Episode #235 - As Cold as Pryce
Ash heads for the Mahogany Town Gym, determined to win himself a Glacier Badge. However they meet a woman named Sheila who tells them that the Gym Leader, Pryce, isn't there. He goes to the mountains every morning to meditate. She volunteers to lead Ash and friends there.
Team Rocket watches the group leave, then follows them.
They all reach a waterfall in the mountains to see the older man that they met the day before! Ash challenges him to a match, but Pryce scolds him for still having his Pikachu out and says that getting emotionally attached to one's Pokemon affects a trainer's judgment in battle. Ash disagrees, saying that a trainer and the Pokemon have to be close in order to work effectively as a team.
Pryce tells Ash to prove it and releases his Dewgong. If Ash can defeat his Dewgong here, then he'll get the chance to have a proper Gym match later. Surprisingly, Ash uses Phanpy, thinking that since Phanpy has been doing well, it might be able to beat Dewgong. Unfortunately Dewgong's first Ice Beam freezes Phanpy solid, and Ash's friends remind him that Phanpy is a Ground type and is weak against Ice types.
Disgusted, Pryce says this has been a waste of his time and walks away. Ash chases after him, despite Sheila's warning that the mountains are dangerous. Team Rocket finds Ash, but he avoids them and continues his pursuit of Pryce until they all end up at a cliff. Team Rocket attacks, but the edge of the cliff gives way, and Ash and Pryce fall! Quickly Ash calls Noctowl out to catch Pryce, and uses Totodile to aim its Water Gun down to cushion their landing, but it uses all its energy to do so and is knocked out.
Back at the top, Misty, Brock, and Sheila arrive and confront Team Rocket. They run, but Meowth blurts out what happened before being dragged away. Sheila says there's a place nearby where they can climb down the cliff. Once there, she explains that long ago, Pryce used to be a happy man who treated his Pokemon like family. He specialized in Ice types, so people gave him the nickname "Icy Pryce".
At the bottom of the cliff, Pryce mixes up some herbs to help cure Totodile. Then he and Ash find a cave, where they discover a bracelet that Pryce recognises as belonging to his Piloswine. He tells Ash a story that he once had a Piloswine that he was very close to. They won many competitions together, until they were both badly burned in a battle with a Magmar. As they were recovering, the Piloswine left the house and never came back. Pryce was so devastated that he stopped treating his Pokemon as friends.
Further down the cave, they enter a room where the rocks are coated with ice. In the middle is a Pokemon that is frozen in a huge block of ice: it's Piloswine! It appears to be holding some herbs, and Ash thinks that all those years ago, maybe Piloswine left to find the herbs to help Pryce heal, only it ran into trouble and somehow got frozen, and was unable to return. Pryce realises that his Piloswine only wanted to help him after all, and cries.
Ash uses Cyndaquil and Pikachu to revive the Piloswine, and the old friends are reunited. They meet up with Misty, Brock, and Sheila outside the cave, where Team Rocket appears in their balloon and threatens to steal Pikachu. Angry, Pryce says they'll have to get through him first and his Piloswine defeats them. Pikachu gets the final word and sends them blasting off.
When they all get back to the Gym, Ash once again asks Pryce for his Gym match. Pryce says they've had enough excitement for one day and they'll battle in the morning.