Last time: Bullying is wrong kids. Wait a minute, that’s a perfectly reasonable moral to learn?!

Misty arguing that finding an Oddish, a grass Pokémon, becomes her right to catch because it is drinking from a pool of water is extremely tenuous logic. Ash should’ve spent a great deal longer questioning that leap. Misty truly is an irrational character. 

Misty aggressively pursuing that Oddish sets our plot in motion. Bulbasaur is protecting a nice secret village full of Pokémon and will defend it by any means – including setting a number of traps. The Bulbasaur wasn’t the one that set the traps as it turns out but the ideas amuses me. Desperately trying to tie knots with it’s stubby little feet. 

Those traps were set by Melanie, who is running a little field hospital hidden in the woods for injured wild Pokémon. There’s a lot of people in this world that live in remote places on their own with Pokémon. I’m not sure is that weird. Brock at least kindly offers to live the rest of his live with her but she politely declines. 

Bulbasaur is defensive and protective of these Pokémon. No matter how much Misty apologises – it’s smarter than that. Bulbasaur also instinctively doesn’t trust Ash, being openly hostile to him. Bulbasaur is smart.  

I really like these character introduction episodes. Rather than Ash just catching Pokémon, they introduce these Pokémon as characters with actual character traits and development. Bulbasaur is loyal, strong, defensive and courageous – a father figure for other Pokémon and a defender of the weak. All those beats are clearly established in this episode. 

Rather than Ash’s Pokémon simply being pointless interchangeable monsters, they’re integral to the show and have distinct and unique personalities. That’s such a great creative decision. 

Stray Observations

– Who’s that Pokémon? It’s Bulbasaur. Did a light bulb go off when you worked it out? 

– Team Rocket spend a moment in this episode falling into and then subsequently admiring all of Melanie’s traps. It’s nice that they can respect somebody else’s craftsmanship (and maybe learn a little from it).

– Team Rocket try the hose thing again but this time Ash sends Pidgeotto (who is the only on Ash’s Pokémon that doesn’t really have a defined character) out to use Gust into the suction of the giant hose to create a tornado causing Team Rocket to blast off. I’m not sure is Ash a genius or just crazy. 

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