Last episode, we left off in the middle of Ash’s first gym battle against the triplet gym leaders. He won the first round against Chili, but lost the second to Cress, meaning that his victory lies on Oshawott, the water type beating Pansage, the Grass type. Although with the last episode ending when Pansage fires off a Solarbeam, it doesn’t look too good for the poor otter. Introductions aside, it’s time for a play-by-play review.
Warning, the following WILL contain spoilers.
I recommend you watch this series on your own, but if you’re in a hurry, want another opinion, or just don’t feel like watching, this will be quick, and to the point without losing the details.
The powerful grass type energy beam rockets its way toward an exasperated Oshawott when Ash calls out to dodge. Oshawott snaps out of its daze and instead of dodging pulls the shallot off its chest, and uses it to reflect the beam away, much to the surprise of the three gym leaders. Cilan orders his Pansage to use Bullet seed, which Oshawott again reflects with his shallot. The water type rushes in for a Shell Blade, but Pansage knocks the weapon aside with Bullet seed, leaving Oshawott defenceless.
With Oshawott left reeling, Cilan announces that “it’s tasting time!” He begins to judge the character and strength of Oshawott, and Ash as well as their connection. He says that their bond wasn’t as strong as they thought it was, and that their attack pattern was too simple. Trying to prove him wrong, Ash tells Oshawott to use water gun on the wall of the arena, of all things. Oshawott complies, and in a series of rebounds that would make the pair gods amongst billiard and Peggle players alike, manages to hit the shallot, returning it to its rightful place.
While Pansage stares in disbelief, Oshawott manages to connect a Shell blade. Cilan orders Pansage to use bite, but Oshawott uses Shell Blade once more, defeating Pansage, and winning ash his first badge of the Unova region. Iris gives a backhanded compliment on Ash’s battle, and runs off, before the scene changes to Team Rocket looking around a ruined laboratory. They assemble a machine which begins detecting traces of energy in the area.
It awakens an unknown Pokemon, and elsewhere, a Munna cries out, obviously disturbed by something. Ash brings his tired Pokemon into the Pokemon Center, where he sees yet another nurse Joy. (Although the Joys of Unova look quite different) That’s at least one running gag that remains. The addition of all the similar looking Don Georges tells me that THIS gag isn’t going anywhere. Joy asks if ash just had a gym battle, and Cilan speaks up from behind him, saying that he did, and was strong as well. Cilan starts asking Ash a bunch of questions, like how he was able to bring out the hidden strength of his Pokemon the way he did in their battle, hoping to learn more as a Pokemon Sommelier.
An announcement over the speakers saves Ash as an Audino wheels out a cart with Ash’s freshly restored Pokemon. This is when Iris reappears, carrying Axew, who is surrounded by an eerie pink glow. She tells Joy that her Axew was bathed in a strange pink light, and had fallen asleep. A woman rushes into the Pokemon Center next with the Munna floating alongside her. She asks Munna to awaken Iris’ Axew. Munna inhales the pink light, and Axew wakes up.
Munna emits a strange cloud that shows what Axew was just dreaming of (which was evolving, since that MUST be the only thing Pokemon dream of) The group steps outside and Officer Jenny (who also looks quite different) rides up on her motorcycle, warning Ash to keep his Pokemon in their Pokeballs. Ash explains that his Pikachu hated to be in a Pokeball, which is nice, considering every other person in the series just ignored the fact altogether. The woman, who seems to be a Professor of dreams takes Ash’s hat, and puts it on Pikachu to shield it from the light (which is adorable by the way).
The professor explains that the light was probably coming from a place called the “site of dreams.” Cilan mentions that he heard there was an explosion there a while back. The Professor says that there was a lab there, where she and some others studied Musharna (Munna’s evolution) and how to turn the smoke it emitted from eating dreams into energy. She explains that once it seemed that the project would create the ultimate energy source, people started gathering, with only thoughts of greed.
Musharna absorbed those evil thoughts, and exploded, destroying the laboratory, and disappearing. She says that she only came back because Munna was sensing something wrong. The group arrives at the site of dreams, where Team rocket have their machine set up, gathering information on the energy, and absorbing and amplifying it (obviously the cause of the strange pink light) Musharna, sensing the Professor’s presence reappears (I personally find Musharna terrifying with its eyes open. Also, the background music at this part is very nice.) and the professor runs to reunite with her long-lost friend. Team Rocket, however, has other plans. Plans that include shooting lasers at anyone who tries to get close.
The machine Team Rocket had set up fires said lasers, and pulls in Musharna with an energy net of sorts. Munna uses Psychic to stop the machine from shooting lasers as Pikachu uses Volt Tackle to destroy it. Jessie has her Woobat use gust to whip up the sand, allowing for their getaway. The group takes it as a victory as the Professor is reunited with her friend Musharna. Back at the gym, Cilan tells his brothers that he wants to travel with Ash, in order to learn more as a Pokemon Sommelier. Cilan asks where Iris was, and –despite saying multiple times that she is NOT travelling with Ash- she jumps out of a tree to surprise the two. Ash suggests that she officially starts travelling with them, and the three make their way to Nacrene city, and the next gym.