Despite the fireworks, there isn’t a ton going on here. In fact, as far as the plot is concerned, it’s all about winding down the last episode and hyping up the next one. On its own, there isn’t much to stand on. Orochimon shows up and overwhelms the team, they regroup to rally and beat it. It doesn’t take a new form or a resolution of a personal conflict or even a dramatic speech. The little moments inspiring them are pretty subdued. It’s all straightforward, but still a perfectly good fight in its own right. The talking points all lie in the periphery.
The primary formula is very simple, and for an episode like this simple is sufficient. When you’re advancing the story outside of the main fight, the main fight doesn’t need to be complicated. Still weary from their first fight against Eyesmon, Orochimon shows up with unforeseen multi-head tactics they simply weren’t ready for. Taichi realizes their disadvantage and calls for a retreat, everyone except Yamato scrambling to get away. They hide, settle their nerves, form a better strategy, and come back stronger, with six crest boosts all they need to win. It’s a strength that it doesn’t rely on anything more than that. This series has always been more confident going for the big boom, so allowing itself to give us a battle with no frills and succeeding is a good step.
The takeaway during their hiding that is useful is Koshiro vomiting the connection between this pocket dimension and the real world. The synchronization of time between the two worlds leads to a bunch of conclusions. Most critically, Eyesmon caused the blackouts by pulling massive amounts of data to this side, and Orochimon’s attacks are causing problems in real-world Shibuya. There’s no reason to think any of this is wrong, but he’s deriving all of this off of limited information. The extent of his speculation and the confidence he puts into them makes for a rather dubious plot dump and one of the few unwelcome exaggerations in the episode. It doesn’t help that at the moment, nobody can actually do anything with this information.
Despite little happening, their presence is more significant than anything else going on in the episode. Between them and the return of the ominous countdown timer (who doesn’t love a good ominous countdown timer?), signs suggest something massive next time. An episode mainly centered around promising big developments in the next episode is working at a disadvantage, but this one handles the role just fine. It doesn’t go overboard with its own action, relying on good animation, music, and sound to keep us engaged. More importantly, it fulfills its goal, as the next one looks like it could blow us away.
My Grade: A-
- There are advantages and drawbacks to throwing in another EMP after the threat of one in episode three. On one hand, you don’t need to explain the concept again. On the other hand, it does feel like a recycled concept that’s scary but not all that novel.
- Joe’s line about his falling exam scores is awkward, makes no sense, and feels like something rejected from the dub of Zero Two.
- One rather annoying omission from them hiding in the subway was a proper explanation of how Yamato, Sora, and Joe wound up here. The opportunity was there, the need was there, and they just… didn’t bring it up. Feels unlikely it’ll get covered now.
- Man, Mimi can’t help but drag the appearance of Palmon and Togemon. Girl, that’s cold.
- There’s something nice about seeing both the kids and Digimon exhausted but satisfied after a big win like this. It both sells the energy they put into the battle, but also lets them revel in it for a moment before the next shoe drops.
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