Raindrops: What is that thing?
Trixie: It's a phoenix, a flame spouting bird that can rejuvenate itself by bursting into flames. It's practically immortal!
Pokey: I think I hate this.
The episode opens on Queen Corona, who hasn't been seen since her defeat in Longest Night, Longest Day
. She's been living in Zecora's hut for the last several months, as the wards over the zebra's home have kept it secret from all the ponies looking for her, including Princess Luna.
Now that she has recovered a little from her defeat, she sets out with Zecora and Spike to find a new base of operations, as Zecora's hut is too small. Her target is a cave in the Everfree Forest occupied by a dragon and his treasure hoard. At the cave, she confronts the dragon, who refuses to make way for her. In response, she casts her growing spell on Spike again to turn him into an even larger dragon, and Spike violently evicts the cave's occupant.
Corona is impressed by the display, but still finds Spike to be an unreliable minion. However, it gives her the idea to reacquire one of her previous minions; her faithful pet phoenix, Philomena.
Following the opening theme, the story jumps ahead a few months to present day, when Corona has finally found where Philomena was sealed by Princess Luna. She frees the phoenix and orders her to wreak havoc on Ponyville.
In Ponyville, Trixie and Pokey Pierce, her secretary, are on their way to a council meeting, when they hear a familiar cry of distress from the Flower Trio. They decide that it actually sounds serious for once and go to investigate, where they find Raindrops using a cloud to put out a fire in the garden of Daisy's flower shop.
Everypony is puzzled by how the fire started in the first place, and although Trixie uses a detect magic spell to see what kind of pony might have caused it, she doesn't find anything.
After returning to Trixie's Residency, Trixe and Pierce discover a pony named Serious Audit waiting for them, from the Royal Equestrian Public Safety Commission. He's there to investigate the unusual number of requests for disaster and accident relief that have been coming from Ponyville since Trixie took the position of Representative there. Pierce immediately realises that Trixie is being investigated for possible fraud.
Trixie isn't worried about this, as all her claims for disaster relief have been legitimate, but she then finds a recent letter from Viscount Blueblood, which threatens to blackmail her by revealing an insurance scam set up by her predecessor which is technically still in operation under her tenure.
Trixie and Pierce go Berry Punch's bar to try to figure this out over a drink, but they're interrupted by another fire, this time a wooden cart. This worries them a little, but there's not much they can do. It's only after a third fire next day, this time a market stand, that they realise there may be a serial arsonist in Ponyville.
Trixie uses her detect magic spell again, and this time finds an orange feather, which makes her suspect a pegasus is behind the arsons. However, no ponies in Ponyville seem to fit the description. Further investigations come up empty, until finally they actually spot the culprit, perched on Serious Audit's briefcase: it's Philomena the phoenix, in a small, chicklike state.
The phoenix incinerates the briefcase and takes flight, but is pursued by Raindrops, Pierce and Trixie, until it's finally cornered in an alley. It fights Raindrops, who accidentally kills it, but it rebirths into a fully grown adult phoenix. Now fully rejuvenated, it escapes the exhausted trio and flies off to start more fires.
As Ponyville's fire chief attempts to coordinate a response to the fires, Trixie goes off to initiate a plan of her own, while Pokey tries to see what he can do to help the firefighting effort. After seeing a house on fire with a foal inside, he goes in to rescue it, and comes out safely with the foal.
The fire chief comes up with a plan to stop the phoenix by having Trixie distract it with illusions, allowing Raindrops to kick it into the burning house and then douse the house in a torrent of rain, causing it to collapse on the phoenix.
This kills the phoenix again, but it revives stronger than ever and bursts out of the debris, now using heat rays to burn everything in sight. It looks like all is lost, but finally Princess Luna shows up and scolds Philomena, forcing her to stop causing damage and apologise, before ordering her back to the cave.
Luna explains that Philomena is the royal pet, but was grounded over a thousand years ago for burning Trottingham to the ground. She assures the citizens of Ponyville that all damage will be paid for at her expense.
Meanwhile, back in Corona's cave, she has hired diamond dogs to turn it into a lair. Zecora brings her the news that her phoenix has been once more sealed away, which angers her.
Following a clean-up effort in Ponyville, Trixie, Pokey and Raindrops are exhausted, but still have to handle the problem of the audit inspector. Luckily, after witnessing Trixie's heroism, as well as a disaster first-hand, he's willing to believe everything Trixie tells him, and she convinces him to leave, thus preventing the blackmail situation she was placed in by Viscount Blueblood.
- Came Back Strong: Philomena gets more powerful each time she's killed.
- I Thought It Meant: Trixie thinks 'a faceful of pink taco' is a euphemism, but it turns out to be literal (Pinkie Pie likes frosting on her tacos).
- Mythology Gag: The phoenix chase scene uses the 'Yakkety Sax' parody tune from the show. (The story contains a link to a YouTube video for the tune).
- Oh, Crap: Every time Philomena dies is an Oh, Crap moment, as she comes back stronger each time.
- Source Music: Pinkie Pie (no surprise there) accompanies a chase scene with a portable record player, to provide appropriate chase scene music.