Episode #208 - Around the Whirlpool
Our heroes are on a ship en route to the Whirl Islands. Ash exults over his new Storm badge, while Misty dreams about becoming a Water Pokemon master. To their concern, Brock notices that there are many whirlpools ahead, but two crew members assure them that the captain of the ship is highly experienced and there is nothing to worry about.
Then the crew members abruptly turn around and try to catch Pikachu with a net, but they miss and catch Ash instead. It's Team Rocket, who sneaked on board! They attack with Arbok and Weezing, however Pikachu's responding Thunderbolt is countered by Wobbuffet, and the resulting explosion hurls them all into the water.
The kids soon get caught in a whirlpool and attempt to use their water Pokemon to escape, but the current is too strong! A mysterious shadow swims by (Lugia) and the current lessens. Then a Corsola and a Tentacruel bring the kids to a boat, where they meet none other than Professor Elm.
Elm helps them get dry, and tells them that the Corsola is his. Then he introduces them to Marius, the captain of this ship, who is helping him with his research. They are approaching Blue Point Isle, the entrance to the Whirl Islands. The town they dock at is brightly decorated, in preparation for the Whirl Cup, a water Pokemon competition that is held here every three years. Immediately Misty wants to enter, as well as Ash.
Team Rocket barely makes it to shore, exhausted. They see the kids up the street and decide to go after them after they rest.
Professor Elm, Marius, and the kids visit the local Pokemon Centre. Nurse Joy registers Misty and Ash for the competition, and shows them outside to a pool where many water Pokemon are swimming. The pool is used for Pokemon to acclimatize to the water here, since conditions at each of the islands are different. Brock speaks to a trainer about caring for water Pokemon, then talks to Marius about his friends' goals.
Elm shows Misty and Ash a map of the four main islands of the Whirl Islands, explaining that there are several qualifying rounds for the Whirl Cup. Misty is already eager to begin. Team Rocket listens from nearby, and plans to capture all the highly-trained and valuable Pokemon in the pool.
The three friends then ask Elm and Marius about the shadow they saw, but they can't tell them much because they've only heard stories about it; the world of Pokemon is full of mysteries. Elm tells them that he's doing his research here because life originally sprang from the ocean, and advises them to keep moving foward toward their dreams.
Suddenly, Team Rocket appears in their balloon and catches all the Pokemon in the pool with a net! Professor Elm and the kids follow in Marius's boat, and Arbok attacks. Misty insists on battling on her own, but Staryu succumbs to a Poison Sting and Psyduck forgets how to swim. Pikachu attacks but is captured. So Professor Elm sends out his Corsola, which frees the captive Pokemon and sends Team Rocket blasting off again. Misty wants to catch her own Corsola someday.
Later, Ash calls Professor Oak to tell him about the mysterious Pokemon, but Professor Elm cuts into the conversation with his own theories about it. The next morning, Ash and friends prepare to leave, and Elm tells them to take the ferry to the next town, Bluefinland, and from there they can get to the next island, Yellow Rock.