Episode 002: A Pokemon Emergency
Ash races to Viridian City with Pikachu in his arms. As he passes by a police station, he is stopped by a police officer, who thinks Ash might be one of the Pokemon thieves spotted in the area. After clearing things up with his Pokedex, which is also his ID, the police officer gives Ash a ride to the Pokemon Center on her motorcycle. Racing off, they leave a cloud of dust, which sprays all over Misty, who is carrying her bike and tracking down Ash. Meanwhile, above the city, Jessie and James, member of Team Rocket plot to steal rare Pokemon from the Pokemon Center. Their mascot, a Pokemon named Meowth who can speak english, bosses them around as their balloon hovers toward the center.
Officer Jenny gets Ash to the Pokemon Center, obviously showing off her driving skills by sliding her bike through the doors. Nurse Joy scolds Ash for letting Pikachu get into such a bad condition then takes Pikachu to the E.R. Ash, helpless to do anything, waits in the lobby. He calls his mom, who encourages Ash to go out and be the very best he can be. After he hangs up, Ash spies a large picture of the Pokemon he saw fly over the rainbow. A phone call comes in over the center's line, and Ash answers it. It is Prof. Oak, checking on Ash's progress. Oak is a little disappointed that Ash has yet to catch a single Pokemon, and Ash tells Oak about the Pokemon he saw. Oak tells Ash he must have been mistaken. After Oak says goodbye, Misty bursts into the Center and demands that Ash pay her back for the damage to her bike. Ash tells Misty he can't do anything until Pikachu is better. The light over the E.R. goes off and Nurse Joy wheels out Pikachu on a stretcher. Joy tells Ash that Pikachu needs a little rest and Misty agrees to wait until Pikachu is fully healed before they figure out how to deal with her broken bike.
Alarms suddenly go off, warning the citizens of Viridian of Pokemon Thieves. Team Rocket bursts into the center and they recite their infamous poem for the first time. Ash tries to protect Pikachu, but Team Rocket says they are only interested in rare Pokemon. Joy tells them that there are only common Pokemon at the center, but Team Rocket begins to tear the place apart looking for any rare Pokemon. Ash, Joy, Misty and Pikachu take cover in the storage room, as Team Rocket's Pokemon, Ekans and Koffing, smash computers and walls. Team Rocket cuts the power, but a pack of Pikachu serve as a back-up generator. Joy begins to transport the Pokemon to Pewter City, but Team Rocket burst in and Pokeballs fly everywhere. Ash and Misty toss Pokeballs, hoping to find a powerful one to battle, but they are all duds. Misty distracts Team Rocket as Ash races out with Pikachu. He crashes into Misty's bike in the lobby, and the impact wakes up Pikachu. Team Rocket chases after Ash and Pikachu. Pikachu calls the other Pikachu and together they shock Team Rocket. Pikachu tells Ash that he needs more power. Ash pedals Misty's bike and lights up her headlight using a small generator attached to the wheel. Pikachu uses the extra power to Thundershock Team Rocket. The electricty spark's Koffing's gas, and the Pokecenter is blown sky-high. Team Rocket blasts off, vowing to capture Ash's Pikachu, which is no ordinary Pikachu.
The next morning, Ash, Misty and Pikachu continue on to Viridian Forest, where Ash finds a Caterpie. As he tosses a Pokeball to capture it, the episode ends.