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Bulbasaur...the Ambassador


This turned out to be quite an original episode, and a well-done send-off for Bulbasaur. The intro was funny, how Brock and Misty stopped one milk can each, but another knocked Ash over. Carter seemed like a nice guy, but for once the writers got the new-character-of-the-day out of the way quickly. This was also a rare episode which didn't focus on the trio, rather most of the screen time was back at Professor Oak's.
When Ash phoned Prof. Oak, Delia's Mr. Mime answered, then Tracey and Delia showed up...we haven't seen those three in a while. When Delia mentioned trouble in the research garden, it got Bulbasaur's attention right away, which was a foreshadowing as to what would happen in the episode. The explanation of what was happening there even introduced Jumpluff to the anime. When Ash agreed to send Bulbasaur to help resolve the dispute, it didn't show him returning it to its Pokeball before putting it in the machine. That was possibly just due to time constraints, but it seemed weird to see Bulbasaur out of its Pokeball one second, and being placed in the machine in its ball the next.
Heracross' reunion with Bulbasaur was funny, it still likes to suck on Bulbasaur's bulb. We even got to see all three of Tracey's Pokemon again as they helped break up a fight between the Grass and Water types. Tracey got quite a bit of screen time in this episode, good news for fans of him. I liked how Bulbasaur finally ended the fray by shooting a Solarbeam straight up. *That* showed them who was boss.
TR didn't do too much in this episode, just followed along. At least they had a funny scene when they accidentally locked themselves in the blimp's freezer:

Jessie: "I'm so cold I can't feel my nose!"
James: "I'm so cold I can't feel my toes!"
Meowth: "And I'm so cold I wish I wore clothes!"

So Bulbasaur did manage to solve the initial feud between the Hoppip/Skiploom/Jumpluff and the other Grass-types, but the Water and Grass types were still fighting. I liked how Bulbasaur and Marill found a new underground spring as a location for a new lake, then Bulbasaur called in the other Pokemon to help dig. Bulbasaur's plan was great, to have the Water Pokemon soften the bedrock so the Sandslash could dig through it. Seeing all the Pokemon work together to pull out that giant boulder was cool, I guess Bulbasaur's vines are really strong. When Bulbasaur jumped down to save that Oddish that was about to get crushed by that boulder, there was quite a bit of suspense. The first time I saw this episode, I already knew what was going to happen, but the suspense was built up very well, leaving the viewers wondering whether Bulbasaur actually got crushed. The flashback of Ash capturing it and then the great times they had in battles was really well done, as was the music which really fit well. Turned out Bulbasaur had learned Dig just in time to burrow underground to safety.
Tracey's comment about not knowing Bulbasaur were capable of learning Dig (they aren't) was interesting. I liked how Professor Oak explained it:

"Remember this, there are times in a crisis when we are able to call upon skills we never knew we possessed."

Seeing how the other Pokemon had come to accept and highly respect Bulbasaur was cool, as was Ash's decision to let it stay there. It was really hard for him to do, which proves once again to any bashers that he does love all his Pokemon. And I liked the scene at the end with Bulbasaur solving that minor apple fight, then looking up at the sky, obviously thinking of Ash, the same way Ash had thought of Bulbasaur earlier.

As mentioned, this was an excellent send-off episode for Bulbasaur. What I liked most was that he didn't leave it with someone else (or somewhere else) as he's done with other Pokemon, but he still has access to Bulbasaur whenever he wants. Without spoiling too much, he does in fact use it later.

Geodude's rating: 9 out of 10

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