The Scheme Team (Japanese: エニシダとバトルフロンティア！Enishida and the Battle Frontier!) is the 132nd episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 406th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 23, 2005 and in the United States on April 8, 2006.
The Hoenn League has ended and our friends must go their separate ways. Tyson and Morrison are off to new adventures; May and Max return to Petalburg while Ash and Brock head back to Kanto. Even Team Rocket goes back to headquarters and reports to a thoroughly unimpressed Giovanni. Butch and Cassidy show off their cool new jetpacks, so Team Rocket demands they get something cool too—and end up with pogo sticks.
Ash is now alone, Brock having headed home to Pewter City. In Viridian City, Ash encounters Scott, a flashy fellow who wants to talk about the Battle Frontier. But first Ash ends up challenging the new Viridian Gym Leader, a woman named Agatha. With typical confidence, Ash sends Pikachu to battle Agatha's Gengar and forgets that as a Ghost-type Pokémon, Pikachu won't be able to hit it with normal attacks.
Although Ash quickly adjusts his strategy and Pikachu does its best, it just can't beat Gengar. Still, Agatha is impressed that Ash at least showed some spirit. It's now that Ash learns Agatha is also one of the Elite Four, so it's great that Pikachu managed to last that long in the first place! Scott encourages Ash to try for the Battle Frontier, a series of seven challenges, but they're briefly interrupted by Team Rocket's latest short-lived Pikachu-snatching attempt.
Once Ash finally makes it back home, he finds Misty and her new Azurill waiting for him—and Professor Birch and Max show up as well! A memorable get-together is in the works...
With the Ever Grande Conference now over, Ash bids farewell to Morrison and Tyson before leaving Ever Grande City. Ash and his friends then head to Oldale Town to say their goodbyes before heading their separate ways. While preparing to eat lunch, May comments on how they are going to miss Brock's cooking when they return to Petalburg City and wishes they could bring some of Brock's recipes with them. Ash asks if they will remember to say hello to Norman for him, and Max promises to do that as well as tell him that that Ash should have won the Ever Grande Conference, much to Ash's embarrassment. Brock tells Ash that they should stop by to see Professor Birch in Littleroot Town. May and Max tell Ash that they will make sure to visit him in Pallet Town some time. Munchlax pops out of its Poké Ball and eats their lunch of onigiri, but Brock had prepared extras just in case. Before May and Max split off to return home to Petalburg City, the four friends say their goodbyes and tell each other to make sure to keep in touch.
Team Rocket returns to the Team Rocket headquarters to speak to Giovanni about the excellent progress they made in the Hoennregion. They are reluctant to face him and are worried that he will be very upset with him but go in anyway. Jessie and James say to Giovanni that they were the ones responsible for taking down Team Magma and Team Aqua, forcing them to disband. Giovanni does not believe them, but gives them a new assignment and says that it is their reward for their hard work. As they are leaving, Team Rocket comments that being convincing does pay off and reward them. In truth, Giovanni gave them an assignment to go to Antarctica to get them out of the way, but the three are none the wiser. Butch and Cassidy run into Jessie and James with motorized scooters and yell at them to move out of the way. Jessie tells them that they were given a top-secret mission and tries to knock Cassidy over. Cassidy tells Jessie that Giovanni was just trying to get rid of them. They continue fighting over what Giovanni thinks of them until a Team Rocket Grunt runs to Cassidy and Butch with some urgent information. He tells them that Professor Namba has a very important assignment for them. Butch and Cassidy go to see him and return with jet packs to fly away to their next assignment. Team Rocket decides that to be able to keep up with Cassidy and Butch, they must come up with a new routine and motto. They grab a Team Rocket Grunt and demand for the equipment that Giovanni had assigned them. The equipment they were given were pogo sticks instead of scooters or jet packs. They head off towards their next mission.
May and Max arrive in their hometown of Petalburg City. Norman isn't home yet since he is out grocery shopping and would be back later, but Caroline is there to greet Max and May. They go to see the Pokémon in the greenhouse and May brings out all of her Pokémon to play. Bulbasaur smells some flowers, Skitty falls asleep in a tree, and the other Pokémon run around and play. Ash and Brock take a ferry back to Kanto and then split up from there to return to their respective hometowns of Pewter and Pallet Town. Ash spots a Poliwag in the lake and asks Max to come look at it but realizes that he is all by himself now. On his way through Viridian City Ash meets a mysterious man named Scott at the Viridian Gym, who asks him if he is there to challenge the Gym Leader. Ash tells him that he has already won the Earth Badge from there. Scott says to Ash that he may be a good enough Trainer to challenge the Battle Frontier. An older woman screams as she falls off of her bike and Ash and Scott go to check on her. The woman introduces herself to be Agatha and is going back inside the Gym. She explains to Ash that she has been at the Gym for six months as the new Gym Leader. Agatha asks Scott how his search for a strong Trainer from the Seafoam Islands to challenge the Battle Frontier is going, and he says it hasn't been easy. Agatha asks Ash whether he is there to challenge the Gym and Ash explains that he has already won a Badge from the Gym and had reached the top eight in Hoenn's League Conference. Agatha and Scott are very impressed, so Agatha asks Ash if he would like to have a Pokémon battle with her for fun. Agatha says that she easily defeated the last two Trainers who challenged her and was looking for a much bigger challenge. Ash is unsure, but Scott suggests that it would be a good idea.
Agatha brings out Gengar while Ash uses Pikachu in the battle. Agatha comments on how Pikachu is very strong. Ash scans Gengar with his Pokédex. Pikachu starts out with Quick Attack which completely misses Gengar since it is a Ghost-type Pokémon, which Ash forgot, to Agatha's criticism. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt as Gengar flattens its body to move under Pikachu and dodge the attack. Gengar uses Shadow Ball as Pikachu dodges. Gengar tries to use another Shadow Ball but Pikachu jumps on top of it and then uses Iron Tail to hit Gengar, sending it to the ceiling. Pikachu tries to use another Iron Tail but Gengar uses Double Team to completely surround Pikachu. Gengar uses Shadow Ball as Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to hit all the fakes and the real one. Gengar uses Shadow Ball again as Pikachu dodges before using Iron Tail to land another hit. Just before Pikachu is about to finish it off with Thunder, Gengar uses Hypnosis and Dream Eater to defeat Pikachu. Ash says to Agatha that he's just not as strong as she is and Scott comments that Ash shouldn't expect to have beaten one of the Elite Four. Agatha explains that the real Gym Leader hasn't arrived yet so she was filling in for the time being.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket had been observing the battle and comment on how strong Pikachu really is. They decide to try to capture it and lower their balloon behind the Gym. Once outside, Scott asks Ash if he is still interested in challenging the Battle Frontier and begins to explain how it works. He explains that there are seven Battle Frontier facilities that are run by Frontier Brains, who are more powerful than Gym Leaders. There are seven Battle Frontier Symbols that are given out, but he needs to earn six of them to find out the location of the secret seventh facility. Ash decides to challenge the Battle Frontier and Team Rocket decides that they will follow him along the way. Team Rocket grabs Pikachu with a mechanical grabber to steal it. Team Rocket recites their brand new motto for everyone. They try to get away but Agatha's Golbat uses Air Cutter to cut the grabber's rope, freeing Pikachu. Jessie brings out Seviper while James brings out Cacnea to attack. Seviper uses Bite while Pikachu uses Quick Attack to dodge and grab onto Seviper's tail to throw it. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to send Seviper flying. Cacnea uses Pin Missile while Golbat uses Supersonic to send it back at them. Golbat uses Air Cutter while Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to send Team Rocket blasting off. Scott lets Ash know that they will be contacting him soon about the Battle Frontier and Agatha says she will support him all of the way.
Ash returns to his home in Pallet Town and is greeted by his Mom, Misty, and Professor Oak. Misty shows Ash her Azurill that Tracey gave to her as an Egg. Mr. Mime also greets Ash and is holding Ash's lunch that he prepared. Ash hears a car horn and looks outside to see that Professor Birch and Max have come to visit him as well.
This is also the final episode of the series to feature Hirotaka Suzuoki as the Japanese voice of Giovanni. He passed away nearly four months after the episode aired. Starting with the Diamond & Pearl series, Giovanni has been voiced by Kenta Miyake.
After parting ways with May and Max, Ash and Brock seemingly walk from Hoenn to Kanto. However, according to the maps of these regions, they are not connected by land or bridge. How they managed to walk from Littleroot Town to Pallet Town and Pewter City in under a day is unknown. Additionally, Professor Birch and Max are shown arriving at Ash's home at the end with his SUV, within hours of Max's return home.
This is the first episode that the Kanto region has ever been called by name in the anime. It was mentioned by Scott when he explained that the Battle Frontier was "throughout the Kanto region".
This is the first episode in which the Pokédex has given details about Gengar beyond its name, species, and evolution. Previously, Gengar's other details were said to be unknown due to its Ghost-type properties.