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The episode begins right in the action, within a large burning forest. A large group of the forest Pokemon appear to be trapped, some cowering and some trying to fend off against the blazing flames. However, just as it looks like nothing could stop the ever-growing blaze, a lone Celebi flying in the sky above notices the fire. Seeing that a group of Pokemon are in danger, Celebi's body starts to glow as it flies through the forest, generated huge thorny vines which wrap around the burning trees and trap the flames. Eventually, after some time, the vines do their work and the fire is put out and the smoke clears. Celebi then makes the vines vanish, but the damage to the forest has already been done, despite Celebi's help. Because of the strain it put on its powers, Celebi has used up most of its energy and just barely manages to escape a falling tree using its teleporting abilities.
Elsewhere, Celebi appears after teleporting away from the falling tree. Soon as it does so, the strain from saving the whole forest sends it falling down to the muddy ground. Celebi then begins to glow, and a huge group of thorny vines appear around the tired Pokemon to protect it against anybody that might try to hurt it while it's hurt.
Sometime the next day, we find Ash, May, Max and Brock walking along the path towards Ash's next destination: The Battle Tube. Brock is busy reading a guidebook, while Max checks his PokeNav and remarks that they'll soon be reaching the famous Cycling Road. Brock reads up some information on the road in his book, as May says that maybe going cycling will be fun. Ash however, does not seem too bothered about the local attractions as he clenches his fist and says that he can't wait until he can win his net Frontier symbol at the Battle Tube. After sometime walking, the group eventually come across what appears to be the Cycling Road... but with several large signs that say 'Closed' on them, and several barriers stopping them from accessing it. Guarding the road is an Officer Jenny, who Brock gushes over with hearts in his eyes. Max wonders what the signs are for, and Officer Jenny explains that, for the time being, Cycling Road is closed off. However, they are welcome to take the alternate route, which she ponts out.
Having decided to take Jenny's advice, the group head along down the alternate path to what Ash hopes will take them to the Battle Tube location. Suddenely, Pikachu's ears prick up as it seems to hear or sense something nearby. It jumps off Ash's shoulder, and runs off to try to find whatever it is sensing. Ash shouts out to Pikachu, but Pikachu ignores his cries and continues to run. Seeing that his voice isn't getting to his Pokemon, Ash, May, Max and Brock all run after it to see what could be wrong. Ash tries to get Pikachu to slow down, but Pikachu continues to run. Eventually, after sometime running, the group are stopped by a girl with blue hair and her Plusle. The Plusle jumps off her shoulders and charges up its electric energy as a warning to the group, as the girl, who Max realises is a Pokemon Ranger, tells them that they cannot go on. The Ranger then asks what they are doing in such an area, and Ash explains that they are looking for his Pikachu who had run off in this direction. The girl then ells them to wait and she pulls out a communication device from her belt and speaks into it. It seems that her name is Hinata, and she explains the Pikachu situation to however she is speaking to. Hinata then smiles, and puts her device back in her pocket before asking who the group are. Ash, May, Max all introduce themselves, with Brock leaping forward and grasping her hands as he tells her his name, and says how very happy he is to meet her. Hinata then introduces herself properly to the group, explaining that she is indeed a Pokemon Ranger. She also introduces her partner, Plusle, who has jumped back beside her head.
Elsewhere, Pikachu continues to run towards whatever it is sensing. It soon comes towards a incredibly large cluster of huge thorny vines which appear to be the reason Cycling Road was cut off: Many of them blocking the road entirely. The Electric Pokemon runs and jumps through the made of thorns which others might have difficulty getting through. Pikachu then runs straight past Team Rocket, who somehow have gotton trapped within the vines. James wonders where Pikachu could be going, as Meowth and Jessie struggle to free themselves.
Meanwhile, Hinata is leading the group in their search for Pikachu. Max asks Hinata about her experiences as a Pokemon Ranger, and remarks that you have to be an expert to be able to do such a job. The group then come across the huge cluster of vines which totally block their path, and they stop to wonder where such a large growth of them could possibly have come from. However, Ash only knows that Pikachu might be inside, and so runs straight into the maze of thorns to try to get his best friend back. As he enters the maze, he, May and Max look on in wonder at the sheer amount of vines that there are... getting through them will be no mean feat. At that, Hinata joins them and tells them that this is the work of Celebi, the Time Travelling Pokemon. The group are shocked, and repeat her words as they settle in. The group then leave the vines, to rethink their plans. Hinata then pulls out a small red and black device which she explains is a Ranger's 'Capture Styler'. The device appears to be anaylzing the Pokeon in the nearby area for some reason, as various peices of data flash up on it when Hinata scans them. Hinata then explains that this device allows her to tell what Pokemon can be used in certain situations, or how their abilities may be useful for different purposes. Just then, a group of Linoone gather around her as she scans them, and Hinata proclaims that these are the Pokemon they'll need first. Pressing a button on the Capture Styler, the device changes shape and reconfigures itself. The young Ranger then throws out the device, which releases a small spinning top like creation which starts to circle to group of Linoone. After using the Capture Styler to surround the three Linoone, she spins the main device like a baton until the ring around the Pokemon glows white, and the Linoone appear to have been temporarly 'captured' by the device. Hinata checks her handheld, and says that it's time to get to work. Using the device seems to put any Pokemon of her choosing under her control for a short period of ime to be used for various tasks. Hinata tells the Linoone to slash their way through the vines so that they have a clear path to walk down. The Linoone do so, cutting away at the thick thorny vines. A path then soon becomes clear, and the group head off to continue their search for Pikachu.
Back in the dark and gloomy maze of vines which Celebi surrounded itself and the nearby area in, Pikachu is still searching for whatever it originally sensed. After a brief period of looking, it finally notices the tired and injured Celebi lying face-down in the dirt. Jumping down to the Pokemon's side, Pikachu greets Celebi, who looks up and smiles before losing coinciousness again. Pikachu appears worried at the fallen Pokemon before him, before sniffing the air and seeming to sense something or someone else. Pikachu reassures Celebi, before running off back into the maze of vines.
Elsewhere, Hinata explains to the group about Cycling Road and how it had recently been cut off to all people thanks to a mysterious patch of incredibly large thorny vines which grew all over one of the main sections of the path. She then says that she believes Celebi is responsible, and that it must be hurt somewhere and using the vines as a way to defend itself. And so, she must save it. Brock asks if it were possible that Pikachu somehow sensed Celebi, and May realises that that must be why it ran off so fast: To find the injured Pokemon. As Hinata continues to explain about Celebi, the group is suddenly stopped by the calls of a trapped Jessie, James and Meowth who all still appear to be trapped- With Jessie being squashed in her space by Wobbuffet. Ash shouts at them, wondering what sort of tricks they have planned this time, and May does the same. James declines the accusations, and says that all they want is to be freed, with no tricks and no traps. Jessie and Meowth agree, and Hinata commands Linoon to cut Team Rocket loose from their thorny prison. The team land on the hard ground, and hug eachother in the relief of being released after so long. Hinata then explains that she is a Pokemon Ranger, and would require their help in order to achieve her rescue mission. At the sound of having to do work, Team Rocket get up pretending to agree before running off.
Back with Celebi, we find Pikachu tending to the tired and grounded Pokemon by trying to feed it health restoring berries. Celebi takes a small bite, and appears to recover slightly. Elsehwere, thinks appear to be going well for the main group as they have ventured even deeper into the forest of vines and thorns. Hinata thanks and dismisses the group of Linoone, and scans the area around her to see if there are any Pokemon she can use to their advantage. At that, a group of Diglett and Dugtrio pop up in answer to her scanning. She asks them if they'd be willing to help, and then sends out her Capture Styler in order to take control of the Pokemon in order for advance the mission. Having taken control, Hinata orders the Diglett and Dugtrio to use Dig in order to create a tunnel for them to travel under the vines.
While the group are travelling underground, Pikachu is pulling funny faces to cheer up Celebi. Just then, the Dugtrio and Diglett burst out of the ground in front of the two Pokemon, with Hinata, Plusle and the rest of the ground following them. Seeing Pikachu, Ash runs towards his friend and hugs it, while the rest of the rescue them look at Celebi in amazement. May checks Celebi on her Pokedex, while Hinata explains to Celebi that she is here to help it. Celebi looks unsure, but Pikachu convinces the Legendary Pokemon to trust the group.
Later that night, the group have stopped to rest and let Celebi sleep. Hinata scans Celebi, and says that after some rest, Celebi should be okay and has no serious injuries. The next day, Ash and Pikachu awake to find Celebi flying around, happy and fully healed up after the long night's sleep. May says that she's glad Celebi is okay, as the Pokemon flies around the forest restoring it to its normal state and getting rid of all the vines which have blocked them for so long. The vines vanish, and just as the group are about to thank it, a long metal claw reaches out and grabs Celebi... a long claw belonging to a huge mecha with a big 'R' on it. Team Rocket's voices call out from inside the mecha, laughing and saying that they've caught Celebi, before reciting their familiar motto. Hinata shouts at them, demanding they give Celebi back, but the three villians simply shrug off her requests. Jessie explains that they would never give away such an amazing and rare Pokemon, as James says that they're going to be iving it to their boss as a present. Meowth then presses some buttons on the control panel, and the mecha turns around and speeds off in the opposite direction.
Hinata isn't about to let them get away, and runs off after them, grabbing a tree branch, swinging around on it before grabbing a vine and leaping down beside the mecha. Hinata reassures Celebi, as the group marvel at her acrobatic skills before she orders her Plusle to use a Thundershock attack on the mecha. Plusle does so, sending a huge electric shock through the whole machine and zapping Team Rocket in the process. With the machine messed up, Hinata is able to pull aside the claw that is holding Celebi. With Celebi free, Hinata, Plusle and Celebi all jump off the mecha before it explodes and sends Team Rocket blasting off into the sky. However, the force of the blast isn't enough to send them properly blasting off, and the three end up smashing back into the ground in front of Hinata and co. Jessie leaps up, and says she isn't about to let them et away with their Celebi. James agrees, and points out that they'll just take it by force. Ash and Brock then run up beside Hinata, and tell her to leave Team Rocket to them. Jessie sends out Seviper, and James sends out Cacnea. Brock counters by sending out Marshtomp, and Ash sends out Pikachu.
The two groups stand off, and Jessie starts things off by ordering Seviper to use Poison Tail, with James following up with a call for Pin Missile. Both attacks miss, with Marshtomp and Pikachu dodging around them. Ash and Brock then command Pikachu and Marshtomp to use Thunderbolt and Mud Shot. Both Team Rocket Pokemon are sent flying back, and Pikachu finishes Cacnea off with an Iron Tail. Ash then orders Pikachu to send them blasting off with a Volt Tackle. Pikachu does so, making it its first successful Volt Tackle after its original use. Team Rocket are sent blasting off, but just as they vanish over the horizon, the mecha that they were using before explodes and a fire starts. Before it can spread into a tota disaster, Celebi flies around and starts to cover the fire with its thorny vines again. The fire is put out, and the group look on in amazement as Celebi continues to use its powers on the forest, returning to its perfect state. The group thank Celebi, before Celebi nods and vanishes, happy that its job is done. At that, Hinata radios in to her Ranger base and reports saying that her mission was successful and Celebi was saved. The episode ends during a sunset, with the group heading down Cycling Road on the path to Fuschia City.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
432: Green Guardian
432: Pokémon Ranger Appears! Celebi Rescue Operation!
Ash & Co. Meet a Pokémon Ranger