WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episodes 34 and 35 of Digimon Adventure: (2020), "Hikari and Tailmon" and "The Glowing Angewomon," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Digimon Adventure: (2020) has changed a lot of the series' staples when it comes to the characters, from digivolution forms to the backstory of the digital world -- and along with the changes also comes the changing of Tailmon's villainous roots, trapped within Darkknightmon's darkness. Or were they?
As the latest episode, "The Glowing Angewomon" reveals, Tailmon wasn't trapped within Darkknightmon as some fans had previously assumed, she was Darkknightmon. The episode also explains and fleshes out her character with development that has basically been unheard of in the reboot so far; feeling neither forced nor rushed. As a result, Tailmon, in the three episodes since her appearance, has become the series' most compelling and well-rounded character.
Much like Angemon was in danger of being corrupted by Devimon upon turning into a Digi-egg, Tailmon shows what could have happened had that process been allowed to complete. As Skullknightmon she put Hikari's brother in massive danger and assisted Devimon and Millenniumon's cause without so much of a hint of remorse. This also finally fully explains why Hikari went with Skullknightmon so easily, as she could still sense Tailmon calling out to her from within the dark Digimon.
But while she's been freed from the darkness by Hikari's compassionate, understanding light, she knows only too well exactly what she's done, and regrets it deeply. This explains why, in Episode 34, "Hikari and Tailmon," Tailmon felt she had to protect everyone from Anomalocarimon and its Mantaraymon minions on her own as a way of atoning or making up for her actions as Skullknightmon. Her overprotectiveness of Hikari demonstrated throughout the episode can also be attributed to this, as she knew exactly how much danger she herself had put Hikari in when she was corrupted. Yet it is not until she learns to trust the one she'd called that she's finally able to defeat the threat.
In many ways, this harks back to the origin of the original Tailmon, who, having been captured by Myotismon as a Digi-egg, was raised to be evil. Both times, Tailmon ended up putting her partner in grave danger, only to reach out to her in the end and receive unexpected compassion that allowed her to save the day.
Still, the Digimon reboot then takes this development of trust one step further in the next episode, where it's revealed that Tailmon knows she can digivolve, and that the strengthening light she experienced earlier in "The Glowing Angewomon" was the power to digivolve. And yet, she's scared. Having digivolved to Darkknightmon and experienced the drive for destruction, she fears gaining power will reignite the remnants of darkness Millenniumon's corruption instilled in her and cause them to take hold -- something that almost happens within the episode.
MarineDevimon's shard of Millinniumon allows it to use dark energy from its tentacles to re-corrupt Tailmon as her anger and desire for vengeance against it for hurting Hikari grow, which in turn cause Darkknightmon's personality to resurface, just as she had feared it would. Even more frighteningly, the return of darkness creates a large black shadow in the shape of the evil Digimon -- until yet again, Hikari calls out to her, and comforts her, letting Tailmon know that Hikari will always rescue her.
With her fears realized -- but Hikari's intervention preventing any damage -- Tailmon is finally able to put her fears beside her and realizes why Hikari is named "hikari." The name means"light." She is the helping hand reaching out, the light leading the way, and so long as they're together, Tailmon has nothing to fear from the darkness both inside and out. With this realization, Tailmon is able to set her fears behind her and chooses to fight with Hikari, rather than for her, which allows her to digivolve to Angewomon and make quick work of MarineDevimon.
All in all, Tailmon's duty-bound personality and arc -- from doing everything she could to make up for her past mistakes while protecting Hikari, to trusting her partner and working with her -- make Tailmon one of the most compelling and intriguing characters of the Digimon reboot so far, and we're looking forward to seeing her continued growth throughout the season.