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Here Comes the Squirtle Squad

Hmph, at the beginning of this one, the trio actually fell into a pitfall that wasn't dug by Team Rocket, hence introducing the Squirtle Squad. The little showdown thing between Pikachu and the leader of the Squirtle Squad was funny, while the rest of the gang rushed their injured teammate away. The trio found out from Officer Jenny (who, we found, had lots of identical relatives, just like the Nurse Joys) that the Squirtle were deserted by their previous trainers and now caused trouble all around town. We then saw Team Rocket spying on them. James and Meowth just wanted lunch while Jessie wanted to think of their next Pikachu-snatching plan. I like her line: "Am I the only member of this team who thinks world domination is more important than what's for lunch?" And then of course her stomach growled too. ^_^
When the Squad captured TR (funny concept in this episode -- Pokemon catching humans), they got the idea for Meowth to try to gain their trust to trick them into catching Pikachu. The conversation about Jessie and James being Meowth's pets was hilarious, I actually have a sound clip from it that I found online ages ago: click here. When the Squad did capture the trio, it wasn't before Pikachu had gotten injured by that Goldeen. After some convincing, the lead Squirtle allowed Ash to run to town for a Super Potion, on the condition that if he wasn't back by noon the next day the Squad would dye Misty's hair purple. (I heard that in the original version they threatened to *kill* Misty, which explains the vision of her falling into a black hole that Ash had when he got back to find them no longer tied up.) The broken bridge and fall-into-the-river scenes were good, but not entirely necessary IMO. I guess they were there to build suspense and make people wonder if Ash would get back in time though. Ash would've been back a lot sooner if it wasn't for Gary, who unwittingly KOed him by opening the shop door in his face, walking by without even noticing, that was kinda funny. The weapons TR used when they stole those flash bombs (heh..and floss) from the store were weird, to say the least. They said they wer ice guns, but James' looked more like some kind of assault rifle. Funny how everyone in the store pointed their guns at Ash when he entered right after TR had left, yet the later Dratini episode was banned because the warden was waving a gun around...weird. Odd to see the same store selling both guns and trainer supplies, but it looked like your stereotypical "general store" so I guess it was a small town. Anyway, Officer Jenny vouched for Ash and brought him back to the cave. Charmander led the way through the back entrance to the cave, only to find that nobody was in the main part of the cave where they were all tied up before! They were actually outside, so when Ash found them he was relieved to see Misty OK (heh...and still with her red hair), and found that the Squad was bluffing.
TR attacked with their flash bombs, and everyone ran for cover back inside the cave. But oops, the lead Squirtle was flipped on its back from one of the blasts and couldn't get up! I think even Ash-bashers have to admit that even in early Kanto, he was completely selfless when it came to Pokemon, in this case diving on top of Squirtle to protect it, and telling it to go save itself. But Squirtle wasn't really injured per se, it just couldn't get up, so it carried Ash out of the way in thanks. ^_^
Ash and Squirtle then confronted TR, and Squirtle blasted them off with Water Gun, saving Pikachu in the process. Then Ash got the idea to have the Squad combine their Water Guns to fight the fire that the flash bombs had caused. The Squad earned commendations from Officer Jenny for their efforts and were named the town firefighters, so that solved the problem of the troublemakers. I like how at the end, the lead Squirtle was following the trio along the road, and when Ash asked if it wanted to come, it finally took off its shades to reveal its shining eyes ^_^ and joined the group.
The weapon stuff in this episode was kinda strange for several reasons, and the Squad's thread could've been something a little more serious than dying Misty's hair, but the episode was very good overall, and Ash obtained his sixth Pokemon in Squirtle.

Geodude's rating: 8.5 out of 10