In this episode, for somebody who gets severe anxiety issues under pressure, saving the world from monsters might not be the best line of work.
Momentum really counts for a lot. Not only does each episode make more sense when part of a sequence, it becomes easier to establish a situation that will need to be resolved. In the grand scheme of things, we don't miss a beat. Last episode's ceasefire is off as Falcomon is still fighting for Keenan, Gotsumon continues to be a ruthless ass, and we're forced to start thinking about who this Homer guy is. That's pretty impressive considering this isn't a very good episode.
The continuity setting up Yoshi's angst, however, continues to be fantastic. She spent all of the last episode on her back, so she's had plenty of time to think. What's she going to think about? Well, the nightmare she had two episodes ago is fresh on her mind. While the imagery then didn't say much, we now get a fuller picture of her hiding from a piano recital. Turns out Yoshi has an inferiority complex, and surely being laid up with a virus while Marcus and Thomas risk their lives to save her didn't fill her with confidence. It's a shame such a great set up has to be used to give Yoshi an episode to deal with her inferiority complex.
The problem isn't that Yoshi has self-confidence issues. She needs something; the only thing we really know about her is that she's competent, but underwhelming compared to Marcus and Thomas. It's a good fit. The issue is that it's such a typical problem and resolution that it feels old hat by now. This sort of thing would be great in season one, but the last thing Data Squad needs is to act like season one. It also matters that Yoshi is a grown woman. It doesn't help that she's being shown up by boys four years younger than her, but it's a lot harder to accept such juvenile angst, especially when it completely shuts her down.
The attempt at a feel-good resolution is a missed opportunity to do something worthwhile with Yoshi. Her whole issue is that she doesn't feel like she can keep up with Marcus and Thomas, just as she couldn't keep up with her sisters (who, we should observe, got to double-team the piano, which doesn't seem fair). She steps up when she realizes that Lalamon depends on her and blah blah blah. What we miss here is an acknowledgment that Marcus and Thomas are naturally more talented than Yoshi. This fact is ignored to make Yoshi feel better and we can't let that fly. Instead of implying that Yoshi's just as good (which is a lie), the lesson should be that she should embrace her role in communications and general support. She can excel at these, especially now with Lilamon on board.
There's still another problem, however, and that's the “new” information about Yoshi's piano recital trauma. Freaking out about having to perform in front of a ridiculously large crowd can certainly cause nightmares. Right up until the end, Yoshi having unhappy flashbacks about this made total sense. The climax shot that right the hell down. We learn that Yoshi was convinced to recall her fondness for playing and ended up going out there and putting on a good show, which in turn brought Lalamon to the human world. Great story... except this is something Yoshi is already aware of, and makes the whole recital a life-changing positive experience. It would take some pretty nasty selective memory to make Yoshi only remember the anxiety over performing and not what happened when she finally did.
Speaking of selective memory, the sneaky development with Falcomon must be recognized as well. He's back to fighting Marcus in spite of last episode, which says a lot about his loyalty to Keenan. But note that he retreats not because they're losing, but because Marcus is questioning why Keenan hates humans when he himself is one. Once that comes up, Falcomon gets them out in a hurry. Loyalty indeed.
My Grade: B-
- Agumon is complaining about having to hike at Yoshi's increased pace. This is apparently a better and more strategic option than just staying in Marcus's digivice.
- On Mammothmon's stat screen, it's said that he has the power to see into the future. This is correct information, but it's odd that the most eye-opening part of his description is the one that isn't used.
- The random cutaway to DATS headquarters had plenty of dramatic reactions, but it really had no point other than to establish Homer's involvement with DATS... which we all pretty much presumed anyway.
- Seriously though, how does a children's piano recital pack a giant theatre?