In this episode, the identity of Keenan's parents! DNA tests tell all! Next time on Maury!
When you really break everything down, this series doesn't do all that much different in terms of organizing episodes. Everything is still more or less divided into arcs, with progressively worse bad guys each time. Longer arcs may be chopped up further, similar to the mini-arcs season two preferred. There are still breather episodes, plot dump episodes, and episodes that exist solely to showcase a new evolution. Now that the awful early filler is out of the way and we have a short pause in the Merukimon saga, it's clear that one key to appreciating Data Squad is understanding its ability to get the most of these requisite episodes.
For example, what we have here is a combination breather and plot dump that works without either slowing down nor throwing a million details at us. In fact, for all the backstory we're given here, there's not a whole ton of new information. We had already heard about the alpha team and Spencer's involvement with it. We had already heard about the disappearances they were investigating. All Sampson does is fill in a few of the blanks like establishing Homer Yushima's role, and providing the full roster. This includes the first namedrop of Kurata, a delightfully innocuous introduction given his role. Most of the attention is on the Crier family and the revelation that they are Keenan's parents. Turns out DNA is good for more than just a soul charge.
Marcus and Keenan breaking the digital gate was a nice, convenient touch. It necessitates a bit of downtime for DATS and removes Thomas from the episode to give Yoshi a chance to show some character (like griping about being the only one old enough to drive). Also, it's true to character that Keenan is desperate to return home and Marcus wants to rescue Yushima (Mikey Code!). Their kicking and screaming throughout the physical continues to illustrate the parallels between these characters. They both have very simple philosophies, act primarily through emotion, and recognize the value in taking decisive action. Their loyalty to their parents (or the Digimon Keenan thinks is his mother) guide much of what they do. In fact, Keenan thinks his mother is a Digimon but is actually human while Marcus thinks is father is human but...
Keenan is also amazed by the human world, which is played up far more here than the similar experience the partner Digimon had in Adventure. And it should be! Every season has a period of adjustment where the new children are first exposed to the Digital World, moments that sell the exotic nature of the world. Why shouldn't that same reaction happen in reverse? Digimon seem to get used to the city quickly, save for the occasional misstep like attacking a subway train. Keenan flips out, as well he should. Him marveling over the size and development of the city shows just how foreign Keenan finds humanity. Falcomon admiring how orderly society can be shows their different perspectives.
Gotsumon is still thinking about nothing but murder, and considers Keenan the ultimate traitor for getting his ass carried to the human world. It's terribly convenient that he happens to find another gate to the human world, and incredibly coincidental that he manages to find one that takes him straight to the north where Yoshi, Marcus and Keenan are en route. It actually raises the interesting question of what would happen if a hostile Digimon realized outside of the immediate metropolitan area without a corresponding Data Squad road trip. But whatever... Gotsumon exposes Keenan as human and Keenan collapses in a fit of emotion realizing that he's everything he hates. It would be a little more genuine if Sampson didn't already do the “they're your parents” bit and Falcomon wasn't so desperate to distract Keenan when Marcus accidentally outed him. Apparently Gotsumon is a more trustworthy source.
My Grade: B
- Odd that the recap of the last episode didn't focus on what Merukimon was talking about or any of the important stuff, but them fighting and getting the hell out of there.
- Megumi's PawnChessmon serves the tea instead. Truly, Kamemon will be missed.
- Keenan does make some neat observations about how watching TV isn't all that different from looking at pictures or reflections. It's all in the interpretation.
- Yoshi is angry at Marcus for falling asleep rather than keeping her company on the long drive. She says all this to Lalamon, who is keeping her company on the long drive.