Episode #265 - Love, Pokemon Style
Ash and his friends look at the Conference standings to see which semi-final block he's in. Brock explains that it's a round-robin contest among the three trainers, and whoever has the most points at the end will advance into the finals. Suddenly Ash is confronted by a girl with a Vulpix: Macy, one of his opponents. She challenges him to a battle on the spot, but before they can begin, both Vulpix and Pikachu are snatched by Team Rocket!
As Team Rocket rides away on a two-person bicycle, he chases after them down a hill. Macy follows but she falls, and Ash catches her. Telling Macy to let him deal with this, he continues on. He cuts Team Rocket off at the bottom of the hill and uses Bayleef to free the Pokemon and sent the villains blasting off.
The others arrive and Macy gets a crush on Ash because he rescued her and her Vulpix. She asks him to lunch to repay him, but Misty gets jealous and butts in. The two girls argue and Ash runs away, on the pretext that he has more training to do. Macy calls after him that if she beats him in their match he has to go out on a date.
That evening, the kids are trying to figure out which Pokemon Ash should use for the match. According to the computer, Macy uses mainly Fire types, but Ash's only Water types are Totodile and Kingler. Brock makes a suggestion, and soon all is ready.
In the morning, Team Rocket is selling "Official Silver Conference Limited Edition Badges" which are really painted bottle caps from James' collection.
Ash releases Kingler to do a bit of training. A nearby trainer's Voltorbs fall down a hill and Kingler catches them, but it gets zapped! Ash takes Kingler to the Centre, and Nurse Joy tells him it'll be all right but won't be able to battle today. Dejected, Ash wonders what to do now. Just then, Officer Jenny arrives on a motorcycle, with none other than Ash's Squirtle! She says that when Squirtle saw Ash on TV, it wanted to come. Brock encourages Ash to change his registry.
It's time for the match, and the computer selects Macy to go first. She releases a Slugma, and Ash responds with Totodile. Ash easily gets the upper hand, so Macy substitutes Slugma with Electabuzz. Unfazed, Ash brings out Phanpy. Brock comments that he suggested Phanpy when he saw that Macy had an Electabuzz. Macy is surprised and brings Slugma back but Phanpy is able to knock it out.
Macy's third Pokemon is Quilava, which proves to be too powerful for Phanpy and knocks it out. Ash substitutes Totodile, but Macy switches to Electabuzz and defeats it! Now Ash only has one Pokemon left: Squirtle. Macy presses the advantage but Squirtle's power and experience enable it to defeat Electabuzz.
Both trainers are down to their last Pokemon, and it's Quilava vs. Squirtle. Things get hairy when Squirtle gets knocked on its back and can't get up. However it uses Hydro Pump to turn itself into a projectile and knocks out Quilava. Ash wins!
Outside, Team Rocket celebrates that they sold all the "badges" and made a fair amount of money. However James is upset that they had to use his precious bottle cap collection and demands that they come up with another scheme to make more money.
Later Macy congratulates Ash on a good match. She tells him that her Slugma evolved into a Macargo and she has to postpone their "date" so she can do more training with it. That's fine with Ash, since he plans to train more as well.