In this episode, Terriermon's the one with the concussion, but Henry's the one all screwed up in the head.
Remember back at the beginning of the series when we thought Henry was the sane one? Boy did he have us fooled! Someone we've gone full circle to the point where Rika is now the stable one. We're still coming off Takato going berserk and now Henry loses all composure. At one point, in spite of the fact that they're staring down a very angry god that wants to make them dead, Takato and Rika take a moment to turn to Henry and say, “dude... chill.”
None of what we see out of Henry here is unique. He's over-protective of his little sister and refuses to let her get involved in the action, just like Matt's attitude towards TK. He fails to acknowledge his partner's condition and throws him into a battle in poor shape. Tai's done that before. He refuses to acknowledge his teammates and believes he's the only hope to save the day. Um... we'll spare Tai more grief and give that one to Yolei.
The culmination of all of these at once makes Henry look really bad here. There's no doubt that they're all under an intense amount of pressure. They're shaken by Leomon's death, staring into Zhuqiaomon's intimidating domain, believing that rescuing Calumon from it is the only way to save the world. Furthermore, while it's never communicated, none of them are confident that getting home is even possible, which has to be running through their heads as their mission nears conclusion.
The reason all this affects Henry most visibly is telling: secretly, he thinks he's the leader. Just as he had us fooled, he too considers himself the level-headed voice of reason in the group. And if he didn't consider himself the primary decision maker when all this began, certainly he had to take Suzie's arrival and Takato going off the deep end as signs that he had to take charge. The end result is that he falters under the pressure, even though much of it is self-imposed. He yells at and even raises a hand at Suzie, doesn't see that Terriermon has what can only be diagnosed as a concussion, and uses “I” in places that really call for a “we.”
Apparently, a Digimon's concussion symptoms involve extremities fading in and out of reality. After the blow to the head he suffered last episode, Terriermon shrugs it off, either in denial or not realizing the severity of brain injuries. It's not until he evolves to Rapidmon to face Zhuqiaomon that Henry notices, and by then it's too late. Zhuqiaomon (who, it's worth pointing out, is a goddamn Sovereign and not about to lose to a bunch of Ultimates) wastes him back to Rookie. It's only then that Henry pulls the Davis Motomiya patented technique of going so far off the rails that the mere realization of how much he screwed up is good enough for a new evolution. MegaGargomon, a giant robot of a Digimon with just the happiest missiles in town, lands a few punches on Zhuqiaomon and makes the other tamers think their opponent is mortal for a moment. Spoiler: he's not.
That's the thing about facing off against Zhuqiaomon. The tamers do all this because they know they have to, but at the end of the day... he's a god! You don't kill a god with Ultimates! He's in the same group as Azulongmon, the guy who stopped BlackWargreymon cold with little more than a chuckle. They're not going to do anything against him, and the notion that it would even be possible is silly. Credit the tamers for staying alive, but that's really all they could have hoped for.
My Grade: B
- How bad has Henry gotten? His top priority is not getting everybody home safely, it's just getting Suzie home. That's it. Kenta can die in a fire for all he cares.
- Takato agrees with Henry's comment that their decisions seem to be laid out for them and they don't get to make too many choices, despite Takato just making the pretty bold decision of letting Beelzemon live.
- Was there a continuity error where Takato, Henry and Rika crossed the bridge only to find Kazu, Kenta, Jeri and Suzie, whom they leave in order to cross the bridge again?
- Encapsulating the definition of “tsundere” in one easy scene, Rika is angry at Takato's confession that he pretended to be her while sending an e-mail home, then bashfully appreciative of it, then pissed that he used hearts and smiley faces. This now marks the second time in franchise history where a boy faces drama regarding the tone of his e-mail.
- When he joined the team, did anybody have Guardromon down as absolute hilarity? Between his “when you start dating, you'll make many girls sad” line and “I did; I watched the whole thing,” he's proving to be awesome comic relief.
- Henry and Terriermon give us a little more insight into the bio-merge phenomenon as Henry comments on the feeling of energy surrounding him while the additional life force heals Terriermon's injuries.