Adventure: (2020) Episode 64: The Angels' Determination

In this episode, the real treasure was the friends we made along the way. No, really, Wisemon actually said that. That’s what they’re going with.

You know, for all the failings this series has, and all the times we come back to the lack of character depth, the bizarre tonal pacing, and the refusal to dive into any concept of substance… when you sit down and summarize the overall story and its connection to the world’s mythology, that part’s awfully solid. The ancient war won by the sacrifice of the Holy Digimon. Two of the Holy Digimon being reborn and having to find their footing in new forms in a new era. Remnants of that war creeping up and becoming even bigger threats. The final catastrophe coming from a place beyond traditional good or evil. This is strong stuff! As fun as it is to watch the story come to a boil here, can you imagine what this would be if we had real characters in it?

The closest we have has been Patamon, with all his adorable little doubts about saving the world in this form and his connection to Devimon and all. That connection returns in a dream shared by Patamon and his partner, a message about how Devimon manifested and its connection to the Great Catastrophe. While it doesn’t actually provide Takeru any actionable information, it’s a nice way of connecting the dots between the assorted crises the Digital World has endured. It’s also a reminder of Patamon’s situation, which feels like it should be important given the nature of this new enemy. Granted, it also feels like it won’t be, and Patamon’s dalliances with the darkness will be viewed as something he overcame rather than something that needs to be accepted.

While the early attention to Takeru and Hikari is welcomed and appropriate, it quickly gets drowned out by the attack on Wisemon’s center and the big reunion. The coordinated Soundbirdmon attack is the sort of raised stakes we’ve been waiting a while for, and the chaos doesn’t disappoint. Nor does the defense riding to the rescue, tossing around Soundbirdmon and the assorted Digimon they possess. And definitely not the eventual (eventual meaning it drags out forever) fusion of Deathmon to really kick the party off. Along the way we also get a nice summary of the overall history of the conflicts and see that Deathmon slots in just fine.

Easily the best concept raised is the notion that the Great Catastrophe isn’t necessarily a force of light or darkness. The idea of a white void suggests an absence of everything, which fits with the notion of the world’s destruction. An entity that’s sick of all the squabbling between good and evil forces that just wants to wipe everything off the map isn’t unheard of in Digimon (Yggdrasil and Homeostasis have both dabbled in that mindset in the past), but we’re always up for a good exploration of the idea. Granted, we’d have more confidence in this if Millenniumon in the ancient war and the Vademon now hadn’t also been pursuing the world’s destruction. They were pretty firmly tied to the evil camp. In fact, Devimon, the one that most seemed to be influenced by the Catastrophe, was the only villain who actually had motivations that went beyond destroying the place.

This conflation between evil and nihilism makes it hard to expect anything interesting from the Great Catastrophe. Look at its harbinger Deathmon: it’s called Deathmon! Wisemon even asks why an agent of darkness would be working towards white nothingness. There could be some logic here: it takes Seraphimon and Ofanimon making their grand reappearances to take Deathmon out, and it’s his destruction that triggers the start of the end. Perhaps the whole point was that beings of good destroyed a being of evil and therefore this whole mess is destined to happen for eternity unless the board was cleared. For that to work, of course, stopping it would entail good and evil powers working in unison. This is where proper nurturing of Patamon having this darkness within him would make for a hell of a final twist. You can bet that’s not going to happen.

If anything could sum up the season in one go, it’s the way the crests are used to bring back the Holy Digimon. Wisemon says that key to their activation was the kids spending time in the Digital World and bonding with it. Which is all well and good if it came with any sort of individuality, like having each child there mattered for a different reason. No, the crests finally get namedropped, but all clumped together, as if each of the eight possessed all eight attributes simultaneously. Which… based on the way they were portrayed this season, isn’t far from the truth.

My Grade: B

Loose Data:

  • If Devimon was the messenger for this dream, what was the point of Tsukaimon? It was almost like he was the dark parallel to Patamon and Devimon was the dark parallel to… Takeru?
  • Seeing the Worm Trailmon again was nice and all, but the real earnest bit of Frontier nostalgia was the Ball Trailmon from the movie strolling in later with Hikari and Tailmon.
  • At least Wisemon demonstrated that he learned from Nanomon about the Soundbirdmon’s ability to brainwash other Digimon and prepared his team mentally for that.
  • Boy, badass evolution to Seraphimon and Ofanimon, total destruction of Deathmon, and Joe’s absolutely sure that didn’t end anything and he’s absolutely right.

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  1. Also, I love how the Reboot reminded us again of the only human characters that matter. Taichi, Hikari and Takeru floated up in the air, confronting Deathmon, while Yamato, Sora and the others stayed on the ground, like the peasants they are.

  2. How nice it would have been if we had actually seen some demonic Digimon joining the heroes, along with some seemingly good Digimon throwing themselves in with Deathmon. As it is 2020 continues to squander its own potential through half baked plots. Asking us to instead focus on superficial fanservice (as usual).

    Hopefully Ghost Game delivers more substance.