S01E16 Pokemon Catch-Up – “Pokemon Shipwreck”

Hello, hello, Puclonians! Welcome (back?) to Pokemon Catch-up. Today, we’re taking a quick break from the Pokemon Fast Track Viewing List, a succinct list of only the most-important-ever Pokemon episodes that gets you from zero to current with the Pokemon Anime. Unlike the other episodes in the Catch-Up series, this episode did not make it onto the list. Episode 15 was included due to Ash (temporarily) trading his Butterfree for a Raticate.

The episode ended on a cliffhanger and Episode 16 (the sequel) is never mentioned. Personally, I want to know what happens and how this story ends so I decided to write an anime synopsis on it.

Last episode, our heroes boarded the St. Anne and battled Team Rocket (the organization) as it tried to steal all the Pokemon off the ship. Ash, Misty, and Brock battled them alongside the other passenger trainers to secure a victory. Unfortunately, the battled caused the ship to spring a leak. Most of the passengers made it off the ship okay except for Team Rocket (the nefariously comical trio) and the trio of trainers that we know and love.

Today’s Episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 16: “Pokemon Shipwreck”


It’s morning after the shipwreck and a Police boat lingers on the very spot where the battle took place. Officer Jenny narrates and informs us that there were five passengers that did not make it off the ship.

She holds a bouquet of flowers in honor of their memory and throws them into the sea. She salutes to them, a trumpet plays, and a whole guard of Police officers follow suit.

The flowers descend deep down. Is this the end of our heroes?

Of course not! Ash wakes up on a couch to find himself on St. Anne and upside down. After Misty and Brock inform him of that fact, he falls to the ground right on top of Pikachu.

The boy looks out the window to see the bottom of the ocean surrounded by fish. Camera zooms out and we see that St. Anne is actually perched up on top of a rock jutting up from a deep trench.

If you’ve seen the movie Poseidon, then you know exactly what’s going on. If not, here’s the gist.

St. Anne flipped upside down before sinking. That allowed the air to be “trapped” under the hull. It looks like the ship was heavy enough to still sink to the bottom of the ocean while keeping that “trapped” air intact thus allowing our heroes (and villains) to survive and have oxygen.

In the meantime, we’re greeted by a tropical island where Jessie and James are sunbathing.

Did they safely make it off the ship to enjoy this vacation? Nope! They are awoken from their hallucination by the stovetop in the ship’s kitchen going off and lunging flames at the duo. A broken water pipe puts the fires out.

Meowth explains to the two that the ship capsized while Jessie and James were sleeping. Desperate to leave, Jessie calls out Ekans who uses Acid on the floor in order for them to find an escape route.

Unfortunately for them, a geyser of water shoots out and quickly fills the hallway where they exited from the kitchen.

Ash, Misty, and Brock try to figure where to go on their end and send out a Goldeen into the depths of the sunken part of the ship. It comes back with the drowning Team Rocket.

The Team and our heroes call out their Pokemon ready to fight. But their match is interrupted by the ship nearly tipping and sinking further into the ocean.

As Ash and the others are pinned to the wall, Ash calls out for the Pokemon to run to the other side of the ship, trying to regain balance.

Misty tells all of them to call back their Pokemon so that ship no longer threatens to fall over. “No battles for now,” Misty tells them and they all shake hands. Misty takes charge of the affairs and as a side note, her leadership skills really shine in this episode. She’s really smart and really decisive while the others struggle to stay sane.

Misty informs the group that she built a St. Anne model once and knows her way around the ship as a result. They will climb to the bottom (now top) of the ship, cut a hole in the hull, and swim upward.

Brock calls out his Onix which creates a stairway to the floor above them.

They climb up and find themselves in a dark hallway.

Ash calls out his Charmander and they travel with some limited visibility. They head to the engine room but find themselves in a large room on fire with stairs broken.

Ash asks Pikachu to shock him and as Pikachu does, Ash gets an idea to use Bulbasaur’s Vine Whip to create a bridge the group can cross. Also, don’t try this at home, please: the electroshock, and using vines to cross a burning chasm inside a capsized ship.

James has a breakdown over having to cross the fiery inferno but Jessie slaps some sense into him. Ash gets them across with Bulbasaur’s help.

The boy then calls out Charmander who melts a perfect little door into the hull. As he’s doing so, Misty advises everyone to grab hold of a water Pokemon. Charmander finishes and a rush of water quickly starts to fill the hallway.

Misty and Brock tie themselves to a Starmie and Goldeen respectively.

Ash uses his Squirtle and the group makes it out into the ocean where their water Pokemon carry them to the surface.

Meanwhile, Jessie, James and Meowth are still stuck in the ship. None of them have a water Pokemon…or do they?

James boasts about his genius and releases his Magikarp. Both Jessie and Meowth bow down before him in awe.

The trio tie themselves to the magical carp, the king of all carp; however, it doesn’t carry them anywhere. It splashes around in the water uselessly.

The opening in the hull opens wide and the ship sinks into the depths below.

Ash, Misty, and Brock stand on a floating platform, surveying the wreckage. Brock thinks for a second on the idea that Team Rocket might be drowning in the oceans below and tells the group, “There’s nothing more we can do” without having really done anything.

In a Noah-esque fashion, Ash calls out his Pidgeotto. He sends it to find land.

As it flies over the waters, it stumbles upon Team Rocket!

I’m really glad they made it. Pidgeotto takes them back to our heroes and they lament Team Rocket’s fate.

As a side note, I’m trying to remember all the water Pokemon on the team. Misty used a Starmie and a Goldeen to get herself and Brock to the surface. Ash used a Squirtle. I believe that Misty still has a Staryu and possibly a Seal. This means that if she had not left the boat so hastily, she could have prevented any injury to Team Rocket. Or at least save one of them.

Brock, not having even checked any of their pulses, decides that Team Rocket deserves an ocean burial and the trio attempt push the other trio from the floating platform. That is, until Team Rocket wakes up and gives them a mean look. Brock is really taking on that dark role in this episode.

Night falls and the group sleeps peacefully on the platform.

Including Magikarp.

The group complains about the lack of food. They all start to look toward Magikarp and fantasize about various dishes they would make out of the poor Pokemon.

Will the fish be enough to feed everyone? Meowth attacks and break its teeth on Magikarp’s tough scales.

The only one sitting back is Misty who knows that Magikarp is all skin and bones.

Angry, James yells at the Pokemon and kicks it off the boat. Note that this is probably the one and only time we see James physically assault a Pokemon or generally be mean to it. Out of everyone in the series, James is usually the most caring and gentle.

Anyways, the Magikarp starts to glow in the water and in a dazzling flash, it evolves into a Gyarados! And an angry one at that.

Misty calls out her Pokemon (three water Pokemon so we now know for sure that she could have saved either Jessie or James).

She puts a harness on the Pokemon and commands them to haul them away as quickly as possible. A humorous chase takes place.

The Gyarados stops to roar loudly. Misty remarks that sailors tell myths about this behavior. It might be Dragon Rage! Several other Gyarados spring up from the ocean and the group of angry Pokemon start to swim in a circle.

Dragon Rage, Gyarados’s ultimate attack, creates a large water cyclone that launches our heroes, and Team Rocket, far away.

But where? We’ll never know.

Episode 17 is not on the Fast Track list either and I won’t be covering it. Albeit technically a “sequel” to this episode and episode 15, there is no real merit in covering it. Nothing that happened in episode 15 and 16 really matters in episode 17 and episode 17 is uneventful itself.

As a quick summary, in episode 17, the group lands on an island with very large (robotic) Pokemon. The island turns out to be an amusement park created by none other than Giovanni called Pokemon Land. They make it off the island and arrive at Porta Vista.

So until next time when we watch episode 21 called “Bye Bye Butterfree”.

Skip to toolbar