Things we don’t talk about more—but probably should.
Okay. Uhm. This is literally one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. I loved the writers’ decision in choosing Misty—and only Misty to go out in Ash’s place. Considering this was the second-to-last episode in the season, I think it was meant to be one of her more important moments (as the series was originally intended to end, after the Indigo League.)
—Notice how Misty didn’t take the rational solution. She didn’t go to the judges in Ash’s place (as his coach), and ask them to post-pone the battle. Nor did she go to Officer Jenny and tell her about suspicious phone call that
"Ritchie" (lol Team Rocket) had made earlier that day. It didn’t even seem like she went to Brock, Delia, or Professor Oak—to let them handle the situation. She didn’t go to anyone else.
She straight-up went out there and confronted Ritchie herself.
I think this is one of, if not the first time we’re shown how defensive
and not-to-be-fucked-with Misty is—most especially, when it comes to the people she cares about. Now, I mean—of course we’ve seen her temperament in the series before. She’s kinda… y’know. Know for it. —But it’s typically been directed towards Ash or Brock, and for comedic purposes, at that. But here, it’s just… different.
She doesn’t hesitate to run out in the middle of a stadium (packed full with thousands of people, not to mention), just to proceed with publically assaulting Ritchie in how outraged she is. She stomps on his foot, grabs him by the collar, then forcefully shoves him backwards. Of course,
"he" (jk still Team Rocket) provoked her earlier, too, but most of what she said was in concern for Ash. (“I wanna know what you said to Ash. Tell me now!”) She was convinced Ritchie was behind Ash’s disappearance—and she was straight-up having none of that.
This scene’s such a great representation of Misty’s character. It shows she’s independent; not being afraid to take matters into her own hands. Then, of course, her fire-y, aggressive, and physically stronger side. —But it also shows how incredibly loyal she is, too. Then finally (and perhaps, most importantly)—it shows how much she actually cares.
She pesters and argues with Ash throughout the entire OS; they bicker and whatnot. But in this episode—we finally see that, if someone really messes with Ash, they’re messing with her, too.
This scene was one of the reasons I started calling Misty my favorite character, and it’s one of the reasons that I still do.