Episode #216 - Plant It Now...Diglett Later
Ash and friends are heading to Transit Town, to catch the ferry back to Olivine City. They are all hungry and tired. Team Rocket digs a pitfall to catch the twerps, and they hide and wait for them to come along and fall in. When the kids fall, Team Rocket runs out to check, and also fall into a hole. However, this is the hole they dug, because Meowth left his mark in the side. Who dug the other hole?
Two girls with ladders help them all out. They introduce themselves as Rita and Sue, and Brock gets a crush on both of them. They apologise for their Diglett, they'd been digging holes around here to stop people from coming through their home. If they're willing to help, the village can give them a banquet.
The girls show everyone to a cabin where they are presented with a feast. Team Rocket has to overcome their dislike of the kids to eat at the same table with them. After the meal, the town council comes in, who are all elderly folk. They say they need help but can't find the right words to explain.
There's a commotion from outside. A gang of thieves riding Dodrio have arrived and threaten to steal the town's Diglett and Dugtrio. They ride off, saying they'll be back the next day.
The old folks explain that they use their Diglett and Dugtrio to cultivate the land. Most of the younger generation have gone to the city, so those that are left have difficulty defending themselves. The kids and Team Rocket volunteer to help take care of the gang.
A strategy is planned. They can't attack the gang directly because they are outnumbered. The kids will sneak into the gang's encampment and let loose their Dodrio, while Team Rocket will dig pitfalls around the village perimeter.
That night, our heroes arrive at the gang's base, to see Rita talking to the leader. This looks strange! They try to leave, but are seen by Sue, and get caught. To the kids' surprise, Rita refers to the gang leader as "Mayor" and the man removes his helmet.
It's explained that the "gang" are the children and grandkids of the old folk in the other village. When they first came, the land was a wasteland. Their parents befriended the local Diglett and Dugtrio, using them to cultivate the land, and in time the area became a beautiful place. In gratitude for all their hard work, the younger generation built a retirement home, but the old folk wanted to continue to work the land and defend it on their own. So the younger people pretend to be the "gang" once in a while to keep the elders in good shape. They make extra sure that nobody gets hurt.
The next day, the "gang" attacks, but without their Dodrio. James sees them from a lookout and assumes that the kids' mission was a success. Some "gang" members fall into the pit traps, while others are attacked by Ash and Misty's Pokemon; nobody gets hurt because they use various defensive devices. The battle is quickly over and the "gang" puts up a white flag. The indignant Team Rocket won't hear of surrender, though, and drop bombs from their balloon. Ash is forced to have Pikachu send them blasting off.
The elders thank Ash and friends, presenting them with another banquet and a badge that looks like the Silver Wing! They learn that it was made on Silver Rock Isle, and there's a ferry in Transit Town that can take them there. Hoping to find out more about the mysterious Pokemon that they have been seeking, the kids depart.