In this episode about ponies, we find ourselves with a rather fascinating parable about outsourcing.
Consider how it starts with Twilight & Spike happily working together, representatives of the employer & employee (respectively). Both are happy and both do well in their arrangement.
However, Spike is not perfect and TS finds herself in need of more help to complete her tasks. Enter Owlowiscious who represents the “outsourced” jobs that many employers must use to function. And what a representative! He (she?) not only doesn’t look like any pony or dragon or animal we’ve seen, but he (she?) even speaks an unfamiliar language. Owlowiscious is very much “the other”. Spike, not seeing the opportunity the additional help provides, tries to “do something” about the newcomer. (how often do we hear cries for the government to “do something” about those lost jobs?)
Alas, Spike’s efforts backfire, and he finds himself unemployed. Abandoned and alone, he confronts a large green dragon – the symbol of his own envy – that nearly kills him, just as our own envy and jealousy can nearly kill us. But he is saved and comes to a peace that there is nothing to fear about the other.
OR maybe it’s all about accepting help sometimes and not letting jealousy make fools of us.
I did quite enjoy how this episode played on the expectations of those more familiar with traditional storytelling. In that, Spike would have been right and there was something nefarious about Owlowiscious who was bewitching (or manipulating) the others into acceptance. First time I saw this, I was actually a bit shocked the newcomer character ended up being played straight as just a weird helper. So kudos to the show makers for actually doing something unexpected and different. Of course, watch the new cliche arise and a few years later this episode will end up in Seinfeld is Unfunny territory.
Now as a lover of dragons, why hasn’t Hasboro given me my 3 pack of Spike, Owlowiscious and the green dragon yet?