Our heroes are on their way toward Nimbasa City for Ash’s fourth Gym Badge challenge when they come across a Purrloin. Meowth, still traveling with the gang, is entirely smitten with the cutie-pie Pokémon, as are Oshawott and Iris—but Cilan’s previous experiences with a Purrloin were so horrible, he doesn’t even want to talk about them!
With Meowth translating, Purrloin tells our heroes that a good friend is trapped in a cave up ahead, and pleads with them to come and help. Cilan refuses to believe Purrloin and stays behind, but everyone else decides to join the rescue, only to find that the story is a hoax—Purrloin has lured them into the cave to steal Ash’s backpack and food!
Outside, Cilan is waiting for the others to come back when a Trainer named Misha comes looking for her Purrloin. They rush to the cave to confront Purrloin, and with Meowth’s translation help, Purrloin and Misha resolve a serious misunderstanding that had kept them apart.
It’s not all happy reunions, though—just as everyone is about to hug and make up, the ground collapses under their feet, and our heroes are swept away in a landslide! Left on solid ground, Purrloin runs off to fetch help, and manages to convince a flock of Tranquill (earlier victims of Purrloin’s thieving ways) to come to the rescue, and everyone is safe and sound once more.
Meanwhile, Jessie and James continue Team Rocket’s mysterious mission without Meowth...