Episode #283 - A Bite to Remember
The gang is setting up camp in a forest, and there are many kinds of Pokemon around. Ash thinks there's something strange about it. Max is excited, he tries to get closer to the Pokemon but frightens them away. Seeing real Pokemon is very different from reading about them.
Suddenly three Mightyena appear and threaten them. Pikachu, Torchic and Forretress defend their trainers but are overwhelmed. Then a woman arrives and calls off the Mightyena. She apologizes to the kids, saying this is a Pokemon Preserve and there have been problems with poachers. Introducing herself as Katrina, she explains that she's a ranger here in the preserve. Brock flirts with her but gets nipped by the Mightyena.
Team Rocket is in the woods, tired and hungry. They notice all the Pokemon, but Wobbuffet points out a sign saying this is a preserve. As if that's going to stop them...
Katrina shows the kids to the ranger station, where she cares for many types of Pokemon, including a Poochyena. Max wonders if it will evolve soon, but Katrina tells him that because of its habit of tackling people it has missed out on getting battle experience. Ash notes that a Pokemon can't be forced to evolve, but Max insists on staying here until he sees the big event.
Later, Max takes Poochyena outside to train with Torchic. He wants it to try to use its Bite attack. However it uses Tackle all the time and eventually Torchic gets frustrated and Embers both of them. Ash and May scold him for not thinking of Poochyena's feelings; maybe it doesn't want to evolve now. Upset, Max runs off. Katrina comes up and shows the rest of them part of a net, which means that poachers are around!
Team Rocket has been busy catching Pokemon and has some in a net. They overhear Max talking to Poochyena and decide to capture it as well.
Max finds a strange machine in the woods, and two scientists tell him that he has to keep their research a secret. They've developed a machine that not only evolves Pokemon, but changes them into other types! They demonstrate by changing a Meowth into a Persian (costume), then into a Sunflora (costume), and several others. When the Persian appears with a Sunflora's head, Max gets suspicious.
The female scientist snatches Poochyena and puts it into the machine, which promptly explodes and reveals a balloon with a net full of Pokemon attached to it! Team Rocket reveals themselves just as Katrina and the others arrive. After grabbing Pikachu with a robot hand they fly away in the balloon.
Max, the three Mightyena, and Taillow give chase. Taillow pecks at Jessie and James, forcing them to fly lower. Max encourages Poochyena to Bite the net, and it does so, freeing the captive Pokemon. Thanks to Taillow's distraction, Pikachu slips loose and sends Team Rocket blasting off. Max congratulates Poochyena on a job well done, and finally it evolves.