It's night time. A trio of Seedot are sleeping on a branch. One of the Seedot falls off the branch and bounces off a Shiftry. It lands near a Nuzleaf, who falls right on top of a Vileplume. The Vileplume freaks out, and it runs far away. Morning rises and the Vileplume shakes the Nuzleaf off its body. Nuzleaf wakes up. It doesn't know where it is at. Nuzleaf begins to panic, and it accidently rolls down a cliff.
Meanwhile, Ash and co. are continuing their way towards the Oreburgh Gym. Brock looks at his guide book and finds out that the city is right over the mountains. Ash wants to climb the mountain now so that he can battle the gym leader right away. Dawn notices that there's a Pokémon Center nearby. She wants to stop there for the day and climb the mountains the next day. Bonsly begins to cry. Brock knows that Bonsly is just hungry, so he gives Bonsly some Pokémon food. Ash and Dawn never knew that Bonsly could eat solid food, so they are quite amazed at Bonsly.
Suddenly, Ash and co. hear an explosion nearby. They run to check it out. Nurse Joy has confronted the Nuzleaf. She wants to help it, but Nuzleaf keeps on attacking her. Brock runs up to Nurse Joy and falls in love with her, but Croagunk uses a Poison Jab on Brock and pulls him away. Ash and Dawn then come running up to them. The Nuzleaf attacks Ash and Dawn, but they dodge the attack. Dawn looks up Nuzleaf in her Pokédex. Nurse Joy tells Ash and co. that the Nuzleaf is injured, but she can't get up close to it. Brock states that when a Pokémon feels threatened, you should open your heart up to it. Brock puts his hands behind his back so that the Nuzleaf knows that he won't attack it. Then Brock slowly walks up to the Nuzleaf and meets it at eye level. Nuzleaf feels less scared now. Then Brock takes a leaf from a bush and begins to whistle on it. Ash and co. realize that Nuzleaf always like to do that. Brock takes out an Oran Berry and gives it to Nuzleaf. Nuzleaf is still scared, so it refuses to eat it. Brock then sends out Bonsly. He gives a piece of the Oran Berry to Bonsly, who graciously eats it. Knowing that the Oran Berry is safe, Nuzleaf then takes it and eats it.
Nurse Joy is amazed that Brock was able to calm the Nuzleaf down in a short period of time. Ash tells Nurse Joy that Brock wants to be the best Pokémon Breeder around. Nurse Joy still doesn't understand how the Nuzleaf was able to get here in the first place. She explains that there's a tree where Seedot, Nuzleaf, and Shiftry live in, and that's the only place where those Pokémon live in the forest. Ash and co. think that the Nuzleaf somehow was separated with its friends. They offer to take the Nuzleaf back to the tree. Nurse Joy thanks them.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has been watching Ash and co. with the Nuzleaf. They think that Nuzleaf would make a great gift for the boss, so they plan on stealing it. Ash and co. begin their search for the tree with the Seedot, Nuzleaf, and Shiftry. Nuzleaf has already made friends with Bonsly. Suddenly, Meowth comes out, disguised as a Shiftry. Then two mountain climbers (Jessie and James) follow up. They tell Ash and co. that Shiftry has been looking all over for Nuzleaf for many years. Shiftry wants Nuzleaf to come home with it. Dawn looks up the Shiftry in her Pokédex, but the Pokédex clearly states that it's a Meowth. Ash and co. are surprised. Team Rocket reveals themselves, and they say their motto.
Team Rocket heads into their balloon. James takes out a missile launcher and fires a net. The net captures Bonsly and Nuzleaf. Brock runs up to the net and grabs onto it just before Team Rocket lifts off. Then Ash sends out Staravia to cut the rope. Jessie sends out Seviper. Seviper uses Haze to confuse Staravia. When the smoke clears, Team Rocket has already gotten away.
Team Rocket has landed in the middle of the forest. Bonsly and Nuzleaf are in a cage, and Brock is tied to a tree. Team Rocket plans on giving both Pokémon to the boss. Brock knows that he has to do something to get the Pokémon away from Team Rocket. Team Rocket begins to get hungry. The take out a bag and empty it. All that's in it are a few dry vegetables. Brock gets an idea. He tells Team Rocket that he can make them something from those ingredients. So Team Rocket unties Brock, and Brock makes them a tasty meal. While Team Rocket is eating, Brock takes the cage and runs away with it.
When Brock is far away from Team Rocket, he tells Bonsly to use Double-Edge. After some encouragement from Brock, Bonsly finally breaks the cage. Brock knew that Bonsly could do it. Suddenly, Bonsly glows with a white light. It evolves into a Sudowoodo. Meanwhile, Ash and Dawn are searching for Brock. They don't know where he could be, but they decide to search for Team Rocket's balloon instead. Team Rocket, on the other hand, is searching for Brock. They aren't too happy at the fact that Brock tricked them. Brock comes up to a roaring rapids. He knows that they have to cross the rapids in order to get to Nuzleaf's tree. Brock returns Sudowoodo back into its Pokéball because Sudowoodo doesn't like the water. This makes Nuzleaf cry because it misses its friend. Brock understands and he sends out Sudowoodo, making Nuzleaf happy again. Sudowoodo decides to try to cross the river.
Brock and Sudowoodo begin to jump across the rocks towards the other side. Before they can make it fully across, Team Rocket approaches them. They demand for Nuzleaf. Brock sends out Croagunk, and Jessie sends out Seviper. Seviper uses Bite, but Croagunk counters with Poison Jab. Seviper then uses Poison Tail. While Seviper is running towards Croagunk, Croagunk stops it with its Poison Sting attack. Part of Croagunk's attack hits Team Rocket's balloon, causing an explosion. Ash and Dawn see the smoke from the explosion, and they run on over to it. Seviper uses its Wrap on Croagunk. Croagunk use Brick Break several times to knock out Seviper, but it also faints. Both Jessie and Brock return their Pokémon back into their Pokéballs.
Then James sends out Carnivine. Carnivine uses its Bullet Seed attack on Brock and Nuzleaf. Brock protects Nuzleaf while they get hit by the attack. Sudowoodo regains its strength and jumps towards Brock. Carnivine uses Bite. Sudowoodo dodges the attack and uses Double-Edge. Carnivine fights back with Bullet Seed. Sudowoodo uses its Mimic attack in order to use Bullet Seed. Both attacks collide into each other. Then Ash and Dawn run up to Brock. Dawn sees Sudowoodo and looks it up in her Pokédex. Ash and Dawn realize that Bonsly must have evolved. Ash offers to take care of Team Rocket now. Brock tells Ash that it's Sudowoodo's first battle ever since it evolved, and he is not backing down.
Carnivine uses Bullet Seed again. Sudowoodo gets hit by the attack, but it is able to withstand it. Sudowoodo then crashes into Carnivine again with Double-Edge. Carnivine then uses Bite. It bites on Sudowoodo's head. Sudowoodo uses its Flail attack to throw Carnivine into the air. Carnivine fights back with Bullet Seed. Sudowoodo dodges the attack and uses Mimic. It fires a Bullet Seed at Carnivine, which directly hits it. Carnivine faints, and Sudowoodo is the winner.
Team Rocket is angry that they are losing. Jessie sends out Dustox, and James sends out Cacnea. Ash tells Pikachu to get ready to battle. Suddenly, a big gust of wind occurs, and a Shiftry pops out from the trees. Dawn looks up Shiftry in her Pokédex. Meowth tells Shiftry that Ash and co. were doing bad things to Nuzleaf, and that he was trying to stop them. Shiftry gets angry at Ash and co. Then Team Rocket uses a mechanical claw to snatch Nuzleaf. Then they begin to lift off in their Wobbuffet balloon. Shiftry uses its Razor Wind attack on the balloon. The attack pops a hole in the balloon, and Team Rocket begins to fall. Nuzleaf falls out of the balloon. Shiftry sends a gust of wind at Nuzleaf, so that it lands safely on the ground. Finally, Pikachu uses its Thunderbolt attack on Team Rocket, and Team Rocket blasts off again.
Nuzleaf and Shiftry are happy to be back together again. Ash and Dawn notice that Sudowoodo has gotten a lot stronger ever since it was a Bonsly. Then Ash and co. make it to the tree. Nuzleaf is back with its family. Then Ash and co. wave goodbye to the Nuzleaf and Shiftry, and they continue their way towards Oreburgh City.