In this episode, the new president's first act is to open the door for darkness to engulf the land and for the Bagra Army to take control. THANKS OBAMA.
So yeah, Lucemon's a bad guy, and everything has been part of an elaborate plot to hand Sky Zone to Laylamon. What a wonderful plot it is! Laylamon uses the perfect Digimon for the job, forces Mikey into the picture to make sure the election turns out right, and works to make sure her plans align nicely with Team Midnight's. There's plenty of flaws and oversights in this plan, but that only makes it all the more wonderful. We learned from Kurata that masterful villainy executed to perfection is kind of annoying. Laylamon's plan gives us a bunch of stuff to pick apart, and offers the kind of Game of Thrones-style plotting that this show's premise was always capable of.
Let's start with the good stuff. The zone's remoteness, SlushAngemon's security forces and Shakkoumon's vigilance makes it hard to take the zone by force, so Laylamon gets sneaky and sends in Lucemon to take the code crown democratically. Lucemon, whether a general henchman or prior resident of Sky Zone, is a perfect choice. His Chaos Mode or Wild 1st or whatever you call it is a tremendously powerful demon lord, but his normal little cherubic version is a low-level Vaccine type. It's vague as to whether the Fusion world incorporates the whole Data-Vaccine-Virus type, but it's a reassuring part of his code that suggests that he can be trusted. It certainly worked out for him in Frontier's mythology.
Laylamon's decision to send the Fusion Fighters to Sky Zone is a mixed bag. The end of episode 14 suggested that she angrily banished them to avenge her loss in Sand Zone, but there had to have been a deeper reasoning behind this. She's not going to disrupt her carefully laid Sky Zone plans in a fit of rage, and there must be more hazardous zones to pick from, especially since she's counting on SlushAngemon's strict regime to be toppled. Surely she was counting on Mikey helping Lucemon take the presidency, hopefully as a martyr.
The flaw of her plan is that it puts Mikey in Sky Zone. As much as he greases the wheels on Lucemon's campaign, expecting him to be anything less than a resilient, resourceful thorn in her side is unbelievably short-sided. Sure enough, his power, combined with both Beelzemon's and Shakkoumon's, is enough to snatch the code crown out of Lucemon's hands. Suddenly Lucemon has to resort to plan B, which involves betraying Nene and seizing the phantom mist. That cannot possibly be smart.
Nene's presence raises similar questions. This phantom mist stuff is the ultimate skeleton in Sky Zone's closet, capable of corrupting the whole place and presumably lending tremendous power to anyone crazy enough to harness. Nene's in on that, and helps Lucemon pursue the Code Crown in order to have unrestricted access to it. It's opportunistic on both sides, but did either of the two really trust the other? A desperate and defeated Lucemon ultimately backstabbed Nene, but would it be so ridiculous to see Nene sic Christopher on Lucemon? There couldn't have been a whole lot of trust between the two, and assuming Nene survives whatever ordeal Lucemon's putting her through, he'll now have two armies to contend with.
More than basic plot twists, the assorted strategies and chess moves Laylamon, Lucemon and Nene make help propel Fusion forward. Mikey has quickly become the least interesting character in all this. It doesn't help that Shoutmon's signature moment can be interpreted as an anti-intellectual rant straight out of Data Squad. Why enjoy strategy and gamesmanship when you can just pound the enemy into oblivion?
My Grade: A-
- Mikey is relieved to be getting the code crown without fighting the Bagra Army, despite barely surviving a fight with SlushAngemon and having no guarantee that Lucemon, even if he remained a good guy, was going to give it up. Just because KingWhamon and Beastmon did doesn't mean every ruling body is going to give control of their zone to a kind foreigner.
- What probably bothers me most about Shoutmon being discouraged by the need for leaders to possess wisdom and seek knowledge is that this comes as a complete surprise to him.
- Shakkoumon's voice patterns are totally eccentric and it somehow works. Part of it is how terrible he is at staying regal and all the asides he throws out in that silly voice. He also says “a winner is you” during Lucemon's inauguration, so bonus points for that.
- Shakkoumon does fail horribly at his job of vetting the presidential candidates, however. Lucemon puts up a great act, but if Shakkoumon can't see through it, then there's not much he can see that the general populace can't.
- Whenever Jeremy compares a situation to one of his video games, it always seems to be a sequel. Perhaps the original games were all creative enough to avoid the kind of cliches that he's always commenting on.