Aiding the Enemy
Fresh off of spending a day with Elite Four member Aaron, Ash and company frantically rush into a nearby Pokemon Center to catch the Championship battle between Aaron and Cynthia, and as luck would have it, Paul is there too! Despite having his Beautifly back, it's no match for Cynthia's Gastrodon's Stone Edge attack and Cynthia retains her title as Champion. Ash and co. are confronted by Paul who seems to want to know if Ash has been able to control Chimchar's Blaze Ability. Ash fires back by saying he doesn't have to rely on it even though it's a strong ability. Paul walks off as Ash thinks training for his upcoming Gym Battle against Fantina will take his mind off of Paul.
Soon, Ash has Buizel, Pikachu, and Chimchar on his side of the field with Dawn having most of the rest of thier Pokemon(Gliscor, Piplup. Turtwig, Staravia, Swinub, and Buneary) Ash seems to be trying to up the power of Pikachu's, Buizel's, and Chimchar's attacks. The first time results in a stalemate as Paul is reading a book nearby within hearing distance. Ash and Dawn repeat the last attack process, but this time, Pikachu, Chimchar, and Buizel are overpowered and get knocked back into Ash. After a quick regroup and word of advice from Brock, Ash and Dawn decide to line it up again. Brock then notices Paul in the distance and walks over with Happiny in his arms and mentions seeing Paul's brother, Reggie, to which Paul kind of shoots down(not like in one of his conversations with Ash though) Brock then asks Paul why he was wondering about Chimchar before to which Paul responds that he can't believe Ash won't use Blaze. They talk a little while longer before a thud can be heard in the background(took 'em long enough to regroup huh?)
Brock walks over with Paul to Ash's surprise and after yet another heated discussion about training styles, they decide to have a 1v1 match. While Ash ponders who to use, Turtwig signals to him that it wants to battle and so Ash goes with Turtwig. Paul sends out Honchkrow, which Ash looks up on his Dex before the battle starts. Paul starts off with Sky Attack, but since it takes some time to charge Ash has Turtwig use Energy Ball before Honchkrow can fully charge Sky Attack. It doesn't do near enough and Honchkrow uses Sky Attack which Turtwig is easily able to avoid with its quickness. Paul stays on the offensive by having Honchkrow use Night Slash. Ash has Turtwig dodge again and respond with Razor Leaf. Turtwig is able to dodge, but can't get off Razor Leaf quickly enough as Honchkrow comes back with a return Night Slash. Turtwig lands and shakes the attack off as Brock tells Ash he's got to find a way to attack. Paul then tells Honchkrow use Aerial Ace while Ash has Turtwig use Bite. Aerial Ace easily wins and scores a critical hit on Turtwig who is unable to dodge the 2nd Aerial Ace. As Turtwig struggles to its feet, Ash asks it if it can keep on going. Turtwig is able to get back on its feet and then it glows white! When the light disappears, Grotle is in Turtwig's place!
Ash checks Grotle's data on the dex before Paul orders an Aerial Ace. Ash tells Grotle to dodge, but it can't move out of the way in time! Grotle doesn't seem phased however and Ash tells Grotle to dodge the next Aerial Ace coming, but it falls over as it tries to get out of the way! Paul then has Honchkrow use Sky Attack. Ash sees his chance and tells Grotle to use Bite, but if falls over again as it tries to move, allowing Honchkrow to belt it with a powerful Sky Attack. Ash seems confused wondering why Grotle can't dodge it though Paul knows exactly what's going on since he's had a Turtwig evolve into a Grotle before(his Torterra) and mocks Ash for not knowing what's happened. Paul has Honchkrow end the match with Dark Pulse.
Back at the Pokemon Center, Ash looks on sadly as Nurse Joy tends to Grotle. Dawn then wonders what happened to all of Turtwig's Speed when it evolved into Grotle, a question to which Ash has no answers for. Brock thinks that since its body is now 10x heavier than its Turtwig stage, Grotle's body just can't follow along right off the bat since all of the changes happened so fast. Later that night, Ash tries to cheer Grotle up who seems to have lost a lot of confidence in itself, though the words don't seem to be getting through to it.
Grotle gets up and leaves during the night, but not before Chimchar notices this and a conversational between the 2 wakes up the other Pokemon. Piplup and Staravia stay behind as the others follow Grotle. As Grotle tries to get its Speed back up, TR notice this and observe from some nearby bushes. Grotle stumbles to the ground again and again with Pikachu and the other Pokemon catching up soon after. Then something can be heard from the distance and a silhouette of a moving Torterra can be seen. Meanwhile, Ash and co. get their rude awakenings(Ash from Staravia, Dawn courtesy of Piplup, and Brock thanks to Croagunk) as they find out what's happening.
The Torterra finally comes out upon all the Pokemon and all of them seem to recognize it as Paul's, especially Chimchar. It doesn't seem to be in a fighting mood as it talks with Grotle. Ash and co. come up on the scene from a distance and decide to observe rather than intervene. Torterra seems to tell Gliscor to attack it, and after a quick moment of shock and indecision, Gliscor leaps into the air and uses Steel Wing as Ash and all the others look on. Gliscor's attack hits, but doesn't seem to do a thing to Torterra. X-Scissor, a move that should be super effective on Torterra, doesn't seem to phase it either. Brock realizes that even though Torterra CAN dodge, it doesn't WANT to. Gliscor hits Torterra again and again with its attacks and much to the amazement of everyone, isn't phased one bit. Finally Torterra suddenly lifts its front feet up and pins Gliscor to the ground. It then uses Frenzy Plant, but stops the attack right before it hits Gliscor. Dawn realizes that Torterra was just waiting for the right time to attack, much like Piplup's Bide. Brock offers the more frank comparison(heavyweight boxer) which finally lets Ash get what's been going on. Ash knows now that Torterra was showing Grotle how to adjust to its heavier body and a more determined Ash tells Grotle that they'll get the style right together soon. Meanwhile, TR decide to "take a page out of the Grotle playbook" and steal another time.
The next day, Ash tries to thank Paul for his Torterra's action though Paul claims to have had nothing to do with Torterra's actions the night before. The episode ends with Ash looking forward to his rematch with Fantina and Paul walking down his own path and both know that they will meet again somewhere down the road.