Season 8, Episode 24: Father Knows Beast
Written By Josh Haber
Ever since Day 1 of 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic', there has been one of the biggest unsolved mysteries that the series has yet to address: where did Spike even come from? I mean, we already know that he was given to Twilight Sparkle as an egg to hatch for her entrance exam into Princess Celestia's school...but whenever an opportunity came for the show staff to finally solve one of the greatest mysteries of the entire series like back in Season 2's "Dragon Quest", it would always result in never getting any clues to the puzzle and the characters acting like absolute jerks towards what is basically someone going through an existential crisis. But it seems like we may have finally found out who Spike's real father is...or have we? Let's find in our next episode of Season 8 and see if it's true about what they say how 'Father Knows Beast'!
When a strange dragon by the name of Sludge crash lands in Ponyville claiming to be Spike's father, Spike is ready to do anything his 'dad' says in order to learn how to be a 'real' dragon
When this episode was first announced, I was met with both feelings of excitement and hesitation: the excitement being from the fact that we were finally going to hopefully get some answers as to where Spike came from and that this experience with his possible father would be a great way to develop Spike's character more than ever, but the hesitation came from the fact that I was fearing that this would end up being another one of those 'liar revealed' plotlines that we have seen dozens of times before in other media where you're just waiting for the characters to realize that it was all a facade and I was really hoping that it wouldn't go that direction for an episode as highly anticipated as this. But which side would ultimately win the battle for what may be one of the biggest episodes of the entire series?
- The relationship between Spike and Smolder-ever since these two first met back in the Season 8 premiere and with everything that they have been through so far in the season up until now including Spike going through a molt and getting his new pair of wings, seeing Spike return the favor to Smolder after she teaches him how to fly more skillfully and gracefully after crashing numerous times while learning from Twilight Sparkle was truly heartwarming in my honest opinion...if anything, she's the one who's been teaching Spike how to be a real dragon more than anyone else in the entire series!
- The backstory of Spike being orphaned-after eight seasons and through an exposition dump by our new character Sludge, it is so great to finally get the backstory of Spike and how he was orphaned as an egg before being given to Twilight Sparkle for her entrance exam as we find out that his mother had been chosen by Dragon Lord Torch himself to scout for the next path of the Great Migration and yet Sludge ventured out to search for her because he wanted to make sure Spike deserved to know his mother...wonder when we're gonna get an episode about Spike's mother!
- The introduction of the Land Of Scale Collectors-always great to get more and more world building for the world of Equestria no matter what species our characters are and...with an episode as highly anticipated as this, it is great to finally get more background about dragons and how they were in danger of being hunted and locked up in prison resulting in Sludge not knowing what became of Spike or his mother by turning himself in to save Spike's egg
- Just Can't Be A Dragon Here-with this being the final song for the entirety of Season 8 and to come out shortly after what was a pretty awesome song sung by an incredible guest star, the song 'Just Can't Be A Dragon Here' was a pretty jazzy and catchy song to finish off the total of musical numbers in this season especially when it's sung by another newcomer to the series...not quite as awesome as 'We're Friendship Bound' from Road To Friendship or even 'A Kirin Tale' from the previous episode Sounds Of Silence, but it is still pretty damn good
- Sludge-while I will say that Dave Pettitt did a great job in giving our newcomer Sludge that kind of lazy and aggressive attitude that most dragons in the series are known for, not only did the introduction of Sludge result in the 'liar revealed' plotline being used again just like what I was fearing would happen...but the way that he teaches Spike how to be a 'real' dragon while taking advantage of him so that he can live the life of luxury inside of Twilight's castle was some of the most narcissistic abuse I have ever seen towards him in the entire series! NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE RAISED LIKE THAT...NO ONE, which is why I'm thankful that the ending of the episode was as heartwarming as it was with Spike realizing who his real family is in Twilight Sparkle
Overall...while what I feared for 'Father Knows Beast' in terms of the story ended up happening anyway, there was so much new information about dragon culture and heart between the characters that was put into this episode that I can't help but feel that it still made for a pretty great episode and I'm gonna give it a 9 out of 10...and with that said, I will see you all next week for the epic two-part conclusion of Season 8 simply titled 'School Raze'! There's a great evil on the rise...and her name is Cozy Glow, see you all next week!
The Maud Couple-5.5/10
Grannies Gone Wild-10/10
Surf And/Or Turf-9/10
Marks For Effort-8.5/10
The Mean 6-10/10
The End In Friend-4/10
Road To Friendship-10/10
A Rockhoof And A Hard Place-7.5/10
What Lies Beneath-10/10
Sounds Of Silence-8/10
Father Knows Beast-9/10
SEASON 8 OVERALL RATING: 8.27/10