Episode #278 - A Poached Ego

Ash and friends are walking through a forest when May complains that she wants a break. Max's Navigator shows a Pokemon Centre ahead. Ash finds something stuck to a tree and they all notice that several other trees have been damaged.

At the Pokemon Centre, May thinks Nurse Joy is the same one she knows. Max explains that all the Joys are identical but Brock claims he can tell them apart. Officer Jenny arrives and asks if Joy has seen any injured Pokemon recently, because there's a Pokemon poacher named Rico in the area. Ash shows Jenny what he found, she says it's part of a net and insists on seeing where it came from.

Team Rocket is making the usual plans when Meowth slides down a hill and discovers a hidden cage full of Ekans. He speaks to them and learns that they were caught by a poacher. Jessie thinks about stealing the Ekans for Team Rocket, but her Arbok won't do anything because it was an Ekans once. Jessie promises that they'll help, but as they try to break the cage, a Fearow attacks!

The poacher pulls up in a truck and Team Rocket challenges him, but they see that the truck has a cage full of Koffing! Rico says his client is paying for lots of poison Pokemon, and tells them to hand over Arbok and Weezing. They refuse, and battle him. Arbok takes care of the Fearow, but Rico uses a Pupitar to send Team Rocket blasting off.

Meanwhile Jenny and the kids survey the place where the net was from and find fresh tire tracks. Ash releases Taillow to search.

Team Rocket starts planning on what to do about Rico, but are chased by a group of Beedrill. Fortunately they are saved by a Cacnea, and James gives it a bag of cookies as a reward. Then Arbok listens for the truck and leads them away.

Rico is forced to stop his truck when Arbok bursts out of the road in front of him. As Arbok and Weezing keep his Fearow busy, Meowth picks the lock of the cage and sets the captive Pokemon free. Angry, Rico brings out his Pupitar which immediately evolves into Tyrannitar! The Tyrannitar attacks with Hyper Beam. Jessie tries to get Wobbuffet to use Counter, but it isn't fast enough and gets knocked out. Ash and company see an explosion and head in that direction.

With no other choice, Jessie and James order Arbok and Weezing to get the other Pokemon to safety. The Pokemon are reluctant to leave their friends, but Team Rocket insists before taking on the Tyrannitar by themselves. The Pokemon sadly leave and disappear into the woods as the Tyrannitar pounds Team Rocket into the ground.

Rico attempts to follow the escaping Pokemon, but runs into Officer Jenny and the kids. He threatens them with his Fearow but Pikachu quickly takes care of it and Jenny's Growlithe snatches his net gun. He tells them that the Pokemon he captured escaped thanks to some people, and Ash is glad that there are good people in the world as well as bad.

A badly beaten-up Team Rocket wanders through the forest, hoping that Arbok and Weezing will be all right. The Cacnea they met earlier appears, holding the bag of cookies that James gave it. James asks it if it wants to travel with them, and it happily leaps into his arms, but he gets pricked by its spines. Team Rocket has a new friend!

By: Audrey