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Found 6 results

  1. Note: Credits to We Are Borg, MarikAzemus, and @Truffles for this review. After Sweet and Smoky, I won't be surprised if Season 8 was planned as equally as the 9th. The way she teased her off-screen bro after his horrid molt shows her edge, yet still cares for him. Combine this with Spike's feud with Garble still hanging in the air, what perfect time to address it than an episode about dragon-breeding. This episode mingles three plots: figure out how to hatch the eggs, get Garble to show his more sensitive side, and end his feud with Spike. While Sweet & Smoky started by using the first two, it expanded once Spike discovered who Smolder's brother is. Sure, no in-show word said he's her older brother, but given the context of past episodes and how Smolder's younger, higher pitched, and originally a little less mature than him, yeah, she's younger. Throughout, Smolder's more "feminine" side becomes more and more open. While at the School of Friendship, she's more introverted in her likening for tea parties, but while around Garble, she's more self-secure in openly having tea parties with Garble and Spike, expressing her feelings, showing emotion beyond archetypal "masculinity," and not being afraid to go against the grain of dragon culture she grew up learning from. Even more, her friendship with Spike grew closer to more of a surrogate sister, as she's more open around Spike, defends his passions, and stands up for him. Unlike Spike from Dragon Quest, Smolder rejects the long-time "culture" of bullying others to show "toughness," because she learned ways to be strong beyond the shallow "being-with-older-groupies" type, but not her identity. Thanks to Ember and Twilight, she learned how there's more than one right way to be a dragon, and as Garble tries to hide his insecurities, she tries to open them up so he and Spike bond. Speaking of Spike, he's the main lead, and he shows off his growth as a character in subtle ways. Even though he and Garble have a rough history, he trusted Smolder's words. Early on, she referred to his bro as being like a squishy marshmallow on the inside. Taking her words into account, he works with her to get him to reveal his more sensitive side with a promise of not making fun of him. His trust with Smolder goes back to Molt Down (their first real onscreen conversation), Rockhoof (their fire-breathing competition), and Father Knows Beast (working with her to out Sludge). Despite being the subject of constant abuse by Garble, Spike sucks it up. Why? Firstly, to promise himself to being a dragon without going out of character. Secondly, because that's what Smolder wants. If he (understandably) decides to cook Garble's snout, who can blame him? One can take so much punishment before going over their limit. He openly embraces "Spikey-Wikey." Back in Dragon Quest's beginning, he rejected Rarity's nickname, thinking it made him look too cute in front of ponies. (And from my perspective, her nickname for him then was sooooo patronizing. ) From that point forward, whenever Rarity calls him that, it's endearing. Calling himself that to Garble calls back to that background evolution of acceptance for it. This episode had plenty of Spike abuse, specifically Act 2 when he and Smolder try to get Garble to crawl out of his shell. However, I don't have much of an issue with this for a key reason. His mistreatment of Spike, both past and present, was integral to the conflict. How did he react once finding out she and GarGar were siblings? Not so well. Notice Smolder's raise of the eyebrow in the first link, implying suspicions towards her brother. Soon after, she warned Garble after he tried to be a passive-aggressive douchebag in front of her. From the get-go, she establishes she won't tolerate anyone bullying her good friend. Thanks to chickening Clump (one of the three stereotypical bullies) out after accusing her of being "soft," Beyer-Johnson shows she means business. But that doesn't mean Garble can't give him the short end of the stick by accident or abuse him behind her back. Unlike examples from other episodes, the Spikeabuse isn't a joke (something @Truffles points out in his review; link to it near the bottom). We as an audience are supposed to sympathize for him and root for him to overcome it all and prove to be better than him. But no matter how much he tried, Garble’s mistreatment of him understandably discouraged him. Additionally, his disappointment led him to accidentally discovering that the ground underneath the nests was too cold, immediately leading S&S into a darker turn. The eggs shook not from fright, but from dragons freezing inside. Thanks to his discovery, Ember unleashes Clump, Fume, and "Billy" some deserved karma. Back to the A-plot, with Spike being bullied, Fluttershy (representing the motherly support, while Smolder's the "sister") delivered two of the episode's most rewarding moments. After showing control over Spike since returning to the Dragon Lands, it was only a matter of time before someone called them out for their bad behavior. Fluttershy's anger was raw and real; when she ordered them to quit throwing lava at him, she meant it. Like a good mother, she keeps him accountable. At no point does she scold him and then pretend it's all okay. When she found out he played bongo drums and wrote poetry with Smolder, she embraced his hobby, but was quick to point out his hypocrisy in multiple ways: scapegoating her for being "sneaky" when he was the one doing the sneaking and using his status as a bully to hypocritically pick on Spike. After Garble's flimsy excuse, she gave him this: Her riot act to him was some well-needed tough love. He treated Spike like crap for not being a "real dragon" in order to hide his insecurities, and Fluttershy gave him some pointers of what makes him a "real dragon," narrowed to this: not being afraid to be himself and being with those who'll really appreciate his creativity. Granted, S&S's reveal could've been handled better. Nowhere the episode foreshadows his love for poetry. Now, the atmosphere early in Act 1 (thanks, We Are Borg, for catching this) foreshadows the upcoming stakes and differences between pony and dragon cultures, and Smolder refers to him as a lovable guy who likes to be with those who appreciate talents like Spike's, but what would do better is a hint or two that isn't so vague so his reveal of being a beatnik poet can be connected more with the rest of the plot, such as being with someone who can exchange points in creativity. Additionally, the episode told a lot about Garble's sadness, which he hid through a bad temper and embarrassment. Showing sadness, scaling back a little bit of the abuse (i.e., second-guessing before doing it anyway), and collecting lava to cool it down and turn it into the cylinder would help round it more. Conversely, the episode does a really good job showing us what he does to make us understand him without telling us to forgive him, which MarikAzemus points out. If you want to forgive him, that's up to you. Yes, Garble being sensitive is a cliché in storytelling, but it's one for ringing true. However, while One Bad Apple explains Babs's history of being bullied to make us forgive her for bullying others, Fluttershy and Smolder call him out every time he gets caught. Neither the story nor them downplay the bad things Garble did, emphasized earlier by how Spike would rather help hatch the eggs than be around him. The fact that Garble himself fears being picked on is not an excuse for picking on Spike in return. The fact that he defied Smolder's warning from earlier more than justified her to angrily call him out for picking on him. Small for her, sure, but important on the whole. Why? Because she keeps her promise to both him and Spike and shows she's taking both her professors' classes to heart and Spike's wellbeing seriously. However, rather than get defensive, everyone had to go to the nesting grounds, as the eggs were shaking from the baby dragons from inside feeling too cold. They've been inside for days, but they're newborns, and they're dependent on warmth from the underneath lava to keep them warm as they hatch. Ember called upon "every dragon" (or if the episode was more specific, every dragon she could find) to hatch them, but the fire was too cool. There, as Garble's "friends" laugh at him so hard that their fire becomes hotter, Garble notices a break. See the fumes? The eggshells were heating up. But how to do it better? At that point, Garble takes advantage. Earlier, he worried about others making fun of him for his creativity. Here, if he can get them to laugh at him, they can shoot fire onto the eggs. Will they make fun of him for it? Of course, and he knows it! But he soon stopped caring about what they think and agreed to trade embarrassment for the baby dragons' health. After briefly wallowing, he takes her lessons to heart, starting with this. Like Rarity years ago, he calls him "Spikey-Wikey" sincerely. As he beats the drums and recites the poems, Spike supports him all the way, snapping his own claws to stay into the tune. The more he recited and banged the drums, the more confident he became. When he recited his first poem, he exchanged eye contact with Spike, knowing that he'll embrace his creativity and back him when needed. Afterwards, he said nothing for a good few seconds. As he banged his drums, he became one with the music and his writings. The lack of confidence from before dissipated. Ironically, the more they laughed at his poetry, the more confident he became. By laughing at him, they're falling into his trick, which helps the babies hatch. Pay attention to the last three poems: All of them have a double meaning. In addition to telling the eggs to break free from the eggs, he was also telling himself and everyone else he wasn't hiding his talents anymore. He was proud to write poems, be a poet, and show it off. If they mock him, so what? That's their problem, not his. His self-confidence rose exponentially, and he singlehandedly saved a generation of dragons from freezing to death. The fact that Dragon Lord Ember defended him instantly after they hatched proves to everyone that their talents matter and should be celebrated. She loves the Dragon Lands and her culture, but she has a history of being looked down for being smaller in stature (and thus "weaker" than other candidates three seasons ago), so them mocking him was personal. If they continued to bully others for not being "real" dragons, then those eggs don't hatch. Thanks to Garble and Ember's and Smolder's fervent defenses of him, the dragons learn an important lesson of how they can improve relations with each other. If there's one thing here to comment, though, the fact that Garble's three friends had a change of heart seconds after Ember announced a massive change in its culture makes their change of heart feel less like an organic want to learn and more of "follow the leader." That said, the others agreed after realizing what he accomplished, implicating they're sincere. And @Truffles points out a really interesting, subtle secondary message. By unknowingly "hogging" the lava from the lake, they accidentally changed the landscape and put the lives of baby dragons (that she promised to take care of) in serious jeopardy. They count on her to protect their children at all costs; Ember's rightfully upset at them and treated the situation with the urgency it deserves. They were lucky to prevent the problem from getting worse, but if they're not careful next time, they might not be. This episode has rough edges. There were areas that could've definitely been improved on, one of them making Billy, Fume, and Clump less half-dimensional. Yes, seeing them angrily called out was satisfying, but it's like eating a Mickie D's burger with fries: It's filling for now, but it won't fill you for long. The dialogue's serviceable. And Garble's reformation could've been more natural. However, compared to Complete Crap Clause, this was much better in comparison. Characters remained in character. Beyer-Johnson expands dragon lore more. Garble's bullying and excuses weren't tolerated. And by taking his lessons to heart, he saves hundreds of vulnerable baby dragons and evolves one crucial component of dragon culture. Spike's the lead, but he, Fluttershy, and Smolder share great moments, and Garble reforms, ending their series-long rivalry. Sweet and Smoky overcomes its flaws and is executed effectively, resulting in a good episode.
  2. This post is a sequel to my post about Spike and Smolder being long-lost siblings: https://mlpforums.com/topic/175791-theory-on-smolder/ Remember when Smolder said she had a brother that she was glad to get rid of when he went through his molt phase? If Smolder was still around during that, then she has an older brother, and me, along with many others were thinking, what if Garble is Smolder's brother? And since I think Spike is Smolder's long-lost brother, that would extent that Garble would be Spike's brother too! DUN DUN DUN! :O I think this would work fantastic! Know why? Cause Spike and Garble have been arch-nemeses since Dragon Quest, and how would the two of them feel if they were actually siblings this whole time? Smolder would play as the neutral party in this regard to try to get them to get along, but Garble just won't accept a "pony dragon" as a brother! But then some kind of phenomena happens that would persuade Spike and Garble to finally get along! What kind of phenomena would that be? Well that's up to the writers to decide! This could be Garble's way of reforming (if he does)! Now I'm NOT asking you how likely would this be, I'm asking you what would you think about this scenario?
  3. A story I wrote back from 2017. Took me a few months to plan and a few days to write. One of my biggest and more adult MLP stories. Hercules And Gloriosa Daisy's Heroic Action One day in the other world, well, actually, this story starts out in an open sea closest to where the town in the other world is. It started out on a stormy coastline and riding the violent waves was a small boat, piloted by a young sailor and his crew. "Come on, you puny thunderstorm!" the man shouted, "Is that all you got! I've seen waterspout throw up more waves than you! Ok, maybe I shouldn't have said that!" "Uh, Hercules?" another man said. "Oh, right," the man, whose name is Hercules replied, "Let's make it through safely. Everyone, to your post! Now!" The men wasted no time and headed to their post. "We go forward!" Hercules said, "Even the bilge tanks!" So, with the crew's help, they all made it through the fierce storm and were now sailing into clear waters. "Luckily the storm has headed south," one crew member said, "We're going north." "Right there, laddie," said Hercules. Afterwards, Hercules and his crew continued to sail into clearer waters. At the same a young woman was helping a group of children at the camp that she and her brother runs. The two are doing better since they've nearly lost the camp a few months ago. "All right, everyone!" the young woman, named Gloriosa Daisy, said, "Today, camp is a-okay!" "Right, sister," her younger brother, Timber Spruce agreed. That day had gone on like any other day since that one faithful day. "All right, kids," Gloriosa Daisy said, "Let's go play nature volleyball!" "Ok!" the children replied. "Excellent!" Gloriosa Daisy said excitedly. Of course, Gloriosa Daisy has learned that having a great time at camp is doing whatever makes other people happy, not trapping people in a vine cage for all eternity. "All right, Gloriosa," Timber Spruce said, "Let's just stick to having fun. For everyone." "Right," Gloriosa Daisy agreed. A few months ago, Camp Everfree was nearly going bankrupt and a man named Filthy Rich was putting a lot of pressure onto Gloriosa Daisy, threatening to shut down Camp Everfree for his own business. Since then, Filthy Rich had been sticking to his own business practices. However, on this day, Filthy Rich's limousine driver stopped at an old warehouse. Filthy Rich then stepped out of the vehicle, a little bit scared and walked into the old warehouse. It was dark and dirty. "Uh, excuse me?" Filthy Rich said, with confidence at first, but inside, he was nervous, "I'm here? So? Can we get down to business?" "So!" a voice boomed, "What do you want? Maggot?" Filthy Rich tried to gather his courage together, but it wasn't easy for him. "My name is Filthy Rich," Filthy Rich said nervously. "I already know your name, you stupidhead!" the voice roared. "Yes," Filthy Rich answered, "Bones? That's your name?" "Imbecile!" the voice boomed, "Get on with it!" "Well?" Bones asked demandingly. "Here's your monthly pay," Filthy rich said, handing the man in the shadows, named Bones some money. That's when a light revealed a frightening-looking man. This made Filthy Rich even more nervous and afraid. Bone then looked at the money and he was unsatisfied. "You worthless punkhead!" Bone screamed throwing the money back at Filthy Rich, "Hundreds is not enough for me!" "But-but," Filthy Rich whimpered, "But I- I. Listen, you see-" "Ok," Bones interrupted, "I'm bored by your stuttering sentence." He then got up and aimed a rifle at Filthy Rich's feet. "Now shut up and dance!" Bones yelled and started firing at Filthy Rich. Filthy Rich had to lift his feet a lot of times to avoid getting shot. After a minute, Bones stopped firing. "That's what I call an idiom being taken to a new level!" a voice laughed, "How hilarious!" "Shut up, Garble!" Bone shouted, "Or your next on the dance list!" "Sorry, boss," Garble replied. "Now morons!" Bones shouted. "Yes, boss?" some of the thugs replied. "Over here, now!" Bones yelled and the thugs obeyed. "Do you think Filthy Rich the big looser looked entertaining?" Clump asked. "We think so," Garble answered. "Silence, you morons!" Bones shouted and then he took out a pocket knife and pointed it at Filthy Rich whimpered in fear. "Listen here, you pathetic worthless piece of garbage!" Bones scolded, "I now want 900 million dollars from you! And I want it from you right away, or I'll have your face as a trophy for my wild animal collection!" "But," Filthy Rich whimpered, "You've asked for a thousand." "I want more, you creep!" Bones yelled, "Now get out there and give me what I want!" He then pushed Filthy Rich down really hard. "Okay, okay," Filthy Rich whimpered, "I'll get you what I want. Just let me go!" "Good," Bones said, "Now get out of my sight!" "Yes," Filthy Rich replied and he scurried on out of the warehouse. "What a fool," Garble said. "Soon," Bones whispered, "Filthy Rich will be out of our lives. He he he!" The following day, Gloriosa Daisy and Timber Spruce got outside. It was time for the children to return to their home. "Goodbye, children!" Gloriosa Daisy said. "Bye, Gloriosa!" the children called back. They waved goodbye until the children were out of sight. Minutes later, Gloriosa Daisy was sitting on the dock of the lake. Soon, Timber Spruce walked up to his older sister. "Good thing that those girls rebuilt this dock for the eight time," he said jokingly. "True," Gloriosa Daisy. "Gloriosa," Timber Spruce said, "I'm glad that you are you." "Thanks," Gloriosa Daisy said. But then, they heard gunshots from nearby. "Trouble," Gloriosa Daisy said, getting up, "Come on!" "Right!" Timber Spruce replied and both ran into the forest. "Be careful," Timber Spruce said. Soon, both Timber Spruce and Gloriosa Daisy encountered the hunters. "Hunters!" Timber Spruce said, "Poachers, I meant!" "Stop it!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted. "Camp Everfree is a "No Hunting" area!" Timber Spruce shouted. "No," one hunter said, "I think we're going to find a gold mine here!" "Well, you're not going to succeed!" Timber Spruce said. "Rare animals!" one of the hunters shouted and both got out their rifles. "We're going to commit a murder!" the hunter said. "Make that two!" the other said. "Look out, Gloriosa!" Timber Spruce shouted as the hunters prepared to open fire on the two. That's when they were hit by rocks. "What?" Gloriosa Daisy thought. And that is when they both saw a man whom they had never seen before. "You've got a lot of nerve to hunt down innocent people, you freak shows!" Hercules said to the poachers in a scolding manner. "We'll show you!" one of the hunters said and they aimed at Hercules. Hercules responded by charging towards the hunters and slamming them with their own guns. "Wow," Timber Spruce said. "Wow!" Gloriosa Daisy exclaimed. Hercules then threw the guns away. "How dare you!" one of the hunters shouted, charging towards Hercules. "Watch out!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted. Luckily, Hercules then grabbed one hunter and body slammed him really hard. "I think I've broken my hip!" the hunter groaned. "My turn," Gloriosa Daisy said as the other one ran towards her with a dagger. She tripped him and he ended up slamming his face onto a rock. "Done," said Gloriosa Daisy. "We'll deal with you," Timber Spruce said in a scolding manner. "No way!" one of the hunters said, trying to reach for his gun, only to have Hercules stomp on his hand, nearly breaking it off. "That ought to teach you!" Hercules said as the hunter screamed in pain. Both immediately admitted their defeat and later, they were arrested. "Thank you so much, mister," Timber Spruce said. "Oh," Hercules replied, "My name is Hercules. You're welcome." "Mr. Hercules," Timber Spruce said, "Thanks. My name is Timber Spruce. And-" Timber Spruce immediately noticed Gloriosa Daisy holding onto Hercules' hands. "Wha?" Hercules replied, confused. "My name is Gloriosa Daisy, Mr. Hercules," Gloriosa Daisy said. "You're welcome," Hercules replied, "I'm glad that they didn't hurt you." This time, Gloriosa Daisy hugged Hercules. "Wow," Hercules thought, "I am popular for that." "I know it's something else," Timber Spruce said. "Hey, I was joking about popular," Hercules retorted. "I think my sister suddenly developed a crush on you," Timber Spruce said. "Really?" Hercules replied, looking at Gloriosa Daisy, and then he smiled, "Well, I'm impressed." "Hey, I got a girlfriend back in the local town," Timber Spruce said, "It's my sister's turn. "All right, Gloriosa," Hercules said, "We can hang out. Together then." "Thanks," Gloriosa Daisy smiled. "We will," Hercules said, "But I got to get back to my crew now." "Oh," Timber Spruce said, "You're a sailor then." "Yep," Hercules smiled, "I am. One of the toughest." "So?" Timber Spruce started to ask a question. "I'm not the captain of the ship, you know," said Hercules, "I'm just a sailor." "Right," said Timber Spruce. "Now I must return to my crew," Hercules said, "We've just stopped to unload our goods here. I was doing my job, but I've decided to go out into the woods because I was curious. And then when I saw you were in trouble, I've helped you." "Oh," said Gloriosa Daisy, "Do you think we could meet up sometime?" "Why sure," Hercules replied, "I'll be here for about a few months. So, see you later!" With that said, Hercules ran off to join up with his fellow crewmates. "He's a nice guy," said Timber Spruce. "He sure is," Gloriosa Daisy said in a dreamy tone of voice, "I can't wait to see him again." "Right," Timber Spruce said, "Let's head on back." That's what they did, but for the rest of the day, Gloriosa Daisy couldn't stop thinking about Hercules. Still, both Gloriosa Daisy and Timber Spruce did their normal jobs at Camp Everfree. A few days later, Gloriosa Daisy was doing some paperwork. Tomorrow, she was going to go into town to pick up a few things for the local animals. This time, Gloriosa Daisy was in a good mood because she knew that she would run into Hercules while picking up the order. That's when Timber Spruce walked into her office. "Hey, Gloriosa," he said, "Still thinking about that man who saved us?" "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy answered. "Well," Timber Spruce said, "Good luck with meeting him again." "I will, Gloriosa Daisy said, "I defiantly will." Then Timber Spruce left Glorisa Daisy alone. The following day, Gloriosa Daisy did head into town to pick up some important items for the forest. And of course, she ran into Hercules after she got what she needed. Hercules immediately noticed Gloriosa Daisy. "Well," Hercules smiled, "If it isn't the daisy from Everfree." "Yes, I am," Gloriosa Daisy smiled, "I'm making my runs." "Collecting stuff for Everfree?" Hercules asked. "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy smiled, "But I don't need to go back right away." "Ok," Hercules smiled, "I'm off duty for a week now. You know, they need to work some things out, the shipmen. So, I'll tag along with you all the time. If you like." "Thanks," Gloriosa Daisy smiled. And soon, they came across a young couple. "Hi," Hercules said to the couple. "You must be Maud Pie," Gloriosa Daisy said, "Pinkie Pie's older sister." "Yes," Maud Pie answered. "I'm impressed," Hercules said, "Who's Pinkie Pie?" "My young sister who is energetic," Maud Pie answered. "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy agreed, "Who's he?" "Meet Sedimentary," said Maud Pie, "My new boyfriend." "Hi" said Sedimentary. "I think Boulder is hungry," said Sedimentary. "Thanks," Maud Pie replied. "We see," said Hercules As Maud Pie and Sedimentary left. "I don't get her," Gloriosa Daisy said. "Let's move on then?" Hercules suggested. And so they did. Soon, they saw Derpy Hooves with Doctor Hooves walking to an amusement park together. "I know what you're thinking," Hercules said. "Yeah," Gloriosa Daisy replied, "You want to come back to Camp Everfree with me?" "Sure," Hercules answered, "To make the delivery. We'll come back here later." "Right!" Gloriosa Daisy replied and so, it was done. Hours later, both Gloriosa Daisy and Hercules returned to the center of town and started to spend time together. Nearby. "Hey, look!" Pinkie Pie said, "It's Gloriosa Daisy with a man." "I think that's her boyfriend," said Rarity. "I knew that," said Pinkie Pie. "Let's hope-" said Rainbow Dash. "Don't worry," said Applejack, "She's not under stress now. She's fine now." "Yes, that's true," Fluttershy agreed. "And Gloriosa learned that having a great time at camp is doing whatever makes other people happy, not trapping people in a vine cage for all eternity," Pinkie Pie said. "Right," Applejack agreed. "You know those girls?" Hercules asked Gloriosa Daisy. "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy answered, "They helped me to see a better light." "How?" Hercules asked. And thus, Gloriosa Daisy explained what she had nearly done a few months ago. "I see," said Hercules, "Some business man put you under a lot of pressure. And you tampered with some unknown force." "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy replied. "And you became a fictional tree creature," Hercules said. "That's how you describe it," Gloriosa Daisy said. "Never mind that," said Hercules in an uplifting voice, "That's in the past now. You have your camp." "Right," Gloriosa Daisy agreed, "And now, I have you." "Yes," said Hercules, "So we can be together." "We are together," Gloriosa Daisy smiled. "Right," a familiar voice said. Gloriosa Daisy knew who it is. "Filthy Rich!" Gloriosa Daisy said out loud. "I didn't do it," Hercules said, "But man, you look terrible." "You look stressed beyond belief," Gloriosa Daisy said. "That's right," Filthy Rich said, trying to sound business-like, but couldn't. "All right," Hercules said in a serious tone, "What's going on?" "I must pay Bones soon!" Filthy Rich answered franticly, "Millions!" "Bones?" Gloriosa Daisy repeated, "Isn't what you've made enough for someone like him?" "No!" Filthy Rich answered. "Now you're in my shoes," Gloriosa Daisy said. "Wait a minute," Hercules said, "I think one of my crewmates mentioned Bones' name. He said that he is a crime boss who loves violence as a solution to all of his problems! So he love murder! Why would you work for someone like him?!" "I didn't have any other choice!" Filthy Rich answered, "It all happened after Camp Everfree was saved." "What?" Gloriosa Daisy asked. "So I asked Bones for money," Filthy Rich said, "To pay for the debt my business was suffering and now, Bones wants more!" "We can see that," said Gloriosa Daisy, "Why?" "I wasn't thinking at all!" Filthy Rich cried. "And now Bones has put you in a situation that is dangerous," said Hercules. "Maybe we can help you," said Gloriosa Daisy. "Really?" Filthy Rich asked. "Sure," Gloriosa Daisy said kindly, "Even though you did try to shut down my camp." "Right," said Filthy Rich, "I'm sorry for what you had to go through." "I forgive," said Gloriosa Daisy. "Thanks," Filthy Rich said. "All right then," said Hercules with determination, "Let me deal with this son-of-a-" "Ok, right," said Gloriosa Daisy. So Filthy Rich led the two to the same warehouse. "This is the place," said Filthy Rich, "I'm scared." "Don't worry," said Hercules, "We'll settle things out." When they walked inside, they were greeted with fire and explosions. "Oh no!" Filthy Rich said and that's when Bone's henchmen, Garble, Clump and Fume, and all of the others, were running around the three with torches and sharp blades. "Well," said Hercules, "These stupid morons obviously forgotten the lesson about running around with scissors." "Look!" Garble said in a taunting voice, "It's the pathetic coward, Filthy Rich, with two big fat losers!" "Hey!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted, I'm not fat!" "We have a lot of losers!" the other henchmen taunted, "Losers! Stupid! Stupid!" "Who raised them?" Hercules wandered. That's when Garble ran into Hercules' right. "You're a big, stupid looser with the loser! Filthy rich the coward! You know what, boat, looser, I think your mother is a pathetic looser like you! You're a-" "My mother is nothing like you, you pathetic creep show!" Hercules shouted, "And you're done taunting my friends!" With that said, Hercules punched Garble really hard, sending him flying through the air and crashing into a crate. The other henchmen gasped. "You all want a fight with me?!" Hercules shouted. "No," a familiar voice said, "That won't be necessary." "That's bones," Filthy Rich said. Sure enough, Bones entered their sight. "Well," Bone said as he had a drink of something toxic, "Did you like my welcome ceremony?" "It was the worst!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted. "So, I see that you've made friends for once in your life!" Bone said, "I'm impressed!" "Yes," said Filthy Rich, "For once." Then he looked at Gloriosa Daisy. "I see that you've brought friends," said Bones, "But you didn't bring the money, you coward." "That's true!" said Filthy Rich, "You know what? I wish I had never met you!" "Then it's done!" Bones said out loud. "What?" Hercules said. "We've should have thrown a going away party!" said Bones. "Right, boss," said Garble, still feeling the pain from Hercules' punch. "Let's just go with what we have here for the ceremony," said Bones, "And therefore, Filthy Rich, you are free to go." "Right!" the other henchmen said. "This is odd," said Hercules. "Yeah," said Gloriosa Daisy. "Bring Filthy Rich the ankle bracelet of friendship is magic and we'll call it even," Bones ordered. "Right, boss," said Fume. "Come on!" Garble shouted, "Let's just obey the boss." "Right," Fume agreed and they left to get the said bracelet. "All right," said Filthy Rich. "Something isn't right here," said Hercules. "I agree," said Gloriosa Daisy, "This is too easy." So Garble, Clump and Fume got the said bracelet. "Is it the bracelet?" Clump asked. "Fine, Clump," Garble replied, "Fume! Bring in the leg bracelet." "This one?" Fume asked. "Yes, that one, you blind boy!" Garble said. "Don't insult me, lockjaw," Fume retorted. "I'll hit you for that," Garble said to Fume, "Just do it!" Soon, the three henchmen present the ankle bracelet said Filthy Rich and placed it onto his right ankle and locked it on. "There," said Garble, "A gift for freedom." "Uh, thanks?" said Filthy Rich. "All right," said Bones, "The away ceremony is done. You're free to go." "Oh, thanks," said Filthy Rich, "Oh, thank you so much!" "Yep," said Bones. "And also, just in time to catch my next flight," Filthy Rich said. "We wish you good luck then," Bones said, "Goodbye." "Ok," said Filthy Rich, "See ya!" And with that said, Filthy Rich left the warehouse. But Gloriosa Daisy and Hercules didn't buy the whole thing. "Something is wrong," said Gloriosa Daisy, "We'd better follow Filthy Rich to see if he's all right." "Right," Hercules agreed. And so they both left the warehouse together following Filthy Rich. Then Bones smiled sinisterly. "I really mean that this is a going away ceremony," Bones said with a smirk, "Literally. Good bye, Filthy Rich. You should have given me my money today. Later, we'll take it from your company!" To check on Filthy Rich, both Gloriosa Daisy and Hercules followed him to the airplane that he was going to catch and thus, they got on the same flight. It was going to take them to an unknown location. But this time, it won't get the destination. On board, everything was going smoothly. "Well, this is something unique," said Gloriosa Daisy, "I'd never imagine we got on an unknown trip, even though we're not on a date." "Yeah," said Hercules, "This is unexpected. I'm surprised. You've said that Filthy Rich had put you under a lot of pressure. So much that you've nearly gone insane. Now you were willing to help him." "Yeah," Gloriosa Daisy agreed, "I guess it wouldn't right to let him go through the same thing I did." "But on a dangerous level," said Hercules, "I've dealt with many dangers across the sea. This whole thing, with Filthy Rich, was almost something like that. And I wasn't expecting all that since I was a child." "What?" Gloriosa Daisy asked. "As a kid, I love boats and I wanted to become a sailor. It was my lifelong dream. I did achieve what I've always wanted to do, but at a cost. There were so many things that I've never thought it would happen as a kid. Crooks and dangerous pirates and murders. Also some scurvy. As time went on, I've learned to handle it. And it worked. But that was a harsh life lesson for me." "I know," said Gloriosa Daisy, "And do you hear a beeping?" "Yeah," said Hercules, "A harsh life lesson for me and my fellow crewmates. Yep, life is something unexpected and actually, yeah. There's something beeping." That's when one of the flight attendants on board walked up beside Filthy Rich. "Excuse me," she said to him, "Please keep your electronic device down. You're disturbing some of the passengers." "Yes," Filthy Rich replied, only to find out that he never had an electronic device out. "What?" he thought. "Mister," the flight attendant said. "Wait a minute," said Gloriosa Daisy, "Hercules, come!" And so, they both got up and ran towards Filthy Rich. "Hercules?" Filthy Rich said, "Gloriosa?" "Excuse me," the flight attendant said. "Wait," said Hercules, "I know that kind of beeping. Where is it coming from? Filthy Rich, your ankle bracelet!" "What?!" Filthy rich exclaimed and he held his right leg out. Hercules then rolled up Filthy Rich's pants to reveal the ankle bracelet. That is where the beeping sound is coming from. "What?" the flight attendant asked. "It's coming from here!" Hercules shouted, noticing one of the screws is loose. They removed the screws and the small panel to reveal a horrible surprise. "I knew it!" Hercules shouted. "What?!" Filthy Rich asked, worried. "There's a bomb in your bracelet!" Glorisa Daisy shouted, "That!" "What?!" the flight attendant. This alerted everyone on board. "A bomb?!" one passenger shouted. The alarm spread throughout the entire plane. "Alert! Alert!" the captain of the plane called into the nearby air tower, "We have a bomb on board! Repeat! We have a bomb on board!" "How?" one of the flight attendants asked. "Bones did this," Hercules said, "This bomb must have been built to bypass strong security. As well as being hidden inside the bracelet. "But how, why?" Filthy Rich, "Bones said he was letting me go!" "That snake!" Hercules yelled, "He lied to you! He is now trying to have you killed and now, all of us!" "Then?" Filthy Rich asked. "It was literally!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted, "The going away ceremony!" "We have to do something now!" Hercules shouted. "But-," Filthy Rich said. "If that bomb goes off now," Hercules said seriously, "We're all dead! Now, everyone, don't panic!" "But, Hercules," Filthy Rich said. "No," said Hercules with confidence, "I've got this." "Really?" Gloriosa Daisy asked, "That's what I've said." "Yes," Hercules replied, "I've disarmed a bomb on one of my ships before. And this will be no different. Someone hand me a toolbox." "Right!" one of the flight attendants replied. Hercules then carefully removed the bracelet from Filthy Rich's leg. He was careful not to tamper with the bomb inside, or it'll explode. That's when Gloriosa Daisy received the toolbox from the flight attendant and she handed it to Hercules. "No time to waste time!" Hercules said seriously, "We've got to make this quick!" "Go for it," said Gloriosa Daisy. Immediately, Hercules got some tools and started to disarm the bomb. Everyone held their breath. Finally, after a few minutes, Hercules successfully disarmed the bomb and everyone on bars is saved. "That was freaking close!" Hercules exclaimed in relief. "Thanks," Filthy Rich sighed in relief. "Wow," Gloriosa Daisy said as everyone cheered for Hercules. "Glad life has many surprises," said Hercules. That's when Gloriosa Daisy kissed Hercules. "A kiss as a reward," Hercules smiled, "Now I'll return the reward." And so, Hercules kissed Gloriosa Daisy back. "Thanks," Gloriosa Daisy smiled. "Thanks," Filthy Rich said, "You've saved my life. And everyone else's, too." "Right," said Hercules, "Now we're turning back. So let's pay a visit to you know who." "You mean?" Filthy Rich asked. "It's time we stand up to him," said Hercules. "All right," Filthy Rich said. "Ok," Gloriosa Daisy agreed. "We know what we're doing," said Hercules. At the old abandoned warehouse, Bones and his henchmen were celebrating the death of Filthy Rich. "That loser is dead now!" Garble said. "Right!" Clump agreed. "Dead, dead, dead!" said Fume. Of course, they don't know what had happened. They're now expecting Filthy Rich to be dead. "My friends," said Bones as he was drinking something toxic, "I'm glad that we're enjoying our party. But the time has come, you know." "Right, boss!" Garble said. "The boss is now wasted," said Fume. "No, I am not!" said Bones angrily, "We shall leave immediately. No hesitation!" "Right, boss!" Garble said. "I'll lead the way!" Fume said, running towards the door, only to have it slammed in his face. "OW!" Fume exclaimed, "That smarts!" "What were you expecting, blind boy?" a familiar voice said, "Hello, everyone. Missed me?" The henchmen and Bones gasped in surprise. "Filthy Rich?" they all said together. "Yep," Filthy Rich said, "Who were you expecting? King Henry the Worst?" "But how?" Garble asked. "My new friends," said Filthy Rich and that's when Hercules and Gloriosa Daisy showed up. "So," Filthy Rich said, "You creeps thought you could get rid of me that easily. Well, think again! Thanks to my friends." "Right," said Hercules, "So, you think killing innocent people is the answer to your selfish desire?" "Well," Bones said, trying to think of an answer. That's when Hercules swung a crowbar out and broke off part of the warehouse door? "All right!" Hercules shouted, "Bring it on, creep! Now let's get this on!" "Oh and by the way," said Gloriosa Daisy, holding the ankle bracelet, "I've got this!" And she threw the bracelet towards them, which held the reactivated bomb inside. "My toy!" Fume said, trying to grab the bracelet. "No, you stupid!" Bones shouted. Too late as Fume grabbed onto the bracelet and the bomb inside exploded. "That was a fun game," Fume coughed. "Say," said Garble, "Did you tighten the screws on that bracelet?" "No," Fume answered. That's when bone walked towards Fume and ripped off some of his hair. Fume screamed in pain. "That must have hurt," said Clump. "Now, all of you stupid minions murder them for the last time!" Bones roared. "Right, boss!" Garble said and all got out their guns. "Watch out!" Hercules shouted as they opened fire onto them. Luckily, they've gotten behind a steel wall. "We've got to do something!" Hercules said urgently. "This is more fun than a video game!" Garble shouted as he fired his rifle. Clump, Fume and the others giggled as they continued firing shots. "We need to do something now!" said Filthy Rich. That's when Gloriosa Daisy noticed a bottle. "Sulfuric acid?" Gloriosa Daisy said. "I knew it," Filthy Rich said. "What?" Gloriosa Daisy asked. "Throw it onto their firearms!" Hercules ordered. "I've got this!" Gloriosa Daisy said and she threw the bottles into the air above the firing gunmen. "What?" Garble thought as the cork of the bottle popped off and sulfuric acid was splashed onto their guns. The result is that the guns exploded. "I'm ruined!" Clump cried. "Well," said Hercules, "Looks like I've got beating up to do!" And thus, Hercules jumped out from behind the wall and started beating up the henchmen. "Wow," said Filthy Rich, "He's strong." "He said he wasn't prepared for something like this as a child, "Gloriosa Daisy said, "But he'd learn to deal with it." "All right, let's go after Bones," said Filthy Rich. "Yes," Gloriosa Daisy agreed. "It's time I stand up to that monster," Filthy Rich said. And soon, they found Bones trying to reach an emergency exit. "I am not going to stand with this!" Bones growled and immediately, he was confronted by Gloriosa Daisy and Filthy Rich. "Going somewhere?" Filthy Rich asked, "You liar!" "Yes!" Bones answered, "Escape!" He pulled out a rifle and aimed it at Filthy Rich. "I'll take care of you myself!" Bones yelled and he started firing. Luckily, Filthy Rich managed to avoid getting shot. "Enough!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted and he managed to stop Bones form using his rifle. "Let go of my gun, you witch!" Bones shouted. "Don't you dare call me a witch!" Gloriosa Daisy shouted back and she refused to let go of the gun. "Thanks," Filthy Rich said, "Now it's my turn!" He walked to Bones and started punching him in the face. One punch caused him to let go of his rifle and Gloriosa Daisy tossed it aside. "You nearly put a lot of people in danger!" Filthy Rich said to Bones, "Take this!" He continued to punch Bones multiple times, close to breaking some of his bones. "Wow," Gloriosa Daisy thought, "Filthy Rich, you've changed." Soon, Hercules was done beating up the henchmen, and thus, he left to find Gloriosa Daisy and Filthy Rich. He was impressed with what he saw. "Wow," Hercules thought, "I'm impressed." "Uncle! Uncle!" Bones whimpered, "I surrender!" "Ok, good!" Filthy Rich said, "Now get lost!" "Ok," Bones whimpered, "I'll go away!" "Good!" Filthy Rich said and he walked towards Gloriosa Daisy and Hercules. "You okay?" Hercules asked his friends. "Yes," both Gloriosa Daisy and Filthy Rich. "We are," Gloriosa Daisy said. "I'm glad," said Hercules. "Yeah," said Gloriosa Daisy. But then, Bones then prepared to stab Filthy Rich and Gloriosa Daisy from behind with a knife. "Gloriosa!" Hercules exclaimed, "Rich! Watch out!" Both Gloriosa Daisy and Fitlhy Rich looked back at Bones. Hercules immediately kicked Bones out of the way, causing him to crash into an unstable junk tower. "Wait, oh no!" Hercules cried, "Bones, get away from there, now!" Bones was slow to respond and the junk pile started to topple over. After Bones got up, the steel block on top of the junk pile tumbled down and smashed Bones to death. "No," Hercules said quietly. "Oh my," Filthy Rich said. Both Hercules and Gloriosa Daisy ran to the fallen steel block. The beaten-up henchmen arrived next. "Boss?" Garble asked. "Bones?" said Filthy Rich. Both Gloriosa Daisy and Hercules could see blood pouring out from the crack underneath the heavy steel block. "As cruel as Bone is," said Hercules, "He didn't deserve this fate. Sorry." "It's okay," Gloriosa Daisy said and she hugged her boyfriend. "Ok," said Filthy Rich, "That was scary." Garble and his fellow henchmen stared in surprise. "We are," Garble said, "Going to run away like cowards!" "Run away like cowards!" the other henchmen said. And so, they ran outside, only to run into a group of police officers whom surrounded the building. "Freeze!" one cop shouted. "We're turning ourselves in like cowards!" Garble said and he and his fellow henchmen surrendered to the police officers. They were immediately handcuffed and thrown into the back of the police cars. "You are one of the top ten most wanted," Officer Gila said to one of the thugs. "You too," Officer Komodo said to another, "I'm glad that you're too weak in injured to resist." "What was day," Filthy Rich groaned. "No kidding," said Hercules, "Never thought this would happen as a kid. But that was then. This was reality." "You've told me that," said Gloriosa Daisy. "Yes," said Hercules. That was when the chief spoke to Gloriosa Daisy, Hercules and Filthy Rich. "Well done," he said, "We wouldn't have brought them in without your help." "Yeah," said Hercules, "Sorry about their boss. We've tried to help him, too." "Yeah," said Filthy Rich. "We know," the chief said, "You've done the best you've could. And mister?" "Yes?" Hercules replied. "We've heard what you've done on the plane with the bomb incident. You are a hero for that." "We all are," said Hercules. "Thanks," the chief said, "A lot of people's lives were put in danger. Had you not done anything." "Mister," Filthy Rich said, "I am so sorry for allowing that to happen." "We understand," the chief said, "You need time to recover. Take a month off, I suggest." "Thank you," Gloriosa Daisy said. "Yes," said Filthy Rich. "Now I must help out with other incidents," the chief said before leaving, "Take care now." "Thanks," said Filthy Rich, "Thanks for everything, Gloriosa and Hercules." "No problem," Gloriosa Daisy smiled. "We're happy to help," said Hercules. "Also, Gloriosa," Filthy Rich said, "Go ahead. He's yours." "Right!" Gloriosa Daisy said and he hugged Hercules. "All right, Gloriosa Daisy," Hercules smiled, "You'll get now." And he picked up Gloriosa Daisy and kissed. "I love you," Gloriosa Daisy said. "I love you, too," said Hercules. And they continued kissing each other. "Good luck with your future, you two," Filthy Rich said with a smile in his voice. Some years later, a young girl was playing in the river. At the moment, she was having a fun time playing. "All right!" a voice called out and the little girl responded. It is Gloriosa Daisy. "Sakura!" Gloriosa Daisy called out, "Sakura Blossoms! It's dinner time come on in and wash up!" "Ok, mom!" the little girl replied. Her name is Sakura Blossoms. "Daddy is making your special," Gloriosa Daisy told her daughter, "Cheese sandwich!" "I'm glad," Hercules smiled, "Cheese sandwich it is!" "Thank you, daddy," said Sakura Blossoms. "Hercules," Gloriosa Daisy said to her husband, "I've got a letter from the other dimension." "Oh," said Hercules, "Is it from one of your friends from a long time ago who helped you with your situation? Who is now living there with her husband and has a daughter of their own?" "Yes!" Gloriosa Daisy replied excitedly, "They've said that their daughter and her boyfriend are attending a magical camp there!" "That's good news," Hercules said. "Yes!" Gloriosa Daisy replied. "Yes," Hercules smiled, "And now, we all have a bright future to look forward to." "Yes, mommy and daddy," Sakura Blossoms said in response. "We all do," Hercules said.
  4. I just realized something, as you know, we learned that Dragons aren't jerks by biology or DNA, it had to do with culture, and the culture was "Every dragon for themselves", and that friendship and community were for the weak. But I don't know if anyone noticed, but, the dragons who at first laughed at Spike, then bowed when he became dragon lord, all witnessed a revelation, I mean they must have been shocked when Spike gave up ultimate power to Ember, and when Ember said something how it takes much more then being big and strong to be a leader, all the young dragons happily agreed with her. I feel that this shows much greater loyalty and change ahead for dragons. The fact that they witnessed and must realize that friendship and community are not a sign of weakness but s great strength. the only thing that is a small problem is that competition is something they do have instincts for, but with all learned in Triple Threat, I feel Dragons won't be seen as scary creatures anymore and more along the lines of a whole race of rainbow dashes(meaning they love to compete but are humble) for instance in the future, a dragon might raise a lost orphan foal.
  5. Good morning, everypony, and welcome to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! First of all, I want to apologize for taking so long to get around to this review; last week was a nightmare as far as school work was concerned, and I had two honking big papers to finish up. Thankfully, that's all done, so that out of the way I now bring you my thoughts on "Gauntlet of Fire." And... well, this might just be my favorite Spike episode ever. It appears the DHX folks have resoundingly learned from their mistakes in some of the clunkier Spike episodes in earlier seasons and must have some writers there who just GET how to write Spike, because he's had some great episodes in the last two seasons. He held his own great in the season finale, but this episode was even better. In summing up what made this episode so great, we really need to look at two things: world building and characters. Starting with the former, this was a great world building episode. We learned a lot more about dragons than we knew before, we got to see a really cool new environment, and it added overall just another nice layer to the already huge world of MLP. I think the one thing that put me off a bit was that we didn't see any large adult dragons around besides the Dragon Lord Torch, and that was confusing considering we've seen plenty of dragons close to his size before. Maybe only younger dragons were allowed to compete for the title of Dragon Lord, I don't know, but it was a bit odd (though admittedly, it would've been unrealistic for Spike to win if he were competing against dragons that big). I did love the various dragons we got to see, some of them had very cool designs. And this last bit may not count as world building, but I absolutely adored that Celestia and Luna showed up at the beginning of the episode. I've been wanting to see them doing just day-to-day stuff for the longest time, so to actually see it was great and hopefully a harbinger of things to come this season, including, hopefully, the long-awaited Celestia-focused episode. Plus it made sense that they'd know what the call of the Dragon Lord is considering how long they've been around. Moving on, the rest of the review will largely focus on characters, starting with Spike. Man... this was a GREAT Spike episode, I cannot reiterate that enough. He wasn't treated like a Gary Stu, but it was great that they highlighted just how different he is from the rest of his kind, in a good way. This actually was a very nice continuation of the Season 2 episode Dragon Quest; in that episode, Spike wanted to be more like a dragon in order to connect with his roots, but realized he didn't have to do so when he realized it would mean needlessly being a jerk to others. He walked away from that episode determined to be the best dragon he could be by living the way his pony friends had taught him to, and he re-entered the world of dragons in this episode determined more than ever to do just that. It wasn't a lecture or great power on his part that won the day. It was just boundless kindness, determination, and optimism that won out, and I loved that. It was not only a reflection of how much the ponies have taught Spike, but how much he's learned and matured since Season 1. All he did was keep showing how much better things are to the rest of his kind when you just try to get to others through kindness and friendship rather than hostility, and he very well by the end of the episode may have laid down the foundations for a better future for his whole people. That's awesome, and Spike is awesome. I can only hope we get to see more Spike episodes like this this season. Spike: Dragon Lord of the Friend-zone! OK, that's badass Moving on, we come to the NEW character that everyone cannot stop talking about, for very, very, VERY good reason. Princess (now Dragon Lord) Ember. This character... let me put it this way. After I saw how crazy the fandom was going over her, I was worried that she wouldn't live up to the hype and expectations. I am glad to say I was 110% wrong! Ember was a delight. This was a happy instance of a new character (1) having a great design, (2) having a voice actress that perfectly represented what the character needed to be, (3) went through a character arc where she went from being grumpy and distrustful of others like the rest of her kind to open and receptive to the idea of friendship in just one episode, but it didn't feel forced or artificial, and (4) was just plain adorable, in a very tsundere manner (if you don't know what that is, it's basically how AJ and RD are adorable to; characters, typically female, who hide behind a tough exterior but eventually their warmer side comes out, usually making them more adorable in the process). I really, really dug this character in just about every respect. It felt like the type of character dragons needed. In Dragon Quest, all of the new dragons that Spike met were just over-the-top caricatures of teenage stereotypes. It made some sense, but it was also kinda boring and predictable. Here, we got to meet a character who was intelligent but also fairly set in dragons' ways just because she'd never heard of an alternative, or at least seen any in action. She proved herself, however, to be receptive to new ideas when she saw both the apparent and inherent value of friendship. She didn't just help Spike in the end for utilitarian purposes, she made a decision as well that friendship was something worth fighting for for its own sake. Spike taught all this to her just by being a good guy and showing her a good example, and I thought it made sense that he would leave such an impression on a character as intelligent as her. Overall, I just really, really, REALLY dug Ember, and I really hope we get to see more of this character going forward. She was just kinda awesome all around. BEHOLD, YOUR NEW DRAGON WAIFU!!! You will believe a dragon can be adorable While we're still on the topic of dragons, let's talk about our antagonist, Garble. Honestly, I thought even he was improved by this episode. In his first appearance, he was just kind of a really annoying jerk, but not much of a threat. He was a teenager stereotype, and that made for some laughs, but at the same time I never could take him seriously. Here, they actually struck the right balance. He was still a jerk and an idiot, but he felt plenty threatening as well, especially because of what he planned to do to ponies if he became Dragon Lord. Some of his scenes also made for great Spike scenes, particularly whenever we saw Spike stubbornly remaining his kind and helpful self even to Garble, despite the latter remaining a jerk and a bully to him. It was a great way of emphasizing that Spike was not going to make the same mistakes he did in Dragon Quest and fall for Garble's ways. To top it all off, he got a great comeuppance at the end that felt perfect for him without being too mean-spirited. I don't know why, but I absolutely loved it when he made this face Finally, to round things off with the dragons, I absolutely adored Dragon Lord Torch. This guy was, in a word, HILARIOUS. He had an ego to match his size, and it made for some of the best humorous bits in the episode. Plus I can't help but feel that he genuinely does care about his daughter and was just hiding it behind his extra, extra gruff, scaly exterior the entire episode, especially considering he didn't want her to compete for the Bloodstone Scepter. But all in all, this guy was just plain hilarious, and I really hope we get to see a bit more of him in future episodes, even if he no longer is Dragon Lord. Best line in the whole episode Gosh I love this guy On one final note, I thought Rarity and Twilight were great here. They didn't do a whole lot aside from giving Spike moral support, but even that played a key role in the end in how Ember learned about the true value of friendship. Twilight geeking out over dragons was pretty funny, and it was nice too to see that Rarity still takes a special interest in Spike's well-being. It's a testament to how close he is to both characters that they were the two to come along and accompany him. Besides the characters, the animation was very nice as always, they put together a nice musical score for this episode, and the episode had a nice balance of action and humor. All in all, this was a very fun and rousing episode with a surprisingly very good and well-delivered message. Right now, it's my favorite stand alone episode of the season, and one of the better ones we've had in awhile. It's nice to see Spike getting treated so well, and I can only hope this continues as the season progresses. That's all I've got for this one everypony, until later this morning, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit*