|What Lies Beneath|
|Season episode №:||22|
|Overall episode №:||191|
|Original airdate:||September 22, 2018 (Discovery Family)
|Written by:||Michael Vogel|
|Storyboard:||Krista Porter and Cat Tang|
|Featured characters:||School of Friendship students
|credits • transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
A Rockhoof and a Hard Place
Sounds of Silence
This episode aired on August 23, 2018 on Nickelodeon in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, thirty days ahead of its scheduled premiere on Discovery Family, on Boomerang in Australia on August 26, 2018, and on Carousel in Russia on September 18, 2018.
The mysterious Tree of Harmony
The episode begins at the School of Friendship, where Twilight Sparkle is giving a lesson on the Tree of Harmony and its mysterious powers and seemingly sentient abilities, including growing an entire castle from its roots. When the school bell rings, Twilight announces that the students will be given a test the following day about friendship's effects on Equestrian history, and she encourages the students to study for the test in groups.
In the school's fountain square, Gallus sarcastically suggests asking one of the trees for help in studying for the upcoming test. As he and his friends share a laugh on their way to the library, something inside a nearby drain gives off a faint glow.
Friendship in one's nature
At the school library, the Young Six study for their upcoming test, but Gallus and Smolder have trouble understanding the course material, Silverstream becomes preoccupied by the wonders of indoor plumbing, and Yona dozes off to sleep. Despite this, the six remain in positive spirits.
Cozy Glow overhears them as she organizes library books nearby. She expresses how great it is that they are so relaxed about the upcoming test despite their numerous disadvantages as a group, including Sandbar being more experienced in friendship than the others, Ocellus' inherent nature as a changeling, Silverstream being sheltered from the outside world for most of her life, Gallus and Smolder being averse to friendship as a griffon and dragon respectively, and Yona being a narcissistic yak.
- "It's just so impressive how you keep trying to understand friendship, even though it isn't in your nature."
- — Cozy Glow
Cozy Glow offers to lend the Young Six her friendship notes to help them prepare for the test, and when she leaves to retrieve them, the Young Six become uncomfortable around each other. They return to studying, but after hearing Cozy Glow's words, they get upset at each other over trivial matters, and some of them start to wonder if friendship is truly in their nature.
Beneath the School of Friendship
Just then, the students hear a strange sound at the far back of the library, and they follow it to an open floor grate with a mysterious crystal root sticking out of it. Inside, they find a large cavern filled with more crystal roots, and they encounter what appears to be Twilight, but she glows and speaks to them in a bizarre, mystical tone. This "Twilight" senses that the Young Six are "not one", and they tell her that they don't know if friendship is truly in their nature. "Twilight" doesn't accept this and decides to give the Young Six a test. If they fail to pass the test before morning, they will remain trapped in the caves forever.
The Young Six are all suddenly teleported to different parts of the caverns. Silverstream finds herself in what she believes to be Mount Aris, and she hides under the water when shadows of the Storm King and his Storm Creatures appear. Gallus ends up in a small enclosure that gets even smaller whenever he touches certain shafts of light. Yona finds herself in a nest occupied by hundreds of spiders.
Smolder encounters two mares having a cute tea party, and she is unable to escape from them. Ocellus encounters a pair of un-reformed changelings who address her as "Your Majesty", and she discovers she has taken the form of Queen Chrysalis. Finally, Sandbar encounters what appear to be Rarity and Rainbow Dash, who ask for his help in dealing with an emergency. Sandbar is eager to help, but when he mentions the rest of his friends, "Rainbow Dash" says they don't need them.
What are you most afraid of?
Inside his small, shrinking enclosure, an increasingly panicked Gallus assures himself that if this is a test, there must be a solution. He realizes that there are two different colors of lights shining in—touching the pink lights makes the enclosure shrink, and touching the blue lights makes it widen. After touching enough of the blue lights, Gallus makes the enclosure wide enough for him to squeeze out through a small opening before he gets crushed.
Meanwhile, Smolder's flights through the cave tunnels keep circling her back to the tea party with the two mares. She asks them what she has to do in order to pass her test and escape, and they hint that she likes cute things, but fears admitting it, due to her tough dragon exterior. Begrudgingly, Smolder puts on a cute dress and joins the mares' tea party. Elsewhere, Yona tries to escape the nest of hundreds of spiders. When they corner her, she screams in terror, causing the spiders to back away a little. When Yona realizes the spiders mean her no harm and just want to be her friends, she overcomes her fear of them.
Back at the caves' entrance, Gallus meets up with Smolder. They notice that the way out of the caves is still open and reason that if any other dragon and griffon were in their situation, they would escape and leave the others behind. Realizing they are different from the average dragon and griffon, they decide to stay and find their friends so that they can all escape together. Meanwhile, Sandbar continues to travel through the caves with "Rarity" and "Rainbow Dash". When he mentions wanting to go and find his friends, "Rarity" and "Rainbow Dash" tell him to figure out where his loyalty truly lies.
When Smolder finds Ocellus, Ocellus—still in the form of Queen Chrysalis—is unable to change back to her own form, believing she cannot escape the changelings' terrible past. Smolder assures Ocellus that she has changed for the better, and in an effort to help her overcome her fear, Smolder herself admits that she likes cute things. With Smolder's help—and the promise of being invited to a secret tea party—Ocellus conquers her fears and changes back to normal.
In another part of the caves, Gallus finds Silverstream cowering in fear, believing the Storm King and his forces are going to terrorize her and her fellow Hippogriffs again. Gallus tells Silverstream that the shadows are just illusions, and he helps her overcome her fear by admitting to his own fear of small spaces. With Gallus's encouragement, Silverstream angrily tells the shadows off, causing them to vanish. With both of their fears conquered, Gallus and Silverstream head to find the rest of their friends.
Friendship conquers fear
At the caves' entrance, Gallus and Silverstream meet up with Ocellus and Smolder, but Yona and Sandbar are nowhere to be found, and the entrance is slowly closing. Just then, Yona arrives with her hundreds of new spider friends—one of which she has named Spindle—and the spiders agree to help them track down Sandbar.
Still traveling the caves with "Rarity" and "Rainbow Dash", Sandbar stops and refuses to go any further without the rest of his friends. "Rarity" and "Rainbow Dash" accuse Sandbar of caring more about his friends than he does about the rest of Equestria. However, Sandbar argues back that he has always admired his teachers because of the values of friendship they uphold, and he refuses to abandon his friends just to make his teachers proud. Because of this, Sandbar passes his test, and "Rarity" and "Rainbow Dash" vanish just as the rest of the Young Six arrive.
With the six of them together again, the Young Six return to the cave entrance, but it has closed too much for any of them to fit through. Just then, "Twilight" appears before them again, and they realize it is not Twilight but a spiritual manifestation of the Tree of Harmony itself. The Tree explains that, as it grows, so do its abilities. It also explains that the Young Six themselves chose how their biggest fears manifested and that they overcame their fears for each other's sake.
- "Friendship is in your nature."
- — Tree of Harmony
Because the Young Six passed the Tree of Harmony's test of friendship, they are finally able to return to the school library. There, they explain to Cozy Glow what they experienced underneath the school. They consider telling the Mane Six about what they found, but Cozy begs them not to, realizing it was her words that set off this chain of events in the first place and fearing she might get expelled because of it.
The Young Six, exhausted from their ordeal, agree not to tell anyone. They suddenly remember their upcoming test but are too tired to continue studying. As they start to fall asleep, Cozy offers to tell Twilight that they helped her organize the library books so that she'll give them a test extension. The Young Six thank Cozy for her help, and as they fall asleep together, Cozy apologizes for the trouble she inadvertently caused. The episode ends with Cozy Glow looking inside the floor grate and gazing at the Tree of Harmony's glow with great interest.
- For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
- Silverstream: Was that before or after Discord made chocolate rain?
- Cozy Glow: [whispers] After.
- Gallus: That's a plumbing diagram on how to fix a sink.
- Silverstream: [giggles]
- Sandbar: What does that have to do with Equestrian history?
- Silverstream: Nothing. I just can't believe that's how sinks work!
- Cozy Glow: Just consider where you all came from. If Sandbar hadn't sacrificed so much of his time to get you up to speed, who knows how behind you'd be?
- Sandbar: That's... not what—
- Cozy Glow: [to Ocellus] I mean, growing up as a love-starved changeling? [to Silverstream] Or hiding underwater from an evil king all those years? Trusting anycreature must be so hard for you. [to Gallus] And griffons never want to be around anycreature, even other griffons. [to Smolder] And dragons are so fierce compared to us. There must be days you can't wait to get away from all us cute ponies. [to Yona, imitating Yona] "Everypony know yaks think yaks are best!" Making friends with any other creature must seem like a step down. It's just so impressive how you keep trying to understand friendship, even though it isn't in your nature.
- Ocellus: We were studying friendship's effect on history, but then...
- Gallus: Since friendship just isn't in our nature, what's the point?
- Illusion Twilight Sparkle: [stilted] You do not believe friendship is in your nature? That is NOT acceptable!
- Silverstream: Mount Aris? Headmare Twilight sent me home? Wait. Am I suspended?
- Stepford Pony 2: Ohhh! Aren't you just the most adorable thing? Come join us.
- Smolder: No. On so many levels. No.
- Sandbar: [gasps] My first friendship adventure! Yes! Count me in! Oh, I've been waiting for this— Wait! The others!
- Illusion Rainbow Dash: We don't need them! We need you!
- Gallus: If this is a test, there's got to be a way out. It's just a puzzle... that will squash you if you don't figure it out.
- Stepford Pony 2: Seems like she's afraid to be cute and adorable, doesn't it?
- Stepford Pony 1: Or maybe she's just afraid to admit she likes being cute and adorable.
- Stepford Pony 2: Mm-hmm!
- Smolder: Just this once. [clears throat, cute voice] May I have some tea, please?
- Gallus: Any other dragon or griffon would save themselves and get out of this crazy cave.
- Smolder: Guess we aren't just any dragon or griffon anymore.
- Gallus: Guess not.
- Illusion Rarity: Darling, it was so generous of you to take the time to teach those other creatures about friendship.
- Illusion Rainbow Dash: But if you're going to join us and do something that really makes a difference, we need to know where your loyalty lies.
- Illusion Rarity: You do want to impress us, don't you, Sandbar?
- Smolder: Chrysalis! Where's Ocellus?!
- Ocellus: It's me! I'm hideous!
- Silverstream: He's back, and I'm never gonna see another sunset or fly through a cloud bank or study plumbing! He's gonna take away everything I love! I'm gonna be trapped down here forever!
- Silverstream: Uh, hey! Storm King! You're nothing but a big, old bully with a silly name and a goofy crown! You thought you could scare us into doing whatever you wanted! But we learned that together, we're stronger than you! And now that we're rid of you, we're gonna soar through the sky and go on adventures and never give you another thought ever!
- Smolder: [muffled] I like cute, silly stuff.
- Ocellus: I'm sorry, what?
- Smolder: I like cute, silly stuff! But ever since school started, I've realized that sometimes I kinda don't mind cute stuff.
- Yona: Yona always scared of spiders. But then Yona meet Spindle.
- Spindle: [chitters]
- Yona: Yona realize no reason to be afraid. Spiders and yak friends!
- Sandbar: I've always looked up to you. You would never turn your back on each other, and that's what makes you strong. Now I have a group of friends that I think is every bit as amazing as yours. If I have to give up on them to make you proud, then you aren't the ponies I thought you were. I don't care if I disappoint you. You disappoint me.
- Tree of Harmony: You were more concerned with each other's well-being than your own. You were strong when your friends were weak. You let each other in and showed that you would be there for each other, no matter what. Friendship is in your nature.
- Gallus: W-We just learned a friendship lesson from a tree, didn't we?
- Cozy Glow: You get some rest. Don't give any of this another thought. Just let Cozy take care of everything.
|Equestria Girls||Rainbow Rocks||Friendship Games||Legend of Everfree|
|My Little Pony The Movie||A New Generation|
|Dance Magic||Movie Magic||Mirror Magic||Forgotten Friendship|
|Rollercoaster of Friendship||Best Gift Ever||Spring Breakdown||Rainbow Roadtrip|
|Sunset's Backstage Pass||Holidays Unwrapped||Make Your Mark|
|Rainbow Rocks shorts||Friendship Games shorts||Summertime Shorts||Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 1)|
|Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 2)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 1)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 2)||Equestria Girls Minis|
|Baby Flurry Heart's Heartfelt Scrapbook||Rarity's Peek Behind the Boutique||Fundamentals of Magic||My Little Pony Established 1983|
|Friendship is Magic shorts||Hello Pinkie Pie||Stop Motion Shorts||Tell Your Tale|