Just because they did not do it with Rowlet does not mean they don't have to do it with Litten.Rowlet is a way more friendlier Pokemon than Litten who holds grudges for a long time.Because they didn't do it with Rowlet and Ash actually caught it.
Oh sort of like how they WROTE the episode THAT way? I could've done without the dying Stoutland plot. Or as I said, wait until this episode actually has merit rather than coming off as "Well we HAVE to do something with Litten"
Except this episode has merit.It showed Litten's backstory and more of it's personality as well as development with Ash.It does not come off as being forced to showcase Litten since they actually are developing characters instead of filler that can be skipped.
There's nothing wrong with the stoutland plot and there is nothing wrong or bad with Ash not immedietly catching Litten.Also Rowlet has "poor" development because the writers have been focusing on other characters for the last 3 eps and the next episode.