Episode #260 - You're A Star, Larvitar!
Ash and friends stop at a Pokemon Centre at the base of Mount Silver to call Professor Elm. He's impressed with how confident Larvitar appears, and tells them to see someone named Mason when they get to the Pokemon Preservation Centre. After the call, a boy approaches and asks Ash if he wants to battle.
They go out back to an arena. The boy introduces himself as Sancho and releases a Magby. Ash uses Cyndaquil, and Misty questions his choice. Magby and Cyndaquil seem evenly matched, but when Magby uses Double Team it catches Cyndaquil off-guard, and Ash ends up losing. Sancho thanks Ash for a good match, saying that he wants to evolve his Magby into a Magmar to make it more powerful.
Later, Ash sits with Cyndaquil and wonders if it's powerful enough. Perhaps he should try to evolve it into a Quilava? He decides to take his Pokemon out for some extra training.
Team Rocket watches him, and notices a nearby field where other people and their Pokemon are training. They plan to steal them all.
While Ash gives instructions to his Pokemon, Brock and Misty realize that Larvitar has wandered off. They find it amidst some other trainers and Pokemon, but before they can reach it, the Pokemon are pulled away by a huge wind. Ash notices what's happening and manages to save Larvitar in time, but the rest of the Pokemon are captured by Team Rocket! They are in their balloon which is equipped with a vacuum device. Ash and Cyndaquil try to stop them, but they turn on the vacuum again, catching both of them! They don't see Larvitar grab onto the bottom of the balloon as they make their escape. Brock, Misty, and Sancho follow them.
The balloon lands in the woods and the container with the Pokemon inside is lowered into the back of a truck. Jessie gloats at Ash who has been tied up in a nearby cabin. Team Rocket prepares to leave, but Larvitar bites a tire of the truck to delay them, then digs into the cabin and frees Ash. As James and Meowth change the tire, Ash instructs Larvitar to tell Magby and Cyndaquil to melt the glass of the container. With the tire changed, departure is attempted again, but Larvitar promptly destroys the new tire and delays them further.
By this time, Noctowl has spotted the truck and leads the others to it. The Pokemon escape from the truck, but Jessie hears the noise and discovers that Ash and all the Pokemon are free. Team Rocket sends their Pokemon to attack Ash, but Noctowl dives down to proctect him. Some teamwork from Totodile and Magby stops Team Rocket from doing any more damage, and Magby evolves into Magmar! Cyndaquil joins it and the two fire Pokemon send Team Rocket blasting off.
Ash congratulates Cyndaquil and Larvitar for their efforts, and the other Pokemon are returned to their owners. Later, Sancho leaves for the Conference as our heroes begin to climb Mount Silver. Ash vows that he'll train his Pokemon to use their abilities at their best when he competes in the Conference.