I posted this in the wrong thread (I posted it in the Speculation thread over in the Anime Spoilers section) last night. Guess old habits die hard, huh?

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Hey, I’m only a day late this week:

-We see Ash and the others riding on a ferry to the next location. Max exclaims that they’ve arrived at the next island, and Brock says that it’s Izabe Island, a crescent moon-shaped island. Ash’s excited to think about what kind of rare pokemon will be in this remote island.

-On the beach, May is training her Bulbasaur for the next contest, trying to teach it Petal Dance. Meanwhile, Ash is doing some training of his own, trying to make Pikachu stronger (dude, your Pikachu’s über-strong as it is…train your poor Torkoal or Corphish instead). He has Pikachu hit a log floating in the ocean with its Thunderbolt attack. The attack flips the log up into the air, where Pikachu is ordered to use Iron Tail to chop it in half. After Pikachu lands, May happily exclaims that Bulbasaur has learned Petal Dance! She decides to show Ash, so she has her grass pokemon use the attack on an incoming tidal wave. The Petal Dance tears right through the wave, cutting a giant circular hole out of the wall of water.

-Meanwhile, Max is out by himself gathering firewood in the forest. Suddenly, he spots a Cradily! The pokemon runs off as Max sits, flabbergasted. Ash and the others arrive on the scene, and Max informs them of what he just saw. After May looks it up on her Pokédex, Brock says that Cradily is supposed to be extinct. As Ash looks for the pokemon, May suggests that maybe he mistook a different pokemon for Cradily. Suddenly, a Breloom appears, and everyone assumes that THAT’S what Max saw. Max insists that he really saw a Cradily and runs off, anxious to prove them wrong.

-Max is searching in the forest when he comes across a huge mansion! He approaches the grounds and peeks through the window, discovering that the mansion has a laboratory inside! Through the window, he’s also able to see a bunch of Lileep, the pre-evolved form of Cradily! Suddenly, a man in a lab coat appears behind Max and angrily asks him what he’s doing there!

-Ash and the others are still out in the forest, looking for Max. Suddenly, Cradily appears in front of our heroes! As Ash and the others realize that Max wasn’t as crazy as they thought, a young female in a lab coat appears and happily hug the ancient pokemon, happy that it’s OK. As Brock does his usual “fall for a beautiful girl” routine, the girl introduces herself as Annu. Ash and the others ask if she’s seen Max, and the woman responds that if he’s anywhere, he would have found his way to the lab where she works.

-Everyone is taken to the lab, where Max is waiting. May and Max share a hug while the man in the lab coat from before appears. His name’s Dr. Moroboshi, and he’s studying at the lab with his wife, Annu. Brock cries about the fact that Annu’s already spoken for while May looks Lileep up on the Pokédex. She then tells Dr. Moroboshi that she thought that Lileep and Cradily were supposed to be extinct, and Annu says that the pokemon came from fossils. The young trainers eagerly ask Dr. Moroboshi to explain how they made the fossil pokemon came to life.

-Meanwhile, Team Rocket is spying on the doctor from the top of a tree.

-Dr. Moroboshi starts his explanation. Many many years ago, when all these fossil pokemon were still alive, the Anorith who lived on a remote peninsula used to eat a special fruit. Over time, however, the land changed, and the peninsula gradually broke off into its own island, the island that’s now known as Izabe Island. Dr. Moroboshi then explains that they were able to extract Lileep from the Root Fossil, while Anorith was extracted from a Claw Fossil. Dr. Moroboshi thinks that he’ll be famous for the work he’s done with the ancient pokemon, but Annu tells the kids that they haven’t made any official announcement to the scientific world at the moment.

-Outside, Team Rocket is plotting to steal the fossil pokemon. They plot something about how the Boss will be in the jungle with the pokemon, and then for some reason he rips his clothes off to reveal a loincloth. As he swings on a vine Tarzan-style (Meowth even does a Tarzan yell for the Boss), they imagine the Boss flipping through the air, diving toward a waterfall as Aerodactyl fly beside him. I couldn’t make out why exactly they thought stealing the pokemon would make the Boss happy, but Team Rocket seems convinced that the Boss will love them for this and perform their promotion spiel.

-Back in the lab, it’s time for another experiment! A cylinder with an Anorith in it rises from the ground and opens up. As either May or Ash looks up the pokemon in the Pokédex, Annu says that the pokemon is ready to evolve! After it evolves into Armaldo, Ash looks it up in his Pokédex. Dr. Moroboshi and Annu seem happy, but their celebration ends soon when a net thrown by Team Rocket lands on the Armaldo! They start to pull the pokemon in, but Armaldo responds with an Iron Claw attack. It breaks free of the net and uses Water Gun on Team Rocket, breaking them through the wall of the lab and blasting them off again. Suddenly, Armaldo turns on Ash and aims a Water Gun at the young trainer! Ash dodges as the fossil pokemon starts going on a rampage, breaking every computer in the lab! The pokemon then runs out the hole made by Team Rocket and starts running.

---commercial break---

-In the forest, we see Ash and the others running after Armaldo in the forest. Far ahead, Armaldo is seen eating apples from a tree, looking disappointed, and then spitting them out. Soon, Ash and the others catch up. They ask Armaldo to return to the lab, but the pokemon responds by firing a Water Gun at them. Everyone dodges the attack and runs behind a bush, where they wonder what to do.

-Suddenly, Pikachu jumps in front of the Armaldo and begins talking to it. The group is happy that Pikachu is trying to talk things out, so they decide to all send their Bug-Types out to talk to it (since Armaldo itself is part Bug-Type). May releases her Beautifly while Brock releases his Forretress, and the two Bug-Types join Pikachu in trying to calm Armaldo down. The talks fail, however, when Armaldo uses some sort of Iron Claw attack on the pokemon. They’re all able to dodge the attack, and as they assess the situation Armaldo takes another apple, bites into it, and spits it out. Dr. Moroboshi takes notice of this behavior as Ash calls on his Corphish and orders it to use Crab Hammer on the fossil pokemon. However, it’s ineffective as Armaldo merely swats Corphish away like some sort of insect! Corphish recovers and uses Bubblebeam, but Armaldo counters it with a Water Gun attack. The two attacks collide and a battle of strength occurs, but Armaldo’s Water Gun proves to be the more powerful attack. It blasts through Corphish’s Bubblebeam attack and hits Corphish, causing it to faint. The pokemon then uses its Iron Claw attack to burrow underground, disappearing from the battle site.

-As everyone recovers from their failed attempts, Dr. Moroboshi figures out why Armaldo is so upset—it’s looking for food. It wants the special berries that used to grow during the days when the island was a peninsula, but now those berries aren’t as plentiful anymore. However, they can still be found on the northern tip of the island, so everyone decides to follow Armaldo toward the berries.

-At the edge of the island, Armaldo arrives, as does Ash and the gang. However, the pokemon is grabbed by a Team Rocket mecha before it gets a chance to eat! The mecha is a tank-type machine with arms, and it’s supposed to be super-strong. After Team Rocket says their motto, Meowth says that they should go back to the lab to grab the Lileep there. Dr. Moroboshi begins to chase the tank until he’s close enough to jump on the back. He makes it! The Armaldo inside hears the thud created by Dr. Moroboshi’s landing and tries to scratch its way out of its container, but James (who’s with the others in a cockpit separated from the containment area) repeats that the mecha was built to be super strong. Outside, Dr. Moroboshi tries to talk to Armaldo. Unfortunately for him, James notices that they have a stowaway, so he drives erratically in order to shake the doctor off. Dr. Moroboshi still clings on tightly, so James has the mecha’s arms grab him and toss him off the tank. The doctor lands with a thud in front of Ash and the others, who are trying their best to keep up with the mecha.

-Now it’s Ash’s turn to try getting Armaldo back. He has Pikachu use Thunderbolt, but the attack is useless on the super-fortified mecha. May then calls on her Bulbasaur, who uses Petal Dance on some rocks on the cliff above the mecha. The attack causes an avalanche of rocks to fall down, blocking the road. Team Rocket’s mecha is unable to stop in time and flips over as it crashes in to the rocks. Just then, Max notices some different-colored patches on the bottom of the mecha, and guesses that Team Rocket was unable to afford to cover the entire mecha in the nigh-invulnerable armor. Dr. Moroboshi tells Armaldo to aim at the weak spot, and the pokemon obeys. It’s able to Iron Claw its way out of the mecha! In addition, Armaldo seems a lot friendlier now!

-But it’s not over yet! Team Rocket has emerged from the mecha and is ready to attack, so Meowth jumps forward and tries to use Fury Swipes on the fossil pokemon. However, the fossil pokemon uses Rock Blaster to bend the cat pokemon’s claws! Bulbasaur then steps in and uses Petal Dance, followed by Pikachu with a Thunder attack. With all these attacks combined, Team Rocket is sent blasting off again.

-Now that Armaldo has been recovered, everyone is happy. As the ancient pokemon finds its favorite berries and eats happily, May comments about how well Bulbasaur did in battle. The sun sets as May thinks about how she’ll use Petal Dance in the next contest.

It was a decent episode. If I heard correctly and the group is indeed on Izabe Island, then at least it sets up the Contest episode coming up. Even though May teaching Bulbasaur to use Petal Dance seems completely out of left field to me, I do appreciate that the anime writers are trying to introduce things slowly instead of pulling things out of their butts again.