Fhaolan

S09:E19 - Dragon Dropped

Dragon Dropped  

63 members have voted

  1. 1. What did you think?

    • Wow, right through the floor!
      7
    • Only a bit of damage...
      8
    • Impressive thud.
      12
    • It bounced?
      18
    • Ahhh! Multiball!
      18


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1 hour ago, Splashee said:

Can anyone explain to me how Rarity can move a drama couch using her magic with ease, while Twilight seem to have problems doing the same thing? (same scene, time 17:48 and 18:18 in the episode)

Yes, it is a joke. The animators placed two garbage bags on top of the couch that Twilight is dragging out of the castle (to make it look heavy), but by now, we know how much each magical pony/creature can lift in weight. Rarity just lifts a new couch in from nowhere using her magic.

Attuned magic. You use a certain spell frequently enough and it's like you don't even need to try. Or since it's so integral to her character, it's literally part of her cutiemark specialization.

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5 hours ago, Splashee said:

Can anyone explain to me how Rarity can move a drama couch using her magic with ease, while Twilight seem to have problems doing the same thing? (same scene, time 17:48 and 18:18 in the episode)

 

Yes, it is a joke. The animators placed two garbage bags on top of the couch that Twilight is dragging out of the castle (to make it look heavy), but by now, we know how much each magical pony/creature can lift in weight. Rarity just lifts a new couch in from nowhere using her magic.

It's part of her magic just like Celestia and Luna can move the sun easily but Twilight can't couch's are inherently resistant to magic which is why most ponies find them hard to move but Rarity is able to shift them easily when she's using them for dramatic fainting purposes. You'll notice she had to push the first one into the library by hoof with scraping sounds when she was just looking to sit on it but the second she just levitates in because she promptly pretending to faint.

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:applecry: I . . . I can't believe I'm saying this, but . . . the writers finally did it. They actually made a Rarity episode that I didn't like. :pinkiesad2:

First, the positives.

Spike and Gabby appear to be in a budding relationship, complete with a scene of Gabby sweetly feeding Spike a cherry, both of them shown to be visibly longing for each other in ways mere friends would not be after a supposed failed friendship, and Spike visibly blushing when he requests to join Gabby on her rounds at the end of the episode. Perhaps it is due to Spike's status as a main character, unlike Big Macintosh and Sugar Belle, but the wishy-washy nature of Spike and Gabby's relationship in this episode seems to be in line with trying to keep the status quo open should any future events come up that may derail this development. Mind you, this is a strange decision when considering this is the final season. Regardless, this episode took what would have been a crackshipping under any other circumstances and made it work. Spike and Gabby are an absolute delight to see together.

Now, onto the negatives.

This episode shows Rarity at her absolute worst of her own volition. As much as I adore her, I’m not going to say her choices were sympathetic. The episode is rather unsubtle about how it portrays Rarity as a jealous lover trying to control her significant other's actions and free time. Rarity's obsession with Spike reaches disturbing levels in this episode, her actions in trying to control his free time bordering on types of domestic abuse. Of course, the moment her slave thinks of even getting a life for himself, she loses her mind. Another reason for me to hate Rarity in this episode and in the hands of a competent writer Spike would have flipped the hell up at this point. While not necessarily out of character, it shows how Rarity has gotten too used to using Spike's adoration for her own personal benefit for the past eight seasons and makes one question how much she really respects him as a person.

Having said all of that, I think it's safe to say Spike's crush on Rarity is over and done with. it was only a matter of time before Spike would realize that his crush on Rarity was never going to pay off. His lack of any romantic interest in Rarity at first sight at the start of the episode is the first sign that he is seeing someone else. He finally found someone who is a better match for him and it really shows with how happy he and Gabby are together. I personally am glad for these two characters. But this is ruined in the scene with Gabby flying through the halls as she hears Spike and Rarity playing Ogres & Oubliettes, which is a parallel to someone walking in on their spouse having an affair. Gabby’s devastated reaction upon entering the room only further drives the implications home. I mean, just look at that face.
derpicdn.net/img/2019/7/20/2096674/medium.png]derpicdn.net/img/2019/7/20/2096674/medium.png

That is not the face of a boy missing his new friend. That’s the face of a sudden and painful heartbreak. I’ve been there. It’s difficult to describe the turmoil of a budding relationship being torn apart by circumstances outside your control. And yet, despite that, the Rarity x Spike shippers and writers are going to lose their damn minds after this establishment.

In spite of my hatred for this episode, I will say that it was nice to see Twilight act like an actual sister towards Spike, caring for him and defending him. After quite a few seasons suffering from increasingly worsening neurosis, I can't adequately describe just how refreshing it was to see Twilight Sparkle return to her roots as the voice of reason when she confronts Rarity over Spike's obvious crippling depression.

However, what shocked me was that we got actual character development in the show for once! :pinkiegasp: Color me shocked! Rarity comes to terms with the fact that friendships change and that finding a new friend to spend time with does not mean that he no longer values his friendship with her. While reluctant to do so at first, Rarity wills herself to show up at the post office and confess to Gabby about her underhanded and manipulative actions to win back Spike's company, resulting in Spike coming along to witness it. Things are quickly patched up, Gabby and Spike are very happy to see each other, and fly off together to catch up on lost time.

But, despite liking the moral of the story, I really can't stand Rarity acting so despicable towards Spike. Turning a character into an asshole just to send a message really rubs me the wrong way. Though, this isn't the first time these writers have done that.

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Spoiler

In response to #DrWolf001's latest video, I give my overall thoughts on what on the subject he discussed. 

Comments are welcomed 

 

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Focus, Casanova.

That little bit of shade (anachronistic as it may be, lol) was thrown by Twilight at her #1 assistant in the very first episode after they met Rarity.

So here we are, 9 years later, and this was the first episode of the early releases that had not had its title or summary divulged. So for the first time since binge watching seasons 1 and 2, I was going in completely blind. All I knew about it was that it featured Rarity because she was in the thumbnail/poster frame of the video. Little did I know a few moments in she'd be calling for Spike. So I was like, "Alright, a Spike-Rarity episode. Great!" Then came the real surprise: Spike, writing a letter, deep in thought under his shawl, bleary-eyed, not paying any attention to her.

Wut. :wau:

And it was then I knew Spike had found someone else besides Rarity, and that line from Twilight so long ago had turned out to be quite prescient, as Spike was about to find himself caught in the middle of a love triangle.

So the hopelessly romantic dragon who once exclaimed:

We can't put on a front and pretend not to love. It's impossible!

Finally found someone who likes him back in the same way he likes her. (Skelenor will be disappointed, lol.) But the big question on my mind was who was it? Then some time later, the post office scene started, and look who's there:

GabbyIsItYou.jpg.a84b4d4da62e8446359a6cfd492c3777.jpg

And she's speaking.

No wait.
Could it be?
Nah, can't be.
There's no way they would pair off Gabby and Spike. That's like, a total crackship!

And yet it was true. And after a little explaining by Spike (and exposition from Gabby) it all made perfect sense.

In addition to the things in common they listed like their cultures and mail occupations, they also:

- Really enjoy helping others.
- Are both orphans.
- Have multiple talents.

I've said from time to time how compatible Spike is with many characters, that short of the worst villains, you could practically ship him with anyone and come up with ways to make it work. But for some reason, pairing these two off never reached a level of consciousness to make it stick. Yet they make a great couple!

Or at least they do for now. One unanswered question is how Gabby will respond to Spike being snarky with her, which is probably an eventuality. Rarity always took his criticisms of some of her ideas (and criticisms from the rest of the Mane 6) in stride. I'm not sure how Gabby would react if he did it as often to her as he does to his other friends. I suppose he might change and become less honest, though Spike's sometimes brutal sincerity is one of my favorite things about his character. Maybe instead he'll change Gabby and make her a little more snarky? I have to admit, I really loved the disdain she showed toward Rarity when it all came out that the fashionista was trying to drive a wedge between the new couple. That's a side of Gabby we've never seen before, and hearkens back to some of that griffon attitude she referred to during her exposition. :laugh:

A few other compatibility issues also arise. Besides their age difference (they are at least a little closer in that regard) Spike is still going to need to take a 100 year nap at some point, and like ponies, I don't think griffons have the lengthy lifespans of dragons. If Spike had paired off with Smolder (or even Ember for that matter) he wouldn't have to worry about that. But just like it was with Rarity, he has to wonder if he's going to sleep the rest of his time with Gabby away in the future?

On an unrelated note, I'm now even less sure how Spike's message-sending works. He was busy writing a letter when Rarity first asked him to go to the gem cave, and presumably he was writing to Gabby. (Which in itself is strange because he was about to see her in a few minutes, lol, but since he lost track of time I guess he thought it would be a while yet.) So Spike sends the letter, and unless Gabby is hanging with the princesses, he must have sent it straight to her. How did he do that? I thought his letter-sending was limited to just royalty. This is the first time we've ever seen him send a letter to anyone else. And how does it work? Does it go to whomever it's addressed to in the header? Or does he just have to think about who to send it to? (If it's the latter, he's getting dangerously close to the spooky mind powers he thought he had in "Equestria Games," lol.)

But that first montage of Rarity remembering all the things Spike did for her. If episode 100 was a love-letter to the fans, and episode 200 was a love-letter to the VAs, then that montage in this episode 215 is a love-letter to Spike fans. Showing us the tip of the iceberg why we love his character so much, helpful, amazingly useful with his dragon abilities, and just a good friend and sounding board in general. Gabby's not kidding when she exclaims he's pretty awesome.

Speaking of his gem-testing ability in that montage:
BadGem.jpg.83d0da7f893f9f205c7ff8da11cc3f94.jpg

I laughed at the sweat coming off the salespony's forehead. Was he only afraid of losing Rarity's business? Or was he afraid she was going to take a note from Capper and use Spike in a dragonly way to show what happens to gem stores who try to sell her glass fakes?

"It would be a shame if my friend here were to suddenly sneeze and cause this whole establishment to burn to the ground." XD

 

On 9/7/2019 at 12:08 PM, Dark Qiviut said:

I take it back. Rarity’s overly dramatic apology to Spike at the post office was as hilarious as Derpy suddenly closing shop. :laugh:

My favorite is still Twilight having to haul the previous fainting couch out while Rarity is conjuring up a new one, and finally giving in to her inner actress:
TwiFaint.gif.bda522684da8f328a770a2109e5fb06e.gif
Kudos to whichever storyboard artist or animator came up with this brilliant visual gag. :laugh:

Though my vote for cutest shot is is:
LookWhoIHaveHere.jpg.fe951b543659349432b3b3a3ef80fa15.jpg

The funny thing about this shot is if you blink you might miss it. I only noticed it after someone did some nice artwork based on it: https://www.deviantart.com/tijopi/art/Look-what-I-found--806595567

On 9/7/2019 at 3:26 PM, Dark Qiviut said:

how Gabby and Spike began their friendship was a great payoff to a flaw from Fault in Our Cutie Mark. In the former, Twilight’s happy “discovery” of griffons getting cutie marks went unresolved. Haber takes advantage of it, using that hanging plot point to establish their “penpalsmanship.”

That was one of the minor nitpicks I had with that episode as well. Twilight even went as far as to call on Spike to grab a bunch of stuff to help her start this new research project, and I probably even complained that we didn't get a follow-through on Spike having another "nachos" moment like he did in "Twilight Time".

It's funny - Spike and Gabby establish their relationship by being penpals. That was the same way he said he and Thorax became friends in "The Times are a Changeling," only that time he was lying about it to cover for his new buddy.

On 9/7/2019 at 3:26 PM, Dark Qiviut said:

Swallowing her pride, apologizing to Gabby and Spike, and letting them go on their own after they make up shows her remorse felt genuine.

I like the last shot of Rarity as Spike and Gabby fly off. Its evident she realizes she has to let him go:
RaresUnderstands.jpg.f651bf452f5b4bbf7c46358b95a345e3.jpg

I think she was surprised as anyone that Spike showed up later that evening to help her in the gem cave. It was good to see Spike realize that he, as well, wasn't blameless for everything that happened.

 

On 9/7/2019 at 4:19 PM, Ganondorf8 said:

No doubt in my mind that Tabitha enjoyed recording for this episode given how expressive Rarity gets in so many scenes to the point of sheer absurdity. She always did enjoy being overly dramatic when it came to some of Rarity's more striking moments.

This is another reason why I can't feel too badly over Rarity's behavior: If the VA is enjoying exploring the flawed side of their character for the sake of comedy, then it's easier to accept any regression the character exhibits. For example, getting to hear Spike's sad song near the start of "Just for Sidekicks" was worth him getting greedy with the gems for his gem cake, even though that whole sequence seemed like a regression from what he learned in "Secret of my Excess."

On 9/7/2019 at 4:19 PM, Ganondorf8 said:

As for Spike himself, you've got to feel sorry for him as he was essentially the victim here. It's never fun being forced to choose between friends and he got pulled in both directions mainly because of Rarity wanting him all for herself and leaving Gabby out.

I wouldn't call him necessarily blameless. He shouldn't have blown Rarity off the multiple times she asked to spend some time with him. I've seen a few comments claiming all three of the main characters were acting OOC to one extent or another, but to me none of them were. In terms of why Spike acted the way he did, all I can say is I've had friends in high school who find a love interest and suddenly they become pretty scarce - just like Spike here. (No D&D during lunch, no get-togethers at computer club. Grumble.) Eventually things balance out (or they break up, lol) and it all works out. I never got angry at them, but perhaps was a little sad since our remaining group was down one person.

 

On 9/7/2019 at 5:22 PM, BornAgainBrony said:

Unless there's something I'm really blatantly forgetting though, Rarity has never had to deal with this problem before, so it felt like new territory so it's a tad more forgivable. And it's an entirely new kind of test of her generosity. Even were this not Spike, and one of her other friends, I could see this hitting her pretty hard. Rarity is usually the center of attention and most of her outbursts have been professionally, rather than personally motivated.

This is the #1 reason nothing Rarity did was OOC. It being a new test for her element, so her reaction to having Spike "stolen" away from her was plausible - and in fact, likely. I think @Dark Qiviut even commented to you on your point about this too, but I can't find the message now. But whoever it was, they brought up a brilliant point: Spike has become part of Rarity's identity, and to have that aspect of her life suddenly ripped away caused her a great deal of pain. Images like this are why I can't help but still have some sympathy for the marshmallow fashionista:
RarityHeartbroken.jpg.3b1a2d7378a957822a4eb329660388f0.jpg

And you're right that the same extends to the rest of the Mane 6. Rarity may be fiercely independent, but she still wouldn't have two profitable boutiques up and running without her close circle of friends to help her along the way.

 

On 9/8/2019 at 4:49 PM, Veil said:

It also kind of showed how little Rarity really cared about the way Spike felt. Another part that made cringe a lot was when Rarity pretended to care about D&D just to get Spike to spend time with her instead of Gabby.

I wouldn't go that far. Perhaps when she pulled out the O&O game she wasn't sure if it was her thing. But her body language while playing with him one scene later said to me she was actually rather enjoying being in the role of Princess Shmarity and fighting monsters. And give Rarity some credit: She cares enough about Spike to know what he likes. If her only interest was to use him as manual labor, I would think she wouldn't even know what his interests were and what items she would use to get him back into her life.

 

17 hours ago, Senko said:

10) Gabby's eyes in the pile of gifts was amusing

I'm glad someone else noticed this.
GabbyWatchesIntently.jpg.e3d96a02c3f79feacf0744916c84dc98.jpg
The way Gabby discreetly watches the drama unfold from her Fortress of Apology Items was adorable. :D

 

4 hours ago, doomie-22 said:

Perhaps it is due to Spike's status as a main character, unlike Big Macintosh and Sugar Belle, but the wishy-washy nature of Spike and Gabby's relationship in this episode seems to be in line with trying to keep the status quo open should any future events come up that may derail this development. Mind you, this is a strange decision when considering this is the final season.

The issues with having Spike and Gabby in a full-blown romantic relationship are the same ones with Rarity returning any of the feelings he's had for her over the years: Gabby is at least 18 (probably college-aged) since she's old enough to set out on her own and hold a full-time job. (Well, in her case, jobs, since she's good at everything when it comes to professional careers, lol). But in Spike's case he's still a teenager under 18. Unless they suddenly announce he's legally an adult before the show ends, they have to dance around the two of them doing anything more than giving each other hugs.

4 hours ago, doomie-22 said:

That is not the face of a boy missing his new friend. That’s the face of a sudden and painful heartbreak. I’ve been there. It’s difficult to describe the turmoil of a budding relationship being torn apart by circumstances outside your control.

It's also the face of someone listening to the rules of Trivia Trot for hours on end, lol:
ReallyBoredSpike.jpg.ab337f2d8319b2ddc01d742f5b1aed1b.jpg

Even as a die-hard Spike fan, however, I only felt partially bad for Spike after Gabby dumped him. As I explained above, he didn't do himself any favors by completely ignoring Rarity, and while she wasn't justified in her attempts to break the two of them up, I feel like he had a window of opportunity to avoid disaster. (His heart was probably telling him otherwise, though - that he couldn't bear to stand a day without seeing or writing to Gabby.)

 

Anyway, loved the episode. And loved that the entire Mane 6 got to have a speaking roles. (The only character missing was Starlight. Again. :yeahno: Though she'll be seen soon enough.)

And like episode 16, initial audience reaction seems to be more positive than I expected. So that's good, too.

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46 minutes ago, Truffles said:

A few other compatibility issues also arise. Besides their age difference (they are at least a little closer in that regard) Spike is still going to need to take a 100 year nap at some point, and like ponies, I don't think griffons have the lengthy lifespans of dragons. If Spike had paired off with Smolder (or even Ember for that matter) he wouldn't have to worry about that. But just like it was with Rarity, he has to wonder if he's going to sleep the rest of his time with Gabby away in the future?

It's something I've wondered about with Twilight if Alicorn's truly are immortal it may be that Spike will be the only friend of hers who can help keep her on an even keel. I've said it before but I do love the story where one by one Spike carries their other friends on one last journey and then she carries him when its his time. So sweet and yet so sad.

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1 hour ago, Truffles said:

The issues with having Spike and Gabby in a full-blown romantic relationship are the same ones with Rarity returning any of the feelings he's had for her over the years: Gabby is at least 18 (probably college-aged) since she's old enough to set out on her own and hold a full-time job. (Well, in her case, jobs, since she's good at everything when it comes to professional careers, lol). But in Spike's case he's still a teenager under 18. Unless they suddenly announce he's legally an adult before the show ends, they have to dance around the two of them doing anything more than giving each other hugs.

I'm actually surprised I've never seen a Trek episode about this topic... maybe because it's just TOO touchy, even for a highly intellectual show?

Any universe with an advanced civilization that had multiple sentient species would have a very bizarre legal nightmare the moment inter-species dating got involved. Why? Because the developmental rates of each species would be different, and would be determined by a number of different factors. Sure you could just try taking the easy route and extrapolating life expectancy and using your own species to come up with a ratio, but... some species might fully develop physically, while mentally may lag behind. Same goes for vice versa. Puberty for some races would come very fast. Others not hit it until the final years of their life. If you were to judge the Mane 6 solely on their behavior, you could probably argue they're anywhere between 10 and 25. It would probably have everyone tearing their hair out trying to arrive at acceptable limits for each species.

Anyway... dragon age in particular is a huge conundrum because the growth rate of a dragon is heavily influenced by gluttony. Spike DID become an adult dragon once, but then he went to gem rehab and reverted back to "baby." Which then brings up an interesting question. Spike is the youngest "looking" dragon we ever see, but we know that's because he controls his urges. Does that mean he's actually MORE mature than nearly every other dragon? Maybe not the most mature, but based on the behavior of every other dragon I've seen in the show, Spike's mental and emotional capacity is comparable, and usually superior. The only exception to this might be Ember, and she's their freaking queen.

Since I think we can safely rule out that anyone has written pedos into CANON MLP I don't think we need to worry about this. Rarity has never been, "Eeyw, that kid has a crush on me," and no Pony has ever told Spike it was IMPOSSIBLE for him to date Rarity. Were this a legit child with a never-ending crush on an adult, someone would've talked to him about it long ago.

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Now if you're a Sparity shipper (which I am), the way Rarity reacted here, was of one realizing that the knight in shining armor/prince charming she's been looking for has been in front of her the whole time, and she didn't want to lose him.  

And from continuity standpoint, With what Spike gave her in BEST GIFT EVER, she want's to keep that LOVE Spike has for her, and she has for him, alive and strong!

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What's poning, ponles?

Nice episode.  Sweet.  Um... not really anything to say about it.  I usually have jokes and quite often criticisms, but this time I got nothin'.  It was just... nice.  A nice thing to have some closure on before the end.  I guess one thing I'll say is that I wouldn't mind it if they dialed Rarity's melodrama back just a teense.  But I'd always prefer it if they dialed down the melodrama and slapstick meters a little bit.  I'd always prefer a little more realism.  That's just me.  It was good, though.

When Rarity was watching Spike and Gabby fly away with watery eyes, I kinda felt like telling her, "well, what did you expect after taking him for granted all these years?"  I mean, let's face it, Rarity has tended to treat Spike more like a servant than a friend.  But this episode did a lot to remedy that, which is nice.

Now, if I was in Spike's place, I think I might have said something like this: "Look, Rarity, I've been in this unrequited love affair with you for long enough.  It was fun for awhile, back when I was able to pretend that there was some hope that you might someday reciprocate, but enough is enough.  It's not fun anymore.  It just feels empty now.  I don't want to keep being your little helper boy in the hopes for a rare kiss on the cheek.  It's time for me to move on and try to find someone who can return my feelings."  But, y'know, that's a tad intense.  A little too real.  I think what they did with it was great.  And Rarity won't be taking Spikey-Wikey for granted anymore.

Incidentally, I like how they maintain continuity with respect to unicorn telekinetic ability.  Without Spike's help, Rarity had trouble with her bags.  She carried about half with telekinesis, and the other half on her back, and it was a struggle.  She's always been very deft and adept at lightweight telekinesis, and can easily cut and sew multiple things simultaneously, but she cannot lift anywhere remotely close to the amount of weight that Twilight can.  I'm glad that they're careful to pay attention to that kind of thing.

On 9/7/2019 at 6:57 AM, FlareGun45 said:

Oh damn, can I undo my vote? These votings are so confusing! What means good and what means bad?

I KNOW, RIGHT??!  :laugh:  I appreciate the clever voting options, but this one was a little too confusing.  What's next?  Is the hate option going to say "that was sh*t, man!", while the love option says "that was the SH*T, man!"

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7 hours ago, bwrosas said:

And from continuity standpoint, With what Spike gave her in BEST GIFT EVER

Aww... that special is going to be bittersweet now. That song was surely Spike's magnum opus. "If this doesn't get her then nothing will." Usually a Valentine's story but Spike chose Hearthswarming for the ultimate heart-on-the-sleeve gesture, and he even did it in front of everyone. And still... nothing. I don't think we see any moments with lovestruck Spike in Season 9, none that I can remember now. Was this when Spike finally gave up on her?

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10 hours ago, BornAgainBrony said:

Aww... that special is going to be bittersweet now. That song was surely Spike's magnum opus. "If this doesn't get her then nothing will." Usually a Valentine's story but Spike chose Hearthswarming for the ultimate heart-on-the-sleeve gesture, and he even did it in front of everyone. And still... nothing. I don't think we see any moments with lovestruck Spike in Season 9, none that I can remember now. Was this when Spike finally gave up on her?

I don't think Spike ever or will ever give up on Rarity.

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(edited)
On 9/10/2019 at 3:50 AM, Justin_Case001 said:

I like how they maintain continuity with respect to unicorn telekinetic ability.  Without Spike's help, Rarity had trouble with her bags.  She carried about half with telekinesis, and the other half on her back, and it was a struggle.  She's always been very deft and adept at lightweight telekinesis, and can easily cut and sew multiple things simultaneously, but she cannot lift anywhere remotely close to the amount of weight that Twilight can.

Good catch! I missed that bit of detail. It's always nice to see the show referencing the S1 theme of pony special abilities, usually granted by cutie marks.

18 hours ago, BornAgainBrony said:

Aww... that special is going to be bittersweet now. That song was surely Spike's magnum opus. "If this doesn't get her then nothing will." Usually a Valentine's story but Spike chose Hearthswarming for the ultimate heart-on-the-sleeve gesture, and he even did it in front of everyone. And still... nothing.

My impression was she was truly touched by it, but could not return any of those feelings due to the uproar it would cause. I still feel like that was Spike's Perfect Pear moment and if he had been older they'd be a couple. But the moment passed and now his heart has wandered elsewhere.

On 9/10/2019 at 2:02 AM, BornAgainBrony said:

'm actually surprised I've never seen a Trek episode about this topic... maybe because it's just TOO touchy, even for a highly intellectual show?

Well, ST:TMP kind of touched on that with Ilia proclaiming that humans were a "sexually immature species," though the comparison was a cultural one and not a physical one. If Deltans are analogous to adult humans, then humans to them are like tweens still stuck developmentally where all they can do is giggle over nudie mags. XD

On 9/10/2019 at 2:02 AM, BornAgainBrony said:

dragon age in particular is a huge conundrum because the growth rate of a dragon is heavily influenced by gluttony. Spike DID become an adult dragon once, but then he went to gem rehab and reverted back to "baby."

I thought Smolder clarified dragon growth when she stated in "Molt Down" that Greed Growth was completely different from normal growth and is an aberration, even in established dragon culture? If Garble and Smolder had given their ages in the show, we'd have better idea of how long dragons stay in their "baby dragon" form.

On 9/10/2019 at 2:02 AM, BornAgainBrony said:

Were this a legit child with a never-ending crush on an adult, someone would've talked to him about it long ago.

I'm just going to presume that since the topic isn't suitable for a Y-7 show, that Twilight took Spike aside off-screen at some point and explained it wouldn't be socially acceptable for Rarity to go on a formal date with him. (Though all things considered, all those times they were together alone could be considered dates, even if the romantic feelings were only coming from one of the participants.)

The pony I most wanted to see confront Spike regarding his fawning over Rarity was Sweetie Belle. Certainly she must have had concerns that Spike had dreams of marrying her sister and stealing her away from the family. It would have made for an interesting episode, and it could have touched on some of the social aspects Rarity was dealing with over having a small dragon enamored with her.

On 9/10/2019 at 1:27 AM, Senko said:

It's something I've wondered about with Twilight if Alicorn's truly are immortal it may be that Spike will be the only friend of hers who can help keep her on an even keel. I've said it before but I do love the story where one by one Spike carries their other friends on one last journey and then she carries him when its his time. So sweet and yet so sad.

That's why Spike is the perfect assistant and friend/family member for her. He'll always be there for her (barring any naps), especially if dragons live to be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of years.

Edited by Truffles
Missed closing semicolon

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Welp.

That took.... four hours. Geeze.

Le review!

---

So, here we are, Dragon Dropped. An episode in which Spike and Rarity's relationship... moves on. Or, in a manner of speaking, moves forward.

The episode begins with Rarity dropping in on Spike for a impromptu gem cave raid and, apparently for the first time ever, Spike... doesn't acknowledge her. I might say ignore, but that's not quite true, as he seems preoccupied writing a letter to notice her, something that will come into play later. I didn't realize it at first, but that's actually a very appropriate situation given the premise this episode dives into. But I'll swing back to that in a moment.

I'm not sure how to feel about how I feel about Rarity being thrown so much by this. Given her reaction, this might conceivably be the first time she didn't command his undivided attention whenever she wanted it, and looking back, I can't remember a time when she didn't. So, quick recap, Rarity thinks she'd upset Spike somehow, tries to apologize, realizes he actually has an interest in someone else, tries to force things back into status quo, it doesn't work and then they kiss.

Wait, they don't? Boo.

So, over the years, I've seen a lot of criticism leveled against Rarity and Spike's relationship and, while I can see where it's coming from, I do think it's misplaced. Consider what Rarity says in the gem cave - that as far as she's known him, he's never turned down an opportunity to join her there. Consider the way she phrases it - she doesn't complain about him refusing to help her, but she views those trips as something both of them enjoy, or at least benefit from. And while she unfairly chews out Applejack for not being Spike - something our favourite element of honesty doesn't hesitate to point out - given the situation, I can't blame her for misdirected frustration. But I'll swing back to that in a moment.

Let's clear out the obvious thing first - Spike has a crush on Rarity. Rarity doesn't have a crush on Spike. They both know this - the issue was put to bed as far back as Secret of My Excess. And the criticism I most frequently see about those two is that, if Rarity doesn't return his feelings, he should simply cut her loose and, if need be, pursue someone who will. And I don't really agree with that philosophy. There's nothing wrong with one-sided affection, provided that all parties are honest about it, and with each other. To say otherwise is to imply... that reciprocity is owed. If someone doesn't care for you as much as you care for them, in the same way you care for them, they don't deserve it. It puts the burden on the recepient, rather than accepting that feelings can exist on their own. And if you don't agree, then I invite you to defend Zephyr Breeze.

No, I mean it. I'd love to see an argument made about that.

And here's the thing - Spike enjoys spending time with Rarity for its own sake. Even though he's well aware that, romantically, nothing will likely come of it, he does take enjoyment - one might even say pleasure - from helping her, and it's unlikely that Rarity is unaware of that because, as a socialite, let alone a businessperson, she's shown she knows how to read others - when she does. But I'll swing back to that in a moment.

Actually, make that now.

I've often seen Rarity accused of being inconsiderate - being blase about misfortune happening around her, or for that matter, the discomfort she creates via steamrolling others with her plans, but it's helpful to remember that, reaching as far back as Sonic Rainboom, Rarity's biggest enemy has always been tunnel vision. It's a trait she shares with Twilight, in fact, but whereas Twilight will often... well, Twilight about how to do things perfectly, Rarity is a lot more goal-driven - rather than try to see the whole picture and lose the detail, when faced with either a goal or a problem, she will often design a solution quickly and pursue it with single-minded focus. This actually meshes well with her background - as a business and a craftspony, she's often in a situation where she has to make snap decisions that don't really allow for second-guessing. If it turns out she'd made a mistake and things go awry, she'll focus on fixing that instead.

The interesting thing about this episode is that, rather than dedicating the entire plot to a single case, it actually gives us a tour of various tunnels - she sees a problem with the change in Spike's behaviour, so she talks to Twilight about it. She wants to ask Spike about it - going to the source - but Spike isn't available, whereas Twilight is. Twilight offers the possibility that she did something to offend or upset Spike, and that's where our tunnels switch. Spike being upset with her is a possibility, which makes it *the* possibility, and it also has the added allure of being something she can immediately act upon to resolve. If you did something to hurt another person, then the way to solve it is to offer a genuine apology and try to make it right. This actually helps explain Rarity's dismissal of the whole "what are you apologizing for" issue - with her attention completely focused on the act of apology, there's simply no available real estate to consider anything outside of the immediate goal. Oddly enough, though, it also speaks somewhat of her own self-awareness - like she says to Twilight, she can't think of anything she would have done to upset Spike - which turns out to be true - but she's also aware that she *might* have done something to upset him anyway and simply not have realized it. She focuses her attention outward - towards Spike and his feelings - rather than give in to the urge to insist to herself that, since she doesn't remember doing anything wrong, she must not have and the fault lies elsewhere. Rather than blame others, or circumstance, she instead doesn't hesitate to blame herself.

But, as it turns out, Spike is just fine and he has a new friend - Gabby! And her reaction is interesting - it obviously comes as a shock, an uprooting of a dynamic they've had for years. And, judging from her expression, it's something she tries to be happy about, even if she fails to - blatantly so.

A couple of scenes later, our train switches tracks again as Rarity realizes just how much she'd been taking Spike's company for granted. By that, I don't mean his assistance, or Spike himself - in the past, I don't remember her ever dismissing or belittling him, and her flashback at the spa doesn't even involve him helping, rather than the two simply spending time together. So after Fluttershy suggests that maybe she should let him know how grateful she is for his help, that becomes our new goal. It's also interesting to note the way Fluttershy puts it - she doesn't suggest that he might be feeling un-appreciated, but rather a visible gesture of appreciation. The former could easily be interpreted as an obvious guilt trip, which would be a bit out of Fluttershy's personality, where the latter puts it more as a well-deserved gift.

On the other hand, I wonder how it would pan out of that was intentional on Flutteshy's part - a sort of double reacharound passive aggressive gambit. It would certainly add an interesting take on Flutterbutter if seen through the lens of a master manipulator.

And this is the part where things get complex. Rarity takes Spike to things he is certain to enjoy - the tour of the Gem Crevasse, the Power PonyPalooza and a game of O&O - each of these perfectly tailored to things she knows he enjoys. But it also severely cuts into his time with Gabby, and this is something I do believe she's aware of this time - when the Gem Crevasse outing is initially rejected in favour of Gabby, she does make a show of not being happy about the refusal. Despite generosity and thoughtfulness, she is still a proud pony who is used to getting things her way, whether it be through charm or hard work, and it would probably sting twice as hard coming from someone whose undivided attention she'd been accustomed to for this long. It's actually a very nice bit of consistency showing that, for better or worse, personality traits still have their momentum that's not easy to overcome.

Gabby, ultimately, doesn't help matters either, but I also can't help but sympathise. In a way, Spike has become a commodity - both Gabby and Rarity want to spend time with him and, barring another ill-fated trip to the Mirror Pool, there's only so much of him to go around. Rarity's focus-goal is to draw Spike back to her via thoughtful gifts - as usual, the "why" or the broader picture have been swept away in the process. Gabby, on the other hand, wants to spend as much time as she can with what might conceivably be her only friend, but she also hesitates to speak up about it. It makes me wonder if that hesitation might relate to the griffons' stereotypical greed and selfishness - she might feel that fighting to get her Spike Time would reinforce that stereotype that she's trying to distance herself from.  And Spike, of course, is oblivious to the friction between the two.

The O&O session is where it all comes to a head where she finds Spike, uh... cheating on her with Rarity. And while I again sympathise with Gabby, Spike didn't lie or mislead her in any way - recuperating from spending a day walking around a con by playing a tabletop game is as much work as resting from a twelve-hour shift at a construction site by playing video games. Which is to say, pretty much none at all.

So, Gabby has her jealous outburst and mic-drops outta there.

Spike lets it happen without a word because growing wings apparently comes a few years before growing a spine.

And Rarity misses it all because she has her face buried in her character sheet and an inherent -18 to situational awareness.

I suppose it makes sense. Between the unicorn, the griffon and mostly-grounded dragon, they have a full team for a game of idiot-buckball.

And so, we round back to status quo, except not really.

So, with Gabby cutting herself out of the picture, Rarity has Spike all to herself again. That being said, she still seems unaware of what she's done - she casually asks Spike if he'd managed to reconcile with Gabby, completely oblivious of her own role in the debacle. The goal is accomplished - she gets to spend time with Spike again - and all of the peripheral events are out of focus again. But because, again, she cares about Spike, rather than simply what he does for her, she does quickly realize that something is amiss.

Ultimately, however, it takes Twilight to make her look at the  bigger picture. This is actually a frequent theme with Rarity episodes, or at least ones where Rarity is the instigator of the conflict - it often takes a strong outside force to shift her focus, usually when the consequences have climaxed. Rarity admits that she had to resort to underhanded means to get any of Spike's attention, but only then realizes that she'd been monopolizing it at Gabby's expense. I would argue, however, that she knew this from the beginning - but at the same time, wasn't aware of it. You may have heard the words "cognitive dissonance" - a feeling that a person gets when they try to hold multiple thoughts or views that exclude each other, a kind of "there's something wrong" that's often hard to pin down, usually when making a decision or following through with it - pushing you both towards and away from the decision you *want* to make. Rarity wanted to spend as much time with Spike as she could, and that meant taking time away from Gabby, but because she really wanted both to be with Spike and to be a good person, but if she made Gabby sad by taking Spike away, she wouldn't be a good person - so consideration of Gabby got pushed out of focus. Desire is a powerful thing, and it influences our thoughts a lot more than we realize.

So, Rarity comes to terms with having to share Spike, and this could have been the end of the episode... but we had to get our final gem.

"I'll always still want my Rarity time."

A handful of words. And soooo much meaning.

It's been easy to forget after the avalanche of Raridrama, but this is where we began. Throughout this whole episode, we've seen that Spike's entire universe no longer stops revolving when Rarity calls. He's not dependent on her - he never was - but she'd always acted as an interrupt for his attention whenever she wanted it. And in the beginning, it seemed like he did finally cut her loose - dropped his affections, his entire romance, and focused, in a Rarity-like way, on Gabby.

And I won't argue, they're cute together.

But with that line, he shows that he still cares about Rarity. He wants to spend time together with her. But after they've been through so much together, through thick and thin, through highs and lows, for both of them, he no longer places her on a pedestal. He likes her, and yes, I'm sure it's romantically too, but he's grown to see her as a person, not an idol. It's all right to idolize someone, honestly, but it's not something that's good in the long term - people are people, and they have their virtues and flaws. If recognizing that they exist diminishes the affection, let alone ends it, then one's never really loved the person, just a fantasy built around select pieces of them. And likewise, if one cares as much for the person itself, after one sees them as they really are, then it can only grow that much stronger for being grounded in reality.

I know we'll never see how Sparity turns out.

But you can't stop me from being optimistic.

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I really liked how they showed Spike with a love interest.  They're so adorable together.  You can sense how much they do love each other when they're both hurt and depressed when they stopped talking.  Friendship wouldn't do that, but love will.  I'm so glad Spike found someone that actually cares for him and does stuff with him that he actually likes.

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It was cool to see Rarity wanting Spike's attention for a change.

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Overall, I'd say that this episode was more-or-less okay. It's good for the show to address this "relationship" between Spike and Rarity, and I think I can be satisfied with how it turns out. This episode isn't explicitly about romantic interest between Spike and Rarity, or Spike and Gabby, but that seems like the only way that some of the behavior in this episode would make (at least some) sense. Otherwise, for example, this episode would appear to have us believe that it's devastating and abnormal for one's non-romantic friend to be busy doing other things for a few days. I haven't seen enough of Spike and Gabby together (or Gabby as a character in general) to form any particularly strong personal opinion on them as a couple. (I didn't have any particularly strong personal opinion about Big Mac and Sugar Belle, either, although I'm basically fine with them now.) Several parts of this episode do seem to overexaggerate the melodrama and the behavior of the characters to create conflict. But at the same time, I suppose many of those things aren't necessarily totally outside the realm of possibility. And several other parts of this episode were enjoyable. For example, Gabby generally makes a pretty good showing; Twilight's having to deal with Rarity's fainting couches was amusing; and it's always nice to see Twilight looking out for Spike.

To start off, I know that other episodes have shown Rarity caring about Spike and his well-being, beyond whatever labor value he can produce for her. For example, Rarity went with Twilight and Rainbow to watch over and defend Spike in "Dragon Quest", and she and Twilight accompanied Spike again in "Gauntlet of Fire". But this episode seemed to emphasize the lopsided and potentially exploitative nature of Rarity's and Spike's "relationship", and consequently, I couldn't get sarcastic replies about Spike's essentially being Rarity's personal slave out of my mind. So, for example, when Rarity says that she misses her time with Spike, I couldn't help thinking "a.k.a. she misses having Spike attend to her every need while doing whatever she wants to do".

I think part of the reason for this is that it's hard for me not to notice that the things Rarity remembers doing with Spike in flashback, and the things Rarity is now struggling to do without him, are all things that Rarity wants to do, most of which appear to be associated with her fashion work. And on top of that, Spike appears to be doing physically exhausting work at least half of those times. (And Spike's acting as Rarity's pincushion doesn't seem physically exhausting, but it does seem pointless. Why can't Rarity just put a pincushion where she wants it to be and leave it there?) Considering how much Applejack, Rainbow, Pinkie, and even Rarity herself struggle with doing the tasks that Spike would do, it seems like Spike puts up with a lot.

And, looking at this from a third-party perspective, what does Spike get out of doing all of these things, in order to at least help balance this "relationship" out? Does he only get whatever meager flattery or attention Rarity throws his way to get him to do what she wants him to do? We see in this episode that Rarity knows/cares enough about Spike to know things that he would like to do - going on a gem-hunting adventure, going to Power Ponypalooza, playing O&O. But when was the last time that Rarity did something like that with Spike, where he chose something for the two of them to do that he finds enjoyable, rather than just assenting to whatever Rarity wants him to do right now?

So, whatever Rarity's and Spike's "relationship" has been up to this point, I prefer to view the resolution of this episode as Spike's moving on from his sort of blind idolization of and crush on Rarity. I want Spike's spending time with Rarity and helping her in the future to be motivated by their being good friends - not by Spike's desperation for whatever attention he can get from his crush, and the consequent willingness to do almost anything to get it.

Now here are the rest of my miscellaneous observations:

This episode appears to treat Spike's ability to send (and receive) scrolls with his fire breath differently than it's been shown in the show up to this point (something that @Truffles noticed as well). My recollection is that Spike has only been shown sending (and receiving) scrolls from princesses, especially Princess Celestia. But in the opening scene of this episode, Spike flames and sends a scroll that he appears to have been writing to Gabby. And later, in the gem cave, Rarity says "And why would Spike need to go to the post office at all? He sends mail by breathing! Breathing, darling! Breath mail!". But does Spike send mail to everyone that way, or just the princesses? And how would that work?

Does Applejack really need to dangle the lantern right in front of her, where it's getting in the way? We see at the end of the episode that Spike uses a headlamp like Rarity. So is there a headlamp for Applejack to use or borrow? Or, since Applejack's hat can apparently support the lantern, couldn't she tie it to the top of her hat or something?

When Twilight asks if Rarity and Spike have had a fight, and Rarity asks what she and Spike would even fight about, Twilight says "I've had arguments with friends before, and they can put a real strain on friendships". You don't say? Is Rarity not aware of this? That just seemed like a very basic and obvious statement for Twilight to make.

When we first see Gabby at the post office, Derpy gives Gabby what looks like 8 envelopes tied together with string. And later, Spike says that Gabby's here all the time, since there's a griffon at Twilight's school now. So to whom were those 8 envelopes being sent? Spike says that Grampa Gruff asks for a lot of updates about how Gallus is doing, but how many updates are written and addressed to him in the times between when Gabby picks up the mail? And how much other correspondence is there between Ponyville (or other ponies) and Griffonstone for Gabby to deliver?

Can Rarity's big box of apology stuff even fit through the door of the post office? Did Rarity have to teleport it in?

The apology song does skip slightly when Rarity throws the record player onto the floor, but I'm surprised that the needle doesn't just jump out of the groove entirely. That needle must have a lot of tracking force, and if it does, then it's wearing out the records being played much faster.

When Spike first says "Is that the time?" and rushes to meet Gabby, the clock looks like it says something like ten 'til "noon". But when Rarity goes to the post office with the big box of apology stuff, the clock on the wall looks like it says something like a little after "five". Is Gabby in the post office at different times on different days? Or does she just spend a lot of time in the post office?

When the episode kept showing the ice cream cones dripping in Spike's hands, I was expecting them to melt away entirely or something, and for Spike to be annoyed that Rarity spent too long talking to him. But no, it turns out that the dripping ice cream cones weren't a plot point.

Maybe Rarity could ask Spike if he's available before buying the two of them passes to Power Ponypalooza? Are these passes returnable and refundable? Because if not, that would really seem like guilt-tripping - hey Spike, you better come with me to Power Ponypalooza, or else I'll have spent the money to get these passes for nothing!

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I think it was OK to slightly above average. I preferred this over She talks to Angel.

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On 9/10/2019 at 9:51 PM, Quinch said:

But, as it turns out, Spike is just fine and he has a new friend - Gabby! And her reaction is interesting - it obviously comes as a shock, an uprooting of a dynamic they've had for years. And, judging from her expression, it's something she tries to be happy about, even if she fails to - blatantly so.

If there was an award for Character with the Most Insincere Smile This Season, she'd be a top contender: (Yikes)

RarityInsincereSmile.jpg.43338a7e4da073aa54e221326be1d778.jpg

On 9/10/2019 at 9:51 PM, Quinch said:

In a way, Spike has become a commodity - both Gabby and Rarity want to spend time with him and, barring another ill-fated trip to the Mirror Pool, there's only so much of him to go around.

They'll have to get in line with everyone else who is a fan of his. :) And Twilight, too, for that matter since he's by her side the most.

Interesting thought, though, about Spike and the Mirror Pool: I wonder what personality trait would stand out among the Spike-clones? With Pinkie, it was easy with her wanting to act silly and have fun. Pinning Spike's #1 trait is a little harder, at least now it is in the later seasons as he's matured. So having a bunch of Spikes who are only interested in Rarity or going around exclaiming, "Spike want!" seems a little anachronistic.

Perhaps a modern Spike copy would be like how he was in "Spike at your Service" - hanging off of every creature in town trying to be helpful to them, but as a copy incapable of performing with the professionalism of the real McCoy? Or maybe the Mirror Pool would latch onto his hopeless romantic streak and you'd have a bunch of Spikes trying to play matchmaker for everypony in town? :laugh:

On 9/10/2019 at 9:51 PM, Quinch said:

Spike lets it happen without a word because growing wings apparently comes a few years before growing a spine.

Aw, now that's not fair. While it was true when he didn't speak up for Thorax back in the day, here he tried to explain things, but Gabby wouldn't have any of it. She shut him down and leaving the turnip soup was the final word on the matter. We may have not gotten a convenient X-Ray view of Spike like we did with Twilight in "Father Knows Beast," but I'm pretty sure by his melting expression for the next few days that his little heart broke into just as many shards right then and there.

On 9/10/2019 at 9:51 PM, Quinch said:

And Rarity misses it all because she has her face buried in her character sheet and an inherent -18 to situational awareness.

:laugh:

On 9/10/2019 at 9:51 PM, Quinch said:

He likes her, and yes, I'm sure it's romantically too, but he's grown to see her as a person, not an idol. It's all right to idolize someone, honestly, but it's not something that's good in the long term - people are people, and they have their virtues and flaws.

I'd argue he's already aware of her flaws. There have been a number of times in recent seasons he's given her ideas strange looks, or cast doubt on them. But then he turns around and hits it out of the park with a romantic song during the holiday special, so I'd say he's accepted her flaws and still appreciates her for who she is.

Of course now he's going to be juggling two relationships which can always be tricky, especially if one of them does turn serious when he's older. But as Spike is apt to say, "That''s Future Spike's problem!" :orly:

 

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

And, looking at this from a third-party perspective, what does Spike get out of doing all of these things, in order to at least help balance this "relationship" out? Does he only get whatever meager flattery or attention Rarity throws his way to get him to do what she wants him to do?

I know you are probably asking this question in terms of fairness, but from Spike's POV, what he gets out of it is an endorphin rush that makes him keep going back. While being addicted to something (or, in this case, someone) isn't healthy, it would be interesting to put a price on the euphoria he feels from getting to work with her.

Is it fair (or specifically, a fair price) to work hard for someone if being near them and interacting makes you happy? That is identifiable as an abusive relationship, which I suppose is why the lengths he went through in earlier seasons to do stuff for her dropped significantly later on after audience members complained his infatuation was being taken advantage of.

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

But does Spike send mail to everyone that way, or just the princesses? And how would that work?

Spike does something in an upcoming episode that seems to finally answer the extent of his ability. I'll leave it at that since it's a potential spoiler. :)

Also since the series has yet to show any other dragon doing this, it must be some special ability of his. Whether it's just something he can do due to his lineage or if it was some power Celestia granted him remains unanswered thus far.

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Does Applejack really need to dangle the lantern right in front of her, where it's getting in the way?

  I reckon the lantern theme is another one of her countryisms, this one non-verbal. :mlp_smug:

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Spike says that Grampa Gruff asks for a lot of updates about how Gallus is doing, but how many updates are written and addressed to him in the times between when Gabby picks up the mail? And how much other correspondence is there between Ponyville (or other ponies) and Griffonstone for Gabby to deliver?

What I want to know is how does Gabby fly between Ponyville and Griffonstone so effortlessly? We can see on the official Equestria maps that there's quite a bit of distance between the two towns. And we know it took a long time for Rainbow Dash and Pinkie to get there, so using the train on a daily basis is out of the question. I guess she lives in Ponyville half of the week and then goes back to Griffonstone for the other half, allowing her to limit the number of trips she'd need to make?

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Is Gabby in the post office at different times on different days? Or does she just spend a lot of time in the post office?

Luna must be jealous. Maybe she should hang out with the two of them as well just to experience all those amazing logistical operations they'd get to experience on a daily basis? :mlp_laugh:

On 9/12/2019 at 2:53 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Maybe Rarity could ask Spike if he's available before buying the two of them passes to Power Ponypalooza? Are these passes returnable and refundable?

Knowing her, she'd probably just give them away to another interested party. She makes enough bits to afford to give them away, anyhow. My question though is to who? I don't think I've ever seen another character in Ponyville besides Spike being into the Power Ponies.

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2 hours ago, Truffles said:

What I want to know is how does Gabby fly between Ponyville and Griffonstone so effortlessly? We can see on the official Equestria maps that there's quite a bit of distance between the two towns. And we know it took a long time for Rainbow Dash and Pinkie to get there, so using the train on a daily basis is out of the question. I guess she lives in Ponyville half of the week and then goes back to Griffonstone for the other half, allowing her to limit the number of trips she'd need to make?

I like this idea. If Gabby is gone for several days at a time, then it would make more sense for Spike to want to write and send her letters when she's gone, as he appeared to be doing at the beginning of the episode. And that might make it more important for Spike to hang out with Gabby while she's in Ponyville, before she leaves for several days, as opposed to a scenario where she's in Ponyville most days to collect/deliver mail.

One potential wrench in the works, though, is when Spike and Rarity get off the train in Ponyville after getting back from The Gem Crevasse. Gabby tells Spike "I gotta get back to Griffonstone, but you have to tell me all about the Crevasse tomorrow!", which implies that Gabby travels from Ponyville to Griffonstone and back to Ponyville within (approximately) one day's time. And I might wonder what exactly Gabby does in Ponyville for several days at a time. How many rounds would Gabby need to make if she's only arriving from and departing to Griffonstone in several-day increments? I would suggest that perhaps Gabby does part-time work delivering other mail in Ponyville (not just mail to/from Griffonstone), but when Rarity first sees Gabby and says "I didn't realize griffons worked at the Ponyville Post Office", Gabby replies "No, I don't work here exactly", which would appear to rule that out.

So I still like your idea, but I'm not sure if it can be totally integrated with everything we see in the episode.

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Recently Jim Miller did a Q/A and here's one of the questions I asked about when it came to "Dragon Dropped", and this was his reply:

jimtwitter3.png

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On a rewatch, it finaly registered to me that gabby mentioned that twilight thought she had a cutie mark(callback to season 6). 

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7 hours ago, Music Chart Fan said:

One potential wrench in the works, though, is when Spike and Rarity get off the train in Ponyville after getting back from The Gem Crevasse. Gabby tells Spike "I gotta get back to Griffonstone, but you have to tell me all about the Crevasse tomorrow!", which implies that Gabby travels from Ponyville to Griffonstone and back to Ponyville within (approximately) one day's time.

Heh, I had a feeling while I was finishing my post there was something in the episode about Gabby leaving for Griffonstone, but it was past midnight and I was too tired to watch the episode again, lol.

All I can say is she must really like Spike to devote that much time traveling between the two towns. :)

7 hours ago, Music Chart Fan said:

And I might wonder what exactly Gabby does in Ponyville for several days at a time. How many rounds would Gabby need to make if she's only arriving from and departing to Griffonstone in several-day increments?

My proposal would have been that she asked Twilight if it would be OK to sit in on the classes Gallus attends so her reports to Grandpa Gruff were accurate. Though that would have likely been annoying to Gallus to have someone watching over him while he's trying to learn. Certainly the pressure to not screw up would have been greater. (I'm under the assumption that now in his second year of school his cover of pretending to think education is uncool is gone since all of his friends know by now he is actually pretty studious.)

Additionally, since Gabby is pretty much good at everything she does, she could take any odd job in Ponyville if she were to do multi-day stays to reduce the number of trips. I'm sure she'd have no problem getting hired and keeping those jobs.

While it might make sense for her to simply move to Ponyville to both keep tabs on Gallus and hang out with Spike, she likely wouldn't do that since the CMC entrusted with her being the Griffonstone branch of their group. (Though I seem to recall that episode hinted Gabby was going to fly all over Equestria helping other creatures out in service to the CMC. Hmm.)

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Spike and Gabby have more in common than just being mail deliverers and being the nice members of species known for being aggressive.

They also both have a wide range of skills and talents. 

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generosityyyyyy!

but seriously, Gaby came as a surprise but i'm glad that spike has grown out of his childhood crush. It was a thing that needed to be told. Enjoyed it quite a bit.

The only issue i have is that Gaby was a bit too mean on the second part but i guess that would be because of her cultural background. 

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:04 PM, Truffles said:

Well, ST:TMP kind of touched on that with Ilia proclaiming that humans were a "sexually immature species," though the comparison was a cultural one and not a physical one. If Deltans are analogous to adult humans, then humans to them are like tweens still stuck developmentally where all they can do is giggle over nudie mags. XD

But then she also was dating Decker beforehand. Maybe that relationship was frowned upon by her culture, or him acting like a jerk and sneaking off the planet without even a goodbye resulted in her painting all of humanity with a very broad stroke, or both. (funny this got brought up so recently, just got to watch it in theaters yesterday for the anniversary re-release).

On 9/10/2019 at 10:04 PM, Truffles said:

I thought Smolder clarified dragon growth when she stated in "Molt Down" that Greed Growth was completely different from normal growth and is an aberration, even in established dragon culture? If Garble and Smolder had given their ages in the show, we'd have better idea of how long dragons stay in their "baby dragon" form.

I'm just going to presume that since the topic isn't suitable for a Y-7 show, that Twilight took Spike aside off-screen at some point and explained it wouldn't be socially acceptable for Rarity to go on a formal date with him. (Though all things considered, all those times they were together alone could be considered dates, even if the romantic feelings were only coming from one of the participants.)

The pony I most wanted to see confront Spike regarding his fawning over Rarity was Sweetie Belle. Certainly she must have had concerns that Spike had dreams of marrying her sister and stealing her away from the family. It would have made for an interesting episode, and it could have touched on some of the social aspects Rarity was dealing with over having a small dragon enamored with her.

That's why Spike is the perfect assistant and friend/family member for her. He'll always be there for her (barring any naps), especially if dragons live to be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of years.

Possibly, though I don't remember it offhand now.

Also even just knowing that the two of them were ever alone together, that would be considered a problem. But that's in this world. I'm just going to bluntly say it. There's no rape happening in Equestria, statutory or otherwise. As such, there wouldn't be a point in even bringing it up. I guess it's possible though that Spike has known for long enough that Rarity can't reciprocate, but he's just enjoying the fantasy of pursuing her anyhow because... why not? I don't know how often this goes on nowadays but I knew enough kids, some even pre-tween who had supermodel posters in their rooms, sometimes on the ceiling right above the bed o_o

Obviously unattainable people, even for an adult much less a kid with an age separation of 20 years or more. But there nevertheless. I'm going to guess that there is something about this behavior that helps with the natural development of children (beyond giving the crazy hormones some kind of outlet), but then, I'm not a psychologist.

On 9/10/2019 at 10:04 PM, Truffles said:

The pony I most wanted to see confront Spike regarding his fawning over Rarity was Sweetie Belle. Certainly she must have had concerns that Spike had dreams of marrying her sister and stealing her away from the family. It would have made for an interesting episode, and it could have touched on some of the social aspects Rarity was dealing with over having a small dragon enamored with her.

Jeeze, well that really wouldn't be so different from what this episode actually was. Jealousy would still be at the center of the issue, only it'd be on Sweetie Belle instead of Rarity. If the two of them got married this would not be an issue. The extent of Spike's traditional social norms about men vs women seems to stop with him having fantasies about dressing as a literal knight and saving Rarity from some impossible monster. He's perfectly happy being the assistant and letting her lead and I don't think marriage would change that, so there would be no fear of "stealing her away from the family" except in some irrational thought Sweetie Belle's part. And since Spike has no interest in living in the Dragonlands, he doesn't even have a reason to want to relocate Rarity, to say nothing about the fact that she's already running a franchise business that requires her presence.

The funniest thing I can think of about such an episode would be something along the lines of, "I am NOT calling him Dad."  To which Spike obviously replies, "I wouldn't want you to, that's just weird."

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