Continuing on their journey to Olivine City, Pikachu looks a bit worn out. Brock suggests it's the trudging along this trail that has taken a toll. Just then, an old man appears from beside the path and explains the soil in the mountains contains minerals that absorb electricity. He walks up to Pikachu, kneels down and starts speaking to Pikachu in Pokémon language. Upon Pikachu's response, he stands up and informs Ash that Pikachu is exhausted and cannot walk much further. Introducing himself as Simon, he suggests the crew follow him to his rest stop.
At the rest stop, Team Rocket are sitting on a bench disguised as senior citizens to get a free food discount. However, when they see Ash’s group and Simon coming, they hide under the bench they were just sitting on. Simon directs the group’s attention to a bicycle and explains that it will help Pikachu recovery from his exhaustion. Ash hooks up Pikachu to the bike with the electrodes attached to it. The more Ash pedals, the more electricity is pumped back into Pikachu's cheeks. Simon asks if they have any other Electric Pokémon that need to be recharged, but Misty and Brock tell him that Pikachu is their only Electric-type. Simon later explains to Misty and Brock that he won’t charge for the “recharge” and he’ll waive his translation fee, leaving Misty and Brock surprised. Overhearing the conversation, the Team Rocket trio decides to catch Pikachu while he is still low on electricity. The trio promptly bursts out from under the bench, sending Simon, Misty, and Brock flying up with the bench. The trio starts reciting the Team Rocket motto, but is interrupted by Simon, still thinking they are senior citizens, who offers them some more tea. The trio tells Simon that what they want is Pikachu before revealing themselves as Jessie, James, and Meowth. Meowth soon has an idea and orders his teammates into a huddle. He tells them that Simon has the ability to speak to Pokémon and says that he has never seen a human who could do that. Jessie and James ask Simon if he really can talk to Pokémon, to which he demonstrates by communicating with Pikachu, though Meowth can't understand the pair. Ash asks Simon what Pikachu is saying, however Simon says that Pikachu needs to save his energy and then says that it's almost impossible for most people to understand Pokémon language.
Suddenly, Officer Jenny shows on the scene and claims she doesn't believe Simon can speak to Pokémon either. Brock is happy to see Officer Jenny, while Team Rocket is startled by her arrival. Officer Jenny declares that Simon is under arrest for supposedly participating in a Pokémon scam leaving Ash and the gang shocked. She explains that several Trainers have been swindled out of their money recently by someone claiming to be a Pokémon interpreter and says that Simon fits that description perfectly. Simon defends himself, and after Officer Jenny presses for proof, he replies that she can simply ask the Pokémon to tell her. Officer Jenny is unimpressed and declares that it is simply part of scam. She claims that Pokémon can't understand or speak human speech, to which Team Rocket are disgusted by because they that Meowth is fluent in human speech. Jenny turns her attention to the Team Rocket trio, and mistakes them for Butch and Cassidy. As the trio runs away from Officer Jenny, several smoke bombs explode, blocking Team Rocket's escape route. Jenny asks if the trio is Simon's accomplices, to which he replies that he doesn't know them. Ash asks if Team Rocket sent the bombs, to which they reply that they wouldn't shoot smoke bombs at themselves. The trio decides to use the smoke as cover and escape from the rest stop. Jenny tries to stop them, but as the smoke clears, it is revealed to everyone that the trio has escaped, and Simon is gone as well. Officer Jenny offers to take Ash and his friends to the local Pokémon Center after Pikachu inhaled a lot of smoke, and they soon leave the rest stop. Meanwhile, Team Rocket emerges from their hiding place and they notice Simon walking with a trio of suited men. Jessie considers if they were the ones that let off the smoke bombs, and Meowth suggests they follow them to find out.
At a small house in the woods, Simon is surrounded by a group of Phony Pokémon interpreters and confronts them about their fake trade. The group’s leader is quick to claim that Simon is doing exactly the same, but Simon explains that he is only charging his customers to keep his rest stop open. They tell Simon that he is going to help them continue their scam. Meanwhile, Team Rocket overhears the whole conversation through a window. Jessie and James are keen to make a quick buck and decide Pokémon interpreting can work for them as well. James adds that Pokémon don't say anything important anyway, but Meowth angrily Scratches up his face. Meowth is annoyed that anyone would try to falsely interpret Pokémon, and explains that at least he genuinely knows how to communicate in human speech. He claims that Pokémon never lie, but Jessie and James glare at him, but Meowth is slow to realize that he does in fact lie. Meowth tears up. He declares that he resents his intelligence and explains that he was honest before he learned to walk and talk. Inside the building, Simon angrily says that he will not help the men with their goals. The men decide to keep Simon tied up to avoid their scheme and identities being revealed to the authorities. Meowth weighs up the risks and at his suggestion the trio decides to help free Simon, only so that they can exploit his translation abilities to make them money.
At the Pokémon Center, Pikachu is fully recharged and Nurse Joy tells Ash that Pikachu will be fine by the morning. Ash thanks Officer Jenny for the escort, just before she leaves to continue her civil duties. Afterwards, Ash contacts Professor Oak for advice, and Oak reveals that Pokémon interpreters appear to only exist in fairy tales. Ash then thanks Professor Oak and hangs up the videophone. As Ash wonders if Simon really was a phony, the man himself appears behind him. Simon admits that he knows in his heart that he can understand Pokémon and that they can understand him. Ash tells Simon that Officer Jenny is still looking for him. Simon replies that he was headed to the police station, but was worried about Pikachu's health and came to check on him. He then tries to talk to Pikachu, and gets a response. Simon is glad to see that Pikachu is feeling better. Misty and Brock ask if Simon really can understand Pokémon, to which he replies that he can't understand actual words, but claims that he sometimes thinks he can, but it's just a feeling. Simon claims that once there was a time when he understood Pokémon perfectly, much to the group's surprise. He recalls that 60 years ago, his father placed him into the storm cellar during an approaching twister. As his father checked on the neighbors, Simon began to hear faint noises, and found out that a Pidgey, Rattata and an Oddish were actually talking to him. He spent the duration of the storm talking to the Pokémon, and when he was eventually called to leave the cellar, his new friends were nowhere to be seen. Simon thought to himself that he imagined the entire story, but his belief in his abilities have led him to spend his whole life trying to convince himself otherwise. Ash and his friends are touched by Simon's story as Pikachu comes outside to join them. The group is shocked, thinking Pikachu should still be in bed resting, and Ash asks if Pikachu came outside to thank Simon, and Pikachu acknowledges this with a head nod.
Pikachu's stance changes, and the group look over to see a large group of Magnemite and Magneton surrounding them. Brock suspects that the Pokémon are going to attack, then a cackle of laughter reveals that the fake Pokémon interpreters are behind the ambush. Team Rocket spots the heated confrontation from their balloon. The boss of the kidnappers sends the Magnemite and Magneton to absorb all of the electricity from the Pokémon Center. Nurse Joy rushes out onto the balcony to confront the thugs, but the boss is set on capturing Simon. Ash is prepared to battle the phonies, but Simon decides that he wants to talk to the Magnemite and Magneton. Misty claims that the Pokémon might not understand him, but Simon is certain that his messages come from the heart.
Simon tries to tell the Magnemite and Magneton not to suck up the electricity for the good of the Pokémon. Jessie and James are confused as to why Simon is not speaking in Pokémon language and think he maybe is a fraud, but Meowth tells them to keep quiet so he can hear what's going on. The boss tells Simon that he has kept the Magnemite and Magneton hungry so that they will drain all of the Center's electricity. Simon continues to plea for the Magnemite and Magneton to be compassionate towards their fellow Pokémon. The Magnet Pokémon appear to heed Simon's message and rest on the grass below. The heartfelt scene touches Team Rocket, causing them to tear up. The fake interpreters' boss is unhappy, and as he is about to literally kick one of the Magnemite into action, Pikachu energizes the exhausted Pokémon with an electric attack. The Magnemite and Magneton soar up into the air and deliver a powerful shock to the four conmen just as the police arrive on the scene. Ash, his friends and Simon rush out to greet the police. Simon holds his hands so that they can be handcuffed, but Officer Jenny tells him that she heard the whole story from Nurse Joy. She instead salutes Simon and thanks him for his assistance with the con artists. In a real turn of events, Officer Jenny asks Simon to send a "hello" to the Pokémon on her behalf. Team Rocket are pleased to have not been caught themselves and as they consider themselves lucky, their balloon is hit directly by a bolt of lightning and the trio are sent blasting off.
By daybreak, Simon says goodbye to the group and states that he is going to give up being a Pokémon interpreter. However, the group urges him not to give up, as he might be on the verge of a huge breakthrough, so Simon decides to remain an interpreter. The group then leave the Pokémon Center and continue on their way to Olivine City. Meanwhile, as Simon walks back to his rest house he comes across a Meowth. Simon spots another opportunity to test out his translation skills, and to his surprise Meowth responds back. The pair have a brief conversation before Meowth rushes off suddenly, where he re-joins his teammates Jessie and James who are waiting the overhead cliffs. For Simon, the encounter reaffirms his belief in his abilities, while Meowth is chuffed with himself for helping someone out for once.