I think I can fit what I want to from the previous episode in a couple of sentences in this review. Ash saw one of the legendary lake trio, mastered Ice Aqua Jet (with Paul watching on tv), but still lost his contest battle. So that leaves May, Dawn, and Zoey as the three left from our group of four heroes/friends of heroes who entered this contest. Dawn reaches the final from her side of the draw, and May and Zoey battle in the semis of the other half of the draw.
May is a much nicer person than I am. She's really gone out of her way to praise Dawn. Now, I could imagine myself doing that to help someone, and I have done something like that before. But I would have been pretty angry if I had heard Brock's reason for why Dawn is nervous heading into the final: Dawn has to face the girl who beat Zoey. May doesn't hear this either, but I think she would have been okay with this. I wouldn't have, though. As accomplished an coordinator as May is, I think she deserves a bit more respect than that. Come to think of it, though, in a later contest that I should get to this summer, Dawn faces another experienced coordinator (not of May's level, but still pretty good), and she's not too intimidated heading into that final. Maybe those sort of things don't bother her, since her mom is such an amazing coordinator-it's hard to be overly impressed by what she hears about other coordinators. Still, May has treated Dawn so well (especially compared to the way Zoey has, for the most part, treated Dawn), I think May deserves a little more respect than that. As for the battle itself b/w May and Zoey, May does a really good job of turning the momentum around after Zoey gets off to a good lead using mis-direction attacks. May counters with her own mis-direction attacks, leading to a narrow victory. As Brock says when May falls behind in the match, May has been in so many contest matches, and her experience shows in the way she keeps her cool and thinks of a way to win.
Before the final, May tells Dawn there won't be any hard feelings after the match, but May doesn't enter the match with full 100% intention to win no matter what. She decides to use Glaceon in what will be it's first match, so this is somewhat of a practice session for her (and she has 3 ribbons, so this isn't an unrealistic decidion). Dawn goes with Piplup, her best pokemon; she needs to win. The battle is pretty good, and Dawn shows a great deal of confidence in the match. Things come down to the final move; May actually predicts correctly what Dawn is going to do, and has Glaceon counter with Mirror Coat. But when time is up, Dawn is the one with a few more pts, according to the judges anyway. May congratulates Dawn as Dawn tears up and hugs Piplup (w/o saying anything back to May; May is definitely a nicer person than I am).
You know, maybe I shouldn't blame Dawn so much for the way she acts. I'm sure she sees that May is being extremely supportive b/c of her contest troubles recently. It's hard to be overly receptive to something like that. I think there was one scene last episode where this is sort of shown. It's right after Ash pulls off the Ice Aqua Jet. While Zoey is quite impressed with Ash, Brock sees this as a chance to give Dawn more confidence. He tells May Ice Aqua Jet was originally Dawn's move, and May, getting the hint, quickly tells Dawn that she's amazing, too. But Dawn doesn't really accept the compliment, saying thanks, but Ash is the one who made it work.
Zoey, May, and Dawn make a pretty nice group. If Dawn isn't over-awed by May, Zoey seems to be a little. She does a good deal more nodding and saying yes instead of some of the wisecracks and bossiness she's prone to. Again, I think Ash started the change, but May sets a good example, as well. (Laughing) Come to think of it, I can't believe Zoey was able to resist saying something witty to Ash after he fell off his bed last episode. That has to be a first.