Well as far as pacing goes, it is actually rather impressive that Ash is closing in on his second badge already. We are only seven episodes into the first season, but I get the feeling that things are inevitably going to slow down to a crawl as they have various filler episodes between the cities featured in the games. The first season is about eighty episodes as I recall, so we’ve got a long way to go.
Ash, Misty, and Brock continue walking along the road to Cerulean City. However, Misty seems very reluctant to go there. She tries everything in her power to convince Ash that he does not want to go to Cerulean City, however Ash decides to go there anyway since that is where he can get the cascade badge. Later that night we see Team Rocket breaking into a building of some kind and looking at various machinery that is on sale. As usual, our favorite trio of incompetent criminals are up to no good.
As Ash and Brock arrive in Cerulean City, they notice that Misty is nowhere to be found. They don’t seem to bothered by this however, and carry on. The two of them stop when they see a store surrounded by a large crowd. The police are there as well. According to a bystander, someone broke into the store the previous night. I wonder who that could have been, hmm. Ash and Brock are then confronted by the Officer Jenny clone of Cerulean City.
Officer Jenny suspects that Ash and Brock are the thieves, but they are able to prove that she is wrong through use of identification. Officer Jenny then reveals what was stolen: a large vacuum cleaner. Later, Ash asks Brock if he knows anything about the Cerulean City gym leader. Brock does seem to have some knowledge on the subject, but refuses to share it out of respect for his fellow gym leader. Brock leaves to go do some ‘stuff’ off screen while Ash and Pikachu search for the Gym.
They eventually find it and discover that there is a swim show currently taking place, with three young women showing off their swimming skills. Ash is confused while Pikachu is enamored at the sight of the girls. Yeah Pikachu seems to be a bit of a ladies… Pokemon. While walking around the aquarium section of the Gym, Ash and Pikachu encounter the three swimmers from earlier. Their names are Daisy, Lily, and Violet. They reveal to the duo that they are the Gym Trainers for Cerulean City. Eager to get his badge, Ash challenges them up near the pool.
However there is a bit of a fly in the ointment there. None of the three sisters are actively fighting trainers anymore. They are all too crushed by the recent string of defeats at the hands of three trainers from Pallet Town. All they have left is a Goldeen that knows one move, essentially making it about as useful as a Magikarp that can use splash. So rather than fight, they decide to just give Ash the cascade badge.
Unfortunately for Ash, things don’t stay that easy. Misty shows up just in time before Ash is able to take the badge. It is then revealed that she is the fourth sister, and that she is also part of the Cerulean City Gym. She doesn’t like the idea of her sisters just handing Ash the badge, so she decides to challenge him instead. Well so much for just being handed a badge easily. But it would be a pretty short episode of Ash just walked in, got the badge with no trouble, and left.
So the two of them agree to use two Pokemon and prepare to fight. Ash attempts to use Pikachu, however Pikachu refuses to fight Misty. So yeah, Pikachu’s got a bit of a soft spot for human girls it seems. Too bad for Ash. Had Pikachu agreed to fight, Ash would have won in about ten seconds. But that would be too easy. So Ash instead uses Buttefree to fight Misty’s Staryu. Butterfree is able to put up a good fight but in the end it gets knocked into the water. As you can imagine, a butterfly pokemon and water don’t mix well, so Ash is forced to call Butterfree back. In the next round Ash summons Pidgeotto to fight Misty’s Starmie. Pidgeotto proves to be a more formidable opponent and is able to knock Starmie out.
Before the fight can continue, the wall breaks down and a strange machine comes rolling in. If it wasn’t obvious who is responsible for the interruption, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. The Team Rocket trio give their motto and then use the machine to start sucking all the water up from the Gym Pool. Without water they will be able to easily take all the Pokemon from the Gym.
This plan fails for several reasons. The first one is that the machine has no protection from electrical surges, and the second is that Pikachu fell into the water. When Pikachu’s electricity meets the water and the machine, Team Rocket is put into a world of pain. Fried by Pikachu, the three of them fall into their own vacuum and get thrown out on the other side far away from the city. Won’t be the last time that Team Rocket “Blasts Off Again”. Not by a long shot.
Despite the match being interrupted, Daisy gives Ash the cascade badge anyway. She tells Misty that had Ash used Pikachu, he would have won anyway. Misty says goodbye to her sisters as Brock shows up from whatever it was that he was doing. Likely creeping on some random girl, as Brock is known to do throughout the series. The episode ends with our heroes heading off toward their next destination. I don’t remember what that will be but I certainly know it is not going to be Vermilion city.
This was pretty much just another episode of Pokemon. Nothing new or different save for the story getting advanced by Ash getting his second badge. Although it is certainly not without its problems. I cannot stand the voices for Misty’s sisters, the valley girl accent doesn’t seem to fit in Pokemon at all. That and there were some moments where the dialogue was not exactly stellar. The line ‘Hey Brock-o’ said by none other than Ash Ketchum made me cringe. Was that line really necessary 4Kids? It doesn’t sound like something Ash (or anyone for that matter) would say.
But aside from that, this episode was entertaining to watch. Just like with Brock, it was great to learn more about Misty’s past and why she left Cerulean City in the first place. It makes the character far more interesting than she was in the games, as she was just basically boss #2 whom was immediately forgotten soon afterward. Same with all the other gym leaders in the game. Unfortunately not every gym leader will get as much attention as Brock and Misty do.