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The Beginning of the End
- Grogar comes back from G1 limbo in full force; despite not being at full power, he's able to teleport Tirek and Cozy Glow out of Tartarus and resurrect King Sombra, with little apparent effort. He even gives Tirek a pretty decent power boost.
- A meta example for G1 fans- two of the best villains from that generation, Tirek and Grogar, have teamed up!
- Flurry Heart isn't the least bit scared of Sombra, trying to bite his hoof, refusing to bow before him, and even trying to blast her way out of the crystal prison she and her parents were put in. After Spike helps them escape, she stops Sombra from reclaiming the Crystal Heart, and wards off his brainwashed minions with some blasts of magic.
- Even if Sombra pretended to be defeated as part of his plan, the protagonists liberating the Crystal Empire was pretty awesome, especially because it was achieved with more than just a straightforward "friendship laser". Sombra manages to hit the Mane 6 with his worst fears spell, but they then reveal that they'd only fallen under it as a distraction. This gives Spike enough time to weaken the prison enough for Cadance to burst out and take back the Crystal Heart. (Notably, Sombra's crystal prisons prove very durable, but Spike's fire breath proved strong enough to weaken one to the point that Cadance can break it.) The Crystal Heart then provides a World-Healing Wave that undoes Sombra's influence on the Empire. Only after that do the Mane 6 finally unleash the magic of friendship on him. Given that the Mane 6 were armed with the Elements, it's likely that Sombra didn't have any choice but to flee and find a way to neutralize them later.
- Sombra's big gambit is masterful, allowing himself to be defeated so that he could follow the Mane 6 back to the Tree of Harmony and destroy it. This is the plan that Chrysalis tried and failed (though she wanted to take the Elements, not destroy them), yet Sombra easily accomplishes it without any of the prep time she enjoyed, or even any prior knowledge of the tree's existence.
- The Mane 6 digging out of Sombra's trap, with Pinkie Pie even using her hair as a drill to Fast Tunnel their way out.
- The Mane 6 spend hours trying to stop the Everfree Forest from destroying Ponyville, but can barely hold it at bay and are slowly losing ground. Cue Star Swirl, Celestia and Luna arriving and proceeding to not only drive the forest back but beginning the process of keeping it contained without the help of the Tree of Harmony. Star Swirl reveals that he and the Pillars used to be the ones to control the Everfree Forest, and with the two sisters help he can do it with just the three of them. The scene culminates with him surrounding himself with a silver aura and unleashing a blast of magic so strong that it wipes out every plant in its path and leaves behind a wide and deep trench in the earth.
- Discord "fighting" Sombra, which is just him no-selling the magic blasts Sombra shoots at him with chaos magic (turning the blasts into various harmless things), all while while chatting in a casual, laid-back manner. Gives a show of his power level, given by how unfazed he is. And when it seems that he's actually been seriously injured by Taking the Bullet for Fluttershy, he gives a heartfelt Rousing Speech that encourages the Mane 6 to finish the fight themselves. Then at the end of the episode, he reveals that he hadn't really been hurt at all, confirming that he really could have defeated Sombra at any time had he wanted to."You don't think that some would-be king could actually hurt the Lord of Chaos, do you?"
- After a whole episode of being unable to even contemplate fighting Sombra without the Elements, Twilight finally steps up with Discord's encouragement and faces him head on. Despite Sombra being well established as extraordinarily powerful, Twilight actually starts dueling quite equally with him, and once her friends join in turns it into a total Curb-Stomp Battle. His undignified blubbering as he's overpowered only makes it sweeter.
- Twilight shows her power and renewed resolve by blocking three consecutive magic blasts from Sombra with increasing ease. Actually, the third time she just casually swats it away like a fly, without even flinching (leaving a very fitting "sparkle" that matches part of her Cutie Mark). As Discord noted, she will always be the Embodiment of Magic.Twilight: Discord's right. We've proven time and time again that the real magic is the six of us working together! With these girls by my side, I'm not afraid of you! I'm not afraid of what you can do or how much power you have!
Sombra: You should be [blasts Twilight; she blocks and keeps going]
Twilight: You may knock us down, but we're gonna get back up again! [Sombra tries and fails again, this time with the Mane Six marching behind Twilight] And again! [Sombra makes a third failed attempt] And again! As long as we're together, we will never stop trying to defeat you!
[Sombra and Twilight both fire powerful blasts of magic, engaging in Beam-O-War; Twilight struggles, until others band together]
Fluttershy: For our friends!
Applejack and Rarity: For our families!
Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash: For our home!
Twilight: For Equestria!
- Just as the six mares are bounded together to finally annihilate Sombra ala-like the Elements, AJ and Rainbow tell him straight forward what they have told every villain of the show:Sombra: No! This can't be possible! YOUR MAGIC CAN'T DEFEAT MINE! I DESTROYED THE SOURCE OF YOUR POWER!
Twilight: You can't destroy our friendship, Sombra!
Rainbow: And we keep telling bad guys...
Applejack: But y'all just don't seem to remember.
The Mane Six: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC!
[cue a giant magic blast that annihilates Sombra out of existence, frees everyone of his control, and stops the Everfree Forest from going out of control]
- For the record, all the Crystal Heart did to him in his first appearance was blow him up. Overkill, yes, but that's nothing compared to completely obliterating him!
- Twilight shows her power and renewed resolve by blocking three consecutive magic blasts from Sombra with increasing ease. Actually, the third time she just casually swats it away like a fly, without even flinching (leaving a very fitting "sparkle" that matches part of her Cutie Mark). As Discord noted, she will always be the Embodiment of Magic.
- Grogar letting Sombra leave for his plan turns out to be a Xanatos Gambit; if Sombra wins he can just take control of Equestria from him without having to deal with the heroes. If he fails he can make him an example to cow the other villains into service, which works. Let's reiterate that: Grogar scared a former tyrant queen, a magic-draining centaur, and a manipulative child into submission. And the latter two were so bad that they had to get sent to Tartarus! If there was any doubt about Grogar being the series' True Final Boss, they're laid to rest here.
- The Tree of Harmony calling out to the Young Six despite its shattered state and later coming back larger and stronger through their efforts is a strong testament to its incredible power. The Tree and Young Six managed to ensure that Sombra failed to do any lasting damage. In fact they made it so that Sombra inadvertently helped the Tree get stronger by destroying its old form.
- In order to get Ember's permission to return to the Tree, Smolder armwrestles a bigger, tougher-looking dragon, and wins easily.
- Shining Armor knows Twilight so well that he can predict her entire plan.
- Spike and Luna managing to outplay everyone else.
- Props to Rainbow Dash for being able to fly not only herself, but Fluttershy as well, into the throne room, past all of the devices Shining Armor had set up to prevent any creature from flying in.
- Similarly, while she did have some assistance from Maud in finding just the right spot to buck, Applejack managing to buck through solid rock to get into one of the tunnels is pretty impressive. Feats of strength of that level are usually only seen from Big Mac.
- Quibble Pants loves Clear Sky so much that when it appears she wants to end their relationship, he not only doesn't try to change her mind but he's perfectly okay with it being, apparently, because her daughter doesn't like him.
- Clear Sky dropping the Aesop about Parent with New Paramour. Quibble doesn't want Wind Sprint to forget her Disappeared Dad; he just wants her to like him too.
She's All Yak
- When Yona crashes into the Lucky Pot table and all of the dishes go flying, Twilight shows some lightning-quick reflexes in putting up a massive (as in, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling) shield to protect the students.
- Grogar once again giving a glimpse of his power: even without his bell, he can restrain Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow with ease.
- While it's still not enough to let her reach the bell by herself, Chrysalis still gets pretty far up the mountain by using her shapeshifting abilities. She also saves Tirek and Cozy Glow from an ophiotaurus by taking the form of a female ophiotaurus, then draining its love.
- Tirek doesn't even bother trying to climb the mountain himself, instead waiting for the others to inevitably fail so he can learn about the obstacles that lie ahead.
- The villain trio finally working together at the end, successfully retrieving the bell by combining their talents.
- Absorbing Chrysalis's magic is enough to push Tirek all the way up to his third form. Even if you take into account the boost Chrysalis received from draining the ophiotaurus's love, it's still very impressive on her part.
- The magic barrier on the cave Grogar's bell was hidden in deserves a mention. Not only is it still active after thousands of years, it is strong enough that the power of Tirek's third form is only enough to create a small hole in it (with the hole immediately resealing itself after Tirek stops his assault).
- Gusty the Great gets a historical one; we see how powerful Grogar is even in his weakened state, and he outright says that this is but a fraction of the full power he has with his bell. With this in mind, the fact that Gusty was able to swipe his bell and keep it long enough to hide it is nothing short of phenomenal.
Sweet and Smoky
- Fluttershy is just made of awesome this episode. She shows no fear of returning to the Dragonlands, easily gets the dragon bullies to back down when they start pelting Spike with lavaballs (with no concern about getting hit herself, even though she's far less heatproof), isn't intimidated when Garble rounds on her after she busts him performing his beat poetry, firing back while continuing to be her sweet self, and soon after gives him an epic "Reason You Suck" Speech about how hypocritical he's been with beating Spike down for seemingly being so soft. A far cry from being a nervous wreck at the prospect of meeting a dragon back in "Dragonshy."
- Smolder standing up for Spike, and also making it clear that going to a "pony school" hasn't made her "soft" in the slightest.Clump: Awww. Pony school made you soft.
Smolder: (grabs Clump by the face and drags him down to eye level) Want to try me and find out?
Clump: (gulps) M-Maybe later.
- We get to see how much Ember has established her authority as the Dragon Lord, with the bullies instantly cowering before her.
- Rather than the cliched story of someone refusing to believe anything bad about a family member, Smolder doesn't hesitate to defend Spike from Garble after hearing what he's been up to.
- Garble's plan to save the eggs deserves a mention. He breaks out into poetry in front of the other dragons, knowing it will be met with mocking laughter, and with it, laugh-fire that's hot enough to hatch the eggs. Not to mention it looks like he's making the poetry up as he goes. He's a pretty good poet.
- When the other dragons start mocking Garble for his poetry, Ember immediately shuts them down.Dragon: What kind of weakling writes poetry? (goes to high five another dragon, only for them both to freeze with a frightened expression as Ember's shadow looms over them.)Ember: The Hero of the Dragon Lands! That's who!
Going to Seed
- Big Mac and Applejack showing each other up with bucking: Big Mac kicks so hard that the tree ricochets back on top of the cart and leaves all the apples, while Applejack does a helicopter kick to three trees that drops all of them.
- Trixie shows how much better she's gotten at real unicorn magic, killing time while Starlight deals with her job by simultaneously moving around all the picnic gear with little effort.
- Silverstream tames a cockatrice!
- Sunburst may not be able to do much in the way of complex spells, but he proves able to fire a beam of destructive magic from his horn (which we've seen in the past does require fairly strong magic to actually cause damage).
- After Mudbriar is turned to stone, Maud is shown holding off the cockatrices by kicking rocks at them. She even scores a direct hit despite having her back turned to avoid catching their gaze.
The Last Crusade
- How are Scootaloo's parents introduced? Effortlessly taking down a cragodile. And it's implied that things like this are a normal day on the job for them.
- The gathering at the end really shows just how great of an influence the Cutie Mark Crusaders have become.
Between Dark And Dawn
- While it was entirely unnecessary, Celestia and Luna teleporting away the gigantic Mr. Tortoise-Snap with ease was quite impressive.
2, 4, 6, Greaaat
- Snails catching buckballs even while self-levitating and blindfolded. Heck, the fact that he has enough magic power to self-levitate is impressive in and of itself.
- A minor example: This is the first time we've seen Snips using magic, and he's not half bad at it, levitating all his Buckball merchandise with ease. He even manages to briefly keep Rainbow from leaving by catching her tail with his magical aura.
- The cheer performance, once Dash agrees to take it seriously.
A Trivial Pursuit
- Twilight has already won two Trivia Trot contests in a row. If she hadn't gotten partnered with Pinkie, she very well could have won a third time, something she states nopony has ever accomplished before. Indeed, she manages to answer multiple questions from a variety of categories, showing off just how deep her pool of knowledge really is.
The Summer Sun Setback
- Shining Armor's new security measures prove very effective at repelling Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow at first. It's only by distracting everyone by messing up the festival and sneak-attacking a guard to get his medal that they're able to enter the castle.
- The villains get one for achieving their goal in the end, especially when the new security measures didn't make it easy for them.
- Twilight is in rare form this episode. She keeps herself calm and collected even when things go horribly wrong, and her coordination and delegation allows the new issues to be fixed in time for the celebration. Equestria might be in good hooves when she takes over.
She Talks to Angel
- Even after being transferred to Angel's body, Fluttershy is still able to use the Stare successfully.
- The entire episode is meta-awesome for Andrea Libman, who plays Angel in Fluttershy's body and manages to both sound like a completely different person and nail the personality of a character who spent the better part of 9 seasons completely silent.
- The show deserves props for holding off on the "Freaky Friday" Flip story until now.note Considering that the show is about The Power of Friendship in a setting where magic is the norm, this plot has practically been gift-wrapped for the show from the beginning. That they waited this long to go for it shows serious restraint on the show's part. Not only that, but they also managed to take it in a completely unexpected direction: instead of taking the obvious route of having two or more of the Mane 6 switch bodies, they instead swapped Fluttershy with Angel, putting a new spin on a slightly tired trope.
- Even though it exhausts her, Fluttershy-As-Angel is able to make it to Zecora's hut and back, surviving the Everfree Forest, under her own power. That's no small feat.
A Horse Shoe-In
- Trixie standing up for Gallus when Grampa Gruff doesn't show any care towards Gallus' school progress. Also for the episode, as it's made very clear that Trixie was 100% in the right to stand up for Gallus when he was being neglected, and that the real problem was that a Vice Head-Mare shouldn't get into fights with parents/guardians.
- While it may not have been the right thing to do in the situation, Trixie teleporting part of a swamp into the school is pretty impressive for someone whose magic repertoire formerly consisted mostly of parlor tricks.
- Starlight taking care of the flash bees pretty much effortlessly. Followed by Twilight cleaning up the room basically between breaths.
- Fluttershy reforms Dr. Caballeron and his goons without even trying to, just by being her kind and friendly self. She's also the one who asks Ahuizotl about his motivations, revealing that he was Good All Along. Fluttershy basically single-handedly ended the conflict between Daring Do and her worst nemeses.
- Dr. Caballeron and his henchponies saving Fluttershy from erupting lava.