In this episode, the dragon. You gotta unleash the dragon. Plot dump time!
Be careful what you wish for. We've been clamoring for some clarifications and answers for a while now and we finally get some. It's an absolutely insane, rapid-fire plot dump that covers events dating back to before the Dark Masters arc. It doesn't explain everything, and actually introduces even more concepts to the fold, but it clears up enough to allow us to move on to the next arc comfortably.
It also marks an abrupt end to the current arc, under a very bizarre set of circumstances. Despite Shakkoumon being an absolute rock in battle (he's always been my favorite DNA evolution for some reason), BlackWargreymon is hellbent on destroying the last stone no matter what. All the digidestined get is time to consider moving it farther away from the battlefield. This has no chance of working and Ken has no idea how one would go about moving a giant stone (whose position likely has some mystical significance), but Davis randomly suggests busting out the D3s. This act doesn't move the stone, but it does unlock the stone's power, freeing the guardian Azulongmon from his bonds and completely upending everything. It was a stroke of dumb luck, but that's how Davis rolls.
Azulongmon may be there for exposition, but he lays some verbal smackdown on everybody who needs it. He shuts up BlackWargreymon in a hurry, putting a quick end to his drive to fight the dragon and telling him that while his existence has a purpose... it sure as hell doesn't involve stepping to a holy guardian. This leaves BlackWargreymon even more confused. Even if he gets emo over the whole thing and flies off, it does suck to be a creation that may or may not have a soul, but does apparently have some unfulfilled purpose that he doesn't know about. As annoying as he has often been in the last few episodes, he goes out in a properly downbeat fashion.
Not that we haven't figured it out already, but we also finally hear Arukenimon's grand scheme, using Ken to get the control spires built, inhibiting the guardians and unbalancing the Digital World for her own malicious intentions. Or rather, the intentions of whoever is controlling her, something also previously hinted at but finally confirmed. So check that off the list too.
With the riff-raff taken care of, Azulongmon goes into speed mode, rambling off a whole ton of history to explain the last four years. He and the other guardians had been sealed by the Dark Masters and unsealed when the first season kids gave up their crest powers, resealed by the control spires, only for him to be unsealed again with the powers of Hope and Light. Was all that really so important that it needed to be kept from us in episode 27? The mystery over the dragon in the crystal and the Four Guardians stuff from Prof. Takenouchi wasn't so necessary that we needed to be left in confusion all this time. It certainly would have required less plot dumping this time, because there was enough to get at even without it.
Namely that there are other forces out there- both good and bad. Azulongmon keeps it very vague, referring only to the Harmonious Ones and the powers of darkness. He gives the Harmonious Ones credit for bestowing the powers of Armor Evolution and reformatting the hidden Crest of Kindness into the Digiegg of Pulling Wins Out of Nowhere. The powers of darkness inhibited standard evolution and hid the Crest of Kindness to begin with. Who exactly the Harmonious Ones and powers of darkness are referring to remain a mystery. Great...
We also learn that the crests of Hope and Light are special in that they can generate a positive energy and directly influence the Digital World. Given everything going on with Kari and the general awesomeness of Angemon and MagnaAngemon, this shouldn't be a shock to anybody. Still, while Kari faces additional pressures from the powers of darkness, it would be nice if TK felt that same kind of intensity.
Still, bless you, kind Azulongmon, for bestowing us some answers. See you again in Tamers!
My Grade: B-
- Paildramon and Silphymon must have really put a hurt on BlackWargreymon this time around, as he appeared to be gushing black blood. It's probably just liquid control spire or something, but it still looked kinda gory.
- All of the D3s appear to be contributing to the stone freeing Azulongmon, but he says the powers of Hope and Light did the trick. Were the other four really necessary for this? And does this mean they could have summoned him episodes ago the same way?
- Azulongmon may have been sealed in a crystal all this time, but he still manages to get wicked burns in on Cody, Izzy, Tai and Davis. Go ahead, insult your saviors. They're used to it.
- Azulongmon says the ability for the D-Terminals to store multiple digieggs was unforeseen, implying that they were just random PDAs brought in from outside that happened to be driver-compatible. So... what middle school kids had PDAs ten years ago? Okay, other than Yolei.
- When Ken's unhappy that they may have to continue fighting the powers of darkness, TK argues that they can never be destroyed completely and the only hope is holding onto the light. For someone who's gotten so pissed off at the powers of darkness in the past, it's very quietly a big character moment for TK to acknowledge the necessity of this balance. He's essentially admitting that the way Angemon and Devimon canceled each other out was necessary and appropriate.