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Pokemon: The Team Rocket Trio Has Retired (But Fans Don't Think It's For Good)

Throughout the 26-year run of the original "Pokémon " anime series, we've met dozens of enemies and rivals who've stood in the way of Ash Ketchum's quest to become Pokémon world champion. But undoubtedly the most iconic of all these antagonists are the members of the original Team Rocket trio, made up of James, Jessie, and a Meowth capable of human speech. Often ambushing Ash and his friends with their iconic "Prepare for trouble! And make it double!" cry, these three woefully incompetent crooks have followed Ash for the better part of three decades in an attempt to steal his beloved Pikachu.

With Ash's journey finally coming to an end on March 24th, 2023 (when the finale of "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series" premieres), so too are the harebrained schemes of his most iconic opponents, as it appears that the original Team Rocket trio has retired for good. In Episode 1221, "Rocket-dan Strikes Back!" Team Rocket reunites with all of the Pokémon they've captured or teamed up with throughout the series. At the end of the episode, the trio argues about their past failures, ultimately deciding to split up for good. Fans online were not happy with this melancholy ending to the story of Team Rocket, and many are still holding out hope that they might reunite at some point in the future.

Fans think Team Rocket deserves a better ending

Although many fans expected the iconic Team Rocket trio to get a heartfelt sendoff from the series in much the same way that Ash Ketchum is getting, their story appears to end on an extremely somber note. This broke the hearts of many fans online who've fallen in love with the bumbling villains over the past 26 years. 

"Wait, wait, hold on.. I wasn't ready for this.." tweeted @AnipokeFandom, posting several pictures that show the Team Rocket Trio saying their final farewells and walking away as all of their other pokemon look on sadly. "Don't tell me that they split like that, is very out of character," responded @retroanimediva. "They are like an [sic] small family. Canonically they should still stick together." Indeed, many fans agree that this conclusion to the Team Rocket storyline was incredibly unsatisfying, and some believe that they haven't split up for good. Twitter user @Kekulaaa theorized that the Team Rocket trio would have to reunite one final time to save Ash from an unknown foe in the finale, while @PuzzledSloth wondered if they might return for the upcoming series even after Ash is gone. 

It's clear that many fans online refuse to believe that the original Team Rocket trio has split up for good, not only because it seems wildly out of character for them after so many years of bonding, but also because fans believe they deserve a better goodbye. In any case, viewers hoping for the miraculous return of Team Rocket will be waiting with bated breath when the finale of "Ultimate Journeys" premieres on March 24th.