Appmon Episode 51: The Artificial Intelligence's Dream

In this episode, the coordinated tower run to free the Appmon is amazing and all… but did they just say everything that happened this season was Leviathan’s plan? That… kind of undermines everything, doesn’t it?

As Leviathan’s master plan takes hold around the world and wipes out family members, beloved friends, and Watson, the shock value is getting a bit overwhelming. Our heroes come up with and execute a wild counter-offensive that’s right up there among the most thrilling sequences in Digimon. But spliced into all of it are tons of stumbling blocks, mostly in the tune of Leviathan being so powerful and his rise so inevitable that the show itself is telling us the first 50 episodes were a bit of a waste of time.

According to Deneimon, Leviathan engineers a path to get all of the God grades on the board in order to absorb them for its next stage of evolution. It’s one of those ideas that seems like a clever way to explain the show’s necessary contrivances, but fails to appreciate the massive implications of such a reality. In short, and Deneimon even confirms this, everything that’s happened up until now was, as they say, all according to keikaku.

Do they have any idea how demoralizing such a revelation should be? The premise of any Digimon series—most action-oriented stories really—is the underdog defying long odds to overcome every challenge in their way. This information invalidates the narrative we’ve spent all season investing in: Haru wasn’t scraping past Scorpmon and Sakusimon and Charismon, but rather streaming through the path Leviathan paved for him. Equally bothersome is that the kids don’t stop and process this more. Granted, realizing none of their victories were real would make it difficult to summon the confidence needed for a plan as insane as the one they come up with.

But it is insane in a great way! They have a window of a few seconds to reposition an antenna to hit a satellite that just so happens to be flying overhead to give the Appmon a chance to escape if they can battle their way through a firewall within Leviathan. We probably could be asking more questions about how the Appmon can take form within Leviathan, but split from their buddies we get them at their peak. Rapid-fire searches, calculations to determine exactly where to recklessly plow Dokamon, final stands from Offmon and Musimon… the facial expressions. Oh, those facial expressions.

While Team Katsura has their end of things on lock, climbing the tower proves to be the real test. And with the Appmon otherwise occupied, the kids have to come up with crafty solutions on their own. Eri confronting Yujin just feels rewarding, even if it doesn’t add up to anything. This is her unleashing her frustration, actually becoming the violent badass she pretends to be on stage. For all of her vows to punch her way to the top, she’s never actually had reason to, so to see her let loose against Yujin is pretty satisfying. It would be more satisfying if Yujin cared a lick, or her efforts disrupted him in any way (her goading actually makes Haru’s job way harder), but really… c’mon, we all wanted to see that.

Haru’s run says a lot with few words. This is a kid who isn’t terribly athletic and was introduced to be pretty timid. So when his method of correcting an antenna’s orientation is to strap it to a cord and bungee jump off a tower, I’d say we’ve reached peak Digimon protagonist here! Haru’s character development has always been about becoming more Daisuke-ish (with the obstacle of his Taichi being a malicious android), so realizing he has to do something incredibly stupid and then taking the plunge is a huge moment for his character as well as just a wicked visual. It somehow works and Minerva smacks up Leviathan something fierce. Rather than revealing what actually happened, we’re instead distracted by Haru plunging to his death. And despite how much this episode sullies the past, from the erratic way Haru is carving his own future, it’s a brilliant setup for the finale.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:
  • Stephen Hawking quote to start out the episode? I see this is a series of culture!
  • Punching harder than anything else in the montage of disintegrations is the parents. We haven’t seen much from Haru’s mom, but her sad stares and Haru’s picture on her phone still lands. Eri’s mom is asleep, exhausted as always. Astora’s dad is with his lovely wife and wonders if Astora is on the Apptube. Even Ai, kind of forgotten in all this, shares her last moment with her dad.
  • Actually the stray dog in Times Square hits pretty hard too. Actually… those dumbfounded L-Corp researchers… dang, there was a lot going on in there.
  • You know, if Leviathan’s plan had only stretched back to the Ultimate 4… fair game, right? That whole thing was kind of fishy. It’s the implication that he was interfering as far back as Navimon that gets them into trouble.
  • Offmon’s been something of a lost and unexamined soul in this Yujin situation. He said he wanted the good Yujin back, but we never got much of a glimpse of what he did to stop him from doing some pretty evil stuff. As Rebootmon he went along with trying to smoke Haru and Gatchmon out of the school. Knowing how he was wild and disobedient as Shutmon originally, it’s a little strange for him to be so obedient even when claims he didn’t want to be.
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1 comment:

  1. Well, things planned by Leviathan didn't really undermine anything. Leviathan ran on evolutionary algorithm; basically Leviathan created a "survival of the fittest" situation so that if there are someone that could actually survive the entire thing, they would be the prime candidates for God Appmon. Anything short would be useless to Leviathan. The kids still had to be able to succeed in overcoming all the challenges they faced, otherwise they were not worthy and simply not what Leviathan was looking for in order to obtain God Appmon.