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BW138 : Go, Go Gogoat!
Best Wishes series
BW140 : Survival of the Striaton Gym!
Team Rocket's Shocking Recruit!
BW139   EP796
Emonga Joins Rocket-dan!
First broadcast
Japan September 5, 2013
United States November 16, 2013
English themes
Opening It's Always You and Me
Japanese themes
Opening 夏めく坂道
Ending 手をつなごう
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
Assistant director 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
Animation director 案浦達哉 Tatsuya Annoura
No additional credits are available at this time.

Team Rocket's Shocking Recruit! (Japanese: エモンガ、ロケット団に入る! Emonga Joins Rocket-dan!) is the 139th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 796th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 5, 2013 and in the United States on November 16, 2013.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201



While Alexa is getting her video equipment repaired, Ash, Iris, and Cilan take some time off to have a relaxing lunch on shore. At least, that’s the plan, but the Pokémon keep getting into little squabbles over the food. Eventually Emolga unleashes its Discharge attack to zap everyone who’s annoying it, prompting a scolding from Iris.

After lunch, Iris sees Emolga and Axew playing together, and asks Emolga to keep an eye on Axew for her. But when her back is turned, Axew disturbs a Galvantula and gets zapped! Emolga tries to help, but it runs into Axew by mistake, and Axew ends up with a nasty bump on its head. When Iris sees the bump—and the lingering electricity from Galvantula’s attack—she blames Emolga, who flies off in a huff...

...only to land right in the middle of a Team Rocket strategy meeting! After a sudden battle in which Emolga takes down Woobat and Yamask, then Frillish and Amoonguss, all without breaking a sweat, Jessie adopts a new strategy and invites Emolga to become part of Team Rocket!

Iris is now worried about what happened to Emolga, and our heroes set off on a search. They find Emolga with Jessie, James, and Meowth, and the villains have gotten their hands on Axew as well. The sudden appearance of an angry Exploud gives Team Rocket cover to escape, and off they go.

Our heroes need to find Team Rocket and get to the bottom of what’s going on, so Charizard and Dragonite go off to look for the villains. Soon, a nasty battle ensues, and although Meowth overhears Emolga’s plan—it’s only pretending to join them so it can get back at Iris for the earlier misunderstanding—Team Rocket still has that angry Exploud to exploit! More battling ensues, but Team Rocket, along with Exploud, are sent blasting off again.

All this time, Axew has been trying to let Iris know what really happened with the Galvantula, and when she finally pays attention, she finds that she can understand what Axew is thinking! Iris realizes she’s made a huge mistake by accusing Emolga of something it didn’t do. After she apologizes, everything is forgiven and life gets back to normal. Cilan even speculates that Iris’s skill at understanding Axew’s thoughts could very well be another step on her path to becoming a Dragon Master!


While waiting for the Decolore cruise ship to sail after the evening, Alexa is telling Ash and his friends that her camcorder isn't working, and that she can't take any more pictures or videos. Without further ado, Alexa and her Helioptile leave our heroes temporarily to repair her camcorder. Meanwhile, Ash, Iris and Cilan are spending a while in a meadow, having a relaxing picnic, while realeasing all of their Pokémon to gorge down on some food. At this time, Oshawott ate his meal, and then he jumped to eat Pignite's meal. Suddenly, Pignite noticed that his bowl is empty because Oshawott ate his meal. Pignite became very angry and punched Oshawott very hard, and then Oshawott knocked Emolga along with her food. She was very angry at Oshawott and used Discharge on him for spilling her food. Then Iris arrives and warned her not to use Discharge on the other Pokémon, but Emolga ignored her warning. Later, Scraggy was walking happily on the grass, when suddenly, he notes Emolga sitting on the boulder and eating her Pokémon food so nobody would disturb her again. Emolga was still angry, but Scraggy attempts to talk to her, although she turns away from him. He becomes angry with her for ignoring him and he attempts to use Headbutt on her, but she flies up and dodges the move, and when she notices her food spilled all over the ground she is even more furious and uses Discharge on him causing Iris to come by and scold Emolga once again. Later, Axew and Emolga are playing together around the rock where Snivy is sitting.

Iris tells Emolga to make sure Axew does not get hurt and Emolga agrees. When they both stop by a tree, a Galvantula appears and hits Axew with Electro Ball, much to Emolga's anger. But before something could happen, the wind causes Emolga to bump into Axew as he rolls down the hill and crashes into the same rock. This causes Axew to cry and have a bump on his head. Iris, Ash, and Cilan appears to see what happened. Iris picks up her injured Axew, and Cilan checks the bump on Axew's head. Iris then accuses Emolga of attacking Axew. Emolga tries to explain, but Snivy smacked her with Vine Whip. Iris demands Emolga apologize to Axew, making Emolga really upset and causing her to cry and storm off. As Ash and his friends walk away to take care of Axew, Axew sadly looks back to where Emolga flies off.

As Emolga glides through the air, she loses her balance and falls to where Team Rocket are. Emolga then challenges Jessie and James to a battle. First James sends out Yamask and Jessie sends out Woobat. Emolga uses Attract on Yamask and Woobat, successfully infatuating both of them. She then knocks them both out with a Discharge-Hidden Power combo. Next James sends out Amoonguss and Jessie sends out Frillish. Since Frillish is female, Attract wouldn't have worked, but Emolga still manages to win using her Discharge-Hidden Power combo. Team Rocket goes up to Emolga and compliments her, saying she'd be a great addition to their team. Emolga begins to imagine Iris distraught at the sight of her with Team Rocket, and decides to join up with them for a little fun.

Elsewhere, Axew is fully recovered thanks to Cilan's Super Potion. Iris was wondering what's up with Axew, causing Axew to wander off. She then realizes that Emolga didn't come back yet and Ash agrees. Ash returns all of his Pokémon, except Snivy who wanted to stay out because she's worried about Axew. As Snivy follows Axew, Iris recalled two of her Pokémon and Cilan recalled Pansage.

While Iris is wondering about where Emolga is, Team Rocket shows up, and recites their motto with Emolga joining in. Everyone is shocked that Emolga joined up with Team Rocket. But before Ash and his friends can act, James takes out Yamask and distracts everyone using Haze. Emolga pulls Axew out of the smoke, as Snivy stops her with Vine Whip. Iris asks Emolga why she is doing this but Emolga turns away. Snivy and Emolga then start arguing. Meowth is a little shocked by this and decides not to tell his crew anything. Snivy attacks Emolga with Vine Whip. Emolga counters with Hidden Power but Snivy dodges. Emolga uses another Hidden Power but this time Snivy deflected it with Leaf Blade. The orb goes straight through the trees and through a cave where a wild Exploud is sleeping. This wakes up Exploud and smoke comes out of its holes. Back in the forest, Snivy gets hit by Emolga's Discharge and they start arguing again. Snivy hits Emolga with Leaf Blade as Ash and Pikachu step in to stop Snivy from fighting. Then the Exploud from the cave appears out of the bushes and launches a Flamethrower. Ash looks it up in the Pokédex but as he finishes, Exploud unleashes another Flamethrower at Ash who manages to dodge in time. It then uses Thunder Punch to chase them away. Using this as a perfect opportunity, Team Rocket is getting away with Emolga holding Axew. Before Iris can get her Pokémon back, Exploud attacks again with Hyper Beam and Ash and co. run away.

Ash wonders what was wrong with the Exploud. Iris states that she just wanted to know why Emolga joined Team Rocket and expresses her anger along with Snivy. Cilan reassures Iris that he doesn't believe Emolga actually joined up with Team Rocket. Iris notes she only told Emolga to apologize to Axew for what happened to him earlier while she was playing with him, and Ash mentioned maybe that could be the reason Emolga joined Team Rocket, and Cilan states that maybe Emolga wasn't responsible for what happened to Axew and that Iris could've messed up, and this worries Iris greatly.

The attention turns back to Team Rocket where Axew is protesting to Emolga trying to get her to come back with the group, but she refuses. Axew doesn't like this one bit, and his eyes grow big as he begins to cry. Emolga then pets Axew and informs him she's not really joining up with Team Rocket, and she's only doing this until Iris figures out what really happened. Unbeknownst to Emolga, Meowth is listening in on the conversation and ends up hearing everything she told Axew. Meowth then translates for Jessie and James stating that Emolga was only pretending to join Team Rocket, but she's going to mess up their next mission and then go back to Iris with Pikachu and Axew. Jessie asks in shock "Does that mean Emolga's only siding with us to grab the Twerpette's attention?" Meowth responds, "You got it." James isn't upset by this news, but Jessie and Meowth on the other hand, are absolutely furious. James tries to give his teammates an idea on how they could get back at Emolga, but he is extremely terrified when Jessie and Meowth turn to him, and an animation is seen of a purple mist around Jessie and Meowth which shows just how furious they really are.

The scene changes to Team Rocket at the cave although Jessie doesn't see any point in being there. James states "It's what's inside the cave." The trio peeks into the cave and they witness the Exploud from earlier now sound asleep. Meowth mentions "There's that cranky Exploud." James clarified, "Cranky from being awakened," he then adds, "I'm not exactly thrilled when that happens to me." Jessie gets an idea and giggles evilly and states, "Sleeping Beauty could go from hot head to big help."

The scene changes to Ash's Charizard and Iris's Dragonite coming back from a search for Axew reporting where they found him and the gang runs to his rescue. Axew is seen standing on a rock looking sad and worried. Just then, Pikachu is heard calling for Axew who turns his head just as Pikachu gets caught in a trap which was dug by Team Rocket. Jessie and James recite the first two lines of the motto before Meowth stops them, and during this Emolga is seen behind a rock grooming herself, and she attempts to fly and put her plan into action, but she trips and fumbles to the ground accidentally. The attention turns back over to Team Rocket and Pikachu attempts to free himself from the net by using Thunderbolt, but as usual with gadgets designed by Team Rocket, the attack don't work, and Pikachu is helpless. Jessie and James call out Woobat and Yamask, and Jessie states they also have Emolga helping them. Axew calls out to Iris desperate for her to save him, and Iris calls back extremely worried for him. Axew shouts out in desperation once more, as does Iris, and then Iris senses a strong emotional connection with Axew and as Axew thinks back to earlier in the day, Iris sees everything and she realizes it wasn't Emolga's fault after all and she was only trying to protect Axew after he got attacked by the Galvantula. Iris calls out to Emolga and apologizes to her for not realizing what had happened and Emolga accepts the apology. Meowth notes that now Emolga's going to go back to her friends with Axew and Pikachu, but before Axew and Emolga could escape they get trapped inside of a cage.

Axew and Emolga are now trapped inside the box and Meowth pushes a few buttons on a remote, and a cage opens up and the Exploud from earlier comes out and begins attacking Emolga and Axew first with Thunder Punch and then with Flamethrower. Iris is extremely concerned for her Pokémon and she asks Dragonite to help. She instructs him to use Ice Beam on the cage which he does, although the attack doesn't do any damage. She then instructs him to use Dragon Rush, but still nothing happens to the cage and Dragonite gets knocked down to the ground. Back inside the cage Exploud uses Thunder Punch on Axew, but Emolga steps out in front of Axew and she takes the blow for him which worries Iris because of how badly Emolga was hurt. Ash commands Charizard to use Wing Attack on the cage so it does, but just like when Dragonite attempted to destroy the cage, Charizard wasn't able to and ended up getting pushed back. Team Rocket laughs evilly and Jessie remarks, "Underestimate Team Rocket? Bad Twerps." James stated, "They'll never learn." The attention turns back to the Pokémon inside the cage, and the Exploud picks up Axew and drops him in its' mouth. This frightens Iris because she believes Axew had been eaten. Emolga fires a Hidden Power at the Exploud, which does nothing, but just then a blue beam fires out of the Exploud, and that beam was from Axew's Dragon Rage. The Exploud opens its' mouth and Axew hops out unharmed. Iris and Emolga both let out sighs of relief and then Ash states he and Snivy need to help Pikachu. Not letting this happen, Jessie tells Woobat to use Air Slash on Snivy, who manages to dodge. James tells Yamask to use Shadow Ball, but Snivy dodge it as well. Ash commands Snivy to use Vine Whip, which she does repeatedly, hitting Woobat and Yamask. Ash then commands her to use Leaf Storm next which she does and Woobat and Yamask are pushed back forcefully. Ash then commands Snivy to use Leaf Blade which she does, this time she aims at the net which holds Pikachu and frees him. Pikachu cheers as Snivy grabs onto him with Vine Whip, reuniting Pikachu with Ash. Jessie noted they still had the Exploud with them.

The attention turns back to the cage where the Exploud fires multiple Hyper Beams at Axew and Emolga as they run around frantically in an attempt to escape. Dragonite uses Dragon Rush on the cage and breaks it enough to free Axew and Emolga. The Exploud also gets free by using Thunder Punch to break out of the cage and it begins to chase Axew and Emolga in an attempt to use Thunder Punch on them. Ash commands Charizard to use Dragon Tail and Iris commands Dragonite to use Dragon Rush. Both attacks are direct hit and the Exploud is pushed back so hard that it pops Team Rocket's balloon. The Exploud throws a fit and James complains to it, Jessie tells it "Being angry is only going to raise your blood pressure." Meowth stated, "It's gonna get loud around here." The Exploud uses Thunder Punch on Team Rocket and sends them "blasting off family style," as they put it. Back to our heroes, Iris apologizes to Emolga once more for not realizing the incident earlier wasn't her fault and also thanks her for helping Axew out. Emolga nods her head and forgives Iris. Snivy then walks over and apologizes to Emolga as well (Since the incident was somewhat her fault, since she slapped Emolga with Vine Whip before Emolga even got a chance to explain to Iris what had occurred). Emolga accepts Snivy's apology as well, and she giggles as she and Axew go off to play with each other again. Iris states she has a long way to go before she will be able to truly understand her Pokémon, and Cilan comments that she will learn as she continues her journey with them.

In the final scene, the gang is on their next ship and Iris fills Alexa in on everything she missed. Iris states how awesome she felt to understand everything Axew thought. Cilan comments that Iris may be one step closer to becoming a Dragon Master which really excites her and Axew. The narrator closes out the episode by stating, "And so, what started out as a misunderstanding between Iris and Emolga has ended up strengthening the bond between them. As they sail off, our heroes' are one step closer on the road to fulfilling their dreams as the journey continues."

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon debuts




  • When Alexa is telling Ash and his friends that the next ship will arrive this afternoon, part of her jeans has more shadow coloring in the right side.
  • When Woobat and Yamask are hit by Attract, the pink and black colors of Woobat's nose are swapped.
  • During Emolga and Snivy's argument, the white and yellow colors of Emolga's ears are swapped.

Dub edits

In other languages

BW138 : Go, Go Gogoat
Best Wishes series
BW140 : Survival of the Striaton Gym!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.