Octo-Gridlock at the Gym! (Japanese: サトシ対サイトウ！攻略たこがため！！Satoshi VS Saitō! Conquer the Octopus Hold!!) is the 39th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,124th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 27, 2020, in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2021, and in the United States on March 5, 2021.
Ash and Goh are off to the Johto region, where Ash is hoping for a rematch against Bea. They find Bea training with Gym Leader Chuck at the Cianwood City Gym. Bea accepts Ash’s challenge, and their two-on-two battle begins! First up are Pikachu and Bea’s Hitmontop; Pikachu wins, but then Bea’s Grapploct overwhelms it with Octolock. Next, Ash sends in Riolu, but things are different from the last battle—this time, Riolu doesn’t struggle, and instead focuses its power so it can use Force Palm and break free! After a dizzying exchange of blows, both Pokémon are down, and the battle is declared a draw!
Chuck recalling his Gym battle with Ash
Ash's training session is interrupted by Goh, who rushes in to inform him that Bea's World Coronation Series ranking has risen to 193. Ash is keen to have a rematch against Bea, so the boys boat over to Cianwood Gym in the Johtoregion where Bea is training. Inside, Cianwood Gym LeaderChuck has his Poliwrath exchange blows with Bea's Grapploct in an intense heat. Bea suddenly receives a notification on her Rotom Phone, and Ash challenges her to a battle. Bea, however, only remembers Ash as the "Riolu Trainer", taking him by surprise. Even so, Bea accepts his challenge. Chuck remembers Ash from their previous Gym battle and allows Ash to use the Gym for his match. Before they get started, Ash adds that he has since bounced back into the Great Class.
The Drone Rotom flies into the Gym to officiate the Great Class two-on-two match between Ash and Bea. Ash calls out Pikachu while Bea starts off with her Hitmontop. Using Gyro Ball, Hitmontop evades a Thunderbolt and clashes with Pikachu’s follow up Iron Tail. Pikachu uses Quick Attack and an Electroweb to break Hitmontop's spin. Hitmontop rebounds with Focus Energy and scores several hits with Triple Kick. Pikachu stands back up again and uses Electroweb on the battlefield. Bea calls for a Gyro Ball to break through the electrified threads, which slows Hitmontop down and does damage each time. Pikachu delivers an Iron Tail followed by a Quick Attack to knock Hitmontop out.
Next, Bea sends out Grapploct. Pikachu jolts forward using Quick Attack, though Grapploct leaps upwards and retaliates with Close Combat. Pikachu hits back with a Thunderbolt after suffering some brutal blows. Grapploct withstands the attack and bundles Pikachu up in an Octolock. Pikachu struggles against the tight squeezing and is unable to counter with a close range Thunderbolt. Ash orders an Iron Tail instead, but Pikachu cannot overcome Grapploct’s firm grasp. Grapploct then delivers a Liquidation attack, knocking Pikachu out of the match.
Ash chooses Riolu to face Grapploct, a familiar opponent for the Emanation Pokémon. A stare down is broken by Riolu moving first, with its Vacuum Wave blasting through Grapploct's Liquidation, shocking Bea. Ash orders Riolu to immediately fall back to avoid getting tangled into Grapploct's tentacles. Bea orders Grapploct to attack with Octolock, and Ash simply smiles and allows Riolu to be ensnared by Grapploct. Riolu remains calm as Grapploct wraps its tentacles around, and it tries to trace its opponent’s movements to break free of the Octolock. Bea notices the tactic, but allows the counter strategy to unfold out of intrigue. Ash orders Riolu to build up its power, to which Riolu closes its eyes and generates an energy field around itself. Riolu then unleashes an explosive Force Palm at point blank range, escaping Grapploct's grip and knocking it down. Next, Grapploct and Riolu collide with Close Combat and Force Palm respectively. Both Pokémon hit their mark and collapse onto the field, ending the match in a draw. The draw ruling means no change to either competitors' ranking.
Chuck commends Ash and Bea's efforts, and suggests they celebrate. He unveils a dessert picnic outside, adding that eating sweets builds up one's stamina. Ash, Goh and the Pokémon tuck in. Everyone is surprised to see that Bea also has a sweet tooth, as she scoffs down several cakes. Bea complements Ash on his counter strategy for Grapploct's Octolock, though has her eyes set on climbing the World Coronation ranks and beat Leon. Ash vows to continue training and promises not to lose next time, hoping to also face Leon. Chuck is unsurprised by Bea's sentiments, adding that she gets it from her father – a karate teacher in the Galar region. Bea promises that she will battle the "Riolu Trainer" again, with Ash interjecting that his name is Ash, making everyone laugh.
Later, back at the Cerise Laboratory, Ash swears to keep on training, and Professor Cerise asks Goh if he managed to catch anything during their trip. Goh reveals that he managed to catch himself a Chinchou by fishing, having refused to leave until he'd caught something, which had led to Ash and his Pokémon waiting by his side until sunset.