Erika states the many occupations she holds at the same time, on top of being a Gym Leader, and motions her Bellossom to fill the stage with petals, which immediately swarm over Swinub. The Johto bench fear for their captain after the super-effective Petal Dance. Erika switches Bellossom for Skiploom, who hides behind Bellossom's petals and uses Stun Spore. Pryce responds by tapping his crutch. Swinub delivers a Powder Snow, which manages to go through the petals to damage Skiploom. Erika has Skiploom respond with Synthesis. Just as Skiploom is about to be commanded to attack, the air temperature suddenly drops, and within moments, all the petals drop to the ground as Skiploom faints, meaning that Pryce wins the match and brings Johto back level.
The audience and Erika herself remain confused over what happened. Morty, watching from the Johto bench, knows how Pryce executed the attack, and when Erika subsequently moves off the stage, she appears to notice a flash of light from Pryce's crutch. In the VIP room, the Chairman praises Pryce's strength and thinks he wouldn't be behind Team Rocket's revival. Crystal and Gold are still among the audience, and Gold's suspicion is raised after comparing Pryce's battling with that of the Masked Man, which Gold faced.
Aibo suddenly alerts Gold to someone spying on him and Crystal, and the two give chase to the culprit. They end up inside the Indigo Plateau's central control room. Gold approaches someone in the room, and on a closer look, sees that the person has fainted. A voice states that they now have control of the Indigo Plateau. Gold and Crystal turn to see Carl and Sham, the two that Gold recognizes as behind the Ecruteak incident.
Gold tries to confront them but finds that he cannot move. Carl and Sham proudly announce their leader's intentions by projecting the Masked Man's battle with Ho-Oh, captured live from a pair of binoculars, onto a screen in the central control room.