Sleight of Sand! - Recap
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Ash and co. continue their journey towards Veilstone City. They approach a huge desert. Excited, Ash slides down the hill and sends out all of his Pokémon. The Pokémon begin to play with each other in the desert. Seeing the Pokémon play happily together, Dawn and Brock send their Pokémon out as well. The Pokémon have sand fights, they roll in the sand, and they build sand castles. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake, and a Hippowdon emerges from underneath the sand. Ash is amazed at Hippowdon's enormous size. Dawn looks up Hippowdon in her Pokédex. Pachirisu lies on Hippowdon's back. It climbs up towards Hippowdon's face and accidentally falls in its mouth. Before Pachirisu can escape, Hippowdon slams its mouth shut and digs back underneath the sand. Ash and co. run over to where Hippowdon was standing, and they try to dig the enormous Pokémon out. Hippowdon emerges from a different area in the desert. Ash and co. return back their Pokémon, and they then run over towards Hippowdon.
Pikachu and Piplup run over to Hippowdon, and they call out for Pachirisu. Pachirisu appears from inside Hippowdon's body. Ash and co. then meet up with Hippowdon, and Dawn orders Pachirisu to get out of Hippowdon's body. Pachirisu tries but it is stuck inside. Hippowdon then makes a loud roar and disappears again. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is trying to dig a hole from the sand, but they are making no success. Hippowdon suddenly emerges from where Team Rocket is standing. It shoots out a blast of sand at Team Rocket, and Team Rocket blasts off and falls face first into the sand. They immediately recover and see Ash and co. approaching Hippowdon. Pachirisu pokes out of Hippowdon's body again. Dawn orders it to use Discharge. Pachirisu fires a Discharge inside of Hippowdon, but the attack has no effect on it. Then Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but that attack doesn't weaken Hippowdon either. Brock states that Hippowdon is a ground type Pokémon, so electric attacks won't do any damage to it. Hippowdon then digs underneath the sand again and escapes. James finds out that the Pokémon is a Hippowdon. Jessie, James, and Meowth want to capture Hippowdon because none of Pikachu's electric attacks will work on it. Then they plan to use Hippowdon to capture Pikachu.
Meanwhile, Ash and co. continue to search the desert for Hippowdon. Suddenly, a Hippopotas emerges from underneath the sand. Hippopotas greets Pikachu. Ash thinks that it may be the same Hippopotas that got separated from its family before. Brock wonders if it got lost again. The Hippowdon appears again. Pachirisu pokes out of Hippowdon's nose. Hippowdon tries to get Pachirisu out, but Pachirisu is still stuck in there. Then Hippowdon buries itself again in the sand. Hippopotas runs over towards Hippowdon's place. It feels sad that Hippowdon disappeared again. Brock thinks that there is some connection with Hippopotas and Hippowdown. Ash promises Hippopotas that they will find Hippowdon again.
Team Rocket stands on a tree looking for Hippowdon. Meowth peers through his binoculars and sees Hippowdon straight ahead. James fires a net at Hippowdon and captures it. Then Team Rocket runs over to Hippowdon. They try to pull Hippowdon away, but Hippowdon weighs much more than Team Rocket. Ash and co. soon meet Team Rocket and Hippowdon. They tell Team Rocket to give Hippowdon back, but Team Rocket refuses. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake. An armored vehicle, shaped like a Rhydon, emerges from underneath the sand. A "R" is printed on the front of it. Ash and co. and Team Rocket are both surprised on who it may be. Two characters appear from out of the vehicle. It is Cassidy and Butch, and they say their own motto. Cassidy explains that Professor Namba gave her and Butch orders to capture a Hippowdon. Jessie is surprised since they are suppose to be the only Team Rocket members in Sinnoh. Cassidy tells Jessie that Giovanni said that they were the only members in Sinnoh. James then wants to know where they got the Rhyhorn vehicle from. Butch replies that Professor Namba gave it to them as a gift. This angers James because he usually has to build their robots from hand.
Ash cuts the fight by sending out Turtwig. Turtwig uses Razor Leaf on the net to free Hippowdon. Freed from the net, Hippowdon digs a hole in the sand again, and Cassidy and Butch goes after it. Ash realizes that they have to get to Hippowdon before Cassidy and Butch does. So they run off. Jessie, James, and Meowth realize that capturing Hippowdon can boost up their Team Rocket reputation. So they go after it too. Ash and co. begin searching the desert again. They suddenly hear Hippowdon's roar. Hippopotas points to Hippowdon's direction, and Ash and co. run towards it. Meanwhile, Cassidy and Butch are also searching for Hippowdon. Their tracker points them to Hippowdon's location. They notice that Hippowdon is straight ahead, and they use a mechanical hand to reach for it. An electric shock, however, attacks the robot hand. Ash and co. come up to Cassidy and Butch and block their path towards Hippowdon. Pikachu uses a Thunderbolt on the Rhyhorn vehicle, but the attack has no effect on it.
Ash wants Hippopotas to tell Hippowdon to follow them. Hippopotas gives the order, and Hippowdon follows it. Ash and co. run away from Cassidy and Butch, when suddenly they all fall into a large sand pit. The pit was made from Jessie, James, and Meowth. They appear in their balloon and say their motto. A plunger is then fired and attaches to Hippowdon. Using strong rockets, Team Rocket begins to lift up Hippowdon. Ash and Dawn quickly grab onto Hippowdon before it gets pulled away. To prevent Team Rocket from escaping with Hippowdon, Butch fires a rocket at their balloon. The cable that is holding Hippowdon snaps, and Team Rocket blasts off again. Ash and co. land in the sand.
Cassidy and Butch get themselves out of the pit, and they land right behind Ash and co. Cassidy and Butch use their robot arm again to capture Hippowdon. Hippowdon roars as it is lifted up in the air. Suddenly, a figure rams into Cassidy and Butch's Rhyhorn vehicle and breaks the robot arm. Hippowdon is free once again. The figure is Jessie, James, and Meowth's robot. Both Team Rocket groups decide to battle each other. Both robots begin to exchange attacks with each other. While they are fighting, Ash and co. begin to take their leave with Hippowdon. Cassidy notices this, but Jessie doesn't want Cassidy to escape. Since her robot is a Slowbro, she fires its tail (like a rocket) at the Rhyhorn vehicle. The rocket does no damage to it, and Cassidy laughs. She then uses the horn on her vehicle like a rocket and fires it at the Slowbro vehicle. It explodes, and Team Rocket blasts off again. The explosion, however, also takes out Ash and co. and Hippowdon. Pachirisu falls out of Hippowdon's mouth. Dawn is happy to see her Pokémon once again.
With Pachirisu free from Hippowdon's body, Hippowdon can battle. Hippowdon fires a Hyper Beam at the Rhyhorn vehicle, and it falls apart. Without a vehicle, Cassidy and Butch decide to do a Pokémon battle. Cassidy sends out Granbull, and Butch sends out Shuckle. Suddenly, Jessie, James, and Meowth appear once again. Jessie isn't ready to admit defeat to Cassidy yet. She sends out Seviper, and Seviper tackles Granbull. Then James sends out Carnivine. Seviper wraps its body on Granbull. Granbull is able to free itself by biting Seviper, but Seviper bites Granbull as well. Carnivine then attacks Shuckle with Bullet Seed. Shuckle counters with Sludge Bomb. Carnivine dodges the attack, and the Sludge Bomb ends up hitting Hippowdon. This angers Ash and Dawn, so they step in the battle. Pikachu knocks out Shuckle with Thunderbolt, and Piplup's Bubblebeam knocks out Carnivine. Then Hippowdon uses Double-Edge to finally get rid of Shuckle and Carnivine. Hippopotas then uses Yawn on all of Team Rocket and their Pokémon. Finally, it fires a Sandstorm at Team Rocket. To finish the job, Hippowdon uses Hyper Beam, and Team Rocket blasts off again.
Hippopotas and Hippowdon finally reunite with each other. Dawn apologizes to Hippowdon of the incident they had with Pachirisu. With Hippopotas and Hippowdon happy again, Ash and co. continue their way towards Veilstone City. Meanwhile, Jessie, James, and Meowth have landed in a tree. Jessie swears to get her revenge on Cassidy again. Cassidy and Butch have landed somewhere in the desert. Cassidy is angry that Jessie got in her way, and she also swears to get her revenge on her.