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| A Poached Ego!
Rocket-dan! Goodbye to the Troublemakers!!
|| December 26, 2002
| United States
|| November 29, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 木村竜二 Ryūji Kimura
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
A Poached Ego! (Japanese: ロケット団！みだれひっかきでサヨウナラ！！ Rocket-dan! Goodbye to the Troublemakers!!) is the sixth episode of the Advanced Generation series and the 280th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 26, 2002 and in the United States on November 29, 2003.
While Team Rocket plots to steal Pikachu once again, they come across a Pokémon poacher, who wants to make off with Arbok and Weezing. In response, Team Rocket diverts their resources into defending them and the other Ekans and Koffing that he has already poached.
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Ash and company are moving towards Rustboro City, but May isn't happy. Wanting another break, she slows down, and everyone decides to take another break. However, when she leans back onto a tree, she discovers that the tree bark has been torn in many places. Speculating as to what is going on, Max suggests that a Pokémon battle had taken place. Ash seemed to agree, but later discovers part of a net embedded into one of the trees. Meanwhile, Max discovers that a Pokémon Center is nearby, and Brock proceeds to lead everyone else there.
Arriving at the Pokémon Center, they meet Nurse Joy. Before Brock can make his moves on her, May, believing that it is the same Nurse Joy from Oldale Town, tries to greet her, but is surprised when Nurse Joy does not recognize her. As Max tries to tell her that Pokémon Centers are run by a family of (nearly) identical-looking Nurse Joys, Officer Jenny and her Growlithe appear to ask whether Pokémon had recently been admitted to the Pokémon Center, due to the activities of a poacher, named Rico, nearby. As Max also explains to May that Officer Jennys are also (more or less) identical, Ash presents Officer Jenny with the part of the net that they had found. Officer Jenny, with a lead on Rico, then asks Ash and company to return to where they had found it, and everyone leaves the Pokémon Center in haste.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are on a hill overlooking the Pokémon Center. As they plan to trap Ash and company when they return (using their "patented pitfall trap"), Meowth slips and rolls down a hill. At the bottom, he finds a tarp covering a large object, and uncovers that it is a cage full of Ekans. Learning that the Ekans had been caught and abused by a Pokémon poacher, Meowth tries to free them, but find that their cage is electrified. At this point, Jessie and James (riding Arbok and Weezing) arrive. Outraged at how the Ekans are confined, Jessie orders Arbok to use Acid to free the Ekans, but Arbok is reluctant to attack (due to itself being once an Ekans and feeling compassionate for its own kind, Meowth claims). After being reassured that the Ekans will not be harmed (with the intent to take the Ekans in themselves), Arbok once again begins its attack (with Weezing throwing a Sludge to help). However, before they can attack, they are themselves attacked by a Fearow.
The Fearow's trainer then arrives in a jeep. Introducing himself as Rico, a Pokémon poacher, he explains that the Ekans were his. Per his client's wishes, he is to poach Template:Type2 Pokémon (including the cage full of Koffing he has in tow), with a bonus for every evolved one he can get. He allows them to leave unharmed - if they left Arbok and Weezing to him. Having gone through so much with Arbok and Weezing (James claiming that the two were like brothers), and motivated by the Ekans and the Koffing, they refuse, and Arbok and Weezing prepare to defend themselves as Rico then orders Fearow to attack. Fearow easily dodges Arbok's Poison Sting and Weezing's Smog, and lands a Fury Attack on both. When Fearow tries to finish off Arbok with a Drill Peck, however, Arbok catches its beak with a Wrap. Just then, Rico withdraws Fearow for a Pupitar, who proceeds to use Sandstorm to send Team Rocket flying. Claiming that Arbok and Weezing were too weak for their efforts, Rico leaves to poach more Pokémon.
Meanwhile, Ash and company have arrived back at where they had found the net. Max discovers tire tracks, and Brock surmises that whoever Rico must not have gone too far. Ash then takes out Taillow to search from the sky. Elsewhere, Team Rocket makes a hard landing, and Jessie is particularly incensed at Rico, and vows to free the Ekans and Koffing at any cost. James, who is also incensed, agrees to use a classic Team Rocket "sting operation". As if on cue, a swarm of Kakuna and Beedrill appear, and Team Rocket run for cover. Ahead of them is a Cacnea, who brushes the Beedrill off with a Pin Missile. After thanking the Cacnea with a bag of treats, Jessie and James are resigned to the fact that Rico may have been long gone. However, Arbok, with its body to the ground, could still sense that Rico is near. Saying their goodbye to Cacnea, they run off to get their revenge.
In the meantime, Taillow has located Rico in his jeep, and returns to Ash and company with its results. Rico is still driving along when Arbok appears from the ground. Before he can take his poaching gun out to subdue Arbok, a layer of smoke appears, caused by Weezing. Using Fearow to blow the smoke away, he discovers that Meowth had use the SmokeScreen to sneak in and pick the locks to the cage (claiming that years of being attacked by Pikachu had allowed him to withstand the electrified cage). When Fearow tries to attack Meowth, Arbok responds by using Headbutt to send Fearow into the cage, knocking it out. Meowth manages to open the cage and free the Ekans and Koffing, just as Arbok and Weezing knock the poaching gun from his hands.
Angered, Rico sends out Pupitar, who promptly evolves to a Tyranitar. Before Team Rocket can make an attack, however, Tyranitar attacks with its own Hyper Beam. With no way to stop Tyranitar, Jessie has an idea, and sends out Wobbuffet in an attempt to counter Tyranitar's Hyper Beam. However, Tyranitar quickly knocks out Wobbuffet before it can set up an attack. The explosion from the Hyper Beam does not go unnoticed by Ash and company, who try to rush to the scene.
With no other choice (having been boxed in by multiple Hyper Beams), Jessie and James orders Arbok and Weezing to leave with the Ekans and Koffing, while they themselves buy some time to allow them to escape. Though reluctant, Arbok and Weezing do so. Rico, trying to prevent their escape, tries to use another Hyper Beam to cut them off, but Meowth attacks with a Fury Swipes to the face, which briefly interrupts the attack before he eats the Hyper Beam himself. Jessie and James also use their "Fury Swipes" to stall for time, which, although they get battered in the process, allows Arbok and Weezing leave with the Ekans and Koffing. Eventually, however, Tyranitar prevails over the Team Rocket trio, and Rico simply brushes them aside to look for the escaped Poison Pokémon.
Before Rico can make any headway, however, he encounters Ash and company, as Officer Jenny tries to arrest him. Sending out Fearow to resist arrest, Fearow is quickly knocked out from a Pikachu Thunderbolt, while Growlithe knocks the gun and Tyranitar's Poké Ball from his hands. With Rico unable to evade arrest, Officer Jenny orders him to let go of the Pokémon he has poached, only for him to tell her that the Pokémon he had poached had escape, thanks to "a bunch of fools". Ash remarks how, with bad guys like Team Rocket around, there are still good guys in the world.
Later, Jessie and James are walking along the forest, wondering if Arbok and Weezing had managed to evade Rico. Although Meowth claims that years of battling Ash's Pokémon had hardened them against any threat, they are still uneasy. Just then, the same Cacnea reappears, carrying the same unopened bag of cookies. When James asks if the Cacnea would want to follow them (as he is opening the bag for Cacnea), Cacnea happily obliges, poking James as it hugs him. Though they have lost Arbok and Weezing, at least Team Rocket had (literally) caught themselves a new Pokémon...
Who’s That Pokémon?: Larvitar
- The gun Rico used was an FN P90.
- This is the first episode since it was introduced that May's Torchic does not appear.
- Aside from the movie Destiny Deoxys, this is the last episode where Megan Hollingshead provides the voice of Officer Jenny.
- The brief time period between James releasing Weezing and capturing Cacnea marks the only time in the entire series so far that a main character, besides Max, has had no Pokémon on hand.
- Music from The Power of One is used while Team Rocket are fighting Rico.
- Arbok uses Headbutt, a move it could only learn in Generation II, in this episode.
- When Team Rocket is seen plotting against Rico, after they were blasted off, the sound of Wobbuffet coming out of its Poké Ball can be heard even though it is standing right next to Jessie.
In other languages
- FInnish: Salametsästäjän jäljillä
- French: Le voleur volé
- German: In den Fängen des Wilderers
- Hebrew: אגו של ציד ego shel tsayad
- Italian: Il bracconiere
- Brazilian Portuguese: O Ego Roubado!
- European Portuguese: Um Ego Ferido!
- Iberian Spanish: El cazador furtivo
- Latin American Spanish: ¡El cazador furtivo!