The episode opens up with the Sasuke Retrieval Squad going through the forest in their formation. Naruto hopes that Sasuke can hold on until they get to him. The next scene cuts to Orochimaru's bodyguards (Sakon, Tayuya, Kidomaro, and Jirobo) tell Sasuke that he will have to die just this once. It seems that after he takes a pill that he will die, but they will perform a jutsu to keep him in a half death state so that the curse mark can release to level two. Sasuke takes the pill and begins to die. The bodyguards then perform a sealing jutsu and seal Sasuke in a round casket.
The four bodyguards come across Genma and Raido and a battle ensues.
Shizune and Iwashi get concerned when Genma and Raido don't return and they go after them. They find them on the verge of death. Iwashi wants to take off and avenge his comrades, but Genma tells him that would only get himself killed doing that.
Meanwhile, Akamaru senses that the battle is over and they decide to go around in case there were any traps that were set. However Shikamaru tells them to be on their guard because the ones they are pursuing know that more ninja will probably come after them and are likely to set traps. Sure enough it isn't long before they find one.
Back at the village, Lee is going to start to try and climb the stairs. Lady Tsunade stops him and tells him that it is too soon. She tells him that he must be patient with his healing process and gives him some medicine to take.
Back to Shikamaru's group. They are finding more and more traps. Shikamaru knows that they must be close and that Sasuke's group has slowed or stopped. Neji uses his Byakugan to see ahead and spots the Sound Ninja with the casket. Shikamaru devises a plan to ambush them and tells everyone to split up and try to sneak up on the group. Shikamaru and Neji are evaluating the situation, when suddenly Sakon wakes up and throws a kunai with three paper bombs on it in their direction. It explodes and catches Neji and Shikamaru off guard.