Ash and his friends run into a Pokémon Center to watch a big battle on the TV: Champion Cynthia defeating Elite Four Aaron! Paul is at the Pokémon Center too, and all he wants to know is whether Ash is using Chimchar's Blaze ability. While Ash has his Pokémon train against each other to prepare for the Hearthome Gym Battle, Paul quietly watches from the sidelines. Brock notices Paul and tries to talk about Paul's brother Reggie, but Paul doesn't want to hear about Reggie; he's angry that Reggie stopped battling after losing his final Battle Frontier challenge.
During a break in Ash's training, Paul comes over and gets on Ash's nerves again. Even worse, Paul taunts Ash with the badge he already won at the Hearthome Gym! As usual, the two Trainers get into an argument, and Ash wants another battle. It'll be a one-on-one, Turtwig against Paul's Honchkrow, with Paul's other Pokémon watching the match. Turtwig's speed helps it dodge Honchkrow's attacks, but Turtwig is still taking a lot of hits. Just when things are looking grim, Turtwig evolves into Grotle. However, Grotle is much bigger, and it can no longer dodge as quickly as Turtwig—so it's an easy win for Honchkrow. Strangely, even after the battle, Paul's Torterra seems preoccupied by Grotle's defeat.
That night, Grotle sneaks out of the Center to train alone. It wants to get its old speed back, but its body just can't run as quickly as it did before. Ash's Pokémon come out to watch, and Paul's Torterra emerges from the bushes as well. With Gliscor's help, Torterra demonstrates how to endure attacks without dodging, then strike at just the right moment. Grotle understands that Torterra is telling it to develop a different fighting style that suits its new form. The next morning, Ash tries to thank Paul for Torterra's help, but Paul brushes him off—what Torterra does is its own business! Paul may never change, but Ash is ready to switch things up and win his next Gym battle. Now it's back to Hearthome for him and his friends!