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The episode begins out by recapping the contest which took place last time, Eevee's wonderful display of Shadow Ball and Pikachu's intuitive use of Thunderbolt and Iron Tail are all shown before they recap the battle between Ash's Sceptile and May's newly evolved Blaziken and leaves it right after the explosion from the collision of the very powerful Overheat and Solarbeam attacks launched from each Pokémon.
As the smoke clears we see that both Ash and May are left with the same amount of appeal points, the match is a tie. This is the best result for both Ash and May, they are both happy about this and the crowd gives them a huge cheer, as Ash and May meet in the centre of the field and shake hands. Joy presents the ribbon to ash and May, however she explains that there is only one ribbon so she doesn't know who to give it to but Ash and May have an idea; May grabs the ribbon, throws it in the air and Ash orders Sceptile to use Leaf Blade slicing the ribbon in half so the two heroes can share it.
Outside, later that evening Ash, May, Max, Brock and all their Pokémon are sitting around a bench having some hard earned dinner, Brock places his freshly cooked stew on the bench, May however seems somewhat distant. She speaks up and starts to explain her feelings; she announces that she is leaving to go to Johto to compete in the Pokémon contests there. She continues to explain that she has had a great time travelling through Hoenn with Brock and Ash but she has been thinking about going off to Johto for a while now and the fact they are finished in Johto it's perfect for her and Max to leave.
Max is very upset, he ups and walks off ignoring when may calls over to him, Ash gets up and pursues so Pikachu follows too. Max sits on a swing over the other side of the park, Ash follows close behind and starts to offer comforting words to Max. He knows Max is upset that he will be missing his friends and Max starts to explain how when he goes off to Johto with May he will a whole region away, but Ash says once Max becomes a trainer he promises to challenge him to a battle which brightens Max up and he jumps to his feet to acknowledge Ash. Suddenly from the distance a large horn goes off, the boat which Max and May are supposed to be leaving on is due to depart in 5 minutes! Our heroes run off down the lane to the harbour and luckily make it in time. Max, May, Eevee, Squirtle, Munchlax, and Blaziken all wave goodbye to Ash, Brock and their Pokémon as they sail off into the sunset.
Earlier next morning Ash and Brock come to their crossroads, they look at the sign together, Pewter city off in one direction leading to Brock's home at the gym and Pallet town off in the opposite direction where Ash's family and Professor Oak reside. Except there's one last thing on Ash's mind, his stomach, Ash is hungry already, but as soon as he gets over this he runs off home, while Brock goes his own way. Overhead Team Rocket's balloon is floating by, James and Meowth have a very unhappy look on their face, they are starting to doubt themselves but Jessie puts them back on the right track by offering a few loud words of wisdom. Suddenly out of nowhere sparks of Electricity fly into the sky, Team Rocket get out their goggles and spot the Pokémon thinking it is Pikachu but on a closer inspection recognise it as Electivire. Electivire uses thundershock to knock an apple down from the tree and begins to eat it, Team Rocket poke up from behind a bush and Meowth fires a net from the launcher and grabs Electivire. It struggles under the net and Team Rocket start to pull it in, firing out wild electric attacks which Ash sees from the other side of the trees and runs to try help.
Team Rocket finish pulling in Electivire but then a voice comes from atop the ridge and tells them to let go of the Pokémon they have got in the net and then Ash runs in from the other side and also tells them to let go of the Electivire they have got, but the person from the top jumps down from atop the ridge and reveals themselves, it's Gary. Gary orders Electivire to use Iron Tail, which it does and breaks free from the net, Team Rocket are furious and jump to try and grab Electivire but Gary orders a Thunder Punch which scores a direct hit and knocks Team Rocket away. Once Team Rocket are gone Ash tries to use his Pokédex to get some information on Electivire but there is no data available, Gary explains that Electivire is a newly discovered Pokémon which Ash gets excited about this and challenges him to a battle, but Gary says no and just walks off.
Later on we see Ash arrive home, he calls for his mother at his house, but neither he nor Mr. Mime are around, he runs over to Professor Oak's laboratory but he cannot find Tracey or Oak anywhere, he thinks this is really strange and starts to wander around the rooms and when he gets to the sitting room, all of a sudden Tracey and Mr. Mime jump up from behind a sofa and set off some party poppers welcoming Ash home, while Oak, Gary and Delia come from the door on the other side of the room. Ash presents his mother with the plaque with all the Battle Frontier symbols on and then after the pleasantries re-challenges Gary to the battle and he accepts.
Outside the lab Ash and Gary are lined up ready to battle, Tracey is judging while Delia and Oak watch from the side lines. Gary sends out Electivire and Ash sends out Pikachu, Pikachu starts with a Thunderbolt with Electivire counters with an equal Thunderbolt, Pikachu tries a Quick Attack but Electivire uses the antenna-like things on it's back to jump into the air out of the way and leads into and Iron Tail attack which Pikachu counters with it's own Iron Tail attack. Pikachu tries thunderbolt again but Electivire jumps out of the way yet again, Ash calls Pikachu to use Volt Tackle on Electivire but as it's about to strike Electivire uses Protect and then finishes Pikachu off with a Thunder Punch, Gary and Electivire are the winners.
Gary walks over to Ash and starts to talk to him, he says that he may have won the Battle Frontier but he still isn't as good as him, Gary then announces that he is going to go to Shinou to train his Pokémon and learn more about Pokémon. Tracey and Oak support this decision and back Gary offering him some words of advise, before he looks over to Ash, turns his back on him and wanders off into the distance. Ash sits there and starts to talk to himself about Shinou and the newly discovered Pokémon, Delia watches on and senses the change in his heart, he stands up and announces his move to go to Shinou. As night time comes we focus back to Ash's house, Delia is upstairs with a sparkle in her eye, she is sowing together fabric, talking of Ash.
Morning comes and outside Ash has lined up all the Pokémon he has travelled with in Hoenn, Sceptile, Donphan, Corphish, Swellow and Aipom, he says his goodbyes to Oak, Tracey and his Pokémon but before he goes Oak hands over to him a newly updated Pokédex with all the Shinou information on it. Ash turns around and runs off down the lane, but we focus in on Aipom who looks very sad compared to the rest of Ash's Pokémon.
A boat sails down across the screen, on board Ash and Pikachu are looking out to the sea and towards Shinou, the wind is blowing strongly, strongly enough to knock Ash's hat off which heads to a staircase but stops suddenly, Aipom is there, he grabbed Ash's hat and gives it back to Ash, who welcomes Aipom to the Shinou team. On the side of the boat Team Rocket are hanging on for their lives, determined to follow Ash and Pikachu anywhere so that they can steal it and give it to the boss and they get washed up by a wave as the boat sails off into the distance to Shinou.
Thanks to grem for writing this for us
468: Home Is Where The Start Is
468: The End Of a Journey! The Start of A Journey!
Ash & Co. Part Ways
Ash meets up with Gary
Ash battles Gary and loses
Ash leaves Sceptile, Swellow, Corphish & Donphan at Oaks and leaves for Shinou