There's No Place Like Hoenn
I liked how May talked so big and kindly of her father at the beginning of the episode but moments later acted like she really didn't know him the sense a daughter would a father and got all sentimental about it. Pikachu waving goodbye to May when she said "later, Ash" made me smile for some reason. I liked how Max recognized Ash from the Johto League Silver Conference and his eyes were glowing because he was impressed and how Ash was annoyed with him. I swear he has the most fitting voice for a young kid his age, I remember TPCi's being more of a preteen nerd while 4kids' sounds like a lil' Einstein, kinda fitting given he matures later. Those flashbacks to the Johto League and being able to see Ash in his previous outfit, he certainly looked younger in OS clothing. The interactions between Ash and Max were nice and they do really remind me of siblings in this episode, too bad this doesn't stick for much longer and they feel more like companions in a sense which I guess is better.
May brings up her bike again, cool beans, hope this is the last time though. We especially didn't need a flashback for something that happened an episode ago. So Ash considers Brock. Tracey, and Misty "some of his best friends?" Max continuously dropping hints about wanting to go on a journey got a bit old quick, though I did like the speech about how Ash wants to use solely new Pokemon for his Hoenn Journey. Vigoroth solely using Scratch the whole battle was so stupid, I guess Norman didn't want to go hard on him because it was an unofficial battle? But still it seemed kinda weird. The way Caroline said she didn't think Ash had a chance against Norman and his Vigoroth bothered me for some reason. Though I thought it was hilarious the way Max started dick-riding as soon as Pikachu showed he was no pushover. Something I don't mention enough is I like it when trainers mirror their Pokemon when commanding them in battle, what Norman did with Vigoroth.
Max screaming at May to help out with her Pokemon was a great wake-up call, sure Max can be a bit snarky at times but he definitely forced May to do something. Poor Max took a lot of abuse this episode from being attacked by a few Pokemon like that and being hit by May, he probably is one of my favorite characters, the fake crying was great. The reference to Noctowl was great as well as Bayleef and shows Ash is lost without them there to help. Team Rocket pit-holes, that takes me back. XD "Big bad mad dad." Jessie, one of the uncommon moments I find TR funny. May's crappy Pokemon knowledge moments continue, "Amber", really? :P I guess Max getting the role of the Navigator is better than him not doing ****, being he has zero Pokemon.