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13 minutes ago, WaterPulse said:

Good review so far, but where's the rest of it?

Right now. I typically would post them here just as 'incase' some freak accident happens and I lose my review.

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5 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

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.


'One Bad Apple', what's that? ;) We also see Aunt and Uncle Orange in the big family pic, which was really nice.

 

And yeah. This is a good episode.

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4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:


'One Bad Apple', what's that? ;) We also see Aunt and Uncle Orange in the big family pic, which was really nice.

 

And yeah. This is a good episode.

I need to add that to the review. Ty very much for pointing that out.

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Today I'm going to review the sixty first episode in the Friendship is magic series and the ninth episode in it's third season, Spike at your Service. The story was made by Dave Polsky, written by Merriwether Williams, and is storyboarded by Mike West and Emmett Hall.

 

According to the same sources that had stated that Apple Family Reunion was the ninth episode in the production order for Season 3, Spike at your Service is the tenth episode in the production order of Season 3 that ultimately got pushed to be the ninth episode in the third season instead. Spike at your Service was also released early in the Itunes store hours before it's televised airing. The timberwolves were modeled in the 3d cel shaded graphics with it's software being Autodesk Maya. When asked about the Dragon Code, Dave Polsky admitted that since Dragon Quest that while Spike knew little about Dragons, he sought to learn as much as he could from it. Originally, this was going to be Rarity episode for Season 3 but due to the writers feeling like Rarity was too mean to Spike, they rewrote the episode to where Applejack replaced her role instead. 

 

Thanks to Applejack saving Spike from being killed by Timberwolves, Spike offers to be in service to her for the rest of his life much to Applejack's chagrin as she seeks a way to remove such a debt.

 

Positives:

 

1. I liked some of the humor shown in the episode. While there weren't alot of humor in the episode that I enjoyed, but I will give at least credit for these couple of scenes are.

 

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Spike's rock tower is ready for RD to kick it.

 

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Pinkie Pie's plan is awesome and hilarious. Better with a mustache. 

 

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This whole segment is hilarious for how poorly setup it is.

 

Hope these moments prove funny for you too.

 

 

2. Outside of Twilight Sparkle, the mane 6 were characterized very well in the episode. Other than Twilight Sparkle that I will explain below, the remane five in the episode were all characterized very well. Applejack was especially the highlight of the episode as she showed off some heroic dukes to help save Spike, but has the conflict of essentially dealing with a dragon for a servant she does not wish to have but cannot change Spike's mind due to his dragon code and how he essentially guilt trips her to accept it.

 

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Which I'll get to this problem later.

 

At the same time, she does everything she can to try to convince Spike to not be in servitude to her and I appreciated the effort. The other ponies also have their moments as well such as Rainbow Dash not only offering help to Aj, but even reveals that she likes to write fanfics of the Wonderbolts.

 

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Whose here betting RD has tons of clopfics on Spitfire/Soarin? The Scrunchie face will clue us in.

 

Then there is Rarity who other than one errant line of her appreciating having a servant which may indicate why it was a good choice that AJ was chosen over her was hilarious with her damsel in distress portrayal in the episode.

 

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Rarity bragging about how good of a damsel she is to AJ.

 

Fluttershy provided good advice for AJ in trying not to let him have any chores only for it to fail when he decides to cry about it and does whatever he feels needs to be done, and Pinkie Pie was funny with her plan that so would've worked, and her own damsel in distress.

 

Overall, you will have some spotlights from each of the remane five for you to enjoy and AJ was easily the best thing about the episode with how strong her characterization is.

 

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Whose a good pony, you are AJ!

 

3. Despite how out of place the Timberwolves are with the CGI animation to the Flash animation of the show, they were animated pretty well. While I will say that the CGI animation for the Timberwolves was not seamlessly sewn into the show as well as the dizzitron from Wonderbolt's Academy was, in terms of animation it was still rather strongly done and I saw no real hiccups from their movement or so I'll at least give a more positive credit to them for trying this out and doing a relatively good job at it. Just got to find a way to better blend it with Flash animation they normally use or so.

 

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Not doing well on blending but they did fine animating these things.

 

4. I do like the idea of a Dragon Code for Spike. I will not say this was well executed for my reasoning below, but I will declare that I do like the idea of a dragon code for Spike. Due to how chivalrous he likes to be and how he has spent his life being a dutiful helper for Twilight, this would actually work fine for Spike's characterization and if executed better can be used to great effect.

 

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Awe.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Spike was struck with Plot induced stupidity that rendered his normally effective and proud work at doing chores as commanded to suddenly be terrible at it.  One of the strangest choices they made was the decision to make the normally reliable worker in Spike suddenly be terrible at whatever chores he was doing.

 

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Considering who he worked for, you would assume that he would learn not to make a mess without annoying the normally tidy unicorn Twilight.

 

This was strange considering how they could've easily just chose to keep him in character and the same point of AJ not feeling comfortable using Spike as a servant would still be intact as her problem was that she was using Spike as a servant for her needs, not necessarily for how messy he is though it didn't helped. Keeping him in character would've been the better choice as it wouldn't annoy the audiences for how the normally dependable Spike is suddenly bad at doing chores in his attempts to please AJ for his work. Fortunately, he would shake out of this PIS ball as became more competent at his work later in the episode and finally would essentially snap out of it as he berates the gang for how poor the Timberwolf trap is and thus indicate he is back in character, which helps mitigate this pretty annoying flaw.

 

2. Twilight Sparkle was struck with Plot induced stupidity that allowed the plot to extend past it's natural course. The reason why I won't list Twilight among the rest of the mane 6 in good characterizations was that when Spike came over to ask Twilight if it was alright if she goes to serve AJ instead of her. Due to her being so immersed in her reading that she couldn't respond properly and was saying yea to get Spike out. This came off not only as stupid for Twilight to do but extended the plot past as if Twilight realized what Spike was saying and told him no, than it would've likely stopped there as Twilight won't release him or so as Spike would want to fulfill his service to AJ.

 

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Uh huh, now could you please leave Spike while I read all these books that Celestia sent me to finish over the weekend.

 

3. The Dragon Code's ties to Dragons have an honor system came off as a very poor attempt to fix the series dragons. If this was a code Spike made up, this would be a positive point for him as this shows off his need to be chivalrous, but because of Twilight remarking that this was an important code for Dragons to uphold, this has me saying, 'How do you know? Did ponies suddenly acquired such knowledge somewhere down the line?' They haven't shown anything to indicate they would respect ponies in any regard, let alone have a code of honor to uphold considering how brutish they are. This to me feels like a poor attempt to try to give Dragons a positive trait for folks to like about them in the series in a desperate attempt to fix them after their disastrous outing in Dragon Quest.

 

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Yea we felt bad of how bad we screwed the dragons up in Dragon Quest, so here's a positive trait for em that we're not going to develop on at all till at our convenience.

 

4. The Timberwolves second attack struck with remane five outside of AJ with PIS to run away from them. One other thing to criticize is of how the mane 6, who normally have faced down big time villains without showing fear were struck by the same PIS ball when the Timberwolves attacked again and ran away from them. Only AJ was the one who faced them down acted in character while the others ran away like cowards. This was done to ensure that while AJ's foot was caught in a rock for real, Spike would be the one to save her.

 

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A simple thrown pebble can defeat one of these things. Seriously if not for their regeneration, they would be easy to defeat. Which considering what the mane 6 has done together, why they're scared of this thing? Grab your rocks and aim well to save your friends!

 

 

Conclusion: Spike at your Service breaks the otherwise awesome streak of episodes that Season 3 had going. While it had plenty of strong characterizations in the remane five, some good but out of place CGI animations on the Timberwolves, Spike's honor code for his character, and the humor, but the amount of PIS that was used in the episode on Spike when he was working on his chores for AJ, Twilight essentially okaying Spike to leave her as she was too distracted in her reading, and the remane five other than AJ running away from Timberwolves despite the threat they're facing to ensure Spike would save AJ, and finally an honor code for Dragons that makes no sense in context to them. 

 

Score: 5.5/10

 

Grade: F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Whose here betting RD has tons of clopfics on Spitfire/Soarin? The Scrunchie face will clue us in.

Sucker's bet. :P

 

3 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

This was strange considering how they could've easily just chose to keep him in character and the same point of AJ not feeling comfortable using Spike as a servant would still be intact as her problem was that she was using Spike as a servant for her not necessarily for how messy he is though it didn't helped. Keeping him in character would've been the better choice as it wouldn't annoy the audiences for how the normally dependable Spike is suddenly bad at doing chores in his attempts to please AJ for his work. Fortunately, he would shake out of this PIS ball as became more competent at his work later in the episode and finally would essentially snap out of it as he berates the gang for how poor the Timberwolf trap is and thus indicate he is back in character, which helps mitigate this pretty annoying flaw.

Yeah. I think I made pretty much the exact same point in my own review. Having Spike be competent would've done so damned much. Instead having him be a klutz... pisses me the hell off!

 

The really sad thing is, for me at least, up until Spike cleaning that pig with Apple Bloom, I liked the episode. Not exactly top-tier, but pretty good. Then the suck set in... and ho boy but it sucked!

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I think it's amusing how many times characters in the show look like someone dragged them backstage and beat them with the Idiot Ball and make them swallow it (this got a bit dark in a hurry...).

I think that it's bad that this seems to happen to some characters more than others.

What I think is really bad is how many times this happens in this show in a way the plot simply wouldn't work without this.

 

Anyway, I tend to be nicer to this episode because I think it succeeds with two of my 'tripod' of what makes a good episode. It does have it's own charm and humor (which I think is the strongest part of this episode). Though I cant disagree with anything said in the review.

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On 3/17/2017 at 2:46 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Sucker's bet. :P

 

Yeah. I think I made pretty much the exact same point in my own review. Having Spike be competent would've done so damned much. Instead having him be a klutz... pisses me the hell off!

 

The really sad thing is, for me at least, up until Spike cleaning that pig with Apple Bloom, I liked the episode. Not exactly top-tier, but pretty good. Then the suck set in... and ho boy but it sucked!

^

 

I agree. It's annoying when they strike a character with PIS to make a plot work, even more so when it proves unwarranted.

 

Mhm.

 

On 3/17/2017 at 6:47 PM, Metemponychosis said:

I think it's amusing how many times characters in the show look like someone dragged them backstage and beat them with the Idiot Ball and make them swallow it (this got a bit dark in a hurry...).

I think that it's bad that this seems to happen to some characters more than others.

What I think is really bad is how many times this happens in this show in a way the plot simply wouldn't work without this.

 

Anyway, I tend to be nicer to this episode because I think it succeeds with two of my 'tripod' of what makes a good episode. It does have it's own charm and humor (which I think is the strongest part of this episode). Though I cant disagree with anything said in the review.

 

Mhm, I do agree that it's frustrating to see it happen just for the sake of the plot.

 

That's good that you enjoyed the episode. The important thing here is that so long as you enjoyed it with gladness, then that is what's ultimately important here, your entertainment and enjoyment out of it.

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Today, I'm going to review the sixty second episode in the Friendship is Magic series and it's tenth episode in it's third season, Keep Calm and Flutter On. The story was thought of by Teddy Antonio with Dave Polsky writing it, and it's storyboard artists are Lih Liau and Marshall Fels Elliot. 

 

During the week when it was first aired on television, Meghan McCarthy revealed that the episode's premise was submitted on September 28, 2011. She would add that the episode had a much longer and more plot revealing title that show layout supervisor Tim Stuby would say that the episode's original title might have been altered during the post layout stage. To answer many folk's complaints of how DHX accepted what could be essentially a fan written submission from then 15 year old Teddy Antonio that it was a paid work that was worked on internally and not an unsolicited submission. Teddy himself would state that the beginning and first act is different from his own draft of the story. Raven Molisee on her deviantart account who also revealed to have been the third season's original eleventh episode with the production number 311.

 

Celestia would bring the mane 6 together in her plans to reform Discord with Fluttershy in mind to reform him despite the remane five's protest. Fluttershy herself would be up to the task of reforming the rebellious draconequus.

 

Positives:

 

1. This is the first episode in the series that brings Discord back on the side of reformation. I will give Keep Calm and Flutter On credit that this was the first episode in the series to bring the villain Discord back to be on the good guys side this time.

 

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With much more mixed results for this new portrayal in the series. 

 

As mentioned above, I have some reservations about his turn for good due to how mixed it's execution is and how many have their issues with how he's characterized and many could view this as the start of what many could consider a bad habit in the show for reforming villains which many feel don't deserve such sympathy. Still, he does have some bright points in the series with his comedy and he has produced some good episodes under his role and I feel that his characterization has been more positive than bad for it. Thus I will give a positive point for Keep Calm and Flutter On for this choice to Discord's character.

 

2. Discord's humor and antics were endearing. Course it helps that when he was first released that he was entertaining right off the bat as he himself mocked Celestia's plan to reform him and especially bemused at how pissed off the remane five and Spike sans Fluttershy are at him. There he would enjoy his time out under a loose supervision from Fluttershy to where he would:

 

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Turn animals to big mean stiffs.

 

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Eating word salads to prevent the remane five from using any reformation spells on him.

 

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As a waiter

 

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And an ice skater.

 

Also it was revealed that like the malicious trolling asshole he is, he was the one who would mind control the beavers and flood Sweet Apple Acres so he can turn it to ice and ice skate in it. Say what you want of how bad his reformation is, but at least he himself treated it such a bizarre thing only deserving of scorn so he initially thought it was stupid too and he still prepared some antics for it meanwhile.

 

3. The remane five, Spike, and Angel were characterized well in the episode as well. I will give excellent credit and the most positive for this episode was how the remane five and Spike were characterized in the episode. Despite Celestia's orders to reform Discord, none of them sans Fluttershy which I'll get to explain a bit more below really wanted to and rightfully so considering who he is and what he chose to do to celebrate his freedom. In fact, if not for Fluttershy trying her hand to reform and refusing to help them out, they'd probably had gone right ahead to turning him to stone once he shows signs of refusing to be reformed. They were constantly retorting any sort of barbs from Discord and pointing out any sort of problems he was causing, hell they even tried to have a reformation spell cooked up just to simply get their task with Celestia done their way.

 

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As you can see here.

 

As for Angel Bunny, not only was he tormented by Discord at his own amusement, but the fact we saw him be annoyed by it like Discord stealing his couch.

 

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Nice chair for a bunny.

 

Yet he also showed some neat little characterizations throughout his trek with Discord, and it was through him that he would alert the mane 6 and spike about Discord's plot at Sweet Apple Acres.

 

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Bunny

 

Their characterization in Keep Calm and Flutter On are the highlight for me as I thought they acted very appropriately towards Discord and had ample reason to wanting to turn him to stone considering his antics, and I liked Angel and his role as well.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Princess Celestia's plan to reform Discord is at best extremely risky and we have no idea why she would have the motivation to do it. In a continuance of Princess Celestia being terrible in Season 3, it was through her orders where she wishes to bring Discord out and have the mane 6 with the elments of harmony reform him with a protection spell Celestia erected on it to ensure it is safe from him. Here is my problem with this and what she has done in the episode:

 

A. Considering of the creature she is dealing with and what he has caused in Equestria whenever he has been freed, this isn't some asshole creature who takes pleasure in trolling ponies, this is a malicious trolling god of chaos who seeks to rule Equestria under his rule. This is a being who has shown nothing but wishing to cause misery among ponies at his own pleasure. I mean the guy essentially mind fucked the mane 6 and turned them into their corrupted forms for fun.

 

On a separate note, I know his va is the same one that acted as Q from TNG, the MLP FIM comic reference, and the fact his character is based on Q, but these two are not the same characters. The biggest difference between the two is that while Q likes to torment the crew of TNG, there is a method to his madness. Being a major Q God, he's a really powerful being who pretty much views Humanity beneath him, and one major thing he is doing is that he's putting them on trial to judge if Humanity is worthy enough to live or be wiped out, which he can easily do anytime he pleases. Thus his actions are essentially him saying 'you have little choice but to obey my whims and schemes for if you fail them, Humanity is done for.' And especially that in some cases, he may even have a lesson or two for the crew of TNG to ponder upon as he betters them or so much like he taught Picard a thing of accepting one's limitations and not trying to chew on more than he could handle and being humble to Q such as their first encounter with the Borg. Discord on the other hand is an asshole trolling god who seeks to control and dominate ponies under his rule. He has shown more malevolence than Q has shown in comparison as he has no lesson or point to his actions for ponies other than to rule them. 

 

B. She says she took precaution by erecting a protection spell on the elements of harmony to ensure Discord won't take them again. Here's the problem with that, she did the same thing the first time he returns in S2's Return of Harmony and it failed against him. We're only told this spell can stop Discord and shown him not attempt to take them with his magic. This point would've been strengthened if Discord did tried to take them but the spell failed, but here we're only told the spell would work even though the same thing happened in S2 only for it to fail. 

 

C. She's taking a major risk freeing him. Considering his power and who he is, at any time he pleases, he could rebel and send Equestria back to chaos as he pleases with only the elements of Harmony in hand to stop him. In fact, Celestia herself doesn't trust Discord would be 100% trust worthy and even tells Twilight she'll let her have the elements of Harmony as an insurance policy meaning even she recognizes how risky as hell this is.

 

D. Most damning of them all and why Celestia's actions look bad is that we aren't really told why is she freeing him. The only explanation was that 'she has uses for his powers'. Okay so you want to use him as a weapon of sorts against dangerous threats, fine, but what threat? Discord is not a being you should go to and depend upon to eliminate a problem unless under really dire circumstances that you have little choice but to have him around at best. Without a definite threat that Celestia has foreseen to warrant Discord's release, this feels like Celestia is willing to have her kingdom be under direct threat from Discord's wrath with only the elements of harmony to control him, which guess what happens in S4, just so she can have a weapon for no reason, which btw would go against the whole narrative at the end of Discord has earned friends when the only two people even giving him such a chance are doing it for their own nefarious reasons rather than out of care for him.

 

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Which Celestia will be off and away and leave the mane 6 at Discord's mercy if they don't pull it off fast enough.

 

This was just really flimsy and poor of Celestia's here as she comes off really as taking really an unnecessary risk in order to bring Discord back for his powers which because we do not know of this threat she has planned for or so, she comes off as being really careless and incompetent here. 

 

 

2. Fluttershy's line of dialogue wrecks whatever sincerity she had in reforming Discord and harms the narration for it. Here in this episode, Fluttershy would be tasked to reform Discord as Celestia commanded. We would see that Fluttershy would try her hardest to believe that Discord can be reformed despite her friends insistence he cannot. This effort to reform probably would've worked to the narration's plan if not for this errant line spoken:

 

Fluttershy: Oh, of course I do! Do you all think I'm a silly, gullible fool?

Rarity: Only in the sense of being silly and gullible...

Pinkie Pie: Um, well...

Applejack: Uh... uh, no, not exactly...

Fluttershy: I've just been trying to gain his friendship any way I can, so he'd come to trust and listen to me!

 

That's right, Fluttershy is only trying to befriend Discord because Celestia told her to and she's doing whatever she can to have him listen to her. Her attempts to befriend is not done out of sincerity despite what the narration is trying to say it is, it is done because she is commanded to. Thus when you hear the ending where they declare of how Discord managed to earn a friend for him to have, this line she had spoken earlier would wreck that point as it definitely shows that she does not think highly of Discord and is only doing it out of a sense of duty rather than a genuine attempt to befriend him. Thus this relationship between Fluttershy and Discord here comes off more as a master and slave relationship than a genuine friendship the narration is saying it is.

 

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Remember that dialogue confided between Fluttershy and her friends and how the episode is singing how good of friends these two are now.

 

3. Discord's turn for good is not only rushed but forced as well.  This other problem I have for the episode is of how when Discord continuing to gloat at Fluttershy's expense for her refusal to listen to her friends insistence to turn him to stone, suddenly because he realizes he was going to lose the only friend he had despite what Fluttershy said in secret of him, he turns to good all of a sudden without reason.

 

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I don't care if this is the 2nd time Fluttershy's attempts at friendship affected him, her attempts are not done out of sincerity for him, his turn was sudden without rhyme or reason, and the reason why Celestia brought him out of his stone is because she wants to use his powers as she sees fit and not because she particularly cares for him either. While they do mitigate his reformation where neither party are entirely trusting of each other with Discord not entirely reformed and even Celestia herself not trusting him entirely, the fact they're trying to state of how this is a turn for friendship between them and how Friendship is magic that they're making a deal out of just only shows of how rushed and forced this ending is just so they can have Discord be reformed at the end to resolve the episode's plot.

 

Conclusion: Keep Calm and Flutter On may have started the first episode for a reformed Discord for better or worse, and I liked the characterizations of the remane five, Spike, and Angel alongside Discord's antics in the episode, but I do not like this episode. My reasonings are due to how Celestia's plan was poorly thought out, and Fluttershy's attempts at reforming him are not done out of genuine care for him despite what the rushed and forced ending is trying to say about it in this poor start to Discord's reformation in the series.

 

Score: 5.0/10

 

Grade: F

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Mhm, I do agree that it's frustrating to see it happen just for the sake of the plot.

 

That's good that you enjoyed the episode. The important thing here is that so long as you enjoyed it with gladness, then that is what's ultimately important here, your entertainment and enjoyment out of it.

Not all people realize there is a difference between 'liking and episode' and 'saying that the episode is good'. One can still have fun with a bad episode.

 

Ironically... Next episode... I think it's a good episode gone bad. If they had more time to give weight to Discord's change by making it more gradual, feel less selfish. And...

Quote

Princess Celestia: Yes, I understand. But I have use for Discord's magic if it can be reformed to serve good instead of evil. This is why I've brought Discord here, because I believe that you are the ponies who can help him do just that.

How about...

Quote

Princess Celestia: Yes, I understand. But I believe in the good in Discord's heart. If he can be reformed to serve good instead of evil. This is why I've brought Discord here, because I believe that you are the ponies who can help him do just that.

Fuck you DHX... One sentence.

And then, perhaps, actually show that Disocrd uses his magic for good instead of betraying those that believed in him and being selfish over Fluttershy's friendship and worried only about her. Again... Fuck you DHX... Fuck you to hell.

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2 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Not all people realize there is a difference between 'liking and episode' and 'saying that the episode is good'. One can still have fun with a bad episode.

 

Ironically... Next episode... I think it's a good episode gone bad. If they had more time to give weight to Discord's change by making it more gradual, feel less selfish. And...

How about...

Fuck you DHX... One sentence.

And then, perhaps, actually show that Disocrd uses his magic for good instead of betraying those that believed in him and being selfish over Fluttershy's friendship and worried only about her. Again... Fuck you DHX... Fuck you to hell.

True, in fact I need to alter my review a bit, ty.

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God, how I fucking HATE this episode in so many ways. So, so many ways that I've detailed out and you have just detailed out as well. Just a big pile of, "What the everloving fuck is wrong with you, Celestia?!"

 

Discord... should've stayed in stone.

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3 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

God, how I fucking HATE this episode in so many ways. So, so many ways that I've detailed out and you have just detailed out as well. Just a big pile of, "What the everloving fuck is wrong with you, Celestia?!"

 

Discord... should've stayed in stone.

Perhaps, and the fact that apparently the story was thought of by a fifteen year old suggests to me a 'fanfic they made canon' type of idea from DHX. Even if they did had such intentions to do it already, the fact they had to depend upon a fifteen year old's story to formulate that plan was a bad move on their part. It would've been better if they had written their own or so, especially as that's what they ended up doing in S4 anyway.

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Headcanon time!

 

1. In TROH, Celestia's spell was too general (she did say it was supposed to block everypony but her, after all), so it was relatively easy for Discord to crack; this time, it was Discord-specific for extra resistance against him (but as a tradeoff, the Elements were now vulnerable to others... such as Sunset Shimmer in the first EQG).

 

2. Discord actually did have a couple of foreshadowing moments. Remember his reactions after (1) finally breaking Twilight in TROH and (2) Fluttershy outright telling him she'd like to be his friend during the tea-party scene here? At first, we were meant to think he was just bucking with us; but by nowadays' standards, it seemed more along the lines of him starting to get a conscientious wake-up call (and naturally, he was too caught-up and proud to even acknowledge it).

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1 hour ago, Anti-Villain said:

Headcanon time!

 

1. In TROH, Celestia's spell was too general (she did say it was supposed to block everypony but her, after all), so it was relatively easy for Discord to crack; this time, it was Discord-specific for extra resistance against him (but as a tradeoff, the Elements were now vulnerable to others... such as Sunset Shimmer in the first EQG).

 

2. Discord actually did have a couple of foreshadowing moments. Remember his reactions after (1) finally breaking Twilight in TROH and (2) Fluttershy outright telling him she'd like to be his friend during the tea-party scene here? At first, we were meant to think he was just bucking with us; but by nowadays' standards, it seemed more along the lines of him starting to get a conscientious wake-up call (and naturally, he was too caught-up and proud to even acknowledge it).

 

1. Perhaps, but the fact that we were told of this before and it failed, I would like to have more than just a simple saying to state the spell can ward of Discord.

 

2. It's very iffy at best with the Twilight moment in ROH and considering he gloated about it, it's dubious at best for me to agree with it. Fluttershy stated to her friends after she's just doing whatever to get on Discord's good side so I'm going to believe that was her just attempting to do that was all sorry to say.

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7 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

God, how I fucking HATE this episode in so many ways. So, so many ways that I've detailed out and you have just detailed out as well. Just a big pile of, "What the everloving fuck is wrong with you, Celestia?!"

 

Discord... should've stayed in stone.

To me, the problem isn't that the writers wanted to reform Discord. The problem is that the attempt at doing so sucked ass, for reasons that you, @Metemponychosis and @Nuke87654 have already mentioned. I could go with it if the execution was good, but, and I'm sorry for beating a dead horse (no pun intended), the writers have shown time and again that they're unable to do it without it looking like a rush job.

Also, it really says something that said attempt was so poorly done, that the writers inadvertently had Discord poke fun at the concept.

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On 3/19/2017 at 9:20 AM, Nuke87654 said:

Keep Calm and Flutter On may have started the first episode for a reformed Discord for better or worse, and I liked the characterizations of the remane five, Spike, and Angel alongside Discord's antics in the episode, but I do not like this episode. My reasonings are due to how Celestia's plan was poorly thought out, and Fluttershy's attempts at reforming him are not done out of genuine care for him despite what the rushed and forced ending is trying to say about it in this poor start to Discord's reformation in the series.

In my opinion, Discord's reformation was not forced, though a little rushed. He had no idea what it is like to have a friend, or even what it takes to be a friend. This is evidenced by him saying, "If I want to have friends, I can't have everything I want, right?" Fluttershy taught him both lessons through example: giving him the benefit of the doubt, accepting a deal as a sign of trust, and then ceasing their friendship when he has really crossed the line. Discord's realization that he lost the only friend he ever had was a crushing blow to him. He realized that he had the first chance in his entire life to have a lasting friendship, and he blew it. Deep regret and shame for one's actions can change a person's heart in an instant. I would have liked it better if they had gave Discord a time to be alone, making him lonely and eventually expressing regret for his mistake, but I am satisfied with what the episode gave me. This episode was one of my favorites of all time, but of course, I respect the fact that many dislike it.

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8 hours ago, ChB said:

In my opinion, Discord's reformation was not forced, though a little rushed. He had no idea what it is like to have a friend, or even what it takes to be a friend. This is evidenced by him saying, "If I want to have friends, I can't have everything I want, right?" Fluttershy taught him both lessons through example: giving him the benefit of the doubt, accepting a deal as a sign of trust, and then ceasing their friendship when he has really crossed the line. Discord's realization that he lost the only friend he ever had was a crushing blow to him. He realized that he had the first chance in his entire life to have a lasting friendship, and he blew it. Deep regret and shame for one's actions can change a person's heart in an instant. I would have liked it better if they had gave Discord a time to be alone, making him lonely and eventually expressing regret for his mistake, but I am satisfied with what the episode gave me. This episode was one of my favorites of all time, but of course, I respect the fact that many dislike it.

 

The reason why I call it force is due to how rushed the ending was with Discord suddenly wanting friends and of how Fluttershy didn't had genuine care for him when she was trying to befriend him as she was ordered by Celestia to befriend and reform but yet we're told that their friendship is genuine or so. If they had at least removed that line of dialogue Fluttershy spoke about discord, I'd probably at least buy that Fluttershy was trying to be friends with him and be more forgiving with the ending or so, though her friends and even Celestia won't trust him right away so I'll at least like it better then.

 

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On 3/19/2017 at 9:39 PM, Nuke87654 said:

It's very iffy at best with the Twilight moment in ROH and considering he gloated about it, it's dubious at best for me to agree with it.

 

Hence the part about him being "too caught-up and proud to even acknowledge it."

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Today, I'm going to review the sixty third episode in the Friendship is Magic series, and it's third season's eleventh episode, Just for Sidekicks. It is written by Corey Powell with it's storyboard artists being Raven Molisee and Jocelan Thiessen. 

 

This episode is listed in the production order as 308 thus suggesting it was the eighth episode made in Season 3 that was revealed by Raven Molisee's deviantart page. Tim Stuby would state that the episode was either 308 or 312 and it's not 312 apparently. 

 

In his attempt to acquire more gems for his cake, Spike decides to babysit the mane 6's pets while they're out to the Crystal Empire to attend a meeting there. 

 

Positives:

 

1. I enjoyed the episode's focus on the mane 6's pets. One rather unique thing the episode has done was the focus on the mane 6's pets here. While it is not to say that all of them were given equal treatment in characterizations compared to others such as how I felt Opalescence and Gummy were rather under utilized, but for the most part I rather enjoyed the pet's characterizations. Ranging from Tank's clumsy but earnest flying and especially showing off that good bond that he and Rainbow Dash now share as pet and owner respectively.

 

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Just make sure no one tells her about it :P

 

To winona that seems to be a typical energetic dog that will go nuts if she doesn't get her exercises.

 

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Good doggie.

 

Opalescence had one interesting little characterization where she likes to be kept warm and is rather very sensitive to temperature changes.

 

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When low eighty temps are considered cold for you, perhaps moving to the tropics is in order.

 

Also it seems that since their first appearance together, Tank and Opalescence are on friendlier terms now. 

 

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Though not that friendly :P

 

 

Gummy is Gummy.

 

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Pinkie finally made him to care.

 

Owlicious himself received a much better outing here in comparison to his first episode from S1's worst Owl's Well that Ends Well where he seems to be developing as sort of that friend that tries to steer his buddy towards the right path or remind him what he's doing is going to hurt him soon or so which in this case may have been a good choice on Owlicious's part considering how Spike is in the episode.

 

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If only Spike had listened.

 

But the star of the pets and the episode was Angel Bunny. Not only was he interesting throughout for his rather spoiled pampered behavior from Fluttershy that enjoys receiving from her, but despite his selfishness, he does hold Fluttershy in high regard, appreciates her work for him, and does care for her.  

 

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Angel pleased he'll get three tail fluffs.

 

This would be showcased when Angel recognizes right away that Spike is only doing the pet sitting to get more gems for himself so he knows right away that Spike is not going to care as much as he should for him so he goes to the CMCs to where he hopes to get better treatment from instead.

 

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Angel definitely knows how to work the charm too.

 

Angel would present himself as the biggest antagonist for him as Spike wishes to be able to pull this job off so he can make his gem cake that he so desperately wants to while Angel recognizes this and isn't happy for Spike's selfish and self centered behavior for his pet sitting. Throughout the trek, Angel would seek to get to be with his owner, Fluttershy as much as possible much to Spike's chagrin as he would pose the biggest problem for him as he tries to hop on the train ride to the Crystal Empire.

 

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While Spike has to bring the gang along too.

 

Still, Angel's actions were justifiable considering how Spike was in the episode and yet when Spike eventually did apologized and admit that he never did thought of the pets seriously enough as he wanted the gems and was willing to concede defeat when Angel was going to alert the mane 6 on the train ride about their presence, he chose to cut Spike some slack to show that he isn't a vindictive bunny when he doesn't need to be.

 

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He even got to feed Spike when it looked like his rumbling hungry stomach was going to give them away. 

 

I would have to say that this was probably the best portrayal of Angel I have seen yet as he shows off his different shades of character where he can be selfish, affectionate, mischievous, and forgiving when he needs to be as he shows them off towards Spike and his bad behavior in the episode. Thus while Angel can be a jerk at times, deep down he has a rather heart of gold where he can show off some surprising affection and care for you if he feels you deserve it. 

 

Overall, the pets have plenty of their stuff for you to like though it varies in between the pets, but I feel the biggest winners of the episode were Angel, Owlicious, and Tank as I felt they received the most and best focus in the episode, especially for the bunny.

 

2. The CMC's were rather cute in the episode with their behavior. You'll receive some diabetic moments such as:

 

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Turning Winona into a pancake with an industrial grade hairdryer that was bought from Rarity's gem gift. Despite it's small size, it's valuable as hell.

 

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Sweetie Belle's squealing is cute. 

 

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The CMCs have cornered Spike to get out.

 

While the CMC's received little in characterization development other than they'd like to go to the Crystal Empire one day, it fulfilled their purpose as secondary characters in the episode.

 

3. The episode would tie in a sort of unique 'perspective' type episode. One thing that I will share that both Just for Sidekicks and the next episode, Games Ponies Play, have is that they are telling two stories of what happened between two different parties on the same day. This would help to show of how the two's day went and of how they handle it. Here we're taking the perspective of Spike, the pets, and the CMCs day went and how they managed their hectic plot.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Spike suffered character regression and poor out of character characterization in Just for Sidekicks. I would have to say that in terms of series development, I would have to say that Just for Sidekicks may have been more offensive for me than Spike at your Service was mainly for how the first thing we see in the episode is that the most positive trait from Dragon Quest, Pee Wee, Spike's little phoenix friend, was written out of the series.

 

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We didn't even get a single episode between the two and they choose to write him out!? Why!?

 

Then the episode proceeds to trash Spike's character where he would regress to becoming a greedy asshat for gems to the point of idiocy as he would actually be the cause of his own problems in the episode for not having gems as he would eat all of them out of his uncontrollable greed apparently even though he showed plenty of restraint in not eating that ruby gem in the S2 episode Secret of my Excess until it was ready.

 

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So much for that Gem Cake you wanted to make Spike.

 

Then the next step to his character crapperthon is when he chooses to do the chore of pet sitting for the mane 6 just so he can get the gems he lost from his greed and little else which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the point he doesn't want to do the job and tried to pitch it off to the CMCs until he realized they were screwing up.

 

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This goes against Spike's character of a dragon who cares very much on getting a job well done and will do anything to ensure it is completed which was one thing that I liked about Spike at your Service's characterization of Spike is his need to complete chores and tasks as ably as he can. Hell as @RK_Striker_JK_5 made mention of below, he'll even disobey orders directly form Princess Celestia if he feels that it's a poor order that needs to be disobeyed to get it done correctly. Then Angel would decide that he's had enough of Spike's terrible and selfish behavior and would go to Fluttershy so he can alert the mane 6 of his poor job which would prompt Spike to chase after him along with the other pets and the CMCs to help him out. Only thing that I felt was good for him was him admitting he screwed up and that he was leaving his fate in Angels hands as he knew he deserved punishment for his poor behavior and his relationship with Owlicious seems to be developing better too.

 

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Him removing the curlers that Angel had on as he was supposed to.

 

Still he would screw up his own plans due to having to pay for the damage and bribe folks to let him be able to get what he wanted.

 

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And it would end with Spike stupidly eating the last partially eaten gem when he needed it for his gem cake still.

 

If you were to ask me which of the two Spike episodes in S3 was the worst for him, I would say this one as while Spike's idiocy in Spike at your service was bad and marred by poor choices to the plot, at least it didn't regressed his character or remove any development he had garnered in the show like Just for Sidekicks did. 

 

2. Grannie Smith's bribery didn't paint a good look on her. While I'm not going to say that folks were entirely innocent with their demands like the train conductor, but at least he needed cash to allow him in still, and the other payments were at least to either pay off for the damages the pets caused, pay for the industrial grade hair dryer, or in Zecora's case to help Spike out by reminding him that he needs to control his greed better and she donated it to a charity.

 

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As you see here. 

 

For Grannie Smith, she essentially threatened to alert the mane 6 of Spike's behavior in Ponyville and how poor he's been handling the pets, forcing Spike to pay her a bribe.

 

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Not looking good there Grannie.

 

Conclusion: Just for Sidekicks may have held a worse characterization of Spike than Spike at your Service would have, but thanks to much better and developing characterizations of the mane 6 pets and especially on Angel, some cute moments in the episode, and a unique story of telling two parties's stories on the same day in two episodes that helps to buoy that major problem to barely passing for me.

 

Score: 6.5/10

 

Grade: D 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

We didn't even get a single episode between the two and they choose to write him out!? Why!?

Because 99% of Spike in the show is getting crapped on! I'm not even joking.

 

6 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Then the episode proceeds to trash Spike's character where he would regress to becoming a greedy asshat for gems to the point of idiocy as he would actually be the cause of his own problems in the episode for not having gems as he would eat all of them out of his uncontrollable greed apparently even though he showed plenty of restraint in not eating that ruby gem in the S2 episode Secret of my Excess until it was ready.

Or the Crystal Empire where, aside from maybe one comedic moment, he was focused and on-task. Unlike Rarity, who looked like she was about to start dry-humping the architecture!

 

I loathed this episode. Just so damned mean-spirited. :nnghaloo: Spike got screwed over for jokes that weren't even funny.

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On 3/21/2017 at 5:01 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Because 99% of Spike in the show is getting crapped on! I'm not even joking.

 

Or the Crystal Empire where, aside from maybe one comedic moment, he was focused and on-task. Unlike Rarity, who looked like she was about to start dry-humping the architecture!

 

I loathed this episode. Just so damned mean-spirited. :nnghaloo: Spike got screwed over for jokes that weren't even funny.

To be fair, Season 6 was him being awesome for the most part. Say what we don't like of Season 6, they definitely did a fantastic job on writing Spike. 

 

Good point, I'll need to add that there too. To be fair for Rarity, she was doing what she was told and such, especially with the faire. I didn't viewed her going gaga over the architecture bad or so.

 

I hear you and if not for everything else in the episode that at least pleased me enough not to fail it, I'd give it a failing grade based on what they did to Spike here.

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