Once again the group is lost traveling to Vermillion City. According to Misty they’ve been lost ten days now. They find a lone charmander just chilling on a rock. It doesn’t appear to be healthy, the flame on it’s tale is pretty low. The gang hatch a plan to capture it and take it to the Pokémon Center, but it refuses to be caught. Charmander is waiting specifically for someone to come and get it. The gang decide to leave it alone and head for the Pokémon Center.
It begins raining as the group sits in the Pokémon trainer. Brock worries that the charmander is still waiting out there. The trio overhears a trainer bragging about his strong Pokémon. When the trainer, Damien mentions he had a weak charmander that he abandoned in the woods Brock loses it. He grabs Damien and demands he goes and gets charmander before it dies. The group decides they have to be the one to save charmander since Damian clearly doesn’t care. They find charmander nearly dead and race it to the Pokémon Center. They make it just in time to save charmander, but Damien’s already left.
The next morning charmander goes back to it’s rock to wait. Everyone decides to just keep traveling and along the way they get caught in a Team Rocket trap. Charmander ends up coming to their rescue. It burns Team Rocket to a crisp and they run away, blasting off on foot. Damien saw everything and tries to get his Pokémon back. Charmander sees past his bs and decides to go along with Ash, not before both it and Pikachu attack Damien of course.
What I Liked
- Pikachu translating for Charmander
- Brock grabbing Damien by the collar
- Brock never seeing anyone as pretty as this particular Nurse Joy
- Charmander being the hero of the day
What I Disliked
- Damien, seriously worst character yet
- Misty’s back to being pretty awful
- I can’t believe this little guy becomes the arrogant Charizard I remember watching
- They straight up say Charmander will die if it’s flame goes out, pretty unusual for a kids show
- Pokémon are not allowed to be used in personal fights
- There is no actual Pokémon battle this episode
I found this episode to be really touching. I felt for Charmander. I wanted it to have a good home and was really drawn in to it’s plight. I really liked how much Ash and especially Brock cared about the safety of this one Pokémon. Misty kinda cared too, but after they saved it’s life she was just back to heading no where but Vermillion City. The highlight of the episode was definitely the trio rushing out of the Pokémon Center, in the rain, just to make sure Charmander lives. It was also great in the end when this act of kindness pays off since Charmander refuses to return to Damien.
The worst parts of this episode start and end with Damien. He’s just a terrible person. What keeps this a good episode in spite of this is he was meant to be awful. I mean even Nurse Joy hates this kid’s guts. He didn’t get much screen time though. In fact he was such a poser there isn’t even a big Pokémon battle with him. In the end Charmander and Pikachu team up to assault him. Even though I hated him, I wouldn’t have minded if he got Team Rocket’s screen time. They were mostly pointless again, only serving to have Charmander save the group. It was a cute scene and great for Charmander, but it was pretty meh. Still excellent episode with a great new character.