In this episode, a massive attack on the city and an epic counteroffensive get completely overlooked because Sora wants to get laid.
In spite of my general lack of discussion about romance, I was a pretty big shipper back in the day. Yes, even TK/Kari, despite my systematic deconstruction of that pairing. Being hopelessly entrenched in the Tai/Sora camp, I was, like many people, pretty distraught when it was revealed that Sora would be hooking up with Matt instead. So now, years later, it's quite a surprise to learn that the episode that drops this little bombshell is actually really freakin' awesome.
The start of the episode does a great job getting us back to the real world and preparing us for the new arc. We're introduced to Oikawa, a creepy-looking guy who acts even creepier in a scene with, of all people, Nancy Takaishi. Using her is a stroke of brilliance as her combined senses of journalistic inquisitiveness and motherly concern make for a perfect reaction when he warns her of an impending problem that her boys will get caught up in. There's also a random scene with Hiroaki Ishida, which is never a bad thing.
Ken also overcomes his hesitation about accepting the other digidestined as friends, gathering the nerve to invite them over and making his mommy oh so happy. After some initial fun, they're forced to respond to a control spire and a whole army of Digimon invading Odaiba. A unified team of old and new kids team up to stop them in grand fashion, with everybody getting their hits before the DNAs appear to finish the job. The episode ends with the shocking sight of control spires all over the world. What could possibly derail such massive loads of epic?
No bones about it- it's a surreal scene where Tai's nervously trying to ask Sora out, while she's nervously gathering the courage to confess her feelings to Matt. It ends up being a very elegant moment as Tai sucks it up and pushes her towards Matt, a hint of melancholy in his voice as she goes in. The kicker, of course, is that all of this is completely out of the blue. There had never been any hint of affection between Matt and Sora before. But for that matter, let's face it, there hadn't been any between Tai and Sora either.
The notion of Tai and Sora digging each other is very much an illusion borne from circumstances in season one. They share several moments in the season, which does not automatically make them a compatible couple but creates the impression that they're supposed to be. For example, Tai rescuing Sora from Datamon looks really romantic, but would he have done anything differently were it somebody else? He's not just going to leave them behind (after all, you can't spell Taiki without Tai!).
What's really crazy about the scene is that this is the second time the dub added dialogue to imply romantic affection, only for the poor guy to get completely shot down as a result. The first was TK's big “care too much about you” line in episode 13, with Kari's look of horror putting that to a quick halt. Originally, Taichi never asked Sora out, instead just piecing together that she was sweet on Yamato and nudging her forward. The dub makes this scene extra-tragic as we learn that not only was Tai fond of Sora all along, the holder of the Crest of Courage wasn't brave enough to make a move until it was too late.
It's hard to buy the argument that this territory should not have been broached and simply left to the fanfic writers. The argument should be that if everyone's set on writing fanfic about it, it should have been broached earlier. Really, a little romantic tension and perhaps even a love triangle would do much to add to the drama. Sadly, there's only one season with actual romantic tension that impacts the story in a significant way. Of course, with a fox like Rika in the picture, who the hell ships Takato and Jeri?
My Grade: A
- Like the Shakkoumon evolution previously confirmed TK and Cody's mutual understanding, sometimes it doesn't take a dramatic moment to change how people feel about each other. Ken and Cody never had a big reconciliation and still weren't sure how the other felt, but Ken was still happy to invite Cody and Cody was still happy to accept. They patched things up gradually over the last few episodes without realizing it.
- They went through a lot of trouble to work around getting Palmon to Mimi, but they were smart enough to incorporate the time difference between Tokyo and New York.
- Once again, points to the dub for using a song that sounds like Matt's band could actually perform it. Great as it is, Yamato's season two image song also has a phantom horn section.
- As perfectly acceptable as it is for anyone to fanboy over a true man like Hiroaki Ishida, I have no idea why I enjoy scenes with his three co-workers at the TV station. They just make fun bystanders, plus one of them drops a Woodstock reference.
- Yes, Davis suggests that they play strip poker and yes, it somehow got past the censors. Don't question it... just enjoy it.
- Awesome as it was to see the old kids in action again, the real clincher about this battle was the concerned looks from Hiroaki, Jun and Yolei's sister Momoe. Seeing a pure comic relief character like Jun show serious concern for her brother hits pretty hard.
- At the end of the night's festivities, Tai ends things with an incredibly appropriate line, telling Davis “Take it from me, you'll never learn about women.”