Ash is approaching the next town on Izabe Island when a sudden surge in the river destroys the bridge he was about to cross. An Absol is spotted in the wreckage, and the locals arrive to capture it. The town's bridges were mysteriously destroyed after the usually reclusive Absol began to appear in town about a month ago, so people now blame Absol for the disasters.
Absol escapes, but the town has hired Absol hunters: Team Rocket in disguise! One boy, Nicky, still believes Absol is harmless—his brother, Gordon, set out to prove Absol's innocence weeks ago but never returned. Ash joins Nicky to find the truth, and they spot Absol just before a geyser erupts from a cliff, stranding Nicky, Max, and Pikachu. To everyone's surprise, Absol helps save the day, as does a Heracross that turns out to belong to Gordon.
Gordon has finally returned after learning more about Absol. With his help, our heroes figure out that Absol was trying to warn the townspeople about the spring that feeds the river. There's much more water in the spring than usual, which means it could burst and flood the town. Sure enough, the water bursts out of the rocks, and it takes everyone's Pokémon working together with Absol to divert the flood with a giant boulder.
A soggy Team Rocket makes a half-hearted attempt to nab Pikachu, but Absol puts a quick stop to that. With their homes now safe, the locals realize that Absol was harmless after all, and everyone is now a little wiser for the experience.
Continuing their trek across the rugged terrain of Izabe Island, Ash and his friends reach a wooden bridge that leads to a nearby town. Pikachu eagerly crosses when the bridge gives way because of the oddly powerful river current, sending him into the water below. However, with a feat of acrobatics, Pikachu manages to leap from the dangerous bridge onto Ash's head. As Ash recovers from the blow, he looks up and an Absol, a Pokémon known for heralding disaster, is standing just on the other side of the broken bridge. As Ash postulates that Absol's appearance is related to the destruction of the bridge, two armed villagers approach the Absol and begin to shout angrily at the Pokémon, claiming it's another bridge that Absol has destroyed. Absol evades capture easily, and Ash and company leave for nearby Riyado Town to inquire about Absol further. Apparently, a spate of minor disasters, including the destruction of three bridges, started with Absol's appearance several months ago. The villagers say that their problems should soon be over, though, because they've hired "expert Absol hunters", later revealed to be Team Rocket in disguise, to rid the village of their problems. Meanwhile, Team Rocket decides to capture Pikachu instead of Absol, reasoning that giving Absol to Giovanni would result in disasters for them.
Right before Team Rocket is about to leave with Ash, though, a boy, Nicky appears and shouts at Team Rocket, claiming that Absol would never be caught by their likes. It's soon revealed that Nicky's elder brother Gordon, had left town to catch an Absol because Gordon didn't believe that Absol caused disasters. Nicky reasons that if his brother can't catch an Absol, then Team Rocket can't either. While Team Rocket leaves on their hunt, Nicky, Ash, and his friends leave for a nearby mountaintop, hoping that from a higher vantage point they would have a better chance of catching Absol. However, just as the party passes some mysterious water-filled rocks and onto Izabe Island’s highest peak, Square Top, Absol finds them. As Absol advances on Max and Nicky, Pikachu cautions Absol with a Thunderbolt. The two Pokémon reach a standoff, but just moments later, a flood of water erupts from the rocks behind them. Max, Nicky, Pikachu, and Absol are swept away by the flood, and the former three are caught on a branch over the side of the cliff. Nicky loses his grip and begins to fall, but Absol leaps to save him, convincing all present that Absol is actually a kindhearted Pokémon. Team Rocket also observes these events from afar.
Just then, the branch holding Max and Pikachu breaks. Ash calls out Swellow, who saves Max, but Pikachu is rescued by a Heracross that belongs to Nicky's older brother, Gordon. Gordon explains that he's been tracking groups of Absol in other mountains to better understand them after saving the life of the wild Absol in his village's mountain. From his research, Gordon made a startling find, Absol only approach human settlements with good reason, that they don't actually cause disasters but often take the blame, and don't attack unless provoked. After some thinking, Brock realizes that the water pressure in the mountain's spring is building. Absol had been trying to warn everyone that the village will soon be flooded, while the increased water flow destroyed the bridges. Just then, a geyser of water erupts out of the side of the mountain, threatening to destroy Gordon's village.
Absol tries to knock over a giant boulder to block the water's path, and everyone present calls out their Pokémon to help, but the boulder doesn't budge. Absol moves into point blank range with its Hyper Beam and successfully diverts the boulder and the water flow, soaking Team Rocket in the process and washing away their ridiculous disguises. Absol, however, knocks Team Rocket away with Razor Wind before they can even make an attempt to capture Pikachu. Afterwards, the villagers are left with the realization that Absol has the power to predict disasters, not cause them, and that Absol is in fact a good Pokémon.