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The episode starts with Ash, Brock and Max waiting by a boat that is due to take them to Evergrande City for the Hoenn League. However, May is missing and Max is wondering what is taking her so long. Brock says when it comes to girls and shopping there is no such thing as time so it is only natural that she is late. Just then, May runs up to them, exited, and says that she just won four airline tickets to Evergrande City.
On the aeroplane, the gang comment on how lucky they are and Brock says Ash will get to Evergrande City much quicker and he will have more time to train. The plane takes off and the flight attendant, who is actually Jessie in disguise, makes an announcement to the four of them. She says there has been a chance in plan and they are now heading to Team Rocket headquarters. Ash, Brock, May and Max are locked in their seats as Team Rocket reveal themselves. They explain how they made a phoney raffle for May to win, which lured the gang into their trap. Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but before it can it is sealed inside one of Team Rocket's electric proof cages.
Jessie brags at how she emptied all of Team rocket's bank accounts to pay for this, something which infuriates James and Meowth who briefly loose control of the plane. Just as they regain control, the plane stutters as it runs out of fuel, Jessie having bought nowhere near enough for the flight. The plane tips forwards and falls below the clouds at high speed. James spots an island and Meowth manages to bring the plane down for a crash landing.
Team Rocket are knocked out by the force of the crash, but it loosens Ash and friends restraints, allowing them to escape. They exit the plane and find that the island is deserted. Max spots what looks like a Venonat behind a bush and all of them are startled when it begins to talk. The 'Venonat' reveals itself to actually be a man named Robin, who is relieved to see the gang and asks if they have come to rescue him. Team Rocket are annoyed by this as they claim that they are the ones in need of rescuing and Robin is saddened as he realises that they only landed here by mistake.
Inside a cave on the island, Robin has collected some fruit for them to eat and is explaining that several years ago he was an important salesman who was sent around the world on business. During one trip, the ship he was on got caught in a violent storm and he was knocked overboard. As no one had see him fall he thought he was a goner, but he was rescued by a Waimer and was brought to this island, which he has named 'Waimer Island'.
At that moment a Waimer appears and Ash asks if this is the same Waimer that saved him and Robin says that it is, and how it always comes and visits him on the island. Team Rocket have now eaten their fill and are preparing to leave, Robin tries to warn them but they ignore him and swim out into the ocean. As they swim further out they get caught in a strong current and are dragged into a massive whirlpool. They are rescued by Waimer who carries them back to shore.
Robin explains how once he tried to escape on a raft pulled by Waimer, but it was quickly destroyed in the strong currents. The gang and Team Rocket are shocked that they might be stuck here, and Ash grits his teeth because it means he will miss the Hoenn League. However Brock has an idea and suggests that they use the plane to escape, by converting it into a boat and making fuel out of the resources on the island. The others wonder how they can do this without any tools but Brock says they can use their Pokemon to help.
The eight of them set to work repairing the plane and gathering things they can use to make fuel. The Pokemon help out with Combusken heating up sheets of metal so Corphish can easily re-shape them, while Mudkip and Glalie cool the metal down down. Grovyle also cuts up fruit that the gang have collected so it is easier for Forretress to crush and extract the juices to be used as fuel.
James is enjoying the work with fresh air and lots of exercise but Jessie and Meowth despise the idea of working alongside Ash and friends. James reminds them that they have no other way of getting off the island, however Meowth comes up with a plan that will allow them to escape whilst still fulfilling their original plan. He says that once the boat is ready they can escape in that, taking Pikachu with them, leaving the rest stranded and no way of following them. Jessie and James like this idea and they also decide to act friendly to the others so that they don't suspect them.
Back in the cave the group relax now that all the work is done, knowing that they will be able to leave the island tomorrow. They thank their Pokemon for their help and enjoy a meal before going to sleep. Team Rocket seem to be acting overly friendly which causes May and Max to get suspicious but they can't think of what they are up to.
Next morning, Ash wakes up early to find Robin is missing. He and the rest of the gang find him on the shore near the boat watching the sunrise with Waimer. He tells them that he owes his life to this Waimer in more ways than one as by bringing him to this island it allowed him to enjoy life more and freed him from his life of work in the city. Max says that seeing as Robin has such a strong bond with Waimer, why doesn't he take it with him. Robin says that he couldn't as a Waimer wouldn't feel at home in the city.
Suddenly a metal claw shoots out and grabs Pikachu. The gang turn around to see Team Rocket standing in the boat with Pikachu in a cage. They recite their motto before making their getaway. Brock yells at them that it isn't time to go yet but Team Rocket ignore him and head towards to whirlpools. As they approach them, to their horror, the boat runs out of fuel again and are once again dragged into whirlpool by the powerful current. The boat breaks up and Team Rocket are sent flying.
Max is angry as Team Rocket have destroyed their only means of escape but Team Rocket says it is their fault as they didn't make the ship strong enough. They attack, with Jessie sending out Seviper and James calling on Cacnea. Jessie tells Seviper to use Bite and James has Cacnea use Pin Missile. The two attacks are blocked by Waimer's Water Gun, which also sends the two Pokemon crashing to the ground. Ash then has Pikachu use Thunderbolt on them and the attack blasts them back into the water.
Determined to escape, Team Rocket climb on to Waimer and try to get it to take them to safety. Robin tells them to get off as Waimer can't cope with that much weight but just then, Waimer start to glow. The gang stare in awe as Waimer evolves into Wailord. This excites Team Rocket as they are confident that Wailord can carry them to safety but Wailord has other ideas and sends them blasting off with a Water Spout attack.
Amazed by it power, the gang ask Wailord to take them past the whirlpools and back to civilisation. Wailord carries the five of them on its back but struggles against the strong current of the whirlpools. Robin shouts encouragement to it and Wailord, determined, slams its tail in the water and breaks free. However, this creates a huge wave which towers over them but Wailord destroys it easily with a Water Pulse.
Now out into the open ocean, the gang come across a passing ship and the captain of it spots them, stopping the engines so they can get on board. Robin realises that it is time to say goodbye to his old friend Wailord, but changes his mind at the last minute and decides to the return to the island, as it has more to offer him than life in the city.
The gang says goodbye to Robin and the episode ends with Ash back on course on his journey to Evergrande City and the Hoenn League.
Thanks to Celibitwo for writing this for us
401: Island Time
401: Let's Go With Survival!
Between Slateport & Evergrande City
None of Consequence