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The episode begins with Dawn cycling down Route 202 of the Sinnoh Region, on her bicycle, after just receiving her first Pokemon from Sandgem Town's resident Professor. After a long time on the road, Dawn decides to stop, gets off her bike and run down a nearby hill to release Piplup out of its Pokeball. After doing so, both trainer and Pokemon sit leaning back on a rock and watch the clouds go by, as Dawn talks to Piplup about being a Pokemon trainer, and says while winking that catching new Pokemon is important.
After a short times searching, Dawn comes across a Buneary, a small rabbit like Pokemon that pops out from a small collection of bushes. Pulling out her Pokedex, Dawn stands and listens to the explanation of the new Pokemon while watching it carefully. After the Pokedex finishes, Dawn decides that she should try to catch it, and make it her very first. Calling over Piplup, who was standing nearby, she orders her Pokemon to use Bubblebeam, which Piplup does and receives a very excited reaction from Dawn. However, the Buneary dodges the attack by jumping up, which greatly annoys Piplup. Dawn then orders a Peck attack, which is dodged again and counted by the rabbit Pokemon, knocking Piplup out. Dawn, worried, runs over to her Pokemon only to receive a hefty kick in the head herself by the Buneary before it runs off. Dawn asks if Piplup is okay, but the poor Pokemon is sitting depressed and rejected at its first loss. Dawn insists that it's alright, and repeats herself to get her point acrss. Piplup seems to come around, and the two head out on Dawn's bicycle again.
While riding, Dawn decides to bring up the subject of Pokemon Contests, and asks if Piplup would be interested in entering them. She explains that her dream is to be a Top Coordinator, and that it would be awesome if Piplup would help her achieve that dream. Piplup is up for it, and thrusts its wing into the air to show its agreement. Dawn is happy to hear it, and the two continue riding. Not long after, they come across another Pokemon, this time a Minomuchi hanging from a tree branch above them. Excited at the sight of yet another new Pokemon, Dawn checks it on her Pokedex again, as Piplup jumps out of Dawn's bike basket and fires off a Bubblebeam at the unsuspecting Minomuchi. The bug Pokemon falls from the branch, and Dawn congrats Piplup over how awesome its attack was, but Piplup seems worried as the Minomuchi gathers its leaves back around its body. Eventually, Dawn realises that Piplup is trying to tll her to throw a Pokeball, and grabs one out of her bag. However, by that time, the Minomuchi had already ran off after regained all the leaves that had fallen of its body. Dawn falls to the ground, and apologises to Piplup for missing the timing on throwing the Pokeball, and Piplup pats her arm to let her know that it's okay.
At that moment, the two hear a rustling sound coming from the bushes, and Pikachu, having been separated from Ash by Team Rocket, falls out, injured and tired. Dawn checks Pikachu on her Pokedex, and mutters to herself that Pikachu is an Electric type, so her Piplup, which is a Water type would have a disadvantage. Piplup tugs on her leg however, making it known that it's up for a battle, and Dawn orders it to use Bubblebeam. Pikachu, despite being tired, quickly responds to the attack and uses Thunderbolt to tear through the weak bubbles. Dawn is amazed at such power, and then orders Piplup to use Peck. Pikachu is ready once again, and uses Thunderbolt, this time on Piplup itself. Piplup is sent flying back with the force of the attack, and smashes straight into the bike, which is totally destroyed by Pikachu's powerful Thunderbolt. Pikachu rubs the back of his neck, having done that before, and Dawn throws a Pokeball in anger. The Pokeball hits Pikachu but has its effect negated, as someone cnnot capture a Pokemon that already has an owner, but this allides Dawn who wonders why her ball didn't work.
At that, Pikachu turns around and runs back into the bushes, but it stopped by a Seviper. Attempting to turn back, Dustox appears, followed by Cacnea. Dawn wonders what is going on, and then Meowth appears and tells Pikachu that this time it can't escape. Dawn is surprised to see a talking Meowth, and checks it on her Pokedex. Meowth is happy to receive such attention, and tells her that he's a very special Pokemon. At that, Jessie and James, along with Mime Jr. and Wobbuffet run out from behind some bushes, and praise Meowth for hunting down Pikachu. They then notice Dawn, and Jessie smirks and says that maybe they should take her stuff too. They then tell her to keep out of their business, and that Pikachu is theirs. Pikachu isn't impressed to hear that however, and shocks the group using Thunderbolt. Team Rocket, minus Seviper, Cacnea and Dustox are all shocked and end up in a heap on theground. James manages to get up, and orders the three Pokemon to attack: Seviper firing off some sludge, Cacnea using Sandstorm and Dustox using Poison Sting. Pikachu mananges to dodge all of the attacks, but not without being incredibly tired in the process. Dawn grits her teeth while all this is happening, before Piplup encourages her to put a stop to the carnage. Dawn agrees, and orders Piplup to use Bubblebeam, which knocks Seviper, Cacnea and Dustox away. She then stands in front of Pikachu, asking who Team Rocket are. Jessie and James respond by reciting their tried and tested motto to inform Dawn of who they are.
After they finish, Dawn asks what Team Rocket is, which causes the three members to fall to the ground in shock. Jessie can't believe that Dawn doesn't know who Team Rocket is, before James gets up and asks where they actually are. Dawn tells him that they're near Sandgem Town, and James asks her if that's Sandgem Town in Sinnoh. Jessie asks if James has heard of the place, and James tells her that he used to come to Sinnoh as a child before he long before he joined Team Rocket. Dawn tells them that what they're doing isn't right, and that if they want to catch a Pokemon, they should do it the normal, honest way... a one against one battle, using a Pokeball. Jessie ignores her however, and says that they can't do what they want. She then orders Seviper to use Wrap on Piplup, and Seviper does so, wrapping right around the penguin Pokemon and squeezing tight. Dawn isn't about to let them hurt her Pokemom however, and tells Piplup to use Bubblebeam. Piplup fires off the attack straight into Seviper' face, which causes the Pokemon to cease its grip on Piplup. Jessie isn't impressed, and isn't about to let them be beat by some kid, and together with Meowth, orders their Pokemon to attack together. Piplup responds by using Bubblebeam, and Pikachu joins in with Thunderbolt to send Team Rocket and their Pokemon blasting off again.
With the battle won, Pikachu slumps back in sheer exhaustion. Dawn picks up the injured Pikachu, asking if it's okay. After receiving no response, she tells Piplup that they'll have to get it to a Pokemon Centre, and fast. After arriving at one, Pikachu is soon loaded up onto a stretcher manned by a Chansey, and Nurse Joy tells Dawn that Pikachu will be alright after a good rest, and to leave everything to them. Not soon after, Dawn calls her mother, who is pleased to see that Dawn has received her first Pokemon. She then asks Dawn if she's captured any others yet, and Dawn tells her that she hasn't yet. After finishing the call to her mother, Dawn then calls Professor Nanakamondo and tells him all about her encounter with Pikachu and Team Rocket. He ponders it for a second, before Dawn goes onto tell him that Piplup has agreed to do Pokemon Contests with her. The Professor is pleased, and tells Dawn to do her best.
Elsewhere, Aipom is at the top of a large tree, looking around the forest, trying to find Pikachu. Ash, below, calls up to Aipom and asks it if it can see either Pikachu or Team Rocket. Aipom drops back to the ground, shaking its head. Ash's face drops, and they walk off together, with Ash wondering where his best friend could have possibly gone. Not soon after, we find an Officer Jenny riding along the road, before stopping and calling out to Ash, asking if he needs a ride. Ash says that he does, and explains his situation to Jenny. Jenny says that she'll take him to Professor Nanakamondo, who might be able to help. Upon arriving at the lab, Ash is given Aipom's Pokeball by the Professor Nanakamondo, who tells him that he received it from Professor Oak earlier that day. The Professor then explains that he actually received a call from a trainer that had just started out who got into a fight with Team Rocket and rescued Pikachu. Ash is shocked, and asks if that's really true. They call Nurse Joy at the Pokeon Centre that Dawn was calling from, but Joy tells them that Dawn has already left. At that, Ash runs out of the lab, and says goodbye to the Professor.
Back with Team Rocket, we find them walking along a path inside a forest, tired and rejected at their recent defeat. Meowth suggests that they try to contact Giovanni, but as James looks up, he lets out a cry of surprise. Pointing to a rather grand looking mansion. He runs over to the gates, to find a crudely looking drawing of what appears to be himself, someone else, and a strange green Pokemon. Meowth opens the gates, and the three enter the mansion, excited at such a great find. As Jessie, Meowth, Mime Jr. and Wobbuffet all relex in the living room, James enters what appears to be his play room, and finds a small box in the middle of it. Dashing over, James' eyes sparkle at the thought of what could possibly be inside: Jessie hoping for riches, of course, but is dissapoined to find that it's only James' old bottlecap collection. James then notices a Pokeball along with the bottlecaps, and Jessie asks if it's his. James says that it is, and inside is a very old and cherished friend. Calling out the Pokemn inside, a burst of white light reveals a medium sized, green, venus fly-trap looking Pokemon that hugs James and chomps down on his head in affection.
Suddenely, Jessie's stomach starts to grumble, and she asks James if there's any food in here. James says there is, and that his old butler should be around to prepare something for them. Not long after, the three Team Rocket members sit down to a delicious meal that has been prepared by said butler. James thanks him, but isn't too happy when the butler mentions James' parents and his old fiancee, Jessibelle. The very thought of Jessibelle sends James into a state of depression. While Meowth, Wobbuffet and Mime. Jr are busy playing games, James suggests that they leave the mansion and head out to continue their Team Rocket duties, as he really doesn't want to bump into his parents or ex-fiancee again. Jessie and the Pokemon soon agree, and Meowth calls Giovanni up on the large video screen. Seeing their boss on-screen, Jessie, James and Meowth all bow. Jesse informs Giovanni that they've arrived in Sinnoh, and plan to continue their duties here. Giovanni tells them to do so, and the video conversation ends. While Jessie, James and Meowth are happy to receive the go-ahead from their boss, back in Kanto, Giovanni is wondering who in the world those three even are.
Elsewhere, Dawn is receiving a call from the Professor, who tells her to keep an eye out for a young man named Ash, who is Pikachu's trainer. Dawn says that she will, and tells Pikachu that they'll reunite it with its trainer as soon as possible. As for Ash, we find him running down Route 202, before being hailed to stop by a huge truck which stops next to him. Jumping out of the truck's cabin is Brock, and the two exchange greetings. The attractive girl driving the truck asks if this is the guy Brock was looking for, and Brock says that he is, and thanks her for living him a lift. Brock then turns around with Ash, and slyly tells him that he thinks he has a chance with such a hot girl, before she receives a call from a 'male friend' of hers, which knocks Brock's fantasies down a peg or two. She then drives off, and Brock rants after yet another broken heart. He stops however, when he notices Pikachu isn't with Ash. Ash explains what happened, and the two head out to try to find the Pokemon Centre that e was given a map to. Aipom swings in the trees above, but is stopped when he smacks straight into a Starly, a flying bird Pokemon.
Both Pokemon begin to fight, even as Ash tries to get Aipom to calm down. Seeing the new Pokemon, Ash decides to catch it, and tells Aipom to use Swift. Aipom does so, and the attack hits Starly right on the nose. Starly then uses Gust, and Ash compliments Aipom on being able to stands it ground. He then tells Aipom to use Focus Punch, but Aipom has to take a Quick Attack in the guts while it charge up. Aipom manages to charge up its power enough to use the attack, and does so, smashing straight into Starly. Seeing his chance, Ash throws his Pokeball, which smacks right into Starly's face and captures it. Ash celebrates his new capture, but soon become depressed again as he realises that it isn't as fun without Pikachu. He then calls out Starly, and tells it to look out for Pikachu. At that, he and Brock head down Route 202 once again, as does Dawn from the other end ofthe road.
Elsewhere however, a dark looking trainer with an Elekid ponders finding a new opponent. The episode ends with these three trainers going down their own individual paths, but all paths reaching eachother.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
470: Two Degrees of Seperation!
470: Find Pikachu! Route 202
Ash captures a Starly
James gets his old friend, Carnivine
Ash meets up with Brock and continues on the search for Pikachu
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