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| The Wayward Wobbuffet
Sonans! Is That So?
|| April 5, 2001
| United States
|| March 2, 2002
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
The Wayward Wobbuffet (Japanese: ソーナンス！そうなんす？ Sonans! Is That So?) is the 192nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 5, 2001 and in the United States on March 2, 2002.
Knowing our heroes are still en-route to Olivine, Team Rocket lies in wait. Dressed as scientists, they explain they've just repaired the amazing Poké Pod. To test it out, Pikachu is placed in the pod and locked in tight. When Team Rocket reveals their true identity and runs, Ash and Co. are in hot pursuit. When our heroes catch up to Team Rocket, there isn't a Poké Pod or Pikachu in site! Realizing Wobbuffet was hiding for the handoff, Ash chases after it. In Wobbuffet's rash retreat, it trips dropping the Pikachu containing Poké Pod and falls into the rapids of a nearby river. Since the only way to release Pikachu from the Poké Pod is to possess the key around Wobbuffet's neck, it's an all-out race to reach Team Rocket's blue bad-boy first. This proves problematic as Wobbuffet plummets over waterfalls, wanders through forests, gets taken for a ride on the roof of a run-away truck, blows for miles in a hot-air balloon and falls helpless to the helm of a speedboat! Who will reach Wobbuffet and the key first?
Ash and his friends are still en-route to Olivine City for Ash's fourth Gym Badge, however what they don't know is that Team Rocket are lying in wait with a new plan to capture Pikachu. As Ash, Misty and Brock walk they come across three scientists (really Jessie, James and Meowth) discussing their new invention... the PokéPod which is completely indestructible and is apparently the safest way to transport Pokémon. Ash asks if they intend to test it out, and Jessie shows him they do by grabbing and sticking Pikachu inside. After closing the Pod, the device locks itself securely. James declares the device to be a total success, and now cannot be opened without the key. Ash asks for Pikachu back, however Team Rocket reveal themselves to Ash and quickly make a getaway with Weezing's Smokescreen as cover. The gang gives chase as Team Rocket runs for it, however Jessie is able to pass the PokéPod to a hiding Wobbuffet, who has the key to the device around his neck, which goes unnoticed by Ash and the others. By the time they catch up, Jessie declares that the PokéPod is gone, leaving the gang clueless... until Wobbuffet blows the clean getaway by revealing himself to them. Ash makes a run at the Pokémon, causing Wobbuffet to panic and accidentally trip on a nearby rock. While the PokéPod containing Pikachu goes flying into Ash's arms, Wobbuffet falls into the nearby river and is quickly swept away and over a waterfall, with the key needed to release Pikachu!
Ash tries to force the lock open but it's no good, and Jessie admits that Wobbuffet has the only key. Team Rocket get upset that they may never see Wobbuffet again, and Meowth demands Pikachu as compensation. Ash, of course, refuses but Jessie points out that he may have no choice... as the Pod cannot be opened, Pikachu is cut off from food, water and air. If Team Rocket find the key first, Ash will be forced to hand Pikachu over to ensure his survival, however James cuts Jessie off by pointing out that the twerps are gone with the Pod to find Wobbuffet first. Team Rocket quickly take off too, knowing that the first to find Wobbuffet and get the key will be the ones to get Pikachu.
At the falls, Ash and the gang struggle to find a way safely down while Team Rocket sail by in the Meowth Balloon and downstream in an attempt to catch up with Wobbuffet, who is enjoying a relaxing ride in the water. As he looks up to the clouds and happily sees Jessie's image among them, he bumps into a Quagsire and gets a fright. Quagsire points out the directions to a nearby forest, and Wobbuffet leaves the water to go and wait for Jessie to catch up. Team Rocket spot him walking off, just as Ash, Brock and Misty spot him too. All six give chase into the trees but lose Wobbuffet, who starts swinging from tree to tree. Ash runs after him but falls down a steep hill onto a road. Brock and Misty catch up, as Team Rocket crash down. Wobbuffet also apparently had a bumpy ride and is now hanging from a branch above the road. He is happy to see Jessie, however just then a massive truck speeds around the corner. Jessie tells Wobbuffet not to jump yet, but it's too late and Wobbuffet falls onto the truck which is quickly away. As Wobbuffet hangs on for dear life, several police cars come around the corner and Team Rocket soon disappear from the law. From the lead car, Officer Jenny explains that they need to catch the truck and Ash tells her they need to as well...
Soon the situation is explained and Jenny allow Ash and company to join her in her pursuit of Goneff, a master thief who breaks into bank vaults with the assistance of his Golem. Brock as usual tries to flirt, but Misty painfully reminds him that she's got enough problems already. A roadblock has been set up to catch Goneff as he nears a bridge, leaving him with no escape. As Goneff tries to shake off the police, the sudden turns cause Wobbuffet to fall onto the windshield. Goneff tries to get the blue blob off, but to no avail and the distraction causes him to run right into the roadblock. The truck crashes through several police cars into the city, and Officer Jenny has all the bridges raised and all avenues of escape cut off. Soon the truck is surrounded by the police as well as Team Rocket who approach from the balloon.
It appears the jig is up for Goneff, however the thief has a trick up his sleeve. Pressing a button, he causes the truck's container to open (which Wobbuffet falls through) and a Golem balloon to emerge with Goneff on board making his getaway. However the balloon has a stowaway in the shape of Wobbuffet, and Goneff tries to throw out the Pokémon. However Wobbuffet uses Counter to instead send Goneff flying right into the hands of the police... as the Golem balloon starts to fly away with Wobbuffet still on board!
Giving chase in the Meowth balloon, Jessie tries to recall Wobbuffet into his Poké Ball however the Golem balloon is flying wildly and the recall beams don't make contact with the errant Pokémon despite James moving them as close as possible. The balloon suddenly suffers a puncture as it hits the corner of a building and Jessie has Meowth cover the hole... but this doesn't last long as Wobbuffet makes a misguided attempt to jump into the balloon and instead sends both it and himself flying away in opposite directions.
Ash is now trying to smash apart the PokéPod but it appears that it is indeed impervious to damage and the key is indeed the only way to release Pikachu. Suddenly Ash sees Wobbuffet and the key flying overhead. Wobbuffet is going to fall into the river, and Ash sends out Chikorita and has her use Vine Whip to catch Wobbuffet. This works, and Wobbuffet and the key are snagged but are slammed into the raised bridge and dropped into a speedboat. The owner is sent flying into the water and Wobbuffet is knocked out cold as the boat speeds away.
As Team Rocket sits by their deflated balloon and lament over losing Wobbuffet, they suddenly see the speedboat containing Wobbuffet and the key going by with Ash, Misty and Brock giving chase on foot. Jessie, James and Meowth join the pursuit with Ash and Jessie both jumping onto the boat. As Jessie tries to kick Ash off, Wobbuffet finally comes to and pulls off the steering wheel. Jessie tells it to slow down using the throttle, but instead Wobbuffet takes the boat up to maximum speed and breaks the throttle. Ash and Jessie hang on as the boat thunders down the river while at the same time Goneff makes his getaway from the police on a patrol bike. Ahead of the speedboat is a Lapras-shaped cruiser which causes it to go flying and Wobbuffet to be thrown onto the back of Goneff's bike. As Goneff curses his luck, the speedboat is about to crash into a bridge when Ash uses Totodile's Water Gun to slow it down.
Regrouping, Ash and Jessie learn that Wobbuffet is being held hostage by Goneff who is holed up inside an abandoned building demanding a helicopter in exchange for its release. As Officer Jenny and the police surround the abandoned building where Goneff is holed up, Team Rocket work out a plan to get them past the good guys.
As Goneff, his Golem and a bound Wobbuffet wait for the police response, Ash and friends sneak around the back and find a tunnel dug inside the building. Team Rocket suddenly appear in front of Goneff and (after reciting the motto) try to make him a deal... release Wobbuffet and they'll let him use their tunnel to escape. Goneff refuses and sets Golem onto them, intending to use the tunnel and leave Team Rocket high and dry in the hands of the police. Suddenly Ash appears with Totodile demanding Wobbuffet's release. Goneff sends Golem after Totodile, and despite the fact that Golem is at a disadvantage typing-wise its sheer strength overpowers Totodile. Goneff tells Golem to use Tackle however Totodile hides behind Wobbuffet who uses Counter, freeing it from the rope and sending Golem flying into Goneff who crashes out of the building and is quickly arrested.
As Ash congratulates Totodile on its quick thinking, Wobbuffet rejoins the rest of Team Rocket and they make a getaway with the key needed to free Pikachu. Ash and Totodile chase them, only to find them leaving in a Wobbuffet-shaped balloon. Ash demands the key, however Wobbuffet is now inside his Poké Ball and Team Rocket boasts that now its their turned to be chased. However Wobbuffet suddenly emerges from his Poké Ball, as he often does, and Ash takes the chance, sending Noctowl to pop the balloon. Noctowl does so, and as Team Rocket are shaken about the key falls off Wobbuffet and is sent towards the ground. Jessie, James and Meowth all separately try to grab it, but can't do it before Ash finally manages to get his hands on it. Pikachu is quickly released, and Team Rocket sadly realize they've lost as Ash sends them blasting off with a well-deserved Thunderbolt. Ash thanks Officer Jenny for her help, and she thanks him for helping to apprehend Goneff. Soon Ash, Misty and Brock are back on their way to Olivine City.
Back in the city Jessie, James and Meowth are trapped hanging onto a bridge while Wobbuffet is standing safely on the top. As the three beg for his help, Wobbuffet is just happy to relax after his adventurous day.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Teddiursa (US and international), Wobbuffet (Jessie's) (Japan)
Pocket Monster TV version two featuring Pikachu. As shown above, this episode featured Wobbuffet, number 202.
- Ash sends out Totodile out of a regular Poké Ball instead of the Lure Ball it was in.
- The tail on Team Rocket's Meowth Balloon is the same color as the body.
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