Recap: Lunaverse S 1 E 12 W 1 A Canterlot Morning
Octavia, in her practice room in a tower in Canterlot castle, watches the sun rise and listens to the city come to life. She is in a good mood, enjoying her light breakfast and the sounds of the awakening city. However, she happens to think about Duke Greengrass, and her good mood vanishes. She is keenly aware that she betrayed her friends for him, and while she's still enjoying the frequent concerts and rising popularity he promised her, she knows what she did was wrong. She tries to play her warm-up piece, a light and happy tune, but can't, because of her mood. Annoyed, she plays an improvised piece instead. The piece is a large tone poem in which the protagonist betrays her friend, and is ultimately crushed by her own moral depravity. The piece takes about an hour to perform, but when she's done, she does feel better.
Octavia thinks to herself that Lyra probably won't forgive her, and shouldn't in any event. After all, she betrayed Lyra's trust, and does not deserve anything from her former student anymore. She resolves never to play that piece in public, then decides to resume her music. Before she begins, though, she hears someone on the external wall. Looking outside, she sees a pony hanging off the wall, with her features magically blurred. The pony (whom Octavia thinks is a burglar) compliments Octavia's music, using technical language indicating that she knows some music theory. Surprised, Octavia lets her into the room.
The newcomer continues to compliment Octavia's music, saying that it was wonderful and that she especially likes how the ending hinted at redemption for the protagonist. Octavia tries to correct her and say that no such meaning was intended, but the mare chides her for lying about her work. She reveals that she knows what Octavia did. Octavia asks who she is, and the mare just says that she's a friend who wants to help Octavia. Octavia guesses that she's offering patronage, but the mare says that she isn't. She says that she works for the Court, and so she needs to look out for the welfare of the populace, which includes Octavia. Octavia asks why she deserves special attention, and the mare says that the Court (namely Greengrass) hurt her, and someone has to make it right. Octavia says that no one hurt her; any shame or loss she incurred was her own fault. She does not accept any sort of excuse to mitigate any mistake she makes; just as she will not forgive herself a botched performance because of atmospheric conditions or illness, nor will she forgive herself for hurting Lyra, no matter what Greengrass offered her. The mare can't convince her to change her mind about this, but does tell her that Lyra will need her help soon, and that if she can't give it, Lyra will be doomed. She asks Octavia to join her for tea, and Octavia accepts.
In a private room, Octavia praises the tea, then asks again who the mare is. The mare still will not answer. She just says that she wants to know that Octavia can help Lyra when needed. Octavia says that she already proved that she's worthless to Lyra, as she betrayed her. The mare asks why Greengrass selected her, and Octavia says that, through her concerts, she has access to almost any noble in the city. Additionally, she can identify ponies by the sound of their gaits, which means that most illusions don't work on her. She comments that she even heard through an illusion by Fancy Pants, who is supposed to have substantial magical talent. The mare says that Greengrass also knew that Octavia was so critical of herself that she would never forgive herself an error and, once she'd screwed up a single time, would think herself doomed and continue to help Greengrass forever. Octavia confesses that she put up no resistance to him; she thought she could turn down his offer, but when he sent for her, he offered her all the concerts and fame she could want on one side, and the end of her career on the other. She folded immediately. She says that she knows she is morally weak enough that she would do it again, though she does admit that she'd tell Lyra to act differently. The mare begs Octavia to forgive herself, but Octavia refuses, saying she's only as good as she is because she will not forgive or excuse any error she commits. Octavia leaves.
Later that morning, Fancy Pants goes into his quarters in the castle. He finds his wife, Fleur de Lis. Fleur, the mare Octavia was talking to, teases Fancy Pants about Octavia hearing through his illusion, while she was fooled by hers. She reveals that she has two gaits — the street one, from before she met Fancy Pants, and the noble one that Fancy Pants taught her. She just used the street one, which Octavia had never heard (and couldn't place) earlier. Fancy Pants is pleased that he's starting to figure out who's supporting Greengrass, but is surprised that Fleur is talking to Octavia so soon. Fleur says that she's mad at Greengrass, who has convinced Octavia that she's morally bankrupt, despite being more moral than half the Court. The two resolve to bring Greengrass down and save his victims, including Octavia. Fancy Pants is worried that Trixie won't be able to fend off Greengrass another time, but when Fleur says they should help her, he says no — she needs to fight her own battles. Besides, he says, Luna has faith in her, and they have faith in Luna.
Back in her tower, Octavia can't shake the mare's words. Though she won't forgive herself yet, she does consider it for a bit. She also finds that she's able to play her happy music a little more easily than before.