Closing on the preliminary rounds, we’re almost caught up with season 1 of Pokemon. Hello and welcome to Pokemon Catch-Up! The premier blog post series following Ash’s journey through only the most important episodes as per the Pokemon Fast Track Viewing List.

Today’s Episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 77: “The Fourth Round Rumble”

Synopsis

After defeating players in three out of the four preliminary quadrants, Ash is set to face off against his fourth and final opponent in the Grass Field. The scene opens with fireworks and we watch Gary stare down a trainer, except Gary is sweating. Ash, Misty, and Brock watch from the stands. Gary and his opponent have one Pokemon each.

The fight is between Nidoking and Golem. Nidoking uses Horn attack but Golem grabs the horn, and prepares for a Seismic Toss.

It jumps into the air with Nidoking and then slams it to the ground, knocking it out. The battle goes to Melissa, and Gary is out! Gary’s cheerleaders cry in the stands and our trio of heroes are stunned by the turn of events.

Gary leaves the stadium but before he can get into his car, Ash approaches him. The trainer tries to play his loss off as a result of a distraction. The cheerleaders wailing at this point in his car. Gary gets in and they all leave. Ash considers quitting but Brock reassures him that he believes in the boy. Misty reminds Ash that his match is about to start!

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is celebrating their new-found success. They own a stand with Pokemon souvenirs. James even remarks that he enjoys honest and ordinary work. But just as he says so, his Victreebell tries to eat him.

Note: Because Team Rocket’s story progression isn’t crucial to the Viewing List, we never saw the episode where James obtained his Victreebell

A new customer comes up to the stand and asks for official gym badges and Meowth reveals to his partners that he’s been creating fakes this whole time.

Back to Ash, he’s about to start his next match. Misty and Brock are in the stands this time, discussing what Ash should do on the field. Our hero wants to handle things by himself this time.

He is battling Jeanette Fisher, a trainer from an anime-only location the Crimson City. She enters the field on a red carpet, with cherry blossoms thrown into the air about her.

Brock is immediately in love with her, and a group of cheerleaders welcome her to the field. Ash and Jeanette face off. Ash sends out Bulbasaur and Jeanette sends out a Beedrill.

Beedrill uses Tackle but Bulbasaur dodges and uses Razor Leaf. Beedrill counter attacks with Twin Needle and then hits with Poison String. Bulbasaur barely dodges each attack.

Ash commands Bulbasaur to use Leech Seed which envelops Beedrill and sucks away its energy. While it’s wrapped up on the ground, Bulbasaur finishes it off with a Tackle. Yet Jeanette’s cheerleaders cheer excitedly. Why is that? Misty and Brock wonder.

Jeanette sends out her next Pokemon, a Scyther! The battle begins and Scyther uses a couple of attacks to completely outspeed Bulbasaur who isn’t able to dodge nor counter attack. Scyther uses Double Team and Bulbasaur can’t figure out which Scyther is the real one.

Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip to attack two of the three Scythers but it picks the wrong ones. The real Scyther hits Bulbasaur with a direct hit. Scyther’s immense speed allows it to dodge any of Bulbasaur’s attacks as well as attack Bulbasaur several times. It uses Double Team but this time, Ash tells Bulbasaur to hit all three of the images, eventually landing a hit on the defending Pokemon.

It knocks Scyther out! Brock remarks from the stands that Double Team made Scyther twice as weak on the defense and that Ash used that very well against his opponent. It’s one against three at this point. Jeanette has only one Pokemon left and Ash still has all three of his.

Note: Double Team in regular gameplay does not lower defense or any other attributes. It increases evasion and that’s it.

We cut to Team Rocket standing by the stadium entrance, preparing yet another big vacuum with which they plan to suck up all the Pokemon. A couple of Jennies notice Team Rocket’s balloon nearing the stadium and blow it up. It held several big Pikachu figures which fall down to the ground. People all around flock to those Pikachu.

The Jennies spot the duo and run after them into the stadium. Jessie and James crash into a snack stand and quickly put on a disguise, selling hot dogs and other snacks.

We get back to Ash. Misty and Brock speculate about the rest of the match and Ash’s strategy.

Jeanette calls out a Bellsprout.

Ash tells Bulbasaur to use Tackle, overconfident in his ability to win but Bellsprout simply dodges to the side as Bulbasaur goes flying right by it. Bulbasaur tries to Tackle again but Bellsprout grabs its leg and throws it around. It then walks up to Bulbasaur, grabs its leg again and smacks it left and right as if its opponent weighed nothing.

It throws Bulbasaur across the field and knocks it out. Ash is down to two Pokemon and calls Pikachu into the field.

Pikachu uses Thundershock but Bellsprout dodges easily. It counter attacks with Razor Leaf, cutting two rocks on the field cleanly in halves. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt and makes a direct hit but Bellsprout used its feet to ground itself and disperse the electricity. Jeanette gives us a quick explanation of what happened.

Pikachu goes melee on Bellsprout, hitting it with its tail and boxing but Bellsprout dodges all of it until it hits back with one of its roots. And Pikachu is out!

So what Pokemon does Ash have left? Professor Oak and Ash’s mom join Misty and Brock on the field to watch Ash’s victory (uh-oh!).

Oak remarks that it’s a good thing that Gary is out and they cheer Ash on by reminding him that the entire of Palette Town depends on him to win. Ash chooses…Muk as his next Pokemon! Oak explains that Ash transferred Muk the night before, knowing full well Muk has an advantage against Grass Pokemon. Wow, Ash…uses actual strategy? That’s new!

Muk and Bellsprout face off. Bellsprout flies through the air with a kick but Muk just absorbs the attack without incurring any damage. Bellsprout continues its melee onslaught, throwing Muk around but the Pokemon brushes it off. Muk’s gooey body absorbs Razor Leaf as if nothing happened.

Muk finally counterattacks by simply rolling on top of Bellsprout. The Pokemon punches and struggles until it stops moving altogether. Muk rolls off and Bellsprout is out!

That means, yes! Ash made it! This was his fourth and final preliminary match. Ash runs up to Muk in excitement and it rolls over Ash with a huge hug.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket sold out of all of their merchandise! Jessie and James discuss how honest work was much easier and more profitable than their usual stuff.

Back in the locker room, Misty congratulates and commends Ash for his strategy in the match.

Until next time!

Trivia

  • This is Muk’s first battle with Ash
  • Team Rocket does not blast off in this episode
  • This episode was banned from South Korea due to Jeanette’s japanese clothing