Aquatic Passion (multi-chaptered fic)
Misty, The Mysterious Mermaid (oneshot)
Together Forever (drabble collection)
Love, South Park Style (oneshot)
Working On A Dream (multi-chaptered fic)
Merry Christmas (oneshot)
Seaking Catching Day (oneshot)
Awareness (multi-chaptered fic)
This episode had one of my favourite Team Rocket gags ever. Jessie trying not to crack to Haunter was hilarious. The gun and bomb were quite surprising to see in this day and age too.
I agree entirely with the fact that this was probably Ash least deserved badge out of the entire Kanto saga. Although I did just enjoy Haunter presence during this episode. That Pokémon was just full of lolz.
Ash y u no catch haunter
Grrrr. I want to see Sabrina again. She's such an awesome Gym Leader. It was an awesome episode. I hope we see her again one day.
“If you have the same picture, then that must mean you are... that must mean you are a photographer!” Pfft, Ash is so dense sometimes. Until we reach this: “Since Einstein invented the lightbulb.” Actually, nevermind, Jessie has her moments, too.
Some people like to complain that Ash let Haunter go when they forget (probably) that he only befriended Haunter, not captured him in a PokéBall. So he had every right to let him go. It's also because he didn't catch him that Haunter had freedom to go anywhere he wanted, thus why he was absent at the first “rematch”. Ash also said once he found Haunter that he didn't have to help him once Sabrina was defeated. And I think it was for the best, because Haunter is not a great character on his own—all he has going for him are practical jokes that... really aren't all that funny to me, personally, at least by themselves. But Jessie and Sabrina found the comedy in it, so I guess it's just personal tastes. I like to think of the three Ghost Pokémon from the previous episode to be like Larry, Curley and Moe, in which they are excellent together, but are nothing special as individuals. So if some people didn't like Haunter in this episode, that's why.
Stroke of genius, in a way.
This episode is sadly the weakest of the Sabrina arc, if only because we spend about half the time talking about/looking for/being around Haunter. There was the bit where we got a bit of backstory into Sabrina's childhood and how she got the split personality, but more could've been added to it for more “oomph”. So she was obsessed with developing her psychic powers, okay. We get mentions of her parents trying to stop her, but we otherwise don't get all of their feelings on it. Sabrina's father at least helps fill it in on his end, but the mother is still defending Sabrina and has no hard feelings for her. Which is fine, she still loves Sabrina even after all she did, but you'd think she'd be more saddened by it like how it affected her father.
Really, this episode should've been focused on that instead of wasting time on Haunter when he wasn't going to do much worthwhile with his screentime. It would've helped the pacing, and perhaps with the rather iffy climax of the episode. I understand that some people have issues with how it played out. Haunter was set up from the very start that he's a prankster, sure, but was there any real reason for him to wander around? Maybe, if just to show off what he can do. But the big thing that is brought up a lot throughout the original series are the pity badges, and the Marsh Badge is not exempted from it. However, I wouldn't exactly say it's a pity badge because Ash did battle Sabrina. He was trying his best in the rematch. But the argument is that Haunter, whom wasn't battling Kadabra, interrupted the match for the sake of making Sabrina laugh.
Well, remember that Sabrina is a psychic trainer, and I think it was mentioned a couple of episodes before that she has a telepathic bond with her Pokémon. (Even if it wasn't mentioned, one can come to that conclusion anyway through subtle hints.) Perhaps Haunter knew this and went after the source and not the Pokémon like Ash ordered. And as Sabrina was mostly an emotionless person for most of her life, she may not have control over her emotions. And with the bond linking her with Kadabra, as she laughed, so did Kadabra. And I believe that there has to be a certain amount of time a Pokémon can stall in battle before it's a sign of being unable to battle. (This would be later shown in the battle between Ash and Ritchie when Charizard loafed around instead of battling Sparky, thus costing Ash the match.)
So technically Ash did earn the badge, and I love how Ash questions the legitimacy of his wins whenever he feels he didn't do enough to earn it. Some people seem to forget that he has integrity when they point out the pity badges. If he felt he didn't honestly deserve them, he speaks his mind about it, and it's only after it's explained why it is he won it does he come to accept it. Thus, he feels better at learning he didn't cheat or earn it out of pity—despite what Misty and Brock said earlier. Now am I going to deny that the pity badges don't happen? Not exactly. I'm looking at you, Erika.
It's not often we get to have another gym battle so soon, but first, we need to settle some monkey business. Or should I say Mankey business.
Haunter was no help in this eps
So I watched the episode and unless I missed something the only reference to Haunter being captured was when Ash sends (or tries to) Haunter out into battle the first time Sabrina says, “So you captured a Ghost Pokemon did you?” That doesn’t confirm if Ash caught Haunter or not. I couldn’t find a moment where Ash says flat out that he caught Haunter. Everything just give me the impression Haunter just followed Ash. The narrator even says “Haunter decided to follow Ash to Saffron City”.
Ash even tells Haunter later, “Just help me save my friends and you’ll never have to help me out again”. Even during his disobedience phase Ash had more of a connection to Charizard.
Also none of the Japanese Openings or Endings that showcased Ash's Pokemon over the years ever included Haunter (Larvitar on the other hand would appear in the "Spurt!" OP after failing to appear in the "Glory Day" ED. The "Be An Arrow" OP would include all of Ash's Oak Pokemon + those in training: Charizard, Primeape, and Squirtle. The "Let's Hold Hands" ED would include everyone, but Haunter again). So for me Haunter's status as one of Ash's Pokemon has been diminished over the years through official sources.
Ash would likely deny catching one if it wasn't actually his and would have said Haunter is simply helping out surely.
Regardless, it's pointless debating the fact. We will never know unless an official source tells us, which let's face it won't happen any time soon.
There is zero indication Ash caught Haunter nor did Ash treat it like a captured pokemon. It was more like "could you please come help me out for a bit?" from the start of the episode. For all the good it did seeing as Haunter had less interest in battling then Aipom, and would ditch Ash, twice to go play around. Look, I'd love to count Haunter as one of Ash's Pokemon, but the lack of his appearances in the openings/endings where even Larvitar got a scene quite frankly tells me that he's not.
I always thought Ash caught Haunter in this episode instead of just Haunter helping him with his rematch against Sabrina
Claimed by me!
I still remember screaming with rage when Ash went to challenge Sabrina again at the Saffron Gym here, only for Haunter to disappear. Ugh. An actual battle between Haunter and Kadabra would've slayed instead of Ash winning the Marsh Badge at the last minute. At least Ash didn't keep Haunter though. I thank God for that.