Pokémon Recaps Through Adult Goggles: Episode 5 – Showdown in Pewter City
After watching a VHS tape designed to brainwash kids into loving Pokémon, I felt inclined to revisit the beloved anime series from my childhood. Pokémon: Indigo League, season one of the long running series, is the only one I finished, mostly because Brock left early in season two and the promo talking about it will forever haunt my dreams. I’ll be going through each episode in detail, so if you’ve never seen a solitary minute of this show or you’ve watched ’em all, I invite you to join my Pokémon Journey through yesteryear. Let the recaps begin!
Episode 5: Showdown in Pewter City
The episode begins with our favorite trio of idiots from Team Rocket. They say their entire motto, dig a hole in the ground to trap Ash and company, and cover it up. They immediately forget where it is, fall into the hole, and that’s the end of them. Seriously, they trap themselves. The title card comes up in all caps and you know you’re off to a great start.
Ash and Misty finally escape the Viridian Forest and make it to Pewter City. Here they run into Flint, a guy selling rocks as souvenirs. Some of them appear to be rather expensive. Ash explains he’s a Pokémon trainer so Flint shows him to where the Pokémon Center is. Another Nurse Joy is there in what will be a long line of a money saving techniques for the show. We also learn of the Pokémon League Regional Championships, which requires trainers to beat different gym leaders from several towns and earn their badges as proof of doing so. Flint reappears and laughs at Ash, another running trend, in a weird, uncomfortable and awkward way.
Ash and Misty eat food. Misty tries to help Ash get ready for the big battle, but he is a stubborn douche and doesn’t accept. After his Pokémon are fully healed, he’s off to Pewter Gym. The entrance sign is…a bit fucking wasteful in terms of space management.
Here we are introduced to Brock. Like any good gym leader, he sits in the dark waiting for people to come in. Normal and regular. He insults Ash and Pikachu, then brings out a rock battlefield that nearly crushes them with absolutely no warning. He sends out Onix which just decimates Pikachu in no time at all. Onix uses bind and appears to be breaking every bone in the poor rodent’s body. Pikachu tries to use a thunder attack, but it has no effect. Ash attempts to call it back into a Poké Ball, which is weird considering Pikachu hates them, but it’s…blocked? Can this happen? If so, do you just have to watch them get wrecked and go, “WELL it was blocked so whatever.” Anyway, Ash surrenders of course, defeated as usual.
Flint finds Ash and explains to him that Brock is awesome and cool and talented, but stays in Pewter City because of his younger brothers and sisters. While looking at Brock’s insanely large family, he is shown wearing a dress, apron, and headpiece. It’s unexplained and, if played for laughs, is just bizarrely out of place. It was touching to see him with his brothers and sisters, but the outfit was…just why?
Flint explains their good for nothing father left home to become a Pokémon trainer and never returned. It’s super obvious he’s the drunken idiot father, but whatever. Brock’s mom is also apparently dead, but she isn’t, as she’s in other episodes down the line. Flint comes up with an idea to help Ash train his Pikachu to defeat Brock, even though that’s just not possible with electric type Pokémon. NO STOPPIN’ THAT KIND OF DETERMINATION.
They attach Pikachu to a giant electrical machine while Ash makes the wheel of a hydroelectric plant spin and bring electric currents INTO PIKACHU’S BODY. The Pokémon screams a lot and it KINDA SEEMS like animal cruelty. The machine, the purpose of which is unclear, just keeps having more lights flash on it until the entire room explodes. No one dies, everyone is fine, Pikachu is stronger.
Ash returns to Pewter Gym and Brock insults him right away. He then yells “Two Poké Balls!” and Ash says “Got it!” Sure, why not. This time, Brock starts with Geodude and Ash with Pidgeotto because he’s an idiot who doesn’t understand types. Geodude destroys him through punching a few times with bad animation. Ash sends Pikachu and, breaking all the established rules, he shocks a rock type Pokémon to death, proving that grinding truly does work. Brock sends out Onix, who again just wraps Pikachu up and breaks all his tiny bones. Pikachu does some shocking, but it doesn’t have much effect BECA– USE IT SHOULDN’T. The lightning almost hits everyone else in the room and also breaks lamps and sets them on fire.
Brock eventually feels sorry for the Pokémon and tries to stop the match. Since shit is on fire, the sprinkler system is activated, and Onix cries out in pain because water makes rock types die. Ash seizes the opportunity to tell Pikachu to shock Onix to death, which he does. Ash is surprisingly aware of his cheating ways and refuses to accept the victory, claiming he’ll return to win fair and square.
Brock ruins any lesson Ash could have learned by chasing him down and just giving him the badge. Flint then reveals he is Brock’s dad, and tells him to go out on his adventure while he stays back to watch the kids. Brock comes along with Ash and Misty and they’re all best friends now. Team Rocket shows up at the end and DRILLS out of the ground, somehow, only to be stomped on by Ash, Brock and Misty. They say “we’ve hit rock bottom” and fall into the hole and a tiny piece of you dies.
Join us next time for some Clefairy and Moon Stones!