Episode #242 - Enlighten Up!

Our friends reach a beautiful lake in the woods. According to Brock's guidebook, it's called Lake Enlightenment. Team Rocket makes an early appearance and threatens them. Ash and Team Rocket are ready to battle, but they are stopped when a Slowpoke sits between them and refuses to budge.

A young woman wearing religious-type clothing arrives and tells them they are trespassing. She introduces herself as Madeline, she's a student at the nearby Slowpoke Temple, where people train and seek the truth about themselves. As an example, she indicates the Slowpoke and says that "Slowpoke" is only the name that humans have given it. What's its true self? She asks the question to all of them, but nobody can really answer, except for Brock who flirts with her.

Madeline invites them all to the temple for lunch. As they walk, she explains that there are many Slowpoke living in the area. Hundreds of years ago, a priest found enlightenment while meditating with the Slowpoke, and the temple was built in his honour. The temple is huge, with a large golden statue of a Slowpoke in the central courtyard. Team Rocket gets a wicked gleam in their eyes.

Over lunch, Ash learns that Gary Oak is training here. Immediately he wants to train too. Team Rocket decides to go along with things until they can snatch the gold statue. The first step of the training is to kneel on the floor with the other students and Pokemon, but they can't move at all or an instructor hits them with a stick. The purpose is to clear the mind. Unfortunately for the kids, imaginations take over and they can't stay still for long.

The second step is to wash all the wooden galleries in the temple. Ash ends up in a mopping race with Team Rocket, but doesn't do a good cleaning job and has to do it again, with more training on the way. Team Rocket finishes up their part of the cleaning and resumes their plotting, when the kids come along with fishing poles. They invite Team Rocket along, but Jessie and James pretend to have sore backs so they can stay behind.

Madeline leads everyone back to the lake, where the Slowpoke is still sitting. As they watch it catches several water Pokemon with its tail. Misty wonders why Slowpoke lets them get away, and Madeline responds that this exercise is to fish, not to catch. Misty and the others toss in their lines and sit for a while, but don't catch anything. Angry, Misty throws Meowth into the water and demands that he find out why the Pokemon aren't biting. When he climbs out he says that the Slowpoke can catch the other Pokemon because they know that it's doing this for knowledge and not to capture. Then the Slowpoke catches a Shellder on its tail, and everyone realises that this is all about training one's mind.

Jessie and James crash through the temple wall with the gold statue on top of a specially built bike. They hurtle down the hill toward the fishers but Madeline doesn't move. At the last moment, the Slowpoke evolves into a Slowbro and uses a powerful Confusion attack to stop Team Rocket and put the statue back in its place.

Brock asks Madeline why she didn't get out of the way, and she says that she trusted Slowbro to be able to stop Team Rocket in time. True enlightenment comes from knowing that you're better today than you were yesterday, and trusting your friends to give their support. As for Team Rocket, Madeline thinks that more training might do them some good.

Our heroes depart for Blackthorn City. Team Rocket is back in the training room kneeling on the floor, but they can't concentrate because the Delibird is outside looking for them. Each time they move they get whacked by an instructor.

By: Audrey