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Season 8, Episode 12: Marks for Effort

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Title: Marks for Effort

 

Synopsis: The Cutie Mark Crusaders try to convince Twilight Sparkle to let them into the School of Friendship, even though it's clear they've already mastered the curriculum.

 

Airs: Today at 11:30 A.M. on Discovery Family

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This was one intriguing episode. It was really interesting to see the CMC do all these forms of attention, yet the others say no. The student looked like an antagonist at first (I can't remember her name...), but surprisingly looks helpful. I'm happy the Crusaders got honorary diplomas. The school* looks pretty great to be in.  

*I wonder how the EEA would think about that. 

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Adorable. Cozy Glow is an appealing character, and I loved seeing the CMC help someone else while still learning something. Lots of fun gags, and I was surprised not only to see immediate continuity with last week's episode, but also a focus on character development over moralizing; I honestly can't discern any unifying moral here, even though I think it has some nice messages and solid example behaviour. It makes the show feel, well, like a real show rather than the glorified commercial that it is. Also, if "School Daze" made me like Starlight again, this episode might just have made me a Starlight fan. Only problem is that Twilight is made less sensitive to make Starlight look better, which I think is justified in this context but which rubs me the wrong way nonetheless. Good stuff otherwise. 

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1734091__safe_screencap_cozy+glow_starli
"Miss Starlight? This cocoa tastes a little weird. Why is the marshmallow so big?"

 

1734033__safe_screencap_cozy+glow_starli
"I use a generous amount of marshmallow in my cocoa, Cozy Glow. A generous amount."

 

1246567__safe_screencap_sweetie+belle_th
"Starlight! Have you seen my big sister? Nopony's seen her anywhere!"

 

1747964__safe_screencap_starlight+glimme
"Oh, don't worry. I'm sure Rarity's right under our noses."

 

 

1736696__safe_screencap_starlight+glimme

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So I'm not up on any of the spoilers other than I know a certain somepony's coming back soon.
However, they dropped plenty of hints in this one that Cozy Glow ain't just a normal small flaphorse.

She definitely has that "Gideon Gleeful" thing going on.

freak.png

 

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1747964__safe_screencap_starlight+glimme

 

How devious...

Awesome CMC episode, Cozy is great, hoping to see her again, and a good lesson for kids! Very well done!

Edit: I didn't even notice all the kites Glimmy has over her ceiling!

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On 6/2/2018 at 8:11 PM, Trainboy1621 said:

This was one intriguing episode. It was really interesting to see the CMC do all these forms of attention, yet the others say no. The student looked like an antagonist at first (I can't remember her name...), but surprisingly looks helpful. I'm happy the Crusaders got honorary diplomas. The school* looks pretty great to be in.  

*I wonder how the EEA would think about that. 

the EEA surely is gonna be the end-of-season big villain. that'd be fun

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Just saw it finally. It was nice.

It was pretty refreshing to see no actual troublemaker/antagonist this time. It caught me off guard. Cozy Glow is actually a nice filly all along. And her intentions were pure too.

 

But SHEESH, Twilight! Seeing her angry at CMC was quite a brutal thing to see. For me personally, at least. And didn't she know better that CMC are not that kind of fillies that would ever do something like what they were accused of?

ANYPONY, can somepony of you please tell me if this whole thing makes actually perfect sense?

 

Well, at least it all ended nicely. CMC even got promoted to tutors. That's great!

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I'm guessing that Twi took things extra seriously because she is new to being a principal and really wants all her students to do well. When Cozy Glow got all those wrong answers Twilight knew something was up. Basically she had two options: blame the CMC (who had been trying desperate measures to get into the school) or blame Cozy Glow (who as far as Twilight knew had no reason to lie or scheme.) Twilight was wrong but at least she owned up to it and the CMC got to be official tutors which is just up their alley. I really liked this episode even if Twilight did blow her stack. It might have been nice if she'd officially apologized but giving the CMC status and a cool job probably makes up for it.

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@GlitterCat Come to think of it, it is not the first time when the actual "I'm sorry" and/or "I forgive you" sounds in MLP when it is needed to recently. "Horse Play" and the Movie (in case with Queen Novo) is a good example. It's like the writers are taking route of making us assume that those words are spoken in-between episodes. Perhaps they think that saying those words again and again may get tiresome, but I think there are plenty of ways to say it other than strrraight.

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I think this episode was good.

One thing I need to address is Twilight’s apology to the CMCs for punishing them. MLP FiM writer Nicole Dubuc said that Twilight’s action of promoting the CMCs to tutors at the school was enough, since “actions are always stronger than words”. Is the staff member right? This discussion occurred in the Equestria Daily pony community soapbox #102 where ElementOfFaith’s post is featured which is titled “Marks for Effort: Saying “I’m Sorry” in Words or Actions?”. ElementOfFaith disagreed with the staff member (see more in the link at the bottom of this comment). Let me give you my view. Remember, I speak only in the context of this episode. I see the harshness of the punishment, as staying away from the school and its students is a nightmare for the CMCs. I also see that the CMCs were super happy and excited when they received their graduation diplomas and were invited to become tutors at the school. Furthermore, Cozy Glow was the one who apologized instead of Twilight, because it was all Cozy Glow’s fault. Therefore, based on these observations, no apology was needed from Twilight because her punishment on the CMCs was based off Cozy Glow’s behavior. Twilight’s actions, the CMC’s excitement and joy, and Cozy Glow’s apology were sufficient enough, there was no need for Twilight herself to apologize. I agree and disagree with Nicole Dubuc, as Twilight didn’t need to apologize in the current situation, but actions alone were not enough.

I shall now address the characters and world building. I liked the comparison made with Twilight’s School of Friendship and Miss Cherilee’s school. I was wondering when distinctions between these two schools would occur. Cozy Glow is a likeable character as of now; however, I found the fact that whatever she does turns out differently in the end to be somewhat mysterious. Her Cutie Mark also stirs up my curiosity. Clearly there is more to her than meets the eye.

 

Cozy Glow Wallpaper by SailorTrekkie92

 

Links:

 EQD Pony Community Soapbox #102 

An error occurred and the post by ElementOfFaith appeared in soapbox #103, this time with the addition of a picture of the staff member’s statements:

EQD Pony Community Soapbox #103 

Image link and credit:

Image source 

Image by SailorTrekkie92 (DeviantArt user)

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