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Recap: Digimon Adventure 02 E 21 Goodbye Ken
Having just armor-evolved with the Digimental of Miracles, Magnamon prepares to battle, while Upamon and Poromon are given energy by the Digimental to evolve back to Armadimon and Hawkmon. Everything happens just in time for Chimeramon to burst back into the base, ready to destroy everything.

On the orders of Magnamon, Daisuke and the other kids flee the area while Magnamon takes on Chimeramon. Wormmon returns to the Kaiser and tells him that it’s dangerous and that they should flee too, but the Kaiser refuses to leave now that Chimeramon is back. Wormmon tells the Kaiser that he’s lost control of Chimeramon, but the Kaiser refuses to listen.

The Kaiser remains unable to control Chimeramon as the voice continues to laugh at him, and narrowly avoids being hit by one of his attacks. Wormmon continues to plead with the Kaiser to run, telling him that they made a mistake and that they need to run from it, but the Kaiser insists that he’s perfect and that he will be the winner of this “game”.

The Chosen approach the Kaiser, ready to take him on, and berate him for treating all of this like a game. Takeru tells him that Digimon are living beings and their irreplaceable partners, and Hikari asks the Kaiser if Wormmon is his partner Digimon, to which the Kaiser angrily replies that his suitable partner is Chimeramon.

Magnamon struggles against Chimeramon, and the brawl creates an explosion in the side of the fortress, forcing everyone inside to flee. The kids have Hawkmon, Patamon, Armadimon, and Tailmon armor evolve to Holsmon, Pegasmon, Nefertimon, and Digmon, who help everyone escape. Magnamon and Chimeramon bring their fight outside the fortress as the fortress threatens to break down, but Magnamon begins to run out of power while fighting off Chimeramon. Wormmon begins to cheer on Magnamon and gets a whiplash from the Kaiser in response, only for Wormmon to finally decide he’s had it.

Wormmon: Don’t you understand, Ken? The old Ken wasn’t like this...The Ken I traveled the Digital World with wasn’t like this...We laughed together, we cried together...the normal, kind Ken! And then, the next time we met, you told me to call you the “Digimon Kaiser”...I couldn’t do it because no matter how you look, you’re still Ken. That’s why, no matter what horrible things you did after becoming the Digimon Kaiser, I always thought you would return to the old Ken someday. Believing in that, I stayed with you!

As Wormmon declares that the “real” Ken isn’t the Digimon Kaiser and that the real Ken is kind, he tackles the Kaiser over, begins to glow with a golden light, and passes over the light to Magnamon, begging him to save Ken. Now with the power that Wormmon had given him, Magnamon defeats Chimeramon for good. Magnamon reverts to Chibimon and Daisuke goes to embrace him, but sees something in the ground: a Crest bearing the symbol that he’d seen on the Digimental of Miracles.

The Kaiser pounds the ground in agony, declaring that everything was supposed to be perfect and he’ll have to “reset the Digital World”, believing that he can do so by deleting all the data in his computer and starting over from scratch. The disgusted kids tell him that the Digital World isn’t a game, but a place that’s just as real as the human world. As he realizes that the Baby-level Digimon are the “plushies” he’d seen at the soccer game against Odaiba Elementary, Daisuke and Chibimon inform him that Digimon are, in fact, living beings.

Now knowing that that all of the torture and enslavement he’d inflicted on Digimon were on actual, living beings, the Kaiser has a complete breakdown, throws away his cape, gloves, and glasses, and collapses, with his Kaiser outfit dissolving in favor of his normal civilian appearance and school uniform. Ken cries on the floor until he hears the others tending to Wormmon, who is barely alive after having given his energy to Magnamon.

Wormmon tells Ken that he’s back to his old self and that his true appearance suits him better, while the kids try to figure out what Wormmon means by Ken’s “old” self. The Crest that he picked up floats over to Ken, and Daisuke says that the Crest had spoken to him within the Digimental of Miracles, telling him that it wanted to return to its “true owner”. Wormmon identifies the Crest’s owner as Ken and the Crest as the “Crest of Kindness”, which a dazed Ken receives as Tailmon remembers Wizarmon’s prophecy of “kindness releasing the golden light”.

Ken, still disoriented, sits down and picks up Wormmon. With a “Goodbye, Ken”, Wormmon dies in Ken’s arms. As Ken realizes that Wormmon is dead, he recalls a distant memory of a person named Osamunote  being hit by a car and a younger version of himself staring in horror...causing Ken to utterly fall apart, sobbing that he didn’t come to the Digital World to relive “this feeling”.

Daisuke remembers the TV report with Ken’s despondent parents, and tells Ken to go home to the people who are worried about him. As the completely destroyed Ken staggers away, Daisuke continues to yell at him that he’d better go home.note 

Back at camp, Yamato finds to his horror that Jun has managed to follow them all the way to camp. They’re put in a sticky situation when Jun asks where Daisuke and the others are, but Koushirou quickly retreating into the forest with his laptop and the kids arriving in time allow for the problem to be resolved. As the kids make their leave, they find that the van won’t fit all of them and Jun, and Yamato’s father sentences Yamato to taking the bus back with Jun.

As the news on the radio reports the mysterious return of Ken Ichijouji, Taichi looks at the younger Chosen in the van, all sleeping from exhaustion. Meanwhile, as his parents cry in relief over his return, Ken, in misery over his ordeal, sleeps in his room...

Tropes

  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: This episode marks the first time Ken is seen without these (starting from the moment Ken rejects his Kaiser clothes and persona), and you'll see him without these for the rest of the series now that he's past his Heel-Face Turn.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wormmon gives out one to Ken when he finally had enough of his treatment towards him and other Digimon.
    Wormmon: I hope you're finally proud of yourself. You've officially become worse than the monster you created. Whatever happened to that sweet kid I met a long time ago who had a dream of taking over the Digital World? Okay, so it was a sick and twisted dream, but we still had a lot of laughs together! What happened to the boy I was proud to call master? Of course, you MADE me call you that. You've changed, Ken. But it's not too late for you. For some reason, you started capturing Digimon and you turned them into your slaves instead of into your friends. I didn't agree, but I stuck by your side because I was your Digimon. And then, you started being cruel to me. The one who knows the true you. The others way know and fear you as the Digimon Emperor, but never forget I know the real you. I'll always think of you for your kindness, Ken. No matter what happens. One day I hope you'll realize that the real Ken isn't the Digimon Emperor, but the Ken that's my friend. And only a real friend would do this!
Digimon Adventure 02 E 20 Superior Evolution Golden MagnamonRecap/Digimon Adventure 02 Digimon Adventure 02 E 22 Brave Evolution XV Mon

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