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Showdown in Pewter City


So here we go, Ash's first Gym battle. I like how Misty pestered Ash through the episode saying that it'd be much easier to borrow some of her Pokemon for the match. I guess that in itself can be considered a semi-hint about her feelings for him, since she mentioned it several times and really wanted to help him. At the start of the episode, we got to see TR try a pitfall trap for the first time...and forget where it was for the first time. ^_^
I never did understand why Ash didn't scan Onix and Geodude with the Pokedex, since he does that for most Pokemon making their first appearance in the anime. Anyway, Ash lost badly to Brock the first time, who by the way, seemed quite intimidating in this episode. Compared to Ash's team at the time, his Onix especially was a force to be reckoned with, which is cool because Onix is one of my favorite Pokemon. The initial loss prompted the mysterious Flint to help Ash out by powering up Pikachu with a hydro-powered generator, only the river was dry so Ash had to turn that big wheel himself. Meowth had already recognized Pikachu's above-average power previously, but maybe this bit of added juice helped Pikachu permanently, not just for that match.
Anyway, during the rematch, I understand that Ash's team was at an extreme type disadvantage and all, but did the writers have to have Pikachu successfully shock Geodude? That wasn't supposed to have worked. Maybe it was because it was off the ground, but in this case probably not since it successfully Thunderbolted Onix too, who was on the ground. Oh well I guess the plot had to advance somehow, so they took the lazy way out...or maybe at the time the writers weren't sure how closely they were going to stick to the games as far as type matchups went, or they were just demonstrating Pikachu's unusual power...anyway, whatever. Brock ended up halting the match anyway because he said he didn't want to hurt Pikachu, and then the sprinkler system that Pikachu had unintentionally shocked earlier went off, soaking Onix and giving Ash the chance to finish the match. It was funny how Ash *thought* he was dreaming that Brock's brothers and sisters were stopping him, and Misty told him to open his eyes because they actually were. Then Ash showed a little bit of maturity by voluntarily forfeiting the match because the sprinkler thing was unfair, much to Misty's disappointment. ^_^
Then Brock caught up to Ash, gave him the badge, and said that Ash really had won both in battle and in being kind to all Pokemon. Then he revealed his real dream of becoming the world's best Pokemon breeder. Flint showed up and revealed himself as Brock's father, and it was funny how he expected Brock to spill his guts and talk about his feelings toward his father for being gone all this time, but all Brock did was start giving him reminders on how to take care of the kids. It was a funny scene at the end too with Ash and Brock walking ahead talking and Misty running behind yelling about her bike. This episode also showed two of the rare references to money in the anime: Flint's joke about the $2 charge for sitting on his rocks; and Misty walking out, leaving Ash with the $11.50 bill.
Very good episode. We were introduced to Brock and his Pokemon, got some background on him, met Flint, saw Ash get his first badge, and saw Brock "join the party", as your typical RPG game would say. There was a stupid dub error dealing with Brock's mother, but I won't say what it was in case someone reading this doesn't want it spoiled. The rest of you know what I'm referring to.

Geodude's rating: 8.5 out of 10

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