In Episode 7 we find ourselves leaving Johto and traveling to the Hoenn region (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald). In this we follow Team Magma as they try to escape Slateport with their stolen submarine to the Seafloor Cavern. Maxie is preparing to escape as Ruby is plowing his way to them. Maxie has his grunts retreat into the submarine except for Courtney. Courtney is to stay behind. As you watch her prepare for battle with Ruby, she has a vision – a vision of chaos and destruction.
Taking a step back – Team Magma, much like Team Rocket, is a cult of personality. It’s very much on display on this episode as the members are doing what they can to help Maxie. Even Courtney being left behind is okay with it because she will be helping Maxie. The way the members of Team Magma effectively worship Maxie is eerily similar to many personality cults we’ve seen in politics. In the end, when the focus is on the individual and their great desires, their great motivations, when they prove to be fallible humans who invariably will fail, everything crumbles. That brings me back to Courtney’s vision.
The goal of Team Magma in the games is to awaken Groudon, an ancient, powerful Pokemon who represents the land. Their goal is to expand all land on the planet and control Groudon to help them do it, destroying the oceans in the process. Courtney’s vision (spoilers ahead) is one of chaos. She sees Groudon awakening. She sees Maxie and his support team cowering before it. She sees it go on a rampage of destruction briefly. The vision is wild to watch, violent and fascinating.
The Pokemon are all presented very well. Each of them drawn well and they act like…animals. That’s been one of the defining features of Pokemon Generations, and Pokemon Origins that preceded it – Pokemon are animals at their core, so let them act like animals. Yes they can be trained in this crazy world, but they are still animals. It treats them as such and they make wild animal noises. I like it.
After her vision, Courtney refocuses…and clearly acts like a woman gone mad. Her bold statements about how she wants to toy with and destroy Ruby definitely border on the mad. Her facial expressions are well done and reflect this change in her demeanor. She’s going to enjoy causing Ruby pain, if she can win, and it shows.
This episode was solid. It was an enjoyable 4 minute interlude about Team Magma and gave a bit more depth to Courtney.