|Throwing in the Noctowl
Throwing in the Noctowl (Japanese: とべホーホーごう！アサギをめざし！！ Fly Flight Hoho! Head for Asagi!!) is the 223rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 8, 2001 and in the United States on December 14, 2002.
At Transit Town, Ash gives Janina a call to check on Sparkle the Ampharos, and to see if Jasmine is ready for their Gym battle. Janina gives them good news, and Ash and the others set off for the last boat out to Olivine City, but they wind up missing it! Ash asks an old man about the next ferry, and is told that there are no more until tomorrow. The old man directs him to a plane service called the Hoothoot Express that might be able to help them.
When they arrive, they find that the old man is actually the owner of the plane, Wings Alexander. Wings used to be a great Pokémon Trainer back in the day, winning many a battle with the help of his Hoothoot. He asks the kids to help him with his chores, and then he will fly them to Olivine City.
They get on the plane and find a Noctowl in the co-pilot seat—it's Wings's Hoothoot, now evolved. They take off, only to be hit by an approaching storm. In their balloon, the members of Team Rocket are also caught in the storm, and they ask the pilot for help. Wings invites them on board.
It takes the combined power of both Ash and Wings's Noctowl to keep the plane aloft while Pikachu draws the lightning away! Wings notices the lighthouse in the distance, showing him which way to go to avoid the cliffs, while Team Rocket goes blasting off again.
Finally, the plane lands in Olivine City, and Ash begins to prepare for his long-awaited battle with Gym Leader Jasmine!
Thanks to Luka, Ash and his friends are now in Transit Town and just one city away from Olivine. Ash calls Janina to tell her that he's coming back to Olivine City and she confirms that Jasmine is now ready for a Gym battle. The group heads out for the port, but they cannot find a ferry. Ash asks an old man fishing on the pier and the man reveals that the ferry left over an hour ago. After learning that Ash is desperate to reach Olivine City, he directs the group's attention to the nearby Hoothoot Express courier service. The old man mutters under his breath that he is pleased to have new customers, and he quickly rushes off somewhere.
The group arrives at the airport, but it appears to be abandoned. They check out the hangar when an old pilot soon approaches them. They recognize that he was that fisherman from before. The old pilot introduces himself as Wings Alexander and he will gladly give them a ride to Olivine City, but he has a few Pokémon to attend to first. Wings enters his barn and feeds his Sandshrew. Brock and the others are impressed by the collection of Pokémon, and they soon pitch into the chores to be able to fly sooner. Wings is too distracted and reminisces about his Pokémon Trainer past. The group completes the work, and Wings admits he'll give them free passage as thanks.
The group boards the plane, which seems a little shabby, but it works. In the cockpit's co-pilot seat, Ash notices a sleeping Noctowl, which Wings admits was once a Hoothoot. Wings tries to start up the plane, but the plane needs some refueling. Afterward, the plane takes off without a hitch and it soars towards Olivine City. En route, Wings senses a drop in air pressure, and as predicted a storm begins to develop. Wings tries to reassure his passengers as he flies through the storm conditions, but the turbulence makes for a bumpy ride. Team Rocket’s Meowth balloon is also caught in the winds, and the trio calls out for help when they see Wings' plane approaching. Ash and his friends stare out the windows as Team Rocket continues to call for help. Wings makes the final call and goes on to rescue the Rocket trio. Once onboard, Team Rocket promises to behave and the group almost thinks they have turned over a new leaf. Then Wobbuffet comes out of his Poké Ball and it causes a floor hatch to suddenly open. James clings onto the plane, while his teammates dangle outside and Meowth holds onto Togepi. The near-death experience leaves Team Rocket in shock. Misty is just relieved to have Togepi in her arms. While the created hole is quickly patched up with some wood planks.
The storm gets worse and soon one of the propellers is almost ready to fall off. Wings reminisces about when he first started flying, but Jessie urges him to remain focused. Ash volunteers himself, so he jumps out onto the side of the plane and climbs to the top. He has a little trouble holding on so Brock sends out Crobat to stabilize Ash. Afterward, Ash calls out his Bulbasaur to hold onto the loose engine. Now another engine starts to shake off, so Ash sends out Bayleef to hold that one in place. The plane's nose is diving at a precarious angle, and Wings struggles to correct his trajectory. Misty calls out Poliwhirl and Staryu, and they aim their Water Gun attacks at the raging sea below. The strategy works and the plane begins to climb into the air once again. Everyone anticipates the next disaster on the insane flight, and Meowth spots it on the plane's wing; Jigglypuff. Everyone starts to panic, except for Wings Alexander. Before anyone can stop Jigglypuff, it Sings. Everyone falls asleep and as always, Jigglypuff gets angry, but before it can do anything, it gets carried away by another gust of wind.
Ash wakes up first, then everyone else, but without much control, the plane is headed straight for the ocean. Wings Alexander is feeling the pressure and wishes his Noctowl could fly into action like it used to. At that minute, the Noctowl wakes up and then flies around the plane with a rope making a secure wrap around it, and begins pulling it. While those inside keep the rope tensioned, Ash calls out his Noctowl to help pull the plane as well. The storm intensifies and lightning is added to the mix. Brock suggests that Pikachu would be able to counter the lightning bolts, so Ash summons him to the top of the plane. He orders a Thunderbolt into the sky, which attracts the lightning to that spot. The electric currents combine for an explosively blinding effect, but at least the lightning has now stopped. Wings then announces that they will reach Olivine City in a few minutes.
Wings spots a faint light among the dark clouds, and soon realizes it belongs to the Shining Lighthouse. Wings deduces that they have been blown off course and takes evasive measures to avoid the deadly cliffs surrounding Olivine. After a steep climb, the plane returns to a level flight path to continue forward. Team Rocket find themselves sitting on top of the patched-up hole made earlier. Wobbuffet again pops out, making the cover break which sent the trio plummeting. Wings has the plane soar over the Shining Lighthouse. The group spots Janina waving to them from the observation deck and Jasmine inside. Wings Alexander declares the flight was just like old times, and his Noctowl seems to agree.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Togepi (Misty's)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Bulbasaur (Ash's)
- Bayleef (Ash's)
- Noctowl (Ash's; Shiny)
- Staryu (Misty's)
- Poliwhirl (Misty's)
- Crobat (Brock's)
- Magnemite (Jasmine's)
- Ampharos (Jasmine's; Sparkle)
- Hoothoot (Wings's; flashback)
- Noctowl (Wings's)
- Jigglypuff (anime)
- Sandshrew (×2)
- Bellsprout (×2)
- Weepinbell (×2)
- Ponyta (×2)
- Nidoking (flashback)
- Machoke (flashback)
- Onix (flashback)
- Scyther (flashback)
- The English dub title of this episode is a based on the phrase "Throwing in the towel".
- Team Rocket breaks the fourth wall in this episode.
- The song "Dragonite Takes Flight" from Mewtwo Strikes Back is used in this episode.
- The sign at the front of the airport has a purple Hoothoot painted on to it.
- Team Rocket is not seen blasting off when they are falling down from the plane.
- Music from Pikachu's Vacation, Mewtwo Strikes Back, and The Power of One can be heard in this episode.
- In one scene, Wings Alexander says, "Oh, my wings! That is the light of Asagi!". This is most likely a reference to a quote by famed American aviator Charles Lindbergh, when he said, "Oh, my wings! That is the light of Paris!"
- At the start of the episode, the narrator says Ash and his friends are going to attend a Gym battle. However, when he says Olivine City, the screen points at Transit Town.
- In the Polish dub, the narrator says Ash and his friends are going to attend a tournament in Olivine City instead of a Gym battle.
- When Ash and his friends miss the ferry, there is a port on the other side of the island. However, in the next scene, when Ash sees Wings Alexander further to the right, the port moves further to the right as well.
- When Ash thanks Crobat, its feet are missing.
In other languages
|Bulgarian||Ноктау в действие|
|Dutch||De hulp van Noctowl|
|European French||Retour à Oliville|
|Hebrew||סיוט של טיסהsiyut shel tisa|
|Hindi||Noctowl ने बचाई जान Noctowl ne bachai jaan *|
|Italian||Un volo difficoltoso|
|Polish||Rzucać w Noctowla|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Asas ao Vento|
|Portugal||Asas ao Vento|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡El regreso de Noctowl!|
|Spain||El Noctowl salvador|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|