Ash and friends arrive in Lavaridge Town. Ash heads straight for the Gym, where the Gym Leader Flannery is running around on fire. Brock uses Mudkip to douse the flames, and everyone goes inside for the Gym battle. The battlefield is a mess, so they need to clean up first.
They find out Flannery just inherited the Gym Leader position from her grandfather, who left town to write Pokémon poetry. None of the kids know that he’s actually spying on them because he’s worried about Flannery. He comes back in disguise and offers to help Flannery out.
Team Rocket also shows up in disguise to help clean the field, but instead they steal Flannery’s Torkoal. They try to fly away in their balloon, but are stopped by the grandfather, who teams up with Flannery for a Pokémon battle with Jessie and James. May and Max free Torkoal.
During the battle, Flannery’s Slugma evolves into Magcargo. Flannery realizes her grandfather is there, and together they defeat Team Rocket. Everyone gets ready for the Gym battle the next day.