Can there be two good Spike episodes in one season? Well, Season Four had “Power Ponies” and “Equestria Games”, though the former was liked more for Ponies as Superheroes. Here, Season Six has “Gauntlet of Fire” and this episode. Twilight, Starlight, and Spike are visiting the Crystal Empire and Flurry Heart, but the citizens are in a bit of a panic because of a changeling sighting. Shining Armor and Cadance are taking no chances.

The guards are deployed and are being helped by the Empire’s hero, Spike the Brave and Glorious (what happened to the Great and Honorable part?). It’s Spike who ends up finding the changeling, but he’s not like all the others. His name is Thorax who is looking for friendship after the events of “A Canterlot Wedding”. He’s found it in the Crystal Empire, but he goes into a for after sensing the love generated from Flurry Heart.

Spike tries to convince the guards back at the castle that he’s made friends with a changeling, but he is laughed off and Shining Armor thinks it’s no laughing matter. Spike then brings in Thorax via disguise. It works out well for a while, but the cover is ultimately blown at the sight of Flurry Heart. Thorax runs off and Spike fails to defend him in the heat of the moment. Spike then runs off to find Thorax and they eventually try again.

This time, Thorax comes as himself and Spike sings a song about why changelings could change. It’s ultimately won over by Twilight who views it as spreading friendship and that he taught all at the castle, even herself, a lesson about spreading friendship to others such as changelings. It ends with Thorax being accepted into the Crystal Empire.

This was a wonderful episode with perhaps the strongest lesson yet this season. It’s saying something that two of the best three episodes this year are Spike episodes in my opinion (the other on that list being “The Saddle Row Review”). There are groups of people we feel we may never be friends with, but that doesn’t mean we cast off everyone in the group as a whole as potential enemies. This is what the lesson was here and Spike being a hero in the Empire lend credence to this given the setting.

You could not ask for a better debut for writers Kevin Burke and “Doc” Williams.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Strongest lesson of season
  • +  Spike and Thorax
  • +  First Spike song
  • +  Great debut for new writers



  • Raffaele Lanza

    Favorite of the season for me and third favorite in general (second only to Twilight’s Kingdom and Amending Fences to me)

  • Anon

    There’s been a bad Spike episode? Or you’ve been swallowing the bullshit said by the brony “analysis” community.

    • StatManDan

      I take it you never saw “Spike at Your Service”? Also, opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of anyone in the BAC or here at Derpy News.

      • Anonymous

        I actually like Spike at your Service. No I’m not trolling as I keep being accused of when I say that. I also agree with the person above that the brony analysis community, particularly on YouTube is a cancer on the fandom.

        • Raffaele Lanza

          I like Spike at Your Service too but more as guilty pleasure. I agree with Dan about it being bad objectively (althought the bad writing of that episode is justified by the fact that it was totally rewritten in just four days by Merriwether Williams after Meghan McCarthy refused Polsky’s version since he made Rarity really mean toward Spike).

    • Raffaele Lanza

      And please, keep any words about that poisonous community out of this site. They’ve already gave the show a terrible reputation, all we need now is them destroying what is left of good. (and I mean this site)

      (Dan, Derpysquad, sorry if I took the word for this, but really I couldn’t stand hearing about that… thing again)

  • Cody2819

    This is one of the best Eps by far, and I was really loving it—-up until the end. I’m not going to rage or anything but I will use caps just this one time. WHY WAS THE ENDING RUSHED SO BADLY!? DX Hear me out, I can explain why to this day I just have no interest of ever rewatching this Ep.

    It was really good, and Spike was just the perfect character for this. In all manner of writing this single Ep was just a golden star ranking waiting to happen. But then we got Shining Armor overhearing Spike, thinking it’s a joke and thus gives him a death stare that shows he’s very touchy about it.

    Then we get the scene with Flurry Heart, Thorax running off, Spike finds him, brings him back to the same exact room with the same exact characters till there. Sings, Shining says “sorry we didn’t take the time to get to know you” and Cadance puts her infant right into Thorax’s face—despite Thorax having to force himself back to prevent harming the poor baby.

    “Why” was it left in that Spike had to run after and bring Thorax back to the same exact room again? If that was just cut, then the last few moments wouldn’t had been rushed. I mean, Shining Armor’s expression when he mistook what Spike said as a joke, then him going and saying the one single worse line in FIM, to me anyways. And Thorax having to force himself back back before he attacked, I repeat, “a-t-t-a-a-c-k-e-d” Flurry, just to have Cadance put her face level to Thorax?

    I’m sorry, those last few moments being rushed and so badly written, it ruins the entire Ep for me. Again, “for me”. This is still a GREAT Episode! One of the top 10 best I feel, but those last few moments…mostly Shinining Armor’s line and Cadance putting her baby face level to a Changeling who before freaked out so bad he had to forced himself back.

    I do not care if the writer was rushed, had a deadline, or had other things to do, Spike running off to bring Thorax back to the same exact room with no difference at all is the problem and it could had took only 2 seconds to cut out. At the very least have him find Thorax in the hallway, just cut the time down as the time used for him going after Thorax is 2 billion % pointless if it’s the same exact room and the same exact characters.

    I loved this Ep, but the last few moments—-ugh Shining Armor’s line “sorry we didn’t take the time to get to know you” just makes me want to yell in quite every time I think about it. Look, I wrote a fanfic about Gen3’s Minty that’s around 90,300 words and it took months and months “and months” of trail and error to get it to where I could post it.

    So that 1 single line pokes at my OCD in such a bad way I don’t even care anymore as this writer failed as a writer. I think the journery is better than the end, but when the end is so badly written like this it just makes you not wanna to resee it again. And I just can’t, unless it’s a let’s watch I have no interst of ever returning to this Ep,a ll because the ending to it was badly rushed and could had easily been fixed by taking just “o-n-e s-e-r-c-o-n-d” to fix.

    I also can not watch Euestria Girls 4 as Timber just ruins it for me, at least 4 rewatches and I just can’t ttop cringing at his scenes with Twilight—-but that is a rage for another day, hopefully EG5 won’t force him more than Flash was ever forced. “Yes, we ‘see’ them liking each other, but we ‘don’t’ experience it and we never will if they won’t stop forcing it into our faces” I’ll leave EG4 with that.

    Really a good Ep, but the last few moments were just pointlessly rushed and to me, personally, ruined the entire Ep and with the S6 final—it could never be fixed now unless it’s inside fanon. The writer should just had cut that pointing “going after Thorax” as it was so pointless even Gen1 could had fixed it. Kill me now, I said it and I 100% meant it.

    I’m not being a hater or a troll here, just expressing why I hate and loath the ending tot his rather great Episode. If you don’t mind it and can still enjoy the Ep, then great! But please, never praise the ending tot his Ep pass Spike’s song. Because as soon as Twilight stops praising him the Ep is so badly rushed, and could had so easily been fixed within 1 bloody second, I just can’t bring myself to rewatch it. I have OCD, sothat could be it.

    It could also be due to me just hating when this show gets rushed, more so when it was just avoidable. I just had to give my thoughts here, this is still a great Ep, but the writer failed so badly at the end I just can not agree and say it was a good job. Good start and middle, but the ending is where the writer fails as a writer. Just how I see it for this 1 Ep. Really good, but the ending ruined it and I will always mention this Ep in a personal list of the show’s bad Eps due to how badly rushed the ending was, which again could had been so easily fixed there will never be a excuse good enough as to why it wasn’t.