I must say, I got teared up a bit.
As I continue on my journey of watching the entire original series of Pokemon (the first five seasons), I came across this episode. When I was a kid, I can distinctly remember this episode as a very sad episode. But, the more I look at it, I only got choked up this time because of how happy the episode is.
Sure, the montage was nostalgic and saddening (and without it I possibly wouldn't have felt as happy at the end), but it surely was NOT the defining moment of the episode. The last two minutes were the defining moments. Ash and Pikachu reuniting, hugging each other... You can just tell how much they care for each other and how special their friendship is. Sure, it SOUNDS lame, but if you watched the series from the beginning to this episode, it is very dramatic and heart-warming.
This episode (as well as a few others) are the ones I define as the best, most memorable, and the most important episodes. If someone said that they thought Pokemon was boring and just an "advertisement" for the games, I would tell them to watch this episode and still keep that same opinion.
...Maybe a few tears came out...