| Plant It Now... Diglett Later
Protect the Digda Village! The Big Pitfall Strategy!?
|| October 4, 2001
| United States
|| November 9, 2002
|| Team Ota
|| 首藤剛志 Takeshi Shudō
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Plant It Now... Diglett Later (Japanese: ディグダのむらをまもれ！おとしあなだいさくせん！？ Protect the Digda Village! The Big Pitfall Strategy!?) is the 218th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 4, 2001 and in the United States on November 9, 2002.
A village of kind, elderly people prepares a great meal for Ash and friends, and in return requests that the Pokémon Trainers assist them in defending their village against a gang of marauders that invades the village every year and attempts to rustle their sizable herd of Diglett. In explaining this to the children, the village's elderly mayor loses his train of thought numerous times, leaving Ash and friends completely confused by his request, until an unlikely source offers some clarification. The leader of the gang in question appears, succinctly restates the mayor's explanation, promises to return the following day with his gang, and finally excuses himself politely. A bit puzzled by this genteel marauder, Ash and friends nonetheless accept the mayor's request and along with Team Rocket, whose insatiable appetites had brought them to the dinner as well, begin fortifying the town against attack. When our heroes venture into the enemy camp, however, they learn that there is more to the marauders' plot than meets the eye.
With the Whirl Cup over, Ash and his friends head towards the last areas of the Whirl Islands. However, everyone's hungry and the next town won't be reached for quite some time. Meanwhile, Jessie is spying on them from a high area, coming up with another scheme. While Jessie is watching the kids, James and Meowth are busy digging a hole in the ground, attempting the pitfall trick again. As the kids approach, Team Rocket hide behind a bush, waiting for their trap to work. Sure enough, the kids fall down into the sinkhole. Team Rocket start to bask in their success, but when they go to check out the hole, they fall into another one. Jessie complains to James and Meowth on why they didn't tell her about this one. Meowth says the one they fell in is theirs, since it has a picture of himself on the side. He then begins to dream about his sculpture being everywhere. Suddenly, a bunch of Diglett appear in both Team Rocket's hole and the kids.
The Diglett form a "ladder," and a girl appears. She explains that the hole was dug because people kept sneaking into their town. Brock jumps out and does his usual spiel. The girl introduces herself as Rita, and another, Sue, introduces herself as well. After getting both groups out of the holes, Rita and Sue explain that they need help in defending their village. They offer free food and shelter if the groups agree to help. Eager at the prospect of food, both accept the offer and head towards the village.
The two groups sit down before an enormous mountain of food. Ash and his friends begin eating immediately, but Team Rocket hold off. James and Meowth question if eating with the enemy is right, but Jessie ignores them and dives right into the food. Sue and Rita leave for their home, but say the village elders, which are also the Town Council members, will explain the story to them. However, they forgot what they need to ask about, and go back and forth several times before remembering they were going to request help. Suddenly, the elders are interrupted by an armored man on a Dodrio. He claims to be the leader of the band of Diglett thieves. They explain that every year, they come to Diglett Village to steal all of the villagers' Diglett so they can help them. He tells the elders that they'll be back tomorrow to begin stealing the Pokémon.
Realizing they need to act fast, Team Rocket and the others decide to join forces to stop the band of Diglett thieves. They come up with a plan on how to deal with the gang: Ash and the others will sneak into the enemy's village and spy on them so they can hear about the plans. Team Rocket will remain in Diglett Village to train the elderly residents how to defend themselves.
Making their way into the village, Ash and the others hide behind a wall after seeing the leader. Pikachu glances at the leader and jumps back in surprise. The others look, and are stunned to see Sue and Rita talking to the band of Diglett thieves' leader. The kids run off, but are spotted by the leader. They learn that the leader of the band of Diglett thieves is Rita and Sue's father. He in turn explains that all the residents of Diglett Village are the grandparents of Rita and Sue, and the parents of the band of Diglett thieves. As it turns out, the village was founded by their ancestors many years prior. While the younger residents left the village, the older ones remained. The band of Diglett thieves was formed in order to make sure the elderly residents were staying in shape, and every year they return to the village in order to check up on their parents. The Diglett thieves make Ash and the others promise to go along with their plan. The kids agree, and promise to help out the Diglett Village residents.
The next day, James sits on top of a makeshift tower in a tree, waiting for the band of Diglett thieves. When he sees them, he lets the elderly residents know, and they charge forward. The pitfalls Team Rocket was digging earlier work, as many Diglett thieves are falling into them. Ash and his friends help out as well. Ash has Cyndaquil use its Flamethrower, which is put out by a hose. Misty has Poliwhirl use Water Gun, which is deflected by shields. Meanwhile, the Diglett are carrying away the Diglett thieves. Finally, Brock has Crobat use Supersonic. Confusion is prevented by headphones.
Suddenly, the band of Diglett thieves hold up a white flag, offering a truce. But Team Rocket, who are unaware of what's really going on, start throwing bombs at everyone. To prevent giving away their secret, Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt on them, sending them blasting off.
For all their work, the gang receives a Silver Wing Badge. They are very amazed at seeing it, thinking it may hold a clue to the mysterious Pokémon they saw earlier. The Diglett Village thank Ash and the others, and they head off towards the next town.
- Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back and Power of One can be heard in this episode.
- The Badge Ash receives in this episode is not an actual Badge, but instead the Silver Wing. Its existence is explored in the following episode.
- When an old woman says that she is 120 years old, Jessie claims that that's "ten times [her] age!" However, due to previous episodes, this is possibly a dub error.
- However, after hearing Jessie say this, Meowth responds, "Where did you get that math?" This joke was implied to say that she was older than she really says she is.
- Prior to the airing of this episode, Pokémon.com claimed that Jessie was twelve.
- It appears that Team Rocket breaks the fourth wall within the first few seconds of this episode, but really did not. After the title card and Ash's narration of "Plant It Now... Diglett Later", Jessie says "Did they say... Diglett?" Meowth responds with "I think so." Even though it sounds like Jessie heard Ash reading the title card there is another explanation. Before the intro song begins a Diglett pops out of the ground in the pit where Ash, Misty, and Brock are and they yell out "Diglett!". After the intro song and the title card the story is just starting where it left off and what Jessie really heard was the three yelling out "Diglett!".
- This is the second episode in which the main characters are seen dressed in fatigues and assembled in a command tent, the first being Tanks a Lot!.
- The English title of this episode is a reference to the phrase "plant you now, dig you later".
- Misty says that her training with Corsola helped her get the edge over Ash in the Whirl Cup. However, Misty did not use Corsola in her match against Ash, as Psyduck popped out instead.
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