The episode starts with a view of Viridian City. Officer Jenny announces to anyone who will listen that there are Pokémon thieves about and stops Ash in his tracks, thinking him to be a thief. Ash explains that his Pikachu is badly hurt and he needs to get it to a Pokémon Center right away. After checking Ash’s identity using his Pokédex, Officer Jenny rushes Ash and the sick Pokémon to the nearest Pokémon Center on her motorbike. We see wanted posters stuck all around the city, and then we discover that the thieves are a bunch of ruffians known as Team Rocket, with Meowth as their ringleader!
They vow to take revenge on Viridian City for putting their faces on posters, while Meowth reminds Jessie and James that it’s the rare Pokémon they’re after, nothing else matters! At the Pokémon Center Ash gets a telling off from Nurse Joy for not looking after his Pikachu better, and she whisks the Pokémon away. Ash calls home to his mum for some moral support, but it’s not long before Pikachu is on the mend. Team Rocket arrive and declare that they are going to steal all of the Pokémon in the center, but quick-thinking Nurse Joy starts a process to transfer all of the Pokémon stored at the Viridian City Pokémon Center to the one in Pewter City, saving them all from the clutches of Team Rocket. Ash is amazed!