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@RK_Striker_JK_5

I'm going to abuse @Nuke87654's good will a bit more because I want to say something about the problem with Celestia, Nightmare Moon and Luna. Neither of them was supposed to be a "normal" character. I'm willing to bet that Lauren would've used Celestia even less than the later seasons are doing. Because there were supposed to be two alicorns, Nightmare Moon was supposed to be a season long villain (an actual one, unlike Starlight Glimmer). These characters were supposed to be legendary. Distant. Which is part of Celestia's appeal of trying to get others comfortable around her.

The conflict between Celestia and Nightmare Moon was meant to stay in imagination, because there was no way the cartoon could keep up with the notion of two goddesses that control day and night fighting each other. One mad with sorrow and the other her sister. Even if they didn't have cosmic levels of sheer power in that original story, there was nothing anyone could do about it. If Celestia won, then lucky us and if Nightmare Moon had won, we'd be screwed and I doubt that in Lauren's idea Nightmare Moon could hold a kingdom in eternal night.

Now we have four and one fifth alicorns all of them are doing... "Alicorn things". The difference is that all of them do it and Celestia just sits on her ass being useless. Cadance has her love voodoo (that she just doesn't use!) and Luna enters dreams. Twilight doesn't really does "alicorn things" but she was already doing her thing BEFORE she was an alicorn. It was different... It wasn't her "princess duty" like it is now. Luna, Cadance, Twilight (some would say Flurry Heart too, though I disagree) all have their niche in the cartoon.

 

TL;DR: Luna is the Princess of the Night, but also of Dreams. Cadance is the Princess of Love and of kicking ass with needed. Twilight is the Princess of Friendship and of being the freaking main character of the cartoon. Celestia is the Princess of the Day and that is it. So, if Luna disappeared, she would be missed, since she has a place that doesn't fit others. The same for Twilight. Cadance... Kinda. If Celestia vanished, it would make ZERO difference for the cartoon.

The obvious solution is to give Celestia a goddamn episode and some "power" that makes her unique.

Unfortunately, I think it's too late and it's going to be too little because they already turned her into an useless idiot full of hot air that is only "the ruler" because Equestria is fictional. Unless DHX does something mindblowing with Celestia AND finds a way to acknowledge that all of her failings have a GOOD excuse... I think she'll be doomed to her current mediocrity. And it just frustrates me, because I don't believe that DHX can pull this off, even if they wanted.

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2 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

TL;DR: Luna is the Princess of the Night, but also of Dreams. Cadance is the Princess of Love and of kicking ass with needed. Twilight is the Princess of Friendship and of being the freaking main character of the cartoon. Celestia is the Princess of the Day and that is it. So, if Luna disappeared, she would be missed, since she has a place that doesn't fit others. The same for Twilight. Cadance... Kinda. If Celestia vanished, it would make ZERO difference for the cartoon.

The obvious solution is to give Celestia a goddamn episode and some "power" that makes her unique.

Unfortunately, I think it's too late and it's going to be too little because they already turned her into an useless idiot full of hot air that is only "the ruler" because Equestria is fictional. Unless DHX does something mindblowing with Celestia AND finds a way to acknowledge that all of her failings have a GOOD excuse... I think she'll be doomed to her current mediocrity. And it just frustrates me, because I don't believe that DHX can pull this off, even if they wanted.

I want to say "On paper, it could work, but only if the writers step up their game significant", but... yeah, it's probably too late. As you, Striker, and Nuke have said, they pretty much squandered Celestia from Season 3 onward and even if her episode turns out to be satisfying, it's highly unlikely that her character will fully recover from that.


@RK_Striker_JK_5: As for the bit with Luna, I think the exact same thing could apply with all the other major redeemed antagonists in the show. I think the closest they came to making a good redemption was with Diamond Tiara, and even that is riddled with problems, with her character not being used since "Crusaders Of The Lost Mark" (at least of this writing) and her mother as the cause of Diamond being a supreme prick not being built up as much. As for others, Luna was already explained, Discord's heel-face came at the expense of Celestia's character, (which Striker has already more or less covered), not to mention his own dickish behavior, and Starlight's problems is basically Discord's cranked up to eleven.

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On 3/7/2017 at 11:15 AM, Metemponychosis said:

Shame. I think that Unicharm would've been much better, especially since alicorns lost the "divine rank". The less they're referenced in anything related to power the better. Not that it makes a big difference, but I'd prefer it.

I wish MLP had any way of showing the audience these deleted scenes. For amusement. Trixie asking for the revenge section would've been too perfect and Mayor Mare at least asking Trixie to stop would've given the cartoon the episode something extra I think these kind of episodes need. Equestria makes very little sense sometimes.

Trixie's "job" was different in S1. She was good for what was needed and then even better for this episode. This is why I like Larson. He's not perfect, but he can keep the "stakes" under control and that is part of what makes this episode work. Not to mention that I think he has great attention to detail.

Nothing keeping them from putting Spike outside and them having him send the message... But...

I actually think it was for the best. Celestia was out (because she always is, anyway...) and Luna already had her moments to shine ready. Not to mention that the alternative was handled very well with Zecora and her smarts. I like to imagine that Luna, able to enter dreams, knew what was going on and would've done something (supposing her guards are actually useful). I'm glad it's not in the episode, but Luna threatening to blast Trixie like Nightmare Moon can do to the timberwolf in another episode, or something, would've been hilarious.

I just find it amusing the way that dangerous individuals are just left to their own devices in a world where actually tracking them, specifically, could be done easily. Fortunately, most of the time, it isn't an issue that distracts too much. And i was satisfied with Trixie's apologies.

 

I'd just add to the mention of humor the tricks Twilight and Zecora used against Trixie with help from their friends.

 

EDIT: Crap. I forgot to add the answer to the other post about Celestia. I'm fine disagreeing with you on stuff because you at least understand the other side's point of view and respect it. That is a lot more than I can say about most of my discussions with people on the subject. Also, i'll add a few more points since they were missing when I saw your post about the episode.

 

Honestly, I didn't think that the stuff Trixie did was much worse than what Discord had done in his episode or the idea of love-eating monsters. Also, slavery isn't new to the cartoon thanks to King Sombra. Trixie only did it to characters we care more and in our face. That is the point, I guess. This Trixie is not the same as the one we knew.

 

Fluttershy... Yeah... Now that you mention it, I supposed I agree.

 

And Trixie's reformation didn't bother me. I think that punishment of any kind is only acceptable if it serves a purpose. She had understood what she had done wrong and felt sorry, and was free from the influence of the amulet. I think that it would've been bad if in following episodes she had betrayed what she learned and Twilight's trust. But this is only in retrospect, since I'm talking about later episodes. So I can understand why someone would think that her redemption wasn't done properly.

 

Finally I love those two envoys from Saddle Arabia. I'd really like the show to explore Saddle Arabia in the future and maybe tell me more about them.

Perhaps as I do like the name itself as well. I wonder if those DVDs have those deleted scenes as I too would like to see what they had in mind. I'll agree that when it comes to writing adventure episodes that M.A. Larson is probably the best one the show's ever had mainly as you said that he knows how to keep the stakes under control and doesn't try to go for the long home run but to write an effective and well written adventure story. It's why I enjoyed the S5 premiere so much cause it was a nice break from the whole 'the entire world or kingdom is in trouble' epic they usually like to do and toned it to where the mane 6 are the ones in danger of being under the influence of a mad pony running a pony town of her designs. It's clear M.A. Larson understand the importance to not write a doomsday scenario for every adventure and one that simply has the heroines in trouble is all it would take to make it interesting. 

 

Considering of how Zecora was written and had her best role in the series, I agree with not getting the princesses involved was a good idea too.

 

I agree that what Trixie did as a villain wasn't worse than what Discord had done. 

 

Ty

 

I would normally agree with that if not for the issue that she certainly sought it out and wanted to use it for revenge. Had that scene of her searching for the revenge section came and she simply liked it how it looked I would be more accepting of it but the fact she clearly sought it out showed to me she was no innocent victim but had full on malicious attempt to use it's powers and damn herself for revenge. Long term, sure it was a good move, just that I felt her reformation was too quick for what she had done.

 

Yes I would like to see Saddle Arabia I mean seriously, you have a whole region and culture to explore with that area and it's expy in Saudi Arabia and yet we've only had mentions of it and no further exploration of it.

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16 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Fortunately, it was fixed in relatively-short order.

 

If you apologize, so should I. :) The thing is... there are different kinds of parties. There's nothing inherently wrong with the Gala. Just as there's nothing inherently wrong with, say, one of Pinkie's parties. I mean look at Inspiration Manifestation, where Rarity ruined that birthday party and tried to make it a formal affair. That was wrong, too.

 

Well, I'm gonna be kinder on her... and not so kind on her. You'll see below.

 

I hate that fanon of Discord Q. Same actor does not mean same character! Not yelling at you, just... general irritation. Sorry.

 

Yup. One of those moments that has me not hating her.

 

You're right. All of them were dumb for going along with it. If you wanna add anything, go right ahead.

 

I love this episode. It's not even funny how much I love it. :D First off, Trixie returns. Second off, they take the stock fanfic plot of, "Trixie returns to take revenge!" and actually make it pretty damned good. And I'll be honest. When she screwed with Pinkie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash, I let out a cheer. Hell, yeah!

 

I'll agree the ending should've been a bit more of compensation. One idea I heard was Trixie helping out around Ponyville, helping to restore it. In the end, convert the throne to a new wagon, do a good show and leave on good terms.

 

Now... Luna. The thing is, with her, I have more... and less sympathy than with Celestia.

 

Onscreen, she's been a legit force for good. See the dream therapy with the CMC. And when it comes to episodes like Luna Eclipsed and Do princesses Dream of Magic Sheep, I actually wanna hug her towards the end. There's also her not having her head stuck in the sand like with Celly in The Crystal Empire.

 

But... Nightmare Moon. We've all heard it. "She was shunned and ignored! Poor widdle Woona!"

 

Thing is... the ponies slept through her night. Well, yeah. That's kinda what most people do. Especially in what is pretty clearly an agrarian society. I mean seriously, that image from the book in the series premiere? That is not some sort of industrialized city. Celestia tries to reason with her, too. But nope. She goes Nightmare Moon-willfully, I might add-and proceeds to try and kill Celestia.

Yeah... I'm no fan of Celestia. but there goes pretty much all my sympathy for her.

 

I give Celly legit props for feeling bad about it. Good on her. But for me, she doesn't have to feel bad about it. because Luna fucked up big-time.

 

Good on that one.

 

True on that one as well and good point on Rarity.

 

Agreed, it's foolish of me to think of Discord as the same as Q just cause he has the same actor and concept was essentially to create another Q, they have many differences between each other outside of being trolling asshole gods.

 

Yay on that one being good for Pinkie.

 

Had fixed it in my review for Too many Pinkie Pies.

 

Good you enjoyed Magic Duel and I like that idea for Trixie seeking forgiveness by helping to fix the damage better.

 

Agreed, it annoys me of how so many Luna fans would gloss over of how Luna essentially threw a temper tantrum because her subjects are diurnal creatures and went and consorted with a demon just to beat her sister and take over Equestria by force. Hell, she created Tantabus to self harm herself and nearly wrecked Equestria again because she decided to create a sentient creature that would only get stronger each time she used it for whatever reason. It's why I'm not such a fan on Luna as her fanbase saying and showing how awesome she is but when you actually look at her, as Meta or whomever said, Luna is essentially a womanchild in an adults body where she wants to be treated with the same respect as Celestia but lore shows her as someone who would rather have fun and party than work hard like Celestia does until she realized how badly she fucked up and is seeking amends for it, which to be fair that arc at least gave her a characterization to root for her and be proud of unlike Celestia with none and just bad decisions and dickish behavior. At least the journal of the two sisters clarified alot of things good for Celestia there while making Luna look like a spoiled baby compared to her. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

...

At least the journal of the two sisters clarified alot of things good for Celestia there while making Luna look like a spoiled baby compared to her. 

 

How so? I've heard good stuff about the journal, but I've yet to read it outside a brief synopsis in the MLP wiki.

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Today, I'm going to review the fifty eighth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and it's 3rd season's sixth episode in Sleepless in Ponyville. It is written by Corey Powell and is storyboarded by Corey Toomer and Justin Nichols.

 

A week before the episode premiered on December 8th, 2012, Meghan McCarthy would say on her twitter feed that the episode's premise was submitted on July 29th, 2011. The episode itself was nominated for best sound design at the Leo Awards.

 

Scootaloo in her attempts to impress Rainbow Dash tries to hide her fears for the night horrors from Rainbow Dash's scary stories suffers with sleep deprivation and jumpiness as she, her friends, and their sisters and Rainbow Dash embark on a camping trip to the woods.  

 

Positives:

 

1. Scootaloo's turn for an episode is an outstanding one for her character overall. Three seasons in and this is the first episode that would put Scootaloo as the as the primary focus. This was a fantastic decision as out of the CMCs, she was really the only one at that point that didn't had her character explored beyond her love for scooter riding, cutie marks, and her fangirling for Rainbow Dash. Here this episode decides to give a special attention to her relationship with Rainbow Dash where we see it pay off greatly. At the start of the episode, after receiving a compliment from Rainbow Dash for how cool she was, this would leave a good impact on her mind as she had gotten Rainbow Dash's attention and respect from her. 

 

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Senpai notices me!

 

This would play a key role for Scootaloo's behavior throughout the episode where she would be motivated to remain as cool as she could in Rainbow Dash's eye while she and her along with their friends were out camping. This would come to a head when she grows frightened for the scary stories that Rainbow Dash told but refuses to admit it out of concern that Rainbow Dash would view her negatively for it.

 

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Totally not scared or so.

 

This would hurt Scootaloo negatively as she bears against nightmares which causes her to spend the whole night staying awake and suffer sleep deprivation for it. 

 

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Yep totally not tired or anything

 

Due to her refusal to look bad in front of Rainbow Dash, she keeps brushing off concerns from a probing Applejack about if she were having trouble or so.

 

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Nope, nothing wrong with me, just got to work my haunches. 

 

Again once she suffered another nightmare, this time Princess Luna would appear to her and not only calm her nightmares, but to tell her that there was one thing that she feared the most that she must face, which is her fear of Rainbow Dash realizing she was scared. After a bout of scare from a possible Headless Horse bout, Scootaloo would nearly fall to her death in a rapid and to a waterfall until Rainbow Dash, likely warned by Luna in her dreams, came to her rescue.

 

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Good Dashie

 

There, after some prodding from Luna from above, Scootaloo would finally relent and admit she was frightened from Rainbow dash's stories. Instead of being mocked for it as she feared she would, Rainbow Dash actually came to comfort her and admit a personal thing about her was that she was frightened by these stories too the first time she heard them. There she and Scootaloo would hit it off together to where Scootaloo would be ecstatic to see Rainbow Dash bond with her as a surrogate sister.

 

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Rainbow Dash letting Scootaloo fly up with support. Awe

 

This was a fantastic development for Scootaloo in the episode as not only do we get to see her characterized very well and her conflict is interesting too, but especially the reward for it is we see her achieve her dream of being with Rainbow Dash and having fun with her. This brings a tear to my eye for what she had achieved in the episode.

 

2. Rainbow Dash had one of her most memorable secondary roles in the series here. Rainbow Dash is sublime here too as we see her not only being the cool pegasus pony that she normally is but she was pretty swell towards Scootaloo and justified Scootaloo's attempts to please her as it was starting to look like Rainbow Dash was taking a more deeper connection with her.

 

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We wouldn't get such dawful moments in the episode if not for how sincere Rainbow Dash acted towards Scootaloo. 

 

There she would also play a more integral role in the plot when her horror stories would frighten Scootaloo and cause her conflict for the episode. Due to Scootaloo convincingly playing it cool to avoid the suspicions of Rainbow Dash, she would not realize that Scootaloo was troubled until Luna likely warned her in a dream about Scootaloo. After some justified scolding from Rainbow Dash for Scootaloo riding out in the middle of the night alone, after Scootaloo admits her fears for Rainbow Dash thinking her not cool or so, Rainbow Dash's reaction not only would ease Scootaloo's mind but really highlight of how good Rainbow Dash is in this episode and would make Scootaloo's reward all the sweeter to enjoy. 

 

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Like I said, Rainbow Dash was great here too and shows her softer side to Scootaloo to enjoy.

 

3. Applejack and the rest of the Cutie Mark Crusaders were characterized very well too. Of course it's not just Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo that can enjoy good characterizations here, Applejack and the rest of the CMCs get to enjoy it here too. The CMCs not only get to enjoy from some good sisterly love in this episode, with Sweetie Belle being hilarious with her 99 buckets of oats song singing:

 

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This segment is hilarious, go and see it.

 

But I also especially enjoyed Applejack in the episode where she continues to show a firm and great supporting character where she was the first to notice Scootaloo's abnormal behavior and would try to probe it from her for why to no avail due to Scootaloo refusing to give a clear answer on what was affecting her. All of these points would round up some good moments from each other characters for their fans to enjoy throughout. 

 

4. The Nightmare scenes are greatly designed and are actually pretty legit scary. What I have to give fantastic credit for this episode was of how they handled the nightmare scenes in this episode. With great sound design that would give an ominous feeling of fear from the creatures that are hunting Scootaloo's dreams but especially the music playing in those segments would strike the right tone to feel a reaction of concern and fear for Scootaloo in these dreams and show empathy for what Scootaloo is facing.

 

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Remember that story Twilight told about the headless horse from S1's Look before you Sleep?

 

I can see why those nightmare segments would get nominated for an award cause in terms of sound and design, this is one of the series's finest as it really shows off of how far one can push on the fear factor in a Y rating show. 

 

5. Princess Luna would receive her series role as guardian of the night here. Princess Luna would essentially start her arc with the CMCs here where she would serve not only as their guardian to help them with their nightmares but here her role of the princess of the night would get defined as one who would travel to other folks dreams to see their nightmares and calm them of their dreams to protect them. This shows her participating an active role to not only ensure the safety of ponies while they sleep but also give a sort of a mentor and advisor role for the CMCs to have in this sort of dream arc they're having, starting here.

 

6. There was some especially good comedy in this episode for folks to enjoy as well. As mentioned above, this episode had many comedic moments to enjoy such as the oats song, Scootaloo being in denial and this whole segment:

 

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Scootaloo showing how she's mastered the art of sleep riding.

 

As I said, plenty of funny moments are to be found in this episode.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity's behavior in the episode can rub people in the wrong way. The only thing preventing Sleepless in Ponyville from achieving perfection was Rarity's behavior in the episode. Now I will point out and say that her behavior wasn't bad mainly for the fact that Sweetie Belle essentially guilt tripped Rarity to join on a trip she didn't wanted to go, Sweetie Belle and at one point Scootaloo showed no issue carrying her oversized cart, she showed affection and care for Sweetie Belle when she was scared, and also she did carry the carry the cart herself at one point.

 

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Also this outfit stands as one of Rarity's most memorable in the series. 

 

Still I won't say that Rarity is entirely blameless as I felt her need for a pampered lifestyle was played a bit much in the episode and can definitely cause folks to look at her negatively for it. Still it was never bad enough to really hurt the episode's enjoyment and she did plenty of good to mitigate it greatly. 

 

Conclusion: With a mixed feeling on Rarity's behavior, Sleepless in Ponyville stands as perhaps the best episode of S3. With a great conflict that leads to a great reward for Scootaloo in her bond developing with Rainbow Dash developing for the best, most of the characters involved being characterized very well, Princess Luna being given not only her role as guardian of the night but this episode can be the first in sort of arc between Luna and the CMCs.

 

Score: 9.5/10

 

Grade: A

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WaterPulse said:

 

How so? I've heard good stuff about the journal, but I've yet to read it outside a brief synopsis in the MLP wiki.

Mostly me being cynical towards Luna due to me being a bitter Celestia fan, but I just felt like it portrayed Luna as being a more 'party and fun loving' pony who would rather liven it up than to work hard unlike Celestia where you felt she put much more effort to be an effective ruler and magic user than Luna did. As a result, it made me believe even more that Luna's turn for Nightmare Moon was essentially her throwing a tantrum for how the ponies didn't enjoyed her nights.

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@Nuke87654: Well, from what I gather, the season premiere kind of stated that Luna going all Nightmare Moon was the result of her having a severe case of jealous butthurt, but the writers never built upon that aspect of her, if not completely forgot about it. Had they actually bothered with that, Luna guiding the CMC in "Sleepless In Ponyville" could have made a more effective turning point in her character, going from a reckless, spoiled brat into responsible ruler. I guess that's my main problem with a lot of show's attempts at character development, especially with the antagonists and bullies. They give them character development, but they put little to no weight to it.

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1 hour ago, WaterPulse said:

@Nuke87654: Well, from what I gather, the season premiere kind of stated that Luna going all Nightmare Moon was the result of her having a severe case of jealous butthurt, but the writers never built upon that aspect of her, if not completely forgot about it. Had they actually bothered with that, Luna guiding the CMC in "Sleepless In Ponyville" could have made a more effective turning point in her character, going from a reckless, spoiled brat into responsible ruler. I guess that's my main problem with a lot of show's attempts at character development, especially with the antagonists and bullies. They give them character development, but they put little to no weight to it.

True, they could've struck the point of Luna's own development better in those episodes other than perhaps what Luna said to Sweetie Belle in hers in S4. As for the other characters, I'd say it's a mixed bag with the CMCs probably receiving the best of it followed closely by the mane 6 with far in between Sunset Shimmer and others further apart.

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4 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

I would normally agree with that if not for the issue that she certainly sought it out and wanted to use it for revenge. Had that scene of her searching for the revenge section came and she simply liked it how it looked I would be more accepting of it but the fact she clearly sought it out showed to me she was no innocent victim but had full on malicious attempt to use it's powers and damn herself for revenge. Long term, sure it was a good move, just that I felt her reformation was too quick for what she had done.

I'm convinced. I had assumed that she just wanted to upstage Twilight and that all the rest was to be blamed on the amulet. But she knew what the amulet was. Yes, you're right. Trixie's intentions were malevolent beyond a simple hurt ego.

2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

1. Rarity's behavior in the episode can rub people in the wrong way.

I don't disagree, but I was under the impression that Rarity was being difficult because she didn't want to go. Unless memory fails, Sweetie said she had to convince Rarity. So I think that Rarity's behavior might've been intentional.

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@Metemponychosisand @WaterPulse. Just to clarify... are you agreeing with me? Disagreeing? Adding? Subtracting? For the most part I agree with what you've said. Just... wanna make sure on where we stand, and if I should call in Andre the Giant to attack you two. ;)

 

7 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Agreed, it annoys me of how so many Luna fans would gloss over of how Luna essentially threw a temper tantrum because her subjects are diurnal creatures and went and consorted with a demon just to beat her sister and take over Equestria by force. Hell, she created Tantabus to self harm herself and nearly wrecked Equestria again because she decided to create a sentient creature that would only get stronger each time she used it for whatever reason. It's why I'm not such a fan on Luna as her fanbase saying and showing how awesome she is but when you actually look at her, as Meta or whomever said, Luna is essentially a womanchild in an adults body where she wants to be treated with the same respect as Celestia but lore shows her as someone who would rather have fun and party than work hard like Celestia does until she realized how badly she fucked up and is seeking amends for it, which to be fair that arc at least gave her a characterization to root for her and be proud of unlike Celestia with none and just bad decisions and dickish behavior. At least the journal of the two sisters clarified alot of things good for Celestia there while making Luna look like a spoiled baby compared to her. 

Pretty much all of this, yeah. How dare her subjects not dope themselves up on coffee and stay awake all hours of the night. It really did and does come off as pretty damned selfish and immature.

 

5 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Today, I'm going to review the fifty eighth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and it's 3rd season's sixth episode in Sleepless in Ponyville. It is written by Corey Powell and is storyboarded by Corey Toomer and Justin Nichols.

I don't have much to add to this, other than, good fucking god I love this episode. Agreed pretty much with all your points, barring, as @Metemponychosis says here:

 

2 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

I don't disagree, but I was under the impression that Rarity was being difficult because she didn't want to go. Unless memory fails, Sweetie said she had to convince Rarity. So I think that Rarity's behavior might've been intentional.

Other than that, spot-on.

 

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19 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

I'm convinced. I had assumed that she just wanted to upstage Twilight and that all the rest was to be blamed on the amulet. But she knew what the amulet was. Yes, you're right. Trixie's intentions were malevolent beyond a simple hurt ego.

I don't disagree, but I was under the impression that Rarity was being difficult because she didn't want to go. Unless memory fails, Sweetie said she had to convince Rarity. So I think that Rarity's behavior might've been intentional.

Aye, that's good to hear.

 

Yea, Sweetie Belle guilt tripped Rarity to go on the trip and thus she had Sweetie Belle carry the huge ass cart with it's stuff as a sort of 'if I'm going, I'm going to make you carry this stuff for me.' While Sweetie Belle and even Scootaloo didn't complained and she did showed care and affection for Sweetie Belle in the campfires and she did carry the cart on her own at the end, a few folks could view that as not so good on Rarity's part from what I've seen.

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16 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

@Metemponychosisand @WaterPulse. Just to clarify... are you agreeing with me? Disagreeing? Adding? Subtracting? For the most part I agree with what you've said. Just... wanna make sure on where we stand, and if I should call in Andre the Giant to attack you two. ;)

 

Pretty much all of this, yeah. How dare her subjects not dope themselves up on coffee and stay awake all hours of the night. It really did and does come off as pretty damned selfish and immature.

 

I don't have much to add to this, other than, good fucking god I love this episode. Agreed pretty much with all your points, barring, as @Metemponychosis says here:

 

Other than that, spot-on.

 

Mhm. 

 

Yay, that pleases me that you're happy with my review. 

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19 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

@RK_Striker_JK_5I'm agreeing and also adding my point of view on the dynamic between Luna and Celestia and the origin of the problem of their presentation in the cartoon. 

 

18 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

@RK_Striker_JK_5: Agreeing and adding that the fundamental problem with how the writers tackled Luna's character development could easily be applied to Discord and Starlight Glimmer.

 

Good. Glad I don't have to bring out the big guns. ;)

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Today, I'm going to review the fifty ninth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and it's third season's seventh episode, Wonderbolt's Academy. It is written by Merriwether Williams and is storyboarded by Tome Sales and Johnny Castuciano. 

 

On December 26th, 2012, Meghan McCarthy tweeted that the episode had a different final scene where Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust switched roles where Rainbow Dash became a lead pony while Lightning Dust a wing pony. This episode is noted for having to have been released through it's digital distribution earlier than it's scheduled television release. The dizzitron used in the episode was the series's first attempt at using 3D cel shaded design instead of the usual flash animation rigs. The 2nd would be in the episode Spike at your service.

 

Rainbow Dash gets the chance to prove herself to be a wonderbolt material at the academy but soon questions herself if she's wonderbolt material when a fellow competitor is chosen over her due to her willingness to push her limits more than Rainbow Dash does.

 

Positives:

 

1. Rainbow Dash had perhaps her best characterization in the whole series. Much like how I could point to Party of one for Pinkie Pie and Hurricane Fluttershy for Fluttershy, Wonderbolt's academy could be held up as the top mark to get a top notch and well characterized Rainbow Dash. Throughout the episode, Rainbow Dash is in the Wonderbolt's Academy where despite her enthusiasm to perform soon meets challenges to attain that dream.  Despite her top marks at the academy as she's one of the best, however due to another fellow trainee who is about as good as hers but has one major advantage that has won her favor with Spitfire over her in that Lightning Dust, the competitive trainee, likes to push herself to her limits more than Rainbow Dash does and seeks to do so every time to attain record breaking marks to earn their appraisal.

 

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Lightning Dust likes to push herself a little harder than you do. It's why I made her lead pony. These words would provide the conflict that would bug Rainbow Dash throughout. 

 

Despite this hurting her pride, Rainbow Dash tries to make the best of it being under Lightning Dust's commands where she tries to suck it up when Lightning Dust's refusal to slow down to allow her fellow cadet to safely pass through without injury costed her team mate an injured wing as she didn't wanted to show weakness in front of Spitfire who was clearly favoring Lightning Dust's limit pushing attitude over Rainbow Dash. The next would be when Rainbow Dash is annoyed seeing Lightning Dust turning a course that wasn't supposed to be a race became one as she wanted to attain the fastest completion despite being told it wasn't a race and costed half of their class to spin out of bounds.

 

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Note Bulk Biceps is competing here to enter the wonderbolt's academy. Says something good of his flying ability for them to consider. Wonder if they'll remember that.

 

Finally, Lightning Dust would suggest to do a tornado which Rainbow Dash would advise not to as it wasn't necessary but due to Lightning Dust's refusal and remembering how Spitfire chose LD over her due to her willingness to push herself, Rainbow Dash would accept. This would prove to be a poor choice as Lightning Dust met a limit too much for her to handle as she lost control of the tornado which would crash against her fellow classmates and crash against the balloon her friends were riding on to see Rainbow Dash causing them to fall from it.

 

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After Rainbow Dash does a furious and heroic attempt to save her friends from death, this would be the final straw for Rainbow Dash for her tolerance for Lightning Dust's reckless behavior and careless attitude for what she had done for which Rainbow Dash calls her out on it and the past misdeeds she had done as a lead pony. Lightning Dust would try to brush this off by pointing to her lead pony badge that the wonderbolt's accept her methods, which would push Rainbow Dash to go to Spitfire. Finally, she confronts her and tells her what Lightning Dust had done for which Spitfire called excessive but acceptable. This finally broke Rainbow Dash to where she finally declares that if the Wonderbolts would tolerate such behavior, than it wasn't for her and that she chose to quit on her dream.

 

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One of the bravest moments any character in this series has done and crowning moment of Rainbow Dash's characterization in the episode. Choosing to quit her dream of being a wonderbolt to maintain her integrity and stand up for her beliefs.

 

Course, Spitfire would soon come out rather ticked that Rainbow Dash would leave her without giving her a chance to reply, but would agree with her words and admit that she made a poor choice in picking Lightning Dust as the lead pony when Rainbow Dash should've been the one. After kicking Lightning Dust out for her reckless and selfish behavior unacceptable of a wonderbolt candidate, Rainbow Dash would lead her class under her deserving office.

 

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If you ever needed to see an episode where Rainbow Dash was characterized as her best where she was the focus on in the series, Wonderbolts academy is that episode as we easily have the best Rainbow Dash focused episode here. Also, this does a fantastic job to progress Rainbow Dash's series arc of becoming a wonderbolt to where it pushes her to great lengths to attain it.

 

 

2. Lightning Dust served as a fantastic foil to Rainbow Dash. One other thing I must commend is the characterization and use of Lightning Dust in the episode. Here she served as a fantastic foil to Rainbow Dash as both are physically gifted pegasus ponies that can easily ace any physical challenge the wonderbolts can throw at them. But one notable thing between Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust is their demeanor towards whatever challenge they're given is that while Rainbow Dash accepts whatever condition she's given and tries to best it right there to show herself and others she's the best, Lightning Dust would want to push it to the upper limit so she can prove herself and others that she is the best. This would cause Spitfire to fawn Lightning Dust for her limit pushing attitude and have her promoted to be the lead pony with Rainbow Dash serving as her wing pony. As the lead pony, she starts showing even more contrasts compared to Rainbow Dash where she not only shows little care for anyone but her own status among other ponies, but is willing to do anything to achieve fame and glory no matter the costs. One such cost she nearly did was the cost of Rainbow Dash's friends where her tornado to knock as many clouds out as they could lost control of it. 

 

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Showing off of how egotistical Lightning Dust is compared to Rainbow Dash.

 

This scene shows the biggest difference between Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust. While both are confident and ego driven competitors, Rainbow Dash tempered herself with the point that so long as they get the job done effectively there's no need to push oneself to achieve the same goal at a more reckless pace and especially at the expense of other ponies as that will ultimately hurt everyone else and the team if they're not up to her standards, Lightning Dust on the other hand never had such temperance as she views that so long as she does her utter best and does the goal at the best she can attain than what does it matter. A case of showing that Rainbow Dash is considerate of others and understands that not everyone can be as good as her and that's alright so long as they do the job effectively and well while Lightning Dust only cares for herself.

 

This of course would prove to be Lightning Dust's undoing as Spitfire would realize her error in putting Lightning Dust as lead pony and would kick her out of the academy as punishment for her self centered and reckless behavior.

 

I really hope Lightning Dust would return one day to the show as I feel she holds plenty of potential that can tie down to not only Rainbow Dash for how she has become a wonderbolt but especially to Spitfire.

 

3. Spitfire I thought was characterized very well who has a subtle plot to her in the episode. While she was not characterized perfectly as I'll explain below, but I felt that upon deeper inspection that Spitfire actually had a rather interesting story to her in the episode. From the first time she barked out obscenities to the recruits, I've noticed how she saw Lightning Dust's willingness to challenge her rubbed on her the right way. Than after Lightning Dust was willing to push to the limit with the dizzotron, I feel that perhaps she started to fawn over her due to that attitude of hers. There I think after seeing the class, I feel that Spitfire pushed for both Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust to be the chosen ones to be part of the Wonderbolts with her favored in being in Lightning Dust for that limit pushing attitude of hers. I feel she had a scheme going where she put those two together as a way to show to her superiors to promote these two as the next Wonderbolts. Without seeing all the crap that Lightning Dust was doing and Rainbow Dash not telling her about it until it was too late, she assumed that things were going fine. Than after Rainbow Dash not only told her about how Lightning Dust's tornado stunt nearly costed her friend's lives and how Rainbow Dash would chastise her for accepting such a behavior, I'd imagine that Spitfire probably had a bit of a introspect on herself and realized her folly that she didn't saw Lightning Dust's reckless and selfish attitude that would prove that she was actually a terrible Wonderbolt candidate and that her acceptance of Lightning Dust over Rainbow Dash, who has shown to be a much better candidate than LD despite their near equal physical talent, quit in front of her because of she was too blind to see it. I think Spitfire ate a bit of humble pie when she realized she allowed her pride to get these two into the wonderbolts to blind her to the problems that Lightning Dust was causing. Course that can be me over thinking but either way I did like how Spitfire was characterized in the episode for the most part.

 

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Her surprised face.

 

 

4. The Wonderbolt's Academy also gives a definite proof of the Wonderbolts being a military arm of Equestria. This was also a great development for the Wonderbolts in that this episode with it's military style boot camp location for candidates as it definitely gave us a military view on the wonderbolts and that they can definitely be considered Equestria's airforce. Thus if you wanted to figure out how the wonderbolts in your fic and what type of career Rainbow Dash is looking for, it would be the military.

 

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Just to show their locale and how things go.

 

 

5. The lesson knowing where to push yourself in the right way is a good way to say 'Learn to push your limits without causing collateral damage to others and at their expense.' This to me is a very important lesson for group projects and teams to learn as it is very important that if you're willing to push your limits or so, make sure you don't cost anyone's own performance as no matter how good you're doing, if the rest of the team is suffering for it than it will be a negative gain  overall despite your own top mark.

 

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Something the pony on the left didn't learned.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Spitfire's choice for lead pony required her to not take the events of Hurricane Fluttershy as the deciding factor. While I could see it mitigated by how she was impressed by Lightning Dust's willingness to push for the limits and wanted to put both of them in the wonderbolts, I would say that it required her to forget that Rainbow Dash had shown excellent leadership before in front of her when she managed to rally Ponyville to create a waterspout despite having a good number of fliers out sick. This to me felt like a bit of Plot induced stupidity on Spitfire's part as if she had done so instead of favoring Lightning Dust than the choice would've been obvious as one who actually showed leadership vs. someone who only showed she likes to push her limits makes it clear who is qualified to be a leader. 

 

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Spitfire's dull face. 

 

2. Pinkie Pie's behavior in the episode was not only repetitive but it also felt like Plot induced stupidity. The biggest issue I had in the episode was Pinkie Pie's behavior and how it was used in the episode. Throughout the episode, she would repeat her fears for Rainbow Dash forgetting about her despite how it was not even a day that she was gone and panic about it for which her friends had to bring her up to the Wonderbolt's Academy just to calm her down. If not for Pinkie's behavior, they would've never came to where a tornado would knock them down and cause RD to save them and have her snap at Lightning Dust for her reckless decision.

 

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I'm so happy to see you Rainbow Dash even though you've only been gone for like a day or so. 

 

 

Conclusion: Wonderbolt's Academy holds perhaps the best Rainbow Dash characterization in the series yet. With her interesting conflict and how she handled it against her excellent foil in Lightning Dust while handling Spitfire's gaze on her along the way proves to be an excellent story to enjoy and a nice decision to progress Rainbow Dash's plot to becoming a wonderbolt despite how Spitfire and especially Pinkie Pie were struck with plot induced stupidity.

 

Score: 9.0/10

 

Grade: B+

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah. This right here was Dash's crowning moment of awesome and character development. We see how far she's come, and it's a lot. I've seen Lightning Dust called 'Rainbow Dash without the character development', and that's a fair assessment IMHO.

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5 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

On December 26th, 2012, Meghan McCarthy tweeted that the episode had a different final scene where Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust switched roles where Rainbow Dash became a lead pony while Lightning Dust a wing pony.

I would've liked that. You?

6 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

4. The Wonderbolt's Academy also gives a definite proof of the Wonderbolts being a military arm of Equestria. 

Equestria is doomed.

 

I think that this story arc sustained by the "wonderbolt episodes" made wonders for Dashie.

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8 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Yeah. This right here was Dash's crowning moment of awesome and character development. We see how far she's come, and it's a lot. I've seen Lightning Dust called 'Rainbow Dash without the character development', and that's a fair assessment IMHO.

Good point, Lightning Dust could be viewed as such.

 

3 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

I would've liked that. You?

Equestria is doomed.

 

I think that this story arc sustained by the "wonderbolt episodes" made wonders for Dashie.

I would've very much, especially to get Lightning Dust involved more.

 

Lel

 

Well this one did and in general it does help her, though it did had some stinkers for Dashie like Rainbow Falls and Newbie Dash.

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4 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

I would've very much, especially to get Lightning Dust involved more.

Lel

Well this one did and in general it does help her, though it did had some stinkers for Dashie like Rainbow Falls and Newbie Dash.

Rainbow Falls... :applebelch: I had forgotten about it...

Newbie Dash was fine, if I remember correctly. I guess we'll get to it.

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10 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Rainbow Falls... :applebelch: I had forgotten about it...

Newbie Dash was fine, if I remember correctly. I guess we'll get to it.

Mhm.

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Today, I'm going to review the sixtieth episode in the Friendship is Magic series and the eighth episode in it's third season, Apple Family Reunion. It is written by Cindy Morrow and is storyboarded by Sabrina Alberghetti and David Wiebe.

 

According to Cindy Morrow, the fruit bats that were used in the episode were supposed to have been timberwolves instead but it was changed to fruit bats from the original script. According to several workstaff that would include Sabrina Alberghetti, Raven Molisee, and Tim Stuby, Apple Family Reunion was listed as the series's ninth episode for it's third season with the production number 309, but it would be changed to be the third season's eighth episode instead. 

 

Wishing to give a long lasting impression to her cousins and family of a great Apple Family Reunion on her first try, Applejack lets this objective to get into her head a little too deep. 

 

Positives:

 

1. I liked Applejack's conflict in the episode. In Apple Family Reunion, I would have to say that I was pretty impressed by how Applejack was characterized and her conflict for the episode. In the episode, we see that this is her first time trying to manage an Apple Family Reunion as she takes that mantle from Grannie Smith who had managed the reunion before hand but is getting worse at it due to age. This can be viewed as a sort of 'coming of age' moment for AJ as she slowly takes the role of matriarch of the Apple clan from Grannie Smith. 

 

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This would involve her seeing the family album for which Grannie Smith would show the fond memories that the Apple Family would have together at these reunions. Motivated in part out of fear that since alot of folks are becoming more and more busy as time is winding down, she wishes to ensure that every single apple family member would be able to experience their best moments of their lives at this apple family reunion hosted by her.

 

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Working late through the night to prepare the party as best as she could.

 

As you expect of her, she tries to prepare the party as best as she could and goes through Ponyville to enlist her friends and whatever supplies she can requisition from them.

 

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Soon, the apple family members from across equestria, including the likes Braeburn and even Babs Seed show up to Sweet Apple Acres to greet them. Once the party starts, Applejack out of her need to ensure that everyone in her family tree alive would be able to have a fun time to spend with each other, she lets that objective go into her a head a little too deep as she essentially bosses them around and telling them what activity they must do together in order to satiate her need to capture those moments of fun between her family such as apple fritter making, three legged racing, and finishing that quilt they've been working on for years.

 

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Which she found none as they're all too tired.

 

This would prompt her to pull a last minute desperate measure to try to salvage her party that she was ruining through her over-management by trying to let the fillies and other folks have fun on a cart ride with the west orchard where it was noted for not being as well tendered as the other orchards in sweet apple acres and has a fruit bat infestation. Here AJ uses them to try to get a rather vivid scene for the cart riders and something for them to remember fondly here at this year's apple family reunion, only for it to not go as planned.

 

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Not as planned.

 

This would result in the destruction of the sweet apple acres barn for which it would cause AJ to be visably distraught and cry at how her attempts at creating the best apple family reunion resulted in it's biggest failure yet.

 

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Poor AJ.

 

This conflict of AJ's reminds of the type of stories where a person who gets their first hand experience at handling this type of job and they of course want to prove immediately successful to prove to themselves and others that they're worthy of the job. Of course, as we see here, not everyone pulls it off successfully despite their earnest hard work to do it as sometimes they fail due to trying to do too much. Applejack in her first time handling an apple family reunion would have to learn it the hard way for what it would cause. However, thanks to a comforting Grannie Smith and Applebloom to help her think of a plan to rebuild the apple farm together and the  Apple clan coming to help her out, they would be able to salvage the party and have a rebuilt farm they would work together in union and end with a good family photo for the books.

 

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Of note from @RK_Striker_JK_5, the Oranges are here too at the top left.

 

I enjoyed AJ's characterization and the development she would go through as we see her trying to take the mantle of being the head of the entire Apple Clan from Grannie Smith slowly with the Apple Family Reunions being the start of it. Like many newbies handling their first task or so, she tries her hardest to make it great but over does it to the point of diluting the fun for everyone and causing misery that she never intended. This would hurt her seeing her efforts were going to waste until her family could prod her to be at ease, which would help help her formulate the necessary plan to salvage the party to leave it with good memories for the year and AJ learning her lessons necessary to form a better reunion next time.

 

2. Cute AJ filly here.

 

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Cuteness overload.

 

3. Braeburn and Babs Seed make a return here. Now of course everyone's favorite cowboy cousin from Apploosa, Braeburn shows up here.

 

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Though he doesn't really have any speaking roles as I recalled.

 

Than of course we have Babs Seed making a much better appearance than her introduction here where she's much more friendlier to her cousin Applebloom where we hear her say that things are going better at her home as she went to a new school and found two new friends for her to hang out with in Manehattan.

 

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Pretend this is the first time you've seen Babs Seed in the series and ignore everything that happened in One Bad Apple and everything will be alright.

 

4. Applebloom received some good characterizations here too. Of note, what helped to make her friendship with her cousin Babs Seed hit it off so well was due to how well characterized Applebloom was already. Applebloom provided some good support for her sister throughout the episode and was especially ecstatic to see her favorite cousin Babs Seed which goes to help smoothen things from how bad One Bad Apple was for both of them.

 

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Which would include both of them trying to hide from Applejack and her need to make the reunion the best ever.

 

5. This is probably the best Grannie Smith characterization I've seen in the series. Of special note, this is quite possibly Grannie Smith's best characterization I've seen yet. Here she not only comes across as that cool kooky granny that apparently likes to play pranks with her favorite cousin Apple Rose on their target, Aunt Apple Sauce.

 

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This is probably what Applebloom and Babs Seed will end up being when they're elders.

 

But especially this is probably the most development we've seen for Grannie Smith yet as other than the above, we've found many interesting details in her past like how Aunt Applesauce lost her teeth in a jar that she never could find, and them trying to build a quilt which she had issues getting it to work the first time. Best of all was of how great she was towards Applejack where she not only gave the job of managing the Apple Family Reunion at her grand daughter's request, but especially came to her aid when AJ needed it most to comfort her and tell her what the most important thing in Family Reunions is the chance to catch up and speak with cousins. Thus if you ever needed a good reference on Grannie Smith, this is probably the episode for it.

 

6. The episode's lesson makes a great point about families and their relationship to you. This episode would post a lesson that actually makes a good point about families, is that technically they're your first friends you have. Thus the episode makes a point that on such good terms, you don't need to go extravagant or so to make a memorable impression or moment with your cousins and other family members. This is a pretty good point for folks to consider with their relationship with their cousins or so.

 

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Though it does help that these moments happen too.

 

7. The episode also makes a subtle hint on the fate of AJ's parents here. Apple Family Reunion is also the first time we get any sort of hints about the fate of Applejack, Applebloom, and Big MacIntosh's parents. While it was too ambiguous for folks to be able to realize what it meant, but the two shooting stars you see streaking across the sky were in fact supposed to represent their deceased parents according to the staff.

 

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Thus you know how the whole dead parents meme came to AJ. Puts this episode under a whole different perspective.

 

Negatives:

 

1. The song raise this barn was rather dull and had repetitive lyrics. The only real flaw that I could think for the episode was that the song was on the weak side as I felt it was rather typical country song celebrating how they're country ponies working together on a barn, but especially the reptitive lyrics used in the song just feel this song was on the weakside for my liking.

 

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There's a reason 'Racist Barn' proved popular as it was more entertaining than the song itself.

 

Conclusion: Apple Family Reunion could be Applejack's best episode I've seen yet. With very good characterization and conflict that ties up the episode's narrative nicely for Applejack upon her quest to prove worth of upholding the mantle of managing the Apple Clan at the Apple Family Reunion from Grannie Smith, but Grannie herself probably had her best characterization in the whole series here, some good cameos like Braeburn and a much better appearance for Babs Seed that ties off the bond of kinship that Applebloom and Babs Seed are sharing more likable, a good lesson on family and their relationship with you, and especially the point of revealing but too subtly that the Sweet Apple Acres family lost their parents or so with the shooting stars, this proves to be one of S3's best episode and arguably it's most underrated episode in not only the season but the series in general despite a weak song being it's only flaw.

 

Score: 9.5/10

 

Grade: A          

 

 

 

 

 

 

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