While Ash and his Pokémon eat a bowl of baked goods, at Bewear's den, Meowth looks forward to sampling his limited-edition ice cream. He opens the freezer, only to find the ice cream missing, then notices Jessie holding an empty cup. Meowth confronts her, though she thanks him and dismisses his anguish. Meowth runs off in tears and exclaims his hatred for her. His escape ends when after he falls into a muddy pond, while Jessie and James are out searching for him. An Alolan Meowth helps Meowth out, but when he extends his paw for the Alolan Meowth, it pulls back and lets him fall back into the mud, just as Jessie and James arrive. Jessie asks James to buy Meowth a replacement before they call over the Alolan Meowth, thinking he is their Meowth covered in mud. Wobbuffet realizes something isn't right with Meowth, but he returns to the base anyway, just as Meowth emerges from the mud.
The Alolan Meowth's eyes light up, seeing the stockpile of Berries and the equipment at Team Rocket's base. Jessie says that she is thirsty, and with that the Alolan Meowth fetches her a juice and also notices the box containing James's Poké Ball collection on the table. Without even a command, it polishes and proudly displays the six Poké Balls on a stand, impressing James. The mud-encrusted Meowth confront his teammates and proclaims the other Meowth is an impostor. The two Meowth stare at each other, until the Alolan Meowth bows, with Jessie commenting on its elegance. James flicks through his book, and identifies the darker Meowth as an Alolan variant. Meowth reluctantly translates the Alolan Meowth's speech, which states it would like to join Team Rocket seeing them as ideal Trainers, which only infuriates Meowth. James adds that the Alolan variety is a Dark type, which Jessie realizes would be ideal to use their Darkinium Z Crystal. Alolan Meowth impresses Jessie and James after it performs the Z-Move pose, and then asks if the duo have a Z-Ring. Even without the Z-Ring, Jessie remains determined to have the Alolan Meowth join their team. It replies that it needs more time to consider who it would like to have as its master. Jessie agrees, believing that the Alolan Meowth is still eager to join them.
Suddenly a call comes through from the Team Rocket Headquarters. Giovanni and Matori request their activities report. The Alolan Meowth walks to the center, catching Giovanni's eye in the process. Jessie explains that they are still investigating its power, Matori reminds the trio that she still requires their report, much to Jessie's frustration, before signing off. Meowth's hatred for the other Meowth is growing, though he maintains his anguish with Giovanni's Persian. Seeing Giovanni having taken a liking to the Alolan Meowth, Jessie and James are more confident that they will have new results to report.
Meowth continues to find the Alolan Meowth is suspicious, though his train of thought is interrupted when the Alolan Meowth trips Mimikyu, revealing its real form to him. Meowth falls into an ice cream-filled trance before being awakened by a violent shaking from Wobbuffet. He wakes up to overhear Jessie and James explain to Alolan Meowth about Pikachu and the twerp that stop them. Meowth demands to know what they are doing, but Jessie signals to him that they already have a plan and to be quiet.
Meowth retires himself to Oranguru's place and continues to wonder about the plan. Oranguru refuses to serve Meowth another drink, though concedes after hearing his anguish and inner turmoil, this only causes Meowth to burst into more tears. Oranguru pats his head, and eventually Meowth recovers his resolve with a plan to make the Alolan Meowth seem useless. Soon after Meowth re-enters Bewear's den to confront the Alolan Meowth, he asks it to meet him at the Pokémon School in the next hour before walking away, failing to notice that the Alolan Meowth was just scanning through Team Rocket's member data.
At school, Ash is in the midst of a Double Battle against Kiawe. Lycanroc rushes towards Marowak with Bite, but Turtonator's Flamethrower intercepts. Marowak Iron Head hits Lycanroc, but it is hurt and sent into Turtonator's chest cavity by Litten's Fire Fang. Ash praises Litten, while Kiawe's Marowak and Turtonator argue with each other. Suddenly, Pikachu scream alerts everyone to Meowth who has grabbed Ash's backpack, containing Rowlet. Meowth teases Pikachu before starting to run and everyone gives chase. Meowth makes it to the outside of the school, drops the bag in front of the Alolan Meowth and flees into nearby bushes to hide. The students stumble upon the set-up, and Mallow informs Ash that he is seeing an Alolan Meowth. Just as Meowth had planned, Ash suspects the Alolan Meowth is a part of Team Rocket and goes on the attack.
Alolan Meowth moves the backpack further away before beckoning Ash to attack it. Pikachu uses Quick Attack, but Alolan Meowth responds with Feint, surprising Pikachu and stopping his attack on its tracks. Alolan Meowth then follows up with a Thunderbolt, which sends the group scrambling for cover. Sophocles has Togedemaru absorb the electricity with Lightning Rod. The coast seems clear, but the regrouped students are once again taken by surprise, and fall into a pitfall trap. Ash assures Pikachu that he is fine, but then Pikachu comes under attack from Alolan Meowth before finding itself trapped in a glass capsule. Jessie and James appear and inform Meowth that Alolan Meowth used him as bait for their plan. Team Rocket leave the scene, with Meowth following them in despair. Still in the pit, Kiawe calls on his Turtonator to get them out, though its sheer size begins to crush everyone. Despite Kiawe's warning to avoid Turtonator's spikes, Ash accidentally steps on one while trying to climb out, causing everyone to be sent flying out of the pit by the ensuing explosion. The group's attention turns to finding Team Rocket, and fortunately Rowlet knows the way.
Ash and his friends come across Team Rocket in the forest, who were busy admiring their successful capture and Alolan Meowth's plan. Jessie calls on Mimikyu, while James summon his Mareanie, and much to Jessie's despair it latches onto James's head. Jessie calls for Mimikyu to attack, though its revenge takes control and it frees Pikachu from his capsule. Jessie scolds it, but Mimikyu simply turns to the side to ignore her anguish. James recovers from his poisoning, and has Mareanie use Sludge Bomb, but the attack collides with Lycanroc's Rock Throw. Jessie orders the two Meowth to attack, though the Alolan Meowth pushes Meowth forward. Seeing this as an opportunity to shine, Meowth has his claws ready to attack just as Ash orders Pikachu to use Gigavolt Havoc. Team Rocket calls on Alolan Meowth's assistance, only to find it has abandoned the scene, which Meowth shrugs off and notes it couldn't be trusted. Pikachu attack hits, and Team Rocket are almost sent blasting off, though Bewear intervenes and rescues them instead.
Back at Bewear's den, James says that Alolan Meowth has not returned yet. Meowth is relieved, and assures Jessie and James that they only need him around. Suddenly a call from the headquarters comes through. Giovanni is pleased with their efforts, zooming out to show the Alolan Meowth standing next to Matori. Matori explains that the Pokémon has proven to be crafty and she has since made it her assistant, before the call ends. Team Rocket are left in shock at the latest development. Suddenly another call comes through, this time from the Alolan Meowth. They soon realize that it had used them as a stepping stone to get promoted into a higher rank within Team Rocket, infuriating Jessie, though Meowth manages to shrug it off.