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Team Rocket Interrupting Gym Battles


So in Pokemon's early episodes, it's a common occurrence for Team Rocket to enter the scene in the middle of a Gym Battle and derail the plot into something else. While quite a few interesting things are done with this concept, by the end of Kanto, I felt like this trend was getting tired and predictable. That is why I was looking forward to the Indigo League. I figured that this was such a big event in the story that during Ash's time there they would have no choice but to temporarily write them out of the story entirely, or at least only give them about a minute of screentime each episode. While they didn't exactly affect Ash's battles for the first three rounds, they still got a lot of attention. Then in the fourth round, they got reduced to a side plot that had nothing to do with Ash. I figured by this point that this was the direction things would go for the remaining battles, since the later ones are more important. However, I was completely blindsided by what happened next. Once Ritchie was introduced, Team Rocket became a major plot point once again, but since the episode took place in between battles, it made sense and led to the cliffhanger Ash found out who his next opponent was.

By this point I was sure the next episode would be entirely focused on the battle. That was not the case, as I was blindsided once again. Team Rocket almost successfully prevent Ash from getting to his battle in the first place. While I actually like this whole episode as it set up so many important moments that would end the Kanto series, and for once Team Rocket actually felt like a threat, by the time Ash left the Indigo League, I was done with Team Rocket affecting the plot so much during competitions.

The interesting thing is, right after Kanto ended, that was it. The second Orange Islands started, all the sudden Ash's competitions go uninterrupted, and this becomes the new rule. I know this is something that was bound to happen eventually, but I find it funny how there was a clear point where the writing went from one thing to the complete opposite. So the reason why I bring this up is that I'm starting to wonder if this was planned all along. It seems very conspicuous how quickly things changed.

There was one time this rule was broken in Advanced when they interrupted the Mossdeep battle, but even then a rematch took place immediately after, so the battle was still more of a focus.

Anyways, I found this change in direction interesting. Also I am so thankful they made this change when they did, as Orange Islands and Johto would have been worse without it in my opinion.


Imagine watching X fillers before a Johto gym just for TR to interrupt it

Okay I'll defend the Johto seasons to my dying breath but I will admit that if this happened it would have completely ruined everything.