azaleeshipping

Wow, this episode was actually really good. I really really enjoyed it a ton? Honestly the first one I’ve really really loved since the Lapras episode. Why is it that episodes centralized around Bonnie have to slay so hard? It’s not just Bonnie that made this episode incredible. It was P-O-K-E-M-O-N. Pokemon having their own fears and struggles? Pokemon having their own goals and aspirations? Pokemon having their own agency? Human working together with Pokemon in an authentic manner and showing off human-Pokemon relationships nicely and fairly as well as Pokemon-Pokemon just cause? What is this, I don’t ever?! It was incredible was what it was. Pokemon mattered so m u c h and it gave me so much joy and felt really feel-good. Dedenne, oh God, Dedenne was the best here along with Goomy.

I like how a lot of characters in this episode got to do something! From Dedenne literally doing its best “all for Goomy” to Bonnie battling and recognizing the situations on cue to Serena being active and fighting alongside Pancham. Dedenne played such a huge role, It was Dedenne who took it upon itself to search for Goomy through the rocky terrain, it was Dedenne who stepped up to encourage Pancham to persevere in confusion, it was Dedenne who was battling in vain against Team Rocket, it was Dedenne who moved Goomy to become a braver individual, it was Dedenne who put itself in harm’s way for Pokemon in a critical situation and the narrative meant it. It was Dedenne who was being awesome on its own near and away from Bonnie and having its own agency and instrumentality to the plot and those around it. 

Bonnie, oohhhhhhh Bonnie, Eureka, whatever you wanna call Ms. Blond-Show-Stealer-And-XY-Lemon-Champ. Bonnie doing mainly the talking when they met up with Meowth, Bonnie went and found leaves for Goomy’s sake along with Dedenne, she mainly lead the way walking in front of Serena and only really stepping back when TR reared their heads but stepping back up to face Team Rocket. Bonnie recognized that Dedenne was using its antenna whiskers to keep in contact with Pikachu. Bonnie battling is something I’d been waiting for since the beginning, after her slaying of Chespin and defeat of TR along with Dedenne Nuzzling a Greninja to death, is there anyone who can stand up to the littlest Lemon Sibling in combat? X) Good to see the little dormouse has wised up compared to early XY where Bonnie tried to be active but it usually snoozing. 

Even when she couldn’t fight, she still pushed Clemont to step up and join the battle before. You just know that if she was awake during that Summer Camp Drifblim situation, she would have told Clemont to be brave and risk himself to get involved and save her. She’s active and pushes others to at least try, just like how Dedenne pushed Pancham to carry on in battle. Bonnie and Dedenne are not authorized nor entitled to anything by the narrative. They are open, curious, empathetic and focused and driven in a real way. Dedenne and Bonnie and Goomy didn’t slay so hard because they were badass or whatever, but because we saw those acts of tenderness and conveyance genuinely and they meant something and I adored that about this episode. It made it seem like her and the Pokemon were moving forward together, like the show should portray.

Goomy’s fear of Dedenne from the previous episode as well as need to gain more inner strength by seeing figures like Pikachu and Dedenne put themselves in harm’s way and go through so much pain was great. It’s nice to see it’s being treated as something gradual, Goomy immediately isn’t jumping into combat but doesn’t mind sponging hits so Dedenne can have some relief itself. Because at the end of the day Dedenne did get the brunt of the suffering here. But what matters was that they pushed for working together. The exposition and continued flashes we’re getting keep on and it feels as though Goomy - like Korrina’s Lucario, like Pikachu, like Chespin - is its own Pokemon and character and we need more of that. It does seem to have had a traumatic experience in Kalos badlands so you can tell they’re going for broke with this Pokemon. It’s nice to know there’s much more to it other than it being weakling. 

As for Serena and her battling alongside Bonnie, indeed she did seem a bit more quicker to use a Pokemon than I feel she usually is. She certainly did seem somewhat nervous at the beginning. Most likely because it was a dire situation, perhaps or maybe it could be a small admittance from the narrative that she isn’t quite a strong battler or a competent one yet? If so I would be happy and would hope that’s foreshadowing or leading the way for some deconstruction, since Serena technically hasn’t had one trainer battle on her own. While she did battle Team Squritle, in the end she lost the fastest and easily. It never got followed up on so I’m hoping this is a hint toward that, perhaps something like this can pose a problem for the future.

We know her Fennekin is evolving soon despite not being very active and competent, so perhaps something involving the bond between the two coming into question post-evolution and causing some struggle for her in the field of understanding her Pokemon and working alongside them. Pancham was a little star in this episode too, its interactions with Dedenne and Goomy, facial expressions, body movements(Performer flip dodges!), perseverance and just the little things about it made it standout even when it was an episode mainly about Dedenne. It reminded me how this was an episode about Pokemon, Serena was used here for Pancham’s benefit. The episode showed us, without throwing it in our faces and subtly that Bonnie was better in some fields so I do think this can lead to something.

We saw Pancham fighting its hardest and doing its best on its own, shrugging and having a hard time fending off two Pokemon at once and readying itself for battle. The only thing I would have changed was to have Pancham receive praise for its actions, we got Dedenne getting praised at the end of the episode but not Pancham. But then again this was Dedenne and Goomy’s episode so I suppose it might explain the lack of reciprocation toward the little panda bear. Though Serena was trying to protect Bonnie(Azaleeshipping ftw!) it was Bonnie who came through for Serena in the clutch and she became more confident because of it and Dedenne who struck off Pancham’s confusion to mirror that. It was so important to me how their relationship was presented as mutual and it was really fun seeing them together, I do feel like Serena works best with Bonnie. 

This episode did a lot for me, I want a thousand Dedenne and Pancham episodes, I want waaaay more EureSere moments. More of the Goom baby and waaaaaaaaaay more episodes like these about Pokemon written in interesting and dynamic ways to drive the plot and invest me in them. Only thing that could have made this episode perfect was more Clemont, he got to attack TR with Chespin and Bunnelby though and thanked Serena for caring for Bonnie, took notice to the Lombre and acknowledged Pikachu’s electrical connection to Pikachu, so no crying. Small moments but still fun moments. Pokemon - Pancham, Dedenne, Goomy - along with Bonnie/Serena made this episode slay so well. Above all else, I want Bonnie and her Dedenne to play a larger role in Goomy’s growth and future. Perhaps a future battle between Sliggoo and Dedenne?