Spike_casting_a_spell_S6E17

Sometimes, you just need to have fun with characters. Such as the case with this episode with Discord, Spike, and Big Mac. Tuesday tea with Fluttershy is cancelled this week because Celestia has invited the Mane Six to an overnight goodwill tour of Yakyakistan. Discord is left with no choice but to spend the evening with Spike and Big Mac who have their super secret “Guys’ Night.”

It turns out Spike and Big Mac play a role playing game called Ogres and Oubliettes (Read:  Dungeons and Dragons). Spike is a wizard and Big Mac is a knight and Discord is not at all thrilled with being “Captain Was” (ranger). Discord prefers some sort of night at the jazz club straight out of some Tex Avery cartoon. Ultimately, Discord transforms the game making it all too real for Spike (aka Garbunkle) and Big Mac (aka Sir McBiggin).

Spike confides that he and Big Mac invited him over only because they felt sorry for him and Fluttershy told them that he felt lonely. After some thought, they call Discord back and ask for a toned down version of the game after admitted it was exciting to live out the game. After the Mane Six come back and see what is going on, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash join the game becoming a cavalier and rogue, respectively.

This was an enjoyable episode, it ultimately a filler episode. There’s no real lesson to learn here and it’s just having fun with the guys here. The best scenes were at the beginning when “Opposite Fluttershy” reads “Opposite Discord” the riot act and the end when we see Pinkie and Dash join the game. Outside of that, nothing really spectacular except a fun time, and that was really what the show was going for here. Nothing much to add after that.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Fun episode
  • +  Imagination!
  • +  Beginning and end scenes
  • +  Big Mac and Spike play D&D
  • –  Filler episode

GRADE:  B+

StatManDan

  • Anonymous

    This was a D grade episode. The beginning and Discord’s antics could be soooo well cut short and integrated into the game. It makes me mad for the wasted opportunity to have a kick-ass holodeck-ish Adventure-Time D&D episode with ponies. Heck… I would be glad if they just played the game, Discord tried to sabotage the game within the game’s rules, Spike literally rolling with it, and creating a good time for everyone, and Discord learning that it was fun for him too.
    But the episode managed to do the bare minimum in this regard and fail.

    Also it was questionable that ONLY Spike and BigMac play the game together. I’d expected at least one or two more.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how something being a “filler episode” is a negative. The biggest prerequisite for an episode of any TV show should be that you are entertained. I at least was very entertained indeed.

  • I also don’t think “filler episode” should be considered negative point. Yes, this is a slice-of-life episode so it doesn’t contribute to the overarching plot… but that’s perfectly fine, IMO. (IMO being the key phrase; I realize this review is Dan’s own opinion, which again, is fine). But, this show has always been maybe 25% plot-advancing episodes vs 75% slice-of-life episodes (and I think that’s probably being generous. Maybe more like 15%/85%).

    I’m a fan of slice-of-life episodes so it’s definitely not a minus for me. I had some issues with the episode, including what the Anon who gave it a D rating said about Discord wasting a lot of time. I agree they should have spent much more time in the game. But I definitely wouldn’t give it a D. I’d probably also give it a B+, but for different reasons.

    For example, on a more nit-picky note, I wasn’t a fan of the “game world” with the random dice in the background and bland grid floor and paper cutout enemies mixed in with Spike’s/Big Mac’s/Discord’s fully fleshed out weapons, clothes, and armor. It just seemed kinda half-assed to me… like, are they just miniaturized and playing on a game board? No, because they have “real” weapons and armor and stuff. But in that case, why wasn’t the rest of the game world represented as “real”? Why would Discord create the illusion of the game world still using the paper cutouts and such? He was able to summon real, iron bars while they were still sitting at the map table.

    Anyways, I enjoyed the episode but was frustrated with how little time they spent *actually* playing the game.

    (Also, is this the first time something that has been in the comics first has been “canonized” in the show? Though, the title in the comics is better IMO since it directly parallels “Dungeons and Dragons” whereas the title from the show would be like “Dragons and Dungeons”. But again, nitpicking)

    • Raffaele Lanza

      I think the animators wanted to try something more originals by doing the game world like that, instead of doing it in the same way other shows (like Gravity Falls for instance) did. Some people like it some don’t. I liked it for instance. A worthy note for this episode is Discord’s character growing. We’ve never seen him interacting much with anypony aside the Mane 6 and I think this experience with Spike and Big Mac was very refreshing for him, and he also learned to not think he’s better than anypony else. Definitely an improvement for the character, I’ve found this his second best appearance to date (second only to Twilight’s Kingdom) and it surely repaired the damages that that abomination of What About Discord did in the last season (where he played with Twilight’s emotions for NO. REASONS. I personally found that one his worst appearance to date BY FAR). I was a bit disappointed they didn’t spend a bit of more time in the game as well but, sometimes we’ve to also consider the other strong points of the story.

      • Frith

        Discord apparently likes to teach lessons and watch ponies squirm while solving puzzles and learning whatever it is Discord has in mind. That was his vulnerability in season two. He set the puzzle, gave ponies the chance to solve his riddles and to overcome his tests of their faith in themselves, and then he sat there watching the result, only to get zapped back to stone.

  • Frith

    I enjoyed this filler episode quite a bit more than the Power Ponies episode, probably in part because Spike and Big Mac enjoyed greater power as their fantasy counterparts. The Power Ponies episode felt like a Holodeck episode on ST:TNG. As for lesson, try ‘friendship is opportunistic’ or ‘try it, you might like it’. Otherwise, this episode could be considered as part of the ongoing taming of Discord, pushing him to widen his circle of friends and interests. On the down side, it was odd that Big Mac would be into a wordy role-playing game.