In this episode, Yoshi is forced to monitor Marcus and Agumon, even in their own home. She better be getting hazard pay for this.
By the time episode two rolls around, we're still usually plowing through introductions. There will probably be more introductions and a new evolution and we're trying to get accustomed to the new setting and its new rules or concepts. That all still applies here. What's interesting is that the cast members we meet this time around are key family members, the “new” evolution really isn't, and the concepts and even the action all take a back seat to the continued story of Marcus and Agumon's budding partnership. This time it's less about establishing their relationship and more about resolving all the logistical problems that go with it.
After getting dragged into DATS, Marcus still has no patience for them and refuses to consider joining the Data Squad. With good reason too as they take wrong approach after wrong approach to enlist his services. Dragging him in with Agumon in chains is bad enough, but he reacts to the technological feat of banishing Kokatorimon's digiegg to the Digital World like it was some dub euphemism for killing him. And guess who's next! Marcus argues that Agumon's crime of interacting with humans is also being broken by all of their partners. The response is terrible, and incredibly troubling coming from Lalamon: DATS considers their partnerships wrong, but justifiable if it maintains order. Because clearly all the Digimon are doing jobs humans can't. What human could serve tea like Kamemon?
Marcus bolts, using Kamemon's tea kettle like a freaking ninja. Clearly “don't cave in to bullies” is part of The Marcus Code. Desperate to hide Agumon, it's a reprise of Mon in a Box, which goes far better for him than it did for Takato. At home, Agumon swiftly disproves the “can't eat people food” propaganda. Hiding Agumon from his mother and sister is less successful. Also, wouldn't you know it, Marcus's home is the first place Yoshi looked for him! What are the odds?
Data Squad has already been veering in a different direction, but this episode puts a stamp on it by focusing not on some grave threat that requires a new evolution or the anxiety of screwing up on the first day... but on the comic, yet benign, frustration that Marcus and Yoshi have to face in each other. Marcus hates that Yoshi's tracking him, especially as she's already friendly with the rest of his family and joining them at the table for dinner. Her casual charm that she frequently manages even when on the clock is one of her more amusing traits. This in spite of the fact that she's being forced to bunk with a total stranger and suspected criminal of the opposite sex. Anything wrong with that picture?
Not only does Yoshi have to contend with stalking Marcus, she's also saddled with the unfortunate reality of intentional inadequacy. We had plenty of inadequate characters last season, but this is the first time someone's supposed to look mediocre. The disappearing animals case is right up Yoshi's alley, yet she's not good enough to handle it, even with the power to evolve Lalamon to Champion that she apparently had the whole time (certainly the most casual debut of a higher form this side of Justimon). Marcus and Agumon set the trap and ultimately win the battle after Yoshi and Sunflowmon are overwhelmed. While Yoshi has an air of confidence about her, at least when not totally exasperated, she's basically there to demonstrate that DATS can't do its job without Marcus.
Of course, what really gets Marcus to join is not Yoshi's plight but rather this strange old man knowing exactly what buttons to push to get Marcus's attention. He doesn't, and shouldn't, care that she's not that good at her job.
My Grade: B
- For all the problems the dubbing had last episode, it was much cleaner this time around. It's also nice to have Melissa Fahn back after she saddled us with Narrator Bokomon last season. Also, those obviously weren't corn dogs Yoshi was eating, but there's no adequate way to describe the actual food in so few words so the dub gets a pass. This time.
- Agumon having the same voice actor as Takato makes the box scene that much more enjoyable.
- Sarah accepting Agumon and Yoshi into the home so readily is delightful as it's played for laughs now, yet has a reasonable explanation that will be developed down the road.
- Marcus's describes school as being “full of people to fight.” Funny, perhaps, but I somehow doubt most budding ultimate fighters feel the same way.
- As irksome as the idea of Digimon being able to load into a digivice is, it makes sense in this world's context and is one of those things that just has to be ridden out. Much like spirit evolution last season, it's a central conceit of the season (tying in nicely to the master-servant relationship DATS seems to be endorsing) and shouldn't be slammed too hard. It's all in how they use it.
- Yoshi claims that it's not the first time school pets have disappeared. Assuming that it's not the same boy, are we to take that to mean that another kid had the exact same angst about taking responsibility for animals?