Misty, in her Gym, feeds her Pokémon, like Horsea and Seel. Psyduck starts walking by the pool and slips, falling into the water. Misty pulls it out, displeased how Psyduck still can't swim despite technically being a water-type. Misty hears someone and goes to the entrance and meets Tracey. Tracey came here to help Misty, since Professor Oak thought she may need help. Misty admits she wants to teach Psyduck how to swim, but is having trouble doing so since he's aquaphobic. Tracey decides to do so, having a plan about it. At the pool, Tracey motivates Psyduck with slight exercise, even if Misty has to force it. Tracey enters the pool and Misty goes to put Psyduck in as well. However, after soaking its feet, Psyduck panics and runs away in fear. To adapt Psyduck, Misty and Tracey put a tube around it, so it can't be frightened in the water. Soon, they remove it and try to get Psyduck in the water, but it starts running away once more.
Just then, a trainer comes into the gym with their pokemon—this trainer turns out to be Misty's old friend, Sakura, who has come with her Espeon. Misty's happy to see Sakura again and introduces her to Tracey, who Sakura initially assumes in Misty's boyfriend. Misty explains that Tracey's just a friend of hers, who she and Ash Ketchum had met while traveling through the Orange Islands, and he's now working as Professor Oak's assistant. Sakura explains to Misty that she's planning on competing in a pokemon tournament that requires trainers to have at least five badges—Sakura has three of the five required badges, and wants to battle Misty to get a Cerulean City-gym badge. Misty agrees to battle Sakura, but notices that the gym is out of badges. Misty calls her sisters and asks where she can get more badges, and Daisy, Violet and Lily explains that the badges that they get for the gym are actually custom-made by an artist from Rifure Village.
Learning this, Misty (with Tracey and Sakura and their pokemon in tow) lock up the gym and give the keys to Nurse Joy, who also reveals that Gyarados is on a diet, so nothing like between-meal-snacks. The group moves on and, before the night, Misty notices they are close to the village, according to the map. Suddenly, Espeon runs off and the group finds a man lying on the grass. They carry the map up, who has been doing his morning practice, by leaping from tree to tree, and fell down and twisted his ankle. The man thanks them for assistance, while the group asks if he knows if there is a person making Gym Badges. The man replies he is that person, introducing himself as Kinso. Misty reveals that she's the current gym leader for Cerulean City, and Kinso reveals that he's met Misty's sisters. Misty explains that her gym's out of badges, and asks if he has at on hand for her. Kinso's insulted by this, and claims they have to work hard to earn such badges. Tracey and Sakura decide to help Misty in this task.
Next day, in 4 AM, Kinso wakes the group (who is half-asleep) and orders them to run around a mountain, to "improve circulation". Sakura, Misty and Tracey start running, but soon get exhausted. After having done the task, Kinso orders them to chop wood, remove metal from the fire oven and shape it. After polishing the metal, the group sees they made Cascade Badges. Kinso is not pleased, as they must be perfect. The next day, Kinso has the group do the same routine again. After the last task, Kinso has the group paint the badges, pleasing them, before sending them to run around the mountain. After they return, Kinso has them paint the badges them once more, allowing the badges to shine well. However, before letting them have the badges, Kinso decides to battle Misty.
Kinso sends Feraligatr and Misty goes to send Corsola, but Psyduck comes out. However, Feraligatr scares Psyduck, who runs off and falls into a lake. Misty grabs Psyduck and pulls it out, but Kinso, seeing Psyduck cannot swim, refuses to give Misty the badges. Tracey reminds them they worked too hard to give up, so decide to teach Psyduck to swim. However, Psyduck is afraid again and runs off and bumps into Kinso, who was shocked. The group visits Kinso, who reports he was robbed. Kinso thinks he was robbed by some people, who steal badges, rather than earning them the fair way, even sometimes selling them. Sakura sends Beautifly to find the thieves. Soon, Beautifly finds the thieves, who claim it is much easier to earn badges this way. The thieves encounter the group, who demand the badges back. The thieves send Poochyena and Zigzagoon, which Tracey starts making drawings of.
Espeon tackles Poochyena and dodges Zigzagoon's Heabutt. Psyduck attempts to scratch, but spins around and fails. Espeon uses Swift, which Poochyena dodges. Poochyena tackles Psyduck and bites it on its head. However, it activates Psyduck's abilities, as Psyduck uses Disable, countering Zigzagoon's attack and sending it and Poochyena off. Using Confusion, Psyduck bashes the thieves and their Pokémon to a tree. The thieves kneel and apologize for the trouble. Kinzo is disgusted, but lets them run off, since they promised not to steal any more. Later, Kinso is pleased with Misty's Psyduck and decides to give them the badges, since she proved her worth. Kinso reminds Misty to be a Gym Leader, people expect of them to be courageous and support their friends in the time of need. With the badges obtained, Sakura asks Misty for the battle.
At the Gym, Corsola attacks, but is tackled by Espeon. Corsola uses Spike Cannon, but Espeon dodges and dives. Misty is surprised Espeon can swim and tells Psyduck it can learn something from Espeon, who gets hit by Swift. Corsola uses Recover and tackles Espeon. Espeon dodges Corsola's Spike Cannon and tackles Corsola, defeating it with Psybeam. Sakura wins the battle, so Misty gives Sakura the Cascade Badge. Sakura is glad and gives the badge Sakura made to Misty. Sakura sets off with Tracey, wanting to meet Professor Oak and bids Misty farewell with Tracey.
- Misty reads the title card in the episode.
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