Celadon City—the city of rainbow's colors. Doesn't look like it to me. Seems to be implied to be a bigger city than Saffron, though they don't really touch upon it. The only store they mention is the perfume shop. Though I like how Brock presses his face to the window when he spots the girls. Reference to the dirty old man, perhaps?
While the humor of the previous episode was on how apes*** insane Primeape got on just about everybody, the core of the humor is more toward Ash's actions. He got kicked out of the perfume shop and the gym because he doesn't like perfume very much. It's in turn a reference to the original game in that the girls freak out over the player (a boy) coming into the gym, only they're being judgmental on his tastes. His line saying perfume turns guys into zombies and pulls out Brock to prove his point is one of the funniest lines in the episode. As a girl who doesn't like perfume, I can't exactly state whether this is true or not, though I have to wonder if that's what some girls think about cologne as well. (Cologne smells nasty, by the way, if only because the person wearing it thinks he has to drench himself in it—similar to women drenching themselves in perfume.) However, I have to give Ash props for his harsh statement if only because it does show his boyish characteristic, and that he's not interested in some of the same things his friends are.
This is the second time Ash teamed up with Team Rocket briefly, only this time it's for the sake of meeting a goal: Ash wants to battle Erika, and Team Rocket wants to steal the secret perfume formula. And their genius idea was to pretend to be a family in which the parents are enrolling their daughter, Ashley, into the program. The biggest laughs are with the cross-dressing even though Team Rocket gets their share of laughs as well: Jessie is the traditional Japanese wife, and James is the bumbling husband. And Meowth can't keep his big mouth shut, so James is struggling to maintain his disguise while talking about his “little princess”. Veronica Taylor does great here in going between Ash's normal voice and his falsetto, but I love Rachel Lillis and Eric Stuart's dialogue as the parents. It's just the way it's delivered that tickles my fancy somehow. But Ash gets funnier when he encounters Brock, Misty and Pikachu. The way he mutters “Knock it off” to Pikachu is another funny line of his if only because of the delivery.
One of my favorite moments was the demonstration of how Gloom doesn't become affected by Poison Gas. I suppose even if it wasn't in the games, it just makes sense for a Poison-type to be poisoned. Well, Gloom is a dual-type, so the way it sucks up the poison like it was nothing makes for an interesting moment, similar to how plants take in carbon dioxide for nourishment. (Only instead of oxygen, Gloom spouts out noxious gas.) Also since some kids hadn't yet played the game, they figured Gloom was purely Grass and thus figured all Grass-types can't get poisoned at all.
I was a dumb child.
After a long time of not seeing her onscreen outside of her lines from Pokémon Puzzle League, Erika is an okay character, even though her backstory is kinda... I guess cliché, but her befriending the Gloom was sweet. The Grimer I suppose is a reference to the pollution problem in Celadon even though it won't be exactly notable until Gold and Silver (unless the old man in the original also said Grimer lived in that lake in front of his house?). She is a good Grass trainer, I'll give her that, but she doesn't have a personality outside of being a perfume store manager and soft-spoken. She does have that air of elegance about her, but that's about it. Still not a fan of her, though.
Now the pity badge. Probably the worst pity badge ever—though it's more like “give-away” badge than “pity” similar to the Cascade Badge (which... might be the worst pity badge ever now that I think of it...). Ash only tied the battle before it was interrupted, though I think he was losing anyway (unless calling back Bulbasaur when he's technically still able to fight doesn't count... but Erika felt it was a victory anyway). We don't know if he was going to win against Gloom, and that's my issue with it, because at least Ash tied the battle with Misty for sure before they were interrupted. But while the gym leader can make the rules, I don't think “saving Gloom from doom” should count as a good reason to give him the badge. How could Ash accept it like that when he questioned his previous win two episodes ago? Yeah, he asked what it was for, but... no, I don't think bravery should be the exception for him possibly losing the battle. And I don't know if Ash did learn not to judge a Pokémon by its smell.
Other than that, the pacing is fine. It flowed rather nicely even though it's all about Ash getting into the gym to fight Erika because at least Team Rocket got what they sowed at the end. I suppose one may have seen that coming since perfume is a mixture of different smells put together, but to think that was essence of Gloom... comeuppance or kick the dog moment? Depends on who you ask, I suppose.
Just don't ask Cori Falls.
So going through the list of episodes, we got a bit of a break/filler in between gym battles similar to what happened between episodes seven and and fourteen. It won't be long before we reach that long stretch of still-important-episodes/filler, and that's going to bring back some flashbacks of frustration. We waited pretty much a year in the States before we got to Blaine after Koga. Yeah... I personally wasn't a very patient kid for a good few years.