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| Game Winning Assist
Eneco & Cat's Hand! Meadow of Donmel!
|| November 27, 2003
| United States
|| November 13, 2004
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Assistant director
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Animation director
|| 宍戸久美子 Kumiko Shishido
| Additional credits
Game Winning Assist (Japanese: エネコとねこのて！ドンメルの牧場！ Eneco & Cat's Hand! Meadow of Donmel!) is the 53rd episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 327th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 27, 2003 and in the United States on November 13, 2004.
While traveling through the Fiery Path to Lavaridge Town, Ash and his friends find themselves being chased by an angry group of Slugma after May's Skitty playfully attacks one. After a narrow escape Ash finds an exit from the cave, which brings them to a Numel ranch owned by a woman named Julie. Recognizing them as travelers, Julie invites them to rest at her ranch for a bit. Interested in the Numel, Brock and Max get some first hand experience on their physiology by helping Julie do her daily chores. Meanwhile May decides that the best way to redirect her Skitty's energy would be by teaching it how to battle. She asks Ash to battle with her, but Julie arrives and asks her to battle with her Furret instead. During the battle, May discovers that Skitty knows an attack called Assist, which allows it to copy attacks her other Pokémon know, like Torchic's Ember or Beautifly's Silver Wind. However, even Assist isn't enough to turn the battle around, and Furret easily defeats Skitty.
Elsewhere, Jessie, James, and Meowth find the Numel Ranch as well, and decided to steal the Numel so they can make money selling them as personal heaters. Late at night they sneak onto the ranch and begin stealing the Numel using a gigantic Numel shaped robot. Hearing the machine's noise, Furret and Pikachu manage to wake everybody up, and they stumble out of bed to confront the Team Rocket. Ash orders Pikachu to attack the machine with Thunderbolt but finds that it has no effect. With all of the Numel inside their robot, Team Rocket prepares to leave. Suddenly Skitty runs towards the machine and latches onto one of its arms. May rushes after Skitty, and the two wind up being trapped in the machine as well. With May, Skitty, and the Numel trapped inside their machine, Team Rocket beats a hasty retreat. Intent on getting her Numel back, Julie gets into her truck, and with Ash and the rest in the back they begin to follow Team Rocket's trail.
Inside the robot, May and Skitty try to rouse the sleeping Numel. They finally manage to do it, but the Numel fall back asleep after Team Rocket uses a hidden sprinkler system to cool down their bodies. Thinking quickly, May orders Skitty to use Assist to hit one of the Numel with Ember. The attack wakes it up and the Numel quickly wakes up the remaining Numel with Flamethrower. The Numel begin to melt through the side of the robot with their Fire attacks, causing Team Rocket to use the sprinkler system again. This time May is prepared, and has Skitty destroy the sprinkler with DoubleSlap. Combining their Flamethrowers, the Numel succeed in destroying the robot and are able to escape. Climbing out of the wreckage, Team Rocket prepares to recapture the Numel, but are interrupted by the arrival of Julie's truck. Jessie and James call out Seviper and Cacnea to battle, but the combined forces of Furret and Pikachu are enough to send them blasting off again.
The next morning, Julie shows them the route to Mt. Chimney and Lavaridge Town. After waving goodbye, Ash and his friends continue on their way.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Combusken
- This episode is featured on the Volume 17: Skitty copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
- The dub title is a pun on "game winning goal", a term in ice hockey. Also in ice hockey, an "assist" goes to the last two teammates to touch the puck before the player who scored the goal.
- While being chased in the cave by Slugma for a split second Max's eyes drop while his face stays in the same place.
- The Trainer's Choice given answer, Combusken, is incorrect since Kirlia is a Psychic Pokémon and Combusken is a Fire/Fighting Pokémon. The best choice of the three would actually be Togetic, given that it can learn the Psychic-weakening Shadow Ball by TM and resists the Grass moves that Kirlia is able to learn, which Graveler the only other choice, is double weak to.
- Kirlia, however, can learn moves such as Shock Wave and Thunderbolt that are super effective against Togetic via TM. The TM capabilities of these Pokémon leave the given answers for this Trainer's Choice disputable.
- In one scene the "pins" on May's Skitty's tail were the same color as its body.
- When Max wakes up his eyes are purple instead of brown.
In other languages