This week, we start off with Ash engaging in battle with a trainer named Penelope, but this battle has a wager on it. If Ash loses, he has to go with her, but Ash is confident he won’t lose. Ash sends out Frokie, and Penelope chooses Sylveon. The battle is short, ending with Frokie being no match Sylveon’s attractive attract, and sealed with a Draining Kiss. Since Ash is decalred the loser, he must go with Penelope. Clement, Bonnie and Serena are worried at first, but are more relieved when they too are invited along. Penelope ends up taking them to a preschool, where she happens to work. She explains that she likes bringing Pokemon to the children to play with, whether they be wild Pokemon, or with other trainers’. Meanwhile, Team Rocket are spying on the ‘twerps’, making plans to take some Pokemon. Back at the preschool, Ash, Clement and Serena bring out all their pokemon for the kids to play with, and Bonnie introduces them to Dedenne. All of the kids love the pokemon and are thrilled to be playing with them, all but one that is. Randall is off by himself, scared to interact with any of the Pokemon, because of a bad experience he once had with a Hopip.
As everyone is playing and having fun, a truck pulls up to the kindergarten, opening up the back to reveal a stage and out comes Team Rocket dressed up as clowns, there to entertain the children. Penelope is skeptic at first, but still allows the children to go onstage. The clowns hand out balls to everyone, even Ash and friends, and instructs everyone throw their ball up into the air. Seems harmless enough, except the balls all explode into a giant cloud of smoke! Ash, Clement and Serena get all the kids off the truck stage and in all the commotion Pikachu and Sylveon get captured. Team rocket reveals themselves and close up the truck, making off with Pikachu and Sylveon, but also Frokie and Randall! Ash is furious and grabs onto the back of the truck. Inside the truck, Frokie works desperately to free Pikachu and Sylveon, but with no luck. Finally Ash makes it into the truck and helps Frokie try to release them. Watching how hard Ash is working with his Pokemon, Randall decides to help Ash and Frokie, and all together they free Sylveon. Sylveon thanks Randall by wrapping her feelers around him and he’s finally comfortable with Pokemon. Next they free Pikachu as Team Rocket pulls into an abandoned warehouse.
To their surprise, when they open up the truck they find Ash, Randall, and Frokie inside and quickly enter a battle. Jessie and James send out Pumpkaboo and Inkay, but they are no match for Frokie and Pikachu who quickly send them flying through the air, and blasting off again. Randall is returned to the kindergarten and everyone is happy to be back where they belong. Before Ash and friends leave, Randall tells Ash that he wants to be a strong trainer like him when he grows up and have just as close a friendship with his own Pokemon
This episode was cute. It seems to be a Pokemon tradition to have As and friends end up at a day care of some sort eventually, and i guess they got that episode out of the way early this time. The episode seemed pretty predictable however- kids sacred of pokemon, works with pokemon, no longer scared, wants to be like Ash. It would have been nice to see at least some creative twist somewhere along the lines. -Raikou
*images from serebii