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Review HZ044: A Plan to Capture Rayquaza

A really thrilling episode!

The battle between Friede and Spinel was cool and I really liked how Friede managed to outsmart Spinel in order to escape by making Spinel think they were just deadlocked when in reality they were purposefully taking those hits to break the wall. Cap catapulting off of the Reflect was awesome.

The Explorers' plan wasn't that bad this time. If the RVTs didn't show up, they likely would have captured Rayquaza. But now it is mad as hell. Also, Sango really will just have Glalie Self-Destruct at any time. She didn't even jump off until near the last second.

I like how Dot really stepped up in this episode to personally administer the machine-wrecking code. Her jumping out IN her Gurumin outfit was wild, Dot must really have faith in her costume.

WATTREL LIVES--and he's out.

The Brave Asagi getting badly damaged is going to be the reason why Liko, Roy, & Dot are gonna be enrolling at Naranja Academy. What else can you do when your main method of transportation has been wrecked? Might as well get some good experience out of it. They all genuinely looked horrified in a way you don't often see in the Pokemon anime.
The tower was a decoy to catch Fride but he got out already. Dot disables the actual machine the explorers are using. Sango is still insane as usual. the Brave Asagi is in rough shape. Rayquayza is not in a good mood and we've got one more episode left in the arc to resolve all this chaos.
This episode had a lot of good things.

Pikachu vs Umbreon had some nice attack combinations.
Spinel finally realizing they need to trap Friede in order to achieve their plans. Although it was cool how he got outsmarted anyway.
Liko, Dot and Roy taking on a more active role against the explorers. Particularly the clever use of Fuecoco’s stomping Tantrum to shake Agate and Wattrel’s spark to stop the ultra ball.
It took three explorers and a distracted Rayquaza to be able to at least stun the beast long enough to try and catch it, but they miscalculated how everything was going to turn out by not having a plan to counter the RVT and the kids.
We got to finally see Agate use her pokemon.
This episode was WILD!!! Friede finally decided to stop coddling Liko and Roy, the kids held their own against the Explorers once again, WATTREL CAME OUT (before being taken out immediately), and the Brave Asagi got WRECKED!!! All the Explorers' plans got revealed really suddenly, yet it still felt like the show was building up to this moment where the RVRs really test their mettle. The slow, step-by-step battle style I complained about last episode actually worked out just fine in this one. And of course, the animation is some of the BEST in the show.
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