A new event is bringing Team Rocket back to Pokémon Go, but a dastardly duo and their accompanying cat won’t be along for the ride. Officially announced on January 16, Rocket’s Giovanni is back for a new event that sees the return of Shadow Ho-Oh, as well as the debut of Shadow Kyoga. The event, named Taken Treasures, runs from January 27 to February 4, offering some exciting Shadow Raid battles and precious ‘mon-shaped rewards.
However, unlike in previous events, you won’t be able to rescue Shadow Pokémon from the clutches of grunts Jesse and James. Instead, you’ll be battling against the usual unnamed Rocket grunts, as well as their leaders Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo. In fact, it’s been quite some time since Jessie and James last showed their faces in a Shadow Raid, following on from the poignant conclusion to their story in the anime series, which also ended the adventures of Ash and Co. You can, of course, get a dose of Team Rocket nostalgia by replaying the Pokémon games in order, but if you’re waiting for their return in Pokémon Go you’ll probably be disappointed.
But should the pair even return, given their ending in the anime series, or would it be best to move on from Jesse and James’ antics entirely? There’s no right answer, as fans debating on Reddit have proven. The post that provoked the disagreement came from user DrCalFun, who said, “The new Rocket event reminds me that Jessie and James have been away for quite a while. [Would] anyone else like the funny duo to return soon?”
“Ah, yes, I sorely miss their in-depth characters and intricate storylines that added so much to the game,” commented one user, sarcastically. Another echoed the same sentiment, saying that it was right to move on from Jesse and James, “I don’t really miss them and their seemingly endless walls of unskippable text.”
Meanwhile, other Pokémon fans were less harsh towards the pair. “I miss seeing the Meowth balloon,” said a commenter, with another saying, “If it means Pinsir returns I’m all for it.” Equally, fans shared some optimism that Jessie and James could make an unexpected return one day, perhaps coinciding with the re-release of an older Pokémon movie featuring the pair.
As for our own opinion, whether or not Jessie and James should return in Pokémon Go is certainly a hard question to answer. On the one hand, they’re part of the iconography of the franchise and are effortlessly entertaining. On the other, Pokémon is bigger than any individual characters, and it’s always welcome to see space being made for new faces. So, whether or not the duo have blasted off for the final time, we’re content either way.