A big reason for the initial battle between May and Ash was two-fold. One was that I found it to be an extreme shame that when Ash participated in Sinnoh’s Wallace Cup that he lost to an entirely random coordinator instead of someone important, which was not the way the main character of the show should be kicked out of a tournament. The other, and more important reason, was it was an excuse to have May beat Ash. Now don’t get me wrong, as far as trainers go, Ash is without a doubt better than May and would defeat her in a standard battle any day. My problem comes from the fact that the last battle they had was a Contest Battle and that it ended in a tie. It may have been a good way to say goodbye to May, but it made no sense. This was Ash’s first time ever entering a contest and he was battling a coordinator who made it high in the rankings of not one, but two Grand Festivals. There’s no way Ash should have been able to tie with May in a contest battle, and doing so only served to make May seem worse than she is. So this battle was her chance to redeem herself. Now I set it up specifically so that Ash lost because it was a contest battle, as he lost due to points, not his Pokémon getting knocked out. Also of note in that battle was the revival of the Counter Shield. I thought it would be a fun little throwback to have, since it borrowed so heavily from contests to begin with so it could easily fit into one. Dawn being back provided the perfect excuse to remind Ash that he used to have this strategy.
The only other thing of serious note in this episode was the completely random Rowlet cameo. As this episode came out on the day news about Rowlet and the other starters first came out, it only seemed right to fit in a cameo appearance. Originally it was another Pokemon, but as soon as I saw this news I went to change it to one of the new Pokémon. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I feel like I have to be one of the first, if not the first story to include an Alola Pokémon. I do admit though, it might be considered a bit of a tease, because I currently do not plan to feature any other Alola Pokémon until the release of Sun and Moon, as we won’t have any serious information on them such as movesets or Pokédex descriptions until then. So sorry about that.