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| Holy Matrimony!
Gardie and Kojirō
|| June 11, 1998
| United States
|| March 13, 1999
Holy Matrimony! (Japanese: ガーディとコジロウ Gardie and Kojirō) is the 48th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 11, 1998, and in the United States on March 13, 1999.
As our heroes pass the entrance to a small village, they stop in front of a strange sign. Finding something undeniably familiar about the face on that sign, they finally realize that though he looks much younger in the picture on the sign, they are looking at a picture of James from Team Rocket. Suddenly, a large man in a suit appears, throws them all into a limousine and speeds away. At first glance, the finger would point directly to Team Rocket, yet strangely, neither Team Rocket nor, more specifically, James, recollect anything about it. Perplexed, Team Rocket decides to pursue the suspicious limousine.
Ash, Pikachu, Misty, and Brock are walking across the countryside when they come across a missing person poster of a young boy who bears a great resemblance to James of Team Rocket. Just then, a limousine shows up, and an old man asks the group if they've seen the boy. Ash answers, "We have if he's James from Team Rocket." Excited by hearing their answer, the man takes the gang with him in the limo. Jessie, James, and Meowth show up shortly afterwards and examine the poster. Jessie and Meowth are convinced that the boy in the poster is James, but he denies it. Reluctantly, James agrees to follow Ash and friends in the limousine.
When the limousine arrives at a sizable mansion, the old man, who is revealed to be James's Butler Hopkins, informs everyone that the mansion is merely the home of James's Growlithe, Growlie. The real mansion is next door, and several times larger. Hopkins tells Ash, Misty, and Brock all about how James's family is very wealthy, and that James ran away from his home at a young age. Hopkins tells our heroes that both of James's parents passed away earlier that morning, and unless James marries his fiancée in twenty-four hours, everything his parents had left for him will go to charity. Team Rocket has also arrived, and is hiding out of sight on the roof. They are hearing everything Hopkins is saying, and James isn't very keen.
As the gang wonders how to find James to tell him the news, Team Rocket fall off the roof in front of them; Jessie and Meowth, thinking of James's inheritance, are beating on him because he refuses to get married. Ash tells them to stop, and Brock agrees that it's James's decision on whether he wants to get married or not. James, distraught, then tells everyone a story from before he dropped out of Pokémon Tech and joined a bicycle gang. He tells everyone of when he died on a cold night with Growlie howling sadly into the night. Everyone else is left crying, except Misty, who loudly exclaims that the story is false, as James is standing right in front of them. James, stating he is confused about the past, makes a run for it, but Jessie and Meowth lasso him back. They want him to fake the wedding, and then run off with the cash.
A few minutes later, James has changed into a blue suit and has his mouth covered; Jessie and Meowth are wearing "invisible costumes". They knock on the door, Jessie speaking for James behind her "invisible costume", and Hopkins is overjoyed to see his master home again. Ash and his friends are confused as to why Hopkins can't see Jessie and Meowth. He then takes James up to the room where his deceased parents rest in peace. Jessie, still speaking for James, begins to blurt out how she (he) wants the money. But then, laughing can be heard from inside the coffins - and out jump James's parents, both alive! James explains to Jessie and Meowth that he knew that they would "pull a stunt like this" to try and get him to come home. Now it is revealed that James isn't confused about the past, and the reason for wanting to leave so badly was because he doesn't want to get married. James tries to escape, but is caught by Hopkins immediately, along with Jessie and Meowth. Ash and friends realize that this was all part of a big plan to get James to come home and get married.
Upstairs in the mansion, James's parents reveal their reasoning for capturing James: to marry and continue the family line. James is very reluctant to see his future wife, Jessebelle, who seems to be a dead ringer for Jessie; everyone is surprised by the resemblance. James wants to leave, but Jessie and Meowth, still wearing their "invisible costumes", tell him that they want him to marry Jessebelle so that he can get his parents' inheritance; no one, except for Ash, Brock, and Misty, seem to notice Jessie and Meowth.
Jessebelle lures Team Rocket down into the 'vault' by saying they'll count all of the money that James will inherit, followed closely behind by Ash and his friends. This entire time, Jessie is covering James's mouth, restraining him, and speaking for him, while Meowth moves his feet to walk. Down in the basement, James's parents appear and tell him that he needs to be taught a lesson for running away from home, as well as tell Jessie and Meowth that they have been aware of them the entire time and only pretended to not notice. Jessebelle begins having fun cracking her whip at her future husband, chasing him around the room. Ash, Misty, and Brock, hiding in the background, decide not to get involved in the "family squabble". Jessebelle pits her Pokémon, Vileplume, against James, knocking him out along with everyone else (except James's parents), with Stun Spore. Before going down, James exclaims, "This is just like last time." Jessebelle then vows to force James to become a gentleman even if it destroys both of them.
Ash's group, along with Jessie and Meowth, are then thrown out of the mansion. Everyone hears a pounding on the doghouse door, which bursts open to reveal Growlie. The Growlithe then runs into the mansion and appears in front of James, as if to protect him. Jessebelle orders Vileplume to use Stun Spore on Growlie, but it lifts James onto its back, and jumps out of the mansion window before it hits. Jessebelle, standing on the mansion roof, then proclaims, "I'll follow you to the ends of the Earth, and the bottom of the sea, James dearest."
James, Growlie, and the others hide in the doghouse, where James thanks Growlie for saving him. Jessie is disgusted by Jessebelle's behavior, and James explains that Jessebelle is the real reason he left home. Ever since the announcement of their engagement, Jessebelle kept following James everywhere he went. A flashback shows a young James running out of his house with a young Jessebelle, carrying an Oddish, far behind, shouting that he is "not running properly". As the flashback ends, James admits that if he marries Jessebelle, it will be the worst mistake of his life, and that Growlie is the only real friend he has on the estate. Suddenly, Jessebelle and Vileplume burst through the wall, sending Jessie and Meowth flying, and a battle ensues. Vileplume tries another Stun Spore, but Growlie and Pikachu shoot a combination of Flamethrower and Thunder Shock right back at it, causing Jessebelle and Vileplume to run away in fear.
Jessebelle knocks James's parents, Hopkins, and Vileplume into a pond while running away, proclaiming how much she hates Growlie, leaving them convinced that she's too good for their son. From the bushes, James says goodbye to Growlie and asks it to look after his parents, because James would rather live the free low-life with Team Rocket instead of the upper-crust lifestyle. Growlie howls sadly as James heads off.
Meanwhile, Jessie and Meowth lament the loss of James, believing him to have left with Jessebelle. But then they hear a familiar voice that says "Prepare for trouble." It is James, flying in the Meowth balloon; James pulls Jessie aboard, and they vow to continue their own free lifestyle. As Jessie and James look into each other's eyes, Meowth yells from the ground that they forgot him.
Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu end up being chased by Jessebelle away from the mansion, who's pleading for them to help her find her beloved James. Ash then yells back that James is usually the one who finds them.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Vileplume
- James's faux flashback appears to be based on A Dog of Flanders, an 1872 English children's novel that is highly popular in Japan to the point of being regarded as a classic. James, as a small child, is dressed like a street urchin, and dies in front of a painting of a choir of angels on a cold winter night. James recalls that "the boy departed this world" and that "he was found frozen solid". A Dog of Flanders ends with the protagonist, a young, homeless child, freezing to death with his dog on Christmas Eve while spending the night staring at Paul Peter Rubens's "The Elevation of the Cross".
- This is one of the few times Brock was easily fooled by a blatant lie told by Team Rocket. He was seen crying in mourning for James when he told the story that he was frozen near a church, and died. This can be considered ironic, as Brock is considered to be the wisest, most level-headed person in the group in most situations.
- Two episodes regarding Team Rocket's past are referenced in this episode, when James pretends to have amnesia and says that he remembers flunking out of Pokémon Tech and joining a bicycle gang.
- Meowth wore the same "invisible costume" in a later episode, which aired five years and a day from the date of this episode. The disguises worn by Jessie and Meowth were once again used in another episode, which aired exactly eleven years from the air date of this episode.
- Growlie, James's parents, and Jessebelle are not seen again until The Treasure is All Mine!.
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off in this episode.
- This episode is referenced by James's grandmother in Sweet Baby James.
- This episode's English title is a reference to the traditional Christian term for marriage.
- Ash tells Pikachu to use Electric Shock, a literal translation of Thunder Shock's Japanese name, rather than by its proper English name.
- While James recalls his memories for the second time, Ash's gloves are missing.
- PokéRap: Day 3
- The poster with James's picture says 尋ね人 tazunebito (missing person) in the original. This is painted over with "Missing" in the dub.
- The screenshot attached to this episode's Netflix listing uses the original version of the shot, even outside of Japan.
- The running gag of Jessebelle saying "You're not running properly" was exclusive to the English dub.
In other languages