In this episode, turns out defeating the world-destroying monstrosity whose return you’ve been trying to prevent for half the series isn’t nearly as difficult as you’d expect.
For better or for worse, the stage was set for a big showdown between WarGreymon and Millenniumon, with help from whatever intervention the angel Digimon would be able to provide. In the end… that was just about what we got. The visuals were big and loud and in some instances magnificent, but at the end of the day the only surprises were fleeting and didn’t get their chances to add much. Perhaps letting the situation breathe a little more and demonstrating some real fear to conquer would have made for an epic two-part finale. By beating two forms of Millenniumon so quickly, it’s clear that he never had real potential as a villain, and everyone just wanted to get this over with and move on.
That said, at least not incapacitating everyone gives them the chance to offer some help. While MetalGarurumon pretends to be useful by attacking the darkness, it’s enough to spur the others to try anything they can to escape. It doesn’t really work, but it motivates Patamon and Tailmon to evolve and lead the resistance. At first that still essentially boils down to empowering WarGreymon the way they always do, but they get their opportunity to not only protect the others, but realize their full-ish potential as Goddramon and Holydramon. Their fight against Millenniumon, a slow-motion dynamic punch-fest, is more captivating than anything WarGreymon does.
At least WarGreymon is functional. You can laugh at how he and Taichi shrug off slamming into Cloud Continent aboard Mugendramon, and with a few words of motivation shrug off the most powerful laser attack Millenniumon can muster. But that’s standard for this series. The real indictment is how non-threatening it makes Millenniumon look. All the disruptions it can create across the Digital World and all the additional forms it has don’t count for anything if his attacks bear no impact on the things that matter. Revealing ZeedMillenniumon should have been imposing, a dire cliffhanger that makes you seriously wonder how it will be overcome. There was so much time left in the episode that, combined with the kids’ continued invincibility, you knew it too would go down like a little bitch with no real challenge.
It’s not just being quick and tidy that zaps the power from the battle. It’s also knowing that we’re not anywhere close to the end. Were this split up into two episodes, with the extra time spent reinforcing the damage Millenniumon can do beyond distant displays and adding a longer post-script, this could have been a serviceable series finale. It’s no coincidence that other instances of weaponizing collective hope are reserved for climaxes. Knowing that it’s not over puts a damper on everything. Especially knowing that whatever’s going to come next will have to be more imposing than ZeedMillenniumon somehow. Let’s hope whatever it is will actually put up a fight.
My Grade: B-
- For ultimately ending up a representative of the Digital World’s collective hope, Lopmon is such a downer for most of the episode. They’re the ones claiming Millenniumon’s presence guarantees a fall of the world, and calls Zeed’s first displays a sign of the end. A little more time showing how their spirits turn around would have helped humanize that process, which comes a little too naturally for something that should be very difficult.
- Nothing exemplifies just how harmless that dark vortex seemed than showing Koshiro on his computer running diagnostics while they were all talking about being crushed to death.
- More evidence of how Patamon and Tailmon are the best characters in the series is how they’re the ones who really have to take stock of the situation and pump themselves up to perform at the level required of them. Everyone else shrugs and jumps into it.
- There is a nice callback to Angemon’s escape from WaruMonzaemon to show that it’s essentially the same dynamic powering WarGreymon, shown through just a quick shot of Xiaomon. Not sure how we should feel about treating such divine miracles as world mechanics, but if they’re consistent about it like this it’s kind of interesting.
- Perhaps the biggest indictment about how much of a loser ZeedMillenniumon ended up being is they got through that entire battle in one episode and didn’t even need to invoke Omegamon. Ridiculous as that intervention often is, if there were ever a time for it, you would have accepted this being it.
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