Episode #72 - All Fired Up!
Ash, Misty, and Brock have made it to Indigo Plateau. Ash yells out in excitement, making Togepi cry. He goes on and on, and Misty and Brock discuss how he'll calm down eventually. They continue walking and soon come upon a town with a large group of people standing along the road. As Ash approaches, they start to cheer. Ash thinks that they're cheering for him, but they rush past him. Ash and his friends turn around to see a young man running down the road carrying a torch. Ash realizes that the people are cheering for him, and Brock tells him that the torch is supposed to inspire all Pokémon trainers. He goes on to say that being a torch bearer is a great honor. Misty says that the fire is supposed to come from the legendary Moltres, the fire bird. Ash tells them that he wants to catch Moltres and train him. "Just like Charizard?" Misty asks, and Ash falls to the ground.
Ash gets up and goes to the torch bearer, telling him that he'll take the torch now. Officer Jenny runs up and informs him that only approved competitors are allowed to carry it. Ash asks her if she recognizes him, but she doesn't. Brock comes up and explains that they've met many of the other Officer Jennys before. Officer Jenny's suspicions are instantly aroused, but Brock tells her that Ash is harmless. She maintains, however, that only competitors are allowed to carry the torch, and Ash shows her his badges, telling her that he is a competitor. He begs her to allow him to carry the torch, and a man behind them tells her to let him. Officer Jenny addresses him as President Goodshow, and he says that Ash shows a lot of spirit. After falling off the truck he was sitting on, Officer Jenny introduces him as Charlie Goodshow, president of the Pokémon League Torch Committee. He tells Ash that they need a spirited lad like Ash to help carry the torch to Indigo Stadium. Ash is honored, and takes the flame.
As he starts to run with the torch, Team Rocket flies overhead. They complain about how Ash gets to carry the torch, and plan to steal it from him. Ash exits the city and continues down the path with Brock and Misty riding the truck behind him. Suddenly, the ground beneath the truck crumbles, and it falls into a deep hole. Team Rocket's balloon hovers over the hole, and they do their motto. They jump down, and Meowth lands on Ash's face, scratching him. Ash yells out in pain, and throws the torch into the air. Meowth catches it, but unfortunately, it's the end with the flames on it and he lights on fire. He tosses the torch into the air as well, and Pikachu catches it. After Meowth chases Jessie and James around for a little while, James sends out Victreebel who tries to extinguish the flaming feline by nearly swallowing him whole. It doesn't work, and he lights on fire as well. Ash sends out Squirtle, who puts them out with Water Gun.
Jessie demands the torch, but Ash refuses (of course). James lunges at Pikachu, still holding the torch. He throws the torch into the air and shocks James. Jessie and Ash both grab the torch, and a tug-of-war ensues. Squirtle jumps onto Jessie's head and starts pulling on her face. Meowth jumps onto Ash and starts to tickle him. Ash finally can't take it anymore, and lets go. Jessie takes the torch and jumps into the balloon with James and Meowth. Ash stares at the balloon angrily, then slumps to the ground in disappointment. Everybody finally gets out of the hole, and Goodshow tells Ash not to worry. He says that he's very proud of how Ash acted and pulls a lantern out of his shirt. He tells them all that he keeps a back-up flame, and they light another torch. Back with Team Rocket, the flame is dying down. Meowth turns up the gas a bit too much, and the flame flares up, then burns out.
After a while of running down the path, Ash passes the torch on to Misty. Soon enough, she passes it on to Brock, who runs it into the Pokémon League village among the cheers of the crowd. That night, Ash and his friends tour around the complex. Ash hears a familiar voice and turns to see Gary sitting at a table amongst his cheerleaders. He taunts Ash for a moment, then leaves. Later on, when everyone else is asleep, Ash is still awake, thinking about how so many people don't think he'll make it. He gets up and walks toward the stadium. Already there is Goodshow, who notices Ash come in. He tells himself that Ash has a lot of spirit, and Ash wonders how he'll do. He resolves that he'll try his hardest.
The next day is the day of the opening ceremonies. Brock and Misty sit with Goodshow. They watch the participants come out as the announcer explains how each of them has earned at least eight gym badges. They spot Ash and Pikachu, who look quite nervous, and Gary, who doesn't. A girl comes in, carrying the torch to light the big central torch at the top of the stadium. Upon reaching there, she is met by two figures dressed in Roman attire. Ash immediately recognizes them as Team Rocket, and runs up to stop the girl from giving the torch to them. He's too late, as Jessie grabs it from the girl's hand. They whip off their costumes and Ash asks them why they have to ruin everything. Ash runs at Jessie, but James sends out Weezing who uses a Smog attack. Jessie lights the central torch, which flares up. They then climb into their huge robotic grasshopper and place the central torch onto the robot's back.
They then jump onto the main floor, and Pikachu tries to shock them with Thunderbolt. It has no effect, as they have made it out of shock-proof material. Ash sends out Bulbasaur, who tries a Razor Leaf. The leaves are only burnt up by the flames of the torch. Team Rocket moves closer to Ash, who is backed up against a wall. He knows that they're going to burn him, but refuses to leave, saying that he doesn't want them to get away with what they're doing. The flames engulf Ash, and he realizes that they're not hot. The flames come together into the form of a large bird, Moltres. The fire-bird dives at the robotic grasshopper, blowing it up and sending Team Rocket into the sky. The torch bowl lands exactly where it was, and the bird swoops into it, re-igniting it.