This episode sucks, and here's why:
#12: Pika and Goliath!
This episode begins with the cast eating, when Piplup slaps food from Pikachu's hands. The two rush to get it, when a Pichu eats it in front of them. The Pichu turns out to belong to a guy named Sho, who wants the whole Pichu family (he only has Pichu and Raichu), and also has an annoying voice.. He offeres to trade for Pikachu, but of course Ash declines. So Ash's Pikachu and Sho's Raichu battle it out, and unlike in the Surge Battle, speed can't save Ash this time. In fact, the battle is one-sided, and Pikachu goes down easily after a Hyper Beam to a rock.
After that, Sho walks away, and Paul is shoehorned into the episode, all to comment that Pikachu should evolve if it wants to stand a chance, then just goes away. Exactly what was the purpose of his appearance? I don't know, either.
Anyway, we then see them at the Pokemon Center, where everyone is worried about Pikachu. Then, in a rehash of Electric Shock Showdown, Pikachu goes off to train after it gets healed. Also, Team Rocket steals the Thunderstone...to...sell it to go further in their plan to capture Pikachu. Yawn...
The next day, Ash and Sho have a rematch. As expected, Pikachu wins the second round, though instead of speed this time, he wins through endurance and tactics. Still a rehash...
Team Rocket cheers in the background, while douchebag Paul just walks away.
Again, why is he in this episode? Just to stalk Ash? We don't even find out if he still thinks Pikachu should evolve, he's just there for fanservice...or something...
...Moving on. Then, like most other episode endings, they say goodbye and walk off into the sunset to continue their journey.
Conclusion: This episode could have been better if the basic structure wasn't rehashed from Electric Shock Showdown, and if the writers didn't have an undying love for Paul and Team Rocket.