We suppose it wouldn’t make sense to have Team Rocket forge onward without Ash and Pikachu to chase. But for long-time fans, Team Rocket’s Pokémon goodbye makes the end of an era all the more real. As Pokémon prepares for its final episodes with Ash as its main character, it’s also closing the book on Jessie, James, and Meowth, a trio of maybe the most iconic villains in pop culture. And even worse, it seems like Pokémon has disbanded Team Rocket once and for all.
Ash’s swan song on Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series is marked by nostalgic visits from friends, Pokémon, and rivals. So, of course, Team Rocket had to play a part in the farewell. After all, they’ve been trying to get their hands on Pikachu for twenty-five years. In their seemingly final episode, Team Rocket made one last attempt to steal Pikachu from Ash and brought along many of their past Pokémon to the fight. (Though not all, as recognized in this tribute.)
Obviously, even with twenty-five years of experience, they did not succeed. Team Rocket blasted off for their seemingly final time on Pokémon. But in a truly shocking twist, the three decide that its time to call it quits. We didn’t expect them to chase Pikachu forever into the sunset… But maybe we kind of did. It’s sad to imagine that Team Rocket has disbanded. And hopefully, they find their way back to one another in the last few episodes of the show, even just in a montage.
One thing is for sure, Pokémon is pulling no punches on its fans. The show knows the ending needs to count, and that means all of the feelings. But Team Rocket’s retirement also makes us wonder about the future. The trio of baddies could have served as a good thread from one chapter of Pokémon to the next. But it looks like Liko and Roy will face down a whole new threat. And whoever that next Pokémon villain is had better prepare for… a lot of hard work if they hope to live up to Team Rocket.