A bunch of kids are outside, and they run to meet up with the gym leader, Gardenia. Ash and co. are passing by, and they see Gardenia. Ash and Dawn greet Gardenia. Brock falls in love with Gardenia again, but Croagunk poison jabs Brock again before his act goes out of hand. Ash asks Gardenia the reason she came to town. Gardenia tells him that she is promoting Pokémon battling by having Pokémon battles all over town. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is watching the group from behind a bush. Jessie thinks that they should go all out and meet Ash and co. face to face.
Team Rocket pops out from the bushes and says their motto. Then Jessie sends out Seviper, and James sends out Cacnea. Gardenia immediately falls in love with Cacnea. She begins to hug and cuddle with it. This makes James angry, and he takes Cacnea away from Gardenia. Gardenia asks James if she can borrow it, but James declines her offer. The kids want to see a Pokémon battle. Gardenia thinks that they should have a tag battle. She wants to be James' partner, and she wants to battle Ash and one of his friends. James doesn't want to parner up with Gardenia. One of the kids thinks James is scared, and he calls him an "old man." James finally agrees to the challenge. Ash is ready to battle, and Dawn decides to be Ash's partner.
James uses Cacnea for the battle, and Gardenia sends out Turtwig. Ash sends out Aipom, and Dawn chooses Pachirisu. The battle begins. Aipom starts off with Swift. Turtwig quickly dodges the attack, and Cacnea receives the hit. James orders Cacnea to use Pin Missle. Turtwig then uses Leafstorm. Both Aipom and Pachirisu dodge the attacks. Then Pachirisu attacks with Spark. Turtwig dodges the attack and counters with Bite. To shake Turtwig off, Pachirisu uses Discharge, but Turtwig manages to avoid the attack. The sparks from Pachirisu end up hitting Cacnea instead. Aipom attacks with Focus Punch, and Cacnea uses Needle Arm. Both attacks collide into each other, but Cacnea's attack is stronger. Pachirisu then charges towards Cacnea with a Spark. Cacnea uses Needle Arm again, but Pachirisu evades the attack. It then hits Cacnea with Spark, and Cacnea falls to the ground. With Cacnea weakened, Ash orders Aipom to use Focus Punch. Gardenia tells James to have Cacnea use Drain Punch. James explains that Cacnea has never used such an attack before, but Gardenia has confidence in Cacnea. Just before Aipom can hit Cacnea, James orders Cacnea to use Drain Punch. Cacnea uses the attack and hits Aipom. Everyone is surprised that Cacnea was able to use such an attack. Suddenly, Pachirisu attacks Turtwig again, and Turtwig faints. James orders Cacnea to use Drain Punch again. Cacnea charges up for the attack, but the Drain Punch fails. Aipom attacks Cacnea, and Cacnea faints.
Ash and Dawn are the winners of the tag battle. Gardenia's fans can't believe that Gardenia lost, so they blame James for it. Gardenia returns Turtwig back into its Pokéball. James congratulates Cacnea for battling its very best. Gardenia tells James that she was right about Cacnea. James is confused, and Gardenia explains that she knew Cacnea was powerful when it used Needle Arm during the battle. Gardenia figured that Cacnea could learn Drain Punch, which is why she suggested it. Dawn wonders why Drain Punch didn't work the second time. Cacnea thinks that the first time was just an accident, but Gardenia disagrees. She thinks that Cacnea could still use a lot of training. She wants to take Cacnea and train it herself. Suddenly, the kids want Gardenia to show them a lot of more Pokémon. Gardenia agrees to take them all to the Pokémon Center.
James and Cacnea are sitting on the gras thinking. Jessie is growing impatient with James. She walks over to him and tells him to not let Gardenia bug him. She thinks that James is planning on giving Cacnea away to the gym leader. Cacnea says that it wants to learn Drain Punch. If it knew Drain Punch, Team Rocket wouldn't even be in this mess. James agrees, so he decides to give Cacnea some special training. Suddenly, Ash and co. approach Team Rocket. Jessie immediately comes up with a plan. She quietly tells Meowth that they should let Ash and co. help train Cacnea so that they can steal more Pokémon. Meowth likes the idea.
James orders Cacnea to use Drain Punch a few times, but each time they fail. Ash offers to become Cacnea's training partner. Dawn thinks that they would just be helping Team Rocket win, but Ash doesn't care. Him and Pikachu decide to help Cacnea train. James and Cacnea are grateful that Ash is willing to help them train. Ash reminds Cacnea that it is super strong and that it can use Drain Punch if it perfects its Needle Arm. Cacnea agrees. Pikachu starts off with a Quick Attack, and Cacnea strikes with Needle Arm. Both Pokémon hit each other. Pikachu then uses Thunderbolt, but Cacnea quickly dodges it. The electricity ends up hitting James instead. James tells Cacnea to use Needle Arm again, and Pikachu uses Iron Tail. Needle Arm is stronger, and Pikachu falls to the ground. James then orders Cacnea to use Drain Punch. Cacnea tries to use the attack, but it fails again. Brock states that the timing of the attack is off, and the trainer's commands aren't very good either.
Cacnea practices its punches even more by doing practice punches on Carnivine and Chimchar. Ash thinks that Cacnea will succeed in no time if it keeps on practicing. After a few more punches, Cacnea tries Drain Punch again, but it still has no success. The night approaches, and James and Cacnea continue to sit on the grass. Ash and co. notice that James is taking the thing really seriously. Jessie explains that the whole thing started when she asked if James was planning on giving Cacnea away to Gardenia. James ponders on whether he should give Cacnea away. He thinks Cacnea will get a better life if it goes with Gardenia. Then James decides to put the thought aside and asks Cacnea if it want to train some more. Cacnea is ready, and Ash agrees to help Cacnea train again. This time Ash chooses Aipom. Suddenly, Gardenia appears and asks James how his training is going. James tells her that the training is fine, so Gardenia decides to stay and watch.
Aipom uses Focus Punch. Cacnea dodges the attack and uses Needle Arm. The attack almost hits Aipom. Meowth notices that Cacnea's Needle Arm is very strong now. Cacnea uses Needle Arm one more time, but Aipom dodges the attack and then hits Cacnea with a Focus Punch. Cacnea falls to the ground, but it is not out yet. It manages to dodge Aipom's second Focus Punch, and then it hits Aipom with Needle Arm. Cacnea then uses Drain Punch again. It almost succeeds, but at the last second it fails, and Cacnea ends up crashing into a pile of rocks. Cacnea tries to use Drain Punch again multiple times, but each time it just keeps on getting hit by Aipom's Focus Punch. Cacnea still hasn't given up, but James knows that the battle is over. He brings Cacnea into his arms, and the battle ends. Ash returns Aipom back into its Pokéball.
James wants Cacnea to go with Gardenia. He thinks that Cacnea will receive better training and a better life if it stays with Gardenia. Cacnea wants to stay with James, but James has already made his decision. Knowing James has already made up his mind, Cacnea finally agrees. James takes out Cacnea's Pokéball and recalls all the joyous times he has had with Cacnea. He then returns Cacnea back into its Pokéball and hands it to Gardenia. Gardenia promises James that Cacnea will be raised well. James knows that Gardenia will keep her promise. Then James runs away crying, and Jessie and Meowth run after him. The next day, Gardenia says goodbye to Ash and co. as they depart for the next town. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is on the roof of a building watching over Gardenia. James wishes Cacnea the best of luck.
English Official SummaryAsh and his friends run into Gardenia, the Eterna Gym Leader, in the middle of her travels through Sinnoh. Gardenia is about to show off Pokémon battling with a friendly match, but Team Rocket interrupts to try and steal Pikachu! Of course, the minute Gardenia sees James' Cacnea, her love for Grass-type Pokémon blinds her to everything else, and suddenly James finds himself joining Gardenia in a tag battle against Ash and Dawn. Acting on Gardenia's advice, James has Cacnea try a new move, Drain Punch, but it only works once before Pachirisu and Aipom win the battle. James turns down Gardenia's offer to train Cacnea, but it's still on his mind as he and Cacnea train hard to perfect this new move. Jessie and Meowth convince Ash and his friends to help Cacnea train, too! Dawn is understandably skeptical about helping Team Rocket power up, although Drain Punch still doesn't work even after Ash and his Pokémon help Cacnea train. Gardenia returns in the middle of Cacnea's training battle against Ash's Aipom. Even though Cacnea battles with every last bit of its strength and beyond, it still can't pull off Drain Punch. Remorsefully realizing that he's just not skilled enough to bring out Cacnea's full potential, James stops the battle and tells Cacnea to go with Gardenia. He bids a tearful farewell to his Pokémon before running off, followed by Jessie and Meowth. But wherever he goes, James won't forget Cacnea and all their times together!
French Official SummaryJames doit décider s'il veut garder son Cacnea bien-aimé ou lui permettre de s'entraîner et de se fortifier avec Flo, la Championne d'Arène de Vestigion.
German Official SummaryJames muss sich entscheiden, ob er sein geliebtes Tuska behalten soll oder zulässt, dass es unter Silvana, der Arenaleiterin der Ewigenau-Arena, trainiert, um stärker zu werden.
Italian Official SummaryAsh e i suoi amici s'imbattono in Gardenia, la Capopalestra di Evopoli, nel corso del loro viaggio attraverso la regione di Sinnoh.
Portuguese Official SummaryJames precisa decidir se ele deve manter seu amado Cacnea ou permitir que ele treine e se fortaleça com Gardenia, a Líder do Ginásio de Eterna.
Finnish Official SummaryJamesin on päätettävä haluaako hän pitää rakkaan Cacneansa, vai antaako se harjoitella ja kasvaa voimakkaaksi Gardenian, Eternan salijohtajan huomassa.
Spanish Latin America Official SummaryJames debe decidir si conserva a su querido Cacnea o si le permite entrenar y fortalecerse con Gardenia, la Líder del Gimnasio Eterna.
Spanish Official SummaryAsh y sus amigos se encuentran con Gardenia, la Líder de Gimnasio de Vetusta, que está viajando por Sinnoh.
English Great Britian Official SummaryAsh and his friends run into Gardenia, the Eterna Gym Leader, in the middle of her travels through Sinnoh. Gardenia is about to show off Pokémon battling with a friendly match, but Team Rocket interrupts to try and steal Pikachu! Of course, the minute Gardenia sees James' Cacnea, her love for Grass-type Pokémon blinds her to everything else, and suddenly James finds himself joining Gardenia in a tag battle against Ash and Dawn. Acting on Gardenia's advice, James has Cacnea try a new move, Drain Punch, but it only works once before Pachirisu and Aipom win the battle. James turns down Gardenia's offer to train Cacnea, but it's still on his mind as he and Cacnea train hard to perfect this new move. Jessie and Meowth convince Ash and his friends to help Cacnea train, too! Dawn is understandably skeptical about helping Team Rocket power up, although Drain Punch still doesn't work even after Ash and his Pokémon help Cacnea train. Gardenia returns in the middle of Cacnea's training battle against Ash's Aipom. Even though Cacnea battles with every last bit of its strength and beyond, it still can't pull off Drain Punch. Remorsefully realizing that he's just not skilled enough to bring out Cacnea's full potential, James stops the battle and tells Cacnea to go with Gardenia. He bids a tearful farewell to his Pokémon before running off, followed by Jessie and Meowth. But wherever he goes, James won't forget Cacnea and all their times together!
Russian Official SummaryВ середине пути через Синно Эш и его друзья сталкиваются с Гарденией, лидером спортзала Этерна.
Dutch Official SummaryAsh en zijn vrienden komen onverwachts Gardenia, de Gym Leader van Eterna tegen, die een eind op reis is door Sinnoh.
Norwegian Official SummaryJames må bestemme seg for om han enten skal beholde sin elskede Cacnea eller gi den lov til å trene og bli sterkere med Gardenia, Gym-lederen i Eterna.
Swedish Official SummaryJames måste besluta om han ska behålla sin älskade Cacnea, eller låta den träna och växa sig stark tillsammans med Gardenia, Eterna-gymledaren.
Danish Official SummaryJames skal træffe et svært valg: Skal han beholde sin elskede Cacnea, eller skal han lade den træne og blive stærkere hos Eternas Salleder, Gardenia.