An excellent continuation to the Lugia saga (I consider
the previous episode
to be the first one
in the saga) where a lot happened. The identity of the mystery Pokemon was
revealed, we got to see Richie again for the first time since the Indigo
Plateau, we got to see Butch and Cassidy again, and two new Pokemon were
introduced to the anime.
Many people don't like Richie but I think he's cool. When they encountered
the young boy Oliver and his Lanturn, however, I thought it was kind of odd
that Richie was the only one who was suspicious of Oliver's poor coverup
job. Oliver was hiding a baby Lugia, trying to protect it from harm.
Seeing Jessie and James sneak into TR's underwater facility by wearing the
regular black TR uniforms was a funny concept. They already are in Team Rocket
but their low rank would probably get them kicked out if they were discovered.
I thought Professor Namba was evil (when he explained his plans) but funny:
TR grunt: "What are your orders sir?"
Namba: "The same thing I always order! Fish sticks!"
This episode marked the revival of the Jessie vs Cassidy rivalry with the
way Jessie reacted when Cassidy (who didn't recognize her in her disguise)
told her to go get Namba something to eat, and to bring her something while
she was at it.
Later, it was a cool touch of continuation when first Team Rocket, then later
Ash said that they recognized Lugia from the Orange Islands (from the events
in Pokemon the Movie 2000). That mechanical Lugia looked cheap and an obvious
fake. Our heroes didn't notice at first, but I guess they realized as it
got closer or as they got a better look. Then Butch and Cassidy appeared,
not knowing J&J were there in their sub, and said their motto. That was
interesting because it showed that B&C don't just say their version of
the motto to annoy J&J as some might think. Luka then rammed their sub
with her boat, trying to chase them away...and called Cassidy by name?
That was interesting...she either was close enough to hear the motto or knew
Cassidy somehow...or maybe it was a dub mistake. Anyway J&J's quote was
Jessie: "Wasn't that Cassidy and what's-his-name?"
James: "It's Butch, he's a little sensitive about that."
I thought that during the battles between our heroes and Butch/Cassidy, as
well as Butch/Cassidy vs Jessie/James, the animators could have been a little
more specific as to where the Pokemon were standing/leaping from instead
of using that generic colored streaks background. After all, there was water
between the sub and land in the first battle, as well as water between the
two boats in the other. It would have been nice to see the Pokemon battling
while still staying on the boats and trying to not fall off and so on, but
the battles were pretty good anyway. Those battles also introduced Richie's
Pupitar, Cruise, to the anime. The episode ended with a cliffhanger, with
Butch and Cassidy successfully stealing Silver, the baby Lugia. That was
a great way to build anticipation for the next episode.