As morning dawns at the Cerise Laboratory, Ren opens a package while Ash and Goh eat breakfast next to him. The package contains a retro lamp, which has returned to Ren from being repaired. He plugs it in and calls out his Magnemite, Francois, to eat electricity from the lamp for its own breakfast. Pikachu tries to offer it some of his own electricity as well, but Francois refuses. Ash and Goh note that Francois seems to only like eating electricity from retro appliances. Ren confirms this and adds that it used to be a lot worse. However, before he can tell how he first met Francois, the lights suddenly turn off, before turning back on several seconds later. Soon after, Professor Cerise explains that the brief blackout was caused by a magnetic storm, a phenomenon created by explosions on the surface of the sun, which can damage power grids and ruin delicate equipment.
Ren receives a phone call from Chrysa, who asks him if Francois is okay and sends him a video that shows Magnemite around Vermilion City behaving oddly. Professor Cerise analyzes Francois and discovers that it's receiving a strange transmission, which is likely the cause of the Magnemite's unusual behavior. When Francois starts behaving strangely as well and refuses to be recalled, Ren wraps the screw on its head in tinfoil, blocking the transmission. Since the disturbance seems to be affecting only downtown Vermilion City, Professor Cerise suggests Francois being evacuated to the outskirts for the time being. Francois, however, shows signs of annoyance. Ren explains that it's gotten so picky that it wants all things that have a retro feel, so he decides to cover the tinfoil with a doorknob cover, pleasing Francois.
Outside the laboratory, Ash and Goh call out Dragonite and Flygon to fly them out of the city, although Ren, having a fear of heights, finds himself uncomfortable flying on Flygon's back. To distract Ren from his fear, Goh asks him to tell how he had met Francois. Ren starts reminiscing of how he used to visit a café, whose proprietor loved collecting antiques and using them as decorations. Francois had also become a regular visitor to the café, loving to eat electricity from its chandelier.
Ren's story is interrupted when a group of Magnemite starts following them. Ash and Goh try to lose them by speeding up, but the Magnemite continue their pursuit and try to magnetically pull Francois to them. Ren desperately grabs Francois and Ash has Pikachu use Electroweb on the Magnemite. This proves to be only a momentary solution, however, as the Magnemite quickly eat the Electroweb away. Goh figures that the Magnemite must be trying to force Francois into join them, so Ash turns around and has Dragonite use Hurricane on them to hold them back while Goh and Ren escape. Figuring that they'll stand out too much in the sky, Goh has Flygon take them to the ground. To fool the pursuing Magnemite, Goh borrows Ren's lab coat and hides Grookey under it to trick the Magnemite into thinking he's hiding Francois. The trick works, and the Magnemite start pursuing Goh as he runs off, giving Ren and Francois a chance to escape. Meanwhile, Professor Cerise and Chrysa try to figure out the source of the strange transmission, which Chrysa manages to trace into space, much to her surprise.
While Goh is cornered and forced to call out Cinderace to defend him from the Magnemite, Ren and Francois arrive back in downtown Vermilion City. Ren hides Francois in a bag, but they are exposed when trying to sneak past a group of Magnemite eating electricity from a car, its bonnet suddenly popping open causing Francois to jump out of the bag. While Ren tries to lose his pursuers, Ash and Goh find the Magnemite they were trying to keep at bay suddenly leaving.
Ren eventually manages to lose the Magnemite pursuing him by having Francois use Supersonic, confusing them long enough for him and Francois to hide in a dumpster. As they emerge from their hiding place, Ren notices that they've wound up in front of the café where they first met. This causes him to reminisce about the proprietor informing him that the café was going to be closed down, which had prompted Ren to look after Francois, since it could no longer eat from its favorite chandelier. However, Francois had refused to eat electricity from any appliance Ren offered to it, including the retro lamp that the proprietor had given to him as a parting gift. When Ren had opened a window to let Francois admire the snow falling outside, it had taken the opportunity to fly away.
The reminiscing is once again interrupted by a group of Magnemite ambushing them. Francois tries to fight them off, but in the process, the doorknob cover and tinfoil covering its screw fall off, leaving it open for the transmission to take over it and cause it to fly away with the other Magnemite. Ash and Goh reunite with Ren just as all the oddly behaving Magnemite gather in a group in the sky and start magnetically sticking to each other. Ren realizes the process they're going through is similar to that of Evolution, but they're not taking on any form that Magnemite is known to evolve into. Just then, they're contacted by Professor Cerise, who tells them that they've traced the transmission's origin point to a man-made satellite, which had malfunctioned due to the magnetic storm earlier and started broadcasting a signal in the Vermilion City area on its own. While the space center is working on shutting it down, Ash is worried that it might come too late, explaining to the Professor what's happening with Francois and the other Magnemite. Professor Cerise theorizes that the satellite transmission must've ended up being something that induces Magnemite evolution, but ended up overloading them and causing them to seek out more of their kind to fuse with than usual, resulting in this attempt at mass fusion, which would leave Francois unable to return if successful. Determined to not let that happen, Ren swears to save Francois.
As Ren tries to think of a solution, he suddenly remembers how Pikachu's Electroweb was eaten away before, and asks Ash to have his Pikachu use Thunderbolt. The Magnemite, seeking energy to evolve, would no doubt try to jump at the chance to eat the electricity, except for Francois, who is a picky eater that only likes retro appliances and refused Pikachu's electricity earlier. Ash agrees and does as told, causing the swarm of Magnemite to burst apart. From amongst them, Ren recognizes Francois and runs towards it, reminding him of how he had run through the snow-covered streets while searching for Francois, eventually finding it, weak from hunger. Bringing it back to his home, Ren promised to look for its favorite chandelier once it got better. This promise and care had finally made Francois eat electricity from the retro lamp, and Ren had given his new friend its nickname as a sign of their friendship.
In the present day, Ren grabs Francois and is shocked by it until he calls it by name. Recognizing its friend, Francois returns to normal, and while it's left ambiguous whether it was some sort of miracle or if the transmission was shut down that exact moment, all the other Magnemite return to normal as well. Some time later, the café is reopened, with the proprietor thanking Ren for his support in achieving this. As Francois finally gets to return to the chandelier it loves so much, Ren reveals that he actually based his Magnemite's nickname on the café's name; Café Francois.