An Elite Coverup! (Japanese: 四天王キクノ！カバルドンＶＳドダイトス！！Kikuno of the Four Heavenly Kings! Kabaldon VS Dodaitose!!) is the 170th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 636th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 1, 2010 as part of a 1-hour special alongside DP171 and in the United States on August 21, 2010.
We come across a disguised Team Rocket, pretending to run a Pokémon Day Care and promising they can evolve anyone's Pokémon in two hours! A young boy named Ian agrees to let them do just that. He leaves his Magby with them. Later, when Ian runs into our heroes and tells them what he's done, they become suspicious of such a claim. But when they all go back to the Day Care, it's gone!
Ian immediately decides to tell his mentor, Bertha, about it. Brock is shocked to recognize Bertha as a member of the Elite Four, but Bertha asks Brock not to tell anyone. Bertha begins to guide Ian and our heroes in paying close attention to the details of the situation, and they soon come across the disguised Team Rocket in yet another location, trying to steal more Pokémon.
Some fierce battling ensues, with Bertha teaching and demonstrating the "power of observation." But when Team Rocket attempts to outfit their Pokémon with what they dub "Powering-Up Parts," that is the last straw! Team Rocket is sent blasting off again, while Magby is safely returned to Ian.
Bertha and Ian thank our heroes for their help. Bertha asks if there is anything she can do in return. After discovering she's a member of the Elite Four, Ash requests a battle with her. Although Ash and Torterra lose the Battle to Bertha and Hippowdon, Ash gains valuable experience and practice with the power of observation, and Dawn discovers how valuable careful observation is for her and her Pokémon Contests, as well!
The episode opens in a small town, focusing on a disguisedTeam Rocket running a phony Pokémon Day Care, promising Trainers to evolve any Pokémon left in their care within a two-hour period. A young Trainer with a Magby passes by and Team Rocket easily talks him into it. They take him inside their makeshift shop and tell him about their plan. While the Trainer is excited, Team Rocket fantasizes about giving Magby to the Boss. The Trainer leaves Magby and his Poké Ball before leaving.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends arrive in the same town, en route to Lake Valor. The same boy crosses their path and is excited to notice a cute Pokémon. He takes interest in Ash's Pikachu, which upsets Dawn's Piplup. After quick introductions, Ash lets Roland play with his Pikachu in a local park. Dawn wants Piplup to play too, but he is still upset. When asked about what Pokémon he has, Roland mentions his Magby, which Dawn looks up. When asked to see it, Roland tells about his earlier action of letting the day care evolve it. This instantly gets the group's attention, knowing something is amiss. When Roland takes them to the shop where he left Magby, they find it completely locked up. The building is also bare, with the signs gone. Roland realizes his mistake and needs to inform Bertha. That name gets Brock's attention as someone calls out to Roland. She introduces herself as Bertha. Brock feels that he knows who she is, but before he can say it, she drags him away and confirms she is part of the SinnohElite Four, but to not say anything. Bertha wants to train Roland, but when he says his Magby was stolen, she is clearly upset. Roland is related to Bertha, a child to one of her cousins, and that she was asked to train Roland. She lectures him on responsibility and to correct his mistake. Ash and his friends decide to help. As they walk, Ash and Dawn share their goals with Bertha as she asks about their plan to search, which stumps them as they have been searching aimlessly.
Ash spots a building with an observatory and suggests going there, which pleases Bertha. At the tower, Roland uses a binocular stand to look around, spotting the same shop in a different location. When Ash and his friends confront the owners, they try to deny it, but their disguise fails when the shop crumbles by Jessie's hand. They use pink smoke to cover their escape, distracting the others, but Bertha steps out of the way. They proceed to chase Team Rocket, but Ash suggests to split up and box them in, pleasing Bertha at his planning. They almost box Team Rocket in, but they run down another street into a field. When Ash and his friends follow, they run into a series of Windmill towers. It looks like Team Rocket is safely concealed, but Bertha tells them to observe any disparities. They notice one of the towers not spinning at all.
After being spotted, Team Rocket knocks over the fake windmill tower they were hiding in, inflating their balloon and taking off. Ash sends Staraptor after them with Aerial Ace, but Team Rocket launches a Staraptor mecha after it, striking and knocking Staraptor down. Bertha decides to help them follow, bringing out a SUV and racing after them on a wild ride. When Ash spots the balloon, Bertha sends her Gliscor after it. Team Rocket launches a Gliscor mecha, but Gliscor easily destroys it and the balloon with a Guillotine attack. Once the balloon crashes, Ash and his friends confront them at the crash site.
Jessie and James send out Seviper and Carnivine, which Ash and Dawn respond with Buizel and Pachirisu. Buizel dodges Seviper's Bite and strikes with SonicBoom, while Pachirisu dodges Carnivine's Bullet Seed and strikes with Spark. Another SonicBoom from Buizel strikes Team Rocket, which recovers Roland's Magby. He summons Magby and it takes Carnivine's Vine Whip before it retaliates with Flamethrower. Irritated at losing, Team Rocket pulls out a trick by giving Seviper and Carnivine some power armor, which makes them stronger. Buizel and Pachirisu are easily knocked down. Team Rocket gloats at their power as Ash and his friends are shocked. However, Bertha is clearly angered by artificially powering up Pokémon. This angers Team Rocket into attacking. She sends out her Golem, using Rock Blast to easily overpower the two Pokémon, destroying the armor and knocking them out. While they are all amazed at Golem's natural strength, Bertha has Roland attack with Magby's Fire Punch, sending Team Rocket flying.
Everyone is impressed by Bertha, and Brock slips that she is an Elite Four member. She reveals that she dislikes being called that, but confirms it. She thanks them and Ash requests a battle, which she accepts. On the field, she summons Hippowdon. Ash checks the Pokédex. So he summons Torterra. Ash orders a Leaf Storm, but Hippowdon dodges by going underground. Hippowdon comes up from under Torterra and quickly strikes with Iron Head. Torterra takes it and gets back up. Torterra uses Rock Climb to raise rocks all around and charges, but meets with an Iron Head. The dust consumes the area and all the Pokémon are slowly revealed, Hippowdon still standing. Through the dust, Bertha encourages Ash to be more observant in battle as well as in life, which is a useful skill all around.
Hippowdon goes back underground as Ash observes. He remembers that rocks would shake before Hippowdon emerges. Ash spots the rocks moving behind Torterra, ordering it to dodge and fire Leaf Storm. The move hits, which impresses Bertha, but Hippowdon recovers and goes back underground. This time, Hippowdon circles around Torterra from underground, making it impossible to predict where he will come up from and dodge. Hippowdon strikes with another Iron Head, launching Torterra into the air before biting with Fire Fang and throwing Torterra down, giving Bertha the win. Ash tends to Torterra and accepts the loss, while Bertha encourages Ash to develop his observation skills while praising his ability to take pressure. They all ride off in Bertha's SUV.
When Wurmple evolves into Cascoon towards the end of the lecture, Cascoon is shown with the spikes protruding from its body which, despite being present in its official game art, were absent during all of Cascoon's previous anime appearances. A picture of Silcoon shown at the end of the lecture also shows it with the standard spikes.
This episode also marks the second complete group of Elite Four members that have appeared in the anime. The first group, the Kanto group of Generation I and Generation III, debuted over the course of eight years, with Bruno's appearance just before Ash's first League competition and Agatha's debut shortly before the beginning of the Battle Frontier saga.
This one-hour special marks the 13th anniversary of the anime.