Team Rocket captured Pikachu. The heroes track them to a crossroad. Team Rocket do not know which way to go, so Pikachu pulls the switch and gets out of the cage. Again, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to blast them off. After falling down, James, Jessie and Meowth bicker whose fault was it this time. Jessie thinks they would be better off with a talking Persian than Meowth, shocking Meowth and James at those words. So, Jessie, James and Meowth go separate ways to become successful. Meanwhile, May sees her Mulberry ribbon. They continue their journey to Indigo Plateau. Ash is pumped up to go to win the final Frontier Symbol, though they will rest at Pewter City.
They hear a man advertising to children a Pokémon Battle Tournament. The man recognizes Ash and Pikachu, but still goes with advertising. Ash and May are interested and the man (or better yet, Butch) is pleased. Nurse Joy gives out the papers to sign on, but she recognizes Ash and Pikachu, and the Nurse Joy is Cassidy in disguise. Ash signes on and Cassidy tells them to leave their Pokémon with them, as she will use the latest tech to heal them all, even a device to clean Poké Balls. May and Brock go to give their Poké Balls as well and Max pulls Brock's ear. However, Brock and Max feel that Nurse Joy is different. Inside, Ash uses Corphish against an opponent's Pinsir.
Pinsir attacks with ViceGrip, though Corphish evades. Corphish uses Crabhammer, though Pinsir stops him with Guillotine. Jessie is outside the building and goes in to steal the Pokémon. James and Meowth go inside as well, though one at a time. Pinsir used Seismic Toss on Corphish, hurting him badly. Pinsir uses Guillotine, but Corphish hardens himself. Corphish uses BubbleBeam and follows with Crabhammer to defeat Pinsir. Butch and Cassidy steal the Poké Balls from the trainers during the battles. James and Jessie see each other again, but turn their heads aside. Suddenly, Nurse Joy comes and recognizes them both and takes her mask off, revealing to be Cassidy.
Cassidy tells them she is in an important heist of taking everyone's Pokémon. She brags how Jessie and James were not invited to Giovanni's party (or even Prof. Namba) the other day. Jessie and Cassidy bicker how Jessie and James are important. Cassidy turns on James and knows Jessie treated him badly and offers him a place among her and Butch and takes him (though he did not decide anything). Jessie sees that and kicks a fire extinguisher in anger. Meanwhile, Corphish uses Crabhammer, but Marowak evades. Marowak uses Bonemerang, and though Corphish dodges it, the bone turns around and hits him. Buutch carries the Poké Balls, still waiting for Cassidy. Jessie appears before him and sees the Poké Balls he carries. She will help him and take over the operation herself. Corphish uses ViceGrip, but is negated. Marowak goes to use Bone Club, but Corphish knocks the bone out and attacks Marowak with Crabhammer.
Meowth misses Jessie and James and stumbles across a bag. He takes a biscuit out of it and remembers how they had to part the food even. Max got Munchlax, but sees James stealing the Poké Balls, along with Cassidy, who tells him he should join her. Marowak is defeated by Corphish's Crabhammer. Ash wins, but soon sees Max waving to get to him. Max tells him, Brock and May that Team Rocket are taking the Poké Balls. The heroes go inside the room, seeing Cassidy and James. Cassidy sends Houndour, though it is hit by Bubblebeam. Corphish uses ViceGrip, but is canceled by Flamethrower. Corphosh is knocked over the boxes and the Poké Balls spread out, even to the battle field. The heroes arrive to warn the crowd of the plan. Team Rocket grunts attack with their own Pokémon, while the crowd uses their own. Ash and May tell the grunts the Pokémon make the trainer remember their times and will not give up on protecting them. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to electrocute them.
Amidst the confusion, Butch and Cassidy go to get out with the Poké Balls they have. However, Ash sees them and sends Swellow, who attacks them and gets the Poké Balls out of their reach. Butch sends Raticate to fight, but Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to attack them. Still, Meowth, James and Jessie steal the remaining Poké Balls and will be pleased to make the others see the Poké Balls they stole. They all grab one remaining and begin to argue. However, Meowth brings the biscuit out and shares with them, so they forgive each other and take a bite. They are still attacked by a Rhydon and the Team Rocket grunts escape the building. Ash, Brock, Max and May collect the Poké Balls, but see Cassidy and Butch taking one box and running away, so they chase them. They fall into a hole, but still continue towards the plane they will go away with.
As they proceed to enter, a big hole makes them fall down and crash the plane. Pikachu blasts them off with Thunderbolt, though Jessie, James and Meowth come, telling they dug the hole and take the box. Still, Corphish blasts them off with BubbleBeam. Later, Ash, May, Max and Brock are pleased to see the trainers received their Poké Balls back. At night, Jessie, James and Meowth part a biscuit. Jessie takes the bigger piece and goes to eat, it, but Meowth and James go to get that piece.
- This episode marks the return of Ikue Ohtani from maternity leave.
- Pokémon Symphonic Medley, ニャースのうた Meowth's Song and 前向きロケット団！ Face Forward Team Rocket! are used as background music.
- This episode is unique because there were three Team Rocket mottos (by Jessie and Butch, Cassidy and James and the usual trio at the end) and three blast-offs (the trio in the beginning of the episode, Cassidy and Butch and the trio again in the end).
- This is the second time Ash and company lead a horde of Pokémon Trainers in a counterattack against Team Rocket's evil plans (the massive battle between a horde of Pokémon Trainers vs. Team Rocket Grunts). The first time was in Battle Aboard the St. Anne.
- The title is based off the phrase "bait and switch".
- After Cassidy takes James away to work with her, Jessie is left standing alone with a fire extinguisher that was never in the hallway before.
- In the dub, when Max finds James and Cassidy with boxes full of Poké Balls, he comments that James is working for Butch and Cassidy even though he had never seen nor heard of them before.