Adventure: (2020) Episode 24: The Final Stage, DoneDevimon

In this episode, in need of true power, Taichi and MetalGreymon discover the darkness and go beyond it. That’s a lot uglier when it’s your auras doing the fighting!

Playing with fire would be the appropriate cliche for this one. It doesn’t just apply to the situation itself, although the visuals of Taichi and MetalGreymon essentially going feral to stop the Devimon form that already had counts. It also applies to how tradition and character applies to what’s going on here. Do we know or care enough about Taichi to get invested in what may or may not count as a dark evolution? Is the aura of WarGreymon acceptable enough to avoid calling it a cheap copout or premature evolution? The answer to both of those is yes, but only barely. The execution ends up a success, but in an unsettling way where you expect it to trip over its laziness again.

One of the recurring themes of the episode is that its success comes in spite of everything that came before it rather than because of it. DoneDevimon is a great example, abandoning all the intriguing suggestions we’ve been spoonfed regarding the depths of Devimon and going for a mindless beast of pure rage and chaos. There’s plenty of opportunity for his manic distortions to come back into play, and there’s a weak argument that his disdain for Tokomon bore itself out here (you’d freak out too if you knew he was capable of all that). We may have to put a pin in the stuff that made him interesting before, but there’s nothing wrong with the unsettling monster we’ve got here. The feral screaming and extra arms made of miasma are disturbing enough to enjoy.

Another simple thing they get right is conveying actual danger. Last time the lack of any consequence to getting hit by Devimon’s attack made it tiresome to watch. Here there’s no ambiguity about Taichi and Yamato getting their asses kicked. While their lack of depth has been a hindrance, they at least have enough of a camaraderie to care about each other and be concerned when the other goes down. Taichi shoves Yamato off knowing things would get dicey. Yamato responds to MetalGreymon taking a nasty hit, driving WereGarurumon to attack and take an even nastier one. DoneDevimon’s strike looks bad on sight, and sure enough, Yamato goes down and WereGarurumon turns back into Gabumon. We’re affected, so we buy that Taichi and Takeru would be too.

But is Taichi so worried about Yamato that the darkness would consume him and MetalGreymon to the extent is does here? That’s debatable, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s not entirely about Yamato’s fall (or even Tokomon barely clinging to a light barrier). That’s because we do know Taichi is worried about this crisis and is hell-bent to stop it, enough to ignore common sense and rush blindly into danger whenever necessary. To him, Devimon is responsible for this disaster, and now it looks like no matter what they throw at him, he comes back more awful. Think of Yamato going down not as the moment, but rather the last straw. What we’re seeing here is two dozen episodes of stress manifesting into an aura of twisted brutality.

You have to refrain from wondering if this counts as a dark evolution along the likes of SkullGreymon or Megidramon. The imagery of Mugendramon and the visceral fight with DoneDevimon that ensues evoke one, but it’s more appropriate to call it an aura borne from the dark miasma enveloping both Taichi and MetalGreymon. And the worst of it only emerges as MetalGreymon’s reaction to DoneDevimon consuming Taichi. That part’s on him. Distance yourself from history and you can better appreciate this nasty clash of two forces of evil. Like the Megidramon fight in Tamers, it’s uncomfortable to watch, riveting stuff regardless of context.

Tokomon’s response should be approached along the same lines. All he sees is MetalGreymon getting consumed by darkness, and registers that nothing good can come from that. If there’s one thing Devimon’s hatred of Angemon has provided, it’s the belief that Tokomon has game-changing powers. So appearing as Angemon in front of Mugendramon and talking him down into channeling that aura into MetalGreymon’s eventual Mega form and using that to defeat DoneDevimon and save Taichi? Sure! It’s a victory that doesn’t feel definitive or rewarding, and at the rate we’re going might not even be the end of Devimon. It doesn’t even reassure us that the show’s going to make an effort to fix its perpetual problems. But it was compelling, gripping, and filled us with anxiety the whole way through. On its own, that makes this episode work.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:

  • The series is getting wide praise for showing the kids always riding their Digimon into battle. The need for Taichi to push Yamato off to avoid taking serious damage shows why that is and always has been a bad idea. Showing unity with your Digimon partner is nice once in a while, but do it too often and someone’s bound to get hurt.
  • We love the situation in the network as a check on this being the climax of the arc. With that swarm of Algomon and the tanker crisis being not quite dead, there’s more to resolve and that’s good to know. We hate the situation in the network because it now looks like a carbon copy of the first three episodes, and with none of the participants adding anything new it’s just sort of tiresome. What I would have given for one of the others to ask Koshiro how they stopped it last time to watch him die inside.
  • DoneDevimon may be a mindless shell of himself, but he seems delighted and amused that Taichi is reacting the way he is. It’s a good look for the abomination.
  • Patamon’s cute little transformation sequence at the end came out of nowhere and added something to smile about after such an exhausting fight. One of the few times the show recognized the need for some levity and brought the right tone in doing so.

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  1. "But it was compelling, gripping, and filled us with anxiety the whole way through. On its own, that makes this episode work."

    Not really. I found it pretty boring and predictable.

    Degrading Devimon into a mindless beast, effectively makes him no different then any other enemy in this show. In addition to falling back on Angemon ex Machina to solve everything, provides what is again all flash and very little substance.

  2. What a terrible episode...