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Episode To Change a Changeling
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[teleportation zap]
Starlight Glimmer: Ha! Straight to the changeling hive! I told you I could do it.
Trixie: Well, not exactly straight, Starlight. We've been popping all around Equestria, and we still have to walk.
Starlight Glimmer: [scoffs] It's like twelve steps away. Before Chrysalis' throne was destroyed, the closest magic would've gotten us was waaaaaaay over there. On a scale of one to ten, how happy do you think Thorax is gonna be about our surprise visit?
Trixie: Definitely ten. I mean, who wouldn't be happy at the chance to marvel at the overwhelming talent that is the Great and Powerful Trrrrrixie?!
[fireworks]
Starlight Glimmer: Trixie, we're coming to offer Thorax encouragement and support. His letters make it seem like the responsibilities of being a changeling leader are a little overwhelming.
Trixie: Yeah. I know. That's basically what I said.
Starlight Glimmer: He's dealing with the wants and needs of his subjects. Redesigning the hive, a dread maulwurf wreaking havoc outside...
Trixie: It does sound like a lot, but are you sure that last thing is real?
Starlight Glimmer: The dread maulwurf? Sure it is. Thorax said it's like half-bear, half-mole, half-raging-pile-of-claws! But now that the changelings don't feed on the love of everything around them, plants have started to grow back. But this maulwurf keeps eating them all up.
Trixie: "Maulwurf". Uh-huh. You're just trying to scare me, but it won't work. Because not only am I the Great and Powerful, I am also the Unscareable Trixie!
Pharynx: [growls]
Trixie: [screams] Please tell me Thorax also mentioned a terrifying-looking changeling who greets visitors but is actually nice!
Starlight Glimmer: [meakly] Nope.
Pharynx: And I'm not nice. [growls]
[magic blasts]
Trixie: Starlight, you got us here. I'll take us home. Teleportation spell, go! Did I save us?
Starlight Glimmer: Nope.
[dun-dun-dun]
[theme song]
[suspenseful music]
Trixie: What are you waiting for?! Use some magic to get us outta here!
Starlight Glimmer: Calm down, "Unscareable Trixie". We have to find out what's going on. Thorax might need our help.
Trixie: We need our help! Teleportation spell, go! Teleportation spell, go! [gasps] Teleportation spell—!
Starlight Glimmer: Ugh! Why do you keep doing that? You know it doesn't work that way.
Trixie: I know, but this is my process.
[thud]
Starlight Glimmer and Trixie: [yelp]
Pharynx: I've captured these trespassers!
Thorax: Starlight! Trixie! It's okay, Pharynx. You can let them go.
Pharynx: But they were lurking on our grounds! In the old days, I would've already feasted on their love.
Thorax: Well, that's why they're called the "old days", because they're old. We don't do that anymore.
[celestial music]
Pharynx: Dah! I liked the old days better.
Thorax: Uh, what are you two doing here?
Starlight Glimmer: We wanted to surprise you. [sheepishly] Surprise.
Thorax: Well, it's great to see you! I'm sorry about the welcome committee.
Pharynx: [hisses]
[changelings yelp]
Starlight Glimmer: I thought Ember helped you get more assertive so you could deal with all the renegade changelings who didn't wanna change.
Thorax: Oh, she did. Really helpful. I was able to convince all of them to change, except one of them... My brother.
Starlight Glimmer: Your brother?
Thorax: Yep. Pharynx is my elder broodmate.
Pharynx: Ha! [grunting]
Starlight Glimmer: Oh, yeah. You guys have the same... um... eye shape?
Pharynx: What a ridiculous comparison! We are nothing alike!
Thorax: [sighs]
Pharynx: [grunts]
Thorax: Stop doing that!
Pharynx: The hive looked better with holes. [hissing]
[plink]
Thorax: Ugh. Well, how about I show you the rest of the hive where it's less loud and bangy?
Thorax: There've been a lot of changes since you were here last. I'm trying to start some new activities since the only thing we did before was hunt and patrol. There's theatre, swing dancing, a once-a-week potluck lunch. Ooh! And who can change shape and organize craft time? Hmm? [transformation noise] This guy!
Starlight Glimmer: I am really impressed, Thorax. The hive, all the activities...
Painted Changeling: Gah! He did it again! Pharynx dumped an entire can of black paint on me! He said my fuchsia color wasn't "intimidating to our enemies"! What enemies?!
Thorax: I am so sorry. I promise I'll talk to him.
Painted Changeling: You're the ruler of the hive, Thorax! You need to do more than talk!
Trixie: Well, maybe not everything here is amazing.
Starlight Glimmer: Seriously, Thorax. What is up with your brother?
Thorax: Ugh. Pharynx used to be head of patrol. But now we're peaceful and there's no need to patrol, so he just stalks around the hive making everyone miserable. The other changelings are sick of it, and if I can't get him to accept love and friendship and change like the rest of us, everything I've done here is at risk.
[beat]
Trixie: Uh-uh.
Starlight Glimmer: [encouragingly] Hmm?
Trixie: [sighs] Uh-huh.
Starlight Glimmer: We know a thing or two about what it's like to be outsiders. Maybe we could talk to him for you.
Thorax: Do you really think you can help?
Trixie: Thorax, if there's anypony who can help your brother, it's me. And with Starlight helping, it might take slightly longer, but I guarantee you we can do it.
Starlight Glimmer: [groan]
Assistant Changeling: Thorax, we're ready to start work on the trail of plants to lead the maulwurf away.
Thorax: Oh, I have to head outside. You sure you're okay handling Pharynx?
Starlight Glimmer: Absolutely.
Pharynx: [angry grunting]
Trixie: Yeah... we totally got this. [chuckles nervously]
Pharynx: [continues grunting]
Pharynx: [angry grunting]
Trixie: So, how do you wanna play this? I'm thinking "good pony/bad pony". You yell and blast him with magic while my natural charisma will convince him that— uh, Starlight?
Starlight Glimmer: Hey, Pharynx. I know when we first met, it didn't go so well.
Pharynx: I put you in a bag. I thought it went great. [grunts]
Starlight Glimmer: Right. [clears throat] So... not a big fan of the vines, huh?
Pharynx: They're a safety hazard. An enemy could hide in them or use them as weapons. I don't even know why they're here.
Starlight Glimmer: Because they're pretty?
Pharynx: That's ridiculous.
Starlight Glimmer: Oh, totally. We get you. But... [clears throat] maybe don't express how you feel by destroying them?
Pharynx: I don't take advice from ponies. The only thing I take from you is breakfast. At least, I used to.
Trixie: You know, you're a lot like us!
Pharynx: Doubt it.
Trixie: It's true. Do you know who Twilight Sparkle is?
Pharynx: No.
Trixie: Well, she's the most well-liked, studious, do-goodiest pony in Equestria.
Pharynx: Ugh! She sounds awful.
Trixie: Oh, you'd hate her. I used to. She made me unsure about my place in the world, which led me to act out against her.
Starlight Glimmer: And I used to be a dictator who ran a village with an iron hoof.
Pharynx: Really? Hmm. Maybe you two do understand me.
Starlight Glimmer: Yes! We do! But now, Trixie has come to terms with being second-best, and I no longer control ponies against their will. And our lives are so much better for it.
Pharynx: Wow. So you're both losers. Stay away from me, or I'll do to you what I did to the vines.
Thorax: Well, "Operation: Lead Maulwurf Away" is coming along. How'd it go with Pharynx?
Starlight Glimmer: Your brother is, um, challenging.
Thorax: Oh, that bad, huh?
Starlight Glimmer: It wasn't great.
Thorax: You wanna talk it out? You can come with me to the feelings forum.
Trixie: The feel-like-what-now?
Thorax: Oh, it's a place for changelings to express their feelings so we all gain a better understanding of each other. It's really helped bring the hive closer together.
Green Changeling: Sometimes I feel like I'm a blue changeling. Sometimes I feel like I'm a purple changeling. But here I am, a green one.
Group Leader: You can be anything you want to be. Be blue one day and purple the next. Be both on the same day!
Green Changeling: But then I feel like I'd be living a lie.
Group Leader: It's very brave of you to share something so personal. Does anyone else have similar concerns?
Changeling 1: I used to, but craft time has given me such a creative outlet, I feel great now!
Changeling 2: Uh-huh. Everyone loves craft time.
[changelings agreeing]
Changeling 1: Well, everyone except for... you-know-who.
Changeling 2: Yeah. You-know-who spends all his craft time making spears.
Changeling 1: He's scary and intimidating. You-know-who makes me uncomfortable.
Green Changeling: He makes us all uncomfortable.
Thorax: Everyone, please! I understand Pharynx can be challenging at times.
Changeling 1: That's an understatement. He lined a hallway with thorns!
Green Changeling: He teaches little changelings to growl and hiss!
Changeling 3: My soup's too hot!
[beat]
Changeling 3: What? I thought the feelings forum was for sharing our problems.
Pharynx: It sounds like your lame "feelings forum" is for talking about me behind my back!
Group Leader: The feelings forum is for talking about anything that's bothering you. Is there something you'd like to share, Pharynx?
Pharynx: Actually, there is. The changelings used to be a fearsome swarm! Now we sit around talking about our feelings so much, you can't even stop a maulwurf from eating all your "pretty plants"! I could've sent that thing packing before, but I guess now we'll just try to lead it away and hope that keeps us safe!
Changeling 1: I don't feel safe with him around!
Green Changeling: I'd feel safer if he were gone!
Thorax: I can't do that.
All changelings: We want him banished! [arguing]
Changeling 3: [slurps] Hey, my soup's cooled down! These feeling forums are great for solving problems!
[BWONG!]
Group Leader: Everyone, please. If we are interrupting each other, we are not affirming each other.
[changelings resume arguing]
Group Leader: That's it! Feelings forum is over!
[changelings grumbling]
Starlight Glimmer: I... [sighs] I want to say something, but it goes against everything I've been taught as Twilight's pupil.
Trixie: Ooh! Then, by all means, say it.
Starlight Glimmer: [sighs] I think Pharynx is a lost cause.
Trixie: Mm. I'm all for second chances. Third, even. But he just seems like a bad bug.
Starlight Glimmer: And Thorax has a duty to the whole hive, not just his brother.
Trixie: If he keeps sticking up for Pharynx, the hive might decide they don't want Thorax as their leader.
Starlight Glimmer: I think he might have to kick Pharynx out. But I don't wanna be the one to tell Thorax that.
Trixie: Me, neither. But somepony probably should. I nominate you!
Starlight Glimmer: Ugh!
[transformation noise]
Starlight Glimmer: Thorax, we have something to tell you.
Thorax: It's about Pharynx, isn't it?
Trixie: [hesitating] Mmmmmmmaybe?
Thorax: Look, I know he's an aggressive warrior type, but when I was little, every young changeling wanted to be like that.
[young changelings shouting]
Thorax: [voiceover] ...Every young changeling except me. The others would pick on me for not wanting to fight.
Young Changeling: Look at the little grub playing with his dollies!
[young changelings laugh]
Young Pharynx: Step away from my brother!
[slam]
Thorax: [voiceover] But Pharynx never let them hurt me.
Young Changeling: We were just complimenting his dollies.
[transformation noise]
Young Pharynx: [shrieks]
[young changelings scream]
[transformation noise]
Young Thorax: Thanks, Pharynx.
Young Pharynx: Why are you hitting yourself?! Stop hitting yourself! Why are you hitting yourself?!
Young Thorax: Ouch! Cut it out, Pharynx!
Young Pharynx: They're right, you know. You need to have tougher skin.
Trixie: Aw, that was a really sweet story. Until the end.
Thorax: I know Pharynx loved me in his own way, and I know there's still good in him. That's why I keep sticking up for him. Anyway, what did you wanna talk to me about?
Trixie: Me? Oh, noooo. But, uh, Starlight has something she—
Starlight Glimmer: Actually, Thorax, um, never mind! C'mon, Trixie, we've got a... thing to do.
Trixie: [whispering] What are you doing? I thought we agreed you'd tell Thorax he had to kick his brother out of the hive!
Starlight Glimmer: Maybe we don't have to. Get Pharynx and meet me at the hive entrance. I'll explain everything.
[magic zap]
Trixie: And how am I supposed to know where Pharynx is?!
Passing Changeling: I just saw Pharynx.
Trixie: Oh! Well, that was easy.
Starlight Glimmer: We'll just use one problem to solve another. I switched the trail of plants around to lure the maulwurf here. The changelings may not be able to stop it anymore, but Pharynx certainly can. When it attacks, he'll save his brother, showing everypony his good side, the others will accept him, and Pharynx will finally let love and friendship into his life and transform! [pants]
Trixie: Wow.
Starlight Glimmer: I know, right? Great idea? Where's Pharynx?
Trixie: He's gone.
Starlight Glimmer: Gone like gone to the throne room?
Trixie: Gone like gone! One of the changelings said Pharynx left the hive for good!
[changelings cheering]
Starlight Glimmer: [gasp] Then who's gonna stop the dread maulwurf I'm leading here?!
[changelings screaming]
Starlight Glimmer: [panting] Thorax, there you are! Pharynx is missing!
[changelings cheering]
Trixie: Wait for it...
Starlight Glimmer: And the dread maulwurf is coming this way!
[changelings screaming]
Trixie: Told ya.
Thorax: That doesn't make any sense. The trail of plants should have led the dread maulwurf away.
Starlight Glimmer: [nervous laugh] I might have relaid them to lead it back toward the hive.
Thorax: Why would you do that?!
Starlight Glimmer: I thought if Pharynx saw you were in danger, the loving, caring side of him would come out when he protected you!
Thorax: But instead, he's out there alone somewhere between us and that rampaging monster?! I have to save him!
Starlight Glimmer: I'm coming with you!
Thorax: Of course you are! This is all your fault!
Trixie: [condescending] Oh, don't be too hard on Starlight. Her heart was in the right place.
Thorax: You're coming, too!
Trixie: Oh. Right. I mean, I was gonna volunteer anyway...
Thorax: Who else is coming?
[beat]
Thorax: [groans] Fine.
Starlight Glimmer: Oh, sure, you could all stay here, not help Pharynx and he won't bother you anymore. It's your choice. But remember when you didn't have a choice! When you were forced to obey Chrysalis! You might have been unstoppable, but you weren't free to choose! And now you are, because of Thorax! Well, it's his brother out there, and now it's your chance to prove you're just as strong embracing love as you were feeding on it! Now is your chance to show what changelings can really be! Not because you have to, but because you choose to!
Trixie: That was an amazingly epic speech, Starlight! I just can't believe not a single changeling was moved by it.
Thorax: I can't blame them. If he wasn't my brother, I don't think I'd be here. We're gonna have to face the maulwurf by ourselves.
Starlight Glimmer: Maybe it'll be long gone and we'll find Pharynx out here alone!
[roar]
Pharynx: [grunts]
Starlight Glimmer: Or maybe not.
[maulwurf growling]
[transformation noise]
[Pharynx-bug skreeing]
Thorax: Pharynx!
Pharynx: What are you doing here?!
Thorax: I'm here to save you!
Pharynx: Get outta here! Let me handle this!
Starlight Glimmer: We're not leaving you!
[maulwurf growling and roaring]
[magic zap]
[maulwurf roaring]
Thorax: [nervous] I may have forgotten to mention in my letters that maulwurfs have really thick hides!
[maulwurf growling and snapping]
Starlight Glimmer: I thought you said you could beat this thing!
Pharynx: Yeah, with the rest of the swarm! Not alone!
Changeling 1: Good thing you're not alone!
Trixie: I told you it was an epic speech.
[changeling battle-cry]
[smack!]
[thud]
[maulwurf roars]
Thorax: It's no use! We're out of practice and he's too tough!
[maulwurf roars]
Trixie: And strong! Too bad we can't get it to fight itself!
Pharynx: That's it! Thorax, remember when we were young and I made you hit yourself?
Thorax: Now is not the time to make fun of me, Pharynx!
[beat]
Thorax: Oh, right! Of course!
[maulwurf roaring]
[slap]
Pharynx: Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?!
Thorax: Yeah, maulwurf, why are you hitting yourself?
[crunch]
Thorax: Why are you hitting yourself, huh? Huh? Huh?
[thud]
Pharynx: [hisses]
[crunch]
Trixie: Ooh, that looks like it hurts.
[maulwurf roars]
[digging]
Starlight Glimmer: We did it! It's gone!
[changelings cheering]
Thorax: What were you doing out here?
Pharynx: Leaving. I'm done with all of you.
Thorax: Oh. It's just, why bother fighting the maulwurf then? You coulda left it alone.
Pharynx: Well, I couldn't just let it attack you!
Thorax: But I thought you were done with us, and you didn't care.
Pharynx: I never said that. The hive is the thing I care about most.
Thorax: Well, you certainly don't act like it.
Pharynx: Well, I'm sorry if I don't get excited about pretty flowers and feeling circles and—
Thorax: It's a feelings forum.
Pharynx: Whatever. It doesn't matter. Even if I do care about the hive, I obviously don't have a place there anymore.
Changeling 1: Actually, you do. Because we've been wrong. Um, the hive may be a gentler, nicer place...
Changeling 2: ...but that doesn't mean we won't have to defend ourselves. Clearly.
Thorax: And who better to help us do that than the only changeling who never stopped protecting us?
[changelings chattering]
Pharynx: You all want me to stay?
Thorax: Unless you still want to leave the hive.
Pharynx: Why would I want that? I love the hive!
[changelings cheering]
[magic noises]
[changelings oohing and aahing]
Trixie: He did it! He transformed!
Starlight Glimmer: I always knew you had it in you!
Pharynx: Really? Because I thought you said I was a lost cause and you were going to tell Thorax he should kick me out.
Trixie: Oh! Starlight! How could you say that?
Starlight Glimmer: Ugh! What?! That's—! I mean—! But you—!
Thorax: Lucky for us, you weren't a lost cause.
Pharynx: Lucky for me, you didn't give up on me.
[changelings chattering]
Trixie: Soooo... glad everything worked out.
Thorax: Yeah! Let's talk about how you not only led the maulwurf to the hive but also drove my brother away from it!
Starlight Glimmer: I am so sorry about that, but I would like to point out that my admittedly terrible plan did bring everything together in the end. [nervous laugh]
Pharynx: Hey. Do you guys want to hear the story about how I used to make Thorax hit himself?
Starlight Glimmer: [relieved] Oh, absolutely, yes, right now!
Pharynx: Well, when we were young, every changeling wanted to be a warrior. Except for Thorax. He was a little weak. I had to protect him... [fades out]
[credits]