Evolutions: Ash’s Charmeleon evolves into Charizard. It does get much more powerful, but it remains being a dangerous little brat.
Plot: Our heroes are wandering through Grampa Canyon (No map gif can help me now) when they run into a bunch of people with picks and shovels. Gary appears and explains that it’s the great fossil rush. Everyone, including himself, are gathering to dig up Pokemon fossils.
As everyone digs, Team Rocket sets up their latest plan – blowing the canyon up with dynamite and taking all of the fossils for themselves. Ash and the others hear their plans, and while Ash tries to stop the fuse, Misty and Brock go off to warn everyone.
It’s a huge race between Ash, Squirtle and Pikachu against Team Rocket as they try to extinguish the fuse and Team Rocket tries desperately to keep it lit. They fall down the cliffside, and, in an effort to stop the fuse, Pikachu shocks the stockpile of dynamite, accidentally igniting it and blowing the place to ruins.
The ground opens up and swallows up everyone except Squirtle. The opening of the crevice quickly becomes sealed with nearby falling rocks. Squirtle manages to stay above ground and reunite with Brock and Misty, who immediately try to dig Ash and the others out.
Meanwhile, Ash and Team Rocket awake in a huge cave deep underground, and they soon realize that they’re not alone. The fossil Pokemon, believed to be extinct, Kabuto, Kabutops, Omanyte and Omastar, angrily confront the group.
Ash calls on his Charmeleon to keep them at bay, but he refuses to listen to Ash and instead takes a nap.
They all get attacked by the fossil Pokemon, but they suddenly flee when they hear the call of the fearsome Aerodactyl. Charmeleon gets smacked by Aerodactyl, triggering its rage and desire to battle.
It nabs up Ash in its claws and flies out of the cave with Pikachu and Charmeleon hanging on its tail.
Aerodactyl continues to smack Charmeleon around, and they start taunting each other. Angered by Aerodactyl’s taunts, Charmeleon evolves into Charizard and they start a confrontation in the sky. Ash is ecstatic, believing Charmeleon evolved to save him, but when Charizard starts recklessly shooting off Flamethrowers in his direction, he realizes he evolved to fight Aerodactyl.
Jigglypuff arrives and Misty tells it to sing its song for everyone. It gladly agrees, and the lullaby soon makes everyone sleepy. Charizard is able to fight the effects by plugging his ears. Aerodactyl falls asleep, dropping Ash in the process. Charizard catches him and sets him down on the ground safely before also falling asleep.
Meanwhile, Aerodactyl falls back into the cave, which seals itself back up again with the aftershock of Aerodactyl’s landing.
After everyone awakens, Jenny assures everyone that there was no prehistoric Pokemon, and any sightings of them was just a dream caused by Jigglypuff. Furthermore, with the instability caused by Team Rocket’s bombs, digging will no longer be permitted in Grampa Canyon.
Ash and the others are happy that Aerodactyl and the other ancient Pokemon will be able to rest now, but they didn’t leave the great fossil rush empty handed. Ash reveals that he stumbled upon a Pokemon egg after he woke up and decided to take it. The three then argue over who gets to care for the egg.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are trembling in fear, still trapped in the cave with the now sleeping fossil Pokemon.
– Yeah, I’m so sure you direct archaeologists to their dig sites with signs that have pictures of shovels and picks with an arrow.
– Hi Gary!
– Gary: *In reference to Ash* “Even a nerd like you shoulda heard about the great fossil rush.” ‘Nerd’ implies a great deal of intelligence, so this line makes no sense. Come on 4Kids, this isn’t difficult.
– Ash: “Loser?! That know-it-all!” That line implies that Gary knows Ash is, in fact, a loser.
– Brock: “I don’t feel right about digging up old Pokemon fossils, especially after they’ve been resting in the earth for such a long time.” As opposed to those Pokemon fossils that have been resting in the earth for a few minutes? Also, I get where Brock is coming from, respect for the dead and all, but is he making an anti-archaeology/paleontology argument?
Misty: “If they’ve been lying underground for thousands of years, maybe they’d like a little fresh air.”
Ash: “I think it’s your brain that needs some fresh air.” Wow, Ash. Uncalled for.
– STILL using the Pokemon logo in the title screen when saying ‘Pokemon’? Wow, I was off by light years.
– I tend to give some shows leeway when it comes to topics like this, and for all I know the laws in the Pokemon world are somehow different, but actively digging up and collecting fossils is a heavily regulated practice, not to mention that extracting a fossil, intact and without damage, is very difficult even for trained experts. This massive group of ten to twenty-year-olds should not be able to just crowd a single area like this and smack away at it.
– I’m no archaeologist, but I don’t think this looks right in any way. The fossil is perfectly cut out of the ground by Gary merely picking at it, there’s no rubble on top of it despite Gary seeing this exact image immediately after hitting the area with a pick, and the rock with the fossil is a drastically different color than the rock surrounding it. If the footage didn’t suggest otherwise, and I didn’t know Gary was too good for cheating, I’d say someone dug a small hole and plopped a fossil in it.
– I know Gary’s disappointed that he found a poop fossil, but isn’t that still valuable? Don’t scientists learn a lot about diets and prehistoric vegetation and whatnot from poop fossils?
– Brock: “All these people digging and no one’s found any fossils yet.” Uh, Gary just found one. It’s poop, but it’s fossilized poop – it counts. Also, you’re greatly underestimating how long this process typically takes.
– James: “Once we blast Grampa Canyon to smithereens, we’ll be able to scoop up all those Pokemon fossils.” Yeah, because they’re impervious to dynamite.
– Misty: “Did you hear that? They’re going to blow up this whole canyon!” Yeah, we all heard, Misty. Team Rocket was literally yelling out their plans for no other reason than to alert nearby main characters about their plans.
– Oh hey a Team Rocket plot that involves explosives and mass murder. Every now and then, I feel like calling them Terrorist Rocket.
– James: “Oh it’s that pest again!”
Jessie: “Always messing up our plans!” Technically, you screwed yourself here with your yelling, Jessie. If you just kept your trap shut, Ash and the others would be dead along with the 50+ people you’re about to try and murder by now.
– I’d also like to point out that Meowth is perfectly allowed to use a zippo lighter here, but in Snow Way Out that same lighter will be painted into a candle for no reason.
– Again, if they just didn’t alert Ash to the fact that the fuse was already lit, their plans would’ve gone through. Team Rocket, I implore you to get more intelligent, because there’s only so much you can wring out of idiot vs. idiot(s) storylines.
– Squirtle should be a good enough shot to have gotten that fuse before it even left the cliff, but I guess this might show contrast and development in how awesome Squirtle’s accuracy gets later on, especially in the Orange League.
– I know Team Rocket is trying to stop Ash from extinguishing the fuse, but….*sigh* do I even need to ask if they realize that they’re running towards a massive bomb, and, should they succeed, they’ll have front row seats to a massive murder explosion of death?
– Pikachu, there is no reason whatsoever, even in a panic, that you should’ve believed electrocuting dynamite was a good idea in any capacity.
– The reactions are priceless, though.
– I call bullshit on them living through that. I get the cartoon logic, but, come on. That thing looked like a nuke when it went off and cracked the ground in two. No way did they get off without a scratch.
– How did Squirtle get separated from the others? He was in the same cluster that Ash, Team Rocket, Arbok and Weezing were in when the bomb went off. If anyone should be separated, it should be Pikachu because he escaped from the cluster beforehand to go off and be an idiot.
Even if he did somehow separate, how did he not fall into the crevice? It was massive. If it took Pikachu, surely it would take Squirtle.
– How is Weezing falling if it can float?
– Our friends fell into a massive hole that is being covered by rocks! Quick! Walk on top of it and chuck the rocks away!
Best case scenario, they don’t know how deep this chasm is and believe Ash and the others are just covered by rocks, which, hate to break it to you, but corpses.
Even if they lived through that and this hole wasn’t deep, they have no clue where they would be. They could be chucking stones ONTO Ash or Pikachu.
Worst case scenario, they shift the rocks so much they collapse the stones that are plugging it up, causing them to fall into the hole and inevitably crush the people below before they also die. Not exactly sure about the best way to approach this, but certainly it isn’t that.
– Jigglypuff thinks a mound of rocks is a stage with lights and everything….So…what has Jiggly really been puffin’?
– It seems like one of the most pointless scenes of fanservice/filler or whatever to have Jigglypuff all entranced by a rock stage, see the pile of rocks fall down, then get pissed that they fell.
– I think I’ll give a generous pass to (almost) every time characters survive huge falls because otherwise I’d have to call out whenever Team Rocket survives getting blasted off.
– Jessie: “Looks like we got blown all the way to the moon.” Jessie…*sigh* I’ll be nice and chalk this one up to head trauma.
– Ash is not the slightest bit concerned about where his Squirtle is. For all he knows, it’s dead.
– That rock formation doesn’t look like it follows the laws of physics…or gravity….or anything.
– Realistically, the only fossil Pokemon I can believe has glow-in-the-dark red eyes is Kabuto. Everyone else just had it done for dramatic effect.
– I am so baffled by how ungodly pissed Omastar looks here.
– Uhm, gonna call bullshit on them sleeping for thousands of years. 1) Why would they do that? 2) How could they do that? 3) How did they survive all that time? 4) You’re telling me that in thousands of years, they’ve never been woken up or decided to go outside?
– Jessie: “Argh, nevermind! Let’s just capture them! Pokeball, go!” They’re being far too stupid in this episode for me to take them forgetting that Pokemon need to be weakened before capture as being note-worthy….except for the fact that I noted that I wouldn’t note it…..urr…uhm….
– Those Pokeballs hit Meowth and didn’t even open. This just brings up the question of whether Meowth truly does have an owner.
– Ash: “We have to battle! Charmeleon! I choose you!”
Here we go.
Ash Being a Charmoron Count:
2 (I’m giving him a pass for the first time in The Problem with Paras, but not for the second time.)
In case this isn’t clear, this is a count for every time Ash calls out Charmeleon/izard and just expects it to obey him + bonus points if he uses him in incredibly stupid situations or if Charmeleon/izard creates a hazard by being out.
I will, however, give a pass for the incredibly obvious x4 disadvantage he’s not seeing. While he could’ve just looked up the typing quickly before selecting a Pokemon, he did have his Pokedex out a few seconds ago afterall, it’s incredibly hard to tell what types the fossil Pokemon are, even if blue snails are a little obvious.
– Geodude gets to do stuff! Whoo!
….It’s just moving rocks…..but whoo!
– Blah blah, the anime forgets that Rock Pokemon are not immune to Electricity, blah blah. Actually, scratch that, not only do they mistake Rock for Ground yet again, but Kabutops are part Water, so that should be very effective.
– I’m going to give Ash another pass for calling on Charmeleon again, considering he’s in a tense situation and Charmeleon is already out, but I will mark him off for not trying any of his other Pokemon. Squirtle may be out of the picture, but he still has Bulbasaur (who would be awesome right now) and Pidgeotto.
– I kinda wish Charmeleon/izard had kept that cool ‘scar’ on its forehead. Would’ve been some neat although minor characterization.
– I love how they yell to Ash to ‘watch out!’ when Aerodactyl has his entire body clutched in its talons/feet. Yeah, he can totally avoid that.
– Here we are. The point of ranting about Charmeleon’s cheap as hell evolution. You can definitely make the case that Charmander was at the right time to evolve into Charmeleon. You can also make the argument that it deserved to become a Charizard at least before Cinnabar Island or the Indigo League conference. But I cannot accept this evolution as being anything other than bullshit.
It’s been all of, what, three episodes since it evolved? And it hasn’t even won any battles since then (except kinda against Paras) because it wouldn’t listen to Ash, and it wasn’t even in Jigglypuff’s debut episode.
The only way I can really justify it a little is that Charmander was overleveled when it evolved into Charmeleon, so it only need a small nudge to make its way into Charizard. However, if he was stopping himself from evolving, like Squirtle and Bulbasaur seem to do, why? Why would he choose, of all times, The Exeggutor Squad episode to jump into Charmeleon?
I saw someone mention the hordes of Exeggutor that it beat as being the source of an insane amount of experience, but 1) we’re meant to believe Melvin beat like half of those and 2) I don’t believe even beating all of those Exeggutor (who were god knows what level) would be enough to jack his level that high.
Even if he was overleveled, you need to level again before you can evolve, and bullshit he got experience from being smacked by Aerodactyl a couple of times to evolve when he’s around level 36.
Even that explanation seems illogical because he didn’t get experience here.
He was just pissed.
Here’s Charmeleon’s evolution scene entirely.
Charmeleon mocks Aerodactyl by…swiping his fingers against his forehead?
Aerodactyl responds with a ‘bii-daa,’ which, I don’t even understand how it knows that considering it’s supposed to have been underground for thousands of years, thus would have no way of knowing Japanese schoolyard taunts.
Charmeleon stamps its feet and has a tantrum.
That’s it. That’s everything. Some people justify this by saying he evolved in order to beat Aerodactyl, but I just keep feeling like that’s more bullshit. Whether numeric levels and quantitative experience exist or not, there’s no denying that you need these things in order to evolve. Otherwise, most Pokemon would do it a lot more often. It’s a permanent change that requires thought, sure, and their paws may always be on their internal B button, but imagine if it really is supposed to work that way.
You could catch yourself a bunch of base evos, beg your Pokemon to evolve so you don’t have to grind exp, because that’s boring, and Rare Candies are like….rare, and poof, let’s mow down the Gyms before the weekend.
If we revisit The Problem with Paras for a bit, it’s suggested that experience and evolution is based on perception, so cocky twats like Charmeleon evolve with no problem (Charmander was looking a bit proud in the Exeggutor episode) However, I’m having a harder and harder time believing that too, because that would mean pretty much all arrogant Pokemon would evolve in a snap and no self-depreciating Pokemon would ever evolve.
Can we just be honest here and admit that the writers desperately wanted Charizard to come on the scene because everyone loves that overrated orange dragon? I like Charizard (as a Pokemon) too, it was my first ever fully-evolved starter in Pokemon Red, but could we have at least a little bit of time with Charmeleon before you chuck it aside for Charizard? Mid-evos, particularly starter mid-evos, get shafted enough as it is.
From a less skeevy viewpoint, maybe they realized that Ash was already nearing the end of his Kanto journey and had zero fully evolved powerhouse Pokemon? Outside of Muk, but, remember everyone, he can’t have Muk around because it stinks even in its Pokeball. So he never, ever uses it, ever. Despite having the omnipotent Messiahchu, he needed a Pokemon that also looked like a powerhouse. Gary was going to get Blastoise so his Squirtle wasn’t much of an option, and Bulbasaur……Pbt. Dragons>leavy frog dinosaur.
And don’t even mention Pidgeotto. I will burst a blood vessel.
– Uhm, Misty, I understand this is a crucial moment and everything, time is of the essence and whatnot, but uh….don’t you think it might be a bad idea to play Jigglypuff’s song right now? Doesn’t that seem just a smidge dangerous? Charizard will fall asleep in midair, crash, and die. Aerodactyl, the Pokemon carrying your friend through the air, will fall asleep, crash, and Ash will die….And so will Aerodactyl.
– Props to Charizard for being smart enough to plug his ears.
– I’ll also give him props for showing that, despite everything, including nearly frying Ash to death several times while trying to beat Aerodactyl, Charizard caught Ash and safely put him on land.
– Where did hell did that egg come from anyway? Where are Togepi’s parents?
– See? Jigglypuff inexplicably has a microphone marker out of nowhere.
– Jenny: “Some of you are claiming that you saw a prehistoric Pokemon here in the canyon. That is ridiculous. Let me assure you it was only a dream caused by Jigglypuff’s song.”
Wha–…What? The song that they didn’t even hear until they had already been watching an Aerodactyl nearly eat Ash for over two minutes? Also, what are you saying? That 50+ people all had the exact same dream? That’s even weirder than seeing a previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon.
This is very much cover-up-ish, but if so, why? It might be to protect the fossil Pokemon, but there’s nothing to protect them from, besides Team Rocket and they died in the second cave-in.
I get the good intentions behind these ‘we have to keep pretending they’re not here so they won’t be bothered’ motivations, but I doubt the government, of all things, would see previously-thought-to-be-extinct Pokemon and just ignore them for the sake of maintaining their peace and quiet.
We have no clue how many of these Pokemon are even living underground. They could be a thriving species and studying them might do no more harm than studying anything else.
Prohibiting mass excavation of the land I can definitely buy in this situation both for the safety of the people and the Pokemon, but I still don’t see why such a big coverup is needed. Especially seeing as how, later, we’ll see a certain someone caught Aerodactyl on film.
– Gary, you believing this dream stuff is just out of character for you, even if you are quietly questioning it to yourself.
– Brock: “But I think Aerodactyl and the others would be happy just going back to sleep.” They’ve been asleep for thousands of years. Why do you believe they’d find happiness in perpetually being asleep? Not much of a life, if you ask me.
– First Brock is asking if Ash should even take the egg from the area, then he and Misty are all gung-ho about straight-up stealing it from him. What a confused ending. Suck it, Togepi’s parents! Our egg now!
Outside of the evolution and the weird coverup, I’m pretty alright with this episode. There’s not too much wrong with it outside of the evolution, but there’s not a lot going for it in regards to fun or interesting things, in my opinion.
I think they could’ve done a lot more with the fossil Pokemon, and jam-packing all of them in one episode is a bit too much, but I guess I can see why they went down that road. Also, for an episode about the fossil Pokemon and starting with a ‘great fossil rush’ we see all of one fossil and it’s of crap. What prompted the great fossil rush anyway?
The evolution really is the biggest mar on this otherwise alright episode. I never got over how insanely cheap it was. They want to make a big to-do about Charizard finally appearing, but they chose such a random moment to debut him in. I always constantly forgot what episode Charmeleon evolved in, and he’s a Charmeleon for such a short amount of time that you barely remember him.
Looking back on it, it would’ve been so much better to have him evolve into Charizard in the Volcano Badge episodes. It’s a two-parter, which means it’s already a big deal to begin with, it’s centered on Fire Pokemon, it contains a notable rival to Charizard (Magmar), Charmeleon could eek out more experience between now and then, and there’s a much better motivation lying there.
Instead of Pikachu getting his ass handed to him by Magmar, have Charmeleon, cocky and hot-headed, get whupped. Have him contemplate his standing as a fighter, because Charmeleon just do that, then evolve right before the rematch or during the volcano disaster or something. Have him evolve not in a fit of immature rage triggered by insults but in a pure desire to defeat a worthy opponent.
Next episode, we play doctor…~~ Actually, considering the next CotD, that joke is incredibly creepy.
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