Episode #76 - A Friend In Deed

Seeing that Ash has just won his fourth Pokemon League battle, he is feeling quite hungry so naturally; he wants some food to eat. Misty, Brock, and Ash head back to the cabin that they are staying at in the Pokemon League Village so that they can stop by and grab something to eat for lunch. When they arrive at their cabin, they see Mrs. Ketchum and Professor Oak. Mrs. Ketchum wants to make Ash and his friends some lunch for them to eat but Ash tells her that she won’t be able to because there’s no stove for her to use in the cabin. Mrs. Ketchum decides to take them all to a restaurant in the Pokemon League Village where she heads over to the kitchen and she asks the cook if she can use the stove to cook something up.

As Mrs. Ketchum cooks furiously much to the cook’s amazement, the rest of the groups sit down at a nearby table and wait for her to finish cooking. Misty comments on how she’s worried about whether the food will be appetizing enough and then Mrs. Ketchum arrives at the table with all of the food that she had cooked...and it looks really good!

They all try some and it turns out that the food was actually really good, and Brock comments on how the croquets that Mrs. Ketchum had made were really good, and now he sees why the cook of the restaurant asked her for the recipe to making them. Mrs. Ketchum smiles and she is obviously pleased that they are all enjoying her cooking.

After the meal, they all head over to a nearby elevator to leave the restaurant, when suddenly a boy about Ash’s age runs towards the elevator and he asks them to hold it for him. He gets into the elevator and then the elevator heads down to the ground floor.

Suddenly, the boy notices a Pikachu standing near Ash and he asks Ash out of curiosity as to whom it belongs to. Ash tells him that the Pikachu is his Pokemon, and the boy reaches out to pet Pikachu. Ash a bit worried; warns the boy to be careful because Pikachu might shock him. The boy pets Pikachu on its cheeks, and Pikachu seems to be quite comfortable with it.

Suddenly, all of the lights in the elevator switch off and the elevator stops abruptly. Everyone is worried, and Professor Oak says that there must be a power outage or something. Brock presses the emergency call button on the elevator panel to try and send for some help, but it seems that the button isn’t working either. Suddenly, they notice the boy near the panel.

He has opened up the panel containing the wiring on the elevator, and he seems to be fiddling around with the wires. He turns around and he asks if he can borrow Pikachu so that it can use its Thundershock attack to start the wires working. Ash holds Pikachu up and then the boy grabs some wires and he puts them to each side of Pikachu’s cheeks.

Pikachu uses its Thundershock attack and the electricity surges through the wires, starting the elevator up again. When the elevator reaches the ground floor, they all exit the elevator and they thank the boy for helping them, and he introduces himself as Richie. Ash extends a hand and they shake, and he introduces himself as Ash. Richie bids goodbye and he leaves.

As they all walk out of the building, a white van drives by with some giant megaphones on the top of it, and they announce that everyone must come to the Pokemon Pavilion to get their Pokeballs officially inspected. Unknown to all of the trainers, Team Rocket are the ones who made up the message so that they can swipe all of the trainer’s Pokeballs from them.

Ash leaves to go to the Pokemon Pavilion to get his Pokeballs checked off, and while he is standing around waiting for the inspection to begin, he sees Richie there and he runs over to them. Suddenly, the white van pulls up into the pavilion and Jessie and James in some disguises exit the van and they pull out a large sack for the Pokeballs.

They announce that if any Pokemon Trainers who do not hand over their Pokeballs for official Pokemon inspection will be disqualified from the Pokemon League. As they walk through the crowd of people, all of the trainers there drop their Pokéballs into the bag so that they can be taken away for the inspectors to officially inspect all of their Pokemon.

When they approach Ash and Richie, the two boys are a bit hesitant in dropping their Pokéballs into the bag, but they don’t want to be disqualified from the League so they drop their Pokéballs in. Jessie bends down and she picks up Pikachu, and Ash warns her that she better be careful. She ignores his advice and she picks up Pikachu and she gets shocked.

As she shoves Pikachu into the bag, James accidentally calls Jessie by her real name. Ash instantly recognizes who they are, and Richie, a bit suspicious comments on how they both look kind of like those villains in Team Rocket. They throw their disguises off and then they do their motto. They then get into the van and they start to drive off with all of the Pokeballs.

Ash dashes off after them in hot pursuit to get all of the Pokeballs back, and he chases them down the main street of the Village and outside down the driveway. As he’s halfway down the driveway, he sees Richie catch up to them and they both see Team Rocket’s van drive around the corner with all of the stolen Pokemon and Pokeballs.

Ash stops as he sees it drive down the hill, and this gives Richie enough time to catch up to him. Ash says that Team Rocket’s too far away to follow, and then Richie says that they’re not too far if they cut down the side of the hill. Ash hears his comment, and he decides that he’s got to get Pikachu and his Pokemon back from them, so he heads down the side of the hill.

Richie runs after him and he yells out that Ash is crazy for going down the side of the cliff because they’re going downhill much too fast. Ash continues running down the hill and then Richie leaps out and he tackles Ash seconds before the edge of a high cliff. Ash pushes Richie off of him and he is furious that Richie stopped him down the hill.

Richie tells him that he would’ve killed himself if he had continued the way that he had been going because he would of fallen off of the edge of the cliff. Richie suggests that they should continue after Team Rocket and Ash reluctantly follows Richie’s lead as they both turn around and descend down the side of the cliff face together.

As Team Rocket drive along in their van, they congratulate each other on capturing all of the Pokeballs, and they sing a rendition of "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Suddenly, Ash and Richie jump out of the woods and they stand in the middle of the road, blocking the way. James swerves, and they go barreling down the hill. Once they get down, they drive along the middle of a creek. Ash and Richie follow them by foot, but they cannot catch up.

After a few hours, they decide to stop and camp out for the night and follow Team Rocket in the morning. They use Richie’s sleeping bag, and an extra sleeping bag that he always carries around just in case. As they both lie down in their sleeping bags at night, they talk to each other about Pokemon and then Richie points out a few constellations in the shape of a Pokemon. They both look at the stars for a while and then they both fall asleep.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket have also decided to stop for the night and they start to party and celebrate on how their latest plan has succeeded. There is a lot of food on the table and they all continue to congratulate each other as they eat the food.

Early the next morning, Ash and Richie set off along the creek once more to track Team Rocket down. After a few minutes of walking, they notice some tire tracks leading away from the creek and into the forest. They follow the tire tracks and they arrive at Team Rocket’s campsite. Team Rocket are all sleeping, so Ash and Richie tiptoe over to the van.

When they open the door they see the sack with the Pokeballs inside them. Ash runs over to the bag and he opens it, revealing all of the stolen Pokeballs and Pikachu, who jumps up into Ash’s arms happy to see him. Suddenly, there is a noise at the door and Ash and Richie turn around to see Team Rocket standing in the doorway laughing at them.

They slam the door shut and Ash runs over to the door and he tries to open it, but it seems that Team Rocket have locked the door from the outside, trapping them inside. Suddenly, the van starts up and they start to drive somewhere. Ash runs over to the bag and he searches through the Pokéballs hastily as he tries to find all of his Pokeballs.

Richie finds his Pokeballs easily because he put little star stickers on them so he knows which ones are his. Ash takes out a few Pokeballs at random from the bag and he throws them, but none of the Pokemon are his. Pikachu sniffs at one of the Pokeballs and it points at it, alerting Ash. He throws the Pokeball and from it emerges his Bulbasaur.

Ash commands his Bulbasaur to use its Tackle against the wall of the van, but when that attack fails, Ash tells his Pokemon to uses its Razor Leaf on the wall...but that one fails as well. Richie tells Ash that he’ll try, and he brings out one of his Pokemon, a Charmander called Zippo. Richie commands Zippo to use its Slash attack and the wall breaks.

Jessie jumps out of her seat in the front of the van and she sends out her Arbok to attack Ash and Richie. Pikachu tries to use a Thundershock on Arbok, but James swerves the van and he makes Pikachu fall over. Richie suddenly gets a brilliant idea and he grabs one of his Pokeballs and he sends out a Pikachu that goes by the name Sparky.

Sparky has a little bit of spiky fur at the top of its head. Both Sparky and Pikachu use their Agility attack, and they run around Arbok, and they confuse the Pokemon. They both use a Thundershock attack and it blows the front part of the van apart, and Team Rocket is sent into the air and onto the horizon. The van is rather close to the edge of a cliff.

The van starts to head towards a curve in the cliff, and Ash and Richie need to think of something to save them. Richie sends out his Butterfree, Happy, and Ash sends out his Pidgeotto to help him. They grab onto their Pokemon and they cling on tightly as they manage to leave the van just before it went sailing off the edge of the cliff.

They all head towards a clearing in the forest, but they seem to be going too fast so Richie tells Ash that they have to use their Pokemon as a parachute. He tells Ash to have his Pidgeotto use its Whirlwind attack and aim it towards the ground. Happy and Pidgeotto both do this, and Ash and Richie manage to land safely on the ground.

A few seconds later, a group of jeeps all drive up to the clearing and they stop when they arrive there. Ash tells Officer Jenny that he and Richie have both managed to recover all of the stolen Pokéballs. Everyone is extremely happy to see that their Pokemon are safe, and they all gladly take theirs back into the safety of their own arms.

Later, Ash, Brock, Misty, and Richie are in the administration area of the Pokemon League, and now Ash has to choose whom he is going to fight in his fifth round battle. A girl at one of the administrative desks calls Ash up to decide whom he’ll be battling in his next Pokemon League battle. Above her is a screen with a picture of Ash and an empty space next to him.

Ash grabs a fishing rod and he dips the rod into a small pool of water. After a few seconds, he manages to get a bite and he pulls the fishing rod up out of the water revealing a Magikarp with "A-3" printed on the side of the Magikarp. The administrator notes down the number and then she types it into the computer to see who Ash will be up against in his next battle.

A few seconds later, the screen above her flickers and then he is matched up to the trainer under "A-3"...and it reveals that the next person that he’ll be up against is his newest friend Richie! They are both horrified and they both look at each other, surprised that they’re up against each other in the next Pokemon League battle. This time there’s something far more to lose than just a Pokemon match...