Our heroes’ Decolore Island cruise continues, and the next exciting stop on their journey is Wayfarer Island! It’s a beautiful place that serves as a rest stop for all kinds of Pokémon during their migration. Ash, Iris, and Cilan head off to the mountains for some serious Pokémon-watching!
Their timing is perfect, and they get to watch a group of Metapod evolve into Butterfree and take wing! But after the Butterfree head off on their migration, a lone Caterpie emerges from the woods. It seems Caterpie wasn’t ready to evolve yet, and now it’s alone. Ash remembers that the first Pokémon he ever caught was a Caterpie, and he’s determined to help this one! But there’s a problem: Caterpie isn’t interested in doing much other than sleeping.
Ash reasons that a fully evolved Bug-type Pokémon might be able to help Caterpie evolve, so he sends his Leavanny out to battle it! But when Leavanny’s Energy Ball gives Caterpie a rude awakening, it runs off in a panic. Ash tracks it down and apologizes, and Caterpie decides to trust him. They spend the day climbing trees and playing in the forest. It’s special training, but it’s also fun! And Caterpie even rescues Ash with a well-timed String Shot when he loses his grip and falls.
Ash knows that Caterpie has to eat a lot before it can evolve, so he sets out to gather Oran Berries for his new friend. Unfortunately, they’ve wandered into an Ursaring’s territory, and the imposing Pokémon isn’t interested in sharing its Berries! Ash grabs Caterpie and runs, but when they come up against a dead end, Caterpie decides it’s time to battle. It proves itself to be a fierce fighter, driving off the bigger Pokémon before evolving into Metapod!
But suddenly they have a deadline—it seems another group of Butterfree will soon leave the island, and if Metapod wants to join them, it needs to evolve again, and fast! Special training kicks into high gear, as Ash puts Metapod through its paces, including a long run that leaves Cilan breathless. And then, their training is rudely interrupted by a new threat that swoops down from above—it’s Team Rocket, showing up yet again to steal Pikachu, and accidentally picking Metapod up in the process!
Jessie, James, and Meowth start to fly away in their balloon, but Ash leaps after them and manages to grab onto the side of the basket. As James’s Amoonguss pummels Ash with attacks, Metapod wiggles out of its restraints—and evolves into Butterfree just as Ash is forced to let go! Butterfree catches Ash and puts him down gently on the ground, then goes after the villains and sends them blasting off again!
As the sun rises, all the Butterfree get ready to depart, and Ash has to say goodbye to his friend. It’s a bittersweet moment, but Ash promises they’ll meet again someday as Butterfree joins the migration and heads off to a brand-new life!