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     The Crystalling Part 1 

     The Crystalling Part 2 
  • Twilight finds the Spell of Relic Reconstitution, a promising method to repair the Crystal Heart. The problem? Its text gets accidentally destroyed by a reflected magic blast from Flurry Heart. At that point Twilight has to use Photographic Memory to rewrite the spell she read only through once — plus how quickly she had done so indicates she's, unsurprisingly, a speed-reader! Rarity claims if anypony can accomplish such a feat, Twilight can. When Sunburst takes a look at Twilight's notes later on, he confirms that she did copy the spell correctly.
  • Sunburst. Despite not being capable of casting most of the spells he knows, he is able to instantly figure out how to fix the Crystal Heart and put a Power Limiter on Flurry Heart's magic. Starlight's faith in him certainly paid off when the stallion saved the Crystal Empire from an Endless Winter.
    • Bonus point for him playing a bigger role in saving the Crystal Empire than Twilight Sparkle. Considering how often Twilight is the one who saves the day or plays the largest role on stopping the biggest threats, particularly in situations where Equestria is in danger, it's quite a large feat when somepony actually plays a larger part than her in saving the day.
    • Additionally, it is implied that he is more knowledgeable than Twilight. Once he hears about the crisis, he already knows the spells needed to restore the Crystal Heart, and even corrects Twilight's plan to restore the Crystal Heart. It was insufficient because the Relic Restoration Spell needed to be supplemented to work.
    • Briefly, but when Sunburst corrects Twilight on the Relic Restoration Spell, he displays Photographic Memory that allows him to recognize the spell at first glance. Not only that, but when he instructs Twilight to use the spell again and have it supplemented as part of the plan, it's very clear that he intended to have it used in the first place. It shows how much of a genius Sunburst is when Twilight and Cadance had to spend hours researching at the library and Sunburst only needed a moment to find the spell and its supplements. While he's had access to previously lost, ancient magic Twilight hasn't, what is impressive is that he's able to recall the exact configuration of spells out of what's probably several thousands he's read before.
  • Again, Starlight Glimmer proves she has tremendous magical ability by being the only non-alicorn to help keep the Crystal Heart from shattering again before Sunburst adds Flurry Heart's Crystalling crystal into it to fix it completely.
    • If you pay attention she's studying a book before she adds her power. She's not just using magic to hold its shape, she's casting a specific spell as part of its restoration.
  • Celestia and Luna do not get Worfed for once, instead they spend the entire episode holding back the Endless Winter. Though they themselves note that they would have been incapable of keeping it up indefinitely, they bought the others enough time to fix it.
    • Both of them even play a part in restoring the Crystal Heart with their magic in spite of spending a whole episode holding a storm with their magic. After five seasons of standing in the background, it is satisfying to see them take part in the solution for a change.
    • Rainbow Dash briefly joins them in their efforts, despite the fact that Celestia had already warned her the weather was way beyond her powers. Doesn't stop the Element of Loyalty from giving it her all until her wings freeze.
  • The fact that this opener crisis required the efforts of every character in the episode to solve it. For once, the fate of Equestria (or the Crystal Empire this case) was not left in the hooves of the Mane Six, but in those of the Princesses, the citizens of the Crystal Empire, Shining Armor, Starlight, and Sunburst. The Crystal Empire was not saved because the Crystal Heart saved the Crystal Ponies, but because the Crystal Ponies used The Power of Love to save it. The show is getting better at having the ponies rely more on their friendships and team efforts now more than ever.
  • Twilight realizing she can't control every step of the friendship lessons and has to have faith in Starlight's ability to figure out what she can by herself. Spike helping her realize this is pretty cool of him, and highlights his growing maturity.
  • After getting hit with The Worf Effect in all his previous appearances, Shining Armor showcases his leadership skills by effortlessly taking charge of the empire's evacuation and convincing the crowd to flee, all while being completely exhausted: something that Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash had been trying to do all episode.
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     The Gift of Maud Pie 
  • Rarity demonstrating her acting skills by successfully imitating Pinkie Pie's tics and mannerisms, including bouncing around like a pinball. Not bad for a girl who likes to look proper in public.
  • Maud shows that she also has access to Off screen Teleportation and even her own version of Pinkie Sense!
  • Maud also shows she can break ponies by talking while remaining completely monotone.
  • When dealing with the stallion that took the cannon, Maud is subtly showing she is NOT happy with him. While Rarity plays it up, you can believe it since Maud knows her sister...and she isn't gonna let someone hurt Pinkie on her watch.
    Maud: I'd like to return this pouch for my sister's party cannon, please.
    Pouch Pony: Sorry, missy. All sales are final. (He starts to walk away but Maud appears directly in front of him.)
    Maud: (firmly:) I'd like to return this pouch for my sister's party cannon. Please.
    • Maud's tone is almost always completely monotone throughout her episodes, which makes the slightest inflections in her voice have all the more meaning. That little pause in-between words turns that second "please" into "I'm not asking. Give me the fucking cannon."

     On Your Marks 
  • The CMC get their first official cutie mark job with Bulk Biceps, and get it done within a couple minutes. And fixing Tender Taps' problem doesn't take much longer once they get serious about it.
  • Watching the CMC do their special individual talents (singing for Sweetie Belle, scootering for Scootaloo, and making stuff for Apple Bloom) after spending five seasons ignoring them. While those talents were not the key to their cutie marks, it's awesome to see the CMC finally acknowledge them and use them to the best of their ability.
  • Scootaloo takes up bungee jumping, and is soon declaring she loves it even more than scootering, plus using it to swap out the background for the dance show.
    • The fact that Scootaloo's new hobby did not end up in Failure Is the Only Option like it usually happens to her and her friends when they try something new. Instead, her new talent becomes a Chekhov's Skill to help Tender Taps at the end of the episode.
    • For that matter, Scootaloo showing the other two how to scoot.
  • This episode is testament to how far the Crusaders Three have come. This is the first episode in the show's history where neither Spike nor any of the Mane Six showed up (even "Slice of Life" had them appear for a few scenes). So everything the fillies learned here was all on their own, with no direct input or guidance. Our little Crusaders are finally growing up.

     Gauntlet of Fire 
  • First up has to be the meta one, that after five seasons of complaints about the show's inability to do episodes focusing on Spike without making him look too much like an idiot or jerk, they finally came through with this one which was immediately hailed as easily the best Spike episode they've ever done.
  • Spike joining the contest despite getting a free pass to leave, because several of the dragons would cause serious trouble for the ponies if they won.
  • Spike taking the time to save a competitor's life on the swim to the island, which pays off when she turns out to be Princess Ember in disguise and they plow through the rest of the contest together.
  • Despite her size Ember proves to be almost as strong as Garble, that combined with her intelligence and willingness to cooperate with others will make her an awesome leader for the dragons.
  • For a brief time, Spike became the Dragon Lord until he gave it up to Ember.
  • Ember's Awesome Moment of Crowning, which even gets her father to admit he was wrong about her size making her unfit to rule.
  • Twilight and Rarity somehow make it through the whole course as well, until even Ember's asking how.
    • So does Garble (somehow), despite being a Butt-Monkey who falls for every trap throughout the course.
  • A subtle one: compare Spike's behavior towards Garble here with how he was in "Dragon Quest." In the earlier episode, he was flat-out terrified of the larger dragon. Here he actually stands up to Garble by answering his taunts and treating him overall like an equal. In any case, he's clearly not afraid of him anymore, despite the fact that Garble is at least five times his size.

     No Second Prances 
  • Starlight calling Twilight out on her Hypocrisy for her suspicions of Trixie after she said she'd forgiven her.
  • In an Ascended Fanon moment, Twilight refers to DJ-PON3 by name.
  • Rainbow Dash causes a sonic boom as she heads off to get Spitfire.
  • The climax of the episode has Trixie performing a stunt called the "Moonshoot Manticore Mouth Dive." The stunt involves being shot out of cannon, down the gullet of a Manticore and teleporting out from inside it. And (with some help from Starlight), Trixie pulls it off!
    • Due to Trixie's lack of skill in actual magic, she needs Starlight's help to pull off the stunt. But Trixie's idol, Hoofdini, accomplished the feat by himself. Though, considering who he's based on, this shouldn't be a surprise.
    • Not to mention Hoofdini's version is much more difficult than Trixie, who took many safety precautions. The Manticore actually chewed instead of swallowing him whole and the box he teleported into was chained up.

     Newbie Dash 
  • Ashleigh Ball gets quite a workout when Rainbow Dash imitates the rest of the gang, especially having to keep Rainbow's impression of Applejack distinct from her actual Applejack voice. Quite the Mel Blanc-ish feat for the cast member with the least amount of voice acting experience.
  • Rainbow Dash finally achieves her dream of becoming a Wonderbolt.
    • In fact, at the end Spitfire reveals they had intentionally bumped Dash to the top of the reserves list since she's such an amazing flyer (saving Equestria multiple times didn't hurt either). That's how much the Wonderbolts wanted her on the team.
  • To be not the least bit bothered by her probation? Hard to imagine anypony else having Rainbow's attitude to being on cleaning duty for a month. Then again, we might be seeing a variation of Wax On, Wax Off in action.
  • While Rainbow Dash did end up screwing things up with her failed, unauthorized thundercloud stunt at the very end, prior to that she performed in the show flawlessly with the rest of the team. Despite all the trouble and slip-ups she went through due to her nickname making her unable to concentrate and put all her effort into practice, she was still able to get the whole routine memorized.
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     A Hearth's Warming Tale 
  • Snowfall would have transmuted coal into gold if she hadn't been interrupted. Twilight wasn't kidding when she said that Snowfall was second only to Starswirl The Bearded in magical ability.
    • Lets take a closer look at this: She is turning coal, which is a carbonited fossilized plant matter, and turning it into gold, a precious metal ore. That's not just impressive, that breaks the laws of nature itself! Snowfall is apparently powerful enough to change things by the ATOMS. It's hard enough to turn a piece of coal into a diamond (Which got defunked), but into GOLD!?! That is really powerful alchemy.
      • Not to mention that the lump of gold would be the same size. Gold is much denser, so Law of Convervation of Mass is also going out of the window.
  • Luna as the Ghost of Hearth's Warming Yet to Come gives an utterly bone-chilling song about how destroying the holiday will allow the Wendigos to return, one of the most dramatic and atmospheric musical numbers the show has ever done.
  • While it's for the better she never got to cast it, the spell Snowfall was set to cast would have wiped the memory of Hearth's Warming from the minds of (presumably) everypony in Equestria. Even as just a concept, that's impressive.
    • Apparently, her reputation of being nearly as skilled as Starswirl is no exaggeration.

     The Saddle Row Review 
  • The Mane Six managing to turn things around and pull the opening off despite the earlier chaos.
  • Rarity's managed to open a third boutique in Manehatten, in an area filled with other high-class boutiques, and her opening gets a pretty big turnout.

     Applejack's "Day" Off 
  • Applejack solving the mystery of the lack of steam going to the spa's steam room and fixing it up after a Hard-Work Montage.

     Flutter Brutter 
  • Fluttershy demonstrating a much more assertive stance when dealing with her slacker brother.
    • Including her knowing he'd try to put off finding a job, so she made sure to yank that particular rug out from under him, and worked to get him a job long before he'd even start looking.
    • The episode has been pretty universally hailed as one of Fluttershy's best showings as far as how her character has grown stronger over the course of the series, while retaining her kind and soft-voiced nature.
      • Zephyr says that she's always been like that towards him, but just the fact that she's been the assertive member of the family behind the scenes the entire time, without it being the result of Character Development, is awesome in itself when she's normally the town doormat. Not just assertive in comparison to her parents, assertive as in Zephyr is completely unsurprised that she's taking up dominance over him. Course that may be reading too much into his remark.
  • Dash not putting up with any of Zephy's Abhorrent Admirer tendencies, including simply shoving him off the sofa (doubles as a Funny Moment).
    • She also doesn't take any of his crap while giving him a job, living up to her threat to zap him with lightning every time he tries to slack off.
    • This also showcases Rainbow's character development. Season 1 Rainbow Dash shared a lot of Zephyr's bad habits, which might be why she finds them so offputting in him now.

    Spice Up Your Life 
  • Once Rarity and Pinkie Pie figure out what they were doing wrong, they quickly get things back on track at the Tasty Treat. Pinkie Pie manages to redecorate and restore the restaurant's original flair, while Rarity uses her charms, wit, and clout to attract a horde of curious customers.
  • Rarity calling out Zesty Gourmand for her overly-strict standards, and rallying the other restaurant patrons in defense of giving restaurants the freedom to do things their way instead of in the cookie-cutter fashion we saw earlier in the episode.
    • Said customers include several of the town's other restaurant owners, who reveal they all hate the bland food the need for Zesty's approval forced them into, and they're going to start making what they want. Looks like a lot of doors have just closed to Zesty. Or maybe not.
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    Stranger Than Fan Fiction 
  • Gilda gets an Off Screen Moment Of Awesome because Griffinstone is hosting a friendship summit. This is a society greedy on the level of dragons and apathetic to those without bits, yet it is now hosting a friendship summit. She must have done a splendid job spreading friendship since her appearance in season 5.
  • Rainbow Dash saves Quibble from a river by using a rope to take him water-skiing, and then uses several palm trees to save him from going over a waterfall. Quibble immediately breaks his personality so far to gush over how cool it was.
  • Quibble picking a highly complicated lock to free himself and Rainbow. And it's implied it's from one of the books after he stopped reading, meaning he's not going on advance knowledge and is just that good at it.
  • Rainbow, Quibble, and Daring Do all utilizing their own skill sets to survive the temple, ending with all getting a new appreciation for each other.
  • The very message of the episode, that a disagreement over what makes a good story is nothing to drive fans apart and neither is any more or less valid than the other. A perfect counterpart to the immediately previous episode.
  • Caballeron gets one by invoking Xanatos Gambit midway through: Even if Rainbow and Quibble escape his camp, he can just follow them to find the Temple and then recapture them anyway. Not bad for a secondary Villain of the Week.

    The Cart Before The Ponies 
  • Crosses over with Funny. In a flashback to her childhood, Rarity reveals that her cart design got second place to DERPY. Everyone's favorite mailmare managed to outdo one of the classiest ponies in Ponyville.
  • The CMC finally standing up to their big sisters, especially since it comes after they exchange furious looks making sure they all agree this is the time to finally let them have it.
    • Much more so in Scootaloo's case, considering her Hero Worship towards Rainbow Dash. Unlike her friends, who either previously stood up to their sisters or are aware that they have flaws in earlier episodes, this is the first time she stood up to Rainbow Dash, showing that just because she's her hero and sister figure doesn't mean that she can push her around.
  • The carts the CMC build once they're allowed their own choices. Scootaloo's looks like a phoenix, Apple Bloom's is designed for speed but still clearly an Apple product, and Sweetie Belle's is a perfect replica of an original cart but still clearly from a creative mind.

     28 Pranks Later 
  • Even if they were considered insensitive and rude, you have to give Rainbow Dash some credit for the complicated pranks that she pulled off, from replacing Rarity's sewing machine with a identical one that was a cake to lifting a big heavy boulder and placing it on a Apple cart.
  • Pinkie Pie getting the whole of Ponyville to take part in an elaborate Zombie Apocalypse hoax, all so they could get back at Rainbow Dash for her excessive pranking.
  • The fact that they managed to get so many Zombie Apocalypse tropes, plot points, atmospheric elements, and references in a show about magic horses; the whole second half is generally considered a very well-done tribute to the genre.
  • Harry the Bear going into full Protectorate mode when Rainbow shows up at Fluttershy's cottage.
  • Meta Example: It took six seasons and four whole generations to get to this moment, but a fart joke was finally made in a My Little Pony cartoon! True, it was in the form of a whoopee cushion, but still, that's a ground-breaking moment for a so-called "show for little girls".
    The Times, They Are A Changeling 
  • Spike gets his first song in six seasons. And it's AMAZING!
    • Particular notice to the spotlight he's under calling back to his disastrous performance trying to sing the Cloudsdale national anthem, with his making it work this time.
  • Spike standing up for his Changeling friend in the end even though nobody else believes that a Changeling could be good.
    • Twilight is the first to come around though, once she remembers what happened between her and Trixie and realizes she's repeating those same mistakes with Thorax.
  • At episode's end, Thorax resolves to try to introduce the concept of friendship to the rest of the Changelings, just like Gilda on an even grander scale. We probably haven't heard the last of this.
  • And a second Spike episode in which he actually manages to help instead of mostly being the problem in the first place. This proves it wasn't just a one-off oddity - he's an honest-to-Celestia hero at last, and staying that way!

     Dungeons and Discords 
  • Discord briefly shifts reality into an opposite world to showcase his dislike for the idea of hanging out with Spike and Big Mac... and Opposite Fluttershy manages to scare Discord enough that he immediately returns things to normal.
  • Discord conjuring a volcano just to try to delay Fluttershy's train. Complexity Addiction? Yes. Still awesome? Yes again.
  • Fluttershy making Discord remove said volcano just by raising her eyebrow at him is just as awesome as his creating the volcano in the first place.
  • Spike and Big Mac standing up to Discord when the master of chaos wants to have fun his way instead of their way.
  • On a meta level, the episode itself: The episode approaches a D&D type game, and portrays it realistically, and without any stereotypes. No nerds, no pocket protectors, in fact one of the players is Big Macintosh, one of the biggest, most masculine ponies in the show, and while Twilight Sparkle seems put off by the presentation at the end, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, the two seeming least likely to be expected, plunge in without hesitation. If ever there was a Deconstructor Fleet for Dungeons and Dragons-type roleplaying, this is it.

     Buckball Season 
  • Applejack practicing her distance bucking. She bucks a tree to make an apple fall, performs a backflip with many spins, and then kicks the apple with an inverted one-legged buck into a target.
    • Rainbow Dash immediately catching up to the pegasus' role in buckball in spite of only hearing about the game less than a minute ago. She really is a natural athlete.
  • Pinkie and Fluttershy knocking Rainbow and Applejack's socks off with their buckball skills. Following by Snails showing his stuff without even trying. Later in the episode, the combined forces of the three run Applejack and Rainbow Dash ragged during a practice session.
    • Oddly enough, it's kind of awesome to see Pinkie Pie perform a decent buck during the practice sessions and the game considering that three seasons ago, she got bent legs when practicing applebucking.
    • Pinkie's play style outshines Applejack's Kick Chick approach. While Applejack resorts to just bucking, Pinkie also uses backflip kicks, somersault kicks, juggling kicks, and other kicking techniques with her hind legs. Even if it was in just a game or in just an episode, being capable of surpassing the show's or the franchise's Kick Chick is quite badass itself.
  • Fluttershy taking over when Pinkie is uncomfortable breaking the news that they don't want to play anymore, sounding quite reminiscent of last episode's Opposite Fluttershy and putting that intimidation to good use.
  • Rainbow Dash's training course. Another reminder that Rainbow usually has the skills to back up her bragging.
  • Snails of all ponies deserves major props in this episode. Not only is he shown to be extremely skilled at telekinesis, he doesn't cave under pressure during training and even provides the key advice Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie needed to do well during the actual game.
  • Braeburn's team. Once the final game is shown, the score is shown with them being tied 5-5 with the game ending with the first team reaching a score of six. Though Ponyville ends up scoring the last point, it's done after a very close exchange between the two teams for the last point.
    • Something amazing is that even Fluttershy and Pinkie felt that they were not even going to win by the last point in spite of giving Rainbow Dash and Applejack a Curb-Stomp Battle earlier. For one,it shows that Braeburn did have all the right to feel cocky about his team's victory as he would have defeated Applejack and Rainbow Dash easily if they had not discovered their friends' talents for the game. For two, it shows that, just like Big Mac, Applejack's badass status is In the Blood just as strong in her cousin as with her big brother.
  • Another big meta one, as after six seasons of being The Scrappy, the portrayal of Snails in this episode got a lot of fans suddenly liking him, and managed to do it without ever contradicting anything about his earlier portrayal, making it feel like a completely natural extension of the character.

     The Fault in Our Cutie Marks 
  • The CMCs' business has grown by leaps and bounds since we last checked in with them, and they're renowned throughout Ponyville for being able to solve any cutie mark problem. And with Gabby now spreading the word to Griffonstone, that reputation may be expanding worldwide.
    • The level of reverence they are shown in the cold opening is amazing. We have a pair of parents on the verge of panic because they think their daughter is destined to be a pirate. Who do they turn to for guidance? Three fillies of the same generation as said daughter, because they're the experts.
  • The CMC decide to help Gabby find her true calling by having her try out every activity they can think of. But unlike their own efforts, where trying to learn a new skill usually had disastrous results, Gabby manages to excel at everything.
  • The Cutie Mark Crusaders solution to the problem of non-ponies being unable to have Cutie Marks. They craft a Cutie Mark similar to their own and give it to Gabby, making her an official Cutie Mark Crusader.

     Viva Las Pegasus 
  • Gladmane proves to be an incredibly cunning villain, managing to turn even the Flim Flam Brothers against each other, knowing full well that they'd probably swindle him out of business. He even manages to see through their Engineered Public Confession scheme that so many villains fall into. This, however, is exactly what the brothers were counting on.
  • Flim and Flam once again prove to be a dangerous pair when they work together, but this time it's done to help the Mane Cast. They not only have the foresight to plan ahead for the obvious failure in conning Gladmane, but they also read Gladmane well enough to predict exactly how he can fall into their clutches. In short, they out-con the conman by making him think he out-conned them!
  • After almost every recurring villain on the show has gone through a Heel–Face Turn by this point, it's quite a refreshing twist that Flim and Flam end up actively rejecting a tailor-made redemption story, and take over Gladmane's whole business themselves, attracting a huge crowd despite having no attractions purely on their sales skills.
  • It's also good to see Applejack isn't going to sit still for the brother's antics. It's easy to guess the well deserved earful they're going to get after the credits roll.
  • Seeing Fluttershy smug. The entire episode Fluttershy is trying to help Flim and Flam get over their fight and Applejack is stubbornly refusing deciding to find some other problem to fulfil their quest. When it turns out they need Flim and Flam Fluttershy has the best smile as she politely says: I told you so.

     Every Little Thing She Does 
  • Starlight continues proving herself a magical prodigy on par with Twilight. She also reveals that the reason she'd been Out of Focus for a while now is because she's focusing herself on learning new spells, including a Super Speed spell that she can combine with an Hologram one to clone herself, not unlikely some speed force's users. It's also great seeing both ponies flex their magical muscles.
  • The fact that Starlight can duplicate herself deserves extra attention since it's something that not even an Alicorn Amulet wearing Trixie could do. Starlight can do it without the aid of such a thing (though in that case it was meant to be an actual duplication, Starlight uses a hologram and speed to make it seem like she duplicated herself).
  • Seeing Twilight and Starlight having fun using their various extreme abilities in the opening scene is a pretty awesome sight as one might expect.
  • As horrifying and unethical as it was, the scene where Starlight activates the mind control spell is pretty dang awesome.
    Starlight: "PONIES! HEAR MY VOICE AND LISTEN!"
    • On that note, Starlight does kind of deserve credit for just coming up with that powerful spell in a few seconds by mixmatching a few spells. Especially given it's something the Sirens weren't able to do to the Element Bearers: brainwash them outright.
  • Once Twilight gets back, she's able to very quickly figure out how to undo a complex spell Starlight just invented, not even worth putting onscreen.
  • The others justifiably chewing Starlight out on her actions. Yes, it's harsh, but it's clear Starlight NEEDED to learn from this mistake and to not do so would've done no one any favors.
    Rainbow Dash: Well here's a friendship lesson: DON'T CAST SPELLS ON YOUR FRIENDS!
  • Starlight completely owning up to her mistake and admitting she completely understands if the others aren't willing to forgive or trust her after what she did for awhile.
  • Twilight's appearance at the end. Seeing our Adorkable heroine able to invoke an Oh, Crap! reaction in her own student just by showing up is a pretty awesome indicator of how far she's come.
    Twilight: "What is going ON!?"

     Where the Apple Lies 
  • It is firmly established the one who runs the farm is Granny Smith. She is the one who has the final decision on all business deals and if someone were to decide to stop supporting her farm she is willing to go to their relatives to straighten them out. Never Mess with Granny indeed!

     Top Bolt 
  • Vapor Trail has been using her wingpower to assist Sky Stinger in performing all his acrobatics for almost their entire lives. Not only does this require some impressive skill on her part (being able to time and execute her moves perfectly to coincide with his endeavors), she has been doing this without him ever noticing.

     To Where and Back Again Part 1 
  • Trixie finally performs a Smoke Out successfully when she ushers Starlight out of Our Town during the latter's panic attack. Making it more impressive, she had to guide Starlight instead of going alone. Her latter tagteam with Thorax is even more impressive.
  • It's uncertain quite how she pulled it off, but in the couple of days at most that Starlight Glimmer was gone, Chrysalis managed to take over Equestria.
  • Upon finding out that Changelings kidnapped Fluttershy, Discord enters full-on Tranquil Fury mode and agrees to help Starlight. It's probably the first time in the series that we've actually seen Discord truly angry. There's also how he casually shows up right when Starlight laments that almost everyone with powerful magic has already been captured.

     To Where and Back Again Part 2 
  • Chrysalis's new secret weapon: her Anti-Magic throne that even prevents Discord and Starlight from invoking Story-Breaker Power. It reminds one of Sombra's Power Nullifier crystals and Celestia's "spell so Discord can't take {the Elements} and hide them again," but with a wide Field Power Effect on top of it. Just like that, she's able to match Tirek in terms of threat scale, and with resourcefulness instead of outright power — effectively making her the Lex Luthor of Friendship is Magic.
  • Trixie might be a Lovable Coward, but the Lovable part is made very clear. She consistently antagonizes Discord of all people, proves incredibly helpful in getting through the hive, and willingly puts herself in mortal danger twice as a distraction. For all Discord's taunts about her lack of magical talent, it sure came in handy, as every single one of their plans relied upon one of her stage props.
  • Despite his whining, Discord gives Trixie a good reminder that if it weren't for the Changeling magic draining his strength, he'd already saved every pony with his Story-Breaker Power in just a finger snap while she's just an illusionist with a Small Name, Big Ego , regardless of the situation. Considering that Discord is probably the single most powerful magic being in Equestria that not even Celestia and Luna could beat together and forced them to become the first ponies to use the Elements of Harmony to defeat him while Trixie was just an illusionist who is not as magically powerful or smart as she thinks she is (compared to Twilight, Sunset, or Starlight), it was a good burn.
  • At no point are any of Starlight's crew directly deceived by the changelings' illusions. Discord was captured because he lacked any way to discern which changeling might be the real Fluttershy despite being aware of the trick, whereas Trixie willingly made a Heroic Sacrifice so Starlight and Thorax could continue. Conversely, Thorax does use his own shapeshifting to effectively mislead the other changelings several times.
  • Starlight, despite lacking magic and being physically outmatched, doesn't hesitate to lecture Chrysalis on her flawed leadership. She is well aware Chrysalis could easily crush her, but she still tries to talk her down, even invoking Not So Different:
    Starlight Glimmer: I know what it's like to lead by fear and intimidation! And I know what it's like to want everypony to do what you say! But I was wrong. A real leader doesn't force her subjects to deny who they are! She celebrates what makes them unique, and listens when one of them finds a better way!
  • Thorax becoming a king of the changelings. Also, he pulls off what has to be the first ever corpseless coup d'état in recorded history!
    • By extension, it also means that Spike indirectly saved all of Equestria simply because he chose to be open minded about a friendship with Changelings. If it wasn't for his friendship, not even Thorax would have realized that sharing love is what's needed for the Changelings. It looks like Spike is deserving of his throne after all given that this season had his example give Equestria two allies in the shape of the dragons and the Changelings.
    • Thorax's Transformation Sequence: engulfed in a blinding light of his own love before it changes into an actual glowing chrysalis. Starlight's hoof barely brushes it before another flash of light reveals he's metamorphosed into a Changeling King.
  • On a meta-level, this episode gets one for finally explaining a mystery that has spanned more than half the series: Why couldn't Chrysalis absorb the love Shining Armor and Princess Cadance created? Because she can only absorb love when she takes it, not when it's given.
  • After her throne is destroyed, Chrysalis bursts out of the rubble ready to fight some more, but her anger quickly turns to fright when she sees what awaits her. The entire Royal Family, Twilight's friends, Starlight's team, and her own reformed hive are all glaring daggers at her, ready to give her the beating of her life for what she's put them through within the last few hours, if not days, just for her Revenge. Even Baby Flurry Heart looks ready to fight. It's a truly epic moment where we see some of the strongest characters in the show all together and all against a single enemy who has pushed them too far with her recent actions.
  • The fact that another villain appears for a second time and does not get reformed! Chrysalis leaves this episode just as evil as ever, and that is awesome.
  • In the end, Trixie's illusions are acknowledged by Discord as being "slightly above average", and he even offers to help her out in her future performances. That's a hefty accolade coming from Discord.
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