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Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E2 "The Cutie Map Part 2"

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Continued from "The Cutie Map – Part 1".

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/f827fbceb09955de88242bcc109b7671.png

"How would you know that?! You never even gave us a chance!"
Double Diamond

Story by: Meghan McCarthy
Written by: M. A. Larson and Scott Sonneborn
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With the Mane Six having their cutie marks taken by Starlight Glimmer, they are locked away in a house and forced to listen to Starlight's recorded propaganda on an intercom daily until they are willing to join her community; without their cutie marks, escape seems impossible (Rainbow Dash and Applejack lost their strength and can't break down the door, Twilight can't use her magic, Fluttershy tries to ask a bird for help but it can't understand her, etc.). Twilight, however, has an idea: Fluttershy. As the only one among them to show appreciation for the town, she could convincingly fake a change of heart and find a way to return their cutie marks.

When Starlight comes the next day, the Mane Six put their plan into action: Fluttershy pretends she has accepted Starlight's way, and she is allowed to go free. However, Starlight insists that Fluttershy expose those who revealed the existence of the Cutie Mark Vault. Party Favor reveals himself to cover for Sugar Belle and Night Glider. He is locked up with the other Mane Six for the day, where his behavior clearly tells the others they need to rescue the entire town.

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Meanwhile, Starlight allows Fluttershy to stay with her while a house is prepared. Fluttershy is able to sneak out, planning on sneaking to the vault when she spots Double Diamond arriving, carrying jars with the Mane Six's cutie marks. Starlight plans to use them — particularly Twilight's — to further her ambitions. As she covertly watches from a window, she sees Starlight accidentally get wet, revealing that her equals sign cutie mark is simply decoration, and she still possesses her real one.

The next day, when the other Mane Six are asked again about joining, Fluttershy uses Twilight as a distraction long enough to splash water on Starlight, revealing her deception to the town. The ponies immediately question her why she didn't give up her mark, so she explains that the Staff of Sameness is a sham; it's her magic which allows her to take their cutie marks. With Starlight's full deception revealed, the townsponies turn on her, and Starlight quickly flees into her home. The townsponies race to the cave and shatter the vault, restoring their cutie marks. Starlight, however, still has the cutie marks of the Mane Six, which she plans to take with her out of spite.

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Since the Mane Six are unable to stop her without their cutie marks, Double Diamond, Party Favor, Sugar Belle, and Night Glider chase her down, shattering the jars and restoring their cutie marks. Restored to normal, Twilight is able to shield the townsponies from Starlight's magic. Twilight tries to convince Starlight that there are other ways to find friendship than what she did, but she refuses, fleeing into the cave to parts unknown.

Back in town, the ponies decide that the village is still their home, but now they can rediscover the friendships they had for the first time. Twilight and the other Mane Six find their cutie marks signalling again, and agree this means they have completed the task the castle set them out to do. They spend some time in the town to celebrate with the other ponies before heading back home.

*cue... completely different and somewhat eerie credits music*


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Unlike the other major villains and their fantastical threats (eternal night, magic brainwashing, magic draining...), Starlight Glimmer's menace is surprisingly grounded on Real Life: suppression of individuality by oppressive regimes, mundane brainwashing through psychological torture, dangers of herd mentality...
  • An Aesop: It's perfectly fine for friends to have different talents, personalities and opinions, as every friend brings something new, different, and special to the group.
  • All There in the Script: Of the four ponies who help the Mane Six, Night Glider is the only one who is never named in the episode.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: So the pony named Double Diamond turns out to have a snowflake cutie mark and a talent for skiing. This actually makes perfect sense if you know a bit about ski trail ratings.
  • Ancient Artifact: Subverted, as the Staff of Sameness turns out to be just a stick, the real magic coming from Starlight Glimmer.
  • Arc Villain: When the episode ends, Starlight Glimmer has escaped, still convinced of her philosophy of The Evils of Free Will, and still possessing her magical ability to steal ponies' cutie marks.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Double Diamond's line is the thing that gets Starlight to give up the fight for the moment and beat a hasty retreat.
  • Assimilation Plot: Starlight Glimmer's remarks suggest that she has shades of this in her long-term plans; implying that she hopes to get everypony in Equestria to come to the Equal Ponies' village to give up their cutie marks.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Fluttershy's "acceptance" and Twilight's "How could you" scene is....bland and obviously queued. The town still buys it.
  • Bathos: Pinkie Pie's quote in response to Rainbow Dash saying Party Favor is "a barrel of laughs" is her flatly explaining where laughs come from, and it is said so seriously that it comes off as hilarious.
  • Batman Gambit: The Mane Six call on Fluttershy to feign acceptance into living without her cutie mark so that she can be set free. They expect Starlight to fall for it and she does.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Party Favor's special talent is balloon modelling. He can fashion a pair of working binoculars and a bridge strong enough to support the weight of several ponies, out of a single long balloon. He's another male Pinkie Pie, matching Cheese Sandwich in ability.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Starlight to Twilight when the alicorn tries to teach her a lesson about friendship. That makes the Princess of Magic & Friendship flinch offscreen.
  • Bowdlerise: On Treehouse TV airings of the episode, Starlight Glimmer saying the word "fools" is muted out.
    Starlight Glimmer: I... I had to, you _____!
  • Broken Pedestal: Starlight to her followers when her lies are revealed, though how much of said pedestal was conditioning and how much was her spell is ambiguous.
  • Brought Down to Badass: While the Mane Six do suffer, it doesn't stop them from outsmarting Starlight and exposing her to the town. Especially Fluttershy, who proves to still be the best choice for a stealth mission, and does most of the work bringing her down.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Mane Six really suffer from this without their cutie marks, especially when Rainbow Dash realizes her Super Speed is gone. The climax reveals that all the townsponies have been similarly victimized.
  • But Now I Must Go: How Twilight interprets the return call of the Cutie Map.
    Princess Twilight Sparkle: *When her and her friend's Cutie Marks start glowing* I have a feeling it means "Our work here is done."
    • Briefly subverted when they decide to stay for the party the newly re-marked villagers are throwing.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: The cell to which the Mane Six are confined has a loudspeaker repeating Starlight Glimmer's propaganda all day and all night.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Double Diamond, the first pony in the village to introduce himself to the Mane Six, ends up being the one to block Starlight Glimmer's getaway with an "air drop" ski maneuver that causes an avalanche. Doubles as a Chekhov's Hobby and Meaningful Name, as air drop skiing is appropriate only for skiers who can handle double-black-diamond trails.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The fact that Fluttershy so easily succumbs to peer pressure in the opening in the previous episode becomes a key point here by allowing her to trick the Equal Ponies into thinking she had accepted their ways.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Rarity seems to cry over the loss of her cutie mark, but then she turns her grief over the curtains and her lack of fashion eye.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Contrived Coincidence: During the chase through the mountains, Double Diamond just happens to find his old skis.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Starlight has one in the neck when she tells Twilight to shut up.
  • Death Glare:
    • The villagers give this to Starlight when they start turning on her, as do the Mane Six.
    • Starlight herself gives some nasty glares during her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Debate and Switch: Starlight is revealed to be a Con Artist and a Hypocrite, making her arguments for equality irrelevant. She claims she needs her cutie mark to work her equality magic but the fact that she is obviously the one with all the power anyway, her argument is hollow.
  • Deflector Shields: Starlight Glimmer can cast a spell to create a shimmering dome-shaped magical shield, using it to push away the angry townsfolk. Once she recovers her cutie mark, Twilight copies her spell to protect the townsponies from Starlight Glimmer's magical attack.
  • Description Cut: Fluttershy escapes from Starlight's house via the chimney, knowing she needs to get to the cave with the cutie mark vault. The scene cuts to where Fluttershy figures she must be close to the cave — and then the camera pulls back to show she's only gotten a few feet from the chimney.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Starlight only partially saw Fluttershy's Fake Defector gambit coming, but it's rather clear she never anticipated that the Mane Six could turn the tables on her.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Setting the communism parallels aside, Starlight Glimmer incorporates every cultist technique in the book (love-bombing, instilling guilt/fear, the "hotseat", using "us/we" mentality, mantras, demonization of individual thought, etc.).
    • Fluttershy being asked to name the ones who told her about the vault can easily bring thoughts of McCarthyism to mind.
    • As the Mare of Laughter, Pinkie Pie is hit worse by this than the others, but after undergoing the "cutie un-marking", none of the Mane Six are able to enjoy anything related to their special talents. Considering how central this is to a pony's identity, this makes the un-marking frightfully similar to certain tribal Initiation Ceremonies which, given the show's target audience, shouldn't be described in any detail here.
  • Double Standard: Starlight Glimmer claims that she needs her cutie mark to use her magic, so she can't get rid of it. It doesn't work on the other townsponies, as they very rightly don't accept her explanation.
  • Doublethink: Starlight tries to brainwash the ponies by forcing them to listen to Orwellian slogans from a loudspeaker, such as "be your best by never being your best" and "conformity will set you free".
  • Engineered Public Confession: The Mane Six trick Starlight into affirming no-one can live in her town without giving up their cutie mark, then splash water on her to reveal her real cutie mark.
  • Epic Fail: Rainbow Dash, minus her cutie mark, flies so slowly that she perfectly matches speed with the other members of the Mane Six — who, similarly hampered by the lack of their cutie marks, can only manage a slow trot.
    Rainbow Dash: Oh, COME ON!
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Starlight seems incapable of understanding any concept of friendship besides her own twisted worldview. Indeed, Sugar Belle even calls her out on it.
      Starlight: Are you willing to give up everything because of these strangers?!
      Sugar Belle: We gave up everything for you because we thought you were our friend!
    • She also underestimates how strong the Mane Six's friendship actually is, believing one night of psychological torture was all it would take to win Fluttershy to her side. The idea their friendship was stronger than her torture never occurred to her.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: All of the Mane Six have noticeable bags under the eyes after spending some time in the cell. Apparently, constant propaganda on loudspeakers isn't helping getting a good night's sleep.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: When the villagers regain their cutie marks, their manes and tails change from the stuffy equalist styles they sported to more diverse forms.
  • Fake Defector: Fluttershy becomes one of these to find out just what Starlight Glimmer is up to.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Seems to be the case with Party Favor, Night Glider, Double Diamond, and Sugar Belle, who leave the fight with Starlight as closer friends.
  • Fish Eyes: Party Favor, briefly, during his "I didn't listen!" speech. Probably why that face took on a Memetic Mutation.
  • Flat Joy: Pinkie Pie, of all ponies, has to resort to this when she gets too excited while being turned into an Equal Pony.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Similar to the effects of Discord's corruption, the equalization process slightly desaturates a pony's coat, which worsens over time. The fact Starlight's coat is not desaturated like the rest of the town is a clue that she has not had herself equalized like everyone else.
    • Starlight's use of the Staff of Sameness matches her own magical aura. Nearly every other artifact in the show has altered the user's magical aura to its own (red for the Alicorn Amulet, for example), hinting that it's her own magic at work.
    • All the buildings in town form two rows, while Starlight lives at the end of the row dead center, apart from them.
    • Twilight's recalling that Meadowbrook had only eight, not nine, enchanted items foreshadows the fact that the staff is actually a fake, and that Starlight's magic is behind the cutie mark removals.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you pay close enough attention once Starlight steps out of the way to dodge the water Fluttershy tries to splash onto her, you can see a drop of water managed to land on her back, which is what slides down her flank to reveal part of her cutie mark.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Starlight really succeeded in teaching her subjects to value equality — once they find out she is unequal to them, they instantly reject her.
    Sugar Belle: Either we're all equal, or none of us are!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Starlight Glimmer's gripe over Twilight mastering a spell Starlight Glimmer spent months studying and failing to do implies the real reason she is taking away everypony's talents is because she is jealous of others being better at things than her.
  • Group Hug:
    • Party Favor, Night Glider, Double Diamond, and Sugar Belle engage in one near the end after Starlight's defeat.
    • One concludes the episode for the Mane Six (almost; Pinkie Pie reminds them they can still take part in the festivities).
  • Guile Hero: The Mane Six this time around. Without their cutie marks, their wits are all they've got, and they put them to good use finding out a way to reveal Starlight's secret to the town. Fluttershy in particular shows a lot of wit and intelligence.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Party Favor's talent is balloon art. When Starlight destroys the bridge in order to evade being caught, he manages to inflate and create a balloon bridge in seconds.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Double Diamond, Starlight's Number Two, rebels with the rest of the villagers once they learn of Starlight's hypocrisy.
  • Hypocrite: Starlight Glimmer kept her cutie mark hidden under a cover of makeup and an equal sign stencil. She needs it to perform her cutie mark removing spell.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Starlight Glimmer asks Fluttershy to prove her loyalty by identifying the ponies who want their cutie marks back. While Fluttershy stalls, Party Favor sacrifices himself by confessing to the deed without implicating his friends.
  • Irony: The "Staff of Sameness", despite turning out to be an old piece of wood, is used by Starlight to cover up that it is her own magic taking away the cutie marks. In the end, the staff is used to shatter the vault and release all the stolen cutie marks.
  • It's All About Me: As her plan starts falling apart, there are more and more hints that deep down, Starlight is motivated by jealousy and her own self interest.
    Starlight: They think they can come into my village and disrupt my life? Let's see how they like spending the rest of their lives without their precious cutie marks!
  • Karma Houdini: Starlight Glimmer escapes without any direct repercussions for her actions as a Sequel Hook.
  • Kirk Summation: Twilight's speech to Starlight Glimmer at the end is to explain how her ideas about equality don't lead to true friendship. True friends appreciate each other's differences and can work through arguments. Forcing everyone to act and look the same doesn't foster friendship because then no one really knows anyone.
  • Last-Second Chance: Twilight gives one to Starlight Glimmer, trying to convince her to make a Heel–Face Turn, but Starlight ignores it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Upon discovering she can't talk to animals, Fluttershy says "Even tweets don't make sense anymore!" The show's crew are infamous for teasing the fans on Twitter.
    • Pinkie Pie, as usual. Following the Group Hug at the end of the episode:
      Pinkie Pie: This feels like an ending. It doesn't have to be an ending, right? Because that Sugar Belle can baake!!
  • Literal-Minded: Un-marked Pinkie Pie, in response to Rainbow Dash sarcastically describing Party Favor as "a barrel of laughs".
  • Loud Gulp: Fluttershy has one when Starlight Glimmer asks her to denounce the ponies that have talked about the Cutie Mark Vault to the Mane Six.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: While undoubtly some of the equalized ponies believed in her, she also ruled through fear of psychological torture. When the Mane Six expose her, the town turns on her.
  • Magic Staff: Subverted with the "Staff of Sameness" since it's just an ordinary piece of wood. The magic is actually Starlight's own.
  • Metaphorgotten: After losing her cutie mark, Applejack can no longer make "countryisms", so she is reduced to saying things like, "This door's shut tighter than a...summer of piglets in...", before giving up.
  • Meaningful Echo: In Part 1, Twilight mentions that they were sent to help the village, Starlight insists that maybe it's the other way around (they came so the village could help them). Here in Part 2, Twilight hopes the villagers have taught the run-away Starlight something. But Party Favor humbly insists that it was the Mane 6 who taught the villagers something.
  • Moral Myopia: In addition to rationalizing keeping her cutie mark but taking away others, Starlight Glimmer is furious at the Mane Six for "disrupting [her] life"... ignoring the fact that by stealing their cutie marks and kidnapping them in the first place, that's exactly what she did to them.
  • More Than Mind Control: What the Mane Six go through implies that Starlight's control is a mixture of her magically forcing ponies to be more "normal", actual indoctrination, and her words. While her spell does actively suppress their talents, she still has to convince them that her way of life is better, or at least make them fear her too much to dare say otherwise. In the end, the Mane Six have to shatter her image to break it.
  • Motive Rant: Starlight Glimmer delivers one to the villagers once they turn against her. She gets more and more agitated as she expounds and how she forced everyone to be equal to bring "friendship" and "harmony".
  • Mugging the Monster: In a sense. It turns out the Mane Six were far more capable and intelligent than Starlight anticipated, resulting in her being Out-Gambitted.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: Partly. When most of the townsfolk have their cutie marks back, four of them use their talents to retrieve the marks of the Mane Six. It's clear that the Mane Six themselves could not have caught up with Starlight.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Starlight Glimmer seems like a Non-Action Big Bad who's only dangerous thanks to her manipulative personality and a magical artifact she possesses. Then it turns out the artifact was a fake and it was her own magic all along — she packs some serious firepower and would have taken all her pursuers out in one shot had Twilight not intervened.
  • Obstructive Zealot: A rare example where a zealot is this to themselves, to the point of being a Fatal Flaw. While the Mane Six's gambit is competent and could likely have succeeded on its own, Starlight's absolute refusal to accept any form of friendship besides her own blinds her to the idea the Mane Six's friendship isn't the fragile wreck her worldview says it is, making it easier for them to trick her.
  • Ocular Gushers: Rarity is already crying as she realizes her lack of cutie mark makes her unable to tell whether the curtains are tacky or not, and then she opens the dam when she agrees with Fluttershy's comments about them being "nice".
  • Out-Gambitted: Starlight managed to capture the Mane Six and attempts to indoctrinate them, but they turn it around by making Fluttershy a Fake Defector and then to perform an Engineered Public Confession on Starlight with what she found. Starlight loses.
  • The Paragon: The Mane Six play this role to the townspeople. Their friendship undermines Starlight's brainwashing and them exposing Starlight results in the townspeople returning the favor and retrieving theirs.
  • Pie in the Face: Sugar Belle creates a pie-shaped snowball and throws it at a fleeing Starlight.
  • Portmanteau: Apparently, Applejack thinks of her country aphorisms as "countryisms".
  • Power Nullifier: The equals sign "cutie marks" works by nullifying powers, and abilities and even personality. General abilities (Flying, running, etc.) are reduced so that everypony is "equal" but special talent seems actively repressed, with the marks pulsing whenever the pony tries to use said talent, like Fluttershy's Speaks Fluent Animal abilities, Rarity's fashion sense, etc.
  • The Power of Friendship: Naturally, though this time instead of being the big attack used to defeat Starlight, it's what Twilight cites as what makes her able to block Starlight's spell and makes her stronger. There's also the teamwork that prevents Starlight from escaping.
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: Fluttershy does this so she'll be let out of the prison room.
  • Prompting Nudge: Fluttershy had already agreed to pretend being willing to join the Equal Ponies, but Twilight has to remind her to speak by nudging her before they'd be locked back.
  • Punny Name: As per the usual standard, the named townsponies have names that are indicative of their special talent: Party Favor is a whiz at building objects out of balloons, Sugar Belle is an excellent baker, and Double Diamond's special talent is alpine skiing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Starlight Glimmer delivers one to the villagers once they turn against her by talking about how miserable they were previously and how much they need her.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of equal signs appear in the scenery of the episode. This includes the twin beams of sunlight from the windows that grow longer as the day goes on, the windows themselves, the clock over the door is stopped at 11, and the crosshatching on the background often forms equal signs.
  • The Reveal: That Starlight Glimmer still has her original cutie mark comes as a shock to Fluttershy — and the audience. It's this single detail that makes it possible to break her influence over the town.
  • Revenge: Starlight taking the cutie marks of the Mane Six with her as she flees is at least partially for revenge, since she had her plans ruined by them.
  • Room 101: The Mane Six are placed in one after their cutie marks are removed, complete with speakers repeating Starlight's equality philosophy and their talents being slowly removed highlighted when the equal cutie marks start to radiate.
  • Schizo Tech: The Equal Ponies' town appears to have no electricity, with the exception of the intercom piping in the propaganda in the Room 101 the Mane Six are locked in.
  • Sequel Hook: Starlight gets away still fully believing in her cause and we never did find out what she was talking about in Part 1 that having a princess in the town would help her with.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Starlight continues to have parallels to Amon, as both use makeup to hide their true selves and use their talents to steal the talents of others, plus they both claim that they are getting their Power Nullifier capacities from an external source (the Spirit World for Amon, the Staff of Sameness for Starlight) when in reality they both are using a very specialized technique/ability that can affect even more physically powerful opponents. Likewise, in both cases their support evaporates once their hypocrisy is revealed.
      • Also, the way she escapes from town using a tunnel built into her house is similar to how Aiwei escapes from Korra in Zaofu.
    • Continuing from the previous episode, the parallels to Harrison Bergeron come to a head when, after spilling water on herself accidentally, it's discovered that Starlight Glimmer is the pony equivalent of The Handicapper General; both being female and the only ones exempt from the equality they enforce on others.
    • Fluttershy hiding underneath a balcony to avoid being spotted by Starlight Glimmer seems very reminiscent of a scene from the original Spider-Man movie, where an unmasked Spider-Man does the exact same thing to not get seen by Norman Osborn.
    • Some of the equality slogans piped into Room 101 ("choose equality as your special talent", "to excel is to fail") are the same kind of Doublethink as slogans used by the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    • Starlight Glimmer refusing to surrender her own cutie mark makes her more equal than the others.
    • To free the marks, the rebelling ponies throws the staff at the vault, shattering the glass.
    • The books Pinkie Pie reads which are nothing but equals signs has strong shades of They Live.
    • Starlight Glimmer asks "Would you kindly tell me which ponies asked for their cutie marks back?" This is especially fitting as more than a few fans have compared her perverse ideas of equality to Sofia Lamb.note 
    • Rainbow Dash losing her Super Speed and her reaction at realizing she's now quite slow even compared to normal running/walking ponies is very similar to The Flash in the two-parter finale of The Batman; similarly, the usually powered characters lost their special abilities and depended on the Badass Normal ones to get them back.
    • "To excel is to fail" is a quote used by GLaDOS in Portal 2 so she can break her prisoners, just like Starlight.
    • After Party Favor says, "Except for you!", Starlight's Death Glare towards him is accompanied by Springtrap's Scare Chord.
    • Applejack knocking over a pitcher in Starlight Glimmer's cottage for no apparent reason after breaking in is similar to the video meme "FBI! OPEN UP!!", where one of the riot cops breaks a vase against the wall for no reason other than he can.
  • Shown Their Work: The Room 101 techniques mentioned are actually used by some cults; isolate them, spout your philosophy at them, and don't let them leave. As is cult leaders holding themselves to different standards than everyone else and rationalizing them.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Double Diamond cuts off Starlight's final bit of ranting at the end, calling out the big flaw of her philosophy.
    Double Diamond: How would you know that?! You never even gave us a chance!
  • Shut Up, Kirk!:
    • Starlight's response to Twilight's Kirk Summation is to cut her off with a Big "Quiet" the first time she tries it.
    • After Twilight actually finishes it, Starlight follows it up with a short Motive Rant and a magic blast.
  • Stealth Expert: Fluttershy demonstrates again that she's the best among the Mane Six at sneaking around, successfully spying on Starlight Glimmer unnoticed despite a few close calls.
  • Stock Scream: A somewhat out-of-place Wilhelm scream can be heard during the celebratory party at the end of the episode.
  • Stunned Silence: The Mane Six after Starlight yells at Twilight to be quiet.
  • Supporting Protagonist: While the main conflict of the story is the Mane Cast finding out a way to expose Starlight Glimmer, once they do, the story switches over to Party Favor, Sugar Belle, Night Glider, and Double Diamond for the final chase with her to recover the Mane Six's cutie marks and repay the favor.
  • Supreme Chef: Sugar Belle, from making horrible muffins to knowing how to make delicious cupcakes and pies.
  • Surfer Dude: Double Diamond turns out to be the alpine equivalent. He's really excited to air drop.
  • Take It to the Bridge: The final confrontation between Starlight Glimmer and the heroes occurs on a mountain pass.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of the episode, Twilight Sparkle happily claims that their work in Our Town was done. At the time, sure, but little did the Mane Six know that their saga with Starlight Glimmer was just the beginning...
  • This Cannot Be!: When Twilight copies Starlight's shield spell, Starlight complains that it took her years to learn it.
  • Underestimating Badassery: While savvy that Fluttershy might be faking converting, Starlight still underestimates the Mane Six and how cunning they can be, and as a result gets Out-Gambitted.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Starlight Glimmer tries to leave through a secret door under her bed with the Mane Six's cutie marks, but the townsponies catch up and get the cutie marks back. Unable to overpower Twilight, she creates a magical explosion then flees into a cave system before she can answer for her crimes.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Starlight loses it when she's exposed, going from Faux Affably Evil to complete fury.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: The townsponies' collective reaction to seeing Starlight's real cutie mark exposed.
  • Wham Shot: Starlight wiping off her haunch after getting wet, exposing her real cutie mark beneath the equal sign one, revealing the latter was a fake.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: An exasperated Rainbow Dash shouts, "Oh, COME ON!" when she finds she can't fly faster than a pony can trot without her cutie mark.
  • Your Make Up Is Running: Rarity when she is crying, as usual.

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