|“||I promise, Scauldy, if you don't kill me, my friends and I will get you out to sea.||”|
|— Ruffnut comforting Scauldy|
Hiccup, Toothless, and the Dragon Riders discover an injured Scauldron on the shores of Changewing Island. When the Scauldron takes a shine to Ruffut, the kids see a chance to heal the dragon and return him safely to the ocean, before he falls victim to the elements, as well as the territorial Changewings.
- Ruffnut trains a Scauldron; Scauldy.
- Scauldy's wing is mended and returns to the sea.
The episode starts off with the twins, Hiccup, and Fishlegs on patrol in search of the Screaming Death. Ruffnut and Tuffnut take delight in doing dangerous stunts to which Fishlegs laments on how they were stuck with the twins. Hiccup answers that it was either them or Snotlout. Meanwhile, Snotlout begins to hit on Astrid, which greatly annoys her and she tries to ignore it.
Later, Hiccup, the twins, and Fishlegs approach Changewing island in which they find an injured Scauldron with one wing pinned under some boulders. Seeing that it was injured. Hiccup attempts to train it, but the Scauldron merely attempts to attack him. Later, the twins and Fishlegs attempt to douse the dragon in water, hoping to win its friendship, but it knocks both dragons and their riders off their dragon. Hiccup and Fishlegs start to conclude that they can't do anything for the Scauldron without risking themselves or their dragons. While reluctantly attempting to leave, their dragons refuse to leave, in which Barf and Belch toss their riders off.
Tuffnut lands near the rocks, but Ruffnut is tossed in front of the Scauldron where it defensively growls at her. Hiccup warns her not to move, and the Scauldron then starts sniffing the nervous rider. Taking this as a sign of aggression, Barf and Belch attempt to attack the Scauldron to protect Ruffnut, but Hiccup commands them to stand back as the Scauldron hasn't hurt her yet. It continues to sniff her and Hiccup wonders why. Tuffnut then comments on how weird she smells because she puts fish oil in her hair. Fishlegs and Hiccup realize that the Scauldron hasn't attacked Ruffnut because she smells like his home environment.
Astrid and Snotlout wait as the others have missed a second scheduled rendezvous. Snotlout takes the time to flirt with Astrid, in which she decides to fight back with aggression, but only makes Snotlout try harder. After deducing that Hiccup was in trouble, she takes off to find him, with Snotlout soon following. Meanwhile, Hiccup walks through with Ruffnut to train the dragon, but they have to hurry since the Scauldron is starting to dry up from being out of the water for too long. She names him Scauldy and soon, he allows Ruffnut to pet him. Suddenly, Changewings attack and the part of the gang barely manage to defend Scauldy if it wasn't for the arrival of Snotlout and Astrid.
They successfully drive the Changewings off and Hiccup asks Ruffnut to make sure that Scauldy doesn't pay attention to them as the gang attempt to remove the boulders that have fallen on his wing. Trying to grab his attention, Ruffnut tries to imitate Hiccup, but it fails. Tuffnut then suggests that she sings a lullaby that their mother sang to her when she was little and afraid of the dark; she retorts that it was he who was afraid of the dark and she was scared of Tuffnut. She begins to sing which captivates Scauldy enough to allow Hiccup and the others to remove the boulders, but their efforts are in vain as they realize that the wing is broken.
Fishlegs analyzes the situation and explains that it looks like a simple break and that they might be able to fix it with a splint. While Ruffnut entertains Scauldy, the gang get to work making a splint. Snotlout volunteers himself and Astrid to go keep a watch out for Changewings. As they are flying, finally fed up with Snotlout, Astrid pretends to be overly-attached to him which grosses out and scares Snotlout enough for him to stop flirting with her. After spotting a large group of Changewings, they head back to the gang who are still constructing the splint for Scauldy.
After warning the others about incoming Changewings, the gang attempt to finish up, but the vine Fishlegs is working with snaps and is now too short to be properly tied together. Hiccup reluctantly tells the group to evacuate, but Ruffnut refuses to leave. While attempting to convince Ruffnut to go, Scauldy nudges Ruffnut away, aware that she is risking her life to protect him and urging her to go. Astrid warns the group that the Changewings are approaching and they should hurry up.
As she anxiously tugs on her braids, Ruffnut looks around in an attempt to find something to tie up the splint with the gang pleading with her that they should go. Getting an idea, she takes out a knife. A few minutes later, Changewings fly in and charge into the clearing only to find Ruffnut's knife abandoned on the ground, and Scauldy and the gang gone.
As the gang flies above the swimming Scauldy, it's revealed that Ruffnut cut her hair off so that her braids could serve as a rope for Scauldy's splint. Hiccup and the others comment on her quick-thinking, courage, and devotion to Scauldy and compliment her. Hiccup apologizes to Astrid for having her stuck with Snotlout the whole day, but Astrid claims it wasn't that bad because she had managed to gross Snotlout enough to stop his flirting with her.
Ruffnut approaches the water and she reaches out her hand. Scauldy pokes his head out of the water to allow Ruffnut to say a proper goodbye. She tells him that she's sad to see him go, but tells him that he can come to visit anytime. After the good-bye, Scauldy dives under the water again. Tuffnut then comments about Ruffnut, telling her that she looks like a boy and Ruffnut implies that Tuffnut does not look like a boy but instead looks like a girl. Scauldy is then seen swimming off to freedom.
- The name of the episode is a pun on a 1993 film Free Willy.
- This is the third appearance of a Scauldron, but the first time the Scauldron is the main focus of the episode.
- This is the first episode where Ruffnut is one of the major characters of the episode without her brother Tuffnut in a major role.
- Tuffnut's "you look like a boy" comment and Ruffnut's comeback is a reference to Vazquez' line in the movie Aliens.
- It is revealed that when the twins were younger, Tuffnut was afraid of the dark, and Ruffnut was scared of him.
- It is revealed that Ruffnut has a "Hiccup impression" which involves her saying with a nasal voice, "Hello, nice dragon, you can be my friend. My leg fell off. All of the dragons are my friends".
- Ruffnut cuts her long braids in this episode to save Scauldy by using her hair to finish making a splint for Scauldy's broken wing so he could escape the Changewings. Her hair is back to its normal length by the next episode.
- It could be possible that she wore hair extensions for the rest of the season.
- This is the second time a character hair was completely altered. The first time was in "Heather Report, Part 2" when Astrid dyed hers.
- When Snotlout mentions to Astrid that they face danger every week, it is a possible allusion to how an episode of DreamWorks Dragons is released every week.
- When Astrid is pretending to be in love with Snotlout, the Romantic Flight soundtrack can be heard.
- It is shown that after Astrid pretends to be in love with Snotlout and using reverse psychology on him, Snotlout loses interest in Astrid as he becomes unnerved and grossed out by her "love". However, by the next episode, he is shown to have an interest in Astrid again. It is possible that he eventually saw through her act and goes back to hitting on her.
- Ruffnut is revealed to be a fairly good singer.
- The song she sings to Scauldy is a Viking version of the lullaby "Hush, Little Baby".
- However, rather than trying to convince the baby to stop crying by promises of extravagant gifts, Ruffnut's version describes various ways the baby's cries could get them killed by nasty things.
- Astrid says that Snotlout has "mud brown eyes", which is false; Snotlout actually has blue eyes.
- It is possible she did it as an insult.
- Once again, the twins' hidden intellect is shown.
- This time, Tuffnut invents sliced bread.
- It is revealed that Ruffnut puts fish oil in her hair.
- When Snotlout was flipped upside down by Hookfang, his helmet doesn’t fall off his head.
- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
- America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
- Andree Vermeulen as Ruffnut Thorston
- T.J. Miller as Tuffnut Thorston
- Zack Pearlman as Snotlout Jorgenson