Before he can get to Pastoria City, Ash has to battle a slang-talking Trainer named Sho. Sho wants to collect a Pikachu evolution set and he already has Raichu and Pichu, so he has his eye on Ash's Pikachu--but Ash isn't about to trade. Instead, they have a battle: Sho's Raichu vs. Ash's Pikachu. Raichu isn't afraid to go head-to-head with Pikachu and it also knows Hyper Beam, a move that Pikachu can't learn unless it evolves. Not only does Raichu beat Pikachu, Paul drops by just long enough to sneer Ash for not having evolved his Pikachu.
While Pikachu gets some serious rest and recuperation at the nearest Pokemon Center, Ash takes out the Thunderstone he received in Vermilion City. Back at the Vermilion Gym, Lt. Surge's Raichu beat Pikachu and forced it to consider whether it wanted to evolve; even though Pikachu decided to remain a Pikachu, what if it's changed its mind since then? Team Rocket saw the whole thing unfold and they still think Pikachu should stay the same.
However, Pikachu then disappears, as well as the Thunderstone. Ash goes to look for Pikachu and finds it training. Ash realizes that Pikachu decided to not evolve after all. As for the Thunderstone, Team Rocket swiped it and decided to sell it. After some special training, it's time for a rematch. Instead of relying on raw power, Ash has Pikachu use strategic moves and spinning tricks to beat Raichu. Sho admits that Ash's Pikachu is pretty good--but if they ever meet again, the result will be different!
This episode follows much of the premise of Electric Shock Showdown by having Ash's Pikachu be defeated by a Raichu and choose whether to evolve or not via the Thunderstone. Clips from the said episode are shown in this episode.
Ash's Quick Attack tactic from the said episode did not succeed during this episode.
Electric Shock Showdown premiered over a decade before this episode. The Thunderstone is not mentioned at any point between the two episodes.
It is shown that Ash still had the Thunderstone that the Nurse Joy from Vermilion City had given him. During the episode, Jessie, James, and Meowth grabbed the stone to prevent Pikachu's evolution, and currently have it with them. They also implied that they plan on selling it.
This is a rare situation where Team Rocket successfully steals something.
113, Chansey's National Pokédex number, was often shown in the machine used by Nurse Joy in the Pokémon Center. In addition, 74, the number of this episode in the Diamond & Pearl series, is also shown. It could also be a reference to the animation production joke A113.
To My Best Friend and Pokémon Symphonic Medley were both used as background music.
The dub title is a reference to David and Goliath.
Ash makes an appearance in each of his previous outfits through still paintings of his memories.
Pikachu's spinning aerial Iron Tail is visually identical to Pikachu's neutral-aerial attack in the Smash Bros. series. Red's Pika also imitated this technique in the Pokémon Adventures manga.
Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite their motto in this episode.
Team Rocket says they don't want Pikachu to evolve, but they tried to evolve it 53 episodes earlier.
Professor Oak's Pokémon lecture: Paul's Electabuzz
In the Hindi dub, when Pikachu quickly tries to rush off to get Raichu during his recovery in the Pokémon Center, Ash asks Pikachu if he really does want to evolve into Raichu. However, in the original as well as in the English dub version, Ash just says that it needs to rest.
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