This episode is an unadulterated bridge between the two adjacent ones, as the first half is follow-up and the second is set-up. Both are decent in their own right, but nothing outstanding.
Despite covering numerous matters, the first half isn't very energetic, even slow at points. Perhaps that is because the heroes have so little to do aside from watch stuff happen, although one could make the case that this emphasizes how helpless they feel in the situation. Regardless, the scarcity of action is detrimental after the previous episode, and the actual retreat is belated. The adults' big discovery that the kids have merged with the digimon has no follow-up, which is very odd given their astonished reactions. No one refers to it again, which is yet another unearned leap for the parents.
The later subplots for the tamers are mere afterthoughts because they don't tell us anything new or important. We don't need to hear Takato discussing his feelings for Jeri again, even if the confession is yanked out of him by his cousin, and he simply having a mushy farewell with his parents no longer cuts it; it's been done several times in one form or another. Along similar lines, by this point just showing Rika sitting at the table with her family no longer passes as meaningful.
The Monster Makers subplot is by far the best one, as these guys finally receive a key piece of information towards defeating the D-Reaper. It's been a long struggle for them, as they've been working tirelessly to analyze the D-Reaper, so seeing them make a breakthrough feels satisfying. Additionally, we witness Janyu analyzing Terriermon and Shibumi providing the red card, both of which will be important later.
Jeri's time as the D-Reaper's captive is really not worth discussing anymore (and I'm aware of the irony that this last paragraph is the biggest one in this review). She's transitioned from her mopey state to another one that is, frankly, too dark for a kids' show. No offense to Jeri fans, but in the end she becomes more of a plot point than someone we can be invested in. True, she's been through a lot, but portraying her grief as a personal obstacle in this manner has been excessive and just not conducive to her personal growth. She's a punching bag for the writers, who throw all kinds of calamities her way in hopes that it will draw our sympathies, yet don't allow her to actually do anything about it. The moment she has with Calumon works for him only. His perseverance is admirable for once, as he opposes a particularly grievous act that, again, DOES NOT BELONG IN A KIDS' SHOW! However, I don't buy for a second that this was needed to snap Jeri out of her funk. All of her friends, as well as someone that she hates, have risked their necks to save her, yet she is not moved until deterred from behavior this extreme and told point blank that people do care. Frankly, that's not resonant; it's groan inducing.
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