Pokémon Journeys: Goh Evolving [SPOILER] Has Unexpected Consequences

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Part 2 Episode 5 of Pokémon Journeys: The Series "Kicking It from Here into Tomorrow!" now streaming on Netflix.

Goh's main focus on his journey is catching every Pokémon, but lately Ash's matches have inspired him to train his own Pokémon to be stronger, too. Goh is still an inexperienced trainer, though. He lacks Ash's years of hard-won battle experience earned alongside Pikachu, and it shows when he tries to mentor his Pokémon his own way.

Goh still has a lot to learn, but this episode he takes his first step into forging a bond with his Pokémon and changing his stubborn ways.

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Scorbunny and Pikachu are training against each other when suddenly, Goh's Darmanitan appears to challenge Scorbunny. Darmanitan is a fellow Fire-type Pokémon and encourages Scorbunny to use a Fire-type attack against it. Up to now, Scorbunny has avoided using any Fire-type moves, and with good reason. It exhales...but only a speck of Ember comes out. It keeps trying, but Goh finds Scorbunny's efforts pointless, despite Ash and Pikachu's encouragment. To Goh, it appears his Pokémon is stressing itself out trying to achieve something it can't, so instead he tells Scorbunny it's time to call it quits. In Goh's mind, it's fine that Scorbunny can't do any Fire-type attacks, so long as it has other strong moves it can still grow to be a formidable Pokémon.

Scorbunny doesn't feel the same, though. It's a prideful Pokémon, and not the type to take no for an answer. Scorbunny ends up skipping a meal to train some more, and after almost getting Ember down, chases after Goh to show off its improvements. Unfortunately, the poor Pokémon follows Goh all day and he doesn't notice it until Scorbunny points out a Pelipper sitting on the bench behind them. Scorbunny tries its Ember on Pelipper and...it's a total fail. A minuscule amount of fire comes out, surprises Pelipper, and causes it to fly away. Annoyed, Goh chases after the Pokémon only to discover it's actually the same one that helps Team Rocket!

Not only did Goh find Team Rocket's Pelipper, but he also discovers their secret base beneath a phonebooth. Team Rocket takes advantage of this chance encounter as an opportunity to steal some Pokémon. With Pelipper's help, they send in a Poliwhirl and Chewtle to battle. Goh orders Scorbunny to use Double Kick, but it ignores him and tries Ember, only for it to once again fail. Chewtle's Water Gun knocks Scorbunny out but, luckily, Pikachu arrives to Thunderbolt Team Rocket.

As Goh and Ash walk back, Goh asks Scorbunny why it insists on using its Ember, even though it's so weak. Goh believes Pokémon should just stick to their strong points, while Scorbunny wants to fully realize its potential as a Fire-type Pokémon. Frustrated and sad that Goh doesn't understand its feelings, Scorbunny kicks him in the butt and promptly runs away.

Ash, ever the mentor, tells Goh he should chase after Scorbunny as he and his Pokémon are not in sync. Their battle strategy is off and doesn't rely on their emotional connection at all. For Ash, battles come intuitively and from a place of trust built through his friendship with his Pokémon. Meanwhile, Goh is too focused on the best and fastest ways to win rather than the feelings of his Pokémon and how they want to succeed. With that, he chases after Scorbunny, and finds it alone in a park, still training its Ember. Defeated, Scorbunny kicks a pebble, and without noticing, adds just a touch of fire onto the rock.

But Goh notices, and he calls out to his Pokémon. Unfortunately, it's still annoyed at him and runs off. Scorbunny bumps straight into Jessie's bum and another battle with Chewtle ensues. This time, Goh lets Scorbunny in on his strategy. He yells at Scorbunny to use Quick Attack to run in place and build up speed, then it kicks a pebble set aflame with Ember. The attack is successful, so successful, in fact, that Scorbunny evolves into Raboot.

Unlike Scorbunny, Raboot isn't exactly happy-go-lucky. After finally succeeding at Ember, Goh is ready to celebrate but Raboot ignores him and walks away. Sometimes when a Pokémon evolves, its personality drastically changes, which is bad news for Goh. Despite him just overcoming one hurdle on his journey, it appears there will be many more obstacles to go through before earning Raboot's full trust and love.

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