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{{an|Misty}}, and {{an|Brock}} rest in a forest clearing. Meanwhile, [[{{Ash]]}} swings on a vine, beforebut his fun comes to an abrupt end,he slammingslams into a tree trunk. {{AP|Pikachu}} rushes to Ash's side, though he notices a small Pikachu. Pikachu runs after it, as Ash, Misty, and Brock followedfollow him. The pursuit ends at a forest clearing, where they find a whole clan of Pikachu with the small Pikachu. Pikachu, eager to say hello, jumps forward, but the {{pkmn2|wild}} {{p|Pikachu}} become scared and run off. Pikachu becamebecomes disheartened, but the small Pikachu comes over and shakes tails to greet him. Soon after, the other Pikachu surround Ash's Pikachu, and Brock claims itthey must have accepted Ash's Pikachuhim. Ash, also eager to join the Pikachu clan, runs toward them, but they feel scared and flee.
Later, Ash asks Brock and Misty why the Pikachu ran away. Brock tells him that he probably scared the Pikachu, because they were not used to human contact. Ash apologises to Pikachu for scaring his newfound friends, though he seems out of sorts. The small Pikachu, watching their conversation from a nearby tree branch, falls into a river and Ash's Pikachu jumps in to save it. Before the pair are about to go down a waterfall, the other Pikachu all grab each other's tails to save them, and they succeededsucceed. As a reward for his effort, Ash's Pikachu receives an apple and is hoisted up by the other Pikachu, who cheer. Brock keeps Ash back from Pikachu, encouraging him to just observe. Meanwhile, {{TRT}} sees the displaygroup of happinessPikachu and decide to capture all of them for {{an|Giovanni|their Boss}}.
MeanwhileNight falls, and all of the Pikachu start singing their Pikachu chant. Ash and {{TRTashfr}} seeswatch on and see how happy Ash's Pikachu is. Over dinner, Ash becomes sad and loses his appetite, but when asked what was wrong, he claims it was nothing. He stays up, watching the fire, to reflect on Pikachu's happiness, and decideconcludes that Pikachu should be with his own kind. Suddenly, the Pikachu scream for help, waking Misty and Brock. The trio goes to captureinvestigate and finds all of themthe forPikachu captured by Team Rocket in {{an|Giovanni| electric-proof net. [[James]] ensnares Ash and his friends in another net while they make their Boss}}getaway. Pikachu begins chewing through the net; the others follow suit, and they soon begin their escape. Ash and his friends hold up the net they were captured in and the Pikachu jump into it unharmed. However, Ash's Pikachu, who escaped first, makes its way to Team Rocket and bites a hole in the balloon, sending them blasting off.
NightAsh fallscatches andhis allfriend, ofthough thehe Pikachusoon startdecides singingto theirleave Pikachuhim chant.with Ashthe andother {{ashfr}}Pikachu. watch onMisty and seeBrock how happyconfront Ash's Pikachuby is.the Overcampsite, dinnerwhere Ashhe becomesannounces unusuallyhis sadplans and losesclaims hisPikachu appetite,would butbe whenhappier askedwith whatits wasown wrongkind. hePikachu claimsreappears itand wasstarts nothing.following Hehim, staysbut up,Ash watchingyells theat fire,him to reflectstay onbehind Pikachu'sand happinessruns whileaway. Eventually, Ash stops running, with Misty and Brock arecatching soundup to asleephim. He comes toAs the conclusionsun thatrises, maybeAsh's Pikachu shouldshakes betails with histhe ownsmall kind.Pikachu Theand fireall finallyof goesthe out,wild withPikachu anstarted imagechanting, ofbefore Pikachu runningruns awayinto Ash's arms. Suddenly,Ash theis Pikachutouched screamby forthe helpgesture, wakingand Mistyhe andstarts cry.
Ash, Brock, and Misty go to investigate the noise immediately, only to find all the Pikachu captured in a net which was, as [[Jessie]] said, electric-proof. [[James]] ensnare Ash and his friends in a net while they make their balloon getaway. Pikachu begins chewing through the net, and the others follow suite, and they soon begin their escape. Ash and his friends hold up the net they were captured in and the Pikachu jump into it unharmed. Ash's Pikachu, who escaped first made its way to Team Rocket, and bites a hole in the balloon sending them blasting off again.
Ash catches his friend, though soon suns to the other Pikachu. Ash starts to walk away from the scene, without Pikachu. Misty and Brock confront Ash by the campsite, where he announces his plans to leave Pikachu. Clearly upset, he puts his bag in his back and stares at the ground. He claims Pikachu would be happier with its own kind. Pikachu reappears and starts following but Ash yells at him to stay behind. He runs away and remembered a lot about Pikachu, having a flashback of many memories of their previous adventures.
Finally, Ash stops running, with Misty and Brock catching up to him. The sun rises, and so does the Pikachu group. Behind Ash, his Pikachu shook tails with the small Pikachu and all the wild Pikachu started chanting. Pikachu runs into Ash's arms. Ash is touched by the gesture, and he starts to cry. The episode ended with Ash and Pikachu hugging, with the narrator saying that in their hearts, they know that they will face every challenge together.
===Explanation of EP038 incident===