Ash, Lana and Mallow are down on the beach watching Popplio make its balloons. Popplio creates a big balloon and is able goes inside it. Mallow finds it amazing that even Harper and Sarah could ride in it. Ash is keen to take a ride but Lana advises him that the balloon popped straight away when she entered it. Ash realizes that Pokémon are small enough and calls out Rockruff as a sleeping Rowlet flies over. Meanwhile Bounsweet who is watching along, accidentally sneezes, causing its scent to spread. This attracts Rowlet to fly at Bounsweet, who swiftly deflects Rowlet, sending it flying into Popplio. Popplio and Rowlet both enter the balloon, just as a strong wind picks the balloon up, sending it flying into town. As the balloon flies away, Ash, Mallow and Lana start to run after it as Mallow asks what they should do. Lana becomes determined to find them, and grabs Ash by the hand and drags him up the path with Mallow, Rotom and Pikachu following behind.
Inside the balloon, Rowlet is having trouble keeping calm, sending the balloon in different directions. Rowlet eventually calms down, and realizes they need to get back to their Trainers. As Rowlet fantasizes about going back to its Trainer, Rowlet begins to jump up and down, causing the balloon to eventually pop and sending them falling to the ground. As they fall, Rowlet grabs Popplio by the tail, only to drop Popplio who is too heavy to carry. Popplio continues to fall as Rowlet does its best to catch up, and manages to grab hold of Popplio. However, since Rowlet is using its wings to grab Popplio, their plunge continues.
Outside Bewear's den, Team Rocket are installing a new satellite dish as part of their plan to acquire all of Alola's data and Pokémon. James goes to install a ring on the dish when Rowlet and Popplio crash into it. After recovering from the crash, Rowlet discovers that the ring that James was holding is caught around its neck. As Rowlet begins to panic, Team Rocket recognize them as belonging to Ash and Lana and vow to catch them and exchange them for Pikachu. James orders Mareanie to use Spike Cannon which Popplio counters with Bubble Beam which sends James, Jessie and Wobbuffet flying into a bush. Meowth and Mareanie spot Popplio and Rowlet escaping and chase after them.
Meanwhile in town, Ash, Mallow and Lana wonder where their Pokémon had went, and Ash asks Lana if this has ever happened before but Lana tells him not to worry. Knowing they had gone in this direction, they all split up to find them.
In the forest, Popplio is running and bouncing Rowlet on its nose as Meowth and Mareanie follow. Back at Bewear's den, Jessie and James recover and prepare to go after Meowth and Mareanie only for Bewear to stop them. Popplio and Rowlet are still on the run when Popplio trips on a rock causing Rowlet to bounce off and send them flying off the hill. They are then confronted by Meowth and Mareanie, and Meowth has Mareanie to attack them, only to be burnt by an Ember attack as Litten appears on the scene. Litten confronts Meowth who goes to hit Litten with Fury Swipes which Litten counters with its own Fury Swipes, knocking Meowth out. Popplio, Rowlet, and Litten then head off, with Rowlet now in a balloon that Popplio had made. Litten leads Rowlet and Popplio to the city and under a bridge by the river which it has made its home with Stoutland. After a brief recap of the previous time Litten and Stoutland had been encountered, Litten takes Rowlet to Stoutland and pops the balloon it is in as Stoutland comes off the couch. Rowlet is nervous as Stoutland approaches and sniffs it as Litten and a nervous Popplio look on. Stoutland gives Rowlet a lick and recognizes it as belonging to Ash. Popplio wonders what they will do now and explains that they need to get back to their Trainers and that the ring around Rowlet's neck is preventing it from flying. Stoutland then instructs Litten to return Popplio and Rowlet to their Trainers. Litten isn't too happy about having to do this but eventually agrees to take Popplio and Rowlet.
In the marketplace, Ash, Lana and Mallow meet up having been unable to find Popplio and Rowlet. Mallow had asked a few people but relays that no one had seen them. Rockruff then begins to smell the ground, and Ash wonders what Rockruff is doing. Rotom explains that Rockruff has a powerful sense of smell and is able to distinguish scents which will allow it to trace Popplio and Rowlet. Rotom suggests that they make Rockruff familiar with Popplio's and Rowlet's scents. While Ash wonders what would have Rowlet's scent, Rockruff jumps on his legs, helping Ash to remember that his backpack would have Rowlet's scent as it is always sleeping in there. Rockruff sniffs his bag, and Lana also helps by letting Rockruff sniff her hands to get Popplio's scent. Rockruff finds a trace of their scent, and leads Ash, Lana and Mallow in the direction of the forest.
At Bewear's den, Bewear is sleeping so Jessie, James and Wobbuffet take this chance to rendezvous with Meowth. Meanwhile, Ash, Lana and Mallow are following Rockruff along a path but Rockruff has lost their scent. Ash tells Rockruff not to worry but to keep trying. Sometime later, it is getting late as Ash, Lana and Mallow continue their search, unaware that behind them, Litten, Popplio and Rowlet are walking past. The three Pokémon continue to walk along, when a net falls on top of them. Rockruff hears the three cry out and then alerts Ash, Lana and Mallow that it has found them and begins to runs in their direction.
On top of a building, Jessie, James and Wobbuffet who have met up with Meowth, winch the net containing Litten, Popplio and Rowlet and put them in a cage. Jessie isn't happy at them for ruining their plans as James demands the ring back. They then notice Litten is with them, as Litten growls at them to let them go. James sees that Litten has attitude for posing as a hero, and Meowth invites Litten to join Team Rocket. However, they are met by an Ember attack from Litten, and Meowth reminisces about meeting Litten before. Litten then starts to say something which Meowth translates as being a sad backstory, leaving Mareanie, Wobbuffet and Meowth crying. However, this leaves Jessie or James frustrated as they cannot understand, and Meowth only tells them that Litten is a true leader and has dedicated its life to for the sake of the weak. Meowth then again invites Litten to put its skills to good use by joining Team Rocket. Popplio and Rowlet try to tell Litten not to but much to their shock, Litten agrees to join them.
Meowth lowers the bars of the cage and tells Popplio and Rowlet to stay put but once the bars are gone, Litten uses Fury Swipes to break open the net. Now free, Popplio uses its balloons to surround Team Rocket and Rowlet attacks them with Peck which sends them flying into the air. Litten and Popplio attack the balloons with Bubble Beam and Ember which sends them blasting off just as Ash, Mallow and Lana arrive on the roof. They spot Popplio and Rowlet, and Lana hugs Popplio, while Rowlet jumps up and down to draw Ash's attention to the ring around its neck. On seeing the ring, Ash tugs at it and gets the ring off. Ash then hears Litten's cry and sees Litten. The group recognizes it as being the one they had met before. Litten and Ash stare at each other and Ash guesses that Litten had helped Popplio and Rowlet and thanks Litten. Ash asks how Stoutland is, but Litten leaves.
Team Rocket are heading for the ground following their blast off but are caught just before they hit the ground by Bewear who takes them into its den.