Personally, I was kinda disappointed with this episode. We've had a handful of episodes centered around the preparation of the Equestrian Games. All that build up and this is what we get?
We get an episode about Spike dealing with stage fright? I'm pretty sure we've had this scenario played to death with Fluttershy and at least one time with Rainbow Dash. The Games were quite overshadowed by Spike of all characters. The epic maneuver towards the end kinda helped compensate for it, but overall I felt let down that this is all we get for such a huge event.
I agree that the magic neutralization gate was an interesting concept. Come at me unicornfags.
I'll have to catch the season finale a month after it comes out. I leave to train at a desert for about 4 weeks with my unit next week. Buck my life :c