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To Where and Back Again - Part 1
Trixie, Thorax, and Discord look at Starlight Glimmer S6E25
Season №: 6
Season episode №: 25
Overall episode №: 142
Original airdate: October 22, 2016 (Discovery Family)
Written by: Josh Haber and Michael Vogel
Storyboard: Jeffrey Amey,
Karine Charlebois,
Thalia Tomlinson,
Corey Toomey,
and Megan Willis
Featured characters: Starlight Glimmer
Trixie
Thorax
Discord
Queen Chrysalis
Changelings
See also
transcriptgalleryallusions
animation errorsstatisticsspeculation
Episode guide
Previous
Top Bolt
Next
To Where and Back Again - Part 2

To Where and Back Again - Part 1, also formatted as To Where and Back Again: Part 1[1] and To Where and Back Again Pt. 1,[2][3] is the twenty-fifth episode of season six of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the one hundred and forty-second overall. It is the first part of a two-part season finale. The title is a reference to the subtitle of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.

In this first part, Starlight Glimmer discovers a plot by one of Equestria's oldest and greatest threats and must assemble an unlikely team of heroes to save her friends.

Production

Regarding two MLP scripts[4] of Discord episodes[5] for this season,[6] John de Lancie stated "I think it's a two-parter" on September 30, 2015[7]—before reading the material[8]—and recorded on October 7,[9] 2015.[10]

The title was revealed on Zap2it on September 5, 2016 with the same summary as Where the Apple Lies, before it was removed immediately after.[11]

The episode premiered on United Kingdom television channel Tiny Pop on October 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM BST (07:00 UTC)[3] which is more than sixteen days prior to its scheduled airing on Discovery Family, four days prior to the scheduled airing of Top Bolt on Tiny Pop, and more than two days prior to the scheduled airing of Where the Apple Lies on Discovery Family.

The changelings' communication device was designed by Matt Herring.[12] The changeling hive was designed by Tanya LeHoux.[13]

Summary

Prologue

Starlight Glimmer takes letter out of envelope S6E25

Starlight receives a letter from some old friends.

At the Castle of Friendship, Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, and Spike carry some old boxes of books into storage. When Twilight thanks the two for their help, Starlight conveys her own thanks to Twilight for all she has taught her about the magic of friendship. As Twilight expresses how proud she is to call Starlight her pupil, Spike looks out the castle window and sees something approaching from the sky. Moments later, mailpony Derpy comes crashing in.

She delivers a letter to Starlight Glimmer from her old village. Twilight and Spike believe the town is in danger or upset with Starlight, but Starlight says it is much worse:

"They've invited me to the annual Sunset Festival!"
— Starlight Glimmer

Starlight's nightmare

Princess Luna "because you need me to be" S6E25

Princess Luna offers her support to Starlight.

The next day, Starlight travels to her old village, where Double Diamond, Party Favor, Night Glider, Sugar Belle, and the other villagers have decorated for the Sunset Festival. When Starlight greets them, they cruelly turn her away and tear up her festival invitation. As the villagers start to laugh at her, Starlight shuts her eyes. When she reopens them, day has turned to night, and everyone around her has vanished. Just then, Princess Luna appears through the fog and reveals that Starlight is only having a dream.

Realizing she is more nervous about the festival than she thought, Starlight asks Luna what she should do. Luna tells Starlight that the Mane Six have helped her time and time again and suggests that she share her concerns with them.

Trixie putting a hoof around Starlight Glimmer S6E25

When in doubt, count on a great and powerful friend.

The next morning, the Mane Six and Spike are gathered in the castle throne room, and Starlight confides in them her worries about going to the Sunset Festival, questioning how much they have truly forgiven her and how much she has really changed. The ponies assure Starlight that she has changed for the better and that she would not have been invited to the Sunset Festival if the villagers did not believe the same.

Twilight suggests that Starlight bring a friend along to help make things easier. Though Twilight subtly hints that Starlight bring her along, Starlight instead chooses to bring along Trixie, much to Trixie's delight and Twilight's disappointment.

The Sunset Festival

Starlight Glimmer cowers on the ground S6E25

Starlight fears falling back into her old leadership role.

Some time later, Starlight and Trixie arrive on the outskirts of Starlight's old village. Starlight hopes to enjoy the festival without attracting too much attention, and Trixie promises to drag her out of there if she gets too uncomfortable. As they enter the town, the villagers greet Starlight much more positively than they did in her nightmare. However, they quickly overwhelm her with questions about where she is living and how long she will be staying.

Surrounded by ponies on all sides, the panicked Starlight pushes them away with a magical force field and cowers to the ground in fear. Recognizing her friend's discomfort, Trixie spirits them away from the town with a smoke bomb. As they return to Ponyville, Starlight feels ashamed about how she left, but Trixie tells her that everyone makes mistakes—even Trixie herself.

Invasion of the pony snatchers

Rainbow Changeling whips her tail at Starlight and Trixie S6E25

Something's rotten in the town of Ponyville...

Back in Ponyville, Starlight Glimmer meets up with some of her friends, but she notices them acting strangely: Pinkie Pie does not know Starlight's name or where she went, Applejack and Rarity laugh at her misfortune, and Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy whisper to the others in secret. When she goes to speak to Twilight about it at the castle, Spike almost refuses her entry, and when she explains to Twilight what happened at the village, Twilight advises her to "cut her losses" and never go back there. Starlight is considerably surprised to hear such advice from the princess of friendship.

That night, Starlight Glimmer has another dream about her old village. The villagers she encounters all ignore her, and Twilight appears with her friends to harshly scold Starlight for disobeying her orders. As Starlight senses there is something wrong, the Mane Six vanish into thin air. Princess Luna appears out of the moon, but something appears to hold her back. She informs Starlight Glimmer that the changelings have returned and captured her and Princess Celestia. She tells Starlight to find help but to also be careful of who she trusts. As Luna is detained by the changelings, Starlight is forcibly awakened from her dream.

"They're back!"
— Starlight Glimmer
Changeling "...and have taken control of the castle!" S6E25

Changelings take control of the Castle of Friendship.

Starlight sneaks out of the castle and goes to wake up Trixie in her nearby cart. After determining that Trixie is not a changeling herself, Starlight brings her up to speed on the situation. They sneak back to the castle and find the Mane Six and Spike—changelings in disguise—in the throne room using a magical scarab beetle array to communicate with Queen Chrysalis. The changeling drones report to their queen they have taken the Mane Six's places and seized control of the castle. Chrysalis reports that Celestia and Luna have also been replaced in Canterlot.

Having thought too small the last time she attempted to take over Equestria, Chrysalis has organized a systematic capture of all of the most important ponies in the land, leaving no one left to stop the changelings from taking over. When their communication ends, Starlight nearly gives herself and Trixie away with a creak in the throne room doorway, but they avoid being discovered with Starlight's invisibility spell.

Mounting a rescue

Thorax emerging from the bushes S6E25

Thorax arrives to help!

Starlight teleports herself and Trixie back to Trixie's wagon, and Trixie feels unqualified to deal with such a situation as a changeling invasion. With Twilight, Celestia, and Luna captured, Starlight suggests seeking the help of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor in the Crystal Empire, but Thorax appears to inform them that Cadance, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart have all been taken prisoner as well.

Trixie and Thorax look to Starlight Glimmer for guidance, but Starlight is unsure of what to do. As they are certain there is no one around with powerful magic to help them, Discord appears.

"Well, isn't this quite the combination of secondary characters?"
— Discord
Discord knitting a crochet rabbit S6E25

With Discord, Starlight's "unlikely team of heroes" is complete.

After determining that Discord isn't a changeling, Starlight informs him that the Mane Six and all of the royals of Equestria have been taken prisoner. Discord is furious to learn that Fluttershy has been taken, and he transports the four of them to the outskirts of the Changeling Kingdom, where Queen Chrysalis' castle lies.

Quotes

For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
Spike: What's that?
Twilight Sparkle: Is it a bird?
Starlight Glimmer: Is it a parasprite?
Spike: It's... it's... incoming!
Starlight Glimmer: For me? Who'd be sending me a letter? It's... the ponies from my old village.
Twilight Sparkle: Are they in danger?
Spike: Are they upset with you?
Starlight Glimmer: No... It's worse! They've invited me to the annual Sunset Festival!
Rainbow Dash: Trust me. You are a totally different pony now. I mean, you were pretty awful.
Applejack: Rainbow Dash!
Rainbow Dash: What? She was! It's a compliment!
Pinkie Pie: And getting an invitation to a party and not going?! That's like... I-It's like...! Well, I don't know what it's like, but it is definitely bad.
Starlight Glimmer: Thanks so much for doing this, Trixie. When Twilight said I should bring a friend, you were the first pony I thought of.
Trixie: Great idea, Princess Twilight. Asking me – Starlight's best friend – to help her on this difficult journey really shows how wise a princess you have really become.
Twilight Sparkle: [through gritted teeth] Thanks, Trixie. [hushed, to Spike] I was talking about me.
Trixie: Don't you ever tell another pony I said this, but even Trixie's made mistakes.
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie? Trixie, it's Starlight! Are you awake?
Trixie: [muffled, bleary] Of course, Princess Celestia... I'd love to perform for peanut butter crackers...
Discord: Well, isn't this quite the combination of secondary characters?
Starlight Glimmer: Chrysalis and the changelings are back. They've ponynapped all of the most powerful ponies in Equestria! Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor, Flurry Heart, Twilight and her friends. We need to—
[magic zap]
Discord: [hushed] They took Fluttershy?

Gallery

Queen Chrysalis appears in the communication window S6E25

To Where and Back Again - Part 1 image gallery

References

  1. Jared Albert. Discovery Family Channel October 2016 Programming Highlights. Discovery Family Channel. Retrieved on 2016 September 8.
  2. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic : To Where and Back Again Pt. 1. Zap2It. Retrieved on 2016 September 13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 25: To Where and Back Again Pt. 1 Thu 6th Oct 08:00 on Tiny Pop. Virgin TV Anywhere. Virgin Media. Retrieved on 2016 September 30.
  4. John de Lancie (2015-10-08). John de Lancie on Twitter: "Timeline story is going to be excellent. MLP scripts are really fun but a year!? That a long wait. And the Nimoy doc is happening. All good.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  5. John de Lancie (2015-09-30). John de Lancie on Twitter: "MLP fans. Two new Discord scripts coming down the pike.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  6. John de Lancie (2016-06-06). John de Lancie on Twitter: "@PixarWood @TheBiggestJim Yup. At least two.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  7. John de Lancie (2015-09-30). John de Lancie on Twitter: "@DJ_The_Guardian I think it's a two-parter.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  8. John de Lancie (2015-10-01). John de Lancie on Twitter: "@ILoveKPAlot I've not read it yet - I'll get it next week - but I'm sure it's good.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  9. John de Lancie (2015-10-04). John de Lancie on Twitter: "@ILoveKPAlot I record on Wednesday. I will read the scripts tomorrow and let you know.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  10. John de Lancie (2015-10-08). John de Lancie on Twitter: "What I did today: Talked with Jessica about TimeLines; recorded two MLP scripts - you'll have to wait a year! And, got the NImoy doc script.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 August 16.
  11. My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic - Episode Guide. Zap2it (2016-09-05). Retrieved on 2016 September 5. Archived.
  12. Jim Miller (2016-10-22). Cool magic phone portal designed by Matt Herring! #MLPSeason6. Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 October 22.
  13. Jim Miller (2016-10-22). Check out that cool changeling hive! Designed by @TanyaLehoux! #MLPSeason6. Twitter. Retrieved on 2016 October 22.
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The Times They Are A Changeling
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Every Little Thing She Does
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Where the Apple Lies
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Top Bolt
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To Where and Back Again - Part 1
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To Where and Back Again - Part 2
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