In the Pokémon School grounds, Lana shows Lillie and Mallow her perfected Z-Move pose as she performs Oceanic Operetta with Primarina. The girls congratulate Lana on the hard effort, and Lana replies that practice makes perfect. Professor Kukui walks over and asks the trio if they are participating in the upcoming Pokémon League. Lana is quick to reply a resounding yes, and with her encouragement Lillie and Mallow decide to compete as well. Meanwhile, the boys are also in the middle of practicing their own Z-Moves. Sophocles has Vikavolt fire off a Signal Beam, landing a direct hit on Kiawe's Turtonator. Sophocles attempts to use Savage Spin-Out, but he forgets how to do the correct pose properly and fails to pass on the fully fledged Z-Power to Vikavolt. Ash explains that Sophocles wasn't in sync with Vikavolt at all. Sophocles turns to his computer for answers, though his analysis and simulation appear correct. Professor Kukui steps in and suggests that some actual practice would be better. Kiawe adds that he will host a Z-Move boot camp at his home. Ash is thrilled by the idea and Sophocles decides to join them, namely for the Moomoo Milk ice cream. Lillie invites the other girls over to her place so they can practice as well. Kukui encourages his students to give it their all.
The boys arrive at Kiawe's family farm, though Sophocles is shocked to learn that they will actually be camping in the surrounding forests instead. Kiawe explains that the isolated location will allow them all to concentrate on their training. Kiawe's younger sister Mimo is keen to come along, but Sima reiterates that the boys aren't camping for fun before taking her daughter away by the hand. Kiawe escorts his friends up to an ancient altar where people once worshiped Wela Volcano. After setting up their tent, the boys call out all of their Pokémon to enjoy the fresh air. Though Sophocles is already struggling to catch his breath and complaining of hunger.
Over at Lillie's manor, the girls have paused to enjoy some morning tea while their Pokémon play in the backyard. Meanwhile, Ash and the guys have begun their training. The trio stand directly under a flowing waterfall, which Kiawe explains is to build up stamina and mental strength. They go on to a quick rock climb followed by a swinging log obstacle course. However Sophocles is struggling from all the strenuous activity and queries if they are any other ways to learn to launch Z-Moves. Kiawe replies with absolutely not, and Ash adds that his enthusiasm into the mix. However the abstract tips leave Sophocles perplexed and he begins to feel absolutely hopeless. Kiawe states that he will definitely be able to learn something under the watch of the great Wela Volcano, yet Sophocles demands a more scientific solution. He calls over Vikavolt and Togedemaru to leave, but his Pokémon are too busy practicing. Sophocles watches as Vikavolt charges towards Turtonator with his large jaws. He is now feeling inspired and apologizes to his friends for giving up. Despite his newfound enthusiasm, Sophocles is quickly knocked away by one of the swinging logs.
The boys return to their campsite where Sophocles falls onto his knees, wondering why the training is simply not working. Ash and Kiawe are equally concerned, though Kiawe notes that this is something that Sophocles will have to figure out on his own. Sophocles's stomach suddenly grumbles and his attention turns to food once again. Much to his surprise, Sima and Mimo walk over carrying baskets of food for the camp. After the delivery, the pair return home and Kiawe is left feeling neglected by his sister again. The feed instantly replenishes everyone's energy levels. Turtonator offers Togedemaru some of its own dinner, whereas Marowak swipes Pikachu's bowl for an extra helping. Pikachu quickly realizes and tries to snatch his food back. Luckily Turtonator pulls Marowak up, though Marowak replies with a Headbutt, only to find itself trapped in Turtonator's shell opening.
Kiawe is unimpressed to see the Marowak squabbling with Turtonator again, and he admits that Turtonator has always been compassionate ever since they first met. Kiawe reveals that he first encountered during one of his milk deliveries. Turtonator was in a battle with a Crawdaunt and collapsed after being hit by several Water attacks. Kiawe and his Charizard landed to attend to the injured Turtonator, however he refused their assistance and began to walk off. Crawdaunt challenged Turtonator and scared off the other wild Pokémon. Kiawe continued to watch each day as Turtonator unrelentingly took on Crawdaunt, who had taken possession of a local pond for itself, and lost. Kiawe again offered his assistance and handed Turtonator a remedy Moomoo Milk drink. The kind gesture led Turtonator to develop a trust for Kiawe, and the pair began to practice together. Turtonator learned Shell Trap during the training sessions and the new move helped him to defeat the troublesome Crawdaunt. Kiawe wished Turtonator all the best, but as he and Charizard were preparing to set off, Turtonator stepped on Charizard's tail to stop them from leaving. Kiawe quickly realized that Turtonator wanted to join him, so he caught Turtonator. The story of friendship leads Sophocles to question his own bonds with his Pokémon. After Togedemaru and Vikavolt approach their Trainer, Ash points out that Sophocles also has a strong bond with his Pokémon.
While everyone is sound asleep for the night, Kiawe disturbs Rotom to ask for its assistance. Kiawe also calls on Turtonator for help, and the trio prepare something for the following day. The morning arrives and Kiawe calls Ash away to help him with another task. He orders Sophocles to pick up sticks. Sophocles queries why, and Kiawe replies that he will explain later before he and everyone walk away. Rotom is overly nervous and offers Sophocles advice to hang in there, but the odd statement doesn’t reveal anything. As Sophocles and his Pokémon set about collecting sticks, Kiawe and the others wait in hiding. A Crawdaunt emerges from the nearby lake. Ash is keen to rush into help, but Kiawe reminds him that the practice against a strong opponent like Crawdaunt may help. Sophocles calls out for his friends, though no one responds. Crawdaunt approaches with a Crabhammer, though Vikavolt intercepts it. Crawdaunt tries to strike Vikavolt with its claw, but its target evades. However a follow-up Aqua Jet knocks Vikavolt to the ground. Sophocles call for a Discharge attack, but Crawdaunt leaps out of the way. An attempted String Shot also fails. Crawdaunt uses an uppercut attack to send Vikavolt into the air, and its crashes into the ground below. Ash rushes forward, but Kiawe reiterates that it is Sophocles's battle. Sophocles calls for Vikavolt to run, but his Pokémon ignores the command and starts buzzing around Crawdaunt. Vikavolt's unrelenting spirit causes Sophocles to regain his composure and swell with confidence. Crawdaunt strikes Vikavolt down with its claws and continues to batter it even while it is down. Sophocles orders a Signal Beam on the ground, and the manoeuvre gives Vikavolt the height to evade another attack. Discharge also hits its mark. Sophocles suddenly notices that his Buginium Z is glimmering with power and he manages to summon a fully powered Savage Spin-Out attack. Vikavolt traps Crawdaunt in a silky white cocoon, and after a throw around, it slashes through the cocoon. Crawdaunt crashes into the ground, knocked out. Sophocles realizes that he has finally mastered a Z-Move and his Pokémon congratulate him with an overwhelming embrace. Kiawe and the others emerge from hiding and are thrilled by the latest development.
As everyone is chatting, Crawdaunt perks up and rushes towards them with a raised claw. Sophocles warns Kiawe about the oncoming attack, but it shocked to see Kiawe and Crawdaunt exchange a fist-bump instead. Kiawe explains that after he and Turtonator had defeated it, Crawdaunt had a change of heart and is now a close friend. He reveals that Rotom also helped him to arrange the battle encounter last night. Kiawe rewards Crawdaunt with a Sitrus Berry for its efforts. The other wild Pokémon, a Mareep, Pa'u Style Oricorio and Bonsly also appear to greet Kiawe. Sophocles wishes that Kiawe had simply told him, but Kiawe declares that the practice was invaluable. Ash congratulates Sophocles on finally mastering Z-Moves and adds that they will continue training for the Alola League all day long. However the thought of further training makes Sophocles turn pale and he soon collapses.