Salutations PUCLonians and welcome to this week’s edition of The Underground Star Scoop, with your host, MickeyPanda! We find our favourite band of heroes continuing their journey toward Snowbelle City. They are trying to find their way to a Pokemon Center, where they are planning to meet with Professor Sycamore. There’s no sign of the Pokemon Center anywhere, so Bonnie and Clemont are starting to get a little concerned.

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Suddenly, the gang hears a cry for help in the distance. They find a girl with familiar pink hair stuck in a crack in the rock. Her leg got caught while she was trying to reach for something. Ash and the others come down to help her out of the crack. Even with everybody’s strength, it’s not enough to pull her out!

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Clemont decides to use his trusty Aipom arm to help. The Aipom hand pushes one side of the large crack further, making the gap larger, as Ash, Serena, and Bonnie pull the girl out to safety. Gosh that arm is strong.

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She thanks for their help. Who knows how long she would’ve been stuck if they haven’t come along to help her. They ask how she could’ve possibly gotten stuck. She fell in the crack while searching for a special item, which she reveals as a mega stone.

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The gang marvels at the mega stone, and then remember they are supposed to meet Professor Sycamore at the Pokemon Center. They ask the girl where it is and the girl insists on taking them there herself. She was heading there anyways. They all go back to the girl’s vehicle, an ambulance (gen 7 confirmed), and she reveals herself as the Nurse Joy at the nearby Pokemon Center!

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The gang along with Nurse Joy all speed towards the Pokemon Center. A young boy is waiting outside the Center, remarking how Nurse Joy was late yet again. He sees the ambulance van turn the corner and runs towards the back of the building.

Nearby is Team Rocket snooping in on our heroes. They heard rumors of a “nutty Nurse Joy” who often leaves the Pokemon Center unguarded, making it an easy target to do some Poke-snatching. Now with those twerps showing up, perhaps they can snatch Pikachu and the others as well.

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Nurse Joy and the others all go inside the Pokemon Center. Nurse Joy tries to get into the back room, but she can’t move the door. Clemont takes a look at the door and it seems it has been barricaded from the inside! Nurse Joy starts yelling at Audino at the other side to open the door. Apparently in some regions, Audino is used as the assistant Pokemon in Pokemon Center instead of the more common Wigglytuff.

Nurse Joy bangs on the door again, but Audino refuses to open the door. It looks like they are in the middle of a fight. Audino is upset that Nurse Joy left the Pokemon Center and didn’t tell it when she planned to come back. She asks the others to give her and Audino a little bit of privacy while she tries to talk to her partner through the door.

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They all exit the Pokemon Center a bit stunned by Audino’s behavior. The young boy who saw the ambulance earlier approach the gang. He introduces himself as Emilio. He asks if they would be able to talk to Audino and try to help it and Nurse Joy make up. The two of them usually get along so he really wants them to become friends again.

Emilio takes the gang to the back and shows them a window they can climb through to get to Audino. When they all climb into the room, they find Audino caring for a Zigzagoon. They can hear Nurse Joy pleading on the other side of the door.

Ash and Serena explain that all the trainers who come to the Pokemon Center need the both of them to work together. They need both of their help.

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As all of this is happening, Professor Sycamore drives up to the Pokemon Center in his stylish jeep. He sees a trainer with a weak Makuhita rushing into the Pokemon Center. The trainer pleads for Nurse Joy’s help, but Nurse Joy is unsure about what to do with Audino locking her out of the back room. Professor Sycamore volunteers to take a look at the Makuhita. It appears to be in a lot of pain and needs immediate attention.

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Nurse Joy turns to the door and pleads again to Audino to open up. They have an emergency patient that needs their help now. Audino opens the door and prepares everything they need to help the poor Makuhita.

Professor Sycamore stands in the room with Nurse Joy and Audino. He is happy to see them working very well together. He leaves the operation room and finds the mega stone that Nurse Joy found earlier.

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Just as Makuhita leaves the operation room in better health, Nurse Joy and Audino apologize to each other and rekindle their bond. Clearly they work very well as a team, but why would they fight so often?

Before anybody forgets, Clemont asks Professor Sycamore what he knows about Squishy. This was the reason for them all meeting here. The professor asks Bonnie if he can see Squishy. He feels the texture and squishiness of the green Pokemon, and Squishy does not like it. It tries to swat Professor Sycamore’s hand away as he was feeling its body. It looks like Squishy doesn’t appreciate being poked and prodded.

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Professor Sycamore has been trying to contact all the researchers he knows to find something out about Squishy, but hasn’t been able to find anything. He takes a cotton swab of Squishy head and puts it in a tube. He’s going to have to do his own research on Squishy and its DNA structure. He’ll be sure to tell them if he finds out anything.

As the professor begins to leave, Nurse Joy and Audino are arguing again. They explain that even before they arrived at the Pokemon Center, their personalities clashed. Back in school, when Nurse Joy was paired with Audino, her teacher explained that when she gets focused on one thing, she tends to lose sight of everything else. They decided to pair her up with a more experienced Pokemon like Audino to help her become the best nurse she can be. Unfortunately Nurse Joy has her own way of doing her work, but Audino insists on her using the ways it is used to. They both just have a strong sense of responsibility.

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Professor Sycamore takes this opportunity to ask about the mega stone. Nurse Joy explains that she was researching ways her and Audino can give better treatments. She came across Professor Sycamore’s book and learned that Audino had the ability to mega evolve. If she could increase Audino’s healing powers with mega evolution, they can have a better stronger way to treat Pokemon.

Audino realizes that Nurse Joy just wanted to surprise it with the mega stone as a gift. Now that their misunderstanding has been cleared up, the professor takes out his miniature test synchronizer to see what kind of mega stone Nurse Joy found. He sets up the machine with the mega stone and a key stone and it verifies the mega stone as Audinite. He gives Audino the stone to hold onto. It should come in handy someday.

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Outside the Pokemon Center, Team Rocket is scoping out the building trying to find where all the Pokeballs all. They overhear that there is a mega stone inside the Pokemon Center too. Looks like their loot just got that much sweeter.

Back inside the Pokemon Center, the gang hears a loud boom. Ash runs out of the Center and finds a mecha-Meowth sucking all the Pokeballs. This mecha is the Giga Giga Meowth Machine! They were going to just go for the Pokemon in the Pokemon Center, but now with everybody outside, they might as well go for the complete haul.

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The Giga Giga Meowth Machine blasts a net, capturing Ash and Pikachu. Nurse Joy and Audino come up to protect the Pokemon Center. They are ready for battle. Professor Sycamore tosses Nurse Joy his keystone. He tells them that mega evolution will only happen when they’re hearts are bonded as one.

Nurse Joy calls for Audino to mega evolve, and in Sailor Moon-esque fashion, Audino mega evolves into Mega Audino. Mega Audino is not happy with Team Rocket. Maybe they should just escape while their ahead.

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Mega Audino charges up and frees Ash and Pikachu with a Power Up Punch. With that attack boost, it hits the Giga Giga Meowth Machine with a Doubleslap – Take Down combo. It goes for a final Power Up Punch and knocks the mecha onto the ground.

Nurse Joy calls for Mega Audino to use its strongest Heal Pulse it can muster – I’m odd choice for a battle like this one. It’s Heal Pulse reaches Team Rocket and makes them feel good. In fact they are put into such a state of euphoria that they decide that stealing Pokemon is for “dumbbells” and maybe they should just give back the Pokemon! They open the latch and all of the stolen Pokeballs fall out.

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And with that, Pikachu finishes them off with a Thunderbolt and sends Team Rocket blasting off again. Well… That happened…

With all of the Pokemon safe, Nurse Joy thanks them all for their help. Without all of them, she would probably still be stuck in that crack, or her and Audino would still be fighting. Professor Sycamore says good bye for now to the gang. He needs to head back to his lab to analyze the sample he got from Squishy earlier. Ash and the others decide to head back on the road and head towards Snowbelle City.

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And that’s all folks! For this week at least. I think it is really cool to see Nurse Joy out of the Pokemon Center. You don’t get to see that too often. And it was neat to see the Audino in the Pokemon Center brought back too for the only fifth generation (as of right now) mega evolution. Like all of the other Mega Evolution episodes, it is very much focused on the “guest trainer” and their relationship with their Pokemon. Unfortunately Mega Audino is not the most exciting mega evolution in the bunch, at least not in my opinion. I thought it was a little silly Team Rocket was defeated by a very powerful Heal Pulse. It made them feel so good, that Team Rocket stopped being villains. I think that’s how it worked? But Mega Audino did have a very cool Sailor Moon-esque transformation – something I can always get behind!

Major points: another mega evolution, seeing Nurse Joy in a new context

Missteps: no new information on Squishy, How did Heal Pulse become an offensive move?, overall not very exciting

Starmie 6

Hmmmm even with a mega evolution, the Starmies were not very impressed by this episode. It just didn’t have that many exciting plot points other than Audino mega evolving. The good note from this episode though is there is a little bit of set up from Professor Sycamore to what Squishy actually is and the research that is going to go into it. I’m exciting to see what kind of information that Sycamore will be able to discover from the swab he took.

Well that’s it for this week’s Underground Star Scoop! I hope you enjoyed this recap. What mega evolution do you really want to see on the anime? I would actually like to see a Mega Altaria in action on the anime. Or maybe Mega Aggron or Steelix! Comment down below with what you want to see!

Until next time fellow PUCLonians, I’ll be seeing you on the flippity flops!