Oh good, you got it. We're still friends.
Misty reveals herself to be the fourth Sensational Sister, although Lily makes it quite clear that to them Misty is not a sensational sister but merely the "runt". The irony here is that after Misty, Lily is the next youngest of the Sensational Sisters. It's usually the small ones that have the big mouths, isn't it?
According to Lily, Misty left Cerulean City 'pretending' that she wanted to be a Pokémon trainer because she couldn't compare to the Sensational Sisters. Misty blames her return to Cerulean City on Ash Ketchum, who still owes her a bike. Daisy then draws the conclusion so many of us already have a thousand times before, that Misty isn't following Ash because she wants a new bike.
She wants something else.
You know what I'm saying.
No, not Pikachu.
Misty takes the initiative and battles Ash to see if he really deserves a Cascadebadge. (And also to prove to Daisy, Violet and Lily that Ash isn't her boyfriend. Also, that she isn't a quitter and she's just as good as them.) Yeah, she's got issues.
And the most bad-ass shot of the episode-- wait, I've already made that joke before. It's true though, this is a bad-ass shot. It tells us that Misty isn't the whiny scared bug-hating girl she's been made out to be. She's a whiny scared bug-hating gym leader.
Misty informs Ash that the battle will be a 2-on-2 battle from floating platforms in the pool.
Ash tries to send Pikachu out, but it refuses to battle Misty because it considers Misty to be its friend. Ash reluctantly respects Pikachu's wishes and doesn't force it to battle if it doesn't really want to.
"Thanks Pikachu, you're a Pika-Pal!"
Ash calls Butterfree. Misty calls Staryu. Ash uses his Dexter, his Pokédex, to get low-down on Staryu. Dexter informs him that the jewel in the center of Staryu is considered valuable and is sought after by collectors. In the Japanese version of the series, the Pokédex tells Satoshi that Staryu is a hermaphrodite Pokémon. Seriously, I'm not making this up. Look it up, it's pretty outrageous.
Of course, we all know now that Staryu can be both Male and Female since Generation II. Back in the days of Generation I, however...!
Butterfree tackles Staryu, it's a direct hit. Staryu launches itself at Butterfree, which is dodging back and forth. Butterfree tackles Staryu again. And again. Staryu jumps into the water and uses Water Gun, which hits Butterfree. Staryu jumps back up to the floating platform and continues to fire spurts of Water Gun, which Butterfree dodges valiantly.
Butterfree uses Stun Spore. Staryu jumps into the water and washes itself clean of Stun Spore, which isn't a valid tactic outside of the animated series.
"Which side are you clapping for!?"
After a failed Sleep Powder, Butterfree is relentlessly tackled at by Staryu. Eventually, a tackle draws Butterfree into the pool. Ash recalls Butterfree. In it's place, he calls Pidgeotto. Misty recalls Staryu, and calls Starmie, it's evolved form.
What happens next is pretty much the same as before, an perpetual loop of tackling and dodging. Eventually, a well timed Gust forces Starmie towards the closed door of the Gym, where it takes a heavy bashing. It slides to the floor in a weakened state.
Just as Ash is ready to finish off the battle and claim his Cascadebadge, someone crashes the exclusive V.I.P. party.
Ah! Team Rocket! Seeing as the last Team Rocket motto I recited was over a year ago, I feel it is only fitting to once again recite their botched motto in its full glory.
"To protect the world from--" Sod it.
Team Rocket start sucking the water out of the pool, leaving the water Pokémon at a disadvantage and easier to capture. A smart plan. A cunning plan. An ingenious plan.
Ash suddenly realizes that Team Rocket were behind the robbery. He was always a slow boy. I remember him from when I was at school. Ash would have such problems with logic puzzles. Some mornings, it seemed as though he would stare out of the window for hours, his imagination drifting into the endless space above the trees in the distance.
After a dispute over the ownership of the water, Meowth decides to return the water to its rightful owners.
Oh no! It looks like Seel is doomed!
Pikachu gets pulled in too, for convenience's sake. I love Ash's expression in the following screen capture.
Ash then realizes that water conducts electricity! Seeing as Pikachu's in the water, and Team Rocket are sucking up all the water, he can defeat Team Rocket with a well timed thunderbolt. Pikachu has the honours.
Team Rocket should start wearing rubber suits.
"It's times like these that make me want to go straight." Ah, for a moment, Team Rocket were respectable villains with a clever plan. Once again, they were thwarted by a ten year-old boy and his trusty pet mouse. Such is the way the Pokémon world works.
"Now I know what it's like to be all washed up!" "We'll never come clean!"
Or be funny.
When did Seel get out?
Pikachu's still in the water! Ash, do something!
HOORAY! Pikachu is saved. Team Rocket have been thwarted! And Brock missed the chance of a lifetime to see three ladies get wet.
And the worst joke of the episode award goes to Violet...
"You could say your match had to be postponed, due to drain."
Despite not having a chance to finish their match, the Daisy gives Ash a Cascadebadge anyway.
Misty complains, but Daisy puts her straight. Not only did Pikachu rescue them from the marvellously wicked Team Rocket, but if Pikachu had battled from the very beginning Misty could not have possibly won. Ultimately, that depends as to what type of move Hidden Power Misty's Staryu and Starmie have, but Hidden Power was first introduced in Generation III, so this entire point I'm making is moot.
"And so, Ash earns his second Pokémon trainer badge."
Ash and Misty have a little argument, Brock returns, Misty decides to continue tagging along, the screen pans up to the setting sun.
And we still don't know where Brock went, but it remains a mystery to this day and it drives me insane thinking about it.
Next time, we'll learn at what level Pidgey evolves.