Ash and his friends make a pit stop in Ecruteak City on the way to Mahogany Town. They rest a while in front of a store, and Misty says that they should be meeting up with Sakura here. All of a sudden, an Espeon comes running towards them, and soon after Sakura appears as well. Sakura tells them that her Eevee had evolved into an Espeon, which completes her sisters' set of Eeveelutions. They later go to Sakura's house as the sisters are leaving to meet a famous dance instructor. After her sisters leave, Sakura asks Misty, who readily accepts, to battle her. The two get ready for their match with Brock as the judge of the fight. Sakura fights with Espeon, and Misty sends out Corsola. Espeon starts the match off with Quick Attack. Espeon's speed gives it the advantage, but Corsola's Recover changes the odds. Corsola follows up with a Spike Cannon, seizing the win for Misty. Afterwards, Misty tells Sakura about her latest ventures through the Whirl Islands. Sakura wishes that she could travel on a journey, but admits her sisters won’t allow her to.
Later, at a dance theater, the Kimono sisters meet their instructors, who are actually Jessie and James in disguise. Jessie summons her Arbok. James calls his Victreebel, but it bites his head and accidentally reveals his blue hair. Jessie stands in front of James to hide their true identities as James fixes himself. Jessie and James soon begin a fan dance with their respective Pokémon. The sisters follow suit and send out their Pokémon, but they don’t seem to move much and appear bored. Satsuki apologizes to the teachers, though Jessie and James suggest that Jolteon and others simply need some private lessons. With this, Team Rocket lures the Kimono sisters' Pokémon to another room and the door shuts behind them. Jessie and James usher the Pokémon into another room, and when they reach the center, a trap door sends the Pokémon into a cage below. Umbreon's cries alert the sisters to something suspicious, but when they reach the mysterious back room it is too late. Team Rocket floats into the sky with their balloon, with the stolen Pokémon trapped in a cage. Jessie and James remove their kimono disguises and recite their motto before flying off.
Sakura's sisters rush over to the tea house and inform their younger sister and her friends that Team Rocket stole their Pokémon. Sakura volunteers her Espeon's assistance, and Brock is quick to send out his Crobat to conduct an aerial search. The Kimono sisters and Ash's group also decide to split up to cover more ground. Meanwhile, Team Rocket admires their stolen Pokémon. Jessie counts them and then realizes that she only has four of Eevee's evolutions, and is missing an Espeon. Jessie is instantly enraged and begins shaking James violently to get answers. James admits that the youngest sister, who didn't show up for their dance class, has an Espeon. Some of Jessie's aggression subsides and she orders her teammates to retrieve that Espeon. Ash and the others' search comes up trumps, and they soon come to the same conclusion that Team Rocket might still be after an Espeon to complete their set. Sakura proposes to use Espeon as bait, though her sisters are concerned that Espeon may be taken as well. Sakura wants to prove herself and soon takes Misty aside to come up with a plan to catch Team Rocket.
Sakura puts her plan into motion and has Espeon rest under a tree while she and the others wait for Team Rocket to arrive. From the Meowth balloon, James soon spots Espeon and Team Rocket prepares to capture it. Ash and the others watch as Jessie nets Espeon, but unbeknownst to the evil trio Brock's Crobat follows their balloon. Team Rocket land in a forest clearing and attempt to persuade Espeon into a cage. Espeon's predictive powers lead it to refuse Team Rocket's offers of a drumstick and a necklace. It soon finds the other Eeveelutions caged up and hidden in some bushes. As James prepares to capture Espeon, his target jumps out of the way and onto his head. The Rocket trio turns around and is shocked to see Sakura and the others standing behind them. Misty reveals that Team Rocket fell for the trap, which immediately irritates Jessie. The battle starts off, Espeon and Misty's Corsola versus Arbok and Victreebel. The battle escalates until Espeon uses Psybeam onto Team Rocket, which confuses them. Lastly, Pikachu blasts them off with a Thunderbolt. Espeon uses Swift on the cage in order to break its friends free from the cage and everyone is rescued.
Sakura asks if she can finally set off on her own journey, and her sisters say yes. Satsuki asks if she will be traveling with Misty and the others, but Sakura is set on journeying on her own. Later, Sakura prepares to head for Violet City while Ash and his friends will be going to Mahogany Town. Misty and Sakura promise to keep in contact via email and exchange a handshake. Misty reminisces about how she started her journey, and then, she says bye to Sakura. The pair promise to exchange stories of their travels when they next meet and Sakura sets off on her own journey.