Twilight Sparkle gives Spike the weekend off while she reads a set of books Princess Celestia gave her, and, as a result of being on his own, he ends up through a series of mishaps in the Everfree Forest and is attacked by Timberwolves. Applejack comes to his rescue and saves him, and immediately he proclaims he owes her a “life debt” and becomes her personal servant. In the days that follow, Spike insists on doing absolutely everything for Applejack, often with disastrous results. The end result is Applejack being more inconvenienced than before as well as feeling bad about having Spike wait on her hand and foot. After a series of attempts to break off the debt, Applejack and the girls finally stage a fake Timberwolf attack with the idea that once Spike saves her, the debt will be paid. Unfortunately, a real pack of Timberwolves attack and, as a result, Applejack really does get in danger. Spike stops the Timberwolves and saves her, but Applejack feels bad because she wouldn’t have really been in trouble if she hadn’t staged the fake accident. In the end, she and Spike agree that next time one of them is in mortal peril and someone ends up saving the other, that they’ll leave it at “that’s what friends do”.
Well, this is a Spike episode that doesn’t have him in a negative light (for the most part), so it’s got that going for it. That’s about it, though.
A few fans started to fear that the show was running out of ideas at this point. I wouldn’t say that, because there have been plenty of “miss” episodes in Season One and Season Two. Unfortunately, this is another one. It’s pretty much a “one joke” episode again, which are never that great, although this one works better than most of the others. Spike, as I’ve said before, can’t really carry an episode by himself. And paired with the member of the Mane Six who really can’t carry an episode by herself either (Applejack), it’s a recipe for “ho-hum”. Yet the writers at this point seemed to have been smart enough to “spice” the episode with antics by the other members of the Mane Six, such as Rainbow Dash soon regretting her attempt to get Spike to give up his servitude, and Pinkie Pie’s rather silly plan for getting Spike to save Applejack that she seems to have prepared for well in advance. And because of that, this episode has points where it “works better”.
But a lot of the humor derives from Spike doing whatever task Applejack sets out for her, and, sadly, a lot of them are rather mundane and boring. It’s also a bit out of character. As I note below, Twilight Sparkle is a neat freak. Everything has to be tidy, orderly, and exact. The fact that Spike wages such destruction just from trying to clean up is, frankly, ridiculous. Twilight would never be able to stand it. The only character who would have more of a reaction would be Rarity, and it’s shown in this episode that Spike is debateably more destructive than Sweetie Belle.
Just the mere presence of the Timberwolves is kind of cool, but…this episode is just another “blah” one at the end with nothing really outrageous or amazing. Frankly, it puts me to sleep.
Is Big Macintosh buying apples at the beginning?
Timberwolves are the only 3D creation on the show. Their shading and coloration gives the illusion of them being 2D.
Seriously, as klutzy as Spike is, you have to wonder how a neat freak like Twilight Sparkle can tolerate him, based on this episode. Especially since how Applejack gets her attention is by literally moving a single ink well slightly out of alignment with the others.
Rainbow Dash suggests that Spike help Applejack write her “unfinished novel”…which may be an allusion to “The Mysterious Mare Do Well”, where Spike was writing Rainbow Dash’s biography.
Fluttershy seems to already “know the story” when she walks in.
I think the voice actor for Rainbow Dash got the “bad news/good news” mixed up.
As feeble as the phony Timberwolf is…Rainbow Dash does a great call. Did Twilight pick up this trick from Discord?
2.5 Stars out of 5