Pokémon Journeys: Goh’s Childhood Was Surprisingly Lonely

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Part 2 Episode 3 of Pokémon Journeys: The Series "A Snow Day for Searching!" now streaming on Netflix.

After familiarizing the audience with Ash's new partner Goh and his motivation to catch Mew, Pokémon Journeys heads deeper into exploring his backstory. The show is now providing some more details into what kind of kid he was and the environment he grew up in. The Pokémon anime tends to keep family details vague and mysterious, but Goh's background is presented rather straightforwardly.

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Goh and Ash head back home due to a snowstorm malfunctioning the computers at the lab. As they start packing, it surprises Ash that Goh always calls his parents when he wants to return home. Goh explains to Ash the reason he does this is that his mom and dad are a system engineer and programmer duo. They end up working long nights due to their jobs as they are on-call for any sort of system emergencies. Because of this, Goh has to call ahead of time since his parents may not be home when he arrives. For Ash, he seems to drop by his home without much warning. He has Mimey at home, so even if his mom is out working at Pallet House it's unlikely he would arrive at an empty house.

The boys head back to Pallet town where Goh greets his grandmother at his family's apartment. Despite her age, Goh's grandmother is rather spunky, taking part in a karaoke contest later in the day. Goh calls his parents again to inform them he is back home and after the call, they start to fret amongst each other over the well-being of their child. His parents are aware that working all the time and leaving Goh alone at home isn't the best for him and worry he may not have any friends.

Growing up, the only person he talked to was Chloe, and though his parents spoiled him with state-of-the-art technology to help research Mew, the internet and hobbies don't truly replace friendship. Unfortunately, a nearby hospital has some software issues so Goh's parents inform Goh they'll still be a while till they can be back home. Goh reassures them it's alright, but it's clear he is pulling a happy facade. Without anyone at home, Goh recalls the times he would sit alone by his computer to research Mew. To get his mind off these memories, he takes a walk to a nearby park.

At the park, Goh comes across a Cubone being bullied by a group of Mankey. As Goh's Pokédex reads out Cubone's entry, it appears as if the Pokémon strikes a special chord with him. Cubone is known as the "Lonely" Pokémon. It wears the skull of its dead mother on its head, and according to its Sword & Shield Pokédex entry Cubone's dreams make it cry, but each tear makes Cubone stronger. Noticing Cubone is suffering from the Mankey, Goh steps in to help and discovers Cubone lost its bone thanks to those mean Pokémon. Goh of course doesn't want to see Cubone remain sad, so he and his Pokémon venture to get the bone back from the Mankey

Meanwhile, Ash noticed Goh drop a gift for his parents prior to leaving, and heads to his place to return it. The two meet up and work together to thwart the Mankey. After luring the Mankey into a trap and defeating them, the Mankey mime to the team that they lost the bone and don't know where it is. Luckily, a local Fearow spotted the Mankey playing with the bone by a pond and point to the location.

As Ash and Goh fly on Dragonite towards the water, Goh's parents finally get off work and spot Goh flying in the skies with Ash. With Dewgong's help, the boys get Cubone's bone back. Just as this happens, Goh's parents arrive at the location. Despite Goh's parents always being busy, it's clear he loves them and his family dearly. He got them both presents which Ash retrieved for Goh -- mittens to keep them warm in the winter. Goh also talks regularly with his parents about his adventures, enough so that they already knew who Ash was upon meeting. As they reunite, Goh shows off all his new friends to his parents, including the now captured Cubone he helped out. The boys return to Goh's home, his grandmother comes back with the karaoke contest trophy and his parents breathe a sigh of relief that their son has opened up and made many friends on his journey to catch Mew.

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