Adventure: (2020) Episode 26: Break Through the Sea Monster Barricade

In this episode, Koshiro, Hikari, and Taichi do their typical things: hacking a solution to the crisis, magically whisking away to another world, and nearly getting his ass killed again for stupid reasons.

Let’s all congratulate the B-Team for finally escaping the gazebo! With that giant infestation of Zurumon in the network it sure looked like they were going to be stuck there indefinitely, but Koshiro came up with a solution that didn’t involve dealing with them and Hikari used her magic powers to free them from the gazebo’s evil clutches. Granted, Koshiro’s solution was as anticlimactic as it gets and Hikari managed to turn what should be a big moment into a rather subdued, unemotional progression. But progress is progress, and with it comes renewed hope that maybe the show can put this awkward arc behind it and find its bearings again.

Taichi… is in this episode too. Yamato and Takeru not so much.

As far as the tanker crisis getting resolved, there are two forces tugging us in different directions. One is the continued and reliable amazement at Koshiro Izumi’s hacking skills. Thanks to Our War Game, we’ve been used to the idea of Koshiro being able to do whatever he wants with a computer as long as it serves the story and clears up a mess and/or sets up a battle. We’re not used to details, and props for providing them here. Rather than shots of him typing, followed by some variant of “I did it,” we get the full plan about how setting off a humble fishing trawler’s distress signal can filter throughout the world, correcting the hacked maritime signal with a different maritime signal. The writers did their homework. Let’s acknowledge that.

The problem with this solution, and the force restraining our excitement, is that it in itself is the solution. It doesn’t grant them access or restore their power or make the enemy vulnerable: it straight out wins the fight. That’s not something to applaud, as it diverts the spotlight from these kids and their Digimon in favor of Koshiro’s fingers. It’s especially egregious after Koshiro’s last featured episode was about him learning to rely on his instincts without relying on his computer. And it renders everybody else functionally useless. Sora and Joe and Mimi could have gone home after beating Calamarimon. As impressive as the hack came off, it goes down as a poor use of Koshiro’s talents. They have to be used appropriately: as OP as Rei’s skills were in Appmon, they invariably dragged him into even more trouble and rarely solved anything on their own.

Thankfully, Hikari outdoes herself with her greatest miracle yet: making this episode relevant. Frustrated by everyone’s lack of emotion lately? Bow down to the queen here! Initially, her presence served only to force Sora to prevent anyone from expressing themselves too hard. While that generated one or two spots of amusement, it left us in a holding pattern where Hikari’s silence and vague expression added nothing to the scenes but promised a payoff later. That came in typical Hikari fashion: she says something weird’s about to happen, then something weird happens. If it gets us out of such an underwhelming subplot, we’ll take it.

It serves as a fortunate interruption and intervention from still more lousy filler from Taichi and company. The only significance of his  side of the story is the Seadramon eating another Digimon and evolving. That’s new! That feels like it should be an effect of Devimon’s meddling that should cause havoc across the Digital World. But we put a pin in that for now and focus instead on Taichi, who has a brush with death because he, again, is too stupid to stand anywhere besides on top of Greymon in the middle of a fight. Have we ever gone from “boy he looks cool” to “honestly, he deserves to drown” so quickly?

The fact that the fight was so pointless makes the rest of the team bailing them out less momentous than it should have been. But it isn’t nothing, and after several episodes getting tired of Taichi and Yamato riding their steeds, we are happy to see the others reunited with theirs at long last. Instead of a rush, it’s more of a relief, but at least it generated a reaction. Taichi’s utter confusion at Hikari’s presence is almost as subdued as she is, but it too is a valid reaction. Like most things in this episode, it’s a far cry from true quality, but it’s something and at this point we’re happy to take it.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:

  • So Leomon knows about the deep lore of the Holy Digimon and ElDoradimon, but he didn’t know Cloud Continent was in the clouds?
  • Another issue with Koshiro’s solution to the tanker crisis is that it doesn’t involve the Digital World at all. Meaning literally everybody who is monitoring the situation had the ability to recognize a solution and utilize GMDSS to overwrite AIS. Maritime shipping is a vital piece of infrastructure and you can’t expect AIS to run flawlessly 24/7. There are agencies keeping an eye on these sorts of things, and do worry about terrorists messing with AIS.
  • Leomon’s team continues to be more fun to watch than Greymon and Garurumon. Combining Falcomon’s explosives with Leomon’s signature attack was a neat touch.
  • Another point of promise is that they didn’t do anything about the Zurumon, allowing for more real world problems in the future. We’ll grow more and more desensitized to these crises if we don’t care about the characters doing the rescuing, but it’s not a problem that these issues will continue to exist.
  • You can tell all of these crises are merely fake intensity when the resolution is glossed over during the quick shots of the kids reuniting. If we’re to believe the show actually cares about itself, both of those deserved more time as opposed to all that Seadramon nonsense. Also we totally called that they wouldn’t follow through with an actual US-Iran military conflict.

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