The second time I watched it, I distracted myself by counting how many seconds the scene went on, and deducting a point from the episode's score for each second. So to get it out of the way, this episode gets a rating of -81/3.
I don't know what I'll do if I ever watch the episode again. Maybe fast forward.
The rest of the episode's treatment of Spike was actually kind of fun. "Mr. The Dragon! This is the signal. I'm giving you the signal now!" "Oh Great and Honorable Spike The Brave and Glorious, can I get your autograph?" "Now that I can light things on fire with my mind, telepathy can't be far behind. Wait for it... I've got it! You want me to light something on fire... with my mind!"
And he got to save the day from the Ice Cloud of Doom without everyone else standing around uselessly for no reason just to build suspense (*cough* Maud Pie). Ponies were actually trying to help and probably would have managed to at least crash the thing in the empty field.
Pinkie Pie was also a treat. "Want to come freak out with me over the medal count? I'll show you how!"
And the magical TSA... let's just say that that didn't look like *light* magic.
But that one scene... with Spike, and the Cloudsdale Anthem. That was unforgivable. That was a WAR CRIME. Even without a war.