The time has finally come. After a mock defeat on his first visit, Ash faces off against Norman, in a real Gym Battle this time around. Will Ash be able to defeat Norman's ultimate juggernaut Slaking, and if he did beat Norman, how would Max take watching his hero lose?
Ash has prepared for his Gym battle, and so has Norman. May is excited to see the outcome, but Max jumps to conclusion that she meant dad's going to lose, so Brock calms him down. Max also mentiones that some told that Norman is powerful enough to be Hoenn's Elite Four. May and Caroline calm Max down, even if this is the first time they see Norman fighting. Meanwhile, Team Rocket are going to set up a base in a cave past the waterfall. They are proud when they will earn that promotion from the boss once they are done.
The battle begins - Norman sends Slackoff and Ash his Pikachu. Pikachu starts with Quick Attack, but Slackoff moves so Pikachu misses. Slackoff uses Shadow Ball, but Pikachu dodges and uses Iron Tail. Slackoff turns on his back and Pikachu spins, making him confused. Slackoff uses Hidden Power - the balls spin around Pikachu. Ash orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but Pikachu is attacked. Brock realizes that Ash usually uses speed to defeat the opponents, but this time speed does not count much.
Pikachu shakes its head to get back to battle. Pikachu uses Thunder, but Slackoff dodges and uses Blizzard, damaging Pikachu. Pikachu uses Thunder, but fails as the blizzard makes him unable to attack, freezing him. Pikachu returns, so Ash sends Torkoal instead. Torkoal attacks with Flamethrower, so Slackoff counters with Blizzard. However, Flamethrower is more powerful and it hits Slackoff. Slackoff is sent to Norman's arms, defeated. Torkoal is happy to won, but Max is a bit sad when his dad lost.
Norman is impressed by Ash's choice to call Pikachu back, but sends Vigoroth to battle. Torkoal uses Overheat, but Vigoroth dodges the attack. Vigoroth goes to scratch Torkoal, knocking him out and defeating him. Brock then determines that Norman used a slow Slackoff then fast Vigoroth to confuse Ash. Ash sends Pikachu back. Meowth yells at Jessie and James for not following the orders, but they place a crate on him. Meanwhile, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Vigoroth jumps to dodge. Vigoroth goes to scratch while Pikachu uses Iron Tail - both attacks are cancelled.
Vigoroth (much to Ash's suprise) uses Flamethrower on Pikachu. Pikachu is wounded, but still keeps fighting, even if others think they should just change his Pokemon. Pikachu goes to attack with Quick Attack, while Vigoroth uses Flamethrower. Pikachu dodges and runs to Vigoroth. Vigororth goes to scratch Vigoroth, but Pikachu stops running and hurts himself, however he uses Static ability. Vigoroth is paraylzed, so Pikachu uses Iron Tail, defeating Vigoroth. Pikachu, due to the exhaustion and wounds, is defeated as well.
Brock holds Pikachu to treat it while Ash goes back to the battle. As the last battle is here, Ash sends Grovyle and Norman his Slaking. Grovyle attacks with Bullet Seed, but Slaking stops the attack using his hands. Slaking's hands are powerful, so attack like that is stopped. Grovyle attacks with Leaf Blade, but the attack is negated when Slaking stops the attack and throws Grovyle. Slaking uses Focus Punch, but is stopped by Bullet Seed on his face. Nevertheless, Slaking stands still, becoming angry. Slaking uses Earthquake - Team Rocket stop when they see Dugtrio leaving. Jessie kicks a rock, making them angry.
Grovyle jumps and goes to pound, but is stopped when Slaking grabs the leaf on his head. Slaking spins Grovyle and bashes him against the ceiling. Grovyle uses Bullet Seed and Slaking Hyper Beam, negating both attacks. However, the Hyper Beam is more powerful, so Grovyle is hurt. Norman advises to call Grovyle back, but Grovyle still wants to battle. Grovyle uses its ability, Overgrow, to improve Grass attacks. Slaking uses Earthquake, so Grovyle jumps, but Slking goes after him. Grovyle, however, bounces off Slaking.
Slaking uses Hyper Beam, but misses, so Grovyle pounds Slaking. Slaking, however, uses Focus Punch on Grovyle, so Grovyle goes to attack with Leaf Blade. The Pokemon clash, however... Grovyle is hurt, but Slaking is defeated. So, Ash is the winner. Everyone is impressed but Max who is furious. At the end of the day, Norman gives Ash the Balance Badge, but Max takes the badge and runs away. Max locks himself inside the greenhouse, crying about his dad's loss. May convinces Max that their father fought his best to win. Norman steps in to say that losing is just as important as winning when you can learn much from losing.
Max is convinced and steps outside, so Norman promises to battle him someday. Max gives Ash the badge, as he won fair and square.
- "Dad actually lost one. You can't win 'em all, right Max? Oh?"
Caroline about Norman's loss.
- Featured Pokemon: Macargo, Slugma, Corphish, Torkoal
- During the beginning of the episode, a classic Pokemon identification can be seen. In this case, the Pokemon is Metapod.