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| Stairway to Devon
Devon Corporation! Shadow of Aqua Gang!!
|| March 20, 2003
| United States
|| January 17, 2004
|| Team Ota
|| 十川誠志 Masashi Sogo
|| 片貝慎 Shin Katakai
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
Stairway to Devon (Japanese: デボンコーポレーション！アクア団の影！！ Devon Corporation! Shadow of Aqua Gang!!) is the 17th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 291st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 20, 2003, and in the United States on January 17, 2004.
Now that he's received a badge from the Rustboro City Gym, Ash is ready to leave Rustboro and head off to Dewford Island for his next gym battle. May has other ideas. She is thrilled to finally be in a big city and wants to do some shopping. Brock agrees, so they decide to stay. Meanwhile, Max is in a state of panic. He accidentally spilled his drink into May's PokéNav and it looks broken. He gets a tip from a strange old man to take the PokéNav to the Devon Corporation building. The man says that since they manufacture the device, they might be able to fix it. Desperate to avoid May's wrath, Max decides to go for it. Once inside, he learns that the strange old man is actually the president of Devon Corp! Max is really excited by all of the interesting projects the company is working on—but it soon becomes clear that there's in an intruder in the building who is after some of those experiments. Ash and crew arrive just in time to help Officer Jenny catch the intruder, but it's actually Team Rocket who end up saving the day!
The episode opens with Ash admiring his Stone Badge, before asking Max where the next Gym is. Max checks the PokéNav and announces that the next Gym is on Dewford Island. Brock and May are looking at guide books in amazement at all the shops and when Ash tries to get them to set out for Dewford Island, Brock replies without looking up that they have two hours before the next ferry, so they should look around the city until then. Max agrees and is about to check something on the PokéNav, but spills his drink on it. When it doesn't work he panics and runs off.
Max is wandering through Rustboro, wondering what he should tell May when he comes across a group of kids surrounding an inventor. The inventor starts to show off his wrestler shaped can opener, but when it eventually opens the can it sprays the contents into his face. The rest of the kids walk off, and the inventor asks Max what he is doing, and when Max tells him, says that he may not have to tell May anything at all, telling him about the Devon Corporation. Suddenly a limo pulls up nearby, and Kennedy jumps out and chases after the inventor, who has run off.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Ash is showing off his Badge to Professor Oak and telling him that Pikachu has learned Iron Tail. The Professor congratulates them both before hanging up. At that point Brock arrives, saying that he is done with his shopping. May is lying on a bench nearby, with Brock guessing that she has shopped until she dropped. However, when they decide that they will miss the boat because Max isn't back yet, she races off to do more shopping before anyone can stop her.
Max approaches the Devon building, wondering at how big it is, and then runs up the steps towards it. Then, Team Rocket walk up to the steps, and discuss their plan to steal everything and give it to the Boss. Inside the building, the receptionist tells Max that they don't handle repairs. At that point, Officer Jenny walks up to the receptionist, before the inventor and Kennedy approach her. Max eavesdrops on their conversation from behind a pillar. Jenny tells them that there has been a plan to infiltrate the building, and they should double check security until they find out more. The inventor then looks around sneakily, before racing off to the pillar where Max is hiding, and surprising him from behind. He covers Max's mouth and he tells Max to follow him.
The two are walking along a corridor when the inventor asks to see the PokéNav. He then leads Max to a room where there are a few people working with some equipment. He tells them not to let Kennedy know they are here, and then asks them to repair the PokéNav. One of them then addresses him as "Mr. President", surprising Max. He then leads Max through another corridor, explaining that he likes to get out of his office and wander around the city to get inspiration for new devices. He then gives Max a tour of the building, showing him some new devices. Max excitedly asks if he can use some of them, but is told that they don't work yet. Finally he is shown their Fossil restoration device, which still doesn't work. In yet another corridor, Max tells the President that he wants to be a Gym Leader one day, but their conversation is interrupted by Kennedy, who tells him that he should be back in his office, as he has some appointments. The President suggests that Kennedy should go to the Pokémon Center and get the rest of the group.
Outside, Team Rocket survey security, and decide that they will need a disguise, so they put on lab coats. While looking at a machine, which is described as temperamental, the President stops, and leads Max after one of the scientists, saying he doesn't recognize him, something he makes a point of doing. In reception, Kennedy leads the group to the President's office, and Team Rocket are stopped by Officer Jenny, who wants to see their ID cards. Back in the corridors, the scientist looks around sneakily, before going through a door. Max and the President decide to follow. Meanwhile, Kennedy is explaining to the group that maybe Max reminded the President of his son, Steven. When they enter the lab where Max was moments ago, the scientists tell them that two important parts of the Fossil restoration machine are missing.
While following the thief up some metal stairs outside, Max slips and hurts himself, alerting the thief to their presence, making him run away. The President then contacts Kennedy and tells him what is going on, and the group follow Kennedy through a shortcut so that they can corner the thief on the roof. In reception, Jessie and James are trying to explain why they don't have ID cards, saying that Meowth ate them. An announcement is then made over the P.A. system, saying that there has been a theft, and the suspect is wearing a white lab coat and sunglasses. Upon hearing this, Team Rocket remove their disguises and are chased by Officer Jenny.
The thief runs out onto the roof, but is blocked by Ash, May and Brock. Max and the president then come up behind him. He sends out his Crawdaunt, which Ash scans on his Pokédex. Pikachu attacks with Quick Attack, but Crawdaunt retaliates with Crabhammer. Team Rocket then burst onto the roof and perform their motto. The thief then tells Crawdaunt to use BubbleBeam, before returning it, and grabs a rocket propelled glider stowed on the roof. However before he can get away, Team Rocket decide that they want whatever it is he stole, and jump, grabbing onto him and making him lose control slightly. Meowth then fishes around in his pockets, finding the parts he stole just before the rocket starts to fail. Meowth drops the parts and Max catches them. Before Team Rocket lets go, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, sending Team Rocket blasting off. Max shows everyone that he saved the capsules, and Jenny says that since he was using a Crawdaunt, the thief was most likely from Team Aqua, before explaining about Team Aqua and Team Magma.
A police search of the city that night reveals a lab coat and a crashed glider. The group and the President are having dinner at a restaurant, when the President tells them that his son is on Dewford Island. May then asks Max for the PokéNav, as she wants to look something up on it, and Max initially panics, before the President taps his knee with it secretly, and he takes it from him, which Pikachu, who is sitting under the table, notices, and then gives it to May.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Slugma
- Several times throughout the episode, Max states that the PokéNav belongs to May, but it is in fact his.
- Jessie's skirt is lengthened for appropriate viewing for the audiences outside of Japan. The scene in question was when Team Rocket gets off the floor after Crawdaunt uses Bubble Beam.
- The Poké Ball on Ash's badge case is once again changed to a rectangle on United States airings and home video releases.
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