Episode #272 - Hoenn Alone
Ash relaxes with Pikachu while on the ferry to Hoenn, and he looks forward to meeting Professor Birch. The Captain, who has a Machoke, tells Ash that they will arrive in Hoenn the following evening.
Team Rocket has stowed away on the ship and they plan to steal Pikachu. They wait until night when Ash is asleep, then use a robotic arm to reach across Ash's room and snatch Pikachu!
Ash wakes up when he hears Pikachu cry out. He races out of the room, but his Pokemon is nowhere to be seen. Running down the corridor, he bumps into the Captain and tells him what happened. They use a computer to scan the ship and it locates something in the storage area.
Team Rocket is there chowing down on the food, and they have Pikachu in an electric-proof glass jar. Their meal is interrupted by the arrival of Ash and the Captain and a battle ensues. The Captain sends out his Machoke and Ash is about to call Bayleef when he remembers that he left her behind. The battle ruptures a water storage tank and they are all swept away! Machoke helps the Captain get to a phone where he calls for an emergency docking.
Ash manages to chase Team Rocket to the upper deck. They attach a grappling rope to a dock crane and swing off the ship, but Ash grabs them and swings along with them. They hit a wall and are separated: Jessie and James land on top of a truck, Meowth and Pikachu land on another truck, and Ash gets stuck in a pile of boxes. The two trucks drive away in different directions as Ash struggles. Officer Jenny arrives and he explains what's going on.
Meanwhile, Meowth and Pikachu fall off the truck and Pikachu's jar breaks. Meowth blames Pikachu for their predicament. A Haunter appears and threatens them, but Pikachu drives it away. However more trouble comes as a group of Pidgey, Rattata, and Oddish surrounds them.
Back at the dock, Ash prepares to search with Officer Jenny and her Pidgeot. The Captain tells him that the repairs will be done by evening and the ship will leave without him if he's not back by then.
The group of Pokemon explain to Meowth and Pikachu that some Haunter recently moved into the area and are scaring everyone. They can't fight back because there are too many of them. Another Oddish walks up and warns that the Haunter are coming.
Jenny's Pidgeot spots something, and Jenny follows it on her motorbike with Ash riding in the sidecar.
Four Haunter converge on the other Pokemon. Pikachu suggests that they all try to get along, but the Haunter aren't interested. Meowth thinks Pikachu is crazy to want to fight, but Pikachu's response is that Ash would think it's the right thing to do. He drives off all the Haunter again, and the Pokemon ask him to stay and be their leader!
Team Rocket suddenly appears in their balloon, and they retrieve Meowth with a robot arm. Then they catch Pikachu in a metal clamp and pull him along with a huge electromagnet on the bottom of the balloon. They don't get far, as Jenny's Pidgeot slashes a hole in the balloon to bring it down. Unfortunately the magnet still works, and they turn up the power to reel Pikachu in.
Seeing Pikachu in trouble, the head Rattata attacks the magnet, breaking it and setting Pikachu free. Then the Haunter use their powers to destroy the magnet completely and send Team Rocket blasting off. Everyone celebrates, and the Rattata and Haunter realise that they can get along after all.
Night falls and the ferry leaves, but Ash reaches it thanks to a lift from Jenny's Pidgeot. He and Pikachu get a well-deserved sleep as Team Rocket remains stuck to the side of the ship, tangled in what's left of their magnet.
In the morning Ash is on deck and sees many new Pokemon as the boat approaches Hoenn. He runs to his room to wake Pikachu, but finds his buddy burning up with fever and letting off weird orange sparks!