An Old Enemy Returns (Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 19)
The last episode left off with Yolei and Kari staying behind to nurse Hawkmon back to health whilst their male counterparts ran off to find Ken’s base elsewhere. The joke was on them, however, as the base later appeared in the sky above the canyon that Yolei and Kari’s vantage point in the trees overlooked. At some point the guys found this out and returned to Kari and Yolei in the brush, which is where this episode begins: with the gang back together again after a brief search party split.
The situation can’t stand for long unfortunately. As everyone is asleep, T.K. wakes Cody and Tentomon, plus Patamon and Armadillomon obviously, to leave on their own in search of Ken’s base. With T.K. searching the sky from the back of Pegasusmon (and Tentomon following along) and Cody submerged beneath the waves inside the cockpit of Submarimon, the two are sojourning across the Digital Ocean in the hopes of the finding Ken’s base, which has somehow disappeared once more (and seemingly broken continuity, for no obvious reason I might add, with the previous episode’s climax). Cody finds the base underwater and enters it through a cave in the rocks.
All the while, a large whirlpool opens up near the base. Ken notes a powerful force near the whirlpool that has presumably created the phenomenon and rushes headlong into it in hopes of finding and submitting to his control the beast lurking therein. As Cody and Armadillomon explore the base, their transmission to and from T.K. are blocked by the evil force. Cody manages to find the engine room and the prison complex, takes a mental note to return to engine room to destroy it with the others, and advises Armadillomon to Digivolve into Digmon to begin freeing the Digimon prisoners in the base. Then, the base enters the dark whirlpool.
Back on land, the girls have woken up and decide to Digivolve their Digimon into Nefertimon and Halsemon and fly off in the direction of T.K. and Cody, thereby leaving behind the apparent leader of the group: Davis. When he awakens, the news that everyone left him behind is pretty depressing, but he manages to use his gung-ho forward thinking spirit to begin his and Veemon’s own trip to join the others. As he reaches the edge of the shoreline and plans to knock down a tree to hollow it out as a canoe, he pushes against it, triggering the tree to fall forward, the land to become a small island and detach from the rest of the land mass, and begin carrying the party toward the others, the base, and the whirlpool.
Ken’s base approaches the edge of the whirlpool and flies into the open air. There are ghosts and spirits of evil Digimon swirling around the edges of the whirlpool reminiscent of the Cthulu Digimon and dark lord hypothesized in Chiaki J. Konaka’s episode of the series (#13). Could this evil Digimon be the ruler of the Dark Ocean? Or is it the Digimon prophesied by the ghost of Wizardmon: namely, Myotismon? As T.K., Tentomon, and Pegasusmon find the cave and enter quickly to rendezvous with Cody and Digmon, Ken tests the waters by sending three Mekanorimon to probe the abyssal tides below. The enslaved machine Digimon are quickly swallowed whole by the waves and never seen again, but then Devimon appears from the waist up out of the waves and Ken seizes the opportunity to analyze his data and begin using it for himself in the design of his Chimera Digimon.
A voice tells Ken to “Beware the Darkness,” meaning that the being controlling these waves is not Devimon, but a different Digimon using Devimon as a temptation for Ken. Ken ignores the threat and finishes his design of Kimeramon as a beast with the head of Kabuterimon, the hair of MetalGreymon, the body of Greymon, the legs of Garurumon, the tail of Monochromon, a SkullGreymon arm, a Kuwagumon arm, two Devimon arms, two Angemon wings, and two Airdramon wings. The beast is repulsive, but strong and begins to fight the newly arrived Digidestined Digimon Nefertimon and Halsemon. T.K. has seen the image of Devimon, his one-time nemesis and the being whose own destruction required the sacrifice of Angemon so long ago. He helps Tentomon, Cody, and Digmon to free the last imprisoned Digimon onboard and loads them onto Davis’ newly arrived island, then leaves them to confront Ken.
Once the two finally meet, T.K. makes fun of Ken as a pretender and a fake, which incites Ken’s rage and insecurities. This forces Ken to ask out irrationally as he decides to whip T.K. in an attempt to disrupt his own self-loathing and re-establish himself as the dominant figure in their interaction. But the whip attack is taken in stride by T.K. who doesn’t even move with the blow and shows Ken to be much weaker than he believes himself to be. T.K. then lashes out and punches Ken as Wormmon tries to protect his master and is thwarted by Patamon who himself suggests that the two fight. This suggestion is much to the ire of Wormmon who dislikes fighting and instead demurs, showing his personality as a good Digimon to the Digidestined for the first time. Patamon then Digivolves into Pegasusmon and flies off with T.K. to join the battle against Kimeramon, leaving Ken on the ground, momentarily defeated to muse, “I guess I’m not as cool as I thought I was.”
This episode introduces intrigue and plot elements hitherto absent from the series. It sets up a larger dramatic arc that will carry the through-line of the rest of the series and it does so by connecting the new villain with an older evil force: Devimon. The episode functions in such a manner to incite and excite past fan interest while still being unique enough to interest new viewers to the story, to the narrative. I look forward at this point to reviewing the next few episodes as it has been years since the series aired and I saw it on television in the States. I hope you’ll continue to follow along with me too.
The Digidestined Cody