- Written by Ted Anderson, art by Jay P. Fosgitt
Rainbow Dash is summoned to Cloudsdale for a very important mission under Spitfire's orders, abandoning her plans with Scootaloo. Expecting something major, Dash is surprised that Spitfire needs her help to train a class of colts and filly pegasi to learn how to fly. Dash easily starts to help, but clearly sees Spitfire struggling to articulate anything. After the class, Dash and Spitfire go flying and Dash learns that Spitfire never really wanted to be the Wonderbolts' leader, but her drive and skill brought her respect from the others to elevate her to that position. While she has no problem training the Wonderbolts' ranks as she can use commanding voices to them as adults to command respect, she doesn't know how to same to the younger fliers. Dash suggests she tries it the next day, which turns out to be a disaster when Spitfire goes overboard with her command style and has the whole class break down into tears.
Again, Spitfire and Rainbow Dash go off to fly and talk, and Spitfire calls another aspect of her Wonderbolts command, being the ability to inspire others. This gives Dash an idea, and goes off to prepare. At the next class, Spitfire is there alone with the huddled mass of frightened colts and fillies, when Dash barges in and warns that a rogue tornado is approaching the school. Spitfire drops into a no-nonsense stance and races to deal with the tornado, while Dash coolly stays behind and tells the class to watch. Spitfire expertly undoes the weather pattern and dispels the storm, and as she returns the class cheers for her. Amid the celebration, Spitfire realizes it was Dash that had created the tornado, but for good reason, as the class now look up to Spitfire and ask for more of her lessons the next day. Spitfire admits she feels more confident in training the class now, and thanks Dash for her help. Rainbow then returns to Ponyville, where Scootaloo berates her for not telling the filly that she was coming back. Rainbow apologizes and takes her on a flying trip.
This issue provides examples of:
- An Aesop: Everyone has flaws, even heroes, and if you know you can't handle a task by yourself, there's nothing shameful about asking for help.
- Ascended Fangirl: It's revealed that Rainbow Dash is now part of the Wonderbolts' reserves.
- Brick Joke: Scootaloo is left hanging when Rainbow Dash is summoned to Cloudsdale. But she comes back and takes Scoots on a flying trip on the last panels.
- Cool Teacher: Rainbow reveals herself to be a very good, patient teacher. She ends up explaining to the class the theory behind Spitfire's moves and maneuvers, in a curious yet logical subversion of her usual role, being a practitioner rather than a technician.
- Covers Always Lie: Although the covers show Spitfire wearing her dress uniform, in the present day of this issue she's always naked (like ponies normally are) except for her goggles, and in flashbacks she wore her Wonderbolts flight suit.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Spitfire reveals herself to be a Tough Love version.
- Friend to All Children: Rainbow Dash... except, ironically, to Scootaloo, who is uncharacteristically annoyed at Dash whenever she appears in this issue.
- Motor Mouth: Loop de Loop tends to babble when she gets nervous.
- Mythology Gag: Amy Mebberson's cover features several G1 ponies as G4 fillies.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The foals are reduced to tears when Spitfire tries her Drill Sergeant Nasty approach on them.
- Ocular Gushers: Spitfire's commanding approach causes at least one filly to break out into this.
- Off-Model: This is the first time Jay Fosgitt has drawn an MLP comic, and he admits that he wasn't given any reference material, which is why Ponyville looks like a modern suburb instead of a medieval village, and the Cloudsdale gymnasium is made of bricks instead of clouds. The ponies also have very odd proportions that shift between panels.
- Shrinking Violet: Loop de Loop. Spitfire temporarily becomes one too, when she tries to hide behind Rainbow Dash after making mistakes with the kids.
- Spoiler Opening: It's apparent from the covers that Spitfire's secret is not being good with foals.
- Tough Love: The reason Spitfire has trouble with teaching foals is that she uses this technique with the Wonderbolts, who know she's trying to encourage and motivate them. When she tries it on the fillies and colts, they're reduced to tears.