The 2nd part of the 3-part Season 10 finale for the anime. It opens with a recap of how the Hearthome City Tag Battle Tournament got underway with Ash and Paul being paired together by the luck of the draw. Ash is soon seen having Staravia attack Turtwig, Aipom, and Pikachu with Aerial Ace and all 3 dodge skillfully. Soon a burst of energy can be seen in the distance that catches Ash's attention. Back at the Pokemon Center Brock offers to help Nurse Joy who is overflowed with Pokemon in need of healing after the first day of the tournament while Conway and Dawn discuss strategy for the next round. Dawn decides to look for Ash as Conway comments that even though Ash is a friend, he is ultimately the enemy in this tournament.
Soon after, Paul is seen giving Chimchar some "intense training" as he later puts it; having Ursaring, Torterra, Elekid, and Murkrow all attack Chimchar at once while Chimchar uses Flame Wheel to defend upon Paul's command. Ash comes up on the scene from behind and wonders what's going on. As usual, Paul tells him off and Ash says(for about the 10th time in the past 2 episodes) that since they're paired together, they should work together as a team. Dawn comes up on both of them and injects herself in the conversation. After a heated discussion, Paul walks off with Chimchar reluctantly following. Team Rocket emerge from the bushes and seem to feel Chimchar's pain and decide they must steal it to stop Paul from hurting it so much.
Later on, the training is still going on and after a Sky Attack from Murkrow, Chimchar is unable to stand at Paul's command and he has Elekid wake it up with Thunder. This is intercepted by Pikachu using Volt Tackle soon followed by Ash and the others with Ash saying that he's taking it to the Pokemon Center no matter what. Paul just shrugs and walks off with the rest of his Pokemon as Ash and Dawn bring Chimchar to the Pokemon Center so Brock can heal it.
After telling Ash and co. that Chimchar just needs rest, Brock confronts Paul and demands to know why Paul is putting Chimchar through all of this. A flashback ensues with Paul describing the day he met Chimchar and how it was chased by 3 wild Zangoose for reasons unknown. After taking major damage, Chimchar accessed Blaze though it seemed more powerful than usual. Brock then understands that this is why Paul has been putting Chimchar through such intense training; trying to recreate the pressure of that moment with the Zangoose. Nurse Joy then comes up saying that Chimchar needs rest and shouldn't battle today in the tournament.
Tournament action is back underway for day 2 with the teams of Brock & Holly as well as Dawn & Conway advancing. Then the final battle comes with Ash & Paul facing 2 other trainers. Ash calls on Turtwig while Paul, to the dismay of our heroes and Team Rocket alike, sends out Chimchar! Ash tells Turtwig to protect Chimchar as he knows Chimchar is nowhere near 100%. Their opponents send out Metagross and Zangoose. Everyone is shocked with a Zangoose on the field as Dawn looks up both Pokemon on her Pokedex while Conway mentions that it will be hard for Turtwig to damage the Steel type Metagross, but that the Fire type Chimchar can if it's healthy enough.
The battle doesn't start out so good as Chimchar and Turtwig can't seem to land clear hits on the opponents. Turtwig finally catches Zangoose with Bite while Metagross tries to help Zangoose with Bullet Punch. Paul orders Chimchar to use Flame Wheel... ON TURTWIG! Chimchar clearly doesn't want to as Ash is furious that Paul would order such a thing. Reluctantly, Chimchar does as Paul says and lands a direct hit on Metagross, but at what cost?
Turtwig is severely injured by the Flame Wheel and Ash is irritated knowing that it's going to take teamwork to win the battle and Turtwig has taken serious damage. Chimchar tries a Flamethrower, but is blocked by Zangoose's X-Scissor and Flame Wheel is stopped cold by Crush Claw. Chimchar seems to scared to use Flamethrower so Ash has Turtwig hit Zangoose with Razor Leaf. This frees Chimchar, but Turtwig lands and collapses; still affected by that Flame Wheel from earlier. Zangoose the fires off a Fire Blast at Turtwig, but Chimchar stops it before it hits Turtwig. It can't hold the flames back for much longer especially with Metagross coming in with Bullet Punch. Ash begs Paul to make a command, but he just turns his back to both Ash and Chimchar! Being desperate, Ash commands Chimchar to use a Flamethrower! Everyone is shocked, but sure enough, Chimchar obeys and blasts Metagross with a powerful Flamethrower, knocking the Steel type out! Then, Turtwig uses its speed to get behind Zangoose and hit it with Razor Leaf and finishes with a Tackle attack, KOing Zangoose. Ash and Paul advance, but things don't look good between Chimchar and Paul.
After the match, Paul releases Chimchar. Unable to bear the visible emotional pain Chimchar is in any longer, Ash invites it to join up with his team. The episode ends with Ash extending his hand out toward Chimchar asking the Monkey Pokemon to join his team. Will Chimchar decide to join with Ash and co., or has it lost all faith in humans thanks to Paul? The final part of the Season 10 finale has the answers.