Episode #233 - Talkin' 'Bout an Evolution
Ash and friends are passing through a forest on the way to Mahogany town when Pikachu and Togepi get sick. Many other wild Pokemon in the area are sick also. They investigate a sound that they hear, and come to a lake where they see a red Gyarados!
The Gyarados looks sick and upset. Ash thinks it's a good idea to get out of there, but a group of Team Rocket agents arrives and tells them that they've seen too much, so they can't be allowed to leave. The leader of the group releases a Fearow, and Ash tries to battle with Totodile, but Totodile becomes sick like the others.
Suddenly the Fearow is blasted out of the sky, and a red-haired man riding a Dragonite lands and tells the kids to run. He easily defeats the Fearow and meets them in the woods, where Pikachu and Togepi are looking better. Misty and Brock recognize him as Lance, one of the Elite Four Pokemon trainers and a member of the Pokemon G-Men. Lance tells them that he's operating under cover to find and arrest people who mistreat Pokemon. He believes that Team Rocket is doing experiments on Pokemon. Ash wants to help, but Lance tells them it's too dangerous and gives them directions to Mahogany Town.
Jessie, James, and Meowth are in the woods, hungry like usual. The see what they think is a farm house and decide to find some food there. However, the place is really a Team Rocket lab. The head Rocket, Tyson, speaks to Professor Sebastian, who has invented a radio wave that will evolve Pokemon. The red Gyarados is proof, but they need to lure it out of the lake to capture it for study. An intruder alarm goes off, and a screen shows Jessie and James.
In a corridor, James accidentally triggers a cage trap. They try to persuade the head Rocket that they're really Team Rocket members, and a computer check verifies their story. Knowing that they'll do anything for food, the head Rocket lets them out and tells them that their mission will be to capture the Gyarados. Meanwhile, Lance infiltrates the lab in disguise.
On the road, Ash stops and insists that they go back. He can't stand to see Pokemon being mistreated.
Team Rocket takes a boat to the middle of the lake, where Jessie, James, and Meowth dive in to search for the Gyarados. However the Gyarados finds them first, and chases them to the surface where it gets captured in an electrified net. The kids arrive and see what's happening; Ash's Totodile and Misty's Poliwhirl are sent out to try to break the net. Unfortunately they are noticed by Team Rocket, and Professor Sebastian radios HQ to broadcast the Evolution Inducement Wave. All the Pokemon (including Meowth) become ill, and the kids are forced to retrieve them. As Brock realises that the Pokemon are affected by the experiment, our heroes are captured.
Ash demands to know what's going on, and Sebastian explains that his invention manipulates Pokemon evolution. The red Gyarados is a result of this experiement and they plan to study it so the wave can be perfected and used to create a Pokemon army. The kids insist that this is interfering with nature, but nobody listens to them and they are thrown in a cell. Lance is still in disguise, and hears everything.
The head Rocket orders Jessie, James, and Meowth to watch over the equipment while the examination continues. The caged Gyarados is loaded into a truck and driven away. In their cell, Ash is determined to escape somehow and do something before more Pokemon are hurt.