S01E24 Pokemon Catch-Up – “Haunter Versus Kadabra”

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome back to Pokemon Catch-Up. We’ve got quite an episode on our hands today! But before we get into that, if this is your first time reading through Pokemon Catch-Up, this is a series of anime synopsis following along the Fast Track Viewing List. It’s a list of episodes that are important to the plot of the entire series and cuts out all the useless fluff.

Because of the numbering issues, I want to mention that if you want to look up any episode and watch it on your own, make sure to look at the titles, not the episode numbers.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Today’s Episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 24: “Haunter Versus Kadabra”


This episode is not a standalone so let me give you a little bit of background. In episode 22, Ash battled and lost against Sabrina. In an effort to get an edge in the next battle against her, Ash and his friends seek out the Ghost Pokemon at the Lavender Tower. As Ash leaves yet another adventure behind him, Haunter catches up with him and agrees to join him in his journey.

The episode starts out with the gang trying to get used to Haunter. Brock doesn’t take to it but Misty warms up to it very quickly until Haunter uses Lick on her and paralyzes her.

Ash explains his situation with Sabrina to Haunter and asks it for help. Haunter agrees and the group makes it back to the gym the next morning.


Ash recalls his last battle with Sabrina. And don’t bother looking through Pokemon Catch-Up, I didn’t cover it. To summarize it, Sabrina sent out Kadabra who turned Pikachu’s lightning against itself and then smacked it around the gym.


Ash, Misty, and Pikachu refuse to come in because last time, Sabrina turned them into dolls and threw a bowling ball at them. Haunter laughs the battle off and is pretty confident.

Ash calls out his Kanto starters and they make their way into gym. Ash challenges the Gym Leader.


But Sabrina doesn’t talk directly to Ash. She has a little doll that speaks for her while she sits mute on her throne.

She accepts the match but warns that if Ash loses again, he’ll have to stay and play with her. Ash calls out Haunter but…Haunter disappeared. Even Kadabra looks around for it.

Sabrina threatens to shove Ash and his friends back into the “toybox” if he doesn’t send a Pokemon out. And all of his Pokemon run away.

Ash calls quits and they all run for it.

Sabrina closes all the exits and Sabrina’s doll transforms Brock and Misty into dolls.


She tries to transform Ash and his Pokemon but a man teleports in front of Ash. And then teleports away. Sabrina wonders who it is.

Ash, his Pokemon, and the mysterious man reappear on a bench in a park. He tells Ash the story of Sabrina, of who she was before she changed.

She was an adept psychic, an obsessed one at that. She destroyed toys and other objects, even pushed away her parents, and demolished her large home. She pushed everyone away.


She developed a split personality. She became a power-hungry psychic trainer and her other half became a little girl who was desperate to make friends. The doll that Sabrina holds is that second half, the rejected part of herself.

Ash recognizes the picture from Sabrina’s playroom (again, different episode). He puts two and two together and realizes that the only explanation is that the man –


is the photographer! The man’s voice-over, however, tells us that he’s her father.

He informs Ash that the only way to save his friends is by beating Sabrina and the only way to do that is by finding Haunter.

In the meantime, Team Rocket is plotting yet another scheme. This time, they plan to use a an ancient secret weapon. A fish net to catch Pikachu!


Jessie and James praise each other for creating such a good plan when Haunter shows up, scares them, and makes them fall from a very tall building. They hang on by their nails. They struggle to figure out how to save themselves and bargain over who should let go and who shouldn’t.

Haunter reappears and starts making funny faces at Jessie. She tries not to laugh but then she cracks and they fall twenty or so stories creating a large hole in the sidewalk the size of their bodies.

Ash runs into Haunter when it descends back to the streets and pleads with him to help him save his friends.


Haunter agrees again.

Brock and Misty are stuck in a doll land, sitting as dolls in a dollhouse. They wonder what will happen when another voice chimes in, a woman sitting beside them. She’s Sabrina’s mother!

A girl’s laughter can be heard and Sabrina’s little-self is excited to play some games. Misty tries to challenge Sabrina to a match but Sabrina refuses.


The exchange is interrupted by Ash who challenges Sabrina again, this time with Haunter by his side.

Sabrina sends out Kadabra for their one-on-one battle. Ash tries to call out Haunter but Haunter disappeared again! The hero collapses on the ground in exasparation.

Pikachu steps up and accepts the challenge. It doesn’t want Ash to become a doll again (which makes Ash all teary-eyed).

The match starts.


Pikachu uses Thundershock but Kadabra uses teleport to evade the attack. It then uses a Psybeam to nearly knock Pikachu out. The Pokemon counters with a Thunderbolt. And it hits!


Kadabra uses Recover. Ash’s Haunter reappears in front of Sabrina and starts laughing. Sabrina’s dad teleports next to Ash and explains to Sabrina that Haunter is not battling and it’s not Ash’s Pokemon.

It starts doing all kinds of faces, swallowing its eyes, pulling out a bomb from its mouth and exploding in front of Sabrina. And Sabrina starts laughing!


The older Sabrina laughs heartily and Sabrina’s dad explains that she had never laughed like that in her entire life. Ash puts two and two together. If he had known Sabrina since she was little, then he must be — her baby photographer, too!

Ash gets frustrated by the fact that Haunter abandoned him and the fight. He’ll become a doll for sure! But on closer look, Kadabra is laughing right along with everyone!

The little-girl Sabrina disappears and Misty and Brock become full human beings. Sabrina’s dad declares Ash the winner since Kadabra is no longer able to fight.


As Ash and his friends leave the gym, Sabrina is reunited with her parents and Haunter stays behind.

They wish the heroes a good journey. Ash has his Marsh Badge and as always, Ash wonders if he deserves his badge. His friends reassure him.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is getting buried alive in cement.


But that’s it! The group decides to head toward Celadon City which has the nearest Pokemon Gym. I wonder what kind of adventures they’ll encounter on the way.

Well, we’ll see in episode 25 (or 24 on Netflix): “Primeape Goes Bananas”


Last time, I decided to include a section on Trivia so I figured I’d keep that up!

  1. One of the criteria for this episode showing up in the Fast Track Viewing list was that Haunter was released by Ash but in reality, Ash never actually caught or battled with the Pokemon. Even Sabrina mentions that Haunter is Ash’s Pokemon.
  2. The Marsh Badge is the 6th badge in the games but 4th badge in the anime
  3. Brock told Ash that Haunter might be controlling him which might be an interesting bit in canon and spawn fan theories had it not been a dub-only edit
  4. While the episode name suggests that Haunter battled Kadabra, the two never face off
  5. Jessie mentions that Albert Einstein invented the light bulb when in reality he didn’t.
  6. Ash wins yet another Gym Badge via a technicality
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