Welcome to Pokemon Catch-Up! Every two weeks, I watch an episode from the Fast Track Viewing List, summarize it, and get you caught up with me. Last time, we got to say goodbye to Primeape after being on the show for only a handful of episodes. Today we get to welcome a brand-new Pokemo into Ash’s team.

Today’s episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 30: “Sparks Fly For Magnemite”

Synopsis

Our heroes make it to Gringey City, an anime-only location which looks like a heavy industrial town.

A few people live there and the ocean smells like sludge. Brock remarks how the pollution has destroyed the environment in Gringey City while Ash is disappointed that he won’t find any Pokemon here.

In the midst of it all, Pikachu doesn’t feel well and almost falls over. Ash catches it and gets a painful shock. Ash dons hi rubber gloves and runs with his Pokemon toward the Pokemon Center.

Team Rocket watches the group enter the building. They starts to say their spiel but gets interrupted by the horrible smell of the sewers. Meowth gives Jessie and James special suits to protect them and urges them to get into the sewer water. When the refuse, Meowth shocks their suits.

Meanwhile, Ash arrived and wakes Nurse Joy up who yawns and reluctantly helps the group. It turns out that Pikachu has a cold.

Meanwhile, a group of Grimer enter a hydro electrical plant, clogging up the generator’s water intake valve. Even Meowth freaks out because no electricity means no oxygen for Jessie and James!

The duo notices quickly.

At the Pokemon center, Nurse Joy warns the group that if they don’t get the power back on, all the Pokemon in intensive care might be in danger.

Ash and his friends leave to take care of business, leaving Pikachu with Nurse Joy. They find Officer Jenny.

She informs them that she can’t get ahold of the power plant. She points them where they need to go when Pikachu stumbles out of the bushes to find them.

In the mean time, Team Rocket makes it out of the sewers safely. They see Ash and his friends run by and Meowth prompts his partners to catch Pikachu. But Jessie and James are still shaken up by the near-drowning they experienced.

Ash and his friends make it to the power plant and it’s completely dark there.

Side note: Now, I just realized this but is this the same power plant as in the games? There is no mention of Gringey City but it almost feels like this is the equivalent. I don’t remember any other episode where Ash and his friends go to a power plant in Indigo League.

They take a look around and notice no one is working at the plant.

 

Misty freaks out because she feels like something is following them. Ash, in his typical fashion, brushes it off and calls Misty a “chicken”. Brock tries to diffuse the situation until he sees a shadow floating behind Ash.

The boy turns around and no one is there. Ash tells his squealing Pikachu to be quiet but…it turns out there is a Magnemite behind i!

Misty immediately blames it for the blackout. Magnemite circles around Pikachu, its eye half closed. It’s…it’s in love with Pikachu! How could that be?

Magnemite seems to really like the electric rodent but Ash’s companion does not return its feelings. The Magnemite leaves and the stinky Grimer show up!

After a few insults from Ash and Misty, a Muk appears from behind the Grimer group.

The Pokedex informs them that Muk’s skin itself is poisonous. The Grimer begin a pursuit of heroes, they round the corner and run into the power plant’s staff. When the Grimer catch up, the group and the staff run into the control room.

Ash demands answers.

It turns out, the Grimer clog up the sea water intake which is necessary to turn the turbine.

Brock is barely able to hold the door behind them close. When Ash and Misty join in, it doesn’t help much and the Pokemon make it into the control room!

The staff members urge them to fight the Grimer so that the turbine can turn back on.

Ash tells Pikachu it’s the only one that can help and it fires off a Thundershock against one of the Grimer. Wait, doesn’t Ash have more than one Pokemon?

The Grimer that fainted gets replaced by two others. Just as the Grimer are about to attack, good ol’ Magnemite makes it back and this time with a good deal of Magneton.

They shock all of the Grimer and the Pokemon go running out of the power plant. The Magneton then clear the sea water intake and the power plant turns back on!

But a Muk is left over.

Pikachu fires a Thundershock but it doesn’t help. Magnemite takes over and two electric Pokemon attack the Muk.

Ash throws his Pokeball and catches it!

Ash gives his victory pose and takes credit for saving the day. Unfortunately, because of Muk, he stinks horribly even through the Pokeball and no one wants to come close to him.

Also, Pikachu is now fine! Pikachu built up too much electricity and became magnetized. When Pikachu fired off all of that electricity, Magnemite lost its interest because Pikachu was no longer magnetized.

Mystery solved!

Team Rocket finally put their plan into motion! They’re in their Gyarados submarine. They turn on their magnet super weapon but only attract Magneton. A lot of Magneton that eventually sink them.

Meanwhile, Misty points out to Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy that hey, they’re living in a really polluted city and should fix that. Brock points out that if they clean up the water and the air, they may just bring the city back to life.

Ash reiterates their point and then the group leaves.

By the way, guess who got to take care of Muk in the end?

And the smell was very unwelcome. Until next time!

I feel like this episode tried really hard to have a lesson on the environment but I just didn’t see it until the end and then it was just too obvious. Hopefully, Pokemon will continue this trend of thematic episodes!

Next episode: Season 1 Episode 32 “The Ninja Poké-Showdown” where Ash faces off against Koga!

Trivia

Other than Ash claiming that he only had Pikachu to help fight against the Grimer, there is no trivia. So instead, here is some trivia on Muk:

  1. Similar to Ponyta and other Pokemon that inflict continuous damage with their bodies, Muk’s poison doesn’t hurt those it chooses not to hurt, hence its ability to hug humans.
  2. Muk is based on water pollution.
  3. it has an Alolan form.
  4. it is one of two shortest named Pokemon along with Mew.
  5. Muk’s name in Japanese is Betbeton which is a combination of betobeto (sticky) and “ton”.