Back in Pallet Town, Ash is congratulated with a party for representing the town so well in the Pokémon League. The gang decide to have their Pokémon out for the party, as they deserve recognition as well for their hard work. Charizard stays inside, for obvious reasons. Ash goes to a food stand to order for the party. It is secretly run by Team Rocket. Jessie, James, and Meowth spice up the food to an extreme to distract the people and take their Pokémon. They fail, and get a taste of their own recipe. They convert their stand into the balloon. They have managed to steal Pikachu and are floating away with Pikachu dangling below. Ash tries to stop them. Pidgeotto bursts the balloon, but they have a backup and continue to float. They begin to drop piles of bombs on the party, and the people scatter to escape being blown to bits. In a desperate move, Ash sends out Charizard who is more interested in lunch than saving Pikachu. That is, until one of Team Rocket’s bombs explodes on the food table which makes Charizard furious. Charizard flies up towards the balloon. They toss some more bombs, and Charizard flings the bombs right back at them. The balloon explodes, and Ash get back Pikachu. After the incident, as proof he still is not obedient Charizard blows a huge fireball at Ash burning him to a crisp. Back at Oak’s lab, Ash is asked to go to the Valencia Islands to help Professor Ivy with a problem. On their way out of Pallet Town, they are attacked by a Fearow which is the same Spearow that Ash had thrown the rock at in the first episode. Ash ends up in the same tree that Team Rocket crashed into, and are glared upon by some Pidgey and Pidgeotto who are hiding from the other Spearow. Ash shakes Team Rocket out of the tree, and calls out Pidgeotto to lead them out of the tree. The Fearow attacks hurting Pidgeotto. Determined to win, it evolves into Pidgeot who then defeats the Fearow. Pidgeot stays behind to guard the Pidgey and Pidgeotto from that Fearow and the gang continue on their way towards the Valencia Islands.The gang stop at a convenience store to pick up enough food and supplies to last them the year’s four month journey to the islands. They spot a booth where they are having a contest and the lucky winner gets a free ride to Valencia Islands by blimp. Ash gets really lucky and wins it. They approach the Blimp which seems broken down and old looking. It is secretly controlled by Team Rocket’s blimp brigade. Jessie and James guide them to their first class seats. Jigglypuff hitches a ride, too. The blimp is very tippy and Team Rocket cannot control it. After stabilizing, Misty notices Togepi is missing. They search everywhere, but first spot Jigglypuff under a white sheet that they think is a ghost. Misty spots Togepi high up and goes after it, Bulbasaur helping her to keep balance on the thin rails. Misty saves Togepi. They then try to keep the blimp stable until they land at the island.