In this episode, we seriously regret using all our good Christopher Walken references back in that one episode of Frontier.
When IceDevimon randomly and absurdly became an outlet for a bad Christopher Walken impression in Frontier, we praised the decision. It turned an improbably dangerous character into a joke, which was exactly what that character needed to be. Even if that wasn't the logic behind the move, the Frontier dub struck gold. The logic for IceDevimon getting a Bruce Dickinson (yes, the Bruce Dickinson) treatment in Fusion seems to be “hell, it was funny in Frontier.” Therefore, it doesn't work nearly as well.
Fact is, there really shouldn't be any reason to pay much attention to IceDevimon here. He's this zone's Skullmeramon, leading the ground troops while being undermined by superior officer Laylamon. His lack of relative significance makes him a distraction, where the real focus is on the unusual fellowship between Mikey and Christopher. The execution is sloppy, but it's a new layer on the formula we saw in the first three zones.
Hey, wouldn't you know it? They're fighting over a girl! It's not quite Davis and TK part two, but at least courting Beastmon's favor puts the gogglehead and his rival at odds in something other than their philosophy on military ethics. This is a tangible battle, with a strategic importance for both of them as there's presumably a code crown on the line. While Mikey gets drawn into this unwittingly through his altruism drive, he recognizes the significance and Christopher correctly states that they're in the same boat.
What makes the scenario compelling and frustrating at the same time is the way Mikey and Christopher are allies and enemies at the same time. It's compelling in that Christopher is no longer helping Mikey by accident or for his own nefarious purposes. In fact, he's not helping Mikey at all; he's defending the castle in order to curry favor with Beastmon. There's a certain element of politics in this, petitioning the fair princess to be deemed her champion. It's a new look, and it's fun. At the same time, while Christopher's motives may be less than pure, the job itself isn't. It's forcing Christopher to act like a good guy rather than Mikey acting like a bad guy.
Really, that's what we're waiting for- something to challenge Mikey's integrity. It's far too convenient that he can get away with his irresponsible good deeds and commitment towards teamwork. He needs to be at least tempted to cut a corner or face a nasty unintended consequence of his help. Instead, it's his need to help that always propels him further. He bravely puts a halt to Knightmon's attempt to die a noble death in battle, earning him an in with House Beastmon. What puts him over Christopher is not his army; hell, his army was caught off guard by the front invasion. It's his lucky observation that IceDevimon wasn't part of that unit, leading him to suspect a second attack. Christopher even concedes defeat graciously, under the guise of not having to deal with Beastmon's affection. Mikey has two major flaws. One isn't being treated as such, and the other just finally creeped up again at the end of this episode.
Hell, even the consequences of ignoring that soccer kid in his flashback get diminished in the dub. Instead of a head injury, the kid's fine after a rough night. We're not even entirely sure what his problem was in the dub. Maybe his asshole big brother tried to get him to play while he was sick.
My Grade: B-
- As was the case in Frontier, Pandamon is shown in tandem with ToyAgumon, despite there being no identifiable connection between the two.
- Once again, the way Mikey ignores Angie is downright terrible. For someone who'll throw Shoutmon in front him to block his fall, Mikey sure treats her like crap.
- Is there any point to only showing Blastmon in silhouette? I get the not showing advanced evolutions in the opening themes, but why hide one of the main villains? The Dark Masters were all thrown at us in one (lousy) episode. What's the problem?
- Continuing the popular trend of secondary characters more interesting than the Fusion Fighters, both Beastmon and Laylamon inject far more life to the episode than Mikey's team. Hell, it was nice just to see ChibiTortomon again.