Many people, including myself, consider Ash’s infamous gym battle against Elesa in the Unova region as his worst gym battle. However, the way that Ash got his gym badge from Sabrina was absolutely ludicrous because the second time, they barely battled. I will explain why I hate this episode, the battle, and Sabrina’s character in general.
The episode begins with Ash challenging Sabrina to a gym battle and calling out Haunter, as it was his only chance to win, but low and behold, Haunter is gone doing its own thing. Haunter says it was going to help Ash and then ditches him, putting their lives in danger because Sabrina is going to kill them. That is just extremely irresponsible. Haunter was pulling pranks in the city, causing Team Rocket to fall off a fifteen foot story building, almost causing another three deaths (but TRio is unkillable in this situation and survived a twenty feet fall because of anime physics and they are just fine after blast offs all the time). Then again, Haunter is a ghost and it makes sense that a ghost would have fun sending people to their deaths. Sabrina is mad at Ash because he won’t battle her and turns Brock and Misty into dolls and almost turns Ash into a doll before a man comes and teleports Ash away.
The man tells of Sabrina’s backstory. Sabrina abused her psychic powers so much that it caused her to turn against her parents (and everyone) causing her to turn into two different people: the cold-hearted trainer and the doll that represents Sabrina before she started to practice telekinesis. The doll is lonely and wants people to play with her; however, the doll’s amusement in reality is to shrink people or turn them into dolls and torture them in her dollhouse, which is her way of playing. This is really messed up. If this doesn’t scream psychopath, I don’t know what does. He then pulls out a picture of him, Sabrina, and her mother. Ash notices that the picture is the same one they found in Sabrina’s dollhouse and says that “you must be the photographer!” causing us and the man to facepalm because he thought that his secret of him being Sabrina’s father would be exposed, but nope, Ash is an idiot.
Ash finds Haunter and tells it to go back to the gym with him. Meanwhile, Misty and Brock are sitting in a dollhouse and they come across Sabrina’s mother, who is also turned into a doll. I’m shocked that Sabrina hasn’t killed her mother yet or that her mother isn’t dead of starvation but even Sabrina wouldn’t kill her own mother right? Two episodes earlier in the creepiest Pokémon episode of all time, Sabrina’s creepy doll tried to kill Ash, Pikachu, Misty and Brock by smashing them with a bowling ball before her father saved them. Sabrina’s mother says that Sabrina is still good. Yeah right, I have a theory that Sabrina kills and tortures her victims if they lose. (Notice how there is no ref inside the gym?) Ash then comes in and challenges Sabrina to a battle and calls out Haunter, but surprise, surprise, Haunter betrays Ash AGAIN and has disappeared. Ash’s hope is lost, but a determined Pikachu steps onto the floor to battle Kadabra, not wanting him and his trainer to have their lives at risk again. Pikachu uses Thundershock and Kadabra dodges with Teleport and uses Psybeam, hitting Pikachu. Pikachu sends a Thunderbolt, finally hitting Kadabra, but Sabrina calls for Recover and Kadabra heals. Basically no matter how hard Pikachu tries, Kadabra can just spam Recover.
Then all of the sudden Haunter shows up, like where were you? Why didn’t you battle with Ash? Haunter then pulls out a bomb and makes it explode, which makes Sabrina laugh. The bomb could have been deadly which is probably why Sabrina laughed. The man appears and is happy, yet Ash still thinks that the man isn’t Sabrina’s father and instead is her baby photographer, which makes Sabrina’s father scream at Ash for being dense. (By the way, I thought denseness only applied to romance, but I’ll allow it as Ash is young and this doesn't have to do with romance. Still, Ash is stupid.) Ash is angry that he did not win, but apparently he did win because Kadabra is laughing on the floor since it and Sabrina are joined telepathically which makes it unable to battle, which is the absolute lamest way to earn a gym badge ever. Sabrina’s creepy doll disappears and everyone that was a doll is turned back to normal, including Misty and Brock. Because he made Sabrina laugh, Ash earns the badge, and Haunter decides to stay with Sabrina. Haunter and Sabrina are a perfect match because they both have amusement in torturing people.
And that is why I hate this episode. Sabrina goes into a 180 and suddenly is happy again. Honestly, she should have died because she deserved to because she was trying to kill innocent people. Anyway, that is my interpretation of Sabrina and of this episode.