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A Close Call... Practically! (Pokémon Journeys: The Series)

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Not to most intense way to end off the first installment of Pokémon Journeys: The Series.

"A Close Call... Practically!" is an episode from Pokémon Journeys: The Series, it is the 12th/final episode of the 4th arc, is overall the 48th/final episode of Pokémon Journeys, and is overall the 48th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, it serves as the season finale of the original Pokémon Journeys, before the next installment, Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series.

Summery

After winning the eating contest, Ash, his Pikachu and Goh visit to Unova to get some food, meanwhile Team Rocket has created a robotic Pikachu in order to steal Ash's Pikachu, so Ash's Lucario and Goh's Cinderace must team up to stop them.

Why This Episode Is Not A Close Call

  1. The main problem with this episode is that despite the fact that this is the SEASON FINALE of Pokémon Journeys, it has no indication that this is the season finale and comes across as one big filler.
    1. While ending a season with an episode like this is usually not always a bad thing, most season finales present in previous season 1 action cartoon shows (E.G Steven Universe, Trollhunters, Gravity Falls and ect) have a since of major finality to them, and (while not all the time) usually have a trailer that says that their the season finale, but in the case with "A Close Call... Practically!", this just feels more like an average cartoon episode.
  2. The extremely repetitive running gag of Ash's Lucario and Goh's Cinderace getting "sling-shot" though multiple means tho to the jell that stick on their hands, and they repeat said running gag though out the whole episode.
  3. Many bland filler, such as the segments where Ash, his Pikachu and Goh are eating different kinds of Unova foods.
  4. The plot twist were its reviled that Team Rocket has had the fake Pikachu while the real Pikachu was with Ash along is incredibly insulting, not to mention, a bit obvious since it was already known that Ash's Pikachu was fine.
  5. Missed Opportunity: For some odd reason, Goh's Greedent does not appear in "A Close Call... Practically!", even tho this episode happens after "Crowning the Chow Crusher!" and was the one who won the contest, he could have appear alongside Ash's Lucario and Goh's Cinderace and maybe serve as some comic relive, but that never happens.
  6. Poor ending where after defeating Team Rocket and find out that Ash's Pikachu is fine, both Ash's Lucario and Goh's Cinderace fight each other once again.
  7. Overall, because of the plot, this episode feels more like a early/mid-way episode, but as describe in the #1 segment, this episode serves as the season final.
  8. This was a poor way to end off Pokémon Journeys: The Series, also known as Season 23.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. While repetitive, the running gag of Ash's Lucario and Goh's Cinderace getting "sling-shot" though multiple means can be considered funny.
  2. Team Rockets' idea was pretty smart and clever.
  3. The fight scene with Ash's Lucario/Goh's Cinderace and Team Rocket's Pokémon near the end of the episode was great.

Trivia

  • The title is a reference to the 1972 Gilbert O'Sullivan song "Alone Again (Naturally)".
  • In Latin America, this is the last episode where:
    • Diana Pérez would give voice to Jessie, after her death on April 27, 2021.
    • Premiere on Cartoon Network in Latin America.