|Going for Choke!
Going for Choke! (Japanese: ハルカVSムサシ！最後のコンテスト！！ Haruka VS Musashi! The Last Contest!!) is the 175th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 449th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 4, 2006 and in the United States on November 30, 2006.
The competition is underway at the Mulberry Town Pokémon Contest, where Harley has teamed up with Team Rocket to plot May's downfall. While May is getting ready for her first opponent, Team Rocket lures her friends into a sealed transport container and sends them up, up and away with a Meowth balloon! But they didn't count on Drew being there to save the day. He frees Ash and the others, only for all them to then fall into one of Team Rocket's old-fashioned pit traps. While James and Meowth gloat, our heroes realize Team Rocket is working with Harley, and they have to get back to the Contest to help May.
Up on stage, May and her Squirtle are preparing to face Jessie, who's disguised as Jessebella and using Harley's Cacturne. Below the stage, Harley and Team Rocket are preparing some more tricks when our heroes catch up to them. Harley points out that there's no rule against using someone else's Pokémon in a Contest, but his plans are foiled for now.
Meanwhile, Jessie's initial delight wears off when even Banette can't easily win her the match. Banette gets annoyed by Jessie's complaints, and it looks like the odds are back in May's favor. But as time runs out, the two Coordinators are matched in points, and it goes into overtime! Jessebella is eager to win, but she's snapping at Banette and without a good understanding between Coordinator and Pokémon, it's only a matter of time before May wins and the ribbon is hers. Harley gives up on Team Rocket in disgust. May meets Drew and the two are looking forward to a match-up at the Indigo Plateau. As for Ash, he's looking forward to the Battle Pyramid!
Lilian unveils the Mulberry City Contest Battle match-ups, which include a round between May and Jessibella. Backstage, Jessibella confronts May, almost revealing that Harley is helping her win. Drew walks down a corresponding corridor and happens to overhear May's conversation with her. Ash, Max, and Brock wish May luck and exit the room as Drew leaves. The boys are approached by James and Meowth, disguised as Contest attendants, who reveal Ash received a call from home. They lead Ash and the others into a room and lock them inside to stop them from interfering with Jessie's Contest-winning scheme. Meowth presses a button on his remote, causing the walls to collapse and reveal a steel box with a balloon attached to the top. The balloon begins to inflate with air, lifting the boys high into the air. James radios in to Harley, declaring the ploy a success.
Jessie's round is already underway as Banette shocks the competition with a devastating Thunder to its opponent Noctowl. After a few moments, Noctowl is defeated and Jessie moves into the next round. Meanwhile, Ash orders Pikachu use a Thunderbolt, but the attack only reflects off the surface, narrowly missing the boys. The metallic prison begins experience turbulence as an airborne Flygon directs the steel box to the ground with a Sandstorm. After a few moments, the box finally crashes onto the ground creating a giant plume of smoke and dust. The doors of the steel box begin to melt and finally collapse as Drew returns Flygon to its Poké Ball. Ash, Max, and Brock are stunned with the sight of Drew.
With a quick rotation of her hand, May releases Squirtle with a flash of light. May's opponent doesn't hesitate to begin the battle with his Skarmory and its Steel Wing attack. As its wings glow a majestic color and begins its descent, Squirtle Withdraws and begins rotating at a high speed clashing with Skarmory. Squirtle continues to attack with an Ice Beam, but Skarmory manages to evade the attack. Squirtle follows up with a Bubble attack as Skarmory attempts to counter with Swift. The countdown timer expires, and with the most points remaining, May advances to the next round.
As Drew leads Brock and the others to alert May to Team Rocket's grand scheme, they find themselves caught in a pitfall trap. James and Meowth promptly place a steel grid to keep the boys captive. As James and Meowth marvel over Harley's genius, Ash realizes that Harley is also part of the ploy. Brock calls upon his Forretress and has it use Rapid Spin to free them.
Two lights illuminate the Mulberry Contest finale contestants, May and Jessie. James and Meowth make contact with Harley directly underneath the Contest Hall. At Harley's request, James calls out Mime Jr. and Cacnea to dig underneath May's feet. However, Drew and the others catch up to them and confront them with their allegations. Harley confesses that he has been helping Jessibella, or rather Jessie out. He reveals that he allowed Jessie to borrow Cacturne and Banette for the Contest, something that isn't against Contest rules. He stares Drew down for a moment before storming off with James and Meowth trailing behind.
The final round commences as May calls upon her Squirtle and Jessie releases Banette. Banette swiftly goes on the attack with a Thunder, landing a direct hit on Squirtle. A small portion of May's points are deducted while James, Meowth, and Harley examine the battle from overhead. Squirtle recovers from the attack and retaliates with an Ice Beam freezing Banette in place. After a few seconds, Banette breaks from the icy prison and responds with a Will-O-Wisp attack. While retreats into its shell to avoid damage, the colliding Will-O-Wisps create a sparkling display that impresses the judges. Banette launches another Thunder, though Squirtle counterattacks with a Bubble to land a hit on its opponent. Banette goes on the attack striking Squirtle with Frustration as Squirtle withdraws into its shell to protect itself from further damage. After a few moments, Squirtle goes into a Rapid Spin attack, tossing Banette off its shell. Jessie demands a Will-O-Wisp attack, but Squirtle continues to use Rapid Spin and dodges it by bouncing around the stadium. Squirtle evades the follow up Thunder and Tackles Banette to the ground. As the two sides order another attack, the timer runs out.
Lillian turns her attention to the points, and notices that both May and Jessie are tied. She calls for Sudden Death Overtime, where there is no time limit and a Coordinator must reduce their opponent's points to zero to win. Banette strikes forward with a Thunder as Squirtle attacks with an Ice Beam. Though both Pokémon evade the attacks, reducing each sides points. Jessie orders a Will-O-Wisp, though Squirtle withdraws its shell and retaliates with a Bubble attack. May uses a combination, freezing Banette solid in ice before knocking it to the ground with a Tackle. Lillian rules Jessibella out for the count and declares May the winner of the Mulberry Contest. Raoul Contesta, Director of the Contest Committee, presents May with her fifth and final Ribbon, which qualifies her to compete in the Kanto Grand Festival.
Harley reprimands Jessie and her teammates for failing to damage May's chances, calling them "losers" before walking off. However, he admits to himself that it will be fun to defeat May at the Grand Festival. Later, May, with a document in hand, greets her friends and brother. Her attention soon turns to Drew, a surprising appearance. He is quick to leave, adding that he will see her at the Grand Festival at Indigo Plateau.
- May wins the Mulberry Contest, earning her fifth Kanto Ribbon and securing her a place in the Kanto Grand Festival.
- The group learns that the Kanto Grand Festival will be held at Indigo Plateau.
- Harley takes Cacturne and Banette back from Jessie.
- Drew is revealed to have earned four more Kanto Ribbons, thus bringing his total to five and qualifying him for the Kanto Grand Festival.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
- Nurse Joy
- Lilian Meridian
- Raoul Contesta
- Mr. Sukizo
- This episode establishes that when a Contest Battle ends in a tie, an extra battle with no time limit is held, which ends when one of the Coordinators reaches zero points, or when the judges rule Battle Off for a Pokémon.
- A karaoke version of I Won't Lose! ~Haruka's Theme~ is used as background music.
- A karaoke version of Face Forward Team Rocket! is used as background music for the preview for the next episode.
- This is the first time Skarmory's voice was dubbed since its debut in Hot Matches!.
- This is the last time Jessie uses her "Jessebella" disguise after Ash and his friends discover it.
- The episode's English dub title is based on the phrase "go for broke".
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite their motto in this episode.
- 4Kids background music is used in this episode.
- This episode marks a rare occasion where a member of Team Rocket refers to one of the main protagonists by name. In this case, James tells Ash that he received a phone call from home.
- In Jessie's first match in the Battle Round, the camera is overlooking the entire battlefield from a distance, and there appears to be Pokémon on it. However, in the very next scene, there aren't actually any Pokémon on it yet.
- Brock's Forretress is sent out from a regular Poké Ball instead of a Fast Ball.
- When Squirtle uses Tackle on Banette, it deals damage, despite it being a Normal-type move. The same thing happens later when Squirtle uses Rapid Spin.
- This contradicts what happened in Disguise Da Limit and The Scheme Team when Max and Agatha respectively explained that Normal-type moves have no effect on Ghost-types when a Normal-type move failed to damage a Ghost-type.
- Banette's tail is missing in one scene.
- In some scenes, Pikachu's voice can be heard but Pikachu cannot be seen. Also, these scenes have nothing to do with Pikachu, implying an error.
- The song "Dragonite Takes Flight" from Mewtwo Strikes Back is used.
- Team Rocket refers to Harley as their "sensei" in the Japanese version. In the English dub, they simply refer him by his name.
In other languages
|Danish||På vej mod nederlaget!|
|Dutch||Alles op Alles|
|European French||Un enjeu de taille|
|German||Wer aufgibt, hat verloren!|
|Hebrew||ללכת עד הסוף|
|Hindi||May, तुम्हे जीतना ही होगा! May, tumhe jeetna hi hoga!*|
|Italian||Una nuova trappola|
|Korean||봄이VS로사! 마지막 콘테스트!|
|Norwegian||Satser for fullt!|
|Brazilian Portuguese||Indo para o Sufoco|
|Russian||Разногласия на конкурсе|
|Spanish||Latin America||Cerca de la victoria|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|