Overall, this is a nice development episode for Dot and Liko to strengthen their friendship. It’s rare to see Dot outside again, so it’s a nice treat for viewers. I do like the fact that Dot does care about her friendship with Liko, and they show us how she’s frustrated when she learns that she's fallen for the Explorer's misinformation tactics again, with the information about Black Rayquaza sightings across Galar she mentioned in the meeting in the last episode apparently all being false. Fortunately, unlike Episodes 14 and 15, no one is in danger this time. One thing of note that happened to the kids was that they met an Ingredients Seller who gave them curry ingredients. While they undoubtably have same design as the guy from Pokémon Journeys Episode 101, and they also share the same voice actor in Kohsuke Tanabe (the voice of Zirc), whether or not it's actually the same character is debatable. It's worth remembering though that the Nurse Joy designs and voice actor in Horizons are the same as the previous series too.
On the Explorers’ side, they aren’t as harmonious as their enemies. They’re still antagonistic towards each other, and they have a rather stiff environment as they spend their screen time in a meeting. Amethio remarks that the Hero Pokémon were awakened due to Rayquaza, and they should try to locate it to find the others before their enemies do. Their sights are still set on Terapagos as well. Spinel seems to be withholding vital information about Terapagos and the pendant from his fellow admins; man, I missed Spinel. He’s still the best Explorers admin with his intelligence; he was also the one that purposefully threw Dot off the trail with the fake Rayquaza sightings. One thing I liked about the Explorers was that there finally is confirmation that Zirc is a fan of Nidothing; I do wonder how he might react if and when he learns that Nidothing is Dot. It seeems like such an obvious plot twist for an episode later in the series.
With the heroes’ sights now setting on visiting Diana’s antique shop acquaintance, I do wonder how much longer they will stay in Galar. It does feel like they’ve been in the region for a while now, and if the sightings of the Black Rayquaza are fake then there's not much incentive for them to stay. If they do leave the region, where will they go, and which of the Hero Pokémon will they seek out instead? I’m curious on what will happen next week, and where their next destination will be. What are your thoughts about this episode? And one more important question: if you like curry, what sort of curry is your favorite?