In this episode, the digidestined discover that their sole purpose was to revive Seraphimon, who manages to stay alive for approximately ten minutes.
Oh, episode 13... you haven't let us down yet, have you? In season one, it was Angemon's sacrifice, Zero Two went all Lovecraft on us and Tamers unleashed Juggernaut for the first time. It truly is a lucky number, isn't it?
This marks a major turning point in the series, as the kids finally learn what the hell they're supposed to be doing here. Somehow this feels long overdue, possibly because the promise of some answers have been dangling over these kids like a carrot on a stick since episode three. That's right- it took ten episodes for them to get here. Even Ash Ketchum would wonder what the hold up was.
And yet, this is consistent with both Adventure and Tamers, whose heroes didn't learn their purpose until around this time. Hell, the tamers only found it when they took it upon themselves to take care of that whole Deva mess. Zero Two is the exception, of course, as they knew they were going after the Digimon Emperor from the get-go.
The neat twist is that their quest to find their purpose here is their purpose. As it turns out, reaching the Forest Terminal and waking up the obvious answer man was the reason they were summoned. Each of the five use their D-Tectors to overcome a specific obstacle and all five are necessary to bring back Seraphimon. Seraphimon explains the situation, thanks them, and tells them that this was their primary contribution to the effort and that he'll take care of the rest.
This can't possibly be true, of course. If Ophanimon just needed to turn a bunch of kids into Keymasters and Gatekeepers, then there wouldn't have been such an emphasis on finding the spirits. Nor would the images of each of the Digimon flashed before each of the kids on the train. Nor would each spirit respond only to its respective D-Tector. That said, just because Seraphimon and Ophanimon were working together doesn't necessarily mean they're on the same page. Even if Ophanimon expected the kids to find the spirits to help fight Cherubimon, Seraphimon could have taken one look at this lot and said hell no.
Either way, whatever the plan was went completely to hell when the doomsday quartet followed the digidestined to Seraphimon's palace. This battle is very well handled as Ranamon and Arbormon are seen to be about at the same level as each of the good guys, just working in synch a little bit more. Seraphimon blows those two away, of course. But then there's Mercurymon, that teleporting, attack-reflecting, British-accented son of a bitch.
When he jumps in front of Seraphimon's attack and turns it against him, it feels like a complete shift in the story, as if Mercurymon decided he didn't like the script and rewrote it on the fly. It's not that we should have expected Seraphimon to actually finish the job. We all knew the kids would be the ones fighting Cherubimon, but the lack of any higher guidance or authority is jarring. The world's even more broken and hopeless now, and they're on their own to fix it.
Once again, the rich mythology of this season is on display here as Seraphimon details the war between human and beast, Lucemon's glorious intervention, Lucemon's corruption, the Legendary Warriors sealing him off, the Celestials taking control and their subsequent demise. It's a classic tale of power corrupting. It's also a dead giveaway that we'll be seeing Lucemon before all's said and done.
My Grade: A-
- In a roundabout way, Takuya's total victory last episode sets this disaster up. If he hadn't been able to take Grumblemon's beast spirit, Grumblemon wouldn't have been so eager to rally the other three and attack Forest Terminal. It may have been just him and he would have eaten it so hard.
- Duskmon makes a very brief appearance, and really the only reaction you can have to him is “oh hey, it's Crispin Freeman.”
- Deramon's noodle stand is another case of a goofy intro that seems to soften the nasty death later in this episode. It gets a pass because it's funny enough and certainly not annoying, but serves no real function.
- There's a lot going on with Sorcermon that we don't get time to digest. Isolated and charged with protecting Seraphimon all this time, he's driven mad enough to believe that the bad guys would inevitably be the first to get through the magic defenses. Yet he does his job to the end, to the point where his sacrifice feels inevitable and warranted. Nice of the show to portray his death the way it does instead of the trite dramatic slo-mo shot of him receiving a fatal blow.
- It's also nice that Takuya is actually a little pissed at Seraphimon and company for dragging them all into this without giving them any idea of what's going on. It's not that they're unwilling to help, but for saviors of the Digital World, they aren't treated very well.
- I suppose we need to give Zoe credit for the head's up move grabbing Seraphimon's digiegg. Um... good girl, Z, now don't get too attached to that thing and go all Misty on us.