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S06:E16 - The Times They Are A Changeling


What did you think of the episode?  

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  1. 1. Did you like it?

    • Times are changing, and I do not approve!
      6
    • Eh, not really.
      2
    • Times have changed. MEH!
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    • Could've been better
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    • Times are changing, and THAT WAS AWESOME!
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Hey, @@Nuke87654, I'd like to respond to some of your points and hopefully clarify some of mine.

 

 

First, I think it's fair to ask whether the crystal ponies who idolize Spike know what his actual role was in saving the Crystal Empire from Sombra (i.e., your first A and B above). Was there some Empire-wide announcement of the facts and behind-the-scenes events of that day which the general crystal pony public didn't see? And wouldn't the full story, if they do know it, show that, while Spike was a major part of saving the Empire that day, he wasn't the only one or even the main one that did so? And yet we don't see any acknowledgement of anyone else's role in saving the Empire amidst the Spike adulation - we don't see crystal statues of the other characters, and they're not given valiant names, mobbed, asked for their autographs, etc. So part of my issue with Spike's hero status in the Crystal Empire is that I think it would be more fair for the other characters who helped save the Empire to be recognized, too. And also, I suppose it just bugs me a little that Spike's reputation appears to be based on a distortion of the historical record, and even though there are ponies who know the full story and could correct it, it seems that no one cares to do so.

 

And sure, Spike gets to enjoy the "perks" of being a celebrity in the Crystal Empire, and it could be argued that Spike deserves some recognition somewhere for his achievements. But I also think the fact that Spike's hero status is based on an exaggeration of his achievements (and/or an omission of others' roles) casts a dark cloud over that enjoyment. Spike may not be "living a lie", but I think he's "living an exaggeration", and as we see even in this episode, that can come back to bite him later.

That's fine, and good for me.

 

Because Spike really held a large part to saving the crystal empire as I said. The only other person who can claim of any equal respect for his deeds in saving the crystal empire is Princess Cadance for generating the shield to stop Sombra from entering and saving Spike when he needed it from Sombra. Considering how she seems to be built as the humble princess and she's already well awarded for her efforts via being the leader of the crystal empire I'd say Cadance is well praised for her role.

If you were to say Twilight deserves credit, I'd say no as Twilight would've failed the first trap if not for Spike coming to save her against her wishes and she failed to grab the crystal from jumping carelessly into a trap.

The others, Shining Armor was pretty much there for moral support and to show off his Olympic level wife javelin tossing, and the remane five were pretty much cheerleaders for the crystal ponies to help make them happy so they can jump start the crystal heart better. Thus it's actually well within reason for the crystal empire to praise Spike so much, especially as he did it again in the Equestria games that only helped grew him to greater heights.

 

It's a choice the writers have made in making Spike well praised for his role in saving the crystal empire and I don't see an issue with it as the guy truly earned it and should be celebrated for it. If it were up to me I'd do the same with the mane 6 in equestria but that doesn't seem to be the case so I don't mind their choice.

 

 

 

I think my point about the security is that I perceived a disconnect in the episode between the supposed fear and urgency of an imminent changeling infiltration/invasion and what I saw as often lackadaisical and/or ineffectual increased security measures taken in response. The "sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake" thing might not work as a way to tell whether Twilight is a changeling if the changelings had observed Twilight and Cadance doing that greeting in public, and the changeling pretending to be Twilight had learned it. Even if Twilight believes that Starlight and Spike aren't changelings, if they had left her presence for any extended length of time, changelings could, theoretically, have taken one or both of their places. If the changelings wanted to get reconnaissance on the castle, potentially eavesdrop on the Royal Family's plans, etc., then one way that they could do that would be by befriending someone close to the Royal Family like Spike to get access. And, as I mentioned in my initial post, Spike may not have considered that possibility, but it could be argued that Shining Armor - the captain of the Royal Guard - or one of the other guards should have.

 

But, ultimately, I'm just speculating about how their security responses might be better in a particularly bad scenario. We don't really know how clever or long-term any changeling plan to infiltrate/invade the Crystal Empire would be. And again, as I mentioned in my response to Truffles earlier, if the changelings were really determined to infiltrate the Crystal Empire, then increasing security only after a changeling is spotted may be a moot point, anyway. Perhaps all the Crystal Empire can do is hope that the changelings aren't as shrewd as they would be in the worst-case scenario.

It would be logically, however the show does enough to at least show they do try to go for the security thing even if it isn't far enough to make it convincing, you're right they could've done more but again I don't see a problem for I do not wish to place what I would consider logical when the show does enough to at least show they're doing something that should be followed logically. They did put security around and such, and whether you feel they didn't do enough or not, it at least exists. As for the Twilight and Cadance dance, I just feel it was meant to be a light hearted moment to make the situation a little more lighter while at the same time do a call back from past seasons.

 

As you said, we're not certain how Changelings conduct their plans at least we're ignorant towards it so whose to say they're not as incompetent as the pony security you see.

 

 

 

@@Truffles suggested in his response to me that Spike may have given Thorax enough friendship/love to sustain himself, and with that, he could keep his crystal pony form when he may not have been able to earlier. That seems like a plausible explanation. I think we can still wonder, though, why Crystal Hoof's identity seems not to have been challenged (even as he goes into the castle), especially since he came in from outside the Empire, and wonder why Spike and Thorax seem not to have come up with contingency plans in case Thorax was on the verge of revealing himself as a changeling.

Perhaps, and as for why his identity wasn't challenged, a case that Spike vouched for the guy and considering their hero worship of him they accepted it as such. After all who was to suspect Spike would befriend a changeling.

 

 

I don't disagree that it's justifiable for Shining Armor to distrust changelings. My issue is that his "there's no such thing as a nice changeling" pronouncement comes across as deliberately hyperbolic in order to prove him wrong and make him look foolish. Shining Armor's statement is absolute, such that a single counterexample would disprove it; in other words, the existence of a single nice changeling (i.e., Thorax) makes Shining Armor's statement wrong, and makes him look needlessly unreasonable. It seems like a reasonable person should try not to make (or at least not stand by) absolute pronouncements unless he/she is absolutely sure of them, and as I said in my initial post, we don't know that Shining Armor can really be sure that "there's no such thing as a nice changeling". So it's the perceived unnecessary hyperbole in Shining Armor's pronouncement that I was taking issue with.

 

As a side note, while I have read some of the MLP comics, I haven't made any particular effort to keep up with them. So when I make posts about episodes, I don't really include events in the comics in my considerations, since I haven't read them all and probably don't remember much of the ones I have read, anyway.

And, he has every right to believe in that considering the crap he went through for them and whether it was set up so it makes the change in Shining Armor's behavior to Thorax more meaningful is irrelevant as his actions was justified and his acceptance for Thorax is understandable too even if the acceptance was rushed admittingly as there would've needed more time for him to accept but that's for later episodes to decide on that.

 

As for the comics, yea a matter of a person's willingness to view the stuff.

 

 

Yeah, I figured the reflection gag was a reference to something, although I wouldn't be able to say what it was specifically. My thinking about how the logistics of that gag wouldn't work is probably an indication that I wasn't terribly entertained by it. But again, that's not a big deal - different viewers will find different gags entertaining or unentertaining.

 

 

You're welcome!

 

Aye, a matter of tastes in that scene. Just pointing out what it was meant to be and a reference too.

 

Thank you and you're welcome

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After all of the waiting and the mystery of how this episode would go, could it be near perfection? I can safely say, yes, yes it is. This peisode was everything I wanted it to be and even a bit more.

(Link to "YES!" design here.)   Originally, Gauntlet of Fire was the best Spike episode.   The Times They Are a Changeling changes that.   This is an amazing episode. So much here is done so wel

Good afternoon ya'll, so sorry I didn't get this up earlier, been busy with the Ward Jenkins Q&A and some other Poniverse business.  Anyways, welcome, welcome, welcome back to another edition of "

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If you think about it Chayslis only woudl need to make one changling reveal themselv to cause anarchy. brother againt sister ,mother agin father..chaos i tell you chaos.  or maybe that just cause i've watch Deep Space 9 too much.

 

Yup no changling detection spells appernlty. Of course that probably cause that would ruin the plot but still you think something like that would exist.

As for the episode itself, well not sure what to think of it right now. It not bad of course I just in the middle road about it. got a good laugh out of pen pals kit thing from twilight and the mirror joke..ah never get old.  I've read plenty of changlings stories so wasn't that hard to image a good AWOL changling.  I still skipped Spike song though

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This was an awesome episode. Cadence using the dance as means of authentication to ensure Twilight wasn't a Changeling was a good idea, especially since they haven't performed it together in a while. Nopony but Spike had faith in Thorax since his kind was responsible for the attack on Canterlot Castle. In an alternate timeline caused by Starlight, they dominated Equestria, so Twilight knows how dangerous they can be. Spike's determination to prove Thorax's innocence was great and the song was on the same level as Starlight's and Luna's characters' songs in Season 6 episode 8. I experienced empathy towards Thorax since he was being unfairly judged and mistreated. I wonder if it was him who was lured by the love between Cranky and Matilda or just foreshadowing that good Changelings do exist.

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Just an observation about the reflection gag: it's probably also a reference to a previous gag in A Canterlot Wedding when a Changeling does the same thing with Rainbow Dash.

500px-Rainbow_Dash_and_clone_mirroring_e

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To start, this episode involves the whole idea that Spike "saved the Crystal Empire" twice, and is a hero and celebrity among the crystal ponies. I've never liked this idea, and to me, it feels like a one-time gag that the show is inexplicably committed to, despite it not being believable or even entertaining. Twilight, Shining Armor, and Cadance (and even others) all played significant roles, some arguably even more so than Spike, in stopping Sombra's return

 

 

 

I agree with this part of the post, the whole Spike is the hero of the Crystal Empire thing, is getting out of hand to the point it's too much. The Mane 6 and Cadence have done a lot too, though just like Ponyville doesn't greet the Mane 6 like that every now and then, there is no reason for the Crystal Empire to do so either.
 
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And I find it funny how the obvious resemblance is still not mentioned by this fandom. When the expansion came in 2013 but was hyped from 2012, having some things already done in 2010 way before MLP even started. (like how the game promoted Star Wars in 2015, I see almost mutual promotion from those times). It is the Swarm!!!! Season 2's first episodes made me watch MLP being more interesting than Season 1 but ever since they started with the whole Changeling and Chrysalis thing, I liked MLP even more, especially when I was so much hyped about the game in the past. It brought people who dont watch  MLP, players started naming their names 'MyLittlePony'. That show earned me even more, members like DeviantArt's Yudhaikeledai who created pony-themed variations of games, including the animation I use as avatar. I mean it's so obvious:
 

Hive
post-37448-0-00758700-1471729874.jpg
 
 
Hive
maxresdefault.jpg
 
eu35dy.jpg
 
Changeling
thumb_4710_raceSc2_normal.png
Changeling
 
ftu___changeling_base__w__wings__by_gold
 

 
But it is how MLP won me more, I love they added this into MLP, it is a pleasant surprise, who would have thought this could enter their world, I love it.
 
 
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Just an observation about the reflection gag: it's probably also a reference to a previous gag in A Canterlot Wedding when a Changeling does the same thing with Rainbow Dash.

 

Actually, both are a reference back to the immortal Marx Brothers. Groucho and Harpo performed the mirror gag in the 1933 movie "Duck Soup". Spike and Thorax did a wonderful job recreating that iconic silver screen gem.

Decades later, Lucile Ball recreated the moment with Harpo in an episode of "I Love Lucy"

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If you were to say Twilight deserves credit, I'd say no as Twilight would've failed the first trap if not for Spike coming to save her against her wishes and she failed to grab the crystal from jumping carelessly into a trap.

 

This is one thing I want to push back on - I would argue that Twilight did have an integral role in saving the Crystal Empire from Sombra. To start, Twilight cast the spell that uncovered the secret staircase leading to the Crystal Heart, and may have the only one around who could do that, having learned the spell from Celestia. After Twilight figured out how the door at the bottom of the hole worked, she cast a spell so that it would properly open to the outside. And still after that, Twilight cast the "reverse gravity" spell that enabled her and Spike to skate to the top of the tower with the Crystal Heart, which was vital when time was of the essence. Those were all important things that Twilight did without contribution from Spike. Indeed, Twilight may well have been the only one available with the knowledge and magical talent to do all of those things.

 

When it comes to the two traps, both the door at the bottom of the hole and the booby-trapped Crystal Heart, I think those were overcome with teamwork between Twilight and Spike. First, yes, Spike's calling out to Twilight and coming down to her shook her out of her "nightmare". But as we saw, if Spike were the first one to open the door instead, he probably would have been trapped in his "nightmare" too, as he was until Twilight closed the door. So, either way, it appears that teamwork was necessary to escape the door trap.

 

And I think it's a similar story for the booby-trapped Crystal Heart. Yes, Twilight set off the booby-trap, which appeared to be some kind of detection spell to alert Sombra to block access to the Crystal Heart. But that may well have been unavoidable anyway if the Crystal Heart was surrounded by the detection spell. Again, if Spike were the one to try to retrieve the Crystal Heart instead, I think it's likely he would have set off the booby-trap too. Twilight did manage to push the Crystal Heart out of the way of the crystal/magic barrier which sprang up and trapped her, thus allowing Spike (and, a bit later, Cadance and Shining Armor) to complete the task of alerting everyone to the presence of the Crystal Heart and, with Cadance and Shining Armor, actually delivering the Crystal Heart to the crystal ponies. So I think this is another trap that was overcome with teamwork - one member of the team activated the booby-trap and got the Crystal Heart out, at the cost of becoming trapped, and the other member of team alerted everyone and got the Crystal Heart delivered.

 

I think the reason that Twilight was the one who activated the two traps is mostly just that she was taking the lead. And that was in large part because she and Spike believed that Celestia's test required Twilight to be the one to assist in saving the Empire. So it doesn't seem to me that Twilight activated the traps out of her particular incompetence or anything. As mentioned above, if, for some reason, Spike were leading instead, I think he would have ended up activating the traps as Twilight did, with Twilight bailing him out instead.

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to the people who are critiquing spike's singing voice:

How would you have fixed it?
Take the song out?
give him a singing voice actor?

 

Personally, I'm quite pleased that the singing voice sounds like spike, and that they didn't give him one that is clearly a different actor.  

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Oh yeah!  I forgot all about the background parts in the Failure Song.  Yeah, yeah, that' right.  But that was barely anything.  And the song in Spike at Your Service doesn't really count as a song, though I agree that it's probably the best part of the episode.  Though that episode was fraught with problems, it really did have a lot of funny moments.  I loved Fluttershy saying "I don't think that's her favorite s--" and then getting cut off.

 

Yeah, it's true he didn't get much singing during either of those times, but they were the moments that made me want to hear more of Spike's pipes. So I'm giddy three seasons later I'm finally getting something in the show crossed off my checklist!  :D

 

And you're right "Spike at Your Service" was filled with funny moments. I particularly like the grass counting joke and his surprising ability to stack boulders, implying he can do amazing things if he puts his mind to it. Plus I always seem to recall his love of having smelly feet whenever I write his character, and this is the episode that established that revolting habit of his. :lol: 

 

It's a shame the episode is totally undermined by his OOC nincompoop behavior in the middle, and using a generally cliche premise as the backdrop.

 

Speaking of that premise, why didn't Spike enslave himself to Thorax for saving his life? I suppose he abandoned his Dragon Code after the events of "...Service", which is kind of heartbreaking because he had no real sense of a positive self-identity for his species, at least not until "Gauntlet of Fire."

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Im gonna say that yes, while the ending was a bit rushed the people who think it should of been a two parter are very wrong, the episode could of been helped by about 5 more minutes to flesh the ending out but 22 more? you'd have over half an episode of needless time to fill, it'd feel super bloated. 

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@@ImpctR, As much as I would've loved Zerg references (they're my favorite race to play as in Starcraft <3), I don't see too much of a resemblance between MLP Changelings and the Zerg.

Other than their color schemes (brown/green and black/green), they seem pretty different. MLP hives feel more like real-life insect hives, while Zerg ones feel a lot more organic - then again they are an actual living organism. :P

I'll admit though, if we see Chrysalis again and she says something along the lines of "Armies will be shattered, worlds will burn, and vengeance will be mine", I will fanboy quite very hard. :lol:

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Im gonna say that yes, while the ending was a bit rushed the people who think it should of been a two parter are very wrong, the episode could of been helped by about 5 more minutes to flesh the ending out but 22 more? you'd have over half an episode of needless time to fill, it'd feel super bloated. 

 

Yeah, add in an extra minute or two of Cadance and Shining Armor having an epiphany as they listen to Twilight's speech and realize how stupid they've been acting because of their own past with Chrysalis, and it makes the ending with them accepting Thorax that much smoother than simply going from distrustful glares to welcoming smiles during their time off-screen as Twilight finishes her speech and accepts Thorax herself.

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ive rarely supported spike in any of his "focused" episodes but this one made a difference! he was the only one who can "see" the changeling's kindness and the friendship he's been yearning for years

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This is one thing I want to push back on - I would argue that Twilight did have an integral role in saving the Crystal Empire from Sombra. To start, Twilight cast the spell that uncovered the secret staircase leading to the Crystal Heart, and may have the only one around who could do that, having learned the spell from Celestia. After Twilight figured out how the door at the bottom of the hole worked, she cast a spell so that it would properly open to the outside. And still after that, Twilight cast the "reverse gravity" spell that enabled her and Spike to skate to the top of the tower with the Crystal Heart, which was vital when time was of the essence. Those were all important things that Twilight did without contribution from Spike. Indeed, Twilight may well have been the only one available with the knowledge and magical talent to do all of those things.

 

When it comes to the two traps, both the door at the bottom of the hole and the booby-trapped Crystal Heart, I think those were overcome with teamwork between Twilight and Spike. First, yes, Spike's calling out to Twilight and coming down to her shook her out of her "nightmare". But as we saw, if Spike were the first one to open the door instead, he probably would have been trapped in his "nightmare" too, as he was until Twilight closed the door. So, either way, it appears that teamwork was necessary to escape the door trap.

 

And I think it's a similar story for the booby-trapped Crystal Heart. Yes, Twilight set off the booby-trap, which appeared to be some kind of detection spell to alert Sombra to block access to the Crystal Heart. But that may well have been unavoidable anyway if the Crystal Heart was surrounded by the detection spell. Again, if Spike were the one to try to retrieve the Crystal Heart instead, I think it's likely he would have set off the booby-trap too. Twilight did manage to push the Crystal Heart out of the way of the crystal/magic barrier which sprang up and trapped her, thus allowing Spike (and, a bit later, Cadance and Shining Armor) to complete the task of alerting everyone to the presence of the Crystal Heart and, with Cadance and Shining Armor, actually delivering the Crystal Heart to the crystal ponies. So I think this is another trap that was overcome with teamwork - one member of the team activated the booby-trap and got the Crystal Heart out, at the cost of becoming trapped, and the other member of team alerted everyone and got the Crystal Heart delivered.

 

I think the reason that Twilight was the one who activated the two traps is mostly just that she was taking the lead. And that was in large part because she and Spike believed that Celestia's test required Twilight to be the one to assist in saving the Empire. So it doesn't seem to me that Twilight activated the traps out of her particular incompetence or anything. As mentioned above, if, for some reason, Spike were leading instead, I think he would have ended up activating the traps as Twilight did, with Twilight bailing him out instead.

 

You're right in the regard that it took teamwork and that Twilight was able to move forward onto the path to the spell because she activated the entries for it with her magic, though why can't RD have gotten it considering that it was on top the tower and she could've easily flown up to get it but that's a different issue. The problem is that it was Twilight who decided to go solo and it was thanks to Spike who ignored her order not to go with her that she was even able to get to those as I mentioned as Twilight failed on her first trap because she thought she could handle it on her own when in reality she couldn't. Twilight deserves a bit of credit but it was through Spike's initiative and actions that Twilight was able to even get that far.

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I thought this was an excellent episode. Much better than last week. Good to see yet ANOTHER good Spike episode. Also, I'm glad he finally got a song, and it was a pretty good one too. I found Thorax to be an interesting character for sure, and I hope he isn't just a one time character. Cadence and Shining Armor were sorta jerks in this one, although understandably so, they don't exactly have the best track record with changelings, so I'll allow it. I'm also glad to see Sunburst again, and it was nice that Starlight got to come along to see him, despite what the various episode summaries we had gotten suggested. Overall, great episode. 9.5/10

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As with all episodes that the fandom likes at large, I tend to have many bones to pick with it. However, this doesn’t change the fact that many are ecstatic with it.

 

 

Originally, Gauntlet of Fire was the best Spike episode.

 

The Times They Are a Changeling changes that.

 

This is an amazing episode. So much here is done so well. Thorax is oh-my-Luna adorable and such a fantastic character in his own right. He's the best character introduced this season. You can see how much he wants to be accepted, but he feels ostracized because he doesn't enjoy what Chrysalis did, and no pony accepted him because of who he is. For Spike to be the one to bridge the gap is an excellent idea in itself and helps bridge it.

 

But what good would it be without Spike? Ever since Princess Spike, his character turned around spectacularly. Who was originally a character with no consistency has the most consistent characterization this season. Times is his best characterization as a flawed character, period. He shows his flaws, but he means well. At no point he did act dumb or greedy. His reasons were very believable. When he failed to stand up for Thorax, he felt obscenely guilty and wanted to make things right. Think about it, he was willing to sacrifice his reputation at The Crystal Empire over standing up for someone of a race that nearly took over Canterlot. His character development is super-strong while maintaining consistency and dignity.

 

And the song at the end…good golly, it's so good. Really hones in the entire theme of the story, Spike's characterization, Spike's decision to sacrifice his fame, and moral. On its own, it's excellent. Attached to the episode itself, it really becomes powerful. My eyes felt like welling.

 

It's not just my favorite episode this season. It may be the best of season six so far. Well done! :D

 

Mind you, I really could have picked any post on the forum to respond to, but I’m going to respond to Dark Quivit’s because: a) our preferences for episodes are pretty much complete opposite, and b )  as I’ve read several of Quivit’s posts criticizing episodes I enjoy, I think it’s only fair for me to do likewise every once and a while.

 

That said, I disagree with Dark Quivit, though I don’t think the episode is bad, though compared to what we’ve seen from earlier episodes, I’d put it in the 33rd percentile (i.e. 2/3 of episode are better). It’s true that Thorax is cute and that the audience can relate to him, and it’s true that Spike exerts a benevolent character, but lots of characters from the show are cute, relatable, and sympathetic, so what’s the big deal? For me, it is the delivery of the narrative and its conflict that determine the quality of an episode

 

In terms of conflict though, “The Times They Are a Changeling” is all over the place. The primary conflict starts out as one centered around Thorax not being able to have friends due to his changeling nature, but by episode’s end it’s all about Spike’s reputation and him regretting mistakes. Somewhere between the 15 minute mark and the end, all the interesting nuances of having to interact with a friendly changeling are scrapped to deliver a story about Spike and denial. It’s upsetting, because the story undermines any themes of trying to understand pariahs in favor of focusing more on redeeming Spike for his pitfalls. So in the end, it’s not even about Thorax or inclusivity at all; it’s about “risking reputation in the name of friendship.”

 

This is especially true in the song, as this is the one moment where Spike should be explaining to the others why they should treat Thorax kindly. But instead providing any explanation, he merely confesses “That sometimes I’m scared and I can make mistakes / And I’m not so heroic, it seems.” Never mind the fact he’s confessing to the wrong characters, it’s still completely irrelevant. Spike just said, “No, he’s not a thing. His name is Thorax, and he’s my friend,” so you would expect the song to explain to the others why Spike is friends with a changeling, but he never does. Instead, they all just roll with his confession, accept his conclusion without question, and any issue with Thorax being a changeling is dropped altogether. None of this makes any logical sense.

 

In other words,

 

Ugh, maybe I am getting too old for this show. Now spike himself was great and I can't say anything bad about the characterization, but the ending seemed so safe, saccharine, and far too optimistic for its own good. Because I'm sure if you sing really, REALLY well and with such LUV and PASSION in your heart you too can solve prejudice and paranoia. Yeah, no.

 

Stick to more personal social problems, like "Stranger than Fanfiction", or light character comedy like "saddle row review" because you are not smart or talented enough for something like this.

 

While I think DJ is being a little blunt, the point’s completely valid. Spike’s confessional song at the end of the episode doesn’t close the can of worms opened up by Thorax’s existence; something more is needed to justify all of ponykind accepting him besides Spike’s word. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we have to get rid of the song, just change the lyrics. After all, other songs like Equestria Girls manage to be both meaningful and persuasive. For instance, the lyrics

 

“Hey, hey, everybody we’ve got something to say / We may seem as different as the night is from day / But you look a little deeper and you will see / That I’m just like you and you’re just like me.”

 

not only sound pretty, but also imply that the humans in EG have a lot in common and are capable of uniting together for a common purpose. On the other hand, the lyrics from “The Times They are a Changeling”

 

“But if day can turn to night and the darkness turn to light / Then why can’t we imagine a changeling can change?”

 

might sound pretty, but a pretty analogy doesn’t say anything about Thorax’s character. For instance, we could use the same analogy to “imagine a Nazis that’s nice.”

 

Anyways,

 

Another solid episode for Spike! Season 6 is really treating him well.

 

I think this episode had a really wonderful message about acceptance.

 

The song was ok.

 

Takai’s comment brings up an interesting question in my mind: is Thorax actually accepted at the episode’s end? Because all those lines like “If Spike says Thorax is his friend, then he’s my friend too” could just be empty words. Princess Cadance’s “I would like to extend my hoof in friendship” especially sounds a lot more like something a politician would say than a close friend, and as they all are Royalty/second-tier, they still need to maintain those diplomatic relations. Even if they weren’t really friends, they’d still probably say that they were.

 

Disregarding any cynical interpretations of Equestrian politics, I think there’s a lot more to acceptance than merely saying “We’re friends,” though this phrase or similar seems to be uttered more and more often. Between the yaks of season five and the dragons of season six, it seems to be a go-to phrase used whenever the writers have no other way of convincing us that the two parties are indeed friends, and I find is detrimental to the show. After all, friendship is magic, not saying “we’re friends” is magic, and friendship is built through actions, not words alone.

 

We know through Spike’s actions that he’s accepted Thorax for who he is, but I don’t think we can make that judgement call for Twilight and the others quite yet. I’m sure they all will live by their words, but until they do, those words don’t mean that much, for better or for worse.

 

------

All quotes on this post were also shared on my pony blog: 

http://aboutthemponies.tumblr.com/post/149434213210/responses-from-the-forums-the-times-they-are-a 

Edited by brambleshadow4
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Speaking of that premise, why didn't Spike enslave himself to Thorax for saving his life? I suppose he abandoned his Dragon Code after the events of "...Service", which is kind of heartbreaking because he had no real sense of a positive self-identity for his species, at least not until "Gauntlet of Fire."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCVc2D6Sghw

 

HOLY SH*T YOU'RE RIGHT!  He [and the writers] totally forgot about that!  The ending of Service, in which he agrees to go back to "that's just what friend do," or whatever AJ said, basically eliminates the continuity error, but still, that really blows my mind.  It would have been awesome if, out of f*cking nowhere, Pinkie had walked into the credits of this episode, as in the credits are rolling, and she just trots into the black backdrop, and says, "So I guess we're just throwing Dragon Code out the window now?"  Then she'd knock on the "glass" of the tv screen and go, "Hello?  Am I the only one who's bothered by this?  I mean, what the hay is going on?"  Then the music would turn up louder and she would start yelling over it, complaining about continuity and such as they try to drown her out, and she'd keep going clear through to end of the Hasbro fireworks logo.  Wouldn't that be great?

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@@ImpctR, As much as I would've loved Zerg references (they're my favorite race to play as in Starcraft <3), I don't see too much of a resemblance between MLP Changelings and the Zerg.

 

Other than their color schemes (brown/green and black/green), they seem pretty different. MLP hives feel more like real-life insect hives, while Zerg ones feel a lot more organic - then again they are an actual living organism. :P

 

I'll admit though, if we see Chrysalis again and she says something along the lines of "Armies will be shattered, worlds will burn, and vengeance will be mine", I will fanboy quite very hard. :lol:

 

Alright, I might be seeing too much this and I am not saying that the Changelings and Chrysalis is exactly referencing Zerg, the Chrysalis world is a world of its own but there still some reference to Zerg. Changeling is a unit that came with the game in 2010, what does it do? Change into at least 3 unit types exactly like a spy and its role is that, to give vision and the player may not detect this is not his unit. Changeling has such role in MLP too. What more obvious that that?

 

 

 

And then the similarities with Hives, sure, a Hive would look the same way no matter what world- a place with eggs and slime, but even the corridors are made like that, also very similar leaders. I know that historywise- they are way different, Zerg - infested and evlolved animals and primals, Changelings - originating like bees or insectes, nothing like Zerg's history. I could also relate Zerg's and the Hive of Chrysalis to the alien lairs in 'Alien' movies but the whole idea seems was taken from Alien or Zerg (altogether) while it developed on its own. Also when Season 2's episodes Canterlot Wedding aired, was 2013, this was the year when Heart of the swarm was released too. And since Hasbro is known to take things from fandom, if they didnt take it from SC directly, they did follow the Ponycraft fandom which also was a hit around that time. I certainly find some connection but Changelings are not meant to be Zerg but a race of their own, that I agree 

Edited by ImpctR
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first, if anypony wants to watch it for free online in HD right here http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4pk6ak

 

now... THAT WAS AWESOME! Anypony who talks to me knows i'm 112% for giving everypony the benefit of the doubt and believing ANYPONY and EVERYPONY has good inside them. This episode captured that oh so well.

 

This is my New Favorite Episode.

 

one side not though.. the guards jumped from one band wagon to another real quick at the end. I understand if the Princess and Prince say they have to be friends they have to but they were ready to kill one second and hooting and hollering the next. 

would have been more believable if they gave a reaction like Cadence after Twilight said something, calm and agreeing. Not cheering and over excited. Then again maybe they were being kiss as- uh- flanks.

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HOLY SH*T YOU'RE RIGHT!  He [and the writers] totally forgot about that!  The ending of Service, in which he agrees to go back to "that's just what friend do," or whatever AJ said, basically eliminates the continuity error, but still, that really blows my mind.  It would have been awesome if, out of f*cking nowhere, Pinkie had walked into the credits of this episode, as in the credits are rolling, and she just trots into the black backdrop, and says, "So I guess we're just throwing Dragon Code out the window now?"  Then she'd knock on the "glass" of the tv screen and go, "Hello?  Am I the only one who's bothered by this?  I mean, what the hay is going on?"  Then the music would turn up louder and she would start yelling over it, complaining about continuity and such as they try to drown her out, and she'd keep going clear through to end of the Hasbro fireworks logo.  Wouldn't that be great?

 

Considering they did something similar at the end of "Stranger Than Fanfiction," I don't see why this couldn't have been possible, too!

 

It speaks to the fact that the episode should have been a two parter. Between covering all the glossed-over stuff with the ponies changing their minds so quickly, and all of the other stuff with Spike's past and Starlight's past, and now this aspect with Spike forgetting he owes Thorax a life debt, there was enough material there to make for a pretty in-depth story.

 

Alas, I believe Hasbro only allows DHX the premiere and the finales to be 2-parters, and even then in abbreviated seasons like three, they wouldn't let them make "Magical Mystery Cure" two parts. I would have happily allowed them to take the slot "The Cart Before the Pony" took up to make room for a second half to this episode.  :lol:

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I would have happily allowed them to take the slot "The Cart Before the Pony" took up to make room for a second half to this episode.  :lol:

Omg, holy crap, yeah.  I basically believe that every episode could warrant a two-parter.  This show established a lore, universe, and deep characters that can't really be contained all that well in ~23 minutes, and I actually think that that is a large source of much of the criticism.  You know, a lot of the nitpicks you see in these threads are "this was rushed, this needed to be fleshed out, more development here, rushed rushed rushed, etc."  I really think that this show could shoulder the weight of a 1-hour time slot.  Easily.  But they would need to buckle down and be a bit more consistent with the writing, I guess.  Maybe with a little bit larger staff or something.  Anyway, I've always wished the episodes could be longer.  Since day 1.

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Omg, holy crap, yeah.  I basically believe that every episode could warrant a two-parter.  This show established a lore, universe, and deep characters that can't really be contained all that well in ~23 minutes, and I actually think that that is a large source of much of the criticism.  You know, a lot of the nitpicks you see in these threads are "this was rushed, this needed to be fleshed out, more development here, rushed rushed rushed, etc."  I really think that this show could shoulder the weight of a 1-hour time slot.  Easily.  But they would need to buckle down and be a bit more consistent with the writing, I guess.  Maybe with a little bit larger staff or something.  Anyway, I've always wished the episodes could be longer.  Since day 1.

Unfortunately, it's still a children's cartoon. The very nature of its existence put an absurd number of restrictions on the show, so it's kind of a miracle that it's as good as it is. 

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