A stampede of cattle is charging the D-Team…but it turns out they're just bringing supplies for the group's journey.
The group treks through a desert, Sanzo resolute as a monk not to indulge despite the harsh conditions. When they stop for lunch, he kindly gives his rice ball to a hungry child he sees watching them; the child brings 21 of her friends by a second later, and at Sanzo's permission, the rest of their food is shared away. Now hungry, Max insists they conserve their energy to last the trip. Then they come across a traveler whose overburdened donkey's card is stuck in the mud, and naturally, Sanzo starts pushing it himself to spare the beast the whip; with the D-Team's begrudging help, the cart is unstuck, and the man will be kinder to his donkey. Max and Rex start arguing and shoving over how much they're needlessly helping, Sanzo chanting for balance until Max's visor shocks him. Rex comments how this is similar to Journey to the West with the Monkey King and Sanzo's chants, the D-Team matching themselves to other characters, with Zoe being disappointed at being stuck as Pigsy.
Meanwhile, the Alpha Gang (with costumes this time) has fooled a new village into thinking that Dr. Z is Sanzo Hoshi, and that they're his famous disciples…whom none of the villagers have heard of. They get themselves a free feast, Dr. Z eating himself asleep, while Ursula (as the Monkey King) asks about the fruit of eternal life, hearing it's in a nearby place called the Lotus Land. Unfortunately, Gabbro shows up and grabs Dr. Z, also being fooled at his Sanzo disguise; Zander (as Sandy) and Ed (as Pigsy) grab on, but he lets Achelousaurus loose. Ursula tries to stop it with Spiny, but he gets beaten bad, Gabbro shaking the Trio loose as he heads of with "Sanzo".
Upon arriving at this village and learning of these events, the D-Team realize it was Dr. Z who was taken; the Alpha Trio has already left in search of the fruit, confident Dr. Z will be released when found out. After a big lunch, the group is gifted a horse by the village elder, and the D-Team and Sanzo speculate Dr. Z was taken to the mountain Foolscap had wanted him to move, likely to find a Cosmos Stone. They decide to head out at once, and though Sanzo wishes to help rescue Dr. Z, they convince him to stay behind and help with the repairs because he would be no help in dinosaur battles, and him being there would put him in danger and may even slow them down. Back by the stone doorway, Gabbro tries to get Dr. Z to move the giant rock; clearly failing this, Dr. Z tries to keep the charade that he is Sanzo by living up to stories of Sanzo's powers Gabbro lists, but underestimates the Space Pirate's intelligence when they were all fake stories only an impostor would believe, and is stuck by his cape between two nearby boulders while Gabbro searches for the real Sanzo.
The real Sanzo, meanwhile, is secretly following the D-Team, but accidentally sends his horse into a startled charge. Gabbro finds the D-Team, but ignores them as Sanzo's horse races up. Max summons Chomp, getting matched with Achelousaurus, whose first hit knocks Sanzo off his horse, but during the battle, Sanzo sees he truly has no place here and slips away, a burden no longer. Achelousaurus is defeated, leaving Gabbro to retreat empty-handed as he realizes Sanzo is gone. The D-Team start looking for Sanzo, Zoe wandering away, but she falls off the edge of a steep cliff…
Gabbro/Achelousaurus vs. Ursula/Spiny
Gabbro summons Achelousaurus to scare off the villagers attacking him, and it smashes a wall to get outside. Ursula summons Spiny to attack, stepping on its back, but Achelousaurus knocks him away. Spiny tries another attack, but Achelousaurus sidesteps behind a building, runs around behind it, and rams Spiny from behind. Ursula grabs onto the others holding Dr. Z, but they're shaken off and into Achelousaurus' path as it charges, but it's recalled as Gabbro leaves.
No result (Achelousaurus was winning)
Max/Chomp vs. Gabbro/Achelousaurus
Max summons Chomp to keep Gabbro away from Sanzo, and Gabbro summons Achelousaurus; it sidesteps Chomp and rams him back. The sand castoff knocks Sanzo off his horse, but Gabbro catches him, then harmlessly drops him to the ground. The dinosaurs are upgraded into Spectral Armor Achelousaurus and DinoTector Chomp.
Achelousaurus dive bombs Chomp in the side, leaping off to start a head shoving match. Achelousaurus uses Attack Burst and briefly knocks Chomp down, but when it sidesteps another charge, Chomp reacts and knocks it away with his tail. He defeats it with Ultimate Thunder, destroying its Spectral Armor; Gabbro reclaims the card before leaving, Sanzo having vanished.
(Gabbro bursts in on the Alpha Gang)
-Alpha Trio (scared): "If you're lookin' for a fight, could you maybe try next door!"
-Gabbro: "No, I'm looking for Sanzo Hoshi." (sees sleeping Dr. Z) "And this must be him. Wonder why Shear had such a hard time with him, he looks harmless." (grabs Dr. Z)
-Zander: "That's not Sanzo! Er, I mean—it is Sanzo! But we're not going to let you take him!"
-Ed: "Yeah, put the monk down now!"
(Zander and Ed grab onto Dr. Z)
-Ursula: "Are you all just going to stand around and watch him grab Sanzo? Throw everything at him but the kitchen sink!"
-Villager: "You heard the Monkey King, everything but the kitchen sink!"
(villagers begin throwing pots, brooms, and radishes, mostly hitting Zander and Ed instead of Gabbro)
(Gabbro tells Dr. Z to move the giant rock)
-Dr. Z: "Ah! You must be kidding me! I've seen whole planets smaller than that hunk of rock! Unless you've got a magic trick up your sleeve, this rock's staying put!"
-Gabbro: "Nothing's up my sleeve but my arms, and they're attached to my fists." (cracks knuckles)
-Dr. Z: "I can take a hint. Rock moving time."
- The episode's English title is from the children's game "Monkey in the Middle", a.k.a. Keep Away.
- The horse gifted to Sanzo is clearly more cartoonish than other horses seen elsewhere in the series (as most animals are suitably realistic), especially in the appearance of the face; why is unclear.
- It is unknown why Gabbro reclaimed Achelousaurus' card after its defeat, as he never attempted to reclaim any of his defeated dinosaurs before or afterwards (with the exception of Gigas), nor did he use Achelousaurus again.