Data Squad Episode 45: A Family Quarrel

In this episode, if on your journey you should encounter God, God will be punched in the face.

Talk about BanchoLeomon saving the day again. Not only does he get rescued by Craniumon's inexplicable betrayal, he drops one of the bigger bombshell twists we'll ever be treated to. He, and not King Drasil, is actually Marcus's father. It's one of those twists that is totally confounding yet makes perfect sense at the same time. It's a good thing he (and, by extension, the Craniumon subplot) shows up because up until that point, the engagement between Marcus and King Drasil was so full of irritating cliches that it probably warrants its own page on TVTropes.

This might be one of those rare times where Data Squad is stuck at a disadvantage being season five. The set-up to Marcus's big clash with King Drasil isn't all that different from the way Tamers worked its way to Gallantmon's showdown with Jeri-Type. But while that felt vibrant and exciting, Data Squad isn't nearly as effective at hiding the contrived nature of the buildup.

It's the old chestnut where the team gradually thins itself out to get the main character to the final boss. Each of the supporting members gets a big line, then takes a stand and fights the pesky underling or play Wizard Chess or whatever. The underlings in this circumstance are even terribly dull- just autonomous crystal things that reflect attacks like Pendulum Feet or Sakkakumon did. Compared to those two, which required intervention/ingenuity to defeat, the crystals ultimately go down with basic melee attacks.

Marcus's engagement is only better because it's actually Marcus doing the work. As many times as we see him throwing punches, his style is criticized for being unfocused compared to Spencer. This is where that comes to a head. In the strange logic that supplements The Marcus Code, it's hard to say ShineGreymon would have been any more successful in getting through King Drasil's defenses, so it's Marcus's struggle to break through himself. Good thing too, as it's a necessary spin on the “power of determination and friendship” booster that happens every season.

The struggle has become intensely personal for Marcus. It's hard to tell if he's fully cognizant that he's fighting to save the world, as he's focused more on reaching the same pedestal as his father in order to knock him out of his funk. This is where it comes out that as much as Marcus loved and respected his father, carrying the name of such a legend has been a challenge his whole life. As strong as he got, surpassing Spencer's legacy was virtually impossible, and that's the sort of thing that eats guys like Marcus alive. That legacy saved the Data Squad many times throughout the season, and finally Marcus acknowledges the downside.

Back in the human world, Craniumon shows up for some reason. The rather casual way he strolls in, combined with last episode's discussion of how Japan is basically unguarded with the Data Squad away, adds a nice bit of mystery to something that didn't have to be. He could easily lay waste to the neighborhood, but if he wanted to do that he wouldn't have let Marcus see King Drasil. Biyomon makes a bold stand, which proves to be awesome and totally unnecessary at the same time.

As illogical as Craniumon's sudden turn was, what a natural extension that he would seek to take the boulder from BanchoLeomon. Besides the immense respect he has for the big guy, he likely also sees that as a powerful, influential figure who has a connection to King Drasil without being bound by a Royal Knight's dogma, BanchoLeomon's the most capable of making some sort of sense of all this. BanchoLeomon gives it a go, but not before giving King Drasil a proper socking and dropping the big one. Take notes, Psychemon- that's what you're up against.

My Grade: B

Loose Data:
  • Those crystals seem to be there to make sure Marcus and company don't reach King Drasil. Why, then, do all of them stay to fight MirageGaogamon?
  • It's nice to see Sampson being true to his word and doing his best to find a solution, even getting Kevin back into the fold. While his actual effectiveness doesn't compare to that of the Monster Makers, and even the parents in Zero Two might give him a run, it's important that the effort's there.
  • While Biyomon deserves so much attention and credit for the stand he takes vowing to protect his little corner of the human world because he's the only one left, it's easy to overlook Kristy since the battle never happens. Biyomon's early evolutions were in order to protect Kristy against her objections. This time, Kristy supports him and fights with him, and the evolution is a more traditional one borne by their bond. While Kristy is never called to action, this is the first time we can be confident that she'd do well.
  • Marcus's arguments that King Drasil can't be King of the Digimon since he has a human form falls on deaf ears due to King Drasil's circular logic. Marcus has a much bigger case here than in the Japanese version as a god of the Digimon implies something that could easily transcend a Digimon form.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love how Kristy's hair kinda goes Super Saiyan just before Biyomon Digivolves in that screenshot. Fun little hot-blooded moment there.