It’s good when Team Rocket’s collective intelligence quotient suddenly jumps into the double digits so, yeah, I guess I should be happy that today they’ve got their rubber suits on to protect themselves from Pikachu.
On the other hand, these little flashes of… not genius, I guess, but competency, just make it more obvious when they forget to do it in following episodes. It’s like continuity only exists when it benefits the writers and abandoned when it constrains them or something!
Well, Pikachu is actually number 25 but the important thing is whether or not I just sat down to watch Ash get a Charmander and instead get a strange Prisoner reference in my Japanese anime. This is like the time I spilled Skittles in my Corn Pops, and just as delicious.
With everyone else in that pit, it’s up to Pikachu to outwit the slowly moving, but apparently sentient balloon. Somehow, Pikachu fails and the only explanation I can honestly give is editing techniques. The show’s camera cuts magically allow the balloon to keep up until it envelops Pikachu completely.
Team Rocket’s plan succeeded and they stole Pikachu. That’s their goal and they accomplished it. Sure, Charmander came along and set them on fire moments later, restoring the status quo but so what? Team Rocket still did what they set out to do. It’s a momentous moment.
Of course, Charmander turns up for no reason and saves the day. While fleeing from Charmander’s Flamethrower attack, James remarks that he had his suggestion of fire-proof suits turned down earlier. With this and the baseball thing from last episode, he’s quickly becoming the team’s idea man.
Damian turns up, without his gang (I assume they died in the storm), wanting Charmander back now that he saw it defeat Team Rocket. So of course, he turns up the charm and is all “welp here i am just like what i said eh charminder?” Sadly, Damian has really bad short-term memory and kind of forgets he’s trying to be manipulative because two seconds later he’s all “hey good thing i was the one what abandoned you for reals cos it done toughened you up.”
He probably would have got Charmander back on his side if he had just kept up the lie for more than one sentence. Instead he gets attacked by both Charmander and Pikachu and runs off crying. Thanks for playing, Damian. You were the one what done made episode good antagonist do.
This should be Brock’s episode. He instigates everything, confronts Damian, rescues the Charmander, encourages it, gets all the inner monologues and is basically the driving force behind the entire episode. So, naturally, Ash gets to keep the Pokémon.
I’m not really angry because, you know, it’s a cartoon and even in the context of said cartoon Brock said it was OK. But it’s kind of clumsy writing when you have to stop your narrative thread so suddenly and it really makes Brock look second-rate. It’s hard to believe that only five episodes ago he was probably the best trainer in the group and now he’s just passing them up. Even Pokémon breeders need Pokémon to work with.
I guess as the elder statesman of the party Brock is the Auron to Ash’s Tidus. If this means Ash’s father will eventually return as a giant sea monster and wipe out the Orange Islands, I will take back everything bad I said above.