Episode #223 - Bulbasaur...The Ambassador
As our heroes walk up the road, they see a man chasing some runaway milk cans, and they help him catch them. In return for their help, he gives them a ride in his truck to an air station where they can catch a blimp ride to a town closer to Ecruteak City.
Ash calls Professor Oak from the station, and finds out that the Professor has a problem in his research garden. Some Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff arrived during their migration, and have caused conflicts over territory with the local grass and water Pokemon. Oak requests that Ash lend him his Bulbasaur to see if it can help settle the dispute. Ash agrees and transfers Bulbasaur over.
The kids go into the blimp. Team Rocket spots them and sneaks on board, but accidentally lock themselves in a refrigerated room.
In the garden, Professor Oak and Tracey watch as Bulbasaur meets with the assembled grass and water Pokemon. It attempts to reason with them and bring them together, but gets attacked. Tracey sends his Pokemon to break up the fight, but that only makes things worse. Bulbasaur eventually uses its Solar Beam to stop everyone in their tracks. The grass Pokemon make up, but the water Pokemon still aren't happy. Oak wonders if building a new pond just for the grass Pokemon would solve the problem.
Back on the blimp, Team Rocket is nearly frozen as the ship lands and the kids disembark. Team Rocket tries to break down the door, but by the time they succeed the blimp is already airborne again. They fall out the rear of the blimp into the forest below. Meanwhile inside the terminal, Ash calls the Professor again to learn that Oak needs to keep Bulbasaur until the new lake is ready.
Tracey has Marill locate an underground spring, and Bulbasaur gets the grass Pokemon to dig. Soon they hit some rock that they can't get through, so Bulbasaur goes to some Poliwhirl and Sandslash, and persuades them to help. Professor Oak sees this and realises that the Poliwhirl can use their Water Gun to loosen up the rock so the Sandslash can dig through it.
Mrs. Ketchum and her Mr. Mime bring lunch, then the work continues until the Pokemon hit a huge boulder. Bulbasaur ropes it with its Vine Whip and all the Pokemon work together to pull the boulder out. Not long after this, they hit water and the new pond is finished! As the Pokemon celebrate, part of the edge gives way under the big boulder, and it starts to topple over onto an Oddish that's standing next to it. Bulbasaur quickly pushes the Oddish out of the way, but the boulder falls down on top of Bulbasaur! Far away, Ash wakes from a nap thinking that something is wrong, then smiles.
A few tense moments pass as the people and the Pokemon push the boulder away. Bulbasaur emerges from the ground underneath where it was, unharmed. The Professor says that it must have quickly burrowed into the ground. Tracey doesn't think that Bulbasaur was capable of learning the Dig move, but Oak says that often in a crisis people can access skills they didn't know they had.
The next time Ash calls, Professor Oak explains to him that the Pokemon now respect Bulbasaur, and he asks if it can stay. Ash has to make a hard decision to leave his friend behind. As the kids' journey resumes, Bulbasaur continues to help out in Professor Oak's garden.