In this episode, Oikawa's evil plan is gestating, so it's as good a time as any to throw BlackWargreymon back into the picture.
Fanservice does not always imply boobs. Sometimes it's a matter of diverting the story just enough to allow some crazy awesome thing to happen that fans would love to see. Something like, say, a fight between WarGreymon and BlackWargreymon. It has no major impact on the story and is the only significant event in a not-that-significant episode. But it's a fun way to get BlackWargreymon back in the story and wean him off his destructive path.
It's a little irritating that BlackWargreymon has to be back in the story. Between Daemon, Oikawa and the dark spore kids, there should be plenty of story to fill the remaining five episodes without him. It says much about how unfulfilling the Destiny Stones arc was in that it didn't offer any semblance of closure to one of its central players. In the end, he had been stopped without a fight and sent off to go cry about it. This lack of closure obligates his return. It would be comparable to the original Fullmetal Alchemist's compulsive need to bring back every minor character ever for the final act, if only it weren't so damn necessary here.
Another reason his appearance is required is that there is absolutely nothing else going on in the plot. After three episodes of nonstop action, this is astonishing. But the digidestined are left waiting until Oikawa makes a move and Oikawa is waiting until the dark spores are ready for harvest. Thanks to some research from Nancy Takaishi, the digidestined find all of the dark spore children, but can't actually do anything other than confirm that, yes, they are all turning into asshole geniuses.
You do have to admire the sociology element with the dark spores. Oikawa preys on children with low self-esteem, but his plan is able to succeed because of their parents. The spore kicks in quickly and the children reap the benefits right away. The parents are astonished that their kids are blowing through homework and such, but instead of being perplexed by little Billy going from kidnapping victim to Rhodes scholar in a matter of days, they are delighted. Had they been concerned about the sudden change in behavior and reported it like they're supposed to, authorities would pick up on the numerous testimonies, spot the pattern, and be on high alert. If authorities don't know it was Oikawa, Hiroaki Ishida would and he would get things done.
Instead the parents celebrate the sudden change, imagining the fame and fortune that awaits in raising the next Ken Ichijouji. Oikawa taps into the parents' selfish need for their child to succeed. They want to be the mother or father of the next genius or sports star so they can reap the benefits. Never mind that the kid's losing his or her humanity. It speaks to a sad truth: if there was a pill that would guarantee that a boy would become a professional athlete, but also a harbinger of evil, too many parents would jump at that.
It's a stretch that the digicore took everyone else's Ultimate powers but still left enough for Agumon to go Mega and BlackWargreymon's ability to randomly appear near Oikawa several days after Azulongmon's appearance is dubious. At this point, we have to surrender at the crazy lengths the show will go to to ensure that a Digimon can or can't do something for plot purposes. The end result is that the combined efforts of WarGreymon and Imperialdramon finally beat some sense into BlackWargreymon and has him thinking about something other than conquest, which will set up the next episode. Good enough.
Oh, and there's nothing to discuss about it, but the chase between Nefertimon and Oikawa's gang was just awesome.
My Grade: B
- Nancy Takaishi identifying Oikawa and giving the names and addresses of the dark spore children is ethically wrong in two ways. One is that if the digidestined confirm that Oikawa's the kidnapper, she should either be reporting it to the police or reporting it to her publication for a big scoop. Two is that journalists are trained to be very careful not to give away the identities of child victims. It must have taken a lot for Nancy to get that information and even more to give it away.
- So is every car chase going to end at a train crossing now? That's two straight episodes.
- Who else cheered when Wormmon just ripped BlackWargreymon a new one post-fight? Agumon's all kind and gentle with the big guy, but Wormmon absolutely tears BlackWargreymon's hunt for purpose apart.