Ash and co. are still traveling to Vermillion City. At this point being lost is starting to become overkill. Even the narrator comments on how they’re lost again. There’s a strange meta recap that lists the badges Ash has collected and all the Pokémon on his team. Misty acts snotty by saying he didn’t really earn any badges or actually catch any of his Pokémon. Both of those are extremely unfair and not even true. Brock kinda gets a few digs in at Ash’s ability, not any as bad as Misty but it’s still such a negative way to start an episode. Not wanted to prove his “friends” right, Ash takes the initiative to catch a krabby. Since he has six Pokémon already it is sent to Professor Oak and this concept from the game is finally introduced. It’s a bit of a shame cause krabby could have been interesting to see used since it’s pretty uncommon. Ash wants to check on it right a way so the trio heads to a lighthouse in the distance to see if someone can help them.
They reach the lighthouse which somehow takes hours to get there. The owner lets them come in and Ash finds a phone. His Krabby is fine and definitely not being cooked. The owner appears and to everyone’s surprise is a giant Kabuto. Not really, almost like in the game he’s stuck in a Pokémon costume. Team Rocket is back to being pretty irrelevant to the plot. After helping Bill, he explains that a mysterious Pokémon lives around the lighthouse that is the last of it’s kind. Bill’s been communicating with it and it’s finally coming to meet him. Naturally Team Rocket comes and ruins it. They don’t even last long before blasting off. The Pokémon, while never stated is a giant Dragonite, leaves sadly. The trio and Bill ends the episodes with some Pokémon specific themed morals about being a better trainer.
- Still not in Vermillion City
- It takes hours to walk across the beach to the lighthouse
- Bill and Professor Oak have cooks on vacation
- Bill is supposed to live in the complete opposite direction of Vermillion City, no wonder they’re lost.
While not Challenge of the Samurai levels of bad filler, this episode was just meh. It was just the definition of filler, nothing important happened and it wasn’t very interesting.
There were some things I did like. Ash catching a seventh Pokémon was pretty unexpected. Especially it being Krabby. Like his first five can be expected, but Krabby felt random and I liked that. There isn’t really rhyme or reason in the Pokémon someone catches going through their first journey and it was just nice seeing something unusual getting attention. It was also pretty cool seeing Bill. Unlike other characters of the day it makes sense that he was here. The plot he was given with just wanting to meet a rare Pokémon is very in line with his in game personality. Unfortunately in execution it just seemed Pokepreachy.
The episode started out fun. Ash and the gang being involved in the recap was pretty funny. It went downhill when it devolved into Brock and especially Misty just telling Ash how he’s not doing so good as a trainer. Personally I prefer to only catch Pokémon I’m using on my team, but I guess after dozens of Pokémon journeys catching them all has lost it’s appeal. This theme of talking down to Ash because he’s only caught five Pokémon continues through the episode. Even Professor Oak gets in on this by rubbing in Ash’s face that Gary has 45 Pokémon and a larger Krabby. Most of Bills plot centers around the idea of how meeting and catching Pokémon is the best part of the journey. This theme just really rubbed me the wrong way. I think Ash is doing really well so far. Back to the Bill plot while pretty neat ends up being pointless since Team Rocket just ruins his chance of meeting the giant dragonite. It’s pretty sad that the only really good part’s ruined by Team Rockets few minutes of shoehorned screen time.