In a dark laboratory, the scientist Colress experiments on a terrified Galvantula, attempting to increase its power using electromagnetic waves. It seems he is part of a mysterious organization called Team Plasma, which seeks to control the Unova region...
Meanwhile, our heroes are heading for the White Ruins via Floccesy Town when they are attacked by three angry Amoonguss! Ash, Iris, and Cilan fight them off and then take them to the Pokémon Center, where they find the place is packed! Nurse Joy explains that many of the mountain Pokémon have been coming into town and attacking people for no apparent reason, and a Trainer mentions that he’s seen some strangers hanging out at an abandoned observatory near the peak.
Ash and the others set out to investigate, and they’re headed up the mountain when a bearded fellow advises them not to go any farther because it’s too dangerous. He’s quickly proven right when all the Pokémon in the area—including Pikachu and Axew—suddenly turn on the group and start attacking! The man produces a device that shields the Pokémon from the harmful EM waves, and as they calm down, he removes his disguise: it’s Detective Looker of the International Police, last seen chasing down Team Galactic in the Sinnoh region, and now on the trail of Team Plasma! He’s tracked them to the abandoned observatory, and naturally, our heroes decide to come along and help.
When they confront Team Plasma inside the observatory, Colress decides that Pikachu would be the perfect subject for his experiments. It’s a tense moment as Pikachu struggles against the control of Colress’s machine...but the bond between Ash and Pikachu is stronger than any EM wave, and Pikachu breaks free. Colress is marveling at this development when he notices a strange device plugged into his machine, stealing his data: it’s Team Rocket! They grab some of the equipment, which frees all the mountain Pokémon from the scientist’s influence, and flee in their balloon. But a missile from Team Plasma’s airship sends them blasting off again.
Looker realizes that the remaining equipment is set to self-destruct, and quickly gets everyone out of the building before the observatory blows up, destroying all evidence of Team Plasma’s presence and Colress’s experiments. He vows to get to the bottom of Team Plasma’s villainous plot, and Ash and the others wish him well as he departs and they resume their journey to the White Ruins.