(continued from previous post)
Battling For The Right To Choose:
Before the battle, Cilan thinks back to when he got a wift of the pink scent from Merigold and says it was a scent of a Pokemon but it wasn't a Lillipip or Petilil (and those with a quick eye would recognize what Pokemon's silhouette Cilan is trying to remember). Cilan says it smelled like the scent you'll smell when laying on the grass and blown in by the wind (gee, that's so specific) though does narrow it down by saying it had a scent of a Grass-type but also of something else (and as Cilan thinks this, we see him laying on a field, being surrounded by Grass-types, but then a Trubbish appears jumping behind them. SYMBOLISM!) Cilan says the only Grass-types in the garden are Whimsicott, Petilil, Deerling, and Sewaddle but of those four only Deerling and Sewaddle are a second type however it doesn't match the scent he smelled which was more "pungent". Just as Cilan says that, the pink scent appears and Cilan says that's the scent and wonders where it's coming from, crawling on the floor following the scent until he hits his head on one of the swings and finds powder, realizing what Pokemon it is. Ash and Iris run up to Cilan and Iris tells him the battle is about to start though Cilan asks if they could do him a favor.
At a battlefield in the back of the garden, Mr. Hatterly and Merigold are watching the battle and Mr. Hatterly tells Merigold he thinks Petilil will be the perfect Pokemon for her so he's hoping Ricard wins though Merigold just sighs. The butler tells Ash and Ricard the rules: 1 Pokemon, the winner is the one who knocks out the opponent's first. Burgundy somehow got back into the garden and is watching from some bushes, exciting to watch a battle between two A-Class Connoisseur (odd, at this point she's normally cheering for Cilan's defeat. Could this be character development? Nah, she probably just doesn't want to be caught/no one would hear her complaints). Ricard sends out a Purloin which makes Cilan nervous which Ricard sees and teases though Cilan gets back to his senses and sends out Crustle which Ricard says is "straight-forward" for Cilan to do (yeah, how dare Cilan choose a Pokemon that has a type advantage, it's like he's using actual strategy!). Cilan says it's a job of a Connoisseur to instruct how to raise a Pokemon by following the basics and use the right moves which Ricard laughs off as something a C-Class Connoisseur can do which angers Burgundy in the bushes who says both Cilan and Ricard deserve each other and hopes they both lose (ah, there's the Burgundy we loathe), though still keeps watching.
Crustle starts the battle with X-Scissor but Purloin dodges with high speed and Ricard says that his Purrloin is faster and stronger than even a Liepard. Purrloin uses Sand-Attack which blinds Crustle as it follows with a Fury Swipes hitting Crustle with no problems as Ricard says they won't be so lucky with their next attack. Mr. Hatterly tells Merigold there's nothing to worry about as it seems like her first Pokemon will be Petilil (okay, if you like the idea of your daughter having a Petilil as her "first" Pokemon, then why bother having this battle? Cilan hasn't suggested any Pokemon and Merigold hasn't rejected the idea (at least not verbally, but I doubt her father noticed her negative reaction), so to me that means Ricard is "right". Also, how does a Pokemon battle decide who's right? It just means one of the Connoisseurs is better at battling, it doesn't mean they're any better at "evaluating" as the next Connoisseur. Finally, you said so yourself your daughter is FRIENDS WITH ALL THE POKEMON IN THE GARDEN. Why does she need a "first" Pokemon? Does she want to be a trainer? In that case, wouldn't she be getting a Starter Pokemon from a Pokemon Professor then?). Merigolds gives a sigh while Ash and Iris look to be searching for something as Ricard tells Cilan that Crustle may be raised well but he evaluates that Cilan is "boring" and an A-Class Connoisseur must have an "unpredictable" quality (which is why you chose a "cute" Pokemon for a little girl, NO ONE would have ever thought of that combination).
Crustle breaks out the Shell Smash while Purrloin goes in with a Night Slash (a Dark-type Pokemon knowing a Dark-type attack? TOTALLY UNPREDICTABLE!) but Crustle vanishes before Purrloin can hit it. Crustle wraps the battle up with a Rock Wrecker that not only knocks out Purrloin but also hits Burgundy which sends her blasting off with a twinkle (wearing poor disguises, blasting off, failing miserably in life, who does she think she is? Old Team Rocket?). Ash's "blasting off" sense tingles but Iris yells at him and says they need to do what Cilan asked them to do as they keep on their search. The butler announces Cilan as the winner as Ricard returns his Purrloin and Cilan asks Ricard what does he think of Crustle, Ricard having to admit that Crustle is unpredictable afterall (yes, the part Rock-type winning using the strongest Rock-type move is COMPLETELY UNPREDICTABLE). Mr. Hatterly applauds the battle though Merigold is still sighing.
Mr. Hatterly congratulates Cilan and asks if he had decided what "elegant" Pokemon will be Merigold's Pokemon and Cilan says he has but instead of choosing one by looks he based it on Merigold's unique character (unique character? You mean those soulless eyes?) which Mr. Hatterly agrees with. Cilan says that Merigold actually had already made a strong bond with a Pokemon in the garden which surprises Merigold, Mr. Hatterly, and Ricard and Mr. Hatterly asks if its one of the Pokemon watching the battle which Merigold shakes her head at though Cilan says it isn't. Just then Ash and Iris come running up the path with Iris telling Cilan they found it and Cilan points over to Merigold's perfect Pokemon and Iris moves out of the way to reveal the Pokemon which is in Ash's arms: Foongus! Merigold sees Foongus and smiles and start running to it as Foongus jumps out of Ash's arms and Merigold catches it in her arms, claiming that it's her Foongus. Mr. Hatterly isn't quite happy and is confused why Merigold would want a Foongus of all the Pokemon in the garden (well though both have matching soulless eyes) with Ricard saying he can't suggest that Pokemon from a "fashion sense". Cilan says that he picked up a Grass/Poison-type scent from Merigold but because none of the Pokemon they saw are Grass/Poison-type she must have been playing with another Pokemon. Mr. Hatterly asks Merigold if that's true and Merigold says it is as we go into a flashback of Merigold alone on the swings until Foongus came up to her, sat next to her, and blew out some powder which forced the swing to, well, swing (it also got her high but that's another story) and Foongus has been her special friend since then. Merigold then says she didn't tell her father because she didn't think he would approve and apologizes but Mr. Hatterly apologizes saying he'll be happy with whatever Pokemon she chooses. Ricard congratulates Cilan picking up on Merigold's bond with Foongus and says he wins and they shaking hands, but Ricard says next time he's going to win, a challenge which Cilan accepts.
That afternoon, Ash & co., Mr. Hatterly, Merigold, and their butler are in the front of the mansion with Cilan thanking Mr. Hatterly for a wonderful time. Merigold thanks them saying she'll do her best to raise Foongus and one day go off on her own journey which makes Mr. Hatterly cry tears of joy. The butler asks Ash if he had decided what Gym he's going to next (looks like Ash & co. are getting a free limo ride to Opelucid City, WOOT!) though Ash gives a "uhhhhh" (Ash, just go to Opelucid City, you can wait, being this is the anime there will probably be a festival when you get there).
But no, I'm going to give a bit of a spoiler: Ash is not going to Opelucid City, battle Drayden, or get the Legend Badge. WHAT? Yes, for you see, Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 are coming out soon, in less then 2 weeks infact!
In order to celebrate this event, or rather to promote it since that's what the anime is for, it has been decided to include elements from Black 2 & White 2 despite those games taking place 2 years from Black & White which, up to this point, the anime has been following (at least Gym Leader order wise). What does this have to do with Ash and his 8th Badge? Well...
The butler suggests Ash goes to Virbank City, a place which upon hearing Cilan tells Ash he strongly suggest they go and since a badge is a badge, Ash accepts. Thus we head off into the Black 2 & White 2 promotion, Ash & co. travelling there in style in a limo waving goodbye to Mr. Hatterly, Merigold, and their butler as the narrator finishes up.