In this episode, after witnessing the massively powerful Paildramon, Izzy ruins it by adding further complications to the massively convoluted plot.
Previous episodes have been praised for showcasing all the potential this season's scenario provides. This one puts all of Zero Two's warts on full display. Sweet as Ken's redemption story is and impressive as Davis's unshakeable determination to rehabilitate Ken may be... there are way too many things going on behind the scenes and a resolution in one place creates massive logic holes in others.
DNA evolution ends up being the least of our problems. There are all sorts of crazy implications to two kids having such a bond that their Digimon unite into one creature. The reaction shots are very appropriate. Ken's feeling downright violated, particularly since didn't realize he and Davis actually had such a bond. The others are all completely flummoxed and a little frightened by this new development. Davis is totally pumped about all of this, because he's Davis.
The more significant impact of DNA evolution is that it starts the show on this path where each season is almost obligated to out-crazy the last one in terms of freak combo evolutions. This is why we see humans and Digimon combining in Tamers, polynomial equations in Xros Wars and humans-turned- Digimon fusing with multiple other humans-turned-Digimon in Frontier. Give Data Squad tons of credit for avoiding this route with the main cast.
At some point, the gang stops marveling at Paildramon and realizes that it still has to stop the base from exploding. The Crest of Kindness is shown to not do a hell of a lot and the solution ends up being blow the place to smithereens before it blows up itself. Even if Ken weren't around, you have to think Davis would have figured out a way to achieve this on his own.
The next day, Izzy tries explaining DNA evolution to the kids. After covering everything the kids had already witnessed, he changes the subject completely, using Omnimon to transition into a completely unrelated flashback. This flashback fills in one plothole (that even with the spires no longer inhibiting evolution, the season one Digimon still can't go Ultimate) by creating about a hundred more. Basically, the season one kids sacrificed the power that let their partners go Ultimate in order to Scotch-guard the Digital World, protecting it from dark forces.
Let's try to count the number of things wrong with this... first, for such a significant sacrifice, it sure didn't work that great once Ken showed up. Second, this should have strongly suggested that their services as digidestined would no longer be necessary, yet they still walked around with their digivices and aren't all that shocked to get thrown back into the fold at the start of this season. Third, if these powers protect the Digital World from the dark forces, why are all these digidestined cropping up around the world? Why not take the power from them instead, leaving the most powerful human allies in place in case of emergency? Fourth, why was none of this discussed during the Odaiba Memorial reunion? Fifth, if they can't go Ultimate, why did Gatomon try evolving in episode 24, and why was she successful in episode 13? Sixth, if everything's fine, what the hell did Ryo and Ken have to do in there? Finally, where has Gennai been throughout all of this?
Between this explanation and the journey through the base, we're reminded of almost every player, both good and evil, that are influencing the story in some way. To recap, we've got Arukenimon, whoever plugged the Digiegg of Pulling Wins Out of Nowhere into Ken's base, whoever gave Ken his crest, Devimon in the Dark Pool, Dragomon in the Dark Ocean, and Gennai has to be around here somewhere. If all of these were managed elegantly, it would be one thing, but we're more than halfway through and we don't know jack about any of these. Some we never find out about. It's a reality check to just how insane this plot has gotten, and it only gets worse. For sake of completion, this episode should have somehow wedged in Ryo and the clock shop guy from Hunters.
My Grade: D+
- The battle between Paildramon and Okuwamon is actually really good. It's a shame it ends when Paildramon realizes it has this attack that requires no arms and sprays bullets all over the place.
- What exactly is flowing out of the dark energy source that has everybody so worked up? It's quite bright, so it doesn't appear to be from the world of darkness. It's not red, so it's not D-Reaper either.
- After admitting that he's an awful friend in episode 11, Davis now claims to be an expert on friendship when trying to get Ken to come aboard.
- There's a nice moment when Ken admits that the biggest reason he was uncomfortable with DNA evolution was because he didn't want to lose Wormmon again.
- The other big thing we learn in the flashback is that Tai apparently never changes his clothes. All of the other kids have new outfits, but Tai's rocking that same blue shirt he had in season one. Also, Kari has her whistle again for some reason.
- Kari and TK act like they knew this story, but only because Izzy had already told it to them. When asked why they didn't share, Kari said they didn't want to admit they had a weakness. Except that would imply that Davis, Yolei and Cody assume that Patamon and Gatomon can go Ultimate. This has only come up once... in episode 7 when TK explicitly says that Gatomon can turn into Angewomon. Even back then, TK was being an asshole!
- Yolei says she saw the Omnimon incident on the internet. Tsk tsk, Yolei, downloading movies online is wrong.
- Adorable as Izzy's mom is when she asks where Tentomon is in the group, it does illustrate that while hiding all this from the family has its purpose, it's not the end of the world if they find out.