In this episode, Nene's in serious trouble and it's up to Sparrowmon and the Fusion Fighters to save her! If they feel like it, that is.
Much like Frontier, Fusion is quickly falling into the trap of making the main protagonists less interesting than pretty much everybody else in the world. It's a serious problem when you're more interested in the story of everybody surrounding the Fusion Fighters than the massive and vital quest that the Fusion Fighters themselves are undertaking. One thing Fusion is doing better, however, is following through on telling these stories, sometimes even at the expense of an intriguing narrative the good guys stumble upon. In this case, Shoutmon's ethical dilemma over whether to help a rival that did massive harm but found herself in too deep takes a back seat: improbably, and completely out of nowhere, we have ourselves an episode dedicated to Sparrowmon.
So far, we've enjoyed what we've seen out of Sparrowmon. She's obedient, cheerful, but also ruthless and absolutely delighted to lay waste to anybody Nene points at. For any member of Team Not Mikey, that should be plenty. It's more than we've gotten from any Digimon on Blue Flare (and arguably even Christopher). When Nene ends up in trouble, she's all in on the rescue effort and willing to take on a beast like Lucemon Wild 2nd, no matter how unlikely she is to succeed. What she struggles with, however, is helping the Fusion Fighters do the exact same thing.
To be fair, the Fusion Fighters are hardly all-in on saving Nene. Several are more than happy to leave her to die a slow painful death in a big ball of evil. They don't even feel betrayed the way some of the Tamers crew felt towards Impmon. As much of a dick as he's been, Christopher has been on their side more often than not, but they were never sure whose side Nene was on. Last episode, they got a pretty definitive answer that she ain't on theirs. And she absolutely put herself in this position, helping Lucemon only to get a knife in her back (Crusadermon sends her regards!). So there's no real sense of obligation to save her.
Of course Mikey wants to save her because he can't turn his back on her. The only shock there is that this argument alone is enough to sway the rest of the team. The sudden unity is annoying, but chalk that up to the big theme of the season being functioning as a team and rolling with whatever the collective decision is. But consider the possibility that the Digimon have no interest in saving Nene partially because she's human. Every season uses the trick where the intensity seems to increase when stuff happens to humans or the human world, with only Data Squad calling it out. Could it be that Digimon consider the reverse to be true, and that they're not at all amused by Nene's meddling in their world?
For all the meddling that Nene's been doing, it's clear that she and Sparrowmon consider their relationship just as significant as any other we've seen in the past. Given her dealings, and AxeKnightmon's indifference to her safety, it's easy to doubt the unity and motives of Team Midnight, which makes the flashback hit pretty hard. Sparrowmon is Nene's ace and happily does her bidding, no matter what sort of treachery is involved. At the same time, she's quite fond of the girl, and Nene in turn sees Sparrowmon as a calming presence she comes to rely on as she continues to get in too deep. That's why it's so important that as much as the Fusion Fighters helped, Sparrowmon was central to the actual rescue. She wasn't helping them as much as they were helping her. And once Nene clears it, Sparrowmon has no qualms about fusing with Shoutmon X4 to take down Lucemon for good.
Nene, meanwhile, goes right back to her meddling.
My Grade: B+
- For all the unnecessary censorship this season's been guilty of, they sneak the line “kicking apps and taking names” into the opening recap.
- Funny how they repurpose Lucemon Wild 2nd's big ball o' evil from storing Lucemon's larva form in Frontier to trapping Nene.
- This is one of those rare moments when all the townspeople suddenly going back to normal is more foreboding than them being possessed in the first place.
- On that note, the last zone ended with Shoutmon X4B defeating one of the Dark Masters. This zone ended with Shoutmon X5 defeating Frontier's final boss. We're only 17 episodes in! At the rate they're going, they're going to be using MaloMyotismon as cannon fodder before it's over.
- It's good to see that Mikey's becoming more savvy with the digicards, but if they're meant to generate a bit of nostalgia, it would be nice to see the cards using moves we actually remember them making. That and Patamon's eyes are creepy as hell.
- Shakkoumon makes a big show out of presenting Mikey with the code crown, even though it fell into Angie's hands in the last episode.