Episode #279 - Tree's A Crowd
Our friends are walking through a forest on the way to Rustboro City. May and Max argue about who got them lost. Ash sees a group of Treecko, and after failing to catch one, he chases them into a clearing that's dominated by a huge tree that looks like it's dying. One of the Treecko throws twigs at Ash to defend its territory. He challenges it to a battle, but it gives Pikachu a difficult time.
Team Rocket watches, impressed with this Treecko's strength. If they bring it to the boss, maybe they'll get a promotion.
The rest of the Treecko appear and an older one speaks to Ash's opponent. Meowth translates the elder's speech, it's saying that the tree is dying and there's no point for the younger Treecko to stay here. The young one replies that it was born in this tree and will stick with it to the end. Resigned, the group departs. Jessie comes up with a plan to catch them all.
Treecko forgets about the battle and runs away. Ash agrees with Pikachu's idea to stay here and wait until it comes back.
Meanwhile, Brock and the others are having dinner. Max is concerned about Ash, but Brock is confident that Ash will be all right.
The sun sets, but Ash and Pikachu are still waiting, so he sends Taillow to lead his friends here. Finally the Treecko returns. It pours some water at the base of the tree and covers the spot with leaves. Ash realises it's trying to save the tree and decides to help it. He joins the Treecko and they all work into the night.
Much later they are startled by a sound from the clearing. A bulldozer is knocking the other Treecko out of their trees and catching them in a cage! It's none other than Team Rocket, and they fly off in their balloon with the cage underneath it. Pikachu zaps the balloon, but it's electric-proof. With Taillow away, Ash can only watch as Team Rocket catches Pikachu in a net.
However Treecko manages to leap into the basket and cause a panic. Jessie accidentally hits a button that opens the cage, and the rest of the Treecko escape. Then Treecko lures James' Cacnea into attacking the balloon and damaging it! Pikachu is set free as Team Rocket blasts off.
On the ground, the elder Treecko thanks the younger one, and the dispute is settled. Suddenly, a crack appears in the base of the tree and it splits in half! All the Treecko attempt to push the halves back together but they can't. The sun rises and shines through the crack, and they all experience a vision of the tree's life from a seed to maturity, and how the surrounding forest grew from its seeds. Then the two halves crash to the ground and one seed rolls to Treecko's feet. Ash tells it that perhaps this was the tree's way of saying thank you.
Now the Treecko challenges Ash. Brock, May, and Max arrive in time to see the battle. Grass type Pokemon might have an advantage over electric types, but Pikachu's experience enables him to defeat Treekco, and Ash makes the capture! Then he releases Treecko and invites it to travel with him, and Treecko agrees. Before they leave, Treecko carefully plants the seed and asks his friends to take care of it.