The Suna and Shitenshounin are heading in direction, while the Konoha shinobi are about to intercept them.
The thoughts of Naruto, Kiba, and Lee immediately flash back to the battles of the Sasuke Retrieval mission: Lee's fight with Kimimaro, Shikamaru and Tayuya, and Kiba against Ukon. Just when things were looking bad for them, Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara arrived on the scene and saved them from an early demise. Shikamaru then remembers how when the Suna siblings were leaving Konoha, Temari told him that she'd save him the next time he was in trouble.
It's time to return the favor.
Bringing the group to a halt, Shikamaru decides that they will wait on standby, but Naruto protests that this isn't the time to stand by and do nothing. He is silenced by everyone else- after all, he isn't the leader of the mission.
Elsewhere, Shino and his bugs are hot on the trail of the enemy.
The episode begins now.
One of the Shitenshounin asks Kyaku, the blue and yellow haired kunoichi, about the location of their pursuers. They shouldn't be too far behind since they had left their own footprints. The idea is that they will isolate and leave one person to do battle with each of the Suna siblings and capture them.
Ready to do battle, Kyaku pulls out a sword and uses Fujaku Hishou Shouken (Soaring Short Swords), followed by Semmoufuu (Delirium Winds). This causes a powerful gust of wind to blow towards the Suna siblings, but Temari responds with an even more powerful gust of wind- one that is able to cut through the trees and slice them piece by piece. She decides to take Kyaku on by herself since they are both wind users. Temari reminds Gaara that Matsuri is HIS student, so he should be going after her and let Temari fight her own battle.
Temari starts off with Dai Kamaitachi no Jutsu (Great Sickling Winds), which is easily countered when Kyaku uses Kaze Kiri (Wind Cutting). Kyaku's two swords allow her to freely transform the wind and boost her power to its maximum. All she needs is just the slightest bit of chakra.
Matsuri begins to wake up just as Kankuro and Gaara are catching up to her attackers. In the bushes, the blue haired, green eyed member uses Ryuugan Garian Tou (Imperial Garian Sword) as his sword suddenly extends, barely missing Gaara and Kankuro, but startling them a bit. Kankuro notes that there is a metal wire passing through the blade that controls its movement, similar to his bamboo snake. This battle is clearly Kankuro's and Gaara heads off. Kankuro unleashes Kuroari (his second puppet, not Karasu) and it opens- Kankuro plans to finish the guy off with the same moved that got rid of Udon. The shinobi is trapped within Kuroari, but before anything can happen, a dragon head pops out and Kuroari immediately explodes. The member's sword reacts to and amplifies his chakra, giving it the form of a dragon.
Further ahead, the man carrying Matsuri tells Suikon (the only member left) to distract Gaara, who quickly arrives on the scene to battle.
Meanwhile, back in another part of the forest, Shikamaru's group is still waiting. He tells Naruto that Shino, Neji, and Hinata are taking care of their problems for them.
Elsewhere, one of Shino's bugs flies past Neji, meaning that they've found them. He uses Byakugan and spots the current battles Temari and Kankuro are involved in. At the same time, Hinata, through guidance of Shino's bugs, uses Byakugan and finds where Gaara is. The information is relayed back to Shino through his bugs, telling him that the battle is on the mountaintop.
A swarm of Shino's bugs head toward Shikamaru when one of them latches onto a small blue bag. In a flashback, Shino explains that the bag has the female kikaichuu's scent, so no matter where he goes, he will be found. It's time for the troops to head out: the bugs spell out (literally) that the battle has already begun. Kiba and Chouji are to take the western forest, Ino and Shikamaru the northern hill, and that leaves Lee and Naruto to the northwestern forest. Such is the beginning of 'Operation Return a Favor.' The groups disperse, but Shikamaru, in the midst of traveling, suddenly stops, realizing that if the enemies are running away and you place two pursuers per person, the battlefield will not be a straight line. Is there the possibility of a barrier? Shikamaru takes out a writing tool and dips it into a fluid that looks very similar to honey. He then writes something on a tree, but it filters into the tree very quickly. As he and Ino head off, some of the bugs immediately swarm and map themselves on what Shikamaru wrote.
Back at Temari's battle- she's looking a bit battered and scuffed, but not beaten yet. After realizing that Kyaku has been dodging all of her attacks, Temari decides it's time to use 'that.' Temari opens her fan and uses Fuuton: Tatsu no Oshigoto (Wind Element, Severing Pressure) and....nothing happens at first, but then the sky begins to darken and lightning begins to strike.
Temari, raising her hand to the sky, proclaims "The wind is my companion."
The sky clears and a VERY powerful wind cyclone that begins tearing up the debris, but Kyaku counters with Kaze Gaeshi (Wind Counter). It cuts through Temari's attack and her powerful wind cyclone backfires, sending her into a tree.
Elsewhere, blue haired shinobi sends his dragon sword towards Kankuro and it immediately latches onto his face. It turns out, however, that the dragon only latched onto Karasu and Kankuro is once again hiding within the bandages. Karasu jumps forward and spits out needles that are deflected by the shinobi's sword and it hacks off one of Karasu's hands. The dragon head then bites Kankuro on his left shoulder, bringing him to the ground in pain. Still controlling his puppets, the hacked off hand of Karasu rises and a blade pops out. All of a sudden, there are now three dragon heads; one stops the blade, the other goes for Karasu, and the third barely misses Kankuro. He is now without both of his puppets.
At Gaara's battle, Suikon's attack is obviously stopped by the sand. He asks Gaara how much chakra is molded into the sand, and Gaara tells him that such information will come at the exchange of his life. Suikon is trapped within a pillar of sand as Gaara uses Sabaku Kyuu (Desert Coffin). Suikon, however, emerges unharmed because his armor can absorb chakra.
Temari appears to be down for the count and isn't getting back up, so Kyaku launches a final attack when all of a sudden, Temari rushes forward to avoid the slash.
Kagemane no Jutsu...success. Behind Temari are Ino and Shikamaru, who controlled Temari with his shadow.
Blue haired prepares to kill Kankuro with the three headed sword when it is intercepted by Garoga (Double Piercing Fang). Chouji and Kiba (who has used Jinju Konbi Henge: Sotoro with Akamaru to transform into a giant two headed wolf in order to stop the dragon) arrive on the scene.
As with the Sasuke Retrieval mission, the villains wonder who these people are, and they introduce themselves:
Ino and Shikamaru: "Suna no doumeikoku..." (Allies of the Sand"
Chouji and Kiba: "Konoha no..." (The Konoha)
Lee and Naruto: "...shinobi!" (Shinobi)
But, Lee and Naruto realize that they shouldn't have said their part because...well, they haven't reached the battlefield yet.
Shino notes that there is no barrier since there is no chakra disturbance. Sakura and Hinata wish the others good luck.
The stage is set for the battle, but the leader of Shitenshounin is still whisking off with Matsuri, who is confident that Gaara will find her.
"Wait for us, Gaara!" Naruto says, the passion to fight burning in his eyes. "I'll definitely return the favor."
Next Time: "The Sealed Sand! Suikon's Counterattack!"