- Story by Jeremy Whitley, art by Agnes Garbowska
Spike is awoken by Princess Luna one night, and is asked to help her with an arson crime spree that is happening in the city of Fillydelphia. En route, Luna explains that the local unicorn police believe dragons from the Dragon Town area of Fillydelphia are to blame, and Luna would like Spike to learn more. When they arrive, the police show the two a recent crime scene, which involves a trail of slime leading the site of the fire. Spike thinks this is odd and unnatural of dragons, and goes off to find out more from them while Luna works with the police to go over suspects.
Spike finds none of the dragons want to talk to them, except for an excitable young dragon, Mina, that runs a comic store. Spike finds from her that there is resentment between the ponies and dragons, and agrees that the immediate blame of the arson on the dragons is more of that showing. Spike goes back to Luna, who has failed to find any leads, and explains Mina's theory that it might have been a unicorn that started it. Neither Luna nor the police accept this possibility, and Luna, frustrated, leaves Spike to continue to find an answer while she takes care of raising the moon.
Fearing another arson, the unicorn police order a curfew on the dragon population much to their dislike. Spike spots a nearby trail of slime, and following it finds a fire snail creature that wandered up from the sewer, its trail in flames. Spike is able to capture the critter, but not before it sets fire to another building which quickly spreads. Spike is able to convince the police to let the dragons help, their ability to withstand fire able to help evacuate the buildings before anypony is harmed. Luna arrives in time to help wake the rest of the ponies and everyone is safe. Recognizing the fire snail was the problem, the police agree to make sure there's no more of the creatures wandering around, while Luna apologizes for distrusting the dragon population. Spike suggests a way to make it up, and takes Luna to meet Mina, who is a huge fan of reformed villains. After a brief visit, Luna takes Spike home with Spike promising to visit the dragons of Fillydelphia more in the future.
This issue provides examples of:
- Ascended Fanboy: Mina.
- Banana Peel: Spike steps on a banana peel, which gets stuck on his foot instead of causing him to slip, which he lampshades.
- Big Damn Heroes: Spike manages to mobilize the dragons to rescue ponies from the fire, and Luna wakes up anyone they missed when she arrives.
- Broken Aesop: The dragons being wrongly accused of the arsons is meant as an anti-rasism Aesop. Breaking this is that they were being accused not out of racism, but because all the evidence (the arsons matching dragon fire and the dragons refusal to cooperate) at the time pointed to them.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Apparently Ride Along graduated top of his class from the police academy, but all he does is act as a living police siren.
- The Cameo: Garble and two of the other teenaged dragons from Dragon Quest appear in Spike's dream, and continue to tease Spike.
- Continuity Nod:
- The comic shop has many issues of the Power Ponies series. Spike mentions the events of that episode to Mina.
- Sombra's banishment to the frozen north is mentioned by Luna.
- Spike references the events of "Dragon Quest" when discussing his past experience socializing with other dragons.
- Luna still has no patience for paperwork, as previously shown in her Micro Series issue where she took over Celestia's duties for a day.
- Spike and the dragons of Dragon Town use their flame immunity to rescue ponies.
- Covers Always Lie: One of the comic covers show Luna and Spike facing a giant, evil-looking dragon, while the other shows them both doing detective work. The actual story had no giant dragons, the dragons shown were extremely peaceful and Spike did almost all of the investigation alone while Luna stayed behind.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The discussion of the poor representation of dragons in comics is quite reminiscent of the issue of female characters in the real world, down to the argument that there should be more women writing them.
- The Dreaded: Spike exploits Luna's reputation as this to get the police officers enforcing the barricade around Dragon Town to let the dragons through to help.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Finally subverted with Spike: the police acknowledge his hand in saving Equestria multiple times and welcome his aid. Well, except for the one Jerkass officer, but he's all-around bitter and sarcastic.
- Early-Bird Cameo: One of the background ponies looks suspiciously like Starlight Glimmer, a villain who appeared soon after in the main show. The writers neither confirmed nor denied the cameo on Twitter.
- Expy: Dragon Town is obviously based off real-world locations like Chinatown. The gates to Dragon Town even resemble Chinese architecture.
- Fainting: Mina faints when she meets Luna face to face.
- Fantastic Racism: In spades, as there is clear animosity between the ponies and the dragons, even without the nature of the crimes that Spike and Luna are called to help on.
- Foreshadowing: Spike mentions standing in slime early on. It turns out later that the one causing the fires was a fire snail, whose slime trail was causing buildings to catch fire.
- The Insomniac: It's mentioned that Hard Case doesn't get much sleep.
- Lampshade Hanging: All over the place. Spike being a Deadpan Snarker and commenting on the situation when he steps on a Banana Peel and it sticks to his foot instead of slipping, as well as how the streets are filthy, Mina lectures Spike about presuming all dragons to be Jerkasses, Spike is surprised to see the police know his name until they mention how many times he's saved Equestria, and an officer comments that Celestia and Luna's past policy of invoking Sealed Evil in a Can on their enemies has never worked out well when they return and nopony is prepared for it.
- Meta Guy: Mina is pretty much what you'd get if a real-life Friendship is Magic fan was teleported into the show. She's obsessed with Luna because she's a reformed villain and those are her favorite types of characters, refers to her as "best princess," asks if she ever had a "thing" with Sombra and/or Discord, and brings up numerous other questions fans have posited about Luna. She also brings up "shipping", which the brony fandom toys around with frequently.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Spike comments about how his past experience with dragons was that they were all a bunch of bullies who made him steal phoenix eggs from a nest. Mina points out he obviously just met a bad bunch and let the experience cloud his perceptions on what all dragons are like, and that dragons are individuals just like ponies. On her urging, Spike reflects on how many pony antagonists he's met and realizes she's got a point.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The fire snail is actually pretty nice, it's just unaware that its slime trail is setting buildings on fire and getting the dragons blamed.
- Non-Mammalian Hair: Several of the dragons in Dragon Town, with Mina being one of the most notable examples.
- Not Helping Your Case: As much as the dragons protest being blamed for the fires, they are the likely suspect, since the fires are magical in nature. The fact that they don't really make any attempts to defend themselves beyond withdrawing to Dragontown and refusing to talk doesn't make them look any less guilty. Overlaps with Poor Communication Kills.
- Obliviously Evil: The fire snail is a Non-Malicious Monster, and is simply unaware that it's causing fires with its slime trail and getting the dragons blamed.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: The Phillydelphia police are fully aware of Spike helping to save Equestria previously, and say so.
- Required Secondary Powers: The dragons use their immunity to flame to rescue ponies from burning buildings.
- Seen It All: This apparently applies to the Phillydelphia police department, as By the Book says that "Peculiar is a slow day for us".
- Series Continuity Error:
- Luna knows about the recurring dream Twilight's been having since she was a filly, despite having been imprisoned in the moon until Twilight was a young adult.note
- The cartoon made perfectly clear that ponies know next to nothing about dragons and there's no information available, yet this story includes a thriving and amiciable dragon town next to one of the biggest pony cities.
- Shipper on Deck: Mina is an actual shipper, of Luna/Sombra for some reason. Apparently she has a friend who ships Luna/Discord.
- Ship Tease: Spike is hinted to have developed a bit of a thing for Mina. He says she's pretty, and we have this conversation at the end.Spike: Yeah, I like Dragon Town a lot.
Luna: And Mina?
Spike: Yeah, I guess I like her too. I like being a dragon here.
- Shown Their Work: One book Twilight mutters in her dream is about "Zhulongs, Zilants and Other Half-Dragon Creatures"; Zhulongs are a Chinese mythological creature with a human's head on a flying snake's body, while Zilants are Kazan myths of winged snakes.
- Super OCD: Twilight dreams about sorting books in the Canterlot Library. She apparently has had this dream once a month according to Luna, but all her previous attempts have ended before she could get through the "S"s (this time, she's in the "Z"s and Luna doesn't want to disrupt her).