To Catch a Pokémon Smuggler! (Japanese: ポケモンバイヤーを捕まえろ！コフーライ偽装作戦！！Capture the Pokémon Buyer! The Kofuurai Impersonation Plan!!) is the 12th episode of the XY series, and the 811th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on January 9, 2014 and in the United States on April 5, 2014.
On the road to Cyllage City, our heroes are forced to leap out of the way when a roaring truck barrels down on them, with Officer Jenny in close pursuit. When the dust clears, Ash and friends notice a cage that fell off the truck, and a weary Scatterbug that crawls out and collapses. They quickly scoop it up and take it to the nearest Pokémon Center, where Officer Jenny finds them—and tries to arrest Ash for being an accomplice in stealing the Scatterbug!
The misunderstanding is quickly sorted out. Officer Jenny explains that she’s on the trail of Dolan, a Pokémon smuggler who specializes in Scatterbug, Spewpa, and Vivillon. Because Vivillon can have wings of many different colors and patterns based on their native habitat, they’re highly prized by collectors, and Dolan takes full advantage of that.
When the Scatterbug they rescued evolves into Spewpa, Clemont notices something in its fur—it appears to be a transmitter, attached by the smuggler so he can keep track of his “merchandise.” They quickly develop a plan: one of them will wear the transmitter, plus a Spewpa disguise (provided by costume designer Serena) and act as bait, then Clemont will use one of his inventions to track the transmitter to Dolan’s secret hideout. Clemont’s Chespin is the closest to Spewpa's size, so it gets the job!
Ash, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie put the disguised Chespin in the cage and leave it for Dolan to find, while they and Officer Jenny hide nearby. And it works! Dolan arrives to claim his lost treasure, and then unwittingly leads our heroes to the cave where he’s keeping all the Pokémon he’s nabbed. When he catches our heroes poking around, he attacks with his Diggersby. Ash’s Froakie battles back—and then Spewpa leaps into the fray, evolves into a beautiful purple Vivillon, and uses its calming powers to take the fight right out of Dolan! Officer Jenny arrests him, and our heroes free all the captured Spewpa...who then evolve all at once, into Vivillon of many different patterns! They take to the sky in an amazing rainbow of colors, and our heroes’ journey continues.
Ash and his friends are on their way to their next Gym required to enter the Kalos League, when they suddenly notice Officer Jenny chasing after a criminal. The group runs after the high speed chase, Officer Jenny is in hot pursuit of a stranger on a jeep accompanied by a Diggersby. The pair refuse to comply to Officer Jenny's commands to stop, and the criminal commands Diggersby to use Mud Shot behind the vehicle, knocking down a tree and temporarily stopping Officer Jenny. Laughing as they escape, the criminals notice a cage has dropped from the back of their vehicle, but as Officer Jenny is on their tail, they can not go back to retrieve it. Ash and his friends run along, but double back because Clemont is too weak to go on. They notice the cage, which has been popped open from the impact. From it emerges a Pokémon Ash has never seen, and he uses his Pokédex to identify it as a Scatterbug. On first meeting, Scatterbug seems alarmed, but after Ash explains their good intentions, it collapses on the ground, weak. Guided by Serena's map, the group rush to a Pokémon Center.
At the Pokémon Center, the weakened Scatterbug is taken into the center by Wigglytuff soon to be healthy again. While Ash and his friends wait, Nurse Joy comments on how the Scatterbug isn't from their region. Ash asks how she can tell, and Nurse Joy brings up a computer display with six different types of Vivillon, and explains that their patterns differ between regions. She asks how Ash found the certain Scatterbug, and Ash is about to respond when Officer Jenny, accompanied by Manectric, lassos him form behind with her rope, saying she will put him under arrest if he resists. She says that because the group had the Scatterbug, they are accomplices of Dolan, a Pokémon smuggler. Officer Jenny releases Ash after he explains their story, and Nurse Joy reasons that Dolan must have lost the Scatterbug. Officer Jenny apologizes, embarrassed, and Wigglytuff reemerges with the recovered Scatterbug.
Later, seated at a booth, Ash asks Officer Jenny about the Pokémon smugglers. Officer Jenny informs him and the group that the smugglers capture Pokémon from various regions all over the world and sell them on a large scale on the Internet. She explains that Dolan is a smuggler that specializes in Vivillon, so he captures Scatterbug and Spewpa in large amounts and keeps them locked in his hideout. Then, when they evolve into Vivillon, he sells them for a high price. As the children pledge not to let him get away with it, Scatterbug scampers around on the table, apparently distressed. It glows with a bright light and evolves into Spewpa. Ash scans it with his Pokédex, and Bonnie asks the group to tell her more about evolution. Ash's explanation is somewhat misguided, saying they evolve with a "bang!", and Clemont clarifies in a more respectable manner for Bonnie, notably referring to levels and also mentioning evolutionary stones. Clemont notices something on the Spewpa, and upon further examination it appears to be a chip emitting radio waves, so that Dolan can follow his Pokémon if they escape. Ash resolves that if Dolan is somewhere in the vicinity, he will capture him and reassures Spewpa, whose friends are still in captivity.
Suddenly, Serena thinks of a plan. If they let Dolan receive some bait and follow the waves the chip is emitting, they can locate his hideout, and save the captured Pokémon as well. Officer Jenny questions their abilities to execute the plan, but Serena explains they have an inventor on their team: Clemont. He takes out a machine he calls a "Omnidirectional Super Sensitive Tracking Dish". He explains that if the transmitter chip is put into the machine so that it can memorize its waves beforehand, one can pinpoint its location no matter where they go. The machine is turned on and ready to go, but Serena is concerned for Spewpa's safety, as they are using it as bait and exposing it to potential danger. Ash decides he will be the bait, but Serena has other ideas. She takes out her costume bag and disguises Ash as Spewpa, but Officer Jenny is unimpressed, saying that Ash is a little too big to pass as a real Spewpa. They switch to Dedenne, who is too small. Finally they decide on Clemont's Chespin.
The group, including Officer Jenny on motorbike, returns to the road and replaces the cage where they found it, with the disguised Chespin inside. As expected, Dolan soon returns to retrieve his lost commodity. Dolan picks up the cage and is pleased to see that Scatterbug has evolved, and takes it back to his vehicle.The group uses the radio wave sensing machine and follow. Once they have entered a forest, the machine breaks. Officer Jenny goes on ahead and tells the kids not to do anything reckless.
Ash sends out his Fletchling to look for Dolan's car from the sky, and it spots it going up a rocky mountain. Ash and the other children follow it up the mountain until they reach Dolan's hideout. Ash wants to go in right away, but Serena points out that Dolan might use the Pokemon as hostages if they do. They decide rescuing Chespin is their top priority, and opt that Froakie first check the interior to search for human presence. Inside, Froakie sees glass tanks with many Spewpa inside, but no people. The group is beginning to advance when the Spewpa, on Ash's shoulder, notices something. Ash turns around to see Pikachu, Dedenne, Bonnie, Serena, and Clemont whisked up by a net, where they hang on a tree branch. Just then, Dolan appears behind Ash. Dolan brandishes the cage holding the revealed Chespin, and threatens to sell it as well. He tells Ash to hand over Spewpa, and releases Diggersby. Froakie comes to defend Ash, as Water-type attacks are effective against a Ground type like Diggersby. Dolan orders Mud Shot, which Froakie dodges and counters with Bubble. Diggersby disappears under the ground with Dig, and hits Froakie despite Ash's warnings. While Froakie can't dodge in mid-air, Diggersby uses Double Slap. When Froakie returns to the ground, unaffected, Diggersby uses Hammer Arm, and Froakie responds with Water Pulse, but Diggersby's attack lands and Froakie collapses. Ash rushes to its aid, while Diggersby again uses Hammer Arm. Ash promises to protect Spewpa and it slams into the approaching Diggersby, and sends it flying back. Dolan refuses to give up and uses Double Slap, but Spewpa uses Protect and winds Diggersby with String Shot. Diggersby breaks free, and Dolan commands it to finish it. Meanwhile, Spewpa is acting strange, and is running around in circles. It glows with evolutionary light and evolves into an Elegant type Vivillon. Dolan rejoices, happy to see how big of a price the particular Vivillon will get, and when Ash grows angry Dolan resolves to get rid of him with Mud Shot, but Vivillon uses Safeguard. Ash commands Vivillon to counter-attack with Stun Spore which sends Diggersby crashing to the floor, unable to battle.
Dolan whips out a net to capture Vivillon by hand, but his hand is lassoed by none other than Officer Jenny. Dolan refuses to give in, even when threatened with an Electro Ball, but Vivillon rains down its scales, which have an effect of quelling one's combative spirit. Dolan gives in easily. After praising their Pokémon, the children release the caged Spewpa, who simultaneously all evolve into different forms of Vivillon. The children promise to meet again as the Vivillon fly into the sky, free at last.