Episode #129 - Fighting Flyer With Fire

Ash and friends get to the Violet City Gym (took 'em long enough!), which is a impressive spiraling tower. Ash is looking forward to his match with the Gym Leader. Two strange characters show up dressed in fancy shirts and ties, claiming they have to inspect Ash's Pokemon to make sure they meet the Gym standards. Brock is suspicious, but they take Pikachu and run off. When they fly away in a balloon Ash realizes that it's Team Rocket.

Pikachu tries a thunderbolt but he's trapped in an insulated jar. Ash tells Heracross to chase Team Rocket but Jessie throws down a jar of honey to distract Heracross. Suddenly a young man appears in a hang glider with a Hoothoot on his shoulder, the Hoothoot grabs Pikachu. Jessie has Arbok uses its Poison Sting on the glider. The glider rips apart but the man jumps off and uses a Pidgeot to get away safely. Arbok attacks the Pidgeot but misses; the trainer has his Pidgeot attack the balloon and send Team Rocket blasting off.

The mysterious trainer returns Pikachu to Ash. Ash notices that the Pidgeot is larger than the one he used to have, and remembers the battle with the Fearow back in Pallet Town. The trainer says there's only one thing better than watching a Pidgeot fly, it's flying on its back. Misty observes that the trainer likes flying types, and he explains that he wants to be known as the best flying Pokemon trainer. He had taken up hang gliding so he could better understand flying Pokemon, and gets mad when people think that flying types have a disadvantage against electric types. Misty feels the same way about her water Pokemon.

Ash introduces himself and his friends, and the trainer turns out to be Falcner the Violet Gym leader. They all go up an elevator into the Gym. This will be a 3 on 3 match for a Zephyr Badge.

Falcner's first Pokemon is Hoothoot and Ash chooses Chikorita. Falcner is skeptical, flying have advantage over grass types but Ash says you shouldn't always judge by type. Chicorita uses Vine Whip but keeps missing since Hoothoot flies out of the way. Hoothoot uses its Tackle attack, Chikorita manages to dodge the first time but not the second and gets knocked out. Gym leader tells Ash: "I told you so" but Ash chooses Pikachu next.

Hoothoot's Tackle attack can't match up to Pikachu's Agility. A Thunderbolt and Quick Attack are all it takes to knock out the Hoothoot. Brock thinks Falcner will choose Pidgeot next but he chooses a Dodrio. Ash thinks Dodrio can't fly, but Falcner is confident. The Dodrio matches Pikachu's speed, and when Pikachu uses Thunderbolt it jumps so high that it looks like it's flying. It attacks Pikachu several times but Ash tells Pikachu to jump higher and use Thunder to knock it out.

Now Falcner releases Pidgeot. Pikachu is tired but still wants to fight, but its Thunderbolt runs out of power and Pidgeot blows him away with Whirlwind. Ash chooses Charizard, and has it attack with Flamethrower, which Pidgeot dodges with Agility. Charizard attacks again but the Pidgeot uses Whirlwind to blow the flames back, and Charizard's wing gets injured. Pidgeot next does a Quick Attack and Charizard is hurt badly.

Ash now doesn't know what to do and Falkner suggest he forfeit since it's his responsibility as a trainer to judge if his Pokemon can't battle. Ash says he's not a quitter and encourages Charizard to try to fly, and he can but not too fast.

Falcner believes he can win now and has Pidgeot continue to use its Agility over and over again. Ash anticipates the Pidgeot's next move and tells Charizard to use Fire Spin on the Pidgeot, then finishes it with Seismic Toss.

The Gym leader acknowledges Ash's victory and presents him with a Zephyr Badge, then Ash and friends depart for their next adventure. In the meantime, Team Rocket are trapped in a tree, being pecked at by angry Spearows with a few Fearows flying above.