A new horse, Axel, arrives at Corona palace and turns into Maximus' rival, outshining Maximus at everything while undermining him. Soon everyone seems to like Axel more. Maximus suspects something's off about Axel but isn't believed... Also, an old enemy of Rapunzel returns.
This episode provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Aside from a brief non-speaking appearance during Maximus's nightmare, Cassandra is absent from this episode.
- Always Someone Better: Axel is better than Maximus at everything and gets rewarded as such. Except, as Rapunzel eventually points out, he doesn't have a heart, so he's not worthy to be the Royal Guard's mascot.
- Artistic License Biology: When Maximus enters the horse stables at night, about half of the horses are seen to be sleeping lying on the floor. In Real Life, horses sleep standing; if a horse is lying on the ground, it's either seriously ill or giving birth.
- The Bus Came Back: Lady Caine returns, with Axel trying to free her.
- Dirty Coward: As Rapunzel and Maximus pursue Lady Caine, Dwyane and Axel, Axel unhitches himself from the wagon leaving Lady Caine behind while running from Maximus. After Rapunzel and Maximus capture Lady Caine, Maximus chases Axel and the black horse cowers at him while running.
- Engineered Heroics: Axel capturing his partner was staged to help his infiltration of the guards.
- It Only Works Once: When Maximus and Axel must cross a bridge as part of a race, Axel pushes Maximus out of the way. During the climax, Axel tries the trick again but Maximus manages to turn the tables on him.
- Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted, the main idea of the breakout (purposeful capture combined with an infiltrator) is the same as Lady Caine's plan to gain entry to the castle in the premiere movie.
- Pajama-Clad Hero: Max wakes up Rapunzel and the Captain in the middle of the night when he suspects Axel is up to no good, leading to us seeing Rapunzel in a nightgown and the Captain... in his jammies.
- Portmanteau: In Maximus' nightmare, Axel is renamed "Maxelmus", a combination of both their names, to show how Maximus fears Axel will overtake his life.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Rapunzel snaps at Maximus in his nightmare, she emphasizes each word like this: "Worst. Horse. EVER!"
- Save the Villain: Lady Caine and her cohorts end up needing saved when they start turning on each other. First Caine throws a fellow thief off the wagon, who is saved by Rapunzel, then Axel untethers the wagon so it goes careening toward a tree and Maximus saves Lady Caine, who is on top of it, before it hits.
- There Can Only Be One: Maximus feels there can only be one mascot for the Royal Guard, and he is the true mascot.
- Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Played as a TearJerker in Maximus' nightmare when Rapunzel, after him failing in everything, calls him "Worst. Horse. Ever".