Will Guide

S08:E11 - Molt Down

The Molt Down  

103 members have voted

  1. 1. What did you think of the episode?

    • This episode stinks worse than the Molt Smell (HATE IT!)
    • This episode makes me break out in itchy red spots. (Dislike it)
    • This episode was OKAY! Sorry, volume shifts (Meh)
    • This episode adds a splash of color to my day (Like it)
    • Like Spike can now, this episode SOARS! (LOVE IT!)


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LAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRSOOOOOOOOOON!!!

That was fun. The big reveal was spoiled for me, but it was still good to see it. It’s been a long time coming in my opinion.

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19 minutes ago, dlw said:

I never saw this coming, but as many have noted spike is 'growing up'.

 

The only thing I'm wondering about is when Scoot-a-loo will be able to fly, and when that happens, will she keep her scooter? (which will keep her name appropriate)

 

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(edited)

Not sure what to think about this episode. I liked the development for Spike but the episode itself was written awkwardly. The writingstyle reminded me of the earlier episodes.

Everything felt just a bit too convenient as the episode progressed, but I found Twilight's reaction to Spike's situation the most out of place. She just let him go outside the castle? After what happened back in season 2 with Spike I kind of expected Twilight would have taken his condition more seriously.

 

On a sidenote, I love how casual Smolder is about all of this. "Oh, don't worry. You'll find a town to terrorize. Oh wait, we can't do that anymore, can we?" 

Edited by JH24

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I know everyone always says Starlight is Josh Haber's pet, but I really think Rarity is more of that. From "Simple Ways," to "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You," to today's performance I can tell he loves writing Rarity absurdly over-the-top and I can't say I dislike this characterization :D.

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(edited)

Congratulations! Your Spike evolved into...well, Spike!

That aside, the episode to me started slow but it soon got into high-gear in the last part. Spike getting wings tells us he's not a baby dragon anymore. He's now a grown dragon that'll do anything to save his friends. I did try to avoid the spoilers no thanks to the leaks but overall, I liked this episode and felt proud of Spike. Let's hope he doesn't get carried away with his new evolution.

Edited by Photon Jet

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Very much enjoyed this. The rhythm could be tightened a little, and I would have preferred a different climax entirely, but this genuinely feels like a step forward for the show, and I'm delighted that something this fresh can come so late in the game, after I'd given up on the show taking risks like this. There's a sophistication to everything this episode attempts which I genuinely adore. Haber's clearly back on top form with this one. Point by point:

  • It's funny! Spike's anxiety about his pimples is amusing, the slow escalation of his puberty signs is amusing, Rarity's loud tone of voice is amusing, and Pinkie Pie is hilarious. Mostly, this is anchored for me on how Spike reacts to each new stage of the "Molt," and how others react to him in turn, and that's pretty consistently clever even if the range of jokes isn't the most diverse. A lot of this has to do with the sharp dialogue, which is witty and organic without ever underlining itself too much. Big laughs aren't as frequent as in, say, "Horse Play," but there's just so much personality in each line, and I don't think that's just due to the performances. 
  • Spike's confusion at changes to his body are probably somewhat relatable for adolescent viewers, and while the moral is kind of specific to the show's fiction, it does resonate with the idea of growing up being a scary and confusing process. Seeing Spike go through something like that is intriguing in its own right, partially because of how he feels about it. It rings true when he avoids going outside because of his horrible dragon acne, for instance, and the variations in speaking volume are a clever take on voice changes.  Learning about all of this was really neat, which leads me to the next point:
  • The worldbuilding here is terrific. Like "Gauntlet of Fire," dragon society continues to be one of the most creative parts of this world, and I like the matter-of-fact presentation here, which is personal enough to avoid feeling overly judgmental of the imaginary dragon culture. I loved hearing about the horrible dragon puberty rituals, and the friendship school is a perfect way for Spike to gain more exposure to dragon culture without needing to abandon the ponies who raised him. 
  • As thematically appropriate as Rarity's and Twilight's presence is, I miss when Spike would hang out with the rest of the mane six, which made Pinkie's presence especially welcome, despite how limited it turned out to be. I also liked that Rarity's presence was mostly a coincidence - Spike was the only person available to model her dress, and then their paths just happened to cross again due to Rarity's ear infection. It's a step in the right direction, but still, have him hang out with someone else for a change. 
  • I quite liked the callbacks, as well, which are incorporated cleverly into the dialogue and contribute to the idea that this world isn't just trapped in stasis. I like to feel like there's a genuine progression of time which affects these people's experiences. And they're pretty funny too!
  • Shout out to how proud Twilight is of her lecture, and to her ridiculous stack of notes. Best pony. 
  • Liked seeing Zecora have a bit more screen time. It felt like she had a somewhat wider emotional range this time around, and this is probably the most involved she's been in the plot since her debut. She's one of those characters who grows more appealing the more I see of her, and it's just lovely to see her fleshed out a little. 
  • As with many later My Little Pony episodes, this is pretty tightly written to theme, so there aren't a whole lot of peculiar divergences or specific nuances for me to discuss. I just like the main idea a lot and think this episode did a sophisticated job of exploring it while remaining funny. Not bad!

Score:
Entertainment: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Themes: 8/10
Story: 7/10
Overall: 80/100

Oh, and of course, the simple fact that this gives Spike wings, permanently changing the status quo, is wildly exciting to me in this often static show. 

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Wow, the episode surprised me so much! (that's for not reading what happens episodes or seasons ahead). Good references at first with the phoenixes and the shampoo of baldness that Rarity used in the last season, was it.

First, it started as another Spike based episode, where Spike is the punching bag. Not only that but I already liked the episode for being the funniest Spike episode ever, I've never laughed so much at Spike, because as much as some dislike seeing episodes in which Spike is the silly dragon whelp, that's what he's been about and I was still going to like the episode. Considering that when I first see an episode is about Spike, not something i was interested in.

Then I thought it's the dragon puberty, I was like loool Spike going pizza face?  The derps were funny, especially the ones spitting the fire. And then Smoulder that I like a lot from the School 6, already being the grown up dragon explains everything, Spike getting even more spotty face. Then, when I expected the episode to end with some potion being to cure the spots given and the episode just ending with nothing special, the interesting had yet to start.

It turns into an awesome action like episode with this giant bird, why it was after Rarity and Zecora was still not clear, afterall wasnt it after the smell and Spike. But then... SPike getting an upgrade? I totally didn't expect that! He was starting to become more like Smoulder that I liked more already, I just find him better looking. Now Spike is an actual dragon! And as such with his new fire breath and wings definitely makes me respect him more than a punching bag that he was so far in episodes. An evolution, like Twi's alicorn transformation and this is the episode. 

Really nice surprise and well played by Josh. 5/5 I liked it.

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(edited)

"Molt Down" Episode Spoiler

Spoiler

I'm curious about how dragon's age,

 

because Spike was a baby dragon in Season 1, had a birthday in Season 2 &

 

now he gets a new pair of wings without growing any taller. 

 

Edited by Sparklefan1234

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(edited)

That was another good episode. Another episode with Spike in a prominent role, this time as the lead – something that hasn't happened as much in the last couple of seasons.

The episode had a bit of slow start but got better as it went on. I liked how we got to see Spike interact with Smolder – the latter being a lot more knowledgeable, though that shouldn't be surprising (her having grown up in the Dragon Lands). They even managed to explain why didn't see a repeat of "Secret of My Excess" (along with another reference to that episode by Rarity). Zecora had her most significant role in a while too. Near the end, it became one of the most action-oriented episodes, apart from the two-parters of course. Spike getting the molt was handled well – his scale problems are something I think a lot of people can relate to and especially his embarrassment near Rarity. :please: And the big thing, of course – the wings. I had seen spoilers about them months ago, but even knowing what would happen, I found it an effective scene. I don't know why but seeing him with the wings was a pretty touching moment. Not to the same extent as Twilight telling him he could stay with them, though – that almost made me cry, there was something so emotional about that scene. I'd have liked to have a reference to a certain alicorn transformation when Twilight saw Spike's wings. ;)

As for negatives, there weren't many of those in this episode either. Some of the gags got a little repetitive – namely Spike and Rarity speaking loudly, though we got a funny Pinkie moment thanks to Spike's shouting. :lol: The slow start of the episode didn't bother me – the rest of it made up for that!

I rate it 8.75/10 – a very good one in spite of a slow start. Another episode with great emotional moments, and potentially important effects on the series continuity! I look forward to seeing what they do with Spike in the future episodes – will he grow more, will we see him going on more adventures, the possibilities are like endless! :D

Edited by Tacodidra

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1 minute ago, Sparklefan1234 said:

"Molt Down" Episode Spoiler

  Hide contents

I'm curious about how dragon's age,

 

because Spike was a baby dragon in Season 1, had a birthday in Season 2 &

 

now he gets a new pair of wings without growing any taller. 

 

Dragons live a very long time, so Spike is like a teenager to a pony but a child in dragon age.

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What just happened :o 

I was not expecting that but ok! This was a good episode with lots of characters and character development. It was good to see Zecora again and the jokes were funny as usual. It looks like they really are getting ready to end this next year though with spike finally growing up properly.

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I guess I'm fine with Spike having wings then....I'm proud of him now. 

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Wow, Smolder was freaking cold. It makes you wonder how dragons survived this long, maybe it’s to keep dragons from getting overpopulated? Or maybe Smolder is just trolling Spike because she’s a jerk. 

On 5/16/2018 at 9:09 AM, ggg-2 said:

Huh..... 

  Hide contents

Smolder says that dragons are kicked out once they molt and gain wings. This is despite the fact that Ember, whom Smolder KNOWS is personal friends with Spike, has been shown to have lived with her father at least up until becoming Dragon Lord herself, despite having wings since before her debut episode. Kinda punches holes in her story.

 

Thorn is very protective of his daughter, I don’t think he would abandon her over a bad smell. 

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(edited)

I found this episode to be great.

Unfortunately, the whole Spike growing wings was spoiled for me, but I still found enjoyment despite having knowledge of the most impactful part of the episide. There was a bit of a slow start, but it didn't detract too much from the overall quality. I was pretty glad that Zecora made an appearance here, as I feel that she is rather underutilised in the show. I did also like how Spike's experience was essentially a metaphor for puberty, as well as the scene with Spike and Smoulder - Probably my favourite part of the episode. 

Admittedly, I found the shouting gag to be rather amusing. Although, I see why others would think otherwise.

Edited by Cash In
Updated the post.

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Now that Spike has wings more faster than a bloke downing a can of red bull it's only a matter of time before we get an episode where dash and spike will be flying we each other in some sort of competition. 

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The potential of what could happen with Spike later, as he evolves more with his powers and such, could be very intriguing as time goes on, especially if it ties into a certain S8 episode later on.

Now as far as this ep. teasing Sparity again, IMO they reason do this on occasions, is because they know Sparity (Rarity x Spike) is basically canon in the franchise, and amongst a majority of the Brony and Pegasister community.  Also from what a vast majority of folks have said in the past and by proof with this episode, the Sparity focused/related episodes do some really business by the mostly positive reviews and reactions thy get.

And with that said, it further proves and adds fuel to my point, that whenever they decided to choose a time to do a final series, that they (the creative staff) will find a way to make Sparity (Spike and Rarity) Official and Visually (On-Screen, in continuity) Canon.

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I just wish this hadn't ended with Spike needing to save someone from a monster. That felt way too cliched, and I didn't think the action scene was good enough to make up for it. Just the same flying fast and shooting magic which the show always offers. It's not an action show, but I do wish the action it had on offer were a bit more creative, and I wish a relatively personal storyline like this didn't eventually feature a damsel-in-distress twist in the climax. I know this show can depict character growth without having someone save someone else from something, so it's disappointing to see it still returning to that same well. 

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(edited)
13 hours ago, PoisonClaw said:

Peewee!

Phoenixes aren't meant to be domesticated, huh? Tell that to Celestia.

I noted that, too. I have to imagine because Celestia is over 1111 years old, she and Philomena must have grown closer over that period of time, depending on how long they've known each other. Since Spike has a long life ahead of him, the same may happen between him and Peewee, too. I'd personally like to see it before the end of the series, but some of that dialogue makes me think cameos are all we're going to get of him.

 

13 hours ago, SwitchGuy2018 said:

I believe this is the first time we’ve been in Spike’s room since S5’s “Make New Friends, but Keep Discord” when the Draconequus was looking for Twilight.

I have to do some research on this. I could have sworn we saw his room last season, but I might be thinking of when he visited Starlight in her room.

 

13 hours ago, Dark Qiviut said:

Hmmmmmmmm…where have I seen that trench coat before?

Oh, yeah… :dry:

How about I let you off the hook about having think about that episode further? :)

This is the reporter outfit Spike wore in the episode you dare not speak it's name:

reporterspike.jpg.bae1aff5423f1f6b284b8071357ec0d9.jpg

This is the outfit he wore today in "Molt Down". Different hat and different collar:

spikemoltdisguise.jpg.c227af120e7c5382d2548b7a7807e457.jpg

And here's where that disguise actually came from - his trip to the Crystal Empire featuring Thorax's intro:

spikefandisguise.jpg.eb9ab1ef12318245592b510672060713.jpg

So RIP noir-esque trenchcoat and hat - we'll miss you! (But the ponies in the Crystal Empire won't! XD )

 

12 hours ago, Dark Qiviut said:

"…EMBARRASSING!"

>Zecora stuffs ears with cottonballs*

*lol* Those visual touches really round up the story.

Yes. :lol: I also laughed at her using two clothespins to cover her nose - one for each nostril. A nice bit of creativity from the artists who could have kept it basic by having one large clothespins for her entire muzzle.

 

12 hours ago, SwitchGuy2018 said:

Whoa, I take what I said back. Spike’s lucky to have bounced off those tree branches and get a nice long back scratch down a tree trunk!

I think Spike has has more run-ins with gravity than any other character in the show. Just off the top of my head there was the ending of "Secret of my Excess", he almost fell to his death returning the Crystal Heart, he took the brunt of Twilight's crash landing in the S4 premiere, and he nearly went splat several times in the S5 finale. Fortunately, that won't be a problem anymore! :D

 

7 hours ago, KH7672 said:

I know everyone always says Starlight is Josh Haber's pet, but I really think Rarity is more of that. From "Simple Ways," to "It Isn't the Mane Thing About You," to today's performance I can tell he loves writing Rarity absurdly over-the-top and I can't say I dislike this characterization :D.

As Meghan McCarthy is to Twilight, Josh Haber is to Rarity. :lol: I can't help but think Josh Haber is a big Spike fan, though - when he's story editing, Spike gets good treatment. And it seems when he's writing Spike, he even gets more love.

 

5 hours ago, Sparklefan1234 said:

"Molt Down" Episode Spoiler

  Hide contents

I'm curious about how dragon's age,

because Spike was a baby dragon in Season 1, had a birthday in Season 2 &

now he gets a new pair of wings without growing any taller. 

 

I do have some questions about Spike and Smolder and dragon maturing. The way Smolder talks, it does seem like she has yet to go through it. But she already has her wings. It makes me think dragons are supposed to have wings when they are born, but for whatever reason, Spike didn't. That would also explain why Smolder didn't mention anything about molting dragons growing wings - it doesn't happen that way under normal circumstances. Perhaps she thought he was just different and would always remain wingless?

The other thing that's still missing on Spike is his horns. Smolder also has her horns, and here again is something Spike never had. The way Twilight spoke at the end of the episode, it seems like there is more planned for Spike's maturing, and perhaps him growing a pair of those is part of that plan?

 

I have a lot, lot more to say, but I have to put all my thoughts together. (After the episode, it was fun enough reading through many of the comments from everyone online during the day, lol.)  I will say one thing now that I'll speak of in more detail later: If "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" was the puberty (or maybe a better term is "coming of age?") episode that showed the positives of maturing and becoming closer to being an adult, this episode was about the flip side of that: The awkwardness, embarrassment and physical changes that puberty puts a person through. I was so focused on the wing thing when I saw the leak, I missed what a wonderful job characters like Rarity and Twilight did in reassuring Spike that they and all his friends would be there for him in this new and awkward period of life. Bravo, DHX.

Edited by Truffles

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13 hours ago, Im_not_crazy_im_just said:

Finally an episode about puberty

The original cutie mark crusaders episode was about puberty, the metaphor was just much more subtle. 

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Funny thing is...I can't wait to spot future animation errors whenever they don't add Spike wings in!:lol:

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1 hour ago, Star Light said:

Funny thing is...I can't wait to spot future animation errors whenever they don't add Spike wings in!:lol:

OR better yet, give him Alicorn Wings instead of Dragon wings.  Now that's a goof-up worthy of the front pages.

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First of all I will say that I'm not a fan of all the shouting in this episode, but other than that it was a pretty great one.

The whole molt thing was great, and a reminder that ponies know very little about dragons. Smolder's part was really clutch explaining the molt well enough while still keeping info out for a surprise, it makes sense that she was praising Spike's molt while he was all afraid by it.

The callbacks were good.

Pinkie was annoying like she always is when having such small roles.

Twilight was a bit odd... I don't know what was it, but I felt her reaction to the whole thing might have been different.

The final act at Zecora's/Everfree Forest was good and amusing.

Spike getting his wings was really great and I like how they addressed the whole "wing using 101" just like they did with Twilight.

Overall a nice episode that could have been more appealing to me should it had a lot less shouting.

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I think that Spike's gaining of the Wings is more NATURAL than Twilight's, because when the molt happens, Wings are more than certainly a given of what happens next. Twilight had to EARN her wings by finishing one of Star Swirl the Bearded's spells.

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6 minutes ago, YoshiAngemon said:

I think that Spike's gaining of the Wings is more NATURAL than Twilight's, because when the molt happens, Wings are more than certainly a given of what happens next. Twilight had to EARN her wings by finishing one of Star Swirl the Bearded's spells.

I think dragons will get wings eventually, but not necessarily at their first molt. They must have something like pony wingpower too, given those wings are clearly far too small to lift Spike.

Twi was rushed due to production issues - I think had they managed a full 26 episode season, it would have seemed a lot more natural.

I do see Spike as a lot more mature than Smolder though - despite clearly being chronologically younger.  Still, Spike has had a lot more world experience as Twi's assistant than is likely for a young dragon in the dragonlands.

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1 minute ago, CypherHoof said:

I think dragons will get wings eventually, but not necessarily at their first molt. They must have something like pony wingpower too, given those wings are clearly far too small to lift Spike.

Twi was rushed due to production issues - I think had they managed a full 26 episode season, it would have seemed a lot more natural.

You can blame Equestria Girls for that!

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