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The episode begins with Ash training with Turtwig in the middle of a forest, with Dawn and Brock watching. Ash is determined for Turtwig to master its Energy Ball attack, and it seems like Turtwig had got it under control when the small ball of light burst into thin air. Turtwig falls to the ground, feeling rejected due to the attack failing again. Ash, seeing Turtwig's depression, tells the small Pokemon that it did a great job, and to keep at it. Pikachu jumps in, calling out support also. Turtwig looks eager to continue, but Brock steps in and suggests to Ash that they relax for a while, as they've been training hard. Ash's shoulders relax, and agrees. Ash gives Turtwig another boost, but Turtwig still seems a little down, especially as Ash returns it to its Pokeball. Dawn, holding Piplup, suggests that they do their best as well, especially with Ash working so hard. Ash then walks over to Brock, wiping the sweat from his brow, and says that they should hurry up and get to a Pokemon Centre to rest up all their Pokemon. Brock pulls out his Pokemon guide book, and takes a look at a map of the surronding area. By the looks of things, he says, the nearest Pokemon centre is very far away. Ash looks at him in disbelief, before Dawn perks up and says that nearby there is a local Hot Spring run by an old friend of hers that they could go and rest up their Pokemon, and themselves as well. Brock thinks this is a good idea, and Ash punches the air, all for going to a hot spring. The group then start walking to their destination.
At what appears to be the Hot Spring our heroes are heading for, a young girl around Dawn's age is standing talking to a group of Swinub that are standing side by side listening to a rather military style speech. The three Pokemon are happy to obey her orders however, and the girl smiles and thanks them. At this moment, Dawn comes running up, greeting her childhood friend, who's name is Yumomi. Yumomi calls Dawn 'Dee-Dee', and Dawn skids to a halt being called her embarrassing childhood nickname. The two hold clapse eachother's hands, exchanging greetings both happy to see the other after so long. Yumomi tells Dawn that she saw her on television, although Dawn isn't too happy to be reminded of Contests after her previous losses. Yumomi senses this, and grabs her shoulders, telling her that everything will be fine. Dawn shows off her Pochama to Yumomi, and asks her about her Hot Springs. Ash then butts in however, wondering if Dawn would be willing to introduce him and Brock. Dawn turns around, apologising for forgetting herself, and introduces Ash and Brock to Yumomi who smiles and says hello back. Dawn then suggests that they get right down to Hot Spring business, but Yumomi seems be hesitent of them seeing her family's Hot Springs.
Dawn tells her that it'll be fine, and runs towards the changing rooms with Ash and Brock in tow. Not long after, Ash, Brock and Dawn run out of the changing rooms after changing into their swimsuits and look over the beauty of the Hot Spring with all their Pokemon behind them. The three trainers then all jump into the water, only to find it only goes up to their ankles. Ash wonders what is wrong, as Yumomi appears and apologises saying that the Hot Spring no longer has any water. After getting changed, Yumomi tells the three trainers that suddenly, all the running hot water at their spring suddenly dried up. She also adds that her mother and father have headed into the mountains to investigate the source of the hot water which runs from a large pipe right into their spring. Dawn looks worried, but Yumomi is determined to get things working again, and with her Swinub, she cannot fail! Dawn wonders why, and checks her Pokedex. It seems that just like in Johto, Swinub are used to find Hot Spring water underground. Dawn seems a little unsure however, but Yumomi remains confident. Dawn then has a flashback of her childhood back in the school playground. We see a young Dawn crying on the ground, who is then comforted by a young Yumomi. It seems that Dawn had been bullied by the local school bully, a small ugly child with a pug-nose. Young Yumomi tells Young Dawn that everything will be fine, and if they work together, they can sort anything out. Back in reality, Dawn gives Yumomi a thumbs up, agreeing with her with her spirits restored. Ash and Brock say they'll help also, and Yumomi thanks them.
The four get on their way, with Swinub leading them. The Swinub, by sniffing the ground, can search out water that can be used for Hot Springs. The Swinub jump forward in excitement, and Yumomi realises that they've found something. Elsewhere, we find Team Rocket standing proud having just finished building their new Hot Spring resort. All three are very excited, what with all the money they'll make from the resort. Jessie points out this will be the perfect way to score points with Giovanni, which sets one of Meowth's fantasies into motion. The scene, Meowth describes, is their Hot Spring resort. Giovanni is relaxing in the Hot Spring, with the worries and stress of being the head of a top crime organisation wasting away from them. After getting out, he will then be massaged by James while watching a hula dance performed by Jessie to complete the experience. Meowth, speaking as Giovanni, says that the three have done a fantastic job and that their Hot Springs are amazing! They are surely great Team Rocket members. The three, thinking about this praise from their boss, start dancing. This happy scene is cut short however, as the scene goes back to Ash, Dawn, Brock and Yumomi still on the search for Hot Spring water. The Swinub seem to have found something yet around, and the four looking over the trees to see steam rising from the forest. Yumomi nods, thinking that they've found what they've been looking for... a new source for water. They reach the site, only to be shocked to find a totally new Hot Spring instead of an untapped source. Team Rocket, standing on the opposite side of the Spring, notice them and reel back in shock. Meowth isn't worried however, and puts a pair of sunglasses on to disguise himself. He then walks over to the group, telling them that they're trespassing and need to leave the site right away. Yumomi isn't going anywhere however, telling them that they're stealing her family's business. Jessie and James run over, also wearing sunglasses. They start describing how they came across this wonderous spring water by way of a storyboard. One day, while digging they found a treasure chest full of jewels. Wondering what else they could find, they also starting digging and eventaully came across a source of Hot Spring water, and decided to build a Hot Spring. Yumomi isn't convinced however, and runs her hand in their water.
It feels exactly the same as her Hot Spring water, and the pipe it is coming out of looks suspiciously similar to the pipe that her family use. Because of this, she is positive that this is where her Hot Spring water has gone, and that Team Rocket, still disguised, stole it! Meowth is about to give the game away, but Jessie and James cover his mouth up. Just then, a Pokemon appears out of the Hot Spring, and it appears to be a Wooper with a strange device attached to its tail. Ash wonders why it was there, and Yumomi tells him that it's one of her parent's Woopers that they use in the Hot Spring. At this moment, two people, Yumomi's parents, appear at the base of the pipe that is feeding water into Team Rocket's Hot Spring. The two wave to Yumomi, and after a short while, the two manage to get down to Yumomi and co.'s level. They ask why Yumomi is here, and Yumomi explains that she was searching for Hot Spring water. Her parents tell her that they went in search of where their water had gone, and that they followed the main pipe down from the original source to this Hot Spring... meaning that somehow, it had been redirected. With their true intentions revealed, Team Rocket have no choice but to rip off their worker disguises to reveal their Team Rocket uniforms underneath. The three perform a Hot Springs inspired motto. With the motto finished, Dawn shouts at Team Rocket for interfering yet again, but Jessie ignores her, telling Meowth to unleash their ultimate weapon. Meowth does so, pulling out a small remote which he then activates. A large mecha then appears, consisting of a barrel and what appears to be a golden, Magikarp themed bath. The mecha then fires out a hot stream of spring water at the group, sending them running.
Pikachu isn't willing to run however, and starts to charge up an electric attack. Ash tells it to stop, saying that with so much water around, it'll be too dangerous. Pikachu nods, and Ash tells it to use Iron Tail. Pikachu does so, but the Iron Tail doesn't even leave a scratch on the machine. Team Rocket laugh in their faces, but Dawn isn't about to give up. She reminds Yumomi of the playground bully that laughed in their face as well, and how they teamed up and took him down. Yumomi agrees, and tells her Swinub to dig underground. They do so, digging underneath the mecha, and then dig up right under its feet sending it toppling over. The water in the bath section of the mecha starts flying out, coating the mecha in steaming hot water heating the metal of the body up. Dawn then releases Buneary, who uses Ice Beam to freeze the heated up mecha. The ice then breaks away, but due to the drastic change in body heat, the mecha starts to weaken and fall apart. It then explodes, falling on Team Rocket and sending them blasting off again.
Yumomi's parents thank their daughter and the group for helping save their Hot Spring business. The group then head off back into town, with the sun starting to set by the time they get there. Yumomi, fired up from the day's events, wants a battle. Ash is happy at the thought of a battle, and Yumomi says that she wants to have a Tag Battle with Dawn, against Ash and Brock. Ash and Brock are happy at this prospect, and the two groups stand off against eachother. Yumomi and Dawn send out Swinub and Piplup, while Ash and Brock send out Chimchar and Sudowoodo. Yumomi gets the battle started by telling Swinub to use Quick Attack, but this attack is dodged by Brock's Sudowoodo. Piplup starts to use Peck, but is sent flying back by Chimchar, who slashes at it wildly before flipping back into position. Dawn and Yumomi aren't willing to give up however, with Dawn telling Piplup to use Bubblebeam, and Yumomi telling Swinub to use Ice Shard. Both attacks are dodged, and Ash tells Chimchar to use Flamethrower but this in response is dodged, as Dawn and Yumomi quickly tell their Pokemon to get out of the way. Ash then tells Chimchar to use Flame Wheel, and as Chimchar rolls towards the defenceless Swimub, Piplup jumps in the way. This reminds both friends how they worked together as kids to stop the playground bully, and this makes them even more determined to win. All of a sudden, both Pokemon have vanished, and Chimchar stops and looks around, confused as to where its targets have gone. All of a sudden, Swinub appears directly underneath Chimchar having dug underground to dodge the attack.
Piplup appears to have followed Swinub underground, and quickly launches a powerful attack on Chimchar leaving it soaked and not to happy. Piplup then smacks Chimchar hard with a Bubblebeam attack, and Yumomi tells Swinub to use Blizzard. The attack is dodged by Sudowoodo but Chimchar takes the attack, which is then sent right back at the female tag-team by Sudowoodo using Mimic. Yumomi repeats her order, and a mass Blizzard hits the battle field. This however, causes so much cold that all four Pokemon freeze at once resulting in a draw. The trainers smile at the result, and its suggested they all go relax after a hard day's work in the Hot Springs. After getting changed, all four of them enter the Hot Springs, Pokemon included. Yumomi tells Dawn that she'll be watching her on television, which makes Dawn worried as she doesn't want to be seen losing again. Yumomi tells her that it'll be fine and she's sure that Dawn will do great. Ash then butts in, asking Yumomi if he can ask a question. Yumomi says it's alright, and Ash asks why people call Dawn 'Dee-Dee'. Yumomi is about to explain, before Dawn shoves her head under the water telling her to stop. The two laugh, and Ash and Brock look at eachother, bemused.
The next day, the three trainers leave the Hot Springs, refreshed and restored. Yumomi and her parents wave them off, as they set out on the road to the next Gym and Contest Hall.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
531: Hot Springing A Leak!
531: The Swinub Trio & The Hot Spring Battle!
None of Consequence