Travelling around Vermillion City the trio gets free tickets (from people definitely not Jessie and James) to board the St. Anne. It’s apart of Team Rocket’s plan, not Jessie and James’, the actual dangerous Team Rocket. The trio board the ship and join the party. Ash is especially interested by a fancy magician looking dude battling a Starmie with his Raticate. With fire in his eyes Ash takes on the man with Butterfree. Butterfree does really well and practically wins (the man pulls out before the final blow). During this James is tricked into buying a Magikarp from a slimy salesman. Sometime later the man convinces Ash into trading Butterfree for his Raticate. Jessie rips into James for being scammed. This begins James’ temporary depression.
Things begin to get heated on the ship as all the Team Rocket grunts come out to fight. Their plan is to steal the Pokémon of all the trainers on the ship. Naturally the trainers don’t go without a fight. Everyone works together. All the Pikachu on the ship attack after some reused Pokémon Emergency animation. All the charmander, geodude, bulbasaur, and butterfree follow suit. Ash’s regret over trading Butterfree really hits hard when he realizes he doesn’t have one to join the attack butterfree. After a pidgeotto and a mega-pika thunderbolt all the grunts are blasted away. Everything’s not all good yet as the ship is stuck in a giant storm and the captain straight up bolts. On the Brightside Ash trades his Butterfree back. The episode ends on quite the downer as the trio is stuck unconscious on the ship after an accident and so is our usual Team Rocket.
- It’s the St. Anne not the S.S. like the games
- The gang already can’t see through Team Rocket’s disguises anymore
- More of Team Rocket is finally shown
- Almost losing Butterfree, I know it’s coming but I’m not ready yet wahhhh
- Terrible climactic battle with all the Rocket grunts
- That captain….
The beginning and the end of this episode definitely were definitely the best part. The very beginning with both Jessie and James dressed and acting like ditzy teenage girls was pretty funny. It also lead to some suspense at the reveal that the ship is the bosses plan. It just makes you feel like what’s about to happen is more high stakes than the usual Team Rocket shenanigans. The ending with all our main characters unconscious and stuck on a sinking ship was really good too. It makes me excited for the next episode. I honestly can’t wait to see how they get out of this disaster.
This just leaves the middle of the episode which was pretty okay. Most of it isn’t bad. Ash’s plot with Butterfree is pretty nice. It just feels like it doesn’t get enough time to really give the impact it tries for. Only a few minutes are devoted to it after the trade and it all just seems rushed. I’m glad he traded back, honestly that’d be a terrible way to say goodbye to such a special Pokémon. It just felt like filler when it was supposed to be important.
The worst part was the big climatic battle with all the Team Rocket grunts. Instead of a huge battle it resorts mostly to clips of the Pokémon in a pyramid with a colored background. This and the fact they straight up reuse the Pikachu scene from the second episode makes it feel extremely lazy. Especially since the little action shown isn’t really all that action. Mostly it’s just grunts blasting away. They don’t even call out Pokémon to defend themselves. I’m not asking for much since it is just Pokémon, but it’s already proven it can make simple battles seem larger than they should be so why not make a large battle feel as large as it deserves. I could excuse this if it some sort of huge plan wasn’t expected. So far it’s the biggest disappointment I’ve had in the series.