This episode rocked, plain and simple.
Team Rocket were pretty much written out of the whole episode, so they didn't take much screentime away from the battles.
Loved the girl with Raticate and Absol, two Pokemon we needed to see again anyway. It's also nice to know that Absol isn't a "semi-legendary" anymore like the writers promoted it in the 6th movie.
Brock really shined in this episode. His appeal was fantastic and hilarious! The Marshtomp battle against Absol was pretty good, but it was obvious that that was a young/infant Absol by the way it looked.
Heh, May and Brock looked pretty nervous when they went up against one another.
The Eevee and Marshtomp fight had me on the edge of my seat, and if I wasn't already spoiled the victor, it could have went either way. Thank you writers for giving Eevee a good moveset so it isn't stale like we were fearing! Shadow Ball and Dig work well with one another, and this Eevee *definitely* isn't a snore to watch.
May winning by having slightly more points than Brock was good as well, as Brock was shown to be a competent battler AS WELL as his Marshtomp getting good screentime.
Oh, and LOL @ Lilian pulling Brock away by the ear from the Nurse Joy judge.
Question for the Japanese speaking people:
What exactly was the connection with the woman and the little girl? Was she her mother or something? Brock seemed quite shocked about something, so I'm guessing she was already married?