The Future Is Now, Thanks to Determination! (サイエンスの未来を守れ！電気の迷宮！！ Protect the Future of Science! The Electric Labyrinth!!) is the 14th episode of Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest.
The gang must figure out how their Electric Pokémon are being controlled while visiting a power plant. Clemont reveals another secret.
The gang moves onward to Lumiose City. Serena checks her map and announces they will soon be there after they cross the desert. Clemont lags behind and remembers Ash will challenge him and not Clembot, and that he promised to sharpen his skills as a Gym Leader. Later, as Serena prepares the table for lunch, Ash encourages Pikachu to eat plenty for the Gym match. As he grills Clemont remembers his conversation with Ash: while he's learning much from Ash, he wonders if he has progressed enough to give him a Gym battle that he deserves and that Clemont considers worthy of a Gym Leader. Considering a number of Ash's previous experiences and battles, Clemont wants to give him a worthy challenge, not just as a Gym Leader but also as a friend. As he ponders these thoughts, Bonnie alerts him to the fact he's burning lunch. The gang ends up eating burnt pancakes, which according to Bonnie looks like an Umbreon. Serena asks Clemont if he's alright since he's normally not in a daze while preparing meals. He says he's fine, deciding to keep his concerns to himself.
As they continue traveling, they notice a building in the distance. Clemont explains it's the Kalos Power Plant. Bonnie tells Ash and Serena that Clemont built it to which he modestly corrects her, saying he only programmed it. He goes on to explain that the satellite in space collects solar energy and sends it to Earth via microwaves to the plant, where it is amplified and used to power Lumiose City. They decide to visit the place. As they approach Clemont is concerned at the dish pointing down instead of up as it's supposed to. As they come closer to the plant, Pikachu, Dedenne and Luxio begin to spark and clutch their heads, seemingly getting headaches. Their eyes turn red and they start moving towards the Power Plant. Ash calls out to them, but they turn around at launch a collective Electric shock on the gang, who ducks for cover. After recouping the gang investigates, discovering a group of similarly affected Electric-types at the gates. The Electric-type horde enters through them and they close. Clemont thinks something inside is controlling them and remembers a vent through which they can infiltrate.
They reach the vent: Ash calls out Frogadier and has it clog the blades from spinning so they can enter through, crawling through the air duct. Clemont looks through the grate and sees some workers tied up. The grate collapses, exposing them to the workers who they untie. The workers thank them and explain they were captured by a man, a woman and a talking Meowth who came asking for food and shelter. The workers obliged thinking they were genuinely in need, but were then captured and bound by Team Rocket who hacked the system and repurposed the antenna to control Electric-type Pokémon. When the workers protested on behalf of the Pokemon who could be affected, James silenced them by sludging them with Inkay. The workers believe Team Rocket locked themselves in the central room, but they may be able to unlock it via the sub-control room. Ash, Serena and Clemont knock the door down with Hawlucha, Pancham and Bunnelby. The move through the door, the mission now underway.
Team Rocket revels in controlling so many Electric-type Pokémon. They notice Pikachu and realize the twerps are near. They make their way to the door, which is unlocked by the men from the sub-control room. The gang sneaks in and Ash calls to Pikachu to come to him with no response. Team Rocket detects the twerps and demands them not to interfere. To force them to surrender, Team Rocket cuts the power to the whole of Lumiose City, causing a traffic jam, a hospital blackout and for elevators to get stuck, trapping a number of people and effectively holding the entire city hostage. Clemont tells his friends it isn't time yet as the workers explained that if they could reverse the flow of electricity, the radio waves controlling the Pokémon would be temporarily stopped long enough for Clemont to overload the system, signified by the central ring turning red. Jessie thinks that to completely stop the twerps, they need to be attacked. They increase the intensity of the waves and the Electric Pokémon attack the twerps. Serena, Clemont and Bonnie take cover. Ash stays where he is and gets struck by Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Ash is determined to save Pikachu and to that end he agonizingly makes his way toward him, despite the volts of electricity coursing through his body.
Jessie is displeased, as judging from past experience for the twerp to fail he must not get the chance to touch Pikachu. Meowth has Luxio attack Ash. Having enough, Clemont intervenes and gets hit by Thunder Fang, screaming in pain. He hugs Luxio in spite of Team Rocket intensifying the radio waves to maintain their hold on it. Despite the pain, Clemont tells Luxio he is still determined to save it. Luxio hears this and takes notice.
The central ring changes from blue to red and Clemont goes into action, releasing the Aipom Arm on the ring and using Luxio's Discharge to overload it. The power plant shuts down and the Pokémon regain their senses. Clemont collapses out of fatigue onto Luxio, who supports him with its back. Clemont rubs Luxio's chin and thanks it for its help. Luxio licks his hand and glows, growing over twice its size into Luxray. James quickly repairs the system and releases the radio waves, but Luxray disables the antennae using a move Clemont recognizes as Electric Terrain, which powers up Electric-type move. The Pokémon join together and launch a collective Electric attack on Team Rocket, sending them blasting off.
Later, Clemont apologizes to the workers for breaking the equipment, but the workers reply it will be fine. Clemont admits Ash taught him a lot today, but Ash, Serena and Bonnie insist to Clemont that he's the hero today. A worker jumps into the helicopter to report back to Lumiose City, and to the surprise of everyone else, Clemont asks to go with them. He explains he wants some time to think about the battle to give Ash a worthy Gym match. Ash understands completely. Clemont asks Serena to watch over Bonnie, who tearfully insists she'll be fine. As the helicopter takes off, Clemont tells them he'll be waiting at the Lumiose Gym, adding that he won't lose to Ash, who replies that he will definitely beat him. As Ash, Serena and Bonnie wave goodbye the helicopter flies away, leaving the three of them behind to continue on their own until the Promised Day comes.
- "Pokémon Quiz": Magnemite (JP)
- "Who's that Pokémon?": Luxray (US)
- This episode marks the fifth time Pikachu (among others) is subjected to mind control in some form. The first three times this happened occurred in Pikachu Re-Volts, Control Freak! and Team Plasma and the Awakening Ceremony!. The fourth time happened recently in A Conspiracy to Conquer!, making this the second time this happens in the XY series.
- This is the second time one of Ash's companions leaves him for a temporary period of time for personal growth: the first was in Poké Ball Peril when Brock left the group to work as Professor Ivy's assistant on Valencia Island.
Helioptile used Discharge in this episode, which it cannot legally learn in the games.
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