A test is coming up about friendship’s effects on Equestrian history and the Young Six are having their troubles. Gallus and Smolder have trouble with the course material, Silverstream is in awe about plumbing, and Yona is asleep. At least there’s Ocellus and Sandbar. Meanwhile, Darla Dimple Cozy Glow expresses how great they are handling things despite their “disadvantages” as a group. It leads them to wonder if friendship is in their nature.

Enter a mysterious crystal root sticking out of a mysterious cavern. A illusion of Twilight appears to the group and will not hear about friendship not being truly in their nature. Each of the six are separated and given a test. Gallus must face his claustrophobia, Smolder must admit that she does like cute things, Yona must face her fear of spiders, Ocellus must face her fear that the Changelings’ past might affect her future, Silverstream must come face-to-face with the time the Storm King invaded Mount Aris, and Sandbar is given the loyalty test.

Gallus and Smolder get through their tests first and the former helps Silverstream with hers and the latter helps Ocellus with hers. Yona overcomes her fear of spiders and they help the rest get to Sandbar. Sandbar stops following a fake Rarity and Rainbow Dash and stands by his friends.

The glowing Twilight returns and it’s really a spiritual manifestation of the Tree of Harmony which as developed new abilities of its own as it grows (which perhaps explains that scene in “The Mean 6”). With all six passing the Tree’s tests, they are free to go back to the library. They’ll likely get an extension on the test, but Cozy Glow continues to be hinted in a certain direction.

Now in “The Mean 6”, we got a hint that the Tree has a mind of its own and it pretty much confirmed it. It adds another element of intrigue that we could possibly see more of in Season Nine. We also got a subtle hint that Cozy is not all that she appears to be (at least to those who have made this far without the spoilers).

As for the Young Six, they do get better as the season moves along. It’s hard to pick a favorite (*cough*Silverstream*cough*) from the six, but you can’t help but feel that they are learning a lot about friendship on their own than from the teachers and maybe that’s the intended direction.

It is a good episode to test the mettle of the Young Six adds some intrigue to the Tree of Harmony which just added a new power which is testing those who have their doubts about friendship (though testing part of the arc with the chest in Season Four).

GRADE: A

StatManDan