The Wisdom Not to Run! (無敗の帝王グズマ！ Undefeated Emperor Guzma!) is the 45th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon - Ultra Legends.
It's the second match of the semifinals. When Scizor suddenly had to battle due to Guzma's partner Pokémon Golisopod's "Emergency Exit" activating, it ended up losing to Torracat, making Guzma indignant with rage over Golisopod's tendency to do as it pleases. And even though Guzma has been in the lead so far, he gradually loses his pace as he sees his old rival Kukui in Ash's forthright eyes.
As everyone continues watching the battle, Lillie wonders if Guzma was planning to have Scizor come out. Mallow states the timing is quite strange, and Kiawe and Sophocles see that doesn't go well in Guzma's case. Guzma reminds Golisopod that this is its last chance to redeem itself. Torracat is quite exhausted, while Ash's Pokémon continue cheering for it. Guzma declares while this isn't what he anticipated, he still believes in his victory, for Torracat is at its end. Ash is counting on Torracat, annoying Guzma, whose Golisopod uses Poison Jab. Golisopod attempts to strike Torracat, who ricochets its way out. However, it fails and gets poisoned. Guzma exclaims this is how he had predicted, and has Golisopod use Throat Chop. Torracat evades this attack, but continues taking damage from poison. Torracat goes to use Fire Fang, which hits Golisopod, engulfing its claw in flames. Golisopod attempts to shrug Torracat off, who barely holds on. However, Golisopod slams it to the ground and kicks it away. Torracat falls on the ground, and Nanu declares that it is unable to battle.
Guzma is relieved, as Ash has even pushed him to the limits. Ash hugs Torracat, and calls it into its Poké Ball. Ash sends Pikachu, amusing Guzma, due to the last encounter, where Pikachu nearly fainted. Guzma asks if they want to get crushed like the last time, and states this is his final chance to call off his Pokémon, as Guzma will not hold back. Ash refuses to stand down, as the outcome of the battle is not known until it is over. This makes Guzma surprised, but he still boasts that Ash will never defeat him, for weaklings should know where they belong. As the grunts cheer on, Plumeria mutters "The undefeatable Guzma..." Tupp hears Plumeria saying something, but she denies it. Guzma declares that there are some things that cannot be conquered: his Golisopod uses Poison Jab. Pikachu evades the attack and retaliates with Iron Tail, which Golisopod counters with Liquidation. As the two moves clash, Pikachu is in mid-air, to which Golisopod uses the chance to slam him to the ground with Throat Chop. This causes Pikachu to wail in pain.
Lillie covers her eyes, while Togedemaru gets upset, but Sophocles asks of the latter to calm down. Guzma boasts about his strength, but turns his attention to Professor Kukui. Hala comments that Guzma has not changed a bit, for he is a powerful potential. Hala finds it sad that Guzma has not learned the most important thing, which could've made him much stronger. As the grunts continue cheering, Plumeria notes that Guzma is their idol, and outcasts that have lost their optimism follow him. She remarks that he gave the grunts home. Pikachu is able to continue the battle, while Guzma urges Ash to accept his loss and move on. Ash refuses, as he declares he will never give up, which surprises Guzma. Guzma doubts Ash could do something, and has Golisopod use Pin Missile. Pikachu fires Electroweb, defending himself from the attack. Pikachu retaliates with Thunderbolt, which Golisopod blocks with its claws. Guzma claims this won't work, but Ash has predicted this: Pikachu spins while using Iron Tail, knocking Golisopod over, then uses Thunderbolt to electrocute it in mid-air.
However, Golisopod has a malicious glint in its eyes. Guzma does not comprehend how is Ash even cornering him. Pikachu is exhausted, but Ash praises him. As Ash's friends urge him to use the Z-Move, Tupp asks Plumeria will Guzma be fine, to which she is silent. Guzma becomes more and more furious as he looks Ash, seeing something in his eyes. Some time ago, Kukui's Braviary used Brave Bird, which defeated Guzma's Golisopod. Kukui nevertheless applauded Guzma, seeing he was getting better, and advised him to work on his relationship with his Golisopod. Guzma became very frustrated, and elsewhere, he was slamming his fist in fury, as he could not defeat Kukui. Later, Guzma was shouting in anger, as he was very annoyed by Kukui and Hala's preachings about righteousness and traditions. Kukui tried to calm Guzma, who refused his help and ran off. Guzma's hatred itensifies, as he wants the Skull grunts to crush the Pokémon League if he were to lose. Plumeria senses Guzma is afraid to lose, and reminisces that the grunts look up to Guzma, claiming he is unbeatable.
Guzma threw away the bottle, while Plumeria realized Guzma was only winning the battles that he knew he could win. She sees he is very much like his Golisopod - hiding behind their armor, running until they cannot get hurt anymore. She wonders if Guzma can continue, but suddenly, Tupp sees "big sis" thinking a lot. Plumeria asks him to "stop being so annoying", and they continue watching the battle. Ash uses his Z-Ring, passing the Z-Power onto his Pikachu. Golisopod stands in position to defend itself. Pikachu fires Gigavolt Havoc Z-Move. Guzma gasps, as he can see Golisopod enduring the attack. After the smoke clears, Ash and his friends are amazed to see that Golisopod withstood the Z-Move. Ash applauds Golisopod is quite strong. Guzma saw that Golisopod does not want to run away anymore, and has flashbacks of his life when he was tutored by Kukui and Hala, to the point he assembled Team Skull grunts, and the point when Kukui asked him that's gonna he run away again, just like he did from the Island Challenge, and the Kahuna.
Guzma's eyes twitch, as he yells out "What are you doing Guzma!?"" Ash gasps. Guzma goes to test the limits: Golisopod fires Pin Missile. Pikachu evades by using Quick Attack, and goes to retaliate with Iron Tail. Golisopod uses Liquidation to counter, and the two moves collide. Pikachu fires Electroweb, then Golisopod repels the attack with its claws. Next, Golisopod uses Poison Jab, but Pikachu avoids Poison Jab. Guzma proclaims this is the moment when they go all out, and declares he will win this battle. Pikachu uses Iron Tail, to which Golisopod uses Liquidation to counter. The two sides strike each other. A dramatic moment later, Golisopod falls to the ground. Nanu declares Golisopod defeated: the winner of the match is Ash. Ash praises Pikachu, and so do his friends. Gladion smiles, and leaves with Umbreon. Suddenly, Pikachu collapses from exhaustion, but Ash holds him, asking him to take a break. Ash looks at Guzma, who walks to his Golisopod. He lowers himself down, asking of it to come with him. He helps Golisopod stand up and calls it into its Poké Ball.
The audience claps to both sides, as Guzma leaves. Kukui stands above the gates, and tells Guzma he will be waiting for him in the next Pokémon League. Guzma walks into the halls, while the announcer declares the finals will feature Ash and Gladion. Guzma encounters his subordinates, and states this is the end of the "undefeated Guzma". Thus, he lets the grunts roam free as they wish. The grunts, however, are moved, and praise Guzma: Plumeria explains they've been inspired by watching him battling Ash. The grunts ask Guzma for tips to have as such intense battle as he just had. Plumeria tells Guzma they still want to follow him, but Guzma walks away. Plumeria continues to follow him, and smiles, as she believes they can rise up. She admits she'll still be by his side, to which Guzma jumps in happiness. At evening, Nurse Joy has healed Ash's Pikachu and Torracat, who leap into Ash's arms.
Ash has them eat a feast, and sees the two are hungry after such an intense battle. Lycanroc and Togedemaru deliver more dishes to the two, and Pikachu permits Togedemaru to eat with him. Lycanroc asks the same from Torracat, who refuses, displeasing Lycanroc. However, Lillie prepares another dish for Lycanroc. Sophocles and Kiawe turn to Ash, seeing he is now in the finals, and ask of him to give his all. Ash promises he'll win, and Meltan, who is under his hat, supports him. Rotom sees everyone's motivated, but does not see Rowlet: he has fallen asleep. Lillie,however, expects a great battle from Ash and Gladion. The latter is at the docks, watching the sunset with his Pokémon. At dawn, Kukui is at the stadium, and sees it is finally time for the Pokémon League finals, featuring Ash and Gladion. At the bottom of the sea, a swarm of Meltan make their way to the Pokémon League, as the finals are drawing near.
At Team Skull's base, Rapp, Tupp and Zipp are inspired to start their intense training, to be as strong as Guzma. However, Plumeria opens the door, yelling at Rapp, Tupp and Zipp to quiet down, as she is trying to sleep during the night. Thus, the grunts whisper their training can start tomorrow.
- "Who's That Pokémon?:" Braviary (JA), Slowbro (EN)
- The host of this episode was Hala and the question was "Who serves as referee today?" The answer is Nanu (green), the other choices that were given in that episode were Hala (yours truly) (blue), Olivia (red), and Hapu (yellow).
- This episode aired in the UK on the 3rd of January, a day before the US airdate.
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