← To MLP Episode and Movie Summaries ← To the homepage To MLP FiM S7E26's Summary →


Episode 168 Shadow Play
(Part 1)
October 28 2017
We're greeted to a narration as a book magically flips through its contents to a section about a different set of ponies with a different set of Elements of Harmony (the same characters whose stories were told in previous episodes I might add). Those same ponies get more than they bargained for as their former friend steals the magic for himself and becomes a beast like no other. It turns out that Sunburst is reading the journal to Celestia and Luna to where the writing ends. Celestia takes the journal from Sunburst and while intrigued by the disappearance of Star Swirl, she commends him for his discovery.
Twilight wants proof the journal is real and Luna is quick to confirm it is. The idea that the Pony of Shadows is a real being is hard to swallow as is the tale about the other ponies, whom have simply disappeared after facing the beast. One thing is clear to Rarity, they must've won but they have no idea how. Celestia figures the answers lie in the book itself and Twilight is willing to have a look given her extensive knowledge of Old Ponish.  They may not know how long it'll take but her friends are willing to help out.
Three days pass with no answers in sight and everyone is tired but Twilight feels she's close to getting answer. In fact, Starlight comes in and reads what she can and Sunburst manages to figure out the meaning of each line read. With Spike heading to bed, the ponies head to Ponhenge to get more answers but find the task is much more daunting than they thought given the lack of pruning since anyone was last there. Twilight had hoped she'd magically get the answer and drops the book at one of the pillars.
Just when she walks away, the book activates and produces hologram projections of the ponies from the story, including Star Swirl the Bearded. Furthermore, the ponies get a glimpse of the battle Star Swirl and friends had in the past. Sure enough, as Rarity had figured, the ponies restrain the Pony of Shadows and disappear, leaving their relics behind. The ponies are speechless to what they just saw and struggle to make sense of it. Sunburst theorizes that they saw the events that took care of the Pony of Shadows.
Twilight also shares info regarding the end of the story, whereby Star Swirl and crew sacrificed themselves to save Equestria. Back inside the castle, Starlight and Sunburst can't believe that an antique book held the answers to a battle to save Equestria but it's not over yet as there's much to understand about the spell. They check up on Twilight to learn that she may have understood the whole spell. She calls everyone into the throne room to share what she's found and can't help being excited with the in-your-face moments.
Since none of the others understand, Twilight uses a food replica of Ponhenge to explain how the six ponies took care of Pony of Shadows. It becomes clear that whomever the Pony of Shadows was, its strength must've been quite high for the others to feel there was no other way. Twilight feels she can get them out. However, not everyone is convinced as Sunburst finds it hard to believe while Starlight feels it's just not a good idea. Twilight notes the difference between Starlight's disaster and how Star Swirl's spell was the reason it was all possible. Star Swirl could've otherwise stopped Starlight's disaster.
Twilight even has another model to help demonstrate but it's among the last things Rainbow Dash wants to hear.  All the others need to do is find objects connected to the Ponehendge pillars in some way. The only question is how and where will they be able to find the items? Fortunately, they have lots of notes from Star Swirl himself to pour over.  As Twilight reads the notes, several orbs appear and the group realize it's the same items they'd seen before.
Applejack travels to an area where rocks are plenty and finds a pony that doesn't believ ethe tale about the pony saving the village from rushing lava with a shovel. However, she proves her worth to the naysayer by saving them from a huge boulder and kicking it several hundred feet away. As a bonus, they find a hidden passageway that leads to the item Applejack needs and she takes it with her, leaving the naysayer to believe that not all stories are merely stories.
Rarity is up next and finds the flower she wants but the elderly pony guarding it is in no mood to give it up as it's the only beautiful thing she has left. Rarity gets an idea and prunes the entire area, leaving nothing looking hideous anymore. As a compromise, the eldery pony relinquishes the flower to Rarity. Rainbow Dash and Spike have a tougher task on hoof as the shield is in the Dragon's Lair and the dragons are too busy surfing on lava to notice.
Rainbow Dash marvels over the sport but gets the attention of the dragons, whom aren't willing to be nice to friends of ponies. Spike sticks up for Rainbow Dash and gets Garble's attention but he's no nicer to Spike than he was the last time they met. Furthermore, Garble has the relic they need and is willing to put it on the line in a race. Rainbow Dash is more-than-ready to take part but Garble is only doing the race with Spike. Despite Spike's fears, the race begins and Garble naturally takes the lead. However, Spike manages to take victory home but not the shield as Garble is not about to be nice to Spike.
In fact, Garble takes it a step further and picks up a boulder, ready to make Spike hurt but after it's thrown, Rainbow Dash intercepts and drops it on Garble's tail, leaving Garble temporarily unable to move. When Garble frees himself, he puts another wager for the shield, racing Rainbow Dash back to the top. The race is over quickly and Rainbow Dash has not only beaten Garble but taken the shield away. Meanwhile, Fluttershy handles the Flashbees' nest with Cattail serving as the decoy. With both ponies successful, the frightened animals happily return to their pond. As a reward, Fluttershy gets the mask.
Back at the temple, Daring Do and Pinkie Pie perform their task whereby Pinkie Pie finds the blindfold she's looking for in the drain. Starlight, Twlight and Sunburst return to Ponehenge where Starlight continues to have doubts, citing that perhaps they shouldn't be messing with the good deed the ancient ponies had performed. Twilight and Sunburst prove otherwise, and the others return with their artifacts. Despite her fears, Starlight joins Sunburst and Twilight as they work to bring the ponies back from their prison.
Their efforts pay off and the ponies and the Ponehenge pillars return but Star Swirl isn't so thrilled when he learns what happened, noting that if the pillers come back so does the Pony of Shadows and now they're all in danger.