With his new Glacier Badge in tow, Ash now heads to Blackthorn City with Misty and Brock. Along the way, they meet three Oddish who look like they seen better days. Turns out a group of Vileplume and Bellossom fighting war style. After running away, they meet Steven who explains that the reason for this war is Branch Evolution and how Gloom can evolve into either Vileplume or Bellossom depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then a big storm hits. Can Ash and co. stop this war and the madness?
As Ash admires his Glacier Badge, he knows he has to win the 8th badge at Blackthorn Gym. Suddenly, Pikachu spots three injured Oddish. Brock gives them some food, which they gladly eat. Misty sees they like eating as much as Ash does. The heroes see Oddish are pointing at a hill, so they go to investigate. They go to a giant tree, which Brock thinks it is at least 150 years old. They watch as a pair of Bellossom fight a pair of Vileplume. Pikachu tries to stop them, but gets bounced off. Ash sends Bayleef, whose Vine Whip separates the groups. Ash orders the groups to apologize, but Vileplume and Bellossom leave the area in anger. A man comes, thanking them for stopping the fight. The man notices the Oddish are healthy, so Brock tells he gave some food for recovery.
The man introduces himself as Steven, who does research on Grass Pokémon. Steven admits that it is unusual that the Grass Pokémon fight against one another, even if they have lots of space and sunlight. Brock admits it is unusual that Vileplume and Bellossom fight against each other. He explains that Oddish evolves into a Gloom, who can evolve into Vileplume with a Leaf Stone, but also into a Bellossom with a Sun Stone. Steven tells that is a branched evolution, while Brock clarifies Gloom can evolve into either of those Pokemon, with the correct stone. Misty thinks there must be a lot of stones around. Steven tells it is determined by the wind. Knowing that wind blows northeast, the Gloom evolve into Vileplume. The heroes wonder how he'd knew that. Steven tells them that northeastern wind causes Gloom to evolve into Vileplume, while northwestern wind forces them to evolve into a Bellossom. Steven believes the wind contains pieces of the stones and Gloom evolve depending on the wind direction.
Steven thinks that the wind carries enough stone pieces for evolution. Ash and Misty are amazed by that fact, but Steven tells it is a problem, as Vileplume and Bellossom fight each other after the evolution. Vileplume use Stun Spore, so Steven gives the heroes and their Pokémon some inhalation masks. Bayleef uses Razor Leaf, followed by Vine Whip, ending the fight. Steven knows that peace will not last long, hence why most of the Oddish left. Ash knows there has to be a way to end the dispute. Team Rocket goes to eat sandwiches, but the Bellossom and Vileplume fight against each other, with them in the middle. With Stun Spore, Jessie and James get paralyzed, so Meowth goes to search for a herb to heal them; the Salveyo Weed. Meowth sneaks into a nearby lab and finds the medicine. Meowth gives them the medicine, making James and Jessie happy, but are not pleased by the Vileplume and Bellossom. Meowth thinks they should capture them, as they would keep the boss some company and make him relaxed, while giving Team Rocket a promotion. Jessie and James like the idea.
Steven takes the heroes to the tree and explains that it leaves a shadow behind. The shadow moves as the day goes, so the Vileplume and Bellossom migrate, which ends up causing a fight. The wind blows northwest, as Gloom evolve into Bellossom, then attack Vileplume. Ash sends Bayleef, who stops the fight. As the fight ended, the heroes notice three Vileplume and three Bellossom, who do not fight, making Misty glad they don't. Team Rocket discusses their next plan, arguing which bot should be made. Suddenly, they get into another fight with Vileplume and Bellossom. The heroes see they need to force the Vileplume and Bellossom to stop fighting, but see that they must see fighting is not an option. Steven reports there will be a storm, as the wind blows to northeast. Steven thinks that Vileplume should win, as that would mean an end to the fighting.
Misty still thinks that neither side should win. Ash sees Bayleef is worried about the Grass Pokemon. With the storm present, the Gloom evolve into Vileplume. However, Steven notices the wind changes directions, causing Gloom to evolve into Vileplume or Bellossom. The heroes see a major battle is evident. The heroes and Steven rush and try to reason with Vileplume and Bellossom. The heroes put their masks on for Stun Spore. As they go to stop the Vileplume and Bellossom, a bomb falls. Team Rocket appears and tells they will capture both groups. Misty ask how they'll do that. James wishes they had a Vileplume bot and Meowth wanted a Bellossom bot, but they have a bag to capture them. However, Vileplume and Bellossom charge, fighting against each other. The heroes see they need to leave them to battle each other, as they must see for themselves battling will not get them anywhere. Jessie and James try to catch some, but their mask hoses get cut, causing them to be paralyzed.
Once the battle ended, neither side won. The heroes point out they did not have to battle, then show the three Vileplume and Bellossom, who chose not to fight. Meowth corrects them, as the Vileplume wanted to become Bellossom and vice versa, so they don't want to battle the Pokemon they wanted to evolve into. Misty knows they became Vileplume and Bellossom for a reason and they need to accept that gift and use it to the fullest potential, while Ash and Brock point out they started as Oddish and evolved as Gloom. Suddenly, Jessie and James put Vileplume and Bellossom into the bag. The friendly Vileplume and Bellossom use Stun Spore, but Team Rocket has the masks. They send Arbok and Victreebel, but since they do not have masks, they get paralyzed. The Vileplume and Bellossom attack Team Rocket, while Bayleef blasts Team Rocket off with Vine Whip.
With everything in order, the Vileplume and Bellossom live in harmony. The heroes leave Steven and the Grass Pokemon, continuing towards Blackthorn City.
- The original Japanese version of this episode features a different version of Team Rocket's motto while the dub uses the standard lines.
- Also, the original Japanese version of Meowth's "boss fantasy" uses romantic-sounding saxophone music in the background.
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