Wow, this episode really caught me off guard. I was assuming this episode would be similar to the Advanced Generation episode where May took care of Swablu, and was about to catch it before its flock arrived and trolled her out of an amazing party Pokémon. The writers certainly didn’t troll anyone this time! They actually allowed Roy to catch the Wattrel he befriended!
It turns out that Wattrel’s inability to fly was due to its fear of heights, which is a bit ironic given it’s a bird. It’s like how Ash’s Oshawott initially struggled with Aqua Jet, as it closed its eyes every time it was submerged in water. Roy encouraging Wattrel to fly and then succeeding made me feel good. He’s such a good boy, and Wattrel was simply adorable! I didn’t really care much for it in the game, but the anime has made it so adorable, and given it so much personality. The way it gained confidence after it flew, and then the way it wanted to come with Roy really moved my heart. I think they’re going to be a good team. It’s also been a long time since I last saw someone catch the regional bird. I wonder what Liko’s first catch is going to be. I kind of want her to catch a Galarian Ponyta since the Rising Volt Tacklers are going to Galar.
Another important plot point in this episode is how Friede and Liko each separately dealt with Spinel. Friede follows Spinel’s Magneton into Levincia City and at first appears to corner it, only for him and Charizard to be ambushed from behind by Beheeyem, who Spinel is communicating with via headset. While Friede was at a disadvantage, he pulls out his secret weapon: a Tera Orb, that he uses to terastalize his Charizard into a Dark-type to resist Beheeyem’s Psychic. After he wins, the foe’s Pokémon retreats, causing Spinel to gather enough data for his next plan. While Friede is cool and can terastalize, I dislike the fact that his major flaw is not being specific about his actions. He didn’t tell Liko about the Rising Volt Tacklers being bodyguards hired by her mom until a few episodes after meeting her, and he’s being vague again in this episode. When Orla asks what he was doing, he just said “stuff” in a way. It’s because of this flaw that Liko runs off on her own and gets her pendant stolen; he didn’t warn her or any of the other Rising Volt Tacklers about the potential danger they’re facing, and how the system shut down was related to it. It’s frustrating and I hope this aspect of his character gets fixed when he gets the spotlight.
Liko meanwhile spends the episode happy. Murdock thanks her for being a friend to Dot and she tags along Roy’s plans with Wattrel. It’s when she gets fooled by a fake advertisement that she runs off on her own, not knowing the dangers she’s approaching (thanks Friede), and then gets hypnotized by Beheeyem after encountering a disguised Spinel. He steals her pendant very easily because of this. Personally, I think Spinel easily overtakes Amethio as a villain. Not that Amethio is bad, but Spinel is much more calculating. He’s intelligent and uses crafty tactics to get the upper hand. He’s clearly going to be a very tough villain, and it makes me wonder how the Rising Volt Tacklers are going to catch him.
In the preview for the next episode, Liko seems to have lost her memories. Sprigatito seems like it's affected also, because Sprigatito would surely never scratch Liko if she was closing in for a hug. The only time it scratched her before was during their first meeting, when they still didn’t know each other very well. I do wonder how she’s going to regain her memories, and how she’s going to get the pendant back.
What were your thoughts on this episode? What are your predictions on how Liko will regain her sense of self and recover her pendant? And how will Iono fit into all of this? We’d love to hear your theories!