Episode #57 - Volcanic Panic

Ash finally decides to come to his senses, and he calls for Pikachu to return. Unfortunately, his command comes too late. Pikachu ducks under the Fire Blast, but it is swept over the edge of the cliff in the backlash. It manages to grab the edge of the cliff as it's falling, though, and Pikachu pulls itself up onto the arena. Pikachu reassumes its battle stance; but Ash tells it to stand down, fearful for its safety. Blaine feels that Ash is behaving cowardly, and he tells him to get lost. Later, back at the hot springs, Ash and his friends discuss the match.

Team Rocket overhears them, and they realize that while Pikachu is strong, Magmar is even stronger, and that makes Magmar a worthwhile Pokemon to capture and to present to the Boss. Packing ice guns, they journey into the volcano, to capture it.

Magmar hears the sound of people entering its gym, and it jumps out of the lava, to greet them. Team Rocket fires ice shells at it and they manage to encase the Pokemon in a case of ice.

Unfortunately for them, Magmar is living fire, and its hot body easily melts through the ice. Panicked, Team Rocket unloads shell after shell upon the very powerful Magmar. They accidentally hit the walls of the volcano, and the noise alerts Blaine and Ash and his friends to their presence.

Blaine is horrified, when he sees what the Team Rocket has done to his gym. True to his character, he poses the riddle: "What happens when ice touches something that's very hot?" [Hint: It doesn't result in ice tempura or a snow cone, despite what Ash may think].

The walls of the gym slowly begin to crack, and within moments, the gym has all but fallen in on itself. As each mini-tremor causes the cliffs within the volcano to split and collide, and magma begins to well up from inside the fractures in the wall. Team Rocket are thrown out of the top of the volcano thanks to some rocks and some lava.

Suddenly, one whole side of the wall gives way, and a waterfall of lava comes gushing into the gym. Blaine looks on in horror, realizing that if the lava continues to pour in, the volcano will erupt, destroying the whole of Cinnabar Island and the people along with it.

He has his Magmar throw rocks into the lava's path, hoping to create a dam, and to clog the flow of lava. Ash sends out his Charizard to help, but Charizard refuses, preferring to take a nap...again. The lava is flowing too quickly, and no matter what Magmar does, its rocks are always being swept away by the lava.

Finally, Charizard steps in to help. Magmar smiles, and the Pokemon redouble its efforts. Ash and his friends are encouraged, and they send out some of their other Pokemon, to help Magmar and Charizard. Pikachu, Geodude, and Onix add some stones to the dam, while the water Pokemon keep them cool, between trips.

Finally, their efforts pay off, and the flow of lava is stopped. Magmar grins at Charizard once again, this time, maliciously. Charizard grins back, with fire in its eyes. It is clear, that they want to fight each other. Meanwhile, Blaine offers Ash a reward, for his help. And no, itís not a Volcano Badge [too bad Ash!].

He tells Ash that because of his efforts, he can have another chance to fight him so that he can earn his seventh badge. They meet again, but this time, they are at the top of the volcano where Blaine found his Magmar. This time, they are only allowed to use one Pokemon each. Blaine sends out his Magmar, and Ash is about to send out Pikachu, when Charizard appears and points at Magmar with a glint in its eyes.

Ash is thrilled to see that Charizard will once again fight for him. However, Charizard plans to fight, on its own terms. It hops into the ring, and attacks Magmar, ignoring its trainer completely. After a brief scuffle, Magmar gains the upper hand. It jumps on Charizard's back, and forces it down into the lava.

Ash demands that Blaine does something because he claims that the lava is under the ring. Therefore, it is out of bounds. Blaine argues that it's all part of the ring. Time passes, and Ash begins to sob, because he is certain that his Pokemon has been killed.

Suddenly, the lava begins to bubble furiously, and Charizard bursts from below the surface, with Magmar still clinging tightly onto its back. Charizard flies high into the air with the Magmar. Now itís time for Blaine to complain to Ash about the ring boundaries.

Charizard gets to a reasonable height, and then it grabs Magmar over its shoulder, and Charizard hurls it back towards the mouth of the volcano, using its Seismic Toss attack. Charizard lands safely on one of the rock pillars, and everybody waits in anticipation for Magmar to surface. Magmar leaps out of the lake, lands in front of Charizard...and faints. Ash is the victor!

Blaine gives Ash the Volcano Badge as a token of his victory, and with the Volcano Badge in hand, and Charizard in a Pokeball [despite some struggle], Ash and his friends leave Cinnabar Island behind. They all decide to head out to Viridian City so that Ash can challenge the local Gym Leader because last time he didnít.