Friday, May 13, 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode Twenty Four

And so, 24 episodes in, Spike gets his very own episode.  Is it worth the wait?
Owl's Well That Ends Well
As the day draws to a close, Twilight Sparkle and Spike prepare for a meteor-viewing party.  And by that I mean, Spike grabs everything they need while Twilight Sparkle gushes over the upcoming meteor shower and butters up Spike by calling him her number one assistant.  Just before they leave, Twilight remembers she wanted to bring her astronomical almanac, and Spike rushes to get it.  But the dustiness of the book ends up making him sneeze, breathing fire on all the pages inside, leaving only crispy scraps behind.  He hastily replaces the book and tells Twilight he couldn't find it.  As they head for the hills of Ponyville, he puts it out of her mind with a little flattery, and sets up the awesome spread he made once they arrive.  Everyone is thoroughly impressed by Spike's work, and lay on the compliments, much to Spike's delight.  Rarity even made him a gem-encrusted bowtie.
Once the meteor shower begins, the ponies ooh and ahh, but Spike finds himself struggling to stay awake, and before the night is over, he's curled up in the punch bowl, fast asleep.  "And now the punch has been... spiked!" Pinkie Pie jokes.  With the shower over, everyone heads home, and Twilight tucks Spike into bed.  Unlike a certain baby dragon, Twilight isn't sleepy at all, and begins to write up her observations on the meteor shower.  A noise near the window distracts her, but when she checks, there's nothing there.  She fails to latch the window after checking, so when she checks on a noise by the other window, the scroll she was writing on goes flying off into the night.  Twilight paces, wishing Spike were awake so he could get the scroll, until she sees that a friendly owl brought the scroll back for her.  She asks the owl to stay and keep her company while she works, and the owl agrees.
When the morning comes, Spike wakes up in a panic: he overslept!  To his surprise, Twilight is not upset, informing him that his usual chores were already taken care by the owl, now dubbed Owloysius.  It seems Twilight has taken the owl on as a junior assistant, to keep Spike from working himself to exhaustion.  Spike, rather than being grateful for the help, is worried about the owl's intentions.  Twilight heads out, so Spike goes to scope out the competition formally introduce himself to Owloysius.  The owl greets him by doing that creepy head thing, which does not make a good first impression.  Still, Spike tries to be friendly, but finds himself falling into a bit of "Who's On First"-style bantering with the non-anthropomorphic owl.  Annoyed by the whole exchange, Spike storms off, thoroughly convinced that Owloysius is after his spot as Number One Assistant and fully determined not to let that happen.
While Spike studies up on the enemy, Twilight introduces Owloysius to the rest of her friends, who all take to him more readily than Spike did.  Rarity even gives him a little bowtie, just like the one she made for Spike.  Seeing this, Spike storms off, making his jealousy clear to the others.  Twilight insists that Spike knows he can't be replaced, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Despite Spike's resolution to step up his assisting game, Owloysius keeps beating him to the punch when it comes to finding books.  Not wanting to be shown up again, he goes to great lengths to find a quill when Twilight's last one breaks.  Unable to find one in the library, he charges into town, ignoring Twilight's call for him to wait. Oddly enough, Quills and Sofas is completely out, and Pinkie Pie can't help him either, though she does bring out a number of things that sound like quill.  At long last, he's able to wrestle a feather from a chicken, and returns home, battered but triumphant.  Or not so triumphant, as Twilight reveals that Owloysius gave up one of his feathers already, which is what she was trying to tell him when he left.  Spike's rage is such that the feather flares up in his hand, though he simply says he'll start on his other chores, if Owloysius hasn't done them already.  But after running around Ponyville and wrestling a chicken, he has no stamina left and simply collapses on the stairs.  Twilight assures Owloysius that Spike will warm up to him eventually, since he's a good little dragon at heart.
Or so she thought.  Spike has a rude awakening when Twilight thumps the astronomical almanac (bet you forgot about that) down next to him, wanting to know what's up, since he claimed it was missing, but Owloysius found it just fine.  Spike blames Owloysius for making him look bad, and, claiming that "two can play at that game," heads into town.  As he angrily ponders how to stop the owl, he spots a mouse skittering across the road and gets an idea.  An awful idea. Spike got a wonderful, awful idea.  Donning a cape, top hat, and mustache, he becomes Spikely Whiplash and sets his plan into motion.
After waiting for Rarity and her kitty to leave, Spike sneaks into the shop and steals Opalescence's toy mouse, with the intent of using it to frame Owloysius for killing a mouse, thus making Twilight kick him out.  Back at the library, he roughs up the toy, spilling its stuffing on the floor, and then covers the whole thing in ketchup, laughing maniacally all the way.  He rips up a pillow to leave a trail of feathers for good measure, but is caught in the act by Twilight Sparkle.  Despite this setback, he feigns innocence and waits for Twilight to get rid of the bird.  Twilight, however, isn't sure whether to be more insulted that Spike tried to set up Owloysius or that he thought she'd be stupid enough to fall for it.  "This is not the Spike I know and love," she admonishes him, and walks out again.
Spike misunderstands Twilight's sentiment and, believing Twilight no longer cares for him, runs away from home.  As he wanders the Everfree Forest, it starts to rain, so he takes shelter in a cave, where he finds a mountain of gems.  Temporarily placated, he chows down, but soon finds that a full stomach doesn't fill an empty heart.  And all too soon, the cave's owner returns: a full-grown green dragon.  The dragon demands to know what Spike is doing there, and Spike tries to play the solidarity card, but the dragon is having none of it.  Spike then tries to insist he isn't intimidated, even when the dragon shows off his retractable claws and tail spikes. Spike blows out a little stream of green fire, and the dragon returns the favor by breathing a real flame, which Spike just barely dodges.  Out of options, Spike makes a run for it, and the dragon gives chase, quickly backing Spike up against a wall.
It looks like the end of the line for Spike, but then a familar "Hoo hoo!" sounds.  That's right, it's Owloysius and Twilight Sparkle to the rescue!  The owl manages to distract the dragon and is too quick for the dragon to hit, which leads to the dragon accidentally hitting himself with his own tail spikes.  With the dragon otherwise engaged, Twilight calls for Spike from the entrance and bids him ride her, and the three of them run away from the cave as quickly as possible.  The dragon isn't about to let this slide, and follows after them.  The forest is too dark for Twilight to navigate, so Owloysius takes the lead, guiding her away from potential pitfalls.  The dragon's path is soon blocked, and he rages, unable to follow them any longer.
Once safely outside the Everfree Forest, Twilight finally stops running and tells Spike how worried she was, and asks why he ran off like that.  Spike admits that he felt unneeded and unloved, so Twilight sets the record straight: even though she was disappointed by his actions, he's still her number one assistant and friend.  She only brought on Owloysius to help at night, when Spike's asleep, not to replace him.  As they share a hug, Spike apologizes for his behavior, and Twilight apologizes for not being more clear earlier.  Spike also apologizes to Owloysius, but just gets more "hoos" in response.  With all that taken care of, Spike wonders how they found him so quickly, and Twilight reveals that he'd stepped in enough ketchup to lead them straight to him.
Back at the library, Twilight prepares to write her report to the princess, but realizes that Spike was the one who learned a lesson today, and asks him to take care of it.  And so Spike writes up what he learned this week, and there were plenty of lessons this week: Jealousy and lying get you nowhere, there's enough love for everyone, and know your limits, as Spike falls asleep mid-sentence.  Twilight rolls her eyes, but even she gets caught in the "who" trap with Owloysius.  Better just call it a night.
The big question this episode raises: if Owloysius was supposed to help at night, then how come he kept helping out during the day?  Even if he was just trying to make a good impression, owls are nocturnal (and this is even mentioned by Twilight), so he should have been sleeping sometime.  Other than that, though, this was a nice episode, especially since it showcased Twilight Sparkle and Spike's relationship.  And the Spikely Whiplash part was pure gold, seriously.

Misc. Screenshots:
Spike made cookies
Twilight winks
Creepy owl
"He is quite the charmer."
Owloysius in the shower
Twisting his tail

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