Around the Whirlpool (Japanese: うずまきれっとう！あらたなるちょうせん！！A Chain of Whirlpool Islands! A Renewed Challenge!!) is the 210th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 9, 2001 and in the United States on September 14, 2002.
In a scuffle with Team Rocket, Ash and friends are thrown from the ship bearing them to the Whirl Islands. As powerful whirlpools draw them toward impending doom, a mysterious form under the sea shifts the powerful undertow, drawing them to safety. Shortly thereafter, a Corsola comes skipping over the sea's surface and guides the children back to a ship wherein awaits their old friend, Professor Elm. They ride the ship to a bustling harbor in the first of the Whirl Islands. There they learn of an upcoming competition in which Water Pokémon trainers will vie for the title of Whirl Island champion.
The ferry comes across a whirlpool. The group becomes scared as they see a lot of whirlpools. However, two attendants on the ferry offer them drinks and assure them that it's all right, as they pass through the sea of whirlpools harmlessly (though they look oddly familiar). The group looks over the rail to see the ship really passing by without trouble. Meanwhile, the attendants are talking to each other and Meowth appears, thus giving away the fact that the "attendants" are Team Rocket. James gets a net out and then he tries to snag Pikachu. However, a bump makes Ash lean over towards Pikachu's place and Ash ends up getting caught. Realization dawns on Ash and the gang that Team Rocket is up to no good, as usual. In a funny twist, Meowth imitates Wobbuffet at the end of their motto. Jessie and James release their usual picks (Arbok and Weezing) and use their usual attacks (Poison Sting and Smog, respectively). Ash tries to end it quickly with Pikachu using Thunderbolt. However, Jessie has Wobbuffet use Counter to deflect the attack, thereby causing a massive surge that sends everyone (Ash and his friends and Team Rocket) overboard.
Ash and the gang break the surface, but then are horrified to realize that they're being separated from each other by the whirlpools! Misty doesn't panic as she pulls out Goldeen and Poliwhirl; Ash gets out Totodile. They start to make progress getting away from the whirlpool but soon they get dragged in as easily! Just when they are about to get sucked in... something happens. They stopped being dragged in! While floating in the water, they notice a mysterious looking shadow and hear a strange call (This in fact being Lugia). A Pokémon comes after them shortly: a Corsola! The Corsola races towards them then circles around them. Misty wonders what's going on. Soon they are picked up by some tentacles, or possibly a Tentacruel(which it is), and soon taken towards a boat. Misty seems to be enjoying herself, but the others seem quite afraid. The Corsola jumps up to Professor Elm, who just happens to be on board.
Professor Elm and Ash spend some time catching up, and Misty admires the Professor's Corsola. He takes a few minutes to explain to Misty about Corsola and its abilities. The captain comes down saying that they'll get to the islands soon, and he gets to know the others. When they do arrive, Misty still is going on about Water Pokémon. Professor Elm suggests that they should enter the Whirl Cup tournament. Obviously, Ash and Misty are up for it, Ash because of his desire to battle and win, and Misty because of (in her opinion) the ideal Pokémon to use, Water types. They decide to go to the Pokémon Center for more information. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has washed ashore and talks about their next plan.
Nurse Joy hands them a guide book and talks about the Whirl Cup for a while. Then Elm's Corsola jumps out and heads off. Misty asks what the Pokémon was doing and Elm replies saying that Corsola loves pools. Misty goes over towards the pool, admiring and observing the Corsola. Elm then shows the map of how the Whirl Cup league works. The Whirl Islands map is similar the Orange Islands. The Whirl Islands consist of five islands. The first island is near to the mainland, and is easily accessible by boat. Professor Elm offers to take Ash and the gang to the first island on his boat.
On the boat, Elm notices a balloon heading towards them. It's Team Rocket's balloon! They balloon drifts towards the Pokémon Center and they release a net and swipe all the Pokémon in the pool. Jessie calls out Arbok, which swims towards the boat. Ash tells Pikachu to go after Arbok but Misty stops him. Instead, Misty releases Staryu to battle Team Rocket. Staryu starts off with a Swift attack, and it hits Arbok. Then Staryu uses Water Gun, but this time Arbok dodges and counters with its Poison Sting attack. Arbok's attack is successful, and it poisons Staryu. Misty recalls Staryu, but before she can release another Pokémon from her team, Psyduck comes out. Psyduck bravely jumps into battle, but has trouble swimming and Misty recalls it. Ash finally gets a chance to fight and Pikachu attempts a Thunderbolt, but James gets out a net launcher and fires it, snagging Pikachu. With Misty and Ash both defeated, Corsola jumps into the water, ready for battle. Elm tells her to do a Tackle attack, however, James releases Weezing and Weezing does a Sludge attack. Corsola manages to dodge all the Sludge attacks and then eventually Tackles Arbok high up in the air, near the balloon. Elm then tells her to execute Spike Cannon. Corsola jumps up out of the water and then fires numerous spikes towards the balloon, cutting up the nets and the balloon, sending Team Rocket blasting off and freeing the other Pokémon.
All's well that end's well, and Misty is still as crazy about Water types as ever. She seems to want to capture a Corsola badly. The group soon heads off to the first city of the Whirl Islands to start off the Whirl Cup.