With all his Pokémon badly injured and in pain after the intense battle against Paul, Ash feels horribly guilty and doubts his future as a Pokémon Trainer, sinking into manic depression. Dawn, having suffered a crisis of confidence herself once, resolves to help her friend and decides to put on a performance with her Pokémon while Brock goes looking for a berry to help treat Ash’s Monferno little realizing that he’s about to see what dwells below Lake Acuity. Later after Brock finds the berry, Dawn performs her private contest to cheer up Ash. But in the middle of it, Team Rocket shows up and unsuccessfully tries to snatch Pikachu by using Ash’s depression as an upper hand. Afterwards, Dawn learns that her next contest will be held at Lilypad Town, while Ash recovers from his depression and decides his eighth and last gym battle will be at Sunnyshore City.