As Bill is a character of the day, he gets to act all “who dares interrupt the great and powerful Oz” over the intercom at first to add some suspense to the episode. Oh no, what if Bill turns out to be a jerk? Where will Brock makes his hamburgers next? Stay tuned, true believers!
Anyway, Brock mentions he can cook and Bill lightens up because he hates tofu and Brock doesn’t use tofu so, hey, come on in and fire up the grill, Brock-o. This also explains why Brock died at the age of 17 from heart cholesterol.
Be right back. eBay.
Misty points out that it’s a video phone like they’re not all video phones, the phone of the future as imagined by the 70s and ignored by the 90s, in the Pokemon world. Ash then calls collect, just because he’s a cheap brat. If I were Professor Oak, I’d be boiling up that Krabby as we speak.
I like how cheerful Oak is when he’s rattling off Gary’s accomplishments (bigger Krabby, 45 Pokémon captured, further on his journey, generally more handsome, harem of groupies, et cetera). He either doesn’t know how much it bothers Ash or he really knows how much it bothers Ash. There’s no middle ground.
It turns out Oak didn’t eat Krabby after all. Hooray! It turns out he’s eating tofu instead which, in the Japanese version, is just what he’s eating but in this version is a set-up to a gag about Oak being forced to eat yucky, stinky tofu because his cook is on vacation. Oh, also, Bill is a super Pokémon genius even smarter than Oak, so they should really learn something from him.
When I say I’m glad some game elements don’t make it to the cartoon, this is the sort of thing I’m hoping to avoid. If you’re going to make Bill some cravat-wearing, English-accented, lighthouse-dwelling Pokémon know-it-all then why do you need to keep the bit where he looks like a Pokémon?
At least I can buy him wearing a suit over his inventing a machine to transform him into a Pokémon, I guess.
Team Rocket are kind of necessary this episode. They’re the direct cause of everything that happens in the last five minutes after all. So why do they feel so shoehorned in this week? Maybe it’s the crummy logic, that Bill knows a lot about Pokémon and therefore must own zillions of rare ones. Or perhaps it’s the nagging feeling that the Team Rocket banter keeps on rolling to fill time.
I said way back that Team Rocket are probably the best thing about this show, and I’ll stick to that but that doesn’t mean they have to turn up every single episode. Is this a contract thing?