The episode begins peacefully back in Pallet Town, where Ash has returned once again after his tough battles in the land of Hoenn and its League. In Ash's house, we find Mr. Mime sweeping while Delia ponders her son's return while cleaning the dishes and what she will cook for dinner that evening. A ring at the doorbell snaps her from her thinking and Mr. Mime answers the door to find Bulbasaur, Combusken and Munchlax smiling happily. Mr. Mime is shocked to find three Pokemon on their doorstep and Delia comes out of the kitchen wondering who it could possibly be. Just as she does so, May pops her head around the door and greets her.
Over at Oak's lab, Misty, Max and Tracey are seeing and examining the three Starter Pokemon (Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle) which will be soon handed out to a young Pokemon trainer, so he or she can begin their journey. Max comments that they are cute and attempts to stroke the young Squirtle, causing the Pokemon to start crying its eyes out in fear. Max apologizes and the Squirtle pouts and goes back to eating its food. While all this has been going on, Tracey has been busy drawing a picture of the three Pokemon which Max is very impressed by. Max then goes on to say how Tracey must be a great Pokemon Watcher to be Professor Oak's assistant and wonders what it would be like to watch Pokemon and sketch them like Tracey does. All this talking has apparently bored and tired out the three young Pokemon and Misty suggests that they should take a rest in their Pokeballs and Tracey agrees. Just as he is about to take the Pokeballs to do so, Max asks if he can call them back to their Balls instead. Tracey doesn't see why not and Max proceeds to call Bulbasaur and Charmander back to their Balls. However, the young Squirtle does not understand where its friends have gone and, so when Max tries to call it back too, it runs off crying. After being chased by Max around the lab, the crying Squirtle jumps into the arms of May who has just come up the stairs to meet them along with Ash's mother. Max is shocked to see his sister who scolds him and says that he needs to be gentler with Pokemon.
Just then, Ash, Professor Oak and Professor Birch appear and Birch greets May. May is confused as to why Professor Birch is here and Max explains that the professor brought him here. May apologizes if her brother has caused him any trouble, but Birch relies that it was his pleasure... beofre Ash's Muk appears behind him and gives Birch a slimy hug. Ash tells Muk to get off Professor Birch, but Muk shakes its head; it's having too much fun. Professor Oak smiles and sweat-drops, knowing exactly what Birch is going through.
Downstairs, the group is enjoying some afternoon tea as May asks Ash about the Battle Frontier. Ash explains that it is a challenge that is set across Kanto, with several different Frontier Brains to battle against, each one giving over a Frontier Symbol if you beat them... much like badges. May says that it sounds amazing and Ash becomes excited at the challenges ahead. Delia mentions that there are Contest Halls in Kanto too and May becomes excited at the prospect of any set of Contests to try. Ash asks if May wants to come along with him and May agrees. However, Ash mentions that they will be leaving tomorrow, which shocks Delia at first before she remembers that her son has always been like this, coming back from one adventure and then leaving on another.
Back inside the lab, Oak asks Delia if she's worried about Ash leaving on another journey so soon after coming back. She isn't, however, as she knows that is what he must do as a Trainer and that she'll do whatever she can to support him when he comes back home.
In Oak's fields, Ash, May and Max decide to go meet and greet the rest of Ash's Pokemon from his previous adventures. May and Max are amazed when they see Ash's Snorlax who then wakes up and waves at its Trainer happily. Suddenly May remembers her Pokemon and calls them out to say hello to Snorlax. Ash asks where Beautifly and Skitty are and May tells him that she left them in Petalburg City with her mother. The conversation is cut short however, as the group hears a load rumbling sound behind them which turns out to be Ash's Pokemon running up to greet their Trainer after a long time of not seeing him. Stampeding towards them are various Tauros, Bulbasaur, Totodile, Cyndaquil, Bayleef, Heracross, Noctowl, Kingler and Phanpy. The Tauros don't stop however and Ash is swept away by the stampede on one of the Tauros' back. Bayleef looks distraught at this while Pikachu greets Phanpy and the two Bulbasaur shake vines. Bayleef runs after Ash who is still on the back of one of his Tauros, but cannot catch up to them until Misty and Tracey appear and Tracey uses his Marill's Water Gun to push them back, allowing Bayleef to save Ash with its Vine Whip.
Ash thanks Bayleef while the Grass-type Pokemon snuggles up to him. Misty and Tracey then run up with the three starter Pokemon and Misty asks Ash if he's alright. Ash says that he is and that he's a little surprised at how strong his Tauros are which prompts Misty to tease him about not being able to handle them.
Max and May come running with the rest of Ash's Pokemon and Squirtle once again jumps into May's arms. Tracey suggests that Ash should introduce his new Pokemon to his old ones and calls them out. Corphish and Kingler shake claws, while Totodile dances with Glalie, Cyndaquil greets Torkoal, Noctowl greets Swellow and Pikachu plays with Phanpy. Grovyle and Heracross also shake hands.
As the group talks amongst themselves, Jessie, James, Meowth and Wobbuffet emerge from the bushes in which they were hiding posing as reporters from "Pokemon Sunday" with Wobbuffet acting as a cameraman. Jessie says that they are here to interview Ash after his amazing performance at the Hoenn League and Ash blushes. Just as Wobbuffet is about to scream its name, James leaps over and covers its mouth, and Meowth nervously suggests that they get a shot of everybody and their Pokemon. Max becomes excited at the thought of being on television, while May checks her hair and Misty blushes at the thought of being a star.
As the group and their Pokemon all line up, James asks them if they wouldn't mind stepping back to get into the shot. The group does so, but end up falling into one of Team Rocket's pitfalls! Noctowl and Swellow try to fly up, but Team Rocket covers the hole with a net, preventing them from escaping. Ash orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but the attack does nothing against Team Rocket's electric proof net. Misty wonders what is going on and that prompts Team Rocket to recite their motto. When they finish, Misty asks why they are still following them around even after all this time. Jessie gets angry at this comment, but before she can do anything, Ash orders Grovyle to slice through the net covering the hole with its Leaf Blade. Grovyle does so and Noctowl and Swellow fly out.
Jessie, frustrated that they were able to escape, angrily asks Meowth why they were able to get out of the net... but Meowth only made the net Pikachu proof and not other-Pokemon proof. Just as Ash and the rest of the group manage to crawl out of the pitfall, James tells Meowth that it's time to go to the Plan B and Meowth presses a button on a remote, causing the ground to start shaking. When the dust clears, a huge purple robot with sucking arms stands over the group, while Team Rocket laughs inside. They turn on the robot's sucking arms, which generates a huge sucking power which nearly gets Totodile and Charmander before Ash's Bulbasaur pulls them back with Vine Whip. As Team Rocket continues to suck, Squirtle cries in May's arms while she attempts to comfort the distraught Pokemon. Back in the robot, James tells Meowth to go to full power, but is stopped when Ash tells Snorlax to attack the robot, knocking it over and sending Team Rocket crashing into the ground. Now out of the robot, they decide to get back to basics as they send out Seviper and Cacnea to fight against the group. Having different ideas however, Cacnea leaps back at James and hugs him as Professor Birch, Professor Oak and Delia come out of the lab to see what all the commotion is. Birch recognizes them as Team Rocket and Professor Oak remarks that those three are still at their old tricks. Not standing for them trying to steal Pokemon, Birch decides to deal with them himself and pulls out a Pokeball, but is stopped by Delia who tells him that he should leave it to her son and his friends to deal with: It's their fight.
Back to the battle, Jessie orders Seviper to use Poison Tail and Ash counters by telling Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip. Bulbasaur does so, knocking back Seviper's tail and smashing straight into the snake Pokemon. James gets into the action and tells Cacnea to use Pin Missile, and May tells her Bulbasaur to use Petal Dance, knocking back the Pin Missile and attacking Cacnea. Jessie shouts at the Pokemon to get their act together and tells Seviper to use Bite attack, and James tells Cacnea to use Needle Arm. Deciding to finish them off, Ash tells Bulbasaur to use SolarBeam which smashes straight into Cacnea and Seviper, sending them blasting off. Realizing that they're beat, Team Rocket attempts to sneak away, but are stopped by Misty and Tracey, who team up their Marill and Azurill and use a double Water Gun, sending Jessie, James, Meowth and Wobbuffet smashing into their robot. May then tells Combusken to use Flamethrower and Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, causing the robot to explode and send them blasting off after their Pokemon.
As the group celebrates, Delia says that she knew that they would be alright.
Back in the lab, Tracey tries again to recall Squirtle back into its Pokeball, but the baby Pokemon is having none of it and jumps straight back into May's arms. Birch comments that maybe Squirtle would be better off with May and asks Professor Oak what he thinks. Oak then asks May if she would like to take care of Squirtle, and May says the she would and thanks the professor. Oak then asks her if she would like to leave her Bulbasaur at the lab and May says that she will because Ash's Bulbasaur will be able to teach it a lot. Oak is glad that he has another Pokemon to take care of in the lab, along with Glalie and Torkoal who Ash has decided to leave with him also. He then pulls out two brand new Pokedexes and gives them to May and Ash who thank him. Max is a little jealous that everybody got something and he didn't, but Tracey surprises him with an updated PokeNav containing all the Battle Frontier data. Excited, Max starts looking for the new data on the updated device and tells the group that the nearest Frontier facility is near Cerulean City and Ash says that that's near where Misty is heading, so Misty decides to join the group on their way there.
The next day, the group decides to leave and Ash says his goodbyes to his mother. Delia tells him to be okay, and Max jumps in and says that Ash will, as long as he is there. Just as they are about to depart, Ash's Phanpy runs up and Ash asks it if it would like to come along with them.
Saying goodbye, Ash, along with a group of friends, leaves Pallet Town once more. Just as they leave, Brock, having seen his family in Pewter City, appears to re-join the group again. The episode ends with the group of friends heading off into yet another exciting adventure.
- This is the last episode where Tracey, Professor Oak, and Delia are voiced by Ted Lewis, Stan Hart and Veronica Taylor, respectively.
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