This is one of the few episodes storyboarded by executive producer Kunihiko Yuyama.
Crossing Paths (Japanese: さよならドクケイル！Goodbye, Dokucale!) is the 73rd episode of Diamond & Pearl series, and the 539th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 3, 2008, along with DP074 as a one-hour special and in the United States on August 23, 2008.
Dazzled by dreams of success, Jessie and Dustox train on the shores of a beautiful mountain lake. Jessie's Dustox is then distracted by an unfamiliar Dustox—this one belongs to Austin, a Trainer who tells Jessie about the Dustox Crossing. At this time of year, Dustox pair off over the lake and migrate over Mt. Coronet; after hearing this and seeing her Dustox's obvious crush on Austin's Dustox, Jessie begins to muse on her past.
As a teenager aiming for stardom, Jessie chose auditions over a chance to leave town with a boy named Astin. But Jessie didn't pass her auditions, and she still wonders what would've happened if she'd gone with Astin instead. She's determined now to stop Dustox from making the same mistake she did!
A sudden mountain storm damages the lake, causing the water to leak. That means no lunar reflection on the lake's surface, and without that reflection, the Dustox won't come to the lake for the Crossing. For Dustox's sake, Jessie immediately starts to repair the damage, and even Ash and his friends help in the effort. Jessie and Austin then have their Dustox team up to transport the overflow water back into the lake, and the Crossing can continue as normal.
Jessie's Dustox starts to fly away with Austin's Dustox, but it turns back at the last minute and returns to Jessie. To force it to go, Jessie grabs Dustox's Poké Ball and smashes it to bits, telling Dustox to go follow its heart. As Dustox flutters off for good, Jessie's own heart is quietly breaking—but she hopes that her Dustox will find love and happiness.
Pikachu and Piplup are singing as they walk along a path. Piplup stops suddenly, and Dawn asks it what the matter is. Piplup's stomach rumbles and Ash comments that Piplup is hungry and Brock says that there is a Pokémon Center nearby, so the group race ahead, much to Piplup's disappointment. Meanwhile, Team Rocket contemplate their lunch, and Jessie asks James and Meowth to tell her when they have finished making it from the fruit on the trees and then goes off to train for the next Pokémon Contests. The group reach the edge of the forest and come out to the edge of a picturesque lake with the Pokémon Center on the shore nearby.
Jessie calls out Dustox, which is wearing yellow ribbons on her antennae that match the ones in Jessie's Contest disguise. Jessie goes on about how they will win another Ribbon, while James and Meowth comment on how she has gained confidence since her last win. Dustox then notices something and flies off with Jessie trailing behind. Eventually Dustox reaches a lake, and Jessie sees it flying in circles with a ShinyDustox. The dust from their wings forms a heart shape. The other Dustox's Trainer comes out from behind a tree and introduces himself as Austin. He tells Jessie that when there is a full moon, Dustox from all over the area pair up and fly over Mt. Coronet in a large arch-like formation. Austin says that he will see Jessie that night, and calls his Dustox to him as he walks off. Jessie watches them go, and then looks up as a flock of Pidgey fly past.
Sitting by the lake, Jessie discovers that her Dustox is madly in love and recalls her younger self. She was preparing to audition for the theater with two friends. Then she is walking along next to a lake with a boy who looks remarkably like Austin. He tells her that he is leaving to become a Coordinator, and suggest that she should come with him. She declines, since her audition is in a couple of days. At the audition her friends are accepted but Jessie is not, bringing her to tears. Jessie then wonders what would have happened if she had gone with Astin that day. Just then a large storm brews and a bolt of lightning strikes a tree. Dustox flies into Jessie pushing her back, just as a rock breaks where she was standing. Dustox looks on worriedly at Jessie, who has been knocked out.
Back at the Pokémon Center, the group is watching the storm in amazement. Nurse Joy says that she hopes that it won't affect the Dustox crossing, and Brock tries to win over Nurse Joy, but Croagunkjabs him and drags him away. Ash and Dawn ask Nurse Joy about the crossing, and Brock says that he is interested as well, causing Dawn to comment that he recovers quickly. Joy explains, while Brock begins to swoon again, but is quickly stopped by Croagunk. At that point Austin runs in and tells them that the trees by the lake have been struck by lightning, and the water is flooding out of the lake. Back at the lake Jessie fantasizes about accepting Astin's offer to come with him, but when he turns around he turns into Wobbuffet. Jessie wakes up and thanks Dustox for saving her, then notices that the edge of the lake has been destroyed and the water is flooding out. She wonders what will come of the crossing, and then explains to James and Meowth that she has decides to let Dustox go with its love.
The group then arrives at the lakeside, and Austin says that he wanted his Dustox to join the crossing this year. Joy says that the crossing may not happen this year, then Ash suddenly runs towards the water. The rest of the group then follow him. When they reach the water's edge they see Team Rocket piling rocks up to try to create a dam. Team Rocket start their motto, but Jessie cuts it short and demands that they help stop the water. After a quick chat about how if the lake drains the crossing won't happen, the group resolve to work together. Ash calls out Turtwig, Chimchar and Buizel, while the others call out all their Pokémon. Everyone works together to dam the flow, with Happiny carrying rocks much larger than itself. Joy suggests that to finish the dam they need to spray it with water and then freeze it with Ice Beam. Buizel uses Water Gun and Piplup uses Whirlpool, hitting the Water Gun and soaking the rocks. Buneary then uses Ice Beam to freeze the dam, finally stopping the flow.
As the group cheer, Joy points out that the lake is much lower than usual, and it is thought that the melting snow raises the water level to reflect the full moon in such a way as to attract the Dustox. Buizel uses Water Gun and Piplup uses Whirlpool, pushing snow down, while Chimchar uses Flamethrower to melt it. Joy still isn't sure if there is enough water in the lake. The Dustox both look down at the water had flowed out of the lake. Austin suggests that his Dustox could lift the water up with Confusion, and Jessie suggests that her Dustox could use Whirlwind to blow it back into the lake. James is skeptical, but they decide that it is worth a shot. As they finish the lake begins to glow orange. Jessie and Austin congratulate the Dustox.
That night, Joy says that the conditions are perfect for the crossing. Jessie tells Dustox to go, and both Dustox begin to fly across the lake, but then Dustox flies back to Jessie. She remembers trying to catch up with the bus as Astin left when she was a child tripping and crying upon realising she let her true love leave without her. Dustox still refuses to leave but Jessie doesn't want Dustox to make the same mistake she did in missing out on her one chance at true love so she drops its Poké Ball on the ground and then steps on it, crushing it fully releasing Dustox, telling it to go with its love. Dustox sadly flies off and Jessie starts to cry, remembering back to when she caught her as a Wurmple, and when she was a Cascoon, and finally winning her Ribbon with her as a Dustox. She calls out to Dustox telling her to go fall in love with all of her heart and to do it for the both of them. James and Meowth also say goodbye. The Dustox then form the golden arch and start to fly away. Austin and Jessie then say one last farewell to their Dustox. The narrator comments on the bond between Trainer and Pokémon then suggests that one day Jessie will find her love as well as the episode draws to a close.
The Pokémon in question mates with a Shiny Pokémon of its species.
In addition, Dustox's yellow ribbons could be seen as a reference to Butterfree's yellow scarf.
Jessie's Dustox's gender is confirmed to be female in the Japanese version of this episode, when Austin refers to her as his Dustox's "bride" near the end of the episode.
When Ash calls out "everybody" from his party to help stop the lake from draining, the only Pokémon he calls out are Buizel, Chimchar, and Turtwig. Gligar and Staravia weren't called out and Pikachu, of course, was already out.
Jessie's name is never mentioned in front of Austin, yet he uses her name to say she's right.
In the Finnish dub at one line, Nurse Joy speaks with Jessie's voice.
The song Piplup and Pikachu are singing during the cold open is vastly different in the dub. This means that Pikachu's voice was either altered from the original, or had to be re-recorded exclusively for the dub.