Bye Bye Butterfree

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Our gang is still headed to Saffron City. On the way they see a flock of butterfree preparing to cross the sea and mate. They rent a hot air balloon to better view the Pokemon. Ash sends out his own Butterfree to find itself a mate. Butterfree has some troubles finding a good mate. After some encouragement from Brock it gets back out there and finds a pretty pink butterfree. Poor Butterfree gets snubbed by the only butterfree that filled it’s little heart. It flies away all broken inside.

The trio finds Butterfree crying behind a tree (awww). The trio gives Butterfree the advise of showing it’s strength and being assertive. Brock suggests a new look and gives Butterfree an adorable little scarf. Using it’s attacks doesn’t get the attention of little pink either. Instead of love Team Rocket comes up in a helicopter to capture all the little Butterfree.

Our heroes chase Team Rocket down to save all the Pokemon. Fortunately our Butterfree is still on the outside and extra determined to save its brethren. Team Rocket temporarily gets away, but Butterfree is able to locate them. Butterfree goes to free the Pokemon while Misty sends Starmie to fight Team Rocket. Butterfree’s valiant effort wins over little pink’s heart. All the butterfree are well freed and even though Team Rocket tries to recapture them, they are defeated. Pikachu rides Butterfree into battle and blasts Team Rocket away.

The episode ends in the most emotional way yet. Since Butterfree is leaving with little pink to mate, it means Ash has to release it. Tears are shed as Ash remembers all the fond moments he had with his first captured Pokemon.

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Any Surprises?

  • Brock living vicariously through Butterfree
  • Pink, but not shiny butterfree
  • No other hot air balloon sees all the butterfree get all swiped up?
  • Wait they do, they just don’t do nothing about it
  • Ash, Misty, and Brock doing Team Rockets motto = great
  • Overall Butterfree had little screen time in the series given how much weight it’s capture was given

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I dreaded this episode so much. I actually remember crying the first time I saw this episode many years ago. While very emotional fortunately I didn’t feel like crying, but I did feel for both Ash and Butterfree. They do a great job showing all the great times the two had together. The only thing I wish is that Butterfree got more use than it did. I know really none of Ash’s Pokemon besides Pikachu gets a lot of screen time, but poor Butterfree was only in near 20 episodes.

The overall plot was good. It really was an excellent send off for Butterfree. It’s not a surprise that Butterfree is getting released either. A child may be shocked, but it’s pretty clear from the setup that this will be it. It’s another simple plot that focuses on Butterfree. Team Rocket gets some good use. It’s great to see their scheme directly relate to the plot again.  If it wasn’t for there scheme little pink would never have fallen for Butterfree. I don’t typically care for that sort of romance where the girl can’t even look at the boy until he proves their worth, it’s pretty hard to watch here. What saves it is I don’t see this episode as really being about Butterfree falling in love, but instead learning to stand (fly) on its own. In the end Butterfree is the hero. Butterfree is the one that even when injured kept fighting Team Rocket’s helicopter, Butterfree is the one that finds Team Rockets hideout, and it’s Butterfree that frees the other Pokemon. The only help it gets is when the heroes distract Team Rocket at the end. It hasn’t had much development since it’s introduction, but this really did help end its arc in a satisfying way. Even though Butterfree wasn’t with us long, it’s impact on the series and fandom will always be felt.

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One thought on “Bye Bye Butterfree

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Best Indigo League Episodes | Rewatching Pokemon

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