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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/27/2020 in all areas

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    I may of been MIA for two months, but do you know what DIDN'T go away during that time? My love for mermaids... oh, and the royal sisters.
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    Hi, Dr. Ned! How's it going?
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    Yay. Like. Sunset Shimmer.
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    'Used to be you knew a sneeze meant ya had allergies. Now if someone sneezes, ya don't know if they got allergies or some super bug like H1N1, COVID, or something else comin', like, er... Mega... Diarrhea. Hey, just you watch. Mega Diarrhea will be a thing.
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    Fluttershy riding Fluttershy. Your argument is invalid.
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    This episode is the perfect example of the biggest problems with the cartoon. 1. By itself it is a great idea, but has the need to amp the stakes into something mindbogglingly stupid. If the Sisters and their palace wasn't involved, this would've been a great episode about brother and sister and sibling rivalry done right. The mediators for this whole thing should've been their parents and not the two dumb-asses-in-chief, which had zero relationship of any kind throughout the series with the two. 2. Characters do stupid shit the characters wouldn't be as stupid to do, such as turning the security of the Sisters palace into a game. Celestia has been ruling a nation for millennia and lets the two turn her own safety into a game for their friends. Shining Armor somehow became the captain of the Royal Guard and just did that. Luna needed to fire him and check Celestia in at the insane asylum instead of participating in that mess. 2. Evidences the lack of communication between the writing staff, which causes the cartoon to lack a single vision. I don't know if those defenses at least do anything in the following episode when the palace is attacked because I still haven't worked up the patience to watch the rest of the season after the first half, but I am pretty sure that it makes no difference in the end of the season. That mess was pointless in the end. Most important, it was asinine. Shining Armor was proofing the palace against his sister and friends. The whole mindset is wrong and makes no sense. So, is this episode bad? No. It is great fun. I would've loved it if I didn't feel like tearing the writer's hair off. If this cartoon had made an effort to make Celestia at least seem like she's competent and knows what she is doing instead of winning by association with the main character, I would've found it hilarious that she was so sure it would be fine she would put her security into a game. This is really all. I didn't find anything worth of note that was wrong in this episode. It's a great idea ruined by the idiotic writing I've come to expect whenever Celestia and Luna are involved. It was one of those moments of pandering that Luna's fans seem to love so much where she was right all along and Celestia was made into an idiot, again, because that is all the cartoon has ever managed to do with her. Celestia's fans should thank whatever gods might exist that fanfiction is a thing.
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    Sparkle’s Seven This episode may be marked as the show’s 200th episode, but the episode didn’t feel it was celebrating anything like “Slice of Life” did with the background characters (that I am admittedly indifferent to) resonating with viewers. Since the episode’s script had contributions from the main characters’ voice actresses, I’m guessing that the voice actresses wanted to do certain things with the characters they played for the show’s 200th episode whether it’s having characters involved in a zany heist, the zany plans the characters would come up with, or showing Spike’s relationship with Twilight Sparkle. Spike goes to Twilight with a scroll from Shining Armor concerning a toy crown they both previously competed over as fillies. According to Twilight, their parents used a chart to record every time either of the siblings did something “special” over the course of a week, and the one with more stars got to wear the crown presumably for a week or until the other sibling won a new week. The chart has 24 boxes for each sibling, or maybe it’s 32 boxes if the parents decided to use the additional but small row. And they probably did as it seems pretty easy for Twilight or Shining Armor to get rewarded as telling a joke and even sharing an apple were already enough for acknowledgment. How would the parents know if either of them shared anything if the sharing (or anything else that was nice) happened way out of their sight? Sure, Twilight or Shining Armor could mention what they did, but taking advantage of the parents’ trust could also be easy if one of them was feeling too competitive. Spike mentions that he wanted to be part of the competition so he could feel like part of the family. Too bad he apparently never asked for his inclusion. Shining Armor wants to meet at the Canterlot Castle for one final showdown for the toy crown, which looks more like it’s made of crumpled paper, but whatever. Oh, I mean “Celestia’s” Castle, as in the episode acts like she actually matters to the show. Twilight and Spike arrive at the castle, and they encounter SA as well as the alicorn sisters. I’ll admit that it’s nice seeing a bit more interaction between Twilight and SA as the show hardly did anything with SA despite having such an important connection to the main character. One might say that Twilight’s parents are also important in her life, but there was much more fanfare during SA’s introductory episode, and he didn’t do anything truly noteworthy in said episode. It’s also too bad Twilight’s relationship with a certain other major pony never got any real attention. Then again, considering how late this episode came in, I can’t say I ever understood the writers’ approach toward the show. Celestia wants to amp up the castle’s security since Sombra was able to take over so easily back at the beginning of the season. Luna apparently disagreed with Celestia’s approach, and they both grimace at each other. However, I don’t like this scene nearly as much as I wanted to because their relationship never got explored, and no, their two focus episodes don’t count as they were hardly sufficient. That’s too bad as their expressions toward each other are so comically nasty and thus amusing. Celestia gave the task of amping up security to the Captain of the Guard, Shining Armor. I’ve read various comments online about the guards being useless against threats, so any improvements attempted will ultimately be for nothing. While that’s a fair point, there is a much bigger problem, which is the alicorn sisters being even more useless during a crisis. So, it’s not like Luna’s suggestion of the sisters amping up security themselves would have ever worked out. Anyways, SA has (supposedly) greatly improved the castle’s security and challenges Twilight to try and break in, steal the crown, and then break out all without getting caught or setting off any kind of alarm SA has put in place. Celestia muses that this challenge will help expose the weak points in their security, and the weak points are obvious. The alicorn sisters and the guards are not the main characters, so they will always fail to repel any incoming threats no matter what they try. Having the Mane 6 or even just Starlight stand guard would already be a better form of defense. SA mentions getting shards of Chrysalis’s anti-magic throne to repel magical threats, and I wonder how Star Swirl was able to lift the shards with his own magic. Would having those shards also affect magical ponies inside the castle? What if Celestia or Luna wanted to cast a spell in case a threat somehow got past all that security? Then again, it’s not like anything they cast would ever work. Twilight relays the “new and improved” Canterlot Castle security to her friends and concocts a plan to break through all of the obstacles SA has put up by making use of her friends’ main talents. Unfortunately for Twilight, Spike coughs up a letter from SA, who has apparently already figured out Twilight’s plans and presumably countermeasures for them. SA has hardly appeared in the show, so that would also mean he hardly or hasn’t interacted with Twilight’s friends on-screen. That means he only got to know Twilight’s friends off-screen, and while I’m not against characters learning certain things off-screen, using that excuse can feel like a bit of a cheat since it also becomes too easy to rely on that excuse. I mean, would showing him interact with some of Twilight’s friends really be too much to ask for? Oh wait, I forgot what kind of show this was. Twilight initially feels discouraged about trying to break into the Canterlot Castle, but Rarity steps in and suggests that each pony come up with their own method of breaking in while also suggesting that Twilight do nothing because those are all things that SA didn’t anticipate. If we had to be realistic here, no security will ever be truly perfect, but the good kinds of security would be able to handle various kinds of threats. In other words, it’s not like Shining Armor’s security would be tailored to handle only Twilight’s plans or moves that SA think the Mane 6 would likely resort to. And now the new plan comes into action. AJ distracts the guards with a song as “Apple Chord”, who may or may not have been AJ’s alter ego at some point. Interestingly, the episode suggests that AJ made up the “Apple Chord” stuff as she was being shifty when questioned by RD. SA immediately recognizes AJ, but it looks like AJ’s plan to distract the guards still worked as she has still shifted much of their attention onto herself. The castle also has giant fans to blow away anyone who tries flying to the castle. RD gives Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Spike a diagram of the new wind patterns around the castle and tells them where they should go. Okay, two things. First, the diagram of the wind patterns came from the Wonderbolts, who apparently figured out a way to get past those blowing fans, so shouldn’t SA have contacted them or some professional flyer about improving the security in the sky? And second, what if a powerful unicorn lifts herself with her own magic like Starlight did? Would the fans be able to blow her away? Actually, it might not even come to that as the unicorn could also disable the fans. At the very least, the castle itself does have some “anti-magic” rocks. Fluttershy and Spike are dropped off into the Canterlot Castle while Pinkie offers to keep watch from above. Pinkie actually wanted to keep watch from outer space at first, but that didn’t take as her hot-air balloon didn’t take too long to pop. This also got attention from the guards AJ was distracting, and she was consequently able to use this chance to grab one of the royal guard’s medal which is needed to open the doors inside the castle. It looks like none of those guards noticed that one of them was missing his medal. Meanwhile, Rarity (in her outfit from “Rarity Investigates!”) and RD try going to a bar to ask for information about “secret passages” to Canterlot Castle. However, the bar is unexpectedly closed, but their trip wasn’t in vain as a pony who may or may not work there was able to point out a “secret passage” to the castle that happened to be close by. That’s not really a “secret passage” then, but if the guards know that, then they would know to amp up security around such a vulnerable area. Luna then conveniently appears with another guard to take over this next shift, and that new guard happens to be Fluttershy’s brother, Zephyr Breeze. He was kind of a loser and a chump in season 6, so I don’t know how he was able to get this job unless the writers are just acknowledging the fact that the guards suck so much that even someone like him gets to be one of them. I mean, they even made a dumbass joke about the alicorn sisters being useless throughout the show at the beginning of the season. However, the end of the episode will reveal why he was in that position. Seriously though, I could see Celestia being stupid enough to think that he would be good at the job. Rainbow Dash recalls Zephyr Breeze having a crush on her, and Rarity takes advantage of that fact to distract him. Rarity then takes down the bricks used to seal up the “secret passage”, and she and RD easily slip past Zephyr Breeze and get in. Next, we cut to Spike and Fluttershy getting in to the throne room, who get in after Spike cuts a hole through the stained-glass window. Too bad the guards or the sisters didn’t come up with a plan to prevent that kind of break-in. The duo tries to approach the crown only to encounter a goose who awaken the other sleeping goose, and the duo ultimately fall into the trapdoor that SA set next to the crown. Too bad nobody came up with a plan to handle the geese in case they tried to holler. It also seems that the trapdoor only leads to an underground chamber. How is any of this supposed to help against magical threats who can just blast their way out or around? Twilight becomes concerned as the new plan doesn’t appear to have worked out at all with Pinkie being unable to watch from above, AJ is no longer distracting the guards (looks like the guards grew bored of her performances), and the others haven’t returned with the crown. Twilight also says that she hasn’t heard anything from the ponies inside the castle, but phones, walkie-talkies, or anything similar don’t exist in their world, so what do they use for distant and immediate communication? I guess a letter from Spike might be one option, but that requires some paper. Otherwise, Rainbow Dash and Rarity don’t have any way to communicate with the other groups. Maybe this oversight was meant to show that this new plan was poorly thought out. While Fluttershy and Spike are trapped underground, they are unexpectedly freed after RD pulls a lever. RD and Rarity are lost and have no idea how to navigate through the “secret passage” as RD was just pulling levers to see what would happen next, so these 4 characters eventually decide to return to the surface and formulate a new and better plan for breaking in. They tell Twilight that almost all parts of this new plan failed (AJ did get a guard’s medal), and Spike suggests going with Twilight’s original plan because that’s easier to work with. And they do just that. Pinkie throws a party to distract the guards (those are some pretty terrible guards if they could get distracted so easily by a party or a performance), Rarity creates a guard costume (Twilight’s original plan had Rarity creating multiple guard costumes, but she must’ve realized that the other ponies have their own roles to play) and disguises herself to move among the guards more easily (too bad the guards also didn’t know that there shouldn’t be a guard that looks like her), Applejack bucks through some boulders blocking another “secret passage” with Maud’s help, and RD flies herself and Fluttershy through the blowing fans. Rarity, RD, and Fluttershy enter the throne room which sets off the geese before Fluttershy could calm them down, and that means SA will be aware of some intruders in the throne room. Spike, Twilight, and AJ finally arrive at the throne room through another “secret passage”, and everything seems to have gone too well. Twilight tries to take the crown, but SA as well as the alicorn sisters suddenly reveal themselves, much to Twilight’s disappointment. It looks like SA didn’t have any countermeasures to Twilight’s plans after all. He just wanted her to think that her plan worked so he could snatch the victory away from her at the very last moment to make his own victory taste even sweeter. SA seems to have won this contest as Twilight can’t escape with the crown and without getting caught, and I honestly wonder if either of them would be desperate enough to resort to combat. Suddenly, Spike reveals that he has the crown as well as his cohort in his master plan, Luna, and she is even petting a goose “evilly” in this scene. I can’t help but wonder if the writers knew this would become a meme. I feel like I should be amused by this scene, but I’m indifferent. I guess I’m just too disappointed that this shit is one of the best things to come from Luna. I’m actually not against having this scene, but this scene only serves to remind me that the writers were never productive with Luna. Spike then explains his plan to the other characters. He noticed that Luna was unhappy about Celestia disregarding her input, so he decided to work with Luna to take the crown for himself while also proving Luna’s point to Celestia about handling the security themselves. It turns out using Zephyr Breeze was part of Spike’s plan. Spike knew about Rarity and RD’s approach, so he tried to make sure that they would be able to get into the “secret passage” by bringing in a twat like him, and he knew the duo would get lost when trying to travel through the passage. Essentially, Spike counted on almost every part of the new plan to fail (he even tore the hot-air balloon) during the first attempted break-in so Twilight would be forced to enact her original plan. Spike also knew that Shining Armor would want Twilight to think that she had won, so Luna teleported the crown to Spike while Shining Armor brags about thinking he had won. Talk about irony. Celestia admits that she didn’t account for another weak point in SA’s security, which is handling a threat that is already in the castle itself. The alicorn sisters exchange some irritated smiles at each other, and I’m still indifferent about this. I’m sure the looks the sisters gave each other in the episode also became memes, and it’s too bad that’s all they amounted to. Spike is ultimately crowned as the winner of the competition, and the ponies all end the episode with a group hug. I honestly didn’t really care for this episode likely due to my lack of any genuine interest in the show. It doesn’t help that the episode kept reminding me about one of the stupider parts of the show. Showing the characters getting involved with a heist (and probably the main reason this episode was made) as well as some crazy plans is fine, but it’s too bad the crap about security serves as the backdrop of the episode. I bet there are viewers who poke fun at the royal guards being ineffective against threats, and that’s a fair point like I said earlier, but I will still reiterate the bigger problem. The episode ends with Luna being right and her input being necessary, but whatever point Luna wanted to make already has no weight. Episodes with major villains on a rampage are portrayed with genuine stakes, and the alicorn sisters have never been useful during any of those times, so why would/should they be useful now? I guess this just says more about the impression the show left on me, and it’s too bad this episode will be the only time Luna is ever competent. I should have just been focused only on the fact that the Mane 6 try to pull off some crazy plans only for another crazy plan to have been happening right under their noses, but I’m already taking some time to bitch about the stuff I don’t like about the show. I probably would have liked an episode like this more if it didn’t include the sisters or maybe anything about the security forces of Equestria. Better yet, the show could have avoided those problems, but excluding the sisters would be the better move at this point. I suppose I can still mention some things episode handled well besides seeing how the Mane 6 approached their new plan and then seeing it go wrong, one of which is how Spike viewed his relationship not just with Twilight, but her family as well. We’ve seen their relationship with each other over the show being familial and professional, but the episode now gives more insight into the former. We know in season 1 that Twilight knew Spike since the latter’s birth, and now we get to see more of their childhood together. During the flashback showing the Sibling Supreme competition, Spike was shown drawing his own gold stars under the chart with Twilight and SA. Not only does he see himself as part of the family (and the others probably do as well), but it’s a bit more specific here as he also sees himself as their younger brother. He also expresses disappointment about them not apparently seeing him the same way during a conversation with Fluttershy. It would seem that Twilight and Shining Armor simply saw him as a family member, so it’s more of a generic position to them. Spike was even a bit hurt when Twilight unknowingly brushes him off after he called himself a little brother. Now, they fully acknowledge Spike as a child they spent time with and also grow up with as children fillies. Spike even showed how well he knew them as he knew the moves they would make and how to convince Twilight to use her original plan so they would ultimately and unwittingly carry out his own plan. It may be a bit late to show SA’s relationship and a bit more of Spike’s relationship with Twilight, but at least the show never fucked them up in the first place. On that note, I could also mention the episode giving some insight into Twilight and Shining Armor’s relationship. Their rivalry over the crown felt genuine as they both showed strong feelings toward it, and it’s nice to see that they would rather get along with each other than fight over a toy. I’ll even admit that there’s some amusement to seeing Twilight and SA acting a bit childish when talking about the crown to reinforce the idea that it meant a lot to them in the past. And at least it’s nice to see Shining Armor be somewhat competent even though we don’t get to see that more often. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the only time he was somewhat competent. It’s a bit of a shame that the two didn’t get more interactions after this episode as the MLP wiki states that he doesn’t make a major appearance after this episode.
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