In this episode, the whole party is going to have to jump into this, the ultimate final battle against Lucemon. EVERYBODY GET NAKED!
There's definitely a lot being crammed into this finale, certainly more than the last episode would leave you to believe. Going off of that one alone, it's a simple matter of beating Lucemon, restoring the Digital World and popping the champagne. That alone would have been fine! But what happens when you factor in all the additional points that were mostly glossed over last time? Now we need to weave in Takuya's unwillingness to give up, the unification of the spirits of all ten Legendary Warriors, the reunion of the three Celestials, those other three kids constantly stuck on the sidelines... and for God's sake that can't be the last we hear about Koichi! The previous episode's failure to talk about any of this gives this one a lot to handle. Forget Susanoomon and Koichi: the fact that this episode can deliver the franchise's most conclusive ending with such grace is the real miracle.
After the predictably disastrous first encounter with Lucemon's Shadowlord Mode, we finally get what we've wanted to see since Cherubimon fell- Takuya acknowledging defeat. It's stunning that he'd give up so quickly considering they only attacked Lucemon at half-strength, but after losing that hard it's fair to think the battle's unwinnable. Takuya has been forcing himself and his team to believe for so long, picking them up after so many losses, that seeing no way to win devastates him. While JP and Zoe have been tempering their hopes for several episodes now, they leave Takuya to take it out on that poor elevator. Even as their Digimon partners pick them up and force them back to their feet, it's important that we see that even Takuya has a breaking point.
So how about those Digimon partners, huh? It's not the first time the children and their Digimon are presented as separate entities, but it's important that they are and should have been reinforced either. It's not so much that the children are turning into the Digimon so much as their bodies and souls are playing host, giving form and life to the spirits. The resulting Digimon pick up a few personality traits, but are otherwise their own beings. That comes out here in a great scene as the human spirit forms properly greet their hosts, and with the remaining five spirits and the three Celestials projecting through their reborn Rookie forms, it's the kind of pep rally you can get behind. Susanoomon returns, as if there was any doubt, now incorporating all five children, a welcome respite from all the emphasis on Takuya and Koji. Their collective thoughts echo throughout the final battle, proving that five minds are better than one mind and a really big puppet.
And what a proper final battle we have too! It's actually back and forth, even after the collective digidestined realize that the creepy larva thing inside the orb is actually running the show (a rather fun visual, and an appropriate true form given Lucemon's prior scanning). Given the way Takuya is maligned all season for charging into battles without any common sense, you have to appreciate that it ends with him charging into the orb... but recognizing that the other four may be skeptical about this plan of action and assuring them that he knows what he's doing. Once they deliver the finishing blow, the spirits eject the children, knowing that this is where equivalent exchange kicks in and that if Lucemon goes, so too do they.
After the dust settles, the Digital World is reborn and the kids are ushered home in a hurry, there's still somehow time to resolve Koichi. Koji proves to be the spark Koichi needs to keep going, and the sight of the D-Tectors turning back to cell phones marks the moment the Digital World magic ends and the miracles of reality resume. It's such a beautiful moment that you just sort of overlook the cheesy little postscript. Digimon Frontier certainly had its share of falls, but it sure as hell stuck the landing.
My Grade: A
- Um... how did Bokomon, Neemon and the Rookie Celestials show up? Wouldn't that technically place them in the real world?
- While the sight of everybody in Susanoomon was encouraging, naked as they may have been, the voice of Susanoomon was still represented by only Takuya and Koji. Simple as that may have made it, it diminishes the effect a bit.
- That bit with all ten of the human spirits slicing through Lucemon was pretty sweet. It sounded like they got the voices of Grumblemon, Ranamon, Arbormon and Mercurymon back just to grunt.
- The Digital World is said to be safe “for now,” which is an important distinction. Suggesting that everything's going to be perfect from here on out would be stupid, especially given its history.
- Neemon pulling a frantic Bokomon back to the Digital World is possibly the only meaningful gesture he makes in the entire series. It works really well in a “he was the sane one all along” sort of way, but still- what a waste of a character...