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| A Sandile Gusher of Change!
Mijumaru! Meguroco! Close Call!!
|| September 30, 2010
| United States
|| February 19, 2011
|| Team Kato
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| まついひとゆき Hitoyuki Matsui
| Assistant director
|| 山崎友正 Tomomasa Yamazaki
| Animation director
|| 池田志乃 Shino Ikeda
| Additional credits
A Sandile Gusher of Change! (Japanese: ミジュマル！メグロコ！危機一髪！！ Mijumaru! Meguroco! Close Call!!) is the third episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 660th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 30, 2010 and in the United States on February 19, 2011.
Ash is traveling along with Pikachu as they begin their journey towards Striaton City and the first Unova Gym, however Ash is finding himself followed by Iris, the young girl he met a couple of days earlier. Tensions rise after Iris and Ash argue about who is following who, which lead to some name calling, when suddenly the Oshawott who helped them save Pikachu and Axew from Jessie, James, and Meowth previously emerges. Iris is happy that Oshawott has followed her, but it soon becomes clear that he has actually followed Ash when he climbs on his shoulder and shoves Pikachu from his usual spot. Pikachu isn't very happy about this and tries to use Thunderbolt on Oshawott, but Oshawott deflects it with his scalchop, so the attack shocks Ash instead, much to Iris's pleasure.
Iris suggests to Ash that Oshawott wants to travel with him, and Ash agrees as thanks for saving Pikachu and Axew from Team Rocket. Ash throws a Poké Ball which hits Oshawott on the head and flies high into the sky...where it ultimately fails to react to the attempted capture. Ash realizes this isn't just any Oshawott, but the same one from Professor Juniper's lab and, since he's under her ownership, he can't be captured by another Trainer. At a nearby store, Ash calls Professor Juniper, and the Professor is very relieved to hear that Oshawott is safe. She agrees that Ash can take care of Oshawott and transfers his Poké Ball to him, but warns him to keep his eyes on him due to its tendency to run off. Ash ends the call and prepares to recall Oshawott, but the Sea Otter Pokémon has—as Professor Juniper warned—run away somewhere, leaving Ash and Iris to begin searching for him.
Unfortunately, the search doesn't get very far as the two fall into a pitfall trap that was in the road. They look up and see a young boy named Dan, who explains that trap was dug by a Sandile. At the same time, the Rocket trio fall down a similar pitfall and encounter a Sandile wearing sunglasses. Dan has helped Ash and Iris out of the pitfall by using a rope and explains that he is a young boy helping his father run a spa resort hotel, although their spa isn't open currently to due the Sandile. There is a flashback to explain that the Sandile wearing sunglasses appeared one day and made the rest of the (usually peaceful) Sandile act irrationally.
Ash then thrusts the challenge of solving this mystery upon himself. He decides that the best thing to to is to replicate what was going on the first time the Sandile first started rampaging. So Ash, Pikachu, and Iris's all have a sand bath. Meanwhile, Team Rocket are watching Ash when the Sandile that wears sunglasses turns up, and has been apparently following them since they fell into its trap. Iris reminds Ash that they were originally looking for Oshawott, causing Ash to rise from his bath. But all his stress is relieved when they see Oshawott taking a sand bath just opposite them.
The Sandile wearing sunglasses then burrows towards Ash and friends. It leaps out of the sand and gets ready in battle formation. Dan reveals that it is the Sandile's leader. It then launches an attack and grabs Axew in its mouth. Pikachu readies a Thunderbolt attack but is then stopped by Iris as her Axew would take the damage. The entire team (excluding Dan) then wrestle the Sandile in an attempt to get Axew back. The Sandile only relinquishes its grip on Axew when one of Pikachu's ears tickles the inside of Sandile's nose. Everybody then stumbles back. Sandile takes the opportunity to lash out and manages to grab Pikachu by an arm and Oshawott by his foot. The Sandile beings to run away with the two others until Team Rocket pick up the Sandile using a type of crane.
Team Rocket start to drive away with the three Pokémon dangling in front of them. In an attempt to get away, Meowth throws a smoke grenade at our heroes. It appears that Team Rocket have finally stolen Pikachu and gotten away with it, until the front left of the crane sinks into the ground. It is made apparent that the Sandile's leader had called upon a mass attack upon Team Rocket. Ash and crew catch up just in time to see the attack unfold. All of the Sandile use Dig at once and Team Rocket are forced to flee. The Sandile's leader is free.
The Sandile's leader takes its two captors to a certain spot and lets them go, the Pokémon unaware that Ash, Iris, and Dan are watching from afar. It turns out that the Sandile have rounded up other Pokémon (Patrat, Deerling, and Pidove). The Sandile's leader says something and a geyser erupts in the background. The Sandile then herd the gathered Pokémon away from were they are at, leaving Pikachu and Oshawott behind. Quickly, there is a sudden increase in the amount of erupting geysers. Dan makes a comment about how this has never happened before. Dan makes a hypothesis that the Sandile's leader predicted that this event would occur and tried to scare away all of the people and Pokémon so they were safe.
Ash then goes to talk to Pikachu and the Sandile spot him. Then a sequence of massive geysers go off. The Sandile go to confront Ash but as they do the piece of ground that the herded Pokémon were on becomes surrounded by boiling hot water. Under the heat, the rock they are standing on begins to crumble. Ash attempts to rescue the helpless Pokémon but can not reach them. Then one Sandile bites some rock and places its body in a vertical position, and allows another Sandile to climb upon it and bite its tail. This process is repeated with many Sandile. The Sandile then swing themselves down to form a bridge for the stranded Pokémon to climb over to safety. All of the Pokémon are too scared to cross the bridge though so Ash runs over the bridge to give them a pep talk, with Pikachu acting as his translator.
Just before all of the Pokémon get across, the rock underneath where the end Sandile is standing falls away. Ash then has to grab the end Sandile to stop it from falling into the water. Suddenly, another large geyser goes off and threatens to fall on top of Ash. Oshawott leaps up and uses Water Gun to deflect the falling water, but it begins to fall helplessly towards the boiling water. Ash reaches inside his pocket and draws out Oshawott's Poké Ball. He saves Oshawott from the fall by making it return. Distracted by his heroics, Ash loses his grip on the Sandile, but before it is too late, Iris grabs Ash's wrist and saves him. The Sandile bridge then retuned to its vertical state and collapses. For a reward, our heroes are treated to a free treatment at Dan and his father's spa hotel.
The episode ends on the lead Sandile, having dug itself up nearby from the ground, who laughs.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- At one point in the episode, one of the sunglasses-wearing Sandile's teeth is colored the same as its body.
- When the sunglasses-wearing Sandile is holding Pikachu and Oshawott, just before it turns around Oshawott's nose has the same color as his feet.
- Immediately after the flashback scene in which Prof. Juniper introduces Oshawott, there is a misplaced sound effect of a Poké Ball opening, much like when a Pokémon is being sent out.
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