Mending a Broken Spirit! (Japanese: 折れた小枝、折れた心！テールナーの強き思い！！A Broken Twig and a Broken Heart! Tairenar's Strong Feelings!!) is the 85th episode of the XY series, and the 884th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 20, 2015, in Canada on October 10, 2015, and in the United States on October 17, 2015.
Serena is reworking her Pokémon Showcase routine when a powerful attack from Pancham hits Braixen and breaks its beloved branch! Everyone tries to find Braixen a new branch, but it isn’t interested in a replacement. Team Rocket has been spying as usual, and James dons a disguise and joins our heroes to see if he can help.
Nurse Joy suggests they take the branch to a tree surgeon, Mr. Woodward, for repairs. He first wants Serena and Braixen to demonstrate their bond, and the best way to do that is with a battle. Braixen eventually uses its broken branch to unleash a powerful new move: Fire Blast! This shatters the branch beyond repair but restores Braixen’s confidence, and it finally accepts the new branch Pancham offers. Our heroes are off once more to Anistar City, and the bond between Serena and Braixen is stronger than ever!
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On the road to Anistar City, the group takes a break at a Pokémon Center. Serena decides to use this opportunity to train for the upcoming Pokémon Showcase, discussing an updated version of her performance routine with Braixen and Pancham. Team Rocket is nearby, with Jessie swearing victory over Serena to the doubt of James and Meowth. Serena and her Pokémon begin practicing, but as Pancham uses its Stone Edge, Braixen trips up. The three realize to their shock that while Braixen wasn't injured, her branch was broken in the fall!
Braixen becomes upset and angry at Pancham, who immediately feels guilty about it and runs off to find a replacement. The others, upon learning this, join in to help, collecting a bunch of branches for Braixen. Braixen rejects all of them and runs away into the forest, forcing Serena and Pancham to chase after her. Looking on, Jessie and Meowth find Braixen's attachment to the branch strange, but James quickly empathizes, recalling a childhood memory when his mother threw away his precious bottle cap collection—and with them, the irreplaceable memories he had of each one.
As Braixen continues running, Serena wonders why Braixen refused to accept a replacement branch, when they are stopped by James in disguise. Introducing himself as "Jeeves", James explains that Braixen is associating important memories with the branch, which cannot be simply replaced. This causes Serena to remember when she, Pancham and Braixen swore that Serena would become Kalos Queen with that very branch, and Braixen confirms the sentiment. James suggests that Serena consult Nurse Joy for help, but at the Pokémon Center Nurse Joy regretfully informs her that fixing Braixen's branch lies out of her medical expertise. However, she recommends that Serena consult Woodward, a tree surgeon renowned for reattaching the broken horn from a Sawsbuck.
At Woodward's house, James and Serena plead with Woodward to mend Braixen's branch, citing his skill and the Sawsbuck he helped. Woodward declares that he can't, explaining that the only reason why Sawsbuck's horn could be fixed was due to Sawsbuck's willpower to heal. Serena retorts that likewise, she and her Pokémon are willing to see Braixen's branch mended. Woodward decides that the only way to test Braixen's will is to have a battle with his Gallade, which Serena accepts. The battle begins at Woodward's battlefield, with Ash and the others arriving after being directed there by Nurse Joy, and Clemont offers to referee.
Serena facing Woodward
Woodward permits Braixen to make the first move, and Serena orders a Scratch which Gallade promptly dodges. Bonnie is surprised Serena didn't order Flamethrower, and Ash suggests that Braixen might have difficulty executing Fire-type moves without its branch. Seeing Pancham depressed, Ash reassures Pancham and cheers Serena on. Serena orders more Scratch attacks, but Gallade easily avoids them all. Woodward orders a Slash, which Braixen dodges in turn. Just then, Pikachu barely manages to avoid an electric net thrown by Jessie, who makes her and Meowth's presence known. Being beckoned to by an annoyed Jessie, James sheds his disguise and regroups as Team Rocket recites their motto. Furious at the disruption, Serena sends her Pokémon to attack Team Rocket, with Pancham performing its Stone Edge combo with Braixen. Serena finally orders a Flamethrower; putting the broken ends of her branch together, Braixen releases her attack from the broken joint, disintegrating the branch in the process—but to the surprise of everyone present, the flames burst into a Fire Blast, which Ash and Clemont comment on. An additional Thunderbolt from Pikachu sends Team Rocket blasting off, with James begging Woodward to fix Braixen's branch now that it has proved itself, much to the confusion of Jessie and Meowth.
Everyone implores Woodward to mend the fragments of Braixen's branch, but Woodward admits that the branch was already irreparable to begin with. Gently, he explains to Braixen that he asked for the battle in order to teach her an important lesson: holding onto memories and objects from the past is understandable, but being able to let go of them is also vital in becoming stronger. Braixen herself proved this in destroying her old branch and learning Fire Blast in the process. Pancham produces a new branch it found earlier, offering it to Serena and Braixen. Finally understanding, Braixen renews her promise with Serena and Pancham, and Serena ties a ribbon onto the branch to symbolize their oath. Serena and Woodward resume the battle, with Braixen dodging Gallade's Psycho Cut and attacking with Fire Blast, resulting in a direct hit. Gallade falls to his knees, and Woodward declares the battle over, having accomplished what he had set out to do.
Before the group leaves, Woodward reveals that he took the fragments of Braixen's old branch and grafted them onto a new sapling, so the branch would grow into new life and perhaps be useful to someone else. Serena promises to visit the sapling once she's become Kalos Queen and tell the old branch about all their adventures. Just as the group is about to depart, they notice that "Jeeves" has disappeared, apparently not having realized Jeeves was actually James.
James's mother does not make an onscreen appearance in this episode, but her voice can be heard when she tells James that she threw his bottle caps collection away. Mako Hyōdō and Eileen Stevens are credited for the role.