Episode #186 - Spring Fever

Ash and friends stop for lunch on a ridge with a view of a huge mountain in the distance. Todd thinks that Articuno must be there. Misty is startled by a sound and drops her rice cake, then three Swinub run up and begin to gobble it. A little girl comes and scolds the Swinub for their bad manners, then introduces herself as Peggy.

The three Swinub belong to her father, who's a professional hot spring digger. A hotel company pays them to look for hot springs. When they find one the company comes and builds a resort. Unfortunately for the past few months they haven't found any hot springs and are getting low on supplies. Peggy's father shows how the Swinub smell out underground water, then his Graveler digs, but this attempt proves futile.

Team Rocket is hiding behind some rocks. Jessie gives a long speech about hot springs, then says they should steal the Swinub and Graveler so they can find a hot spring and build a lodge.

As Peggy and her father play with the Swinub, Team Rocket in disguise walks up and says they've been sent by the hotel company to help out. Ash and Brock decide to help too, so everyone pitches in to dig. After some time, Team Rocket becomes impatient with all the work and finding no springs. Jessie tries to steal the Graveler but it's too heavy, and James lures the three Swinub into a bag with some snacks. Peggy realises that something's wrong, and sees James trying to stop the Swinub from crawling out of his bag. She alerts the others, and Team Rocket reveals themselves. A chase ensues, but our heroes fall into a trap hole, and Team Rocket gets away in a cart.

Ash gets an idea to use a bunch of cardboard boxes to slide down the hill after them. However Meowth uses a bottle of "super slippy oil" to cause them to lose control of their boxes. Todd catches a glimpse of Articuno flying by but crashes before he can snap a picture. Fortunately his camera is okay. Team Rocket gets away with the Swinub for now, but Ash swears that they'll get them back.

Further down the ridge, Team Rocket tries to persuade the Swinub to find something. They dig where the Swinub tell them to, but instead of a hot spring, they hit an oil well! Jessie and Meowth think they're rich, but James checks and tells them that they only punched a hole in an oil pipeline and might go to jail if they're caught. Shocked, they run away from the scene.

Noctowl spots them from above and leads the gang to them. A battle ensues with Arbok, Meowth, and Victreebell on one side, and Totodile, Graveler, and Poliwhirl on the other. The Swinub are soon retrieved, and they are very angry with Team Rocket now! Surprisingly, the Swinub join the battle themselves and help our heroes gain the advantage. Totodile and Poliwhirl use a double Water Gun to send Team Rocket blasting off again.

As everyone celebrates, the Swinub run to one side, looking like they've found something. The Graveler digs once more, and this time a hot spring sprouts from the ground! There is much rejoicing, and Todd takes a few pictures of the happy family. Ash and friends then depart, heading for the big mountain, and Articuno.

By: Audrey