Hello there again and welcome back to Pokemon Catch-Up where I summarize an episode from the Fast Track Viewing List every two weeks. Whether you’re here for nostalgia or to truly catch up, I hope you enjoy today’s episode where Ash finally makes it to Celadon City.

As always, let me remind you that the episode number is an official one; however, it may not match numbering on whatever service you want to use to watch it. So instead, check the episode title!

Today’s episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 26: “Pokemon Scent-Sation!”

Synopsis

Ash and his friends finally make it to Celadon City, a sprawling metropolis, known for its good scents.

Right off the bat, Brock smells a wonderful scent and follows it to a perfume store where he finds several girls chatting. Then, they find themselves staring at Misty who was attracted by the same scent into the store.

She and Pikachu try out a few fragrances and Misty tries to buy one. Ash stops her because, in his opinion, perfumes are a waste of money!

 

It’s none other than the….manager! Ash explains to her that perfumes turn guys into zombies and are rip-offs. But the manager defends her product and tells Ash to leave. Her employees literally kick him out and Ash heads out to the gym which looks a lot like Vileplume.

But when he tries to enter, the gym attendants don’t let him because of his comments at the perfume shop. It turns out, the Gym is the supplier for the perfume store. They close the door on him and that’s that.

Meanwhile, Jessie and James play out their usual start-of-the-episode fantasies.

They crawl through the thick bushes at the Gym looking for a secret formula to the perfumes that Erica (oops! the perfume store manager) produces when they come upon a Gloom.

James calls out Koffing who uses Poison Gas attack but Gloom just sucks it all up. It makes it happy! Gloom responds with a gas of its own.

Meowth breaks down the 4th wall when the gas doesn’t have an effect on him. He mentions that the cartoonists never gave him a nose which is why he is immune.

They get knocked out by the Gym trainers with a mallet and left to hang outside of the gym in a tree.

Ash runs into the trio when walking away from the gym. Jessie taunts him into a deal. He frees them, and Jessie finds a way for Ash to get into the gym. In a very Final Fantasy VII-esque manner, they dress Ash up!

Meowth notes that he’s dressing for success. Jessie and James coaches Ash to sound like a girl and they head out.

And they get through the guards! Ash, or rather Ashley, even encounters a girl from the perfume shop and she fails to recognize him.

While he’s waiting to meet Erika, Team Rocket runs off to find the secret perfume formula to steal it.

The scene cuts to Ashley walking into the garden where Misty and Brock, a few Pokemon, and other Gym attendees listen to a story that Erika is telling.

Ashley puts two and two together and Erika turns out to be the store manager.

The group welcomes Ashley and then Misty asks Erika about Gloom and its smell. It turns out that Gloom smells just fine when it’s not threatened. I have a feeling this will be a plot point.

Erika retells a story of when she was accosted by a Grimer and Gloom saved her. It turns out, that this was why Erika decided to become a grass trainer.

Misty makes a mention that she wishes Ash could’ve heard it. And Ash… Ash responds that he did hear it. Pikachu shocks Ashley, wig comes off, and it turns out it’s Ash after all!

Ash challenges Erika.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket finds the secret perfume.

Back to Erika and Ash. It’s a three-against-three battle. Ash calls out Bulbasaur while Erika calls for Tangela. Dexter tells us all about the Pokemon and the battle starts.

Bulbasaur uses Wine Whip but Tangela uses Constrict to wind the whips around her body. When Bulbasaur gets close enough, Erika commands the Pokemon to use Stun Spore.

Ash calls Bulbasaur back and throws Charmander into the battle. Erika calls out Weepinbell with a Razor Leaf. Charmander’s Flamethrower sets the leaves on Fire. A Skullbash later, and Weepinbell is down for the count!

From the stands, Erika’s errr…friends? Co-workers? Not sure. They note Ash’s strength as a trainer. Erika commends him too.

She calls out Gloom who expels a gas that knocks Charmander out right away. Erika laughs at Ash. His Pokemon, apparently need some more training.

Pikachu steps up to be the next Pokemon for the battle.

It is sure it’ll win.

Team Rocket appears from above and they jump down at least five stories onto the Gym floor. Meowth fires off a bomb but it turns out, the bomb was right below them! So they blast off with the secret formula.

A fire quickly spreads and Erika’s attendees recall all of the grass Pokemon. The entire Gym is on fire.

Pikachu tries to help while Ash deals with his regrets for helping Team Rocket. He and Misty call out their water Pokemon to put the flames out. Brock’s Geodude throws dirt on the flames.

Erika runs up to the group and it turns out she can’t find Gloom!

Ash volunteers as a tribute to enter the burning Gym. He finds Gloom very quickly but being scared, Gloom lets out its stink. Ash holds his nose and grabs the Pokemon from among burning debris.

But then, Gloom stops letting its stink out and Ash is able to grab it and heroicly burst through the flames and get outside.

The fire subsides the next day and wouldn’t you know it, Erika gives Ash a badge.

Ah, to be Ash, not having to win any battles to actually earn badges. All it takes every time is to do something really nice outside of the Gym. And sometimes cause mayhem just then to clean it up. What is this really teaching our kids?

This is something worth noting. Ash catches and wins badges without actually doing either. A lot of the times, he puts Pokemon or Gyms into danger and then saves them, only to be rewarded for his actions. In this situation, Ash didn’t even own up to letting Team Rocket in, knowing full well what Team Rocket can do.

And as far as Team Rocket goes, the “secret formula” is actually just the essence of Gloom!

Ash holds up the badge for one last time and sets off to continue his journey!

Next up, we have episode 29 “The Punchy Pokemon!”

Trivia

  • Meowth breaks the 4th wall when he tells us that the designers never created a nose for him
  • in the games, Erika is the 4th Gym leader to be challenged, in the anime, she’s 5th
  • it is against Pokemon League Policy to deny entry to a challenger solely due to personal matters so Erika may not have been the one to actually enforce Ash’s ban