Zero Two Episode 26: United We Stand

In this episode, in the middle of an intense battle against an unstoppable opponent, a therapy session breaks out. Davis thinks Ken's a sad little moe girl.


There's plenty of developments in this episode, from Arukenimon explaining that Ken was a puppet in a larger scheme to a crest actually having a function to a brand new evolution (unless you count the movie, which we don't). How the hell did they screw this one up?

For starters, while the events in the last episode may have happened, nobody's opinions towards Ken changed a lick. After a long day rebuilding a bridge, Davis suggests that Ken could help the reconstruction. This is flatly shot down by everybody, including Yolei, who admitted that she was wrong about Ken and thanked him for helping last time. TK, who silently supported Davis last episode, opens his mouth to reject him this time. He's really starting to piss me off.

When asked why he feels so passionately about Ken joining them, Davis does not talk about how Ken has already helped them twice and might just not be evil anymore. No, Davis talks about the magical moe feeling he got back in Ken's base when he encountered the Digiegg of Pulling Wins Out of Nowhere. Since that was tied to the Crest of Kindness, Davis surmises that the crest was with Ken for a reason and that deep down he's actually a sad little girl in the snow. Davis just wants to give him a hug.

Now, Davis is right about all of this. Ken is deserving of the Crest of Kindness and the Digiegg of Pulling Wins Out of Nowhere was in his base for a reason. But until the team discovers that reason, good luck using this argument on the likes of Cody, who tends to ground himself in crazy beliefs such as logic. Davis ends up sounding like a damn fool, even though he's 100 percent correct.

It's possible that the only reason this was brought up was to remind us that Ken's busted-up base is still sitting in the middle of the desert. Izzy notices a “bizarre signal” there and the kids all rush to discover that the base used fuel and that fuel left unchecked in the middle of the desert can get a bit explody. Davis believes that restoring power to the place will fix it and that Ken's crest will restore power to it. Everybody still protests, but to hell with them: Davis tells Izzy to contact Ken. Note that while everyone's bitching about this, Izzy considers it a good theory and calls Ken to give it a go.

Ken, meanwhile, is chatting with Arukenimon, who rang him up only to harass him. She's delightful in this episode, but she has no reason to call Ken, even threatening to hang up immediately because she doesn't like Wormmon's tone of voice. She stays, gloating about how the genius behind the dark spires was planted into Ken's brain and how he was merely a pawn. While he's busy angsting, Wormmon takes the call from Izzy, tells a total stranger that he's a Digimon, and gets Ken on the line.

With the digidestined losing badly to a spire-turned-Okuwamon, Ken shows up, evolves Wormmon to Stingmon... and the battle is promptly halted for an extended therapy session. Okuwamon is nice enough to stop pounding ExVeemon so Ken can angst angst angst angst and angst some more. Ken wants to save the day himself, while Davis wants to take Ken's crest and do it for him. As they continue arguing about this, the base is still exploding. Much as I respect Izzy, there's also still no guarantee that the Crest of Kindness will actually do a damn thing. After all, in season one those crests ended up being nothing but shiny accessories.

In the middle of their arguing, Davis says something about relying on friends. Ken says he doesn't have any. Somehow this is the moment of mutual empathy that triggers a DNA evolution between their partners. Their argument, the battle and Ken's angst all remain unresolved... yet the episode's over.

My Grade: C-

Loose Data:
  • Along with all the aforementioned stuff, the episode is hampered by several awkwardly worded conversations that stray all over the place, like Ken and Wormmon talking in front of the control spire.
  • There's some fun bickering between Davis and Flamedramon here. It's rare when an evolved form gets into an argument with its partner, but it seems to happen with Flamedramon more than usual.
  • While Arukenimon's motives to destroy the bridge were also questionable, the way she delivered the line “this bridge offends me” was fantastic.
  • If the digidestined were so damn determined to save the bridge, why did they stick with the Armor brigade to stop Minotarumon? They can go Champion, and did later in the episode, but apparently thought the likes of Raidramon and Halsemon were good enough to preserve hours of back-breaking labor. Spoiler- it wasn't.
  • It's made clear that Gatomon can't evolve to Angewomon, but no reason is ever given for it. The only time she's tried it was episode 24, and the force preventing that was also preventing Patamon from evolving. Yet Angemon shows up here, so we're left shrugging. While there is a reason for it and Gatomon knows what it is, we don't hear it yet... and given that, why'd she even bother trying in episode 24?

8 comments:

  1. I stumbled across this site from your (or one of your cohorts?) fanfiction account and thought it was kinda cool so I did a quick read through for a few of my favorite episodes. I simply had to comment on this one because I don't think it deserves a C (personally I'd give it an A, but I'm not the one writing this blog).

    You've mentioned that you're doing an analysis for the dub version, but if I understood correctly, you also look for serious sub/dub inconsistencies, right? Don't know if you'd include this information in your post, but just thought I'd let you know this episode actually made a lot of sense in the original jap version.

    Ken's first scene wasn't so random in Jap. He reveals some really useful information both generally and about his mentality. He does say that he doesn't understand the Dark Towers anymore (like in dub) but he also adds that it doesn't matter because back when he was the Kaiser, he failed to understand the most important thing. He also expresses his desire to make up for what he did, no matter what. This becomes really huge later in the episode.

    With Daisuke and the others - nobody actually rejects Ken, they're just unsure. Takeru's line was actually about how he didn't understand Ken rather than an outright 'no' to the suggestion. Also Arukenimon's motive to destroy the bridge was simply because she was 'pissed off' that she got a split end, and it was basically her way of throwing a temper tantrum. As for why Patamon could evolve when Gatomon couldn't - remember that Angemon is Champion whereas Angewoman is Ultimate. And Anzulongmon actually explains why Ultimate evolution is pretty much impossible at the moment quite well. I don't know about dub, but in jap there's no indication that Gatomon tried evolution in episode 24.

    And the biggest thing that the dub screwed up... the actual conversation that happened before the Jogress/DNA evolution. Remember Ken saying that he was willing to do anything to make up for his mistakes earlier in the episode? Well he bascially comes in with a suicide mission mentality. Ken's a wreck because even though he's taking down Dark Towers, Arukenimon is still using his creations to cause trouble and it feels like he can never make up for what he did. It's not even whiny because it's so incrediably sad. And then what follows is not so much an argument as much as Daisuke exploding (and he's halfway crying too) with a huge lecture about the value of life. It finally gets through to Ken and Ken realizes that he wants to live, and that's what catalyzes the Jogress. Because in that moment, the both of them understand that one thing, and that is how precious life is.

    And so this episode ends with Ken actually forgiving himself a little bit. Doesn't mean he wants friends, but he doesn't want to die anymore.

    Man that looks long, but I actually left out like half of my explanation, lol. Anyway don't care if you change your post, but hope that this changes your opinion of the episode a bit.

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    1. You don't understand that he's doing reviews on the DUB version. And only bringing in the original for comparing reasons and such. This comment would have been awesome if you weren't trying to fight him in doing what he wants AND have already warned you what he was doing. You're like that kid who can't follow directions in school 'cause he wasn't listening.

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    2. Actually, Tailmon does try to evolve into Angewomon in episode 24, even the the Japanese version. Just before Patamon tries to evolve into Angewomon, she says "Nothing", indicating that Hikari had just tried to evolve her and it didn't work.

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  3. I also liked this episode more than a C. I think Arukenimon called Ken to distract and unnerve him, because she knew he would try to interfere with his old base. It seemed somewhat effective in that Ken was unwilling to accept the other digidestined help out of guilt, which would have definitely led to his death if Davis hadn't stopped him.

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  4. In the original version, this totally deserves more than a C, but in the dub, I'd say C is accurate grade to give it. The writing for this and tones of voices, the lines and such just didn't fall into place right.

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  5. Didn't they say that Gatomon couldn't digivolve normally without her tail ring? That was always what I thought, and I thought that was canon.

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  6. Well didn't all of the zero one partners have to give up their ultimate forms to (somehow) protect the digital world? I can't remember how or why, but I distinctly remember that happening.

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