|Showdown in Pewter City|
|Japenese Release Date||April 22, 1997|
|English Release Date||September 11, 1998|
The opening scene depicts Team Rocket continuing their ambitions of capturing the rare and valuable Pikachu of Ash. Relying on crudely simple means, they make about digging a hole and covering it up to look like a part of the path. Their plan is to wait until Ash comes and then snatch Pikachu when he falls into the trap. When they're finished setting it up they come to face a fatal error in the fact they can't remember where it is. They end up finding it in the least desirable situation, themselves falling into the pit.
While they're stuck in a hole, we see our hero Ash in company with Misty emerging from the outskirts of Viridian Forest on their path to the next destination and first gym battle, Pewter City. As they enter the town, they come across a shady character by the name of Flint. Making a living from souvenirs, the man attempts to sell them some items before agreeing to help them to the local Pokémon Center.
As they enter the building thanks to the help of Flint, Ash is shocked to find Nurse Joy welcoming him. Realizing his confusion, Nurse Joy proceeds in explaining that she is in fact the older sister of the Nurse Joy in Viridian City. Following his recovery from the initial shock, Ash develops a great interest in a particular poster on the wall. The poster depicts the Pokémon League being the greatest challenge for all top notch trainers. Ash decides it's the right goal to take on in his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master, as he reads that you need no less than eight gym badges. This prompts Flint to poke his head into it, stating that Ash could never defeat the Gym Leader of Pewter City. Undeterred, Ash makes the resolution that he will take on the Gym Leader Brock and win his first badge.
This is followed up with Ash journeying across town to the Pewter City Gym. He enters and meets Brock for the first time and certainly not the last. Brock realizes he is a new trainer and goes about explaining the rules and regulations to Ash. The decision is made that it will be a two-a-side Pokémon battle as they position themselves ready on the rock ridden battlefield keeping in theme with the Pokémon of the gym, being of the Rock type.
Brock begins by calling out his most trusted Pokémon Onix with Ash picking his own favorite, Pikachu. Onix's large stature serves to start Brock off well, as Pikachu experiences the sensation of fright. Brock starts it off with the use of Tackle as Pikachu avoids, though is then caught in Bide which Brock called out shortly after his original command. Ash does the typical move of issuing the command to use Thundershock which has absolutely no effect on the Onix. Ash then begins to panic, attempting to call Pikachu back which proves impossible due to Onix's tail blocking him. Frightened for Pikachu's health, Ash bends and surrenders to Brock causing him to lose when the battle had barely started. Feeling down about himself upon his departure, Ash runs into Flint once again who invites him to walk with him.
As soon as they arrive at Flint's place, Ash is in a reminiscent mood over how good Brock was in the battle. Flint says he's completely right and that Brock could achieve so much more if he left the gym in pursuit of bigger things. Flint then decides to show Ash why he remains in Pewter City as they arrive outside Brock's house. Peering in through the window, they can see Brock attempting to take care of a load of younger brothers and sisters. Flint explains to Ash that Brock's father left him on his quest as a Pokémon Trainer and his mother was sadly no longer in this world. Ash interrupts Flint and tells him to speak no more on the subject as he wants to concentrate on how he can beat his powerful adversary. Flint then tells him he thinks he knows a way to make Pikachu more powerful.
The next scene sees the two arriving at a hydroelectricity plant. Flint explains his theory of wiring Pikachu to the machine and attempting to give it a power boost through an enormous surge of electricity through it's body. The reason such an important building is empty is due to the fact that so is the river, which calls for the help of Ash by running on the wheel to generate the power. Misty then arrives on the scene to join the trio, asking if she can lend them a hand. Ash declines the proposition, saying he wants to win his first badge by himself (being hypocritical in the process). The power surges into Pikachu as Ash runs on the wheel, which hurts it at first but then Pikachu finds an inner focus to be able to harness the new power. Ash and Pikachu then feel ready to take on Brock for a second time.
Returning to the gym, Ash calls out Brock to battle him again. Having enjoyed the free win from the last time, Brock feels extremely confident he can win again. So much so that this time he doesn't even bother with his strong Onix and sends out Geodude instead. Ash also chooses an alternate Pokémon concealing his new secret weapon, sending out Pidgeotto. Ash takes initiative this time, calling Pidgeotto to use a Gust attack. Misty secretly watches the battle from above as she hopes for a win for Ash and is joined by the sudden arrival of Brock's brothers and sisters. Back down at the battle, Ash quickly realizes Flying type attacks are going to have little effect. To this end he calls Pidgeotto to withdraw and send out Pikachu. Pikachu leaps into action sending off a powerful electric attack which fries Geodude and bounces around a bit as Pikachu is still having trouble focusing it's new strength. Brock withdraws Geodude and sends out his trusty Onix, intimidating Ash's Pikachu for a second time. Again proving difficult, Pikachu's electric attack spreads wide and does more damage to the gym itself than the foe. Being predictable, Onix uses bind again to constrict Pikachu. Utilizing his new powers, Pikachu calls down a Thunderbolt attack. The stronger attack clearly begins to drain Onix of strength but the binding of Pikachu's body prevents it from sustaining the attack. Pikachu is stuck once again until Brock issues the order to release it, with Pikachu looking like it's about to faint. Worrying for it's health, Brock tells Ash he should surrender again. Ash faces the fact he has to and is frustrated until the sprinklers suddenly come on because of a fire which started by the attack of Pikachu earlier. The water, being effective, begins to bother Onix and Ash presses the advantage and calls Pikachu to repeat Thunderbolt. The water causes the attack to be massively effective and Onix is fainted. Ready to win the battle, Brock's siblings begin to have a go at Ash. Realizing it'd be wrong, he calls Pikachu back as Brock had done Onix and departs.
Outside the gym, Brock chases after Ash to talk to him. He asks him not to leave but Ash refuses saying the sprinklers were an unfair advantage and that he wanted to win the right and proper way. Brock refuses to give up, offering Ash the Boulder Badge. He goes on to explain that it wasn't through battle, but kindness to Pokémon that Ash has earned his reward. He also mentions that being a trainer was never his dream, but to be a Pokémon Breeder. Flint being Flint suddenly turns up, revealing to everyone that he is in fact Brock's dad. He tells Brock to go and follow his true dream and he will stay behind to look after the family. Given a new found freedom, Brock decides to join Ash on his adventures as they leave on their journey with Misty in toe as she still wants a new bike. As they run, they knock Team Rocket back down into the hole they were just finally about to escape as the episode comes to a close.