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Pokemon Emergency!

The second episode of the anime was just as good as the first. So many things were introduced here, to name a few: Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, the Pokemon Center, the Pokedex doubling as the trainer's ID, Team Rocket makes their first appearance, we saw Ash use the videophone for the first time, Delia made her first and only mention of Ash's father...
The Viridian City Officer Jenny was cool. She was the first one to appear in the anime, and she introduced the "friendly yet ditzy" character of the Jennys in general. Brock said in a later episode that he could always tell the Jennys apart because each had her own distinguishing feature, so I guess for the Viridian Jenny it'd be her wild driving. ^_^  The episode also introduced the concept of the love between a typical trainer and his Pokemon. Nurse Joy was initially mad at Ash because she thought the reason for Pikachu's condition was that it had battled for too long, and that Ash shouldn't have let that happen. So even though trainers train their Pokemon to fight, they also have to recognize each Pokemon's limits and not leave them in battle for longer than they can handle.
Team Rocket really seemed more threatening in this episode than they turned out later in the anime. In fact it seems Jessie, James, and Meowth started out in the anime having a fairly high rank in the organization, but gradually got severely demoted as they got obsessed with catching Pikachu. Meowth's style of talking has changed since this episode too, it was only in the early days that he actually said "Meowth!" occasionally while talking.
Then of course Misty caught up to Ash at the Pokemon Center and the stage continued to be set for the *supposed* reason she would travel with Ash as long as she has. I like how they portrayed her in that confrontation too. We didn't know her too well at the time, so it was easy to see her fierce temper, but love for Pokemon, as she really softened when Ash said that Pikachu wasn't doing very well.
We got to see and hear TR's motto for the first time here too. With the different voices they had at the beginning, their motto sounds almost strange in the first few episodes now, since I'm so used to hearing it with the current voices. Misty stalling for time by sending out and returning Goldeen was weird but funny. It was also the first time we saw any of the "good guys" send out a Pokemon. In these first few episodes, they said, "Pokeball, go!" when either sending out a Pokemon or tossing a Pokeball. Now that phrase is only used for the latter, while "[Insert Pokemon name], I choose you!" or some variant of that is usually said when sending out a Pokemon. Just an example of how some of the conventions of the anime got established.
Pikachu attempting to tell Ash that it wanted more power was cool, and when TR was hanging from their balloon after the attack, they decided to go after Pikachu because of its unusual strength. I found it kind of amusing how even though the Pokemon Center was destroyed, the computer was still intact and usable. They must have had a backup computer in storage or something. ^_^ At the end, we also got introduced to Misty's fear of Bug Pokemon, and seeing her hide behind Ash was cute.
Since this was another great episode to set the stage for the rest of the anime, I can't resist giving it a top score as well.

Geodude's rating: 10 out of 10