Episode #273 - Get The Show On The Road
A girl bikes through the forest. Her name is May, she's ten years old and about to get her first Pokemon, but she admits that she doesn't really like Pokemon. She is startled by an Espy, loses control of her bike and hits a tree.
Ash's ferry arrives in Littleroot Town, but Pikachu is very ill with a fever and is shooting off orange sparks. Team Rocket is also aboard the ferry. Jessie hints that she has been here before and wonders if their pursuit of Pikachu for all this time has been worth it.
On shore, Ash finds out that there's no Pokemon Centre here. He calls Professor Birch's lab and an assistant says that Prof. Birch is out but he'll try to contact him. Ash sits and waits until a hefty man drives up in a Jeep: it's Professor Birch. He takes one look at Pikachu and says they need to get to the lab immediately.
On the way, Prof. Birch explains that this is an illness that electric types can get if they're exposed to a magnetic field. Ash realises that Team Rocket's electromagnet was responsible. When Pikachu sparks again, Birch speeds up and takes them for a rough ride across country to get to the lab.
Birch's assistant has prepared a machine that will drain Pikachu's excess energy. Unfortunately Pikachu's energy level is too high and the machine explodes! Disoriented, Pikachu escapes through a window and Ash chases after him. Learning that Ash has no Pokemon with him, Prof. Birch has no choice but to take the three he had been saving for May. He tells Ash that Pikachu's energy might explode unless something is done soon, and they split up to search.
May arrives at the lab and the assistant tells her that Birch is out. She bikes into the forest to look for him. Meanwhile the Prof. slips down a hill and disturbs a group of Poochyena, and they attack him! Soon May finds him, and he tells her to use one of the Pokemon that's in the bag he dropped. She hesitates but throws a PokeBall that contains a Mudkip, which scares the Poochyena away with its Water Gun. Prof. Birch recalls it, and the search resumes.
Ash finds Pikachu and tries to pick him up, but in his fevered state Pikachu doesn't recognise him and blasts him. Birch and May see the explosion and quickly catch up. When Ash approaches again, Pikachu runs away and falls off a cliff! Ash leaps after him and grabs his Pokemon with one hand and a branch with the other. Prof. Birch tosses down a rope and Ash manages to get back to the top of the cliff despite being shocked and bitten repeatedly.
No sooner does Ash think he's safe when Team Rocket appears in yet another robot. Pikachu is captured by a metal arm, and suction cups attach to his cheeks and drain his energy! As the robot's energy indicator rises, Birch and May are amazed at how much power Pikachu has. Eventually Pikachu is completely drained... or is he? He finally comes to his senses and zaps the robot, sending Team Rocket blasting off.
Once back at the lab, Pikachu sleeps peacefully. May introduces herself to Ash and says she's ready to choose her Pokemon. Birch releases three Pokemon: Treecko, Mudkip, and a Torchic which quickly takes to May. She decides to take Torchic as her Pokemon, and Birch hopes she'll train hard enough to get better than her father. May is embarrassed.
The next morning May returns to the lab, upset because her bike was destroyed. However when she looks in and sees Ash sleeping next to Pikachu's bed, she forgets her anger. Ash wakes up and comes outside with Pikachu. Professor Birch tells them that they need to go the Pokemon Centre in Oldale Town to register for the Houen League. May knows the way there and suggests that they go together. And so a new journey begins.