Balance of Power (Japanese: トウカジム戦！五つ目のバッジ！ Petalburg Gym! The Fifth Badge!!) is the 30th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Challenge.
Ash faces Norman in a Gym battle. Norman switches offense and defense to baffle Ash, who tries to overcome this trial, having his Pokémon use abilities in the battle. After the battle, however, Max becomes upset over something.
At the battlefield, Ash promises to leave the Gym with the badge, pleasing Norman they will have a good match. May is excited to see the outcome, but Max takes offense, thinking May wants to see her father to lose. Brock calms Max down, who simply points out their father is very strong and could be a member of the Elite Four soon. May and Caroline calm Max down, even if this is the first time they see Norman fighting. Meanwhile, Meowth shows Jessie and James plans for building a Secret Base. They are all proud, knowing they will earn that promotion from the boss once they are done. At the battlefield, Norman sends Slakoth and Ash his Pikachu. The battle starts off with Quick Attack, but Slakoth evades the attack. Slakoth uses Shadow Ball, but Pikachu dodges and uses Iron Tail. Slakoth turns on his back, causing Pikachu to spin and get dizzy, missing his target. Slakoth uses Hidden Power, surrounding Pikachu with glowing spheres. Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt, but Pikachu gets hit.
Brock realizes Norman sent Slakoth on purpose. He points out Ash usually uses speed to his advantage to baffle the opponent and take control of the battlefield, but Slakoth will evade any speedy or powerful attack Pikachu could launch. Caroline confirms Brock's words, while Max is glad his father has the control over the field. Pikachu shakes its head, able to continue the battle. Pikachu uses Thunder, but Slakoth dodges and uses Blizzard, damaging Pikachu. Pikachu uses Thunder, but fails as the blizzard makes him unable to attack. Instead, Ash calls Pikachu back and sends Torkoal. Torkoal attacks with Flamethrower, so Slakoth counters with Blizzard. This causes the heat to get to May. Flamethrower attack negates the Blizzard and hits Slakoth. Slakoth is blown away to Norman's arms and is defeated. Torkoal is happy to won, but Max is a bit sad for his father's loss. Caroline, however, claims everything shall be fine.
Norman is impressed by Ash's choice to call Pikachu back and sends Vigoroth to battle. Torkoal uses Overheat, but Vigoroth dodges the attack. Vigoroth uses Scratch, immediately defeating Torkoal. May is amazed Vigoroth defeated Torkoal with one attack, while Brock determines Norman used a slow Slakoth then fast Vigoroth to confuse Ash, to test his opponent's limits. Ash is frustrated and sends Pikachu back. Meowth yells at Jessie and James for not following the directions, who point out Meowth is terrible with directions. Meowth claims he is much smarter than any of them for this operation, but Jessie and James place a crate on him and refuse Meowth's proposal to hire other workers. Meanwhile, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Vigoroth jumps to dodge. Vigoroth uses Scratch against Pikachu's Iron Tail and gets hit.
Much to Ash's surprise, Vigoroth uses Flamethrower on Pikachu. Pikachu is burned, but still keeps fighting. Max is amazed by his father, as Caroline points out Norman's strategy changed, due to Ash's determination. May thinks Ash should just swap his Pokémon, though Brock points out he would only have one Pokémon left. Pikachu uses Quick Attack, while Vigoroth uses Flamethrower. Pikachu dodges and runs to Vigoroth. Vigoroth goes to scratch Pikachu, but Pikachu stops running and gets hurt, but triggers his own Static ability. Vigoroth is paralyzed, so Pikachu uses Iron Tail, defeating Vigoroth. Pikachu, due to the exhaustion and wounds, faints as well. Brock holds Pikachu, while Ash goes back to the battle. Norman admits he is glad to see this good battle, but tells Ash this is their last battle, though Caroline tells Max Norman is just having a great time.
Ash sends Grovyle and Norman his Slaking. Grovyle attacks with Bullet Seed, but Slaking stops the attack using its own hands. Brock fears Slaking's hands are powerful and due to it being a lazy Pokémon, an attack like that is stopped. Grovyle attacks with Leaf Blade, but Slaking grabs onto Grovyle's blades and tosses it away. Slaking uses Focus Punch, but is stopped by Bullet Seed on his face. Nevertheless, Slaking stands up, being angry and pounds its chest with its arms. Slaking uses Earthquake, shaking the battlefield. Team Rocket is also affected by the earthquake and find some Dugtrio leaving the area. Jessie kicks a rock, making them angry and chasing Team Rocket in a circle.
Grovyle jumps and uses Pound, but is Slaking grabs Grovyle by its leaf on the head. Slaking spins around and bashes Grovyle on the ceiling. Grovyle uses Bullet Seed and Slaking Hyper Beam. Despite the collision, Hyper Beam negates Bullet Seed attack and hits Grovyle away. Grovyle stands up, amazing Ash's friends. Despite this, Norman advises Ash to give up, for Grovyle's safety, who has taken a lot of damage. Grovyle, however, decides to continue battling and triggers its ability, Overgrow, to improve Grass attacks. Brock believes Grovyle's ability triggered when Ash showed his support, as well as the support of the Pokémon that were defeated recently. Slaking causes an Earthquake, so Grovyle jumps, but Slaking tries to grab it. Grovyle, however, bounces off Slaking and off the wall. Slaking uses Hyper Beam, but misses, so Grovyle pounds Slaking. Despite this, Slaking is not tired, as Norman points out strength is required to win as well.
Slaking, however, uses Focus Punch on Grovyle, so Grovyle goes to attack with Leaf Blade. The Pokémon clash and exchange blows. After the collision, Grovyle is hurt, making Slaking smile. However, Slaking falls down, defeated, making Ash the winner of the battle. Everyone is impressed, except for Max, who is furious. At the end of the day, Norman gives Ash the Balance Badge, admitting he enjoyed this battle a lot. Suddenly, Max takes the badge and runs away. Max locks himself inside the greenhouse, crying about his dad's loss, wanting to know why he lost. May admits she also found it difficult to see Norman lose. However, she points out the most important thing is that their father fought his best to win. Max claims their father lost a match, deeming it unworthy. Norman steps in to say that losing is just as important as winning when one can learn much from losing. Norman reminds Grovyle and Ash did not give up and discovered a strength they did not know about. Ash tells he got stronger by battling against Norman and it does not matter if the reward is a badge.
Max is convinced and steps outside, so Norman promises to battle him someday. Max apologizes and gives Ash the badge, as he wins fair and square. Ash accepts and makes his winning pose.
- "Dad actually lost one. You can't win 'em all, right Max? Oh?" - Caroline about Norman's loss.
- Featured Pokémon: Magcargo, Slugma, Corphish, Torkoal.
- During the beginning of the episode, a classic Pokémon identification can be seen. In this case, the Pokémon is Metapod.