It’s time for another episode of Pokemon Catch-Up! As always, we’re using the Fast Track Viewing List to chug through only the most important episodes of Pokemon and get back up to speed with the current anime.
While we are a long ways away, I feel like there has already been a pay off. With the Pokemon – I Choose You! movie, we got to see bits and pieces of several episodes that we have covered so far, completely redone.
Before we move onto today’s episode (and you can guess by the title what happens in this episode), let me remind you that the numbering system used in the list is the canon numbering system while Netflix’s (and possibly other providers’ lists) use a slightly different system. Make sure to look at the episode’s title before watching!
Today’s Episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 25: “Primeape Goes Bananas”
Last time, Ash and his friends left for Celadon City in search for the Gym Leader there. But before we get there, there are still things to do.
The episode opens with Professor Oak enjoying a cup of tea when his phone rings and Ash’s Krabby brings it to him. Well, what do you know, it’s Ash!
Ash shares his badge collection, he’s got four badges! Too bad Oak isn’t too impressed. Apparently, all of Ash’s rivals have already earned five badges and have passed through Celadon City already!
Quick note here: we know that Gary is one of those rivals (and Oak tells us that, too) but what you might not remember is that in a much earlier episode, we hear a reference to the original three Palette Town trainers that picked up their classic Kanto starters. I’m glad to hear a callback to it and I’m glad I can share this little piece of information with an audience.
And Gary has already captured thirty Pokemon! Ash and Krabby say hi to each other and Oak shares that he’s into poetry. He prompts Ash to catch more Pokemon.
Ash returns from the phone booth pretty down to find his friends sharing “donuts” as pictured above. Misty prompts him to have one if he’s having a bad day.
Our hero shares his laments but his friends try to calm him. He has to do things his own way. Quality over quantity, they say. But all Ash hears is “Catch MORE Pokemon!”
It’s at that point that Mankey jumps out from behind a bush and runs over. The group offers it a jelly donut.
The Mankey eats it and Ash decides to throw a Pokeball at the Pokemon. But Mankey throws a donut at the Pokeball. Mankey uses Thrash and runs straight at the group who starts running away.
Brock throws a donut back at Mankey in order to distract it but Mankey breaks it apart with its fists. The Mankey finally catches up with the group but instead of attacking Misty, the person closest to her, it goes straight for Ash and takes his iconic hat!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket hatch their plans and have their usual moment where they dream big. Meowth tries to crush that dream quickly but, presented a ball of yarn, he is otherwise occupied.
Ash wakes up from being beaten up and to see Mankey wear his hat and mock him. Misty offers that he should buy another hat; however, Ash explains that he won it at Official Pokemon League Expo.
We get a quick commercial for the official Pokemon League hat.
Team Rocket reveals itself to Team Rocket when James, uncharacteristically, kicks Mankey. The Team does its usual intro and Brock warns them about the Mankey who evolves into a much bigger Primeape.
Team Rocket scoffs at the Pokemon and they call out a Koffing and an Ekans. Unfortunately, Primeape doesn’t care about their wish to steal Pikachu and so it throw Jessie across the road and into a huge jutting rock.
The fight gets redirected at Primeape instead of Ash and his friends. Primeape, obviously, wins and stops Pikachu’s attempt to steal the hat back.
Pikachu fires off a Thundershock but that just makes Primeape even madder.
Brock reasons that Primeape is actually either scared of the group or is looking for attention because it’s lonely. After all, Ash tried to catch it and James kicked it. He approaches Primeape but gets beaten down immediately.
Primeape launches another attack at Ash and Misty. They run and Team Rocket follows. The two heroes split up and the Pokemon follows Ash.
Brock catches up. Geez, this is episode is one huge chase scene. There’s a ton of smashing rocks, screaming, and all kinds of things.
Team Rocket prepares for Primeape by digging a hole for Primeape to fall into. But they catch Ash instead! Ash scrambles to run away but then has a flashback to his discussion with Professor Oak. He needs to catch more Pokemon to become a Pokemon Master.
He calls out Squirtle who uses Water Gun. That makes Primeape angrier. Ash calls out Bulbasaur who uses Razor Leaf. Primeape deflects. Charmander attacks but Primeape dodges and counter-attacks the Pokemon.
This makes Charmander angry. It uses Rage.
And strikes back! The two Pokemon pit their anger against each other. Primeape punches and Charmander uses Flamethrower. Before Primeape is hit, Pikachu jumps up and gets Ash’s hat back!
Ash throws his Pokeball. It rolls back and forth for a little while and DING! Ash just caught a Primeape!
He lets Primeape out when Team Rocket rears its head again. They blast off almost immediately when Primeape punches them into the air.
Ash welcomes the Pokemon to his team but Primeape punches Ash in the face. He calls them back.
The episode is a little light on trivia but let’s get through it:
- Team Rocket’s lovely nickname for Ash (“twerp”) is used for the first time in the dub
- Charmander uses a move called “Rage” in this episode, and never again afterward