Two Degrees of Separation was the second episode of the Diamond and Pearl series.
Ash was separated from his Pikachu, due to a battle against Team Rocket. This episode was also where Ash catches his Starly using his Aipom. Also the first episode where he meets Paul, who when asked if he saw a Pikachu, rudely commented back and asked for a battle with Ash. The match was supposed to be a 3 on 3, but Ash was low on one Pokémon, due to losing Pikachu. Paul notedly reacted harshly towards Ash because of this. Later, in this episode, Pikachu is found by Dawn, a new trainer who starts out with a Piplup.
Dawn brings Piplup and wonders what will they do. Dawn has an idea - to capture a Pokémon. She sees a Buneary and Piplup uses BubbleBeam. However, Burmy jumped quickly and Piplup goes to peck, but gets pounded. Burmy runs away, so Dawn tells Piplup everyone makes mistakes. Dawn tells Piplup they will go the Jubilife City, in which they will participate in the Contest. She sees a Burmy and Piplup immediately attacks with BubbleBeam. Burmy falls down and Dawn thanks Piplup for that. However, Burmy gathers its leaves, so Dawn goes to get her Poké Ball. She goes to throw it, but sees Burmy is gone. Dawn is depressed, but regains her confidence to repeat. Suddenly, they hear something, and from a bush, a Pikachu comes.
Dawn knows Pikachu has the advantage against Piplup, but will still battle. Piplup uses BubbleBeam, but gets stopped by Thunderbolt. Piplup goes to peck, but Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, attacking Piplup and Dawn's bike. Dawn is furious and throws her Poké Ball, but the ball does not get Pikachu inside itself. Dawn now knows that Pikachu belongs to someone, while he goes away. Suddenly, Pikachu gets ambushed by Seviper, Cacnea and Dustox. Meowth tells they got him surrounded, so Dawn is surprised he can talk. Jessie and James come out and tell Dawn there is only one thief - them. Pikachu attacks them with a Thunderbolt, so Cacnea, Seviper and Dustox retaliate, though Pikachu evades the attacks. Dawn does not trust Team Rocket that they are Piakchu's friends, so orders Piplup to use BubbleBeam, hitting them.
Dawn does not know Team Rocket, so James tells they do not have the Sinnoh Team Rocket branch, so Meowth says they will spread their work. Dawn now knows they are not to be trusted. Seviper wraps Piplup, so it retaliates with BubbleBeam. Cacnea, Dustox and Seviper charge, but Piplup uses Bubblebeam and Pikachu Thunderbolt, blasting them off. Pikachu, Dawn and Pilup celebrate, but Pikachu is exhausted, so Dawn goes to the nearest Pokémon Center to heal him. Inside, Joy tells it is really exhausted, but Pikachu will recover. Dawn contacts her mom and tells she got Piplup, but no other Pokémon yet. Mom tells her she will get new friends in due time. Piplup pretends to be important, so Dawn argues with it. Dawn also contacts Prof. Rowan, telling him they came across a lost Pikachu, so they are trying to find his owner. Dawn tells him they will go to Jubilife City, but even if they do not go there in time, there will be other Contests to compete.
Aipom scouts, but did not find Pikachu. Ash is worried and encounters Officer Jenny. Soon, Jenny and him ride the motorcycle. Ash came to Prof. Rowan's lab and meets him. Rowan gives him Aipom's Poké Ball, as Oak sent it for Ash. Rowan tells him Dawn protected the Pikachu from Team Rocket. Sadly, Dawn left the Pokémon Center with Pikachu, but she is searching for Pikachu's owner - he'll start from the Pokémon Center.
Team Rocket is embarrassed from the recent blast off, but James is happy he sees his summer cottage. They enter the building and James opens a box, full of his bottle cap collection. Also, he sees a Poké Ball and sends his old friend, Carnivine, who immediately chomps on his head. Jessie is hungry, so James contacts his butler to get food. They all eat and the butler tells his family will come tomorrow, including his bride, Jessibelle. James tells they cannot stay, as Jessibelle will make sure he does not go adventuring, so they revert to thieving. They contact Giovanni and tell they will conquer Sinnoh, as the same they did with Hoenn. They already have plans they will build a summer cottage after this is done.
Rowan contacts Dawn and tells Ash, Pikachu's owner, is coming to get him. Dawn has a plan to go as well, to meet him as soon as possible. Ash and Aipom run, but a truck passes by and Brock comes out. Brock tells him he met the driver, Claudina and now seeks happiness. However, it did not take much to break his heart - Claudina got a call from his boyfriend and goes away. Brock has no choice but to re-unite with Ash. Brock does not see his Pikachu and Ash tells him what happened. Ash and Brock wander to the Pokémon Center and Aipom swings to move, but accidentally hits a Starly. Brock proposes to capture it so they can use it to find Pikachu, so Aipom uses Swift to attack. Starly uses Whirlwind, so Aipom goes to retaliate with Focus Punch. However, Starly uses Quick Attack and follows with Wing Attack.
Aipom finally uses Focus Punch and Ash throws his Poké Ball. Ash is happy he captured it, although Pikachu is not with him. Brock says he did capture Starly to search for Pikachu, so Ash sends it and they follow it. Dawn also runs with Piplup and Pikachu, while a man with an Elekid sees all this and is not impressed by Starly Ash caught so easily.
- Background music of MS008: Pokémon - Lucario and the Mystery of Mew can be heard.
- Similar to how Ash's Pikachu destroyed Misty and May's bikes, Pikachu broke Dawn's bike.
- When Carnivine comes out of its Poké Ball, it greets James the same way his Victreebel used to: by chomping on his head.
- This is so far the only episode where Ash and Pikachu are not together.
- This episode marks the first time Piplup assists Pikachu in blasting off Team Rocket which happens very often throughout the Diamond & Pearl series.
- This is the last episode in which Team Rocket used their Battle Frontier motto.
- James: "There you are you rascals."
Jessie: "Oooo, what's in there huh?"
Meowth: "Something a lot older than me."
James pulls out bottlecaps from the box.
James: "It's my very first bottlecap collection. I've had it since I was a toddling tot of two. To brush them against my cheek. WOW! I can not believe you've been hiding in here all this time."
Jessie: "A Poké Ball. Yours as well?"
James: "And how. The very Pokémon I used to play with when we came to Sinnoh. Come on out Carnivine."
A Carnivine comes out and bite James' head.
James: "You see, Victreebel's not the only Pokémon who likes to take a nip at my noggin."
Jessie: "And that is a good thing?"
Meowth: "Wow, sounds like the green galoot's really happy to see ya."
When Dawn calls Rowan, both of the areas they are in are identical on the video even when they are in different areas.