I'm glad I lowered my expectations for this episode. It wasn't the episode I thought it was going to be. This episode was just okay. Nothing really special about it. It's amazing all this Pikachu focus lately. The last episode had a Pikachu subplot, and now this one. How about we focus on a Kalos Pokemon like Froakie? or Bunnelby? This is the Gen 6/XY series isn't it? Whatever. I could have lived without the Pikachu parts. Malamar was a cool evil Pokemon. It wasn't ground breaking but it got the job done for the episode's antagonist. I was very surprised at how much I liked Meowth in this episode. Meowth was the highlight of the episode for me. I'm not joking.
The stuff that I did enjoy were Clemont's Pikachu bot. That was funny. Clemont, once again you prove to be my new favorite male sidekick...no, favorite male main character of the series. Bonnie sadly didn't get any show stealing moments, but to my surprise Serena did. They were very small moments but moments that I'm going to remember. The key to avoiding Malamar's brainwashing thing is apparently being scratched in the face or pain in general. Serena will have none of that. She knows her face is a money maker. She'd rather lose her free will. And when she did get zombied did she try to body slam Ash, or maybe she just wanted a hug. I personally think she wanted the hat. It's what she was aiming for.
The stuff I didn't enjoy. I'm nit-picking but I really did not need another brainwashed Pikachu attacking Ash. I know the two have a strong bond. Why not have Froakie in this situation. At least Froakie is new to Ash and the audience in general. You also zombied all of Ash's friends and they didn't do jack. Well minus Serena trying to eat Ash's hat with that failed hug. What was the point of even doing that? Just so Ash vs Pikachu can be one on one? Also Madame X felt very forgettable. Malamar was great, but I feel you could have taken Madame X out of this episode and this episode would have flown just the same. These are just my nagging nit-picks. Don't take them too seriously.
Overall this episode had potential to be really great, but it just settles on being a average episode. The ending with Inkay was funny. TR will never evolve that thing and I can't say I blame them. And of course I got to see Pangoro protecting Serena. Make it happen writers.
RIP anime version of Glovehead. Pokemon Adventures will save you.