I'll try to make it the gym battle episode, and call it there for this Christmas vacation. I don't feel that qualified to review these right now, but I'll try to make it that far b/c, if I remember right, the gym battle episode aired on Christmas day.
This is a very funny episode. The episode starts off with Pikachu scolding Gliscor for interrupting Ash's training with Chimchar and Grotle (Chimchar has battled a great deal over the past few episodes, so it's increased strength is really no surprise heading forward), with Piplup deciding it wants to show the same type of leadership for Dawn's pokemon. And although it isn't really successful, failing in comedic fashion, the right intent is there. It finally comes to the pt where Piplup battles Mamoswine, losing pretty badly. That's a pretty nice scene, too, in that it shows Piplup is Dawn's most trusted pokemon not because of its power (Mamoswine is definitely stronger), but b/c of how much it cares for her (I liked this battle so much more than Piplup's battle against Buizel when Dawn caught Buizel). Dawn picks up the KO'd Piplup and tells it that she appreciates how hard it tried all episode long, which is what I suppose we all wonder about sometimes-whether the things we do are really noticed by anybody. Dawn did notice (Ash and Brock did as well-all three sighed when Piplup was pushing Piloswine to the circle), and what's really special about that is that Piplup did not do any of this as a show for Dawn. It felt like it was its responsibility to do, b/c Pikachu does the same type of thing for Ash.
Dawn is pretty downbeat about how Piloswine/Mamoswine doesn't listen to her, and again she's nearly drawn to tears. But I think, in front of Piloswine/Mamoswine, she's careful not to look overly depressed. There's a great deal of sighing b/c she realizes Piloswine/Mamoswine isn't listening to her at all; and really, the impression I got watching this episode is that Piloswine/Mamoswine didn't do a ton of thinking. But once Dawn starts feeling that Piloswine/Mamoswine is at least listening to the words she's saying (in future episodes), she reverts back to the way she started off this episode: giving a little laugh when Piloswine doesn't listen to her command, and continuing on-as if she's confident that Piloswine will eventually listen to her.
In private, though, Dawn is quite troubled and looks to Ash (I'm tearing up a little thinking that it wasn't long ago that people were ASKING Ash for advice) and Brock for help on what to do. They tell her to remain patient and to keep at it. That's the encouragement she needs, and there's no repeat of the Pachirisu episode from way at the beginning of the region. Dawn has really developed trust in Ash and Brock in that she consults them first before doing anything (unlike in the Pachirisu episode). Her conviction to see things through with Mamoswine is also noteworthy in that this is a much tougher test for Dawn. Pachirisu really did like Dawn; much of its antics were just out of playfulness, which Dawn misinterpreted. Here, there is a real problem, and Dawn is definitely going to have form a friendship out of nothing, since there's definitely no natural affection in this episode.
And poor Gliscor! But it's attitude is really admirable. It's again overlooked by Ash in favor of another pokemon when it comes to battling Piloswine (Brock notes it, but doesn't say anything), and again it has to come to the rescue when that pokemon, Grotle this time, is put in a tough spot. Gliscor is hit itself, though, and uses Fire Fang for the first time to get out of trouble (with Ash wondering when it learned Fire Fang-maybe Gliscor has been doing some training on its own, and wanted to show Ash that it had learned it-I can imagine, can't I? Ha ha.). But instead of attacking Piloswine right off the bat with Fire Fang, it decides to help Grotle; and it's that type of friendship that's really nice to see, making this group of pokemon really tight-knit.
2 episodes in a row with real training in them. I like it.
Edit: But I don't like the really poor grammar in this review. That was terrible to read; sorry about that, and I hope it's fixed now.