The Road to the Semifinals! (Japanese: みんなゼンリョク！準決勝への道！！Everyone's Fully Powered! The Road to the Semifinals!!) is the 134th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and the 1,073rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 11, 2019 and in the United States on December 14, 2019.
As the Alola Pokémon League quarterfinals rage on, Kiawe and Charizard face off against Sophocles and Vikavolt in the third battle. Both sides show impressive offense and defense, making it clear they’ve trained hard. But Vikavolt’s Wild Charge attack isn’t enough to stop Charizard’s Supersonic Skystrike Z-Move, and Kiawe and Charizard end up on top!
In the fourth match, Lana and Primarina battle Guzma and Golisopod, but Guzma’s intense battling style takes Lana and Primarina by surprise. Despite a valiant effort, Primarina takes significant damage and loses the battle, but everyone agrees Guzma won fair and square.
Next up are the semifinals: Kiawe versus Gladion and Ash versus Guzma!
Vikavolt successfully performs Savage Spin-Out on Kiawe's Charizard. However, Charizard escapes with ease as its flames scorch through the threads. Sophocles isn't fazed as he notices that Charizard is still paralyzed from an earlier Zap Cannon attack. He orders a Signal Beam, but Charizard uses Fire Punch on the ground to escape. The opponents exchange stares, and then, Vikavolt fires Signal Beam, which Charizard dodges. Vikavolt follows up with String Shot, though Charizard evades it. Vikavolt then chases Charizard and repeats its move, slowly covering its opponent in the threads. Charizard uses Slash to repel another String Shot. Vikavolt takes the opportunity to attack, but Charizard fires Flamethrower. Once it does, Vikavolt disappears.
A moment later, Vikavolt appears behind Charizard and successfully wraps it in String Shot. Declaring this to be the day he will defeat Kiawe, Sophocles has Vikavolt use Wild Charge, though Charizard manages to stop the attack with a Fire Punch. The pair subsequently dives into the battlefield from the collision. As the dust clears, Charizard promptly tosses Vikavolt into the ground. Charizard is beginning to show signs of exhaustion, but neither side are prepared to give up. Vikavolt uses String Shot, but it is forced to evade Charizard's Flamethrower. Kiawe builds up his Z-Power and passes it onto Charizard, who unleashes a powerful Supersonic Skystrike. Vikavolt attempts to intercept the attack with Wild Charge, and it manages to hold out against the Z-Move for several moments. However, Charizard's force overpowers Vikavolt and slams it to the ground, knocking it out. Hala calls the match in Kiawe's favor. Afterwards, Sophocles and Kiawe shake hands.
Sophocles and Kiawe visit Lana to cheer her up before her match Guzma. Just then, Guzma, Plumeria, and several Team Skull Grunts walk by, and Tupp hurls an insult. Lana retorts that strength alone isn't always the key to victory, and Kiawe supports her. Tupp claims their Z-Moves are nothing compared to Guzma's strength, a sentiment echoed by Guzma himself. As Team Skull makes their way past them, Kiawe asks Lana to be careful because Guzma is rather unpredictable.
Lana facing Guzma
For the fourth match of the second round, Lana sends out Primarina against Guzma's Golisopod. After remembering Golisopod's First Impression from Ash's battle with Guzma, Lana warns Primarina to be on the lookout for it. As the battle starts, Lana braces Primarina for impact, but to her surprise, Golisopod remains still. Lana prepares to make the first move with Sparkling Aria, but Golisopod suddenly strikes first with Throat Chop, rendering Primarina unable to use its voice. Lana then has Primarina use Aqua Jet, but Golisopod blocks it with its arms. It then grabs a hold of Primarina before unleashing a series of Poison Jabs, damaging Primarina and poisoning it in the process. Golisopod drops Primarina before Guzma orders it to pick it back up by the tail and hit it with another merciless series of Poison Jabs. Primarina manages to escape after blasting Golisopod with Icy Wind, but it is already debilitated by the poison. Golisopod continues attacking Primarina with more Poison Jabs despite the latter's attempts to defend itself. Golisopod momentarily releases Primarina from its clutches before hitting it with a Throat Chop.
Guzma briefly looks at Professor Kukui before resuming the battle. Primarina stands up as Lana declares the battle isn't over yet. Guzma has Golisopod use Pin Missile, but Primarina summons Surf to stop the attack. Moreover, Golisopod's legs get stuck in ice from Lana's previous Icy Wind attacks, while Primarina's voice has seemingly recovered as it goes on to perform Oceanic Operetta. As Guzma declares that he will destroy the Z-Move, Golisopod's Liquidation slashes the large bubble in half. Primarina is then struck down, and Olivia declares Guzma the winner of the match. The crowd is shocked, with only the Team Skull Grunts cheering over the result. As Lana tends to Primarina, Guzma insults her and recalls Golisopod. Olivia asks Guzma to show respect for his challenger, though Guzma continues to walk away, only stopping momentarily to glare at Kukui.
Later, Lana's friends visit her as she is tending to Primarina. Mallow has Shaymin use Aromatherapy to cure Primarina's poison symptoms. Though Mallow and Lillie are annoyed by Guzma's conduct, Lana says he didn't break any rules, and Kiawe confirms Guzma merely found a weak spot in Primarina. Lana admits that she is now more she determined to work harder to overcome future opponents. At the Pokémon Center, the Nurse Joy quartet heals Primarina, just as the television screen reveals the semifinal match-ups, with Kiawe going up against Gladion, while Ash will take on Guzma.