Review of episode 425: "Ghost of a Chance"
By Steven Reich
Episode title origin: What do you mean? You don't know this one? A ghost of a
chance means any chance at all.
Ash, Brock, and Misty have finally arrived in Ecruteak City. Whee. Has anyone
noticed that there's always a hill over every city so you can see its
Born to be a winner-Pokémon (if they could just fix that ending)
Anyway, our heroes enter town, where they are approached by a firebreather
selling a set of 21st century divining rods. Trying to avoid getting burned
twice, Misty drags Brock away before he gets swindled (at this rate, Brock
will start looking like Ross Perot). In any event, elsewhere in town, Team
Rocket is moping around, largely ignored by the townsfolk, they are trying to
figure out how to find the twerps. The then decide to go to the Pokémon Gym,
but not before buying a pair of rods. We shift back to our heroes as they
enter the burned tower, shortly after which the place apparently catches on
As it turns out, it was actually a bunch of Gastlys creating an illusion, and
as more and more ghost Pokémon show up, things look pretty bleak.
Fortunately, Morty (the gym leader, if you didn't know) shows up and takes
control. He tells the story of the tower and how it was the roosting place of
Ho-oh, the legendary bird Pokémon (not to be confused with a Ho Ho, a
legendary Hostess snack enjoyed by Corey Woods*). At this point, Ash settles
a nasty Internet argument (of which I was on the right side) by saying he saw
Ho-oh in the first episode. No one believes him, at least not Morty. Poor Ash
(and I really do mean that). In any event, Togepi, sensing the need for
another plot twist, walks through a crack in the wall, and Pikachu follows.
The alternate route is too hazardous for humans, and to make things worse,
when Togepi and Pikachu finally surface (surprise!) Team Rocket is waiting.
When our group catches up, Team Rocket decides their best option is to run
away, but Morty won't have any of that. Gengar. Shadow Ball. Need I say more?
Morty tells Ash to get a good night's sleep-he'll need it for the battle the
Who's That Pokémon: Raticate
Moral of the Episode: If there's no smoke, it probably isn't fire.
Analysis: My favorite part is where James is furious at the idea of selling
his bottle caps, kinda like I am with Pokémon cards. I also like how the show
contrasts large cities like Celadon and Goldenrod (with a million or more
people each) with medium city's like Ecruteak (which is probably no bigger
than the 60,000 of Janesville, WI, where I live), along with the small towns
like Pallet and Moss Green Village. Oh, and the episode is kinda neat, too.
*The Wizard (1989 Movie) reference
Ash challenges the Ecroteak City Gym Leader,
Morty's specialty is Ghost Element. Ash
battles Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar with his Cyndaquil, Noctowl, and
Pikachu. Noc towl's foresight helps him out greatly.
1st: (Noctowl vs. Gastly.) Noctowl Retreats.
2nd: (Pikachu vs. Gastly.) Gastly beats
3rd: Cyndaquil beats Gastly.
4th: (Haunter vs. Cyndaquil.)
Haunter beats Cyndaquil.
5th: (Haunter vs. Noctowl.) Noctowl
6th: (Noctowl vs. Gengar.)
Noctowl beats Gengar.
Finally, Ash Receives his 4th Johoto League
Badge, the Fog Badge! - Carol Rieken