Tai and Takato's crimes pale in comparison to what Davis is trying here. He is consciously trying to manipulate Digital World logic by artificially creating a situation where Veemon is prompted into a dynamic digivolution. Every other time someone tries to pull this stunt, they are punished severely for it. Tai ended up ruined for the rest of the arc. Even if this doesn't spawn some dark evolution, Davis needs to learn the error of toying with this kind of power.
It doesn't have to be a serious lesson. He ends up pissing off a Tortomon (pun intended for those watching in Japanese) which leads to a wacky chase scene. Amusingly, the other kids all hide rather than help and Veemon gets to show some of his personality, which is always a bonus. But in the end, just as they're backed up against a cliff, Davis whips out his D-3 and Veemon evolves to ExVeemon as if they've done this a million times before. They march back triumphantly and Davis brags about his new best buddy. No punishment, no lesson, no nothing. Davis gets his Champion and can wash his hands of the whole thing.
My Grade: C
- The most interesting difference I found between the Japanese version and the dub was, of course, the story Cody read in lit class. Both versions started out exactly the same with exactly the same tone, only for the dub to veer off into absurdity halfway through. Given Cody's dry delivery, it works both ways.
- Oh, you wanted me to comment on the “real” reason Tortomon was angry at Davis? Look, I understand why people might think the cut scene of Davis stumbling upon Tortomon taking a leak was crucial in understanding why Tortomon was so angry. But no, that doesn't explain why he felt so compelled to chase Davis halfway around the Digital World. It makes no sense either way, and since toilet humor is frowned upon here, the points go to the dub on this one.
- Cody wonders why they're still able to go into the Digital World as the gate usually closes once the world is saved. TK takes that to mean there's still some threat lingering out there. I would hope so; season's not even halfway through.
- Davis is trying to win Kari's affections, yet refuses to budge when she wants to claim the same territory as him. They resolve this dispute with rock-paper-scissors. Word of advice, Casanova- let the girl have what she wants! Incidentally, they both wanted to clean up a muddy piece of farmland, which seemed like the worst lot of the bunch.
- That rope bridge Davis was on must have been unbelievably flimsy if he could destroy it with his bare hands. On that note, isn't destroying the infrastructure totally contrary to the reason they're there in the first place?