Anyway, I enjoyed this episode more than I thought I would. I like the gym leader episodes a lot more in BW than I did in past seasons.
Things started out nice and ominous with that psycho guy leading them to the gym, and the battle got started quickly. I like how they’ve retained the gym gimmicks from the games. I instantly sympathized with Ash after the wisecrack about him using cute Pokémon—I love cute Pokémon, and I tore through Clay with unevolved ones! (Hooray for Snivy!)
Ash’s come-from-behind victories often seem contrived, but I thought the writers did a good job with Oshawott versus Krokorok... if I spelled that right. Ash’s strategy was interesting, and it was particularly smart to squirt into the hole Krok dug. That part of the battle was this episode’s highlight for me.
But Ash was stupid to keep on battling with Oshawott. It was nice to see Snivy rip through Palpitoad: my Snivy did the exact same in Clay’s gym a lot. Clay sure was mean when he lost fair and square to Ash’s strategy.
The Excadrill battle... wasn’t very impressive to me. First off, the fact that Clay mentioned how much he’s done with Excadrill only highlighted how odd it is that gym leaders lose if they’re going full-force. Second off, I thought Ash just got lucky with the evolution: he basically had Roggenrola be nothing more than target practice. Oh well. At least Boldore “hugging” Ash at the end was funny and cute.
Though it had a few downsides, it was a very good episode overall.