Sorry about that, but I haven't had the chance to discuss on the show's early writing much, so far, so there I went.
I actually liked the over-the-top aspects in this case, for it reinforced Ash's human personality. After all, if you lived in the Pokemon world, wouldn't you get that excited about your early captures? These days, "I caught something. That's kinda awesome. Yep." Throw in Misty's non-plussed reaction, and there's some great range and banter (i.e., the Heaven/Hell exchange).
Yes, I miss the hammer. Then, I think on Jessie's paper fan (I forget when that first appeared), and wonder "how real is this show, if the girls are pulling things through hammerspace? Then again, I'm conversing about a show with an electric rat, so what do I know?" Heh.
I believe the wounded Caterpie saving the day was more compensation after Misty's disparaging remarks and its overall weaknesses, as per its Pokedex entry. Was it deus ex machina? Yeah, but Caterpie needed its time in the spotlight and to highlight how even weak creatures can prevail, sometimes, so I'm willing to let this one go.
Or, it could be my pro-Caterpie bias talking there.
And, no, this is why Pokemon is awesome, or would be awesome back in 98. Heh.
On a side note, did anyone else note on Meowth's "exceeding its evolutionary level" line? Because, given how the show would later avoid levels altogether, I was surprised by that one.
No problem. Yeah, it is pretty rare to find episodes that really connect together in Johto/Hoenn without being an actual arc or revolving around a specific event (Battle Pyramid, Whirl Cup, etc). I actually can't think of many of them.
It wasn't just the personality side of it, though: it was that combined with the timing on the title screen that just created this huge..."no duh" reaction from the audience. That's what I was trying to get at.
Ah, yes, hammerspace. Probably the second most abused writer's gimmick in this show, behind Deus Ex Machina and not counting the CotD as a gimmick. I think the fan may have first appeared either in the St. Anne episode. ...But we're still seeing it from time to time, aren't we?
......Just watch, soon we'll see Dawn pull a mallet from out of nowhere. -.-;
If the point was how weak creatures can prevail, then wouldn't evolving Caterpie immediately after kind of ruin the point? I mean, it isn't goingto be weak anymore, so that victory can be written off as a fluke (or, more to the point, DEM).
I always accepted that line as referencing how strong Pikachu in general can be and that Ash's Pikachu had gone past that without evolving, what with blowing up an entire Pokemon Center and all that. Simplifies things while still making sense, at least.