In this episode, the most dramatic moment in the series, finally bringing down a monster who has terrorized the city for a whole three episodes.
This is a true test for the cynics. It's a pretty straightforward episode: bad guy's big and unstoppable, good guys figure out a way to defeat him, bad guy's defeated. Other than teeing up some developments for the Oikawa plot, that's it. Not only that, but the bad guy in question never got much development himself. What it all comes down to is the way the good guys defeat him. Thankfully, it comes through big.
Daemon will have to go down as one of the many fantastic concepts of Digimon that never got proper treatment in the anime. His appearance doesn't bring the whole show down like the Royal Knights in Frontier. In fact, he contributes far more than he takes away... like the Royal Knights in Data Squad. But Daemon himself is the most underdeveloped villain since Devimon. He's really just a token enemy in the end, bursting into the real world to raise some hell, appearing indestructible, then going away once the good guys work out his weakness. Lasting only three episodes, we didn't get a feel for his personality outside of the standard smug “you can't defeat me” business. Hell, we never even heard his master plan. Davis saved Ken fast enough to prevent Daemon from executing it.
It also doesn't help that he's invincible. Flawlessness is a flaw onto itself in storytelling, and somebody who can't be defeated is boring. It's one thing when he takes down Paildramon, but then he's swatting away attacks from Shakkoumon and Silphymon, then Imperialdramon, then all three DNA forms at once. It gets tiresome.
At the same time, this provides endless possibilities for speculation. There's a lot you can do with a Digimon that can't be defeated, only temporarily contained. Of all the villains that appear in the first two seasons, it's Daemon that will be a persistent thorn in everyone's sides in the future. If it's truly a future where Digimon and the Digital World are public knowledge, you can imagine how big a deal that could be.
Flaws aside, the way Daemon is finally stopped is, in my opinion, the single most powerful moment in this season. Since shedding the Digimon Emperor label, Ken has done everything in his power to redeem himself and shed the darkness that controlled him. No matter how his black digivice reminds him or the Dark Ocean calls him, he's trying to move on and be just another one of the good guys. Any of the good guys can open a digiport to send Daemon back to the Digital World. Only Ken can seal him in the Dark Ocean where escape will be harder.
Ken's agony is apparent as he allows the Dark Ocean to appear behind Daemon. The first person to confront that place with him? Kari. Seeing their struggle, TK, Yolei and Cody join in. Davis comes in last, convincing Ken that he's got this beat. The shared struggle of six desperate digidestined finally defeats the villain for good.
In the end, good villain or not, isn't that all we ask for?
My Grade: B+
- Cody still has remorse over having to kill MarineDevimon, and this time they are able to take out Daemon without murder. I do hope the resolution was designed with that in mind.
- Ken's parents once again get the shaft as Ken disappears without warning, this time with a wave of kidnappings in the area. It's worse when the kidnapped children are reported to be returned but Ken isn't back yet. After yet another tearful return, Ken finally introduces his parents to Wormmon. It's about time.
- Way way back in episode 2, I had written, “at one point TK tackles Sora to the ground to get her out of danger. I'm not trying to make any implications, but it's important to point out. You'll find out why in about 40 episodes.” Fast forward to episode 45, where Jun is distraught that Matt chose Sora, with her evidence being that he tackled her to get her out of danger. That was it.
- On that note, rewind to episode 38... when in that sequence of events did Matt have the opportunity to tackle her to get her out of danger? Sora seemed to get out of there pretty quickly with the rest of the audience.
- In a season littered with strange pairings, the strangest by far has to be Jun and Jim. Subsequent audio dramas confirmed that the two started dating after the season ended.