Episode #107 - The Wacky Watcher
While surfing away from Kumquat Island, Ash co. encounters a Pokemon Watcher who's researching Magikarp. Naturally, Tracey and the Watcher are fast friends, and they begin to discuss his research. The Watcher explains that every year, Magikarp from the Orange Islands Ocean gather together at Rind Island, where they swim upstream to spawn. He's been tracking these Magikarp for several years now, and has tagged each one with a marker, depending on their age.
When the Magikarp arrive on Bontan Island, they begin to swim up a series of waterfalls, attempting to reach their nesting grounds at the top. The Watcher explains that not all of them are strong enough to reach the top, but this ensures that only the strongest ones will get to breed, thus improving the gene pool.
At the top of the waterfall, Team Rocket is planning to capture all of the Magikarp, figuring that the ones strong enough to climb the waterfall must be close to evolving into Gyarados. They try to capture the Magikarp with fishing nets, but the Magikarp just wriggle out of the nets, and flop back into the water. Deciding to try a different tact, the Rockets retreat, then return under cover of darkness, in their Mecha Magikarp. They capture all of the fish, then attack Ash co., and attempt to steal Pikachu.
Ash co. resists, so Team Rocket retaliates by throwing Magikarp at them! This continues for a while, until one of the Magikarp latches on to James' head. Jessie and Meowth try to yank it off, without much luck, and the Watcher feels sorry for them, so he decides to help. He strokes the fish's back, lulling it into a trance, and it releases its hold. (Aside: I remember trying this technique on my goldfish years ago, and it really works! Although I think its more of a panic fit than true hypnosis.) The Watcher releases the Magikarp into the water, where it begins to glow, and evolves into a Gyarados! The other Magikarp do likewise, and the Gyarados swim back to the ocean, thus ending the breeding ceremony.
Tracey's happy, because he's learned a lot about Magikarp; but Ash reminds him that they have to hurry to the next island, so he can prepare for his Winner's Cup match.