Volcanic Panic is the 59th episode of the Indigo League season.
As Magmar's Fire Blast attack hurtles towards Pikachu, it ducks and barely manages to cling on to safety. As Pikachu prepares to fight, Ash intervenes and forfeits the battle. Blaine commends Ash's wise thinking, putting his disguise back on. When Blaine leaves the arena, Ash resolves himself to defeat Blaine at whatever the cost. As Ash cleans Pikachu of its injuries at the hot springs, Jessie and James attempt to withstand the extreme heat of the hot springs in preparation for the underground arena.
They proclaim that their objective is to capture Blaine's Magmar in order to defeat Pikachu. Meowth comes up with a plan to successfully pull it off, with the use of freeze blasters. As the three head into the underground arena equipped with their blasters, Magmar emerges in a spout of lava. Meowth orders Jessie and James to fire their freeze blasters, which manages to trap it in an ice block. However, Magmar's eyes glow red, and it thaws out quickly, much to Team Rocket's surprise. In a frenzy, they fire freeze missiles at the cave itself, causing tremors to be felt by Ash on the outside.
Blaine emerges from the lavatory, and the four of them head into the arena. As soon as he does so, he is frozen by one of the blasts. Brock and Misty realize that Team Rocket is behind all of the chaos, as Blaine warns that their constant attacks could set off a chain reaction within the volcano. Blaine realizes that the ice is cracking apart the rocks, and that the volcano will likely erupt. Huge fissures begin to appear in the ground, as the arena falls into the lava. Team Rocket are sent flying due to a fissure opening, as lava begins to spill forth from the center of the volcano.
Blaine states that the eruption is imminent, ordering his Magmar to seal the fissures with boulders. Ash sends his Charizard to assist Magmar, but slacks off as per usual. When Charizard notices the strain that Magmar is undergoing, it decides to assist it in the blocking of the laval flow. Brock follows suit, summoning his Onix and Geodude to assist them. In turn, Misty releases her Starmie to keep the Pokémon cool. A comical act follows with Misty's Psyduck coming out and Misty trying to get it back in its poke ball, Jigglypuff appearing to sing and Ash trying to stop it from singing and Pikachu saying something like "Go!" After the collective teamwork displayed by the Pokémon, they manage to stop the lava flow. As a show of thanks for helping to prevent the eruption, Blaine offers a rematch to Ash, who takes up the offer.
As Ash's Charizard and Blaine's Magmar face off atop the volcano, Brock speculates that Charizard is finally motivated to fight due to seeing Magmar's true strength. Charizard and Magmar's Flamethrower attacks clash together, culminating in a huge explosion. Magmar follows through, using Fire Blast, which Charizard counters with brute strength. It then uses Skull Bash, which is supereffective against Charizard. Charizard then regains its composure before flying high into the sky. It then crashes down on Magmar, as the two are revealed to be grappling with one another. Charizard loses its balance, as Magmar attempts to push it into the lava below.
Before Ash can intervene, Magmar pushes Charizard into the volcano with it. Ash accuses Blaine of cheating, but this claim is quickly dismissed. After several moments of tense anticipation, Charizard emerges from the lava and defeats Magmar with Seismic Toss. After Charizard and Ash are victorious, Blaine congratulates Ash upon his momentous achievement. Before Ash can tell Charizard to return to its Pokéball, it blasts him with fire. Blaine then imparts one last riddle to Ash "What is it that is always red but has no words?" with the answer being a Volcano Badge. He bestows the Volcano Badge upon Ash, before they part ways.
With seven badges in hand Ash needs just one more and he will be eligible for the Pokémon League. Brock points out that the last Gym is right where Ash had to take his Pikachu to the first Pokémon Center he took it to when his journey began: Viridian City. Ash had no idea there was a Gym there and Misty replies that everybody knew about it, and that Viridian is where trainers go to get the last badge: The Earth Badge. Ash wondered why Misty never told him about the Gym before and Misty replied that they were arguing back then. Brock was just about to remind her of what until Ash interrupted him saying they need to be off. Misty remembered that Ash still has to pay her back for her bike and all three of them run off.
- A continuity error is present in this episode when a flashback is shown in which Ash consoles his Pikachu, telling it "You'll feel 100 percent soon". However, this line was not spoken by Ash during the course of the previous episode.
- Instead of Starmie, Misty actually calls out Staryu.
- The narrator makes two mistakes in this episode, first it says that ninetails beat squrtile with ember when actually it was fire spin. Second is a science term error, it says that the field they fight on is over a pool of lava but actually it's magma since magma needs to erupt on the surface to become lava.
- This is the second time Ash had to forfeit a Gym Battle. The first time Ash had to do so was in IL022: Abra and the Psychic Showdown.
- Brock mentions that there are "plenty more" Pokémon gyms, despite there only being 8 seen in the original games and Indigo League season of the anime. The existence of other gyms is confirmed when Gary shows off his badges, which includes only three of those obtained by Ash. Otoshi from IL073: Bad to the Bone and another unnamed trainer had almost completely different badges too. Where these other gyms might be located or information on their leaders and Pokémon is unknown, although based on the number of different badges seen, there appears to be around 20 gyms in the Kanto Region alone.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is paras.
- "Come out, Magmar!"
Blaine calling forth Magmar in the recap.
- "YES! Charizard retu- AHHHHHHHH! Puh."
Ash trying to recall Charizard.
- Meowth "Do you know where we are?"
James "Between a rock..."
Jessie: "...and a very HOT place!"
Team Rocket shortly before blasting off.