In this episode, another visit from Homeostasis leads to a round of exposition. Once translated, the Digimon get their affairs in order and enjoy a memorable day with their partners. At least they hope it's memorable.
This is now at least the third time Homeostasis has possessed Hikari. Based on past results, there are two outcomes when this happens. One is that God Mode will be activated, hundreds of Digimon will be rallied to the cause and Mugendramon will be dramatically knocked off his perch. The other is a round of technobabble exposition, followed by an emotional breakup of the team. The Digimon see the writing on the wall, and it isn't Mugendramon. He's not showing up until the next movie.
Trying to unpack everything Homeostasis brings up is bound to be difficult as we won't know how much of it is actually relevant to the story until later. As with its Adventure appearance and the many efforts at explaining Zero Two, some of it is going to matter and some of it is going to be cool background detail. What's fun here is that things relegated to cool background detail in the past may become relevant now. Stuff like the talk of parallel worlds or Gennai's origins suddenly may mean something. Homeostasis warns that the infections threaten not only the human and digital worlds, but this quantum sea that generates multiple possibilities. Already we've seen evidence of another world- that odd red space where the 02 kids were defeated and possibly where Ogremon and Leomon fought in the start of Determination. The ending of Confession makes it clear that Gennai is an active player.
Thankfully, all of this leads to the critical point us and the Digimon need to take out of it: Meicoomon's next appearance could trigger a reboot that might save everything by resetting the Digital World to a pre-infection state... at the cost of their memories. Stopping Meicoomon, someone whom they've come to accept as a friend, might spare the need for such drastic action. There's a lot of “might” in here, suggesting they might be boned either way.
Almost the entire episode is from the perspective of the Digimon as they come to terms with their dire options. As the resident Adult, Tailmon shines as she speaks for the group and helps explain the situation, all the while keeping her own heavy emotions in check. It's no surprise they'd refuse to lose their memories of the Chosen, even against their destruction. These eight were created solely to be partners to these children; losing that connection deprives them of literally the only point to their existence. Worse yet, they understand they may not be able to stop it. It leads to them preparing for the worst, spending as much time as they can in their partner's company. It's a heart-wrenching sequence, especially as each partnership is reflected differently, many reflecting how they've grown through the years.
Not so much for Takeru and Patamon. In stark contrast to the other partners desperately trying to extract as much happiness as they can in what could be their last moments, all Patamon can do is suffer in Takeru's arms. Worse, this sadness is an improvement over his tragic show of bravery earlier. Between his plan to run away somewhere he can't hurt anybody to his insistence that the others put him down, you admire him for his selflessness but also wish it wasn't necessary. The others respond accordingly, hesitant to fight him but failing to provide an option other than telling Koushiro and hoping he'll figure it out.
That's not going so well either. Koushiro has hit nothing but dead ends, his thirst for knowledge suddenly poisoning him. It's been a recurring theme in tri.- digidestined dealing with the negative ramifications and consequences of their crests. Now this fruitless search is torturing him, and Tentomon too as he has to watch it. Koushiro is able to make a little progress once he hears about the reboot, but it's telling that the information comes not from research on his computer, but from talking to a loved one.
My Grade: A
- Odd of the Digimon to sneak out of Koushiro's office, then ask why they snuck out of Koushiro's office. The idea of a “player's only meeting” is fun, but you wonder why they got all the way under the bridge before asking such questions.
- The entity that possessed Hikari in Adventure had been identified as Homeostasis in other materials, but this is the first time its name has been dropped in the anime.
- The quantum sea and the quantized world are new concepts, but fit in nicely with the demiurge prologue of Reunion and the philosophy of multiple possibilities presented in Zero Two. My interpretation is that the Digital World is a manifestation of tangible ideas in this sea, interlinked with similar worlds with slightly altered ideas. If severe enough, the infection not only weakens the quantized world, it sinks the Digital World and irreversibly disrupts the real world.
- You can tell Tailmon is on edge here the way she shuts Agumon up twice in the same scene.
- The worst part about the harmonica suite (we need a good name for that whole sequence) is all the silent cues of how comfortable the kids and their partners are with each other. Yamato doesn't acknowledge playing for Gabumon and Gabumon doesn't press him, Hikari has a system for feeding Tailmon ice cream without anyone noticing, and Taichi suspects Agumon is trying to cover up mischief. Also, that same picture from Adventure shows up three more times.
- Joe wanting to introduce Gomamon to his girlfriend, referring to them both as his “partner,” raises interesting questions about the complications of courtship and marriage while having a Digimon partner. The two partners pretty much have to be compatible too, right?
- When Koushiro notices that the code he's looking at isn't binary, he freaks out because it isn't recognizable. It's a little surprising he has no concept of ternary code, unorthodox as it is. Unless he's afraid of seeing a 3 pop in there somewhere. Also, if ternary code represents infected data, remember that the evolution sequenes have involved ternary since tri. started.