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2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

True, but the point wasn't for us to feel for Sable Spirit but rather admire the self sacrifice Mist Mane was willing to do to ensure the happiness of others.

Ah... kind of impossible to not feel anything about Sable Spirit, since she was half of the tale.

 

As for to Change a Changeling, yeah. Nice to see the new changedling culture. And I like Pharnyx a lot. Especially with that he's right that they've gone too far in the opposite direction of war.

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Today I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty first episode and its seventh season’s eighteenth episode, Daring Done? The episode’s story is written by Gillian M. Berrow. The storyboard artists are Marta Demong and Desirae Salmark.

 

The production order for Daring Done? was 717, suggesting it was meant to be the seventh season’s seventeenth episode. The Egyptian at style was done by co-director Denny Lu, storyboard artists Marta Demong and Desirae Salmark, character designer Kora Kosicka, and art director Matt Herring. Matt Herring also did the Sphinx in the episode.

 

Upon hearing that Daring Do is going to publish her last book in the series, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie go to AK Yearling’s house to find out what is causing her to quit her adventures.

 

 

Positives:

 

1.       Daring Do had her most relatable characterization in Daring Done?. Now before Daring Done?, typically while Daring Do has been caught in bad situations where she was forced into a bind physically such as one of her wings is injured or other injuries, emotionally her path was clear and she was never put on a spot where her mental wellbeing is tested. Daring Done? is the first episode in the series where we get to see her put in a bad spot on an emotional level. This would be that as Daring Do was busy fighting off Ahuitzotl to save the town of Somnambula from being sunk into the ground, she accidentally destroyed some priceless stuff over there, including the towns statue where they go to pay respect to their town’s namesake pony idol and even caused misfortune for an inn owner at the Get On Inn who has banned her from entering there.  

 

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No Indiana Jones expies allowed. 

 

 

All those incidences would weigh heavily on AK Yearling as to being so despised and hated for what she has done is not something she is used to facing and to make matters worse, these were stuff she did do on accident, she can’t get upset she’s being frame but instead feel guilty for what she had caused over there. This allows us to feel sympathetic with Daring Do well as we see that not only does she feel genuinely guilty for what she has done, but she is so distraught over it that she’s willing to quit her adventures to prevent more of it from happening.

 

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This would be the primary theme for the episode as we see Daring Do lose faith in herself with which Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash try everything they can to convince Daring Do to believe in herself and to have faith that she’ll clear her name. Now after some time and Dr. Cabelleron and his gang returning to kidnap Rainbow Dash, prompting Daring Do to break out of her melancholy to go and save Rainbow Dash from their clutches alongside Pinkie Pie, this would renew Daring Do’s spirit to where she vows she won’t let him sully her reputation to break her spirit again. After clearing her name of stealing the glopaz jewels that Dr. Cabelleron framed on her to further break her faith in herself, she would go back to the town of Somnambula and Get On Inn to repay the damages she caused there.

 

 

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Here's Daring Do making a payment and apology to the apple cart pony.

 

 

In my opinion, Daring Done? had perhaps Daring Do’s best characterization in the show as we get to see a unique side to her that we haven’t seen before, her emotional guilt for what she had caused to a town from her past adventure and how it has affected her badly for it to where it required direct intervention from Rainbow Dash her biggest fan and Pinkie Pie. Speaking of which.

 

 

2.       Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were great in Daring Done?. Now the two mane ponies who starred in this episode, Rainbow Dash who would be really the driving force to get AK Yearling out of her funk and Pinkie Pie who would provide fantastic support for both deserve great credit for their roles in this episode. Not only were they very effective in their roles to help AK Yearling out but their chemistry between each other is on point as Rainbow Dash pushed as hard as she could to try to get AK Yearling to renew faith in herself while Pinkie Pie helped temper Rainbow Dash’s decisions and choices with helpful advice and banter. Both would have their moments of notoriety here such as:

 

 

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Pinkie Pie would try her fancy voice to woo the innkeeper to give information on Daring Do.

 

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Rainbow Dash and her explanations to all the adventures of Daring Do to anyone at Somenambula.

 

All of them would highlight the great points and highlights that Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie had in the episode to where I felt this is one of their best episodes together in the series. It’s certainly good that AK Yearling had those two to help her out in her time of need as they never gave up faith in her to overcome her melancholy to continue her adventures.

 

 

3.       The Daring Done? episode would also set us up for Somnambula’s appearance in the series with her story in Daring Done?. One key point the episode showed us was the appearance of another Equestrian hero of days past in Somnambula.

 

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Somnambula herself

 

According to the tale spoken by the apple cart pony, Somnambula was renowned for giving hope to other ponies even in times of hardship such as the time the town was under the iron rule of an evil Sphinx. Her kindness would move the town’s prince so much that he would march his armies lead by the Pharoh to free their people only for the Sphinx to kidnap Prince Hisan. When no one chooses to free the prince, it would be Somnambula who would take the challenge to free him from the Sphinx by answering her riddles. She would succeed, forcing the Sphinx away and freeing the prince. She would soon be awarded for keeping hope in folks by given a glopaz necklace. Years later, Somnambula would have the town she lived in be named after her in her honor and would hold tributes to her by offering glopaz jewels to her statue built in her honor to have wishes of good tidings be given onto them.

 

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Thus, you can see why the town would be so furious at Daring Do.

 

When you consider how she will play a role for the season seven finale, Daring Done? deserves kudos for setting her up and her appearance in this episode here. Also, Somnambula’s character would carry the primary theme of this episode, hope, which speaking of which.

 

4.       I did like the lessons presented in the episode. While the lesson on Hope was heavy handed, I will give credit that maintaining hope in oneself is a big key to understand in life as there are going to be hard times to face so you can’t let despair control you, you got to have faith to push forward and succeed when you need to.

 

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You just got to believe you won't die!

 

As for the other lesson presented here, no matter how good your intentions are, that doesn’t excuse what wrong actions you’ve done is to me something that is extremely important for folks to heed and something that I feel gets discarded and not taught. Considering how our society is, we do need to listen this lesson that no matter how good intentions are, if we are doing wrong, we should not be excused from it and should look to make amends for what they have done.

 

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No matter how good you believe you are, don't be an ass. Do your duty to make amends for what you have done. 

 

 

5.       I do like the Get On Inn’s design. I do like the pretty design of the oasis inn and I do think it would be a cozy location to settle around the area if anyone wants to write or so.

 

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That is one pretty inn. 

 

 

6.       I do like the Southern Equestria location and how different it is compared to the rest of Equestria. Speaking of location, I do like the dry desert locale of Southern Equestria where it seemed to have been the site of an egyption like pony civilization that has given away as time eroded power away from it to the government up in northern Equestria. Since I’m a fan of such desert locations and especially at how since it’s distant enough to be operate rather independently away from the rest of Equestria, one could make a story here without having to be concerned with the issues up north if they so choose.

 

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A nice location to keep one away from the matters of show's stories from the north. 

 

 

Negatives:

 

1.       I felt the theme of Hope was overbearing in Daring Done?. A minor complaint I had with the episode was the overexposure of the theme hope in the episode. Daring Done?’s narrative would hammer in of how important hope is, which is a true thing but it’s one that I felt it was done to the point it was annoying for me to hear it spouted of how hope is important and all that. It could’ve been trimmed down and it would’ve worked fine, but I have much greater issues in mind.

 

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I won't ever give up hope!

 

 

2.       I was disappointed Rainbow Dash was kidnapped so easily by Dr. Cabelleron’s men and especially how awkward it was seeing Pinkie Pie and AK Yearling being so close as to not hear Dr. Cab’s monologue. In a moment that I felt was rather out of character for the feisty Rainbow Dash, she allowed Dr. Cab and his men to pony nap her without a fight.

 

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I wonder if it’s cause of Dashie’s secret fetish being exploited here.

 

To make this scene look worse, they didn’t even need to worf her much considering she’s facing Dr. Cabelleron and his gang, a group that has given a very athletic AK Yearling fits in her past adventures and is one of her greatest nemesis’s, so even the very world class athlete in Rainbow Dash shouldn’t be that big of an issue for them to handle.

 

The other awkward thing that I saw in the episode was seeing how close Pinkie Pie and AK Yearling were to the whole thing that you can’t help but ask ‘how did they not heard Dr. Cab give his monologue to Rainbow Dash or them mugging and tying her up!?’

 

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This photo doesn't show it, but they were close at hand to easily hear Dr. Cab's monologue. 

 

 

3.       The tone in the climax suffers a whiplash away from an otherwise serious story in Daring Done?. I have an issue with how the climax for Daring Done was set up and made. The first of this is how the tone shifted away from the otherwise serious narrative to a silly one where you shifted away from the gang about to die in a pool of slime, to suddenly them happily hopping in between air vents to save Rainbow Dash and then lose whatever fear of RD losing her life you had cause the tone in the climax became lighthearted and silly at the point.

 

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Happy times!

 

 

4.       The climax suffers a major hit from one of the show’s most blatant deus ex machinas I’ve seen. So to further compound the tone whiplash problem it had, when it looked like that Pinkie and AK Yearling were going to fall to their deaths only for inexplainable air vents from the toxic pool of slime to boost them up in the air as they couldn’t use flight to save Rainbow Dash due to a curse placed on the pyramid.

 

 

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Here's her trying to unfold her wings but can't.

 

 

This is a major problem as not only are we not given any clue that these vents existed before hand but to make matters even worse, the fact they look like mechanical constructions suggest they were placed there only recently. This only leaves folks wondering ‘Who would place those there and for what purpose other than to conveniently save the heroines as they’re trying to cross the gap?’ With no explanation how those existed or why they should, this creates a pretty big issue with the climax to where it feels like those events only exist to ensure our heroines can save the day without issue.

 

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So is there any reason those vents exist in this ancient pyramid?

 

 

Conclusion: Daring Done? while not without plenty of issues with the climax especially, it’s an episode that I felt if not for the very weak culmination of the story, it had all the ingredients needed to make a great episode. With Daring Do given her best characterization in the series in my opinion, some good lessons for folks to heed, great characterizations in Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, Somnambula’s appearance, and reveal of Southern Equestria and its locale, Daring Done in my opinon is a very enjoyable but flawed Daring Do episode.

 

Score: 8.0/10

Grade: C+

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/28/2018 at 2:11 PM, WaterPulse said:

Yeah, most of the third act was kind of off. Other than that, the episode was alright and the concept was neat.

Agreed. It's an episode that could've been great if the climax had even been decent. 

 

On 1/28/2018 at 4:49 PM, Anti-Villain said:

No Sphinx screenshots?

 

0/10; worst review.

 

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J/K; plz no h8.

 

:ajlol:

Sorry for the lack of sphinxes :P

 

On 1/28/2018 at 5:54 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Yeah, that climax really was off compared to the rest of the episode. good review of it. :)

Agreed, and thank you very much Rk striker.

 

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Today, I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty second episode and its seventh season’s nineteenth episode, it isn’t a mane thing about you. The episode’s story is written by Josh Haber. The storyboard artists for It isn’t a mane thing about you is Jae Harm and Kaylea Chard

 

It isn’t a mane thing about you is listed as season seven’s twentieth episode on the production order suggesting it was seventh season’s original twentieth till it got moved up to be its nineteenth episode instead. At the 2017 Hascon, a clip from the episode was given a private viewing.

 

Rarity struggles to deal with her mane as an important photo shoot is incoming while she has to prepare for it with bouquets, fans, and chairs for the photo shoot to accentuate her hair but suffers a silly string accident for it.

 

 

Positives:

 

1.       I did like seeing Rarity helping folks out with their problems at the beginning despite her own issues at hand. Being the element of Generosity, despite Rarity having her own issues at hand with the photo shoot still managed to take the time and opportunity to help folks out with their problem at hand. While this also gave her the benefit of those folks being more willing to help her out with her own issues, still she could’ve chosen not to but still she chose to so this light but effective start for Rarity would earn my favor for her in the start of It isn’t the mane thing about you.

 

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All for her fabulous mane.

 

 

2.       We get some continuity from The Perfect Pear here in It isn’t a mane thing about you too. In a small but appreciative note, we find that at the mares day festival (which I’m assuming it’s like Mother’s day), we see Applebloom is speaking to her possibly father’s best friend Burnt Oak.

 

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Burnt Oak not getting left out here, that’s good.

 

Also, we see that Grand Pear and Grannie Smith have firmly reconciliated with each other as they’re working together alongside each other at the same kiosk during the same festival.

 

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Seems those two old coots are getting along.

 

This minor but appreciated note in It isn’t a mane thing about you is something to like here.

 

 

3.       I enjoyed Rarity and her over the top humor in It isn’t a mane thing about you. A primary thing about Rarity is her humor. Typically, Rarity loves to exaggerate her circumstance or behavior in order embellish her situation. Here, I did enjoy how over the top she was here were after her mane was cut down by a mistake with a potion mis hap, she would react with despair and distraught and treat it how a lady should react when their fabulous hair is cut down alone, let alone how she needed it for a photo shoot.

 

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Eating gallons of ice cream. Her exercise regimen must be fantastic to stave off that tummy she should be getting from those stresses.

 

 

Keep going with this for Rarity episodes as her humor is what really sets her episodes so well for me.

 

 

4.       I did enjoy Pinkie Pie for the tiny appearance she was in it too. While Pinkie Pie would mostly get put on the sideline for much of the episode due to the potion misshap in instead of removing the silly strings that she wanted at sugar cube corner would get the shampoo instead, for what she had done here, she was effective as tiny bit comedic support as she would help Rarity out to getting to Zecora’s and would have a few moments of humor to shine here such as her twisty neck and ordering Rarity to read the Vanity magazine to see her punk rock look made it successfully in the fashion world.

 

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Pinkie Pie putting on her seductive look here.

 

While not really notable, It isn’t a mane thing about you did gave Pinkie Pie an effective role for her to handle.

 

 

5.       I really appreciate the lengths and toil Rarity’s friends went to cheer and comfort her up. Now thanks to the shampoo misshap between her and Zecora, whom I will get to later, Rarity’s mane is ruined and she’s rightfully saddened by it as folks start treating her differently due to not having the confidence and mane she had.

 

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Poor Rarity.

 

Desperate to get the photo shoot on time, initially she would try to get what she wanted under a cloak only for that to fail due to not showing her mane and being embarrassed by it. Rarity would eventually head off to Twilight’s castle to ask them for some magic spells to fix her mane issue.

 

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Rarity is going full derp. You know that’s bad news.

 

However, once the spells would fail with various results and Zecora would confirm that there’s no easy quick fix for Rarity’s problem, confirming at least the removal spell didn’t killed Rarity’s hair for good, Rarity would wallow further into misery.

 

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Rarity’s derping intensifies.

 

Soon after when her other friends in Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash hear about her issues, they would try to help her out however they can such as AJ suggesting a bonnet, Rainbow Dash with a cloud mane, and Fluttershy using nature grass and branches as a makeshift mane which all of them would not work for the photo shoot Rarity is concerned about at hand.

 

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Nice effort, but a bonnet is not going to satisfy the photo shoot when they want a person’s natural mane.

 

Then, once they see all their efforts fail, everyone sans Spike, whom I’m going to talk about later, they try again and go to Rarity’s home to comfort her and tell her that her main issue isn’t about the hair but her lack of confidence. She has managed to turn bad lemons into delicious fruits so they tell her to try to make the best of her mane instead of being in despair for it and the photo shoot. This would inspire Rarity to try on a whole different look and with renewed confidence while she’s at it.

 

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And thus, Raripunk is born.

 

With this new-found confidence, Rarity would go out and help folks out in their time of need such as Filthy Rich finding gifts for his wife, which I do have to make a small note that while DT doesn’t speak here, she does appear and I do like that her father is doing however he can to please the misses, even going back to find the correct flowers for her.

 

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Here’s Rarity talking to Filthy Rich on which is the best bouquet for his wife.

 

Thanks to being freed up from the photo shoot, Rarity would offer up all the stuff that she had bought for herself to folks instead as she no longer needed it and feels they shall be put to better use in their hands instead. Now later, when Rarity’s mane would grow back, Pinkie Pie and the gang would show that they also did one other nice thing for Rarity underneath her. Despite not arriving for an official photo shoot, they managed to convince Photo Finish to take pictures of Rarity with her Raripunk look on. Photo Finish was so impressed by it that she took multiple photos of it and did put it on the front cover of a vanity magazine several months later. What Rarity’s friends did for her in It isn’t a mane thing about you is a highlight of the mane 6 and Starlight as a gang and how great they are supporting one another when they need it the most.

 

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Guess what’s the latest craze going on cause of that issue?

 

Negatives:

 

1.       I put partial blame on Zecora for not not labelling the vials in some way to ensure it doesn’t get confused for something as dangerous as removal potion. Now, the cause of the episode’s conflict and how it started is an issue that I want to make note of here. In It Isn’t a mane thing about you, while Zecora did pointed out to which vial is the one that she would take, and Rarity deserves partial blame for being frightened enough from Zecora’s stories, I put partial blame on Zecora for failing to put a proper label on each bottle. Considering how dangerous one of the potions was as Rarity and Zecora were legit worried that she may have permanently lost her hair, you would think labelling one of them is the shampoo that Rarity needed and the removal potion that Pinkie needed would be necessary to avoid confusion.

 

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Sure, Zecora believed that it won’t be the case, but even she admits there’s a chance it could happen so there’s risk involved.

 

Simply I wished the episode would make note on Zecora’s screw up here.

 

2.       For some reason, despite Spike’s appearance in It isn’t a mane thing about you, he gets no speaking lines and he doesn’t appear anywhere else in this episode. Another issue I had with this episode was its use of Spike’s character here, which is they didn’t used him at all. When one considers his relationship with Rarity, even without the crush on her, he should’ve been among the first to come to her aid with such a ruined mane. Instead, we only see him one time in the episode and that’s to clean up the mess Twilight and Starlight made with a hair spell with no speaking lines. To further makes this flaw more apparent, instead of going with the gang to Rarity’s home in Ponyville, we don’t see him at all. This is a pretty big mistake in my view as this should’ve been a good move to include Spike among the gang to help Rarity out in her hour of need.

 

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So, it is true, Starlight Glimmer is the new Spike in Season seven.

 

 

Conclusion: It isn’t a mane thing about you is a simple but very effective story told in this season. While not without its issues with how Zecora was held blameless for her actions and how Spike wasn’t used at all in an episode that should’ve been an easy choice to include him in, still the episode held a funny but endearing characterization of Rarity as she shows off her generous spirit and her creative one too with the Raripunk look. Toss in a few other things such as continuity from S7’s the Perfect Pear and a bit on Filthy Rich going to lengths to please his wife on Mare’s day to spice It isn't a mane thing about you. What makes this episode better however is seeing how great her friends were helping her out and especially be the ones to inspire confidence back into her as the fantastic friends they are.

 

Score: 9.0/10

Grade: B+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yeah it was kind of disappointing that Spike wasn't in it this episode much, though it wasn't enough to kill it. Virtually everything else was grand. Also, I liked the part where Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes about her dad leaving "Mare's Day to the last minute."

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I like Raripunk... but the whole, "Magic can't fix a mane," is pure, 100% author fiat and them forgetting that Twilight can make mustaches. And I'll eat my proverbial hat if there's any real appreciable difference between the two!

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11 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I like Raripunk... but the whole, "Magic can't fix a mane," is pure, 100% author fiat and them forgetting that Twilight can make mustaches. And I'll eat my proverbial hat if there's any real appreciable difference between the two!

:stararity:
But darling! Of course there is large difference between hair and mustache, they simply are not same. One is lost when you go bald and other stays with you forever! 

:suspicious: 
Wait....why were they trying to "create" hair out of nothing in the first place and not just speed up the growing process of Rarity's mane. 

Ah well. Conflict resists any resolution until the end of an episode no matter how powerful the solution is. 

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On 1/31/2018 at 5:50 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I like Raripunk... but the whole, "Magic can't fix a mane," is pure, 100% author fiat and them forgetting that Twilight can make mustaches. And I'll eat my proverbial hat if there's any real appreciable difference between the two!

Now that's something for me to consider and try to add in as that does show a good point that Twilight did showed an ability to grow hair, though considering how they explained how they had to steal hair from somewhere, I wonder if folks can apply that logic to that too. Either way, that's a good point for me to look at.

 

On 1/31/2018 at 11:44 AM, Anti-Villain said:

 

 

P.S.: Next thing you know, she'll be tag-teaming with Shrek and Donkey. :ajlol:

Ooh so that's the song.

 

On 1/31/2018 at 3:39 PM, WaterPulse said:

Yeah it was kind of disappointing that Spike wasn't in it this episode much, though it wasn't enough to kill it. Virtually everything else was grand. Also, I liked the part where Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes about her dad leaving "Mare's Day to the last minute."

True, I agree.

 

 

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Today, I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty third episode and its seventh season’s twentieth episode, A Health of Information. The episode’s story is written by         Sammie Crowley and Whitney Wetta. The storyboard artists for A Health of Information are Thalia Tomlinson and Cory Toomey.

 

A Health of Information is listed as the seventh season’s eighteenth episode in its production order.

 

Fluttershy frantically tries to save Zecora from a terminal illness called Swamp Fever by getting Twilight to tag along with her to go on an adventure to find a legendary if not mythical healer of folk tale named the Mystical Mask.

 

Positives:

 

1.       The Swamp Fever is represented well here as a terrifying disease to be fearful of in the episode and I love how it sets the tone for it. Remember from Season 2’s episode The Cutie Pox and how it made the cutie pox disease rather scary with its implications it showed? In season seven’s A Health of Information, it brings back that grim dark tone and turns it up even higher in the show with the nasty Swamp Fever disease. This disease infects ponies with pox spots on them, coughing bubbles out of their mouths, sneezing lightning bolts out of themselves, sprouting branches out of their skin until they eventually become the very tree where the creator of the Swamp Fever disease in its lilypad flower.

 

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Here’s the terrifying flower and cause of the Swamp Fever.

 

On a personal analysis, upon hearing how this disease turns ponies into the same tree that sprouts more of these lily pad flowers, this leaves a rather very terrifying implication about it as not only does it seem the disease is terminal considering how grave the doctor’s tone was when he diagnosed it as Swamp Fever, there’s no known cure for the Swamp Fever disease.

 

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See this fungus growing out of the insect? Yea this is what Swamp Fever does to ponies at the final stage. Crap.

 

A Health of Information’s narration successfully spins one of the most somber tones in the whole series by using the deadly terminal disease in the Swamp Fever to motivate and Drive Fluttershy to great lengths and levels to save Zecora who herself got infected from the flower that carried it.

 

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Be prepared to see absolutely determined Flutershy here.

 

 

2.       Fluttershy is fantastic in a Health of Information and one could argue this is her best characterization in the whole show.  As for our primary protagonist in the episode, Fluttershy, she is utterly fantastic in A Health of Information. Motivated by her guilt for causing her friend Zecora to be stricken with Swamp Fever, upon hearing from Zecora about a legendary healer known as the Mystical Mask, Fluttershy would pull all stops to research on this myth by getting her research and book worm friend Twilight Sparkle to help her out. Due to her frenzy to finding the cure for Zecora, Fluttershy would spend all night to finding the mystical mask or any sort of cure to the Swamp Fever despite Twilight’s insistence they rest for the night.

 

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When Twilight herself is suggesting taking a rest for the evening from reading books, you know Fluttershy is going utterly nuts.

 

After spending the whole night researching, Fluttershy would find that the folk tale of the Mystical Mask, is based on a real person named Mage Meadowbrook.

 

 

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I will get to later the issue that Mage Meadowbrook later, but for now, prepare for an incoming Equestrian legend story to be told here.

 

Finding out the place where Mage Meadowbrook originally lived before disappearing, they would find an abandoned ghost town where no one lives there. When they would enter inside Mage Meadowbrook’s tree home that she no longer lives there, Fluttershy would start showing signs of how she’s pushing herself so hard that her lack of sleep is affecting her judgement.

 

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As I said, Fluttershy is so determined to save Zecora that she’s even willing to do it at the cost of her own health. Perhaps Twilight has a point here considering how clumsy and confused Fluttershy is becoming.

 

 Once inside, they find it is occupied by one of her descendants named Cat Tail.

 

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I’m going to explain later why I like Cat Tail.

 

With Cat Tail’s help, Fluttershy and Twilight would find out that Mage Meadowbrook had not only indeed encountered the Swamp Fever disease before but after much trial and error and racing against the clock as there was an especially virulent outbreak of it in her home town, infecting even her teacher and mother. There, Mage Meadowbrook would find an indigenous species in her area, the Flash Bees are not only immune to the deadly vapor clouds of the lilypad flower but they can collect the pollen from it and churn it for their honey inside their hive to which she would find is the cure.

 

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Now if only Fluttershy hadn’t been so tired she would remember that one important detail Meadowbrook did.

 

After Fluttershy would get infected with the Swamp Fever, however, while Fluttershy pushes herself harder and was willing to collect the honey from the hive itself as she felt confident that her experience with animals would, in part due to how tired she was, she would be quickly overwhelmed by how aggressive the bees are at defending their home from intruders, knocking her unconscious from the fall. Also, due to lacking sleep, she would not wake up for several days, which would waste precious time and energy that Fluttershy could’ve used to getting the honey quickly as Zecora’s disease becomes even worse.

 

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Meanwhile, Twilight and Cat Tail would try everything to get the honey but fail, seems the bees are highly resistant against magic as well.

 

However, now rested and with energy this time and seeing a flash bee lovingly caressing Meadowbrook’s old healer’s mask, Fluttershy would quickly surmise that the mask was the thing that allowed Meadowbrook to get close to the hive.

 

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Here’s a bee lovingly showing affection for a mask.

 

Thanks to the color patterns on Meadowbrook’s healer mask, Fluttershy would successfully collect the honey to cure herself and bring it to cure Zecora, saving the day.

 

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And just in time too.

 

While Fluttershy does learn a lesson to not over exert yourself too hard to where you’re sleep depriving yourself as the eventual hard sleep you’ll get from pushing your body to such effort will cause you to waste more time and with how you’ll not be as focused if you had rested, I should commend her however. Her need to save Zecora from the Swamp Fever was fantastic as not only was she determined to ensure she gets the cure as quickly as she can, but she was willing to do it at her own expense as she wanted to ensure her friend’s safety. This determination would allow her to output even Twilight Sparkle in book researching and would be pretty much the one spearheading their efforts to finding the cure for Zecora as Twilight herself was relegated to support. While I could see some folks be a bit annoyed by seeing this role reversal, I feel this was sort of a makeup call for how Fluttershy was relegated to the supporting role till the last minute in their last episode together in S5’s Hoof Fields and McColts. Either way, seeing how far Fluttershy was willing to push herself to get the honey, even quickly overcoming her fear of the bees to get the honey despite her deteriorating condition from the disease and her sleep deprivation, this was easily the bravest I’ve ever seen Fluttershy in the show. At the same time, the episode does balance her out by planting the lesson on her to not push herself so hard by correctly showing how not getting sleep to rest has caused her to fall into unconscious for three days, wasting time she could’ve used to save Zecora. Overall, there’s very few things in the show that has a comparable Fluttershy performance as the one showed in A Health of Information. She was so great in fact that you can even view it as her best characterization in the show, yes even above Hurricane Fluttershy as she was that good. Seeing a heroic Fluttershy delights me.

 

 

3.       Twilight Sparkle was an effective support in a Health of Information. Now taking a largely supporting role here in A Health of Information, outside of a good joke of ‘NON STICK PANS’,

 

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Here’s my derp face!

 

Twilight Sparkle’s role wasn’t all that memorable as it was clear that she’s taking a backseat to Fluttershy here, but this isn’t bad as she was effective in what she did, and was especially on point when she would point out to Fluttershy that she needs. Also, when Fluttershy was knocked out of action, we would find that Twilight would not only go back to Zecora to take care of her, with the help of Cat Tail, she would also try to get the honey from the Zap Bees themselves only to fail in that regard.

 

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So while Twilight didn’t saved the day, she did tried. On a separate note, I'm seriously digging those healers masks as they're practically Cajun bayou versions of the famed Plague Doctor's mask.

 

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Not so different.

 

 

This in my opinion was a good choice as if Twilight had done so, we wouldn’t have such a moment of awesome for Fluttershy here when she does succeed getting the honey. And Twilight’s lesson to Fluttershy to not over exert herself would prove on point considering the many errors in judgement the yellow Pegasus pony would make in A Health of Information. Overall, not a stellar secondary role, but an effective one for Twilight here.

 

 

4.       Cat Tail is another effective support, but his character carries some surprising depth in him. Now the new character that gets introduced into this episode, Cat Tail, is the sole occupant of Meadowbrook’s abandoned home town.

 

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He lives in his ancestor, Mage Meadowbrook’s, home in the Hayseed Swamp Bayou.

 

Now outside of being a good help to Twilight and Fluttershy in their quest to finding the cure for the Swamp Fever, there’s a surprising amount of depth to his character I find. Now look at the town he lives at, it’s a ghost town as there’s no one living there but him. When the girls ask why he’s living in Meadowbrook’s home, he simply says that he wishes to protect and preserve his ancestor’s work or something along the lines of that. Now there’s something meaningful to what he’s doing here. Remember, he has no obligations to stay at Meadowbrook’s home in Hayseed Swamp and in fact it’s actually to his benefit that he leaves the place as no other pony but he remains in this forsaken ghost town so he’s living entirely by himself. His sole motivation is only to preserve his great ancestor’s work and legacy in her home, meaning that Cat Tail is willing to sacrifice his own happiness that he could’ve achieved elsewhere to ensure his ancestor’s work is preserved. Understanding this, I have a great amount of respect for this clever writing to Cat Tail’s character as it makes him a much more interesting character than what’s shown on the surface.

 

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Appreciate what this pony is willing to do girls as without this guy willing to sacrifice his personal wants to protect his ancestor’s work for folks like you to find, Zecora and Fluttershy are probably dead from the Swamp Fever.

 

 

5.       I do enjoy the abandon swamp ghost town setting here in Hayseed Swamp as well. In another expansion of Equestria, we get a nice locale in the Abandoned swamp town of Meadowbrook’s home in Hayseed Swamp. Considering in Meadowbrook’s story of how the place was infected with a bad Swamp Fever outbreak that was likely only saved by Meadowbrook’s intervention and how prevalent the place seems to be with it, I can only imagine the many horror stories that folks can use to describe of how this town went to hell with the diseases running rampant without Meadowbrooks and the lost knowledge she had to cure the Swamp Fever. And that’s just the swamp fever itself as the Hayseed Swamp is ominous enough to have many scary stories in it such as ghost sightings, monstrous creatures, and the like.

 

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I probably made this town scarier than it is.

 

 

6.       We get a good background story on Mage Meadowbrook here. Now while I have a bit of an issue with their design and choice of Meadowbrook here, I will say this, with what they presented I was impressed. We see that the earth pony was not only a famed sorceress who is also revealed to have been the folk tale hero Mystical Mask in this story, but thanks to her descendant keeping her journals preserved, we see the struggles that Meadowbrook had to face from learning to cure an animal of an illness to earn her first healer’s mask from her mother, to the swamp fever outbreak and how it affected meadowbrook on a personal level, to discovery, and eventually to her successfully getting the Flash Bee’s honey to cure the disease.

 

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A rather impressive story of trial and error and triumphing to become a great heroine.

 

 

 The other interesting thing about her is that out of all the folk tale heroes spoken in Season 7, she is the only one to have been mentioned that she had disappeared, suggesting that Meadowbrook was perhaps the one most connected to the common folk of Equestria due to her works in healing and fame for it.

 

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Mage Meadowbrook here.

 

Thus, this episode deserves credit for helping us to set up meadowbrook’s own role in her appearance in the season seven finale.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1.       To get us the backstory, A health of information had to do a deliberate retcon of Meadowbrooks original backstory. The only issue that can prevent the episode from achieving perfection in my honest opinion is that for us to get Meadowbrook’s backstory here, they had to break her original background info of being a powerful unicorn mage instead of an earth pony healer A health of information has chosen for her instead. While not a big issue considering it was a mere mention in the Season 5 cutie map episode, it’s still a break in the continuity that one can’t easily ignore.

 

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Not a bad move but still a flaw.

 

 

 

Conclusion: A health of Information is not only at least one of the strongest Fluttershy episodes in the show, housing one of her best characterizations in the series, but it also held some many good stuffs in it such as Twilight and Cat Tail’s helpful secondary roles here to help balance out Fluttershy, including a good lesson for her to learn and how it costed her for not heeding it. Despite the minor flaw that it had to break the original story on Meadowbrook, the one A health of Information gave to her is more than satisfactory and entertaining enough for folks to be impressed by what they did and gave for her. Cat Tail’s character carries some surprising depth for folks to appreciate from him. And I really loved how well they wove the terrifying Swamp Fever into the story where it carries tons of dark implications about it and how it may have impacted the abandonment of the swamp town in Hayseed Swamp that Meadowbrook once lived with whom only her descendant does now, giving us one of the show’s grimmer dark tales. This is easily one of season seven’s best episodes yet.

 

 

Score: 9.5/10

Grade: A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today, I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty fourth episode and its seventh season’s twenty first episode, Marks and Recreation. The episode’s story is written by May Chan. The storyboard artists for Marks and Recreation are Karine Charlebois and Dave Wiebe.

 

A clip of the Marks and Recreation episode was shown to a private viewing at the 2017 HASCON.

 

The Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to create a cutie mark camp for many fillies and colts to join to earn their cutie mark. Things are going smoothly until one colt, Rumble decides that he doesn’t want to get a cutie mark.

 

Positives:

 

1.       I like the choice and direction the Cutie Mark Crusaders are taking with their occupation as cutie mark counselors in Marks and Recreation. In Marks and Recreation, the cutie mark crusaders while they’re doing their jobs to help younger ponies find their cutie marks well, they find that they’re running into an issue. Too many of them, so little time.

 

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Sorry, we’re closed!

 

 

So, they would come up with a solution that to grab and teach as many colts and fillies as they can, they decide to open a summer style camp where they allow the campers there to be able to perform and do whatever activity they can to find their cutie mark.

 

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Junior campers.

 

 

There, they will not only help teach the young campers to getting their cutie mark, but even impart another important lesson onto them that just because they have a cutie mark doesn’t mean other opportunities are denied to them. They can still enjoy painting in circles despite having a cutie mark in Haiku as an example.

 

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Too bad she’ll rebel as well.

 

 

Now of course they would be put in a conflict with Rumble, who is leading a rebellion against them as he declares that cutie marks only force them to do one activity for the rest of their days while blank flanks still have the freedom to do it.

 

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Remember what Twilight said about the freedom in finding their cutie marks as blank flanks from Season One’s Call of the Cutie? Looks like that’s being used against them this time.

 

 

There, the Cutie Mark Crusaders struggle to get their point across that just because they have cutie marks doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to do other activities at their leisure and that cutie marks are special and must be attained by everyone.

 

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SPECIAL!

 

 

Fortunately, the conflict will resolve in the manner they want it to with a bit of help to convince Rumble their way is better. On that note, the Cutie Mark Crusaders decision to open a summer camp to earn cutie marks is not only a good path for them to do as their careers as cutie mark counselors shape up, but their arguments against Rumble with how cutie marks aren’t as bad as he’s making them out to be and it won’t deny them the choices and activities they want to do highlights their own growing knowledge and understanding in their field too.

 

 

 

 

2.       Rumble is great in Marks and Recreation. Now for how our antagonist of the episode did, I really enjoyed Rumble. Here, the guy would play as the antagonist but with good reasons for why.

 

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Being in your older brother’s shadow isn’t cool.

 

 

Here, ever since his older brother Thunderlane successfully got into the wonderbolts as an official flyer, Rumble has been feeling envious for his brother’s success there so he decides to practice flying himself so he can prep for such a future he wants and to even earn a cutie mark in it while doing so.

 

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If only his brother wasn’t interrupting him.

 

Now, he probably has been doing this for quite a while yet has not earned his cutie mark. I can see that for one that wanted his career to be in flying, getting a cutie mark that says your path is not in flying would probably crush Rumble as it’s not a path he wants. This sort of reminds me of folks wanting to get into a job career field but can’t due to reasons beyond their control and are forced into a different path instead. This is pretty much how I feel Rumble is going through only instead of worrying if he has the grades, notoriety, scholarships, and money to be able to get into that career field he wants, he’s worried if fate has a different idea in store for him.

 

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Something I can relate all too well.

 

So at the camp, being forced to go there by his brother who wanted to help him out to find his cutie mark, fearing of getting a cutie mark he doesn’t want, Rumble would purposefully fail in every one of them.

 

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With a nonchalant attitude to boot.

 

 

Then, feeling frustrated at the prospect that flying may not be for him, he would declare that cutie marks sucks and that blank flanks are much better.

 

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Rebellion!

 

Now his arguments for why blank flanks are better would be using Twilight’s own point from Season 1’s Call of the Cutie where he points of how much freedom the blank flanks have over those with cutie marks. This would resonate well with the campers who would join with him over the Cutie Mark Crusaders in their own half of the camp. This rebellion would prove to be a big enough threat to overturn the Cutie Mark Crusader’s goals for the camp.

 

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The lazy rebels

 

Now, thanks to getting Thunderlane to help, who seems to be the only one who can reach to him when Rumble is pissed off, they would be able to quell Rumble’s insurrection to where even he would be convinced to return to the camp.

 

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I’m making his act of heresy sound way worse than it actually is :P

 

 

However, instead of doing the flying obstacle courses that certainly peaked his interest, instead he would see his older brother is choosing to prepare food for the gang. There, Thunderlane would explain to Rumble that while he knows he’s a good flyer and has the cutie mark for it, he does wish he had tried out other stuff out like cooking as he was initially forced to do at Wonderbolts HQ till he grew to love it. This would encourage Rumble that hey, just because he’s a good flyer doesn’t mean he should fear of trying other stuff out.

 

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Kiss the cook

 

Now, what I really appreciate the episode did here was instead of trying to give him a cutie mark or even convinced him that maybe he was wrong about his path he wants to take. This is a great move as it shows that Rumble is not a character to hate necessarily for being against the CMCs, he had justifiable reasons to be concerned. Simply, he just needed a push from a supportive brother to show that hey, you can try other stuff even if you’re a great flyer so that at least you can have fun doing other stuff. They would even imply that hey, even if your cutie mark isn’t something that you don’t want, that doesn’t mean that all other options are denied from them. So even if Rumble doesn’t get the cutie mark he wants, he can still be a great flyer for the wonderbolts.

 

 

3.       I really liked the Blank Flanks Forever song. The song that was sung in the episode, Blank Flanks Forever, which is Rumble’s plea and declaration for why Cutie Marks stink and why Blank Flanks are better, was an entertaining and very catchy song that I felt was sort of underrated. In my honest opinion, behind ‘You’re like a catchy song in my head’, Blank Flanks Forever is in my opinion the season’s best song.

 

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Rumble leading the proletariat against the cutie mark crusaders.

 

4.       I enjoyed the humor in Marks and Recreation. On another note, I did enjoy the funnies in marks and recreation where it seemed to rely on some over the top humor from Sweetie Belle against Rumble, Scootaloo being all angry at Rumble, Applebloom’s smirk, and how the campers at CMC camp were acting all confused and scared of cutie marks.

 

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She really likes drawing circles.

 

While the episode wasn’t all that spectacular in the humor department, it had its moments I liked.

 

 

5.       I really liked Thunderlane and his role in Marks and Recreation. Now coming off from his last cameo appearance in Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo’s great episode ‘Parental Glidance’ where he see he’s now a wonderbolt, we continue that off to see the aftermath where he’s pridefully showing off that he’s a wonderbolt for admirers to see.

 

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While his brother looks on with envy.

 

Now despite enjoying the spotlight, Thunderlane does show that he isn’t being a jerk about it to his younger brother and in fact shows how much he cares for his wellbeing. A big reason why Rumble was sent to the CMC camp was because Thunderlane hoped they would help him find his cutie mark as he would see how determined his brother is trying to improve his flying to get the cutie mark he wants. Eventually, when the CMCs needed help, they would go to Thunderlane as they believed he would be the key to reaching to Rumble as he refuses to listen to any of them. This would prove true as once he heard their explanations and their belief that perhaps he’s doing it out of fear of not getting the cutie mark he wants, he would help the CMCs out by showing up to an easily impressionable filly audience to where he does all sorts of different activities not related to flying. Then, when Rumble would be swayed seeing the fillies having fun and the obstacle course, Thunderlane would spring his card to get Rumble convinced where he would show himself choosing to cook rather than doing the obstacle course. There, Thunderlane would explain to his younger brother that while he has a cutie mark in flying, he ended up loving to cook after being forced to from wonderbolts HQ to where he would take opportunities to cook food himself if he can. This will work as Rumble would end up choosing to cook over flying instead.

 

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What a good brother you are Thunderlane.

 

Thunderlane’s role is a great and memorable one for him that would easily impress folks to like this recurring character. I honestly want to see him more and especially be paired up with Rainbow Dash since they’re now part of the same unit.

 

 

 

Negatives:

 

1.       N/A

 

 

 

Conclusion: Marks and Recreation is a simple but fantastically written story where we see development not only on the Cutie Mark Crusaders gang and their goal to further enhance their careers as Cutie mark counselors, but we get some nice developments on Rumble and Thunderlane here too. For Rumble, the worried and concerned colt would learn that just cause you’re dead set on something doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy doing other things too, and Thunderlane shows off of how good of a brother he is while reaffirming his status as an official wonderbolt. Add in a good song for Rumble to sing and we have another good episode for Season 7 to have.

 

Score: 10/10

Grade: A+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've read in a few articles where some people half joking/half serious compared Rumble's motivation for starting his camp to Starlight's for starting her village. The only difference is that Rumble didn't bully his camp mates (at least, no where to the extent Starlight did) when they started panicking about getting their cutie marks. Maybe they're looking too much into this.

Other than that, this one was alright.

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On 2/7/2018 at 2:21 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I do like the CMC expanding their whole counselor thing. I think one friend on Discord joked that it means they work harder than some members of the Mane Six. :P

That's why I love the CMCs, they're some of the best written characters in the show and in many ways, are better written than the mane 6 in some aspects. I do hope we get a similar group in G5 as that would be a big risk to take that will hurt G5 imo.

 

On 2/7/2018 at 6:32 PM, WaterPulse said:

I've read in a few articles where some people half joking/half serious compared Rumble's motivation for starting his camp to Starlight's for starting her village. The only difference is that Rumble didn't bully his camp mates (at least, no where to the extent Starlight did) when they started panicking about getting their cutie marks. Maybe they're looking too much into this.

Other than that, this one was alright.

I wouldn't view that seriously as honestly, he was nowhere near as bad as Glimmer was starting up their camp and his rebellion wasn't done out of a damaged psyche that Glimmer's was but just out of a need to avoiding the possibility that his cutie mark isn't going to be about flying. Loved it here otherwise.

 

 

 

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Today, I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty fifth episode and its seventh season’s twenty second episode, Once upon a Zepplin. The episode’s story is written by Brittany Jo Flores. The storyboard artists were Roxana Beiklik and Aynsley King.

 

N/A

 

Upon hearing that her parents have won a free family vacation on Zepplin cruise, Twilight Sparkle goes to meet up with them and her brother’s family where they expect to have a relaxing fun time together only for it to be interrupted by Iron Will who stipulates in their agreement that the princesses Twilight Sparkle and Princess Cadance must help with the princess theme on his cruise much to their chagrin.

 

 

Positives:

 

1.        I enjoyed seeing Spike sacrificing his own time and pleasure to allow Twilight the chance to spend vacation with her family. In Once upon a Zepplin, breaking the past mold from the last couple of episodes of season 7 where Spike doesn’t get involved or explained why he’s not involved in events such as Fame and Misfortune and It isn’t a mane thing about you, we get an explanation and showing for why he’s not part of the Sparkle family in their vacation. At the prologue segment of the episode, when Twilight was given a letter from her parents about them winning a free cruise ride and are inviting her and Spike to come, initially Twilight was reluctant to go as she had princess duties to attend.

 

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Not the fun kind either.

 

 

Hearing that, Spike would do a magnanimous thing for Twilight by willingly taking up the chores Twilight had and telling her to go on this vacation. Initially she would resist as she didn’t want to leave Spike behind while she’s having fun with the rest of their family to which he would pretend to not hear her to send the message he’s made up his mind and won’t be swayed. While this part in the story does is write Spike out, at least they give Spike the respect he deserves by showing us why he’s not involved with Twilight’s family when he’s very much a part of it, certainly much better than past episodes on it (notably Season 2’s Sweet and Elite) as it allows us to see why he’s not involved and even give Spike a moment to shine for his kindness to Twilight.

 

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Spike the noble dragon here.

 

 

2.       We get to see an actual characterization of Twilight’s parents in the show and I liked what I saw. Another notable thing this episode did was show us Twilight and Shining Armor’s parents characters in Twilight Velvet and Night Light.

 

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Twilight Velvet is the mare with the purple mane white streaks while Night Light is the stallion with dark blue colored mane.

 

 

Now while they had appeared in the show previously since Season one in the famed ‘Cutie Mark Chronicles’, we never actually got to know their characters in the show and we only know anything about Twilight Velvet’s character in the comics where she’s possibly a writer (originally viewed as the writer for the Daring Do novels as the comic implied, but that was retconned with Daring Do’s reveal in Season 4’s Daring Don’t) which admittingly is of dubious canonicity. Season 7’s Once upon a Zepplin is our first time in the series to see the show’s interpretation on their characters. Twilight Velvet’s character is what I would describe as an adrenaline loving daredevil, who seems to love taking on risky sports such as bungee jumping and diving down Neighagra Falls in a barrel, and even in otherwise normal challenges like boat racing, Velvet seems to love to go nuts racing in it to feel that adrenaline pumping through her.

 

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Seems even in casual fair for her style, she goes all out not to necessarily win but just to feel that rush of energy through her.

 

 

As for Night Light, Twilight Sparkle’s father, he seems to prefer much more calmer activities such as playing Bingo and photo shooting, though he too likes to be rambunctious about it as well. Also, it seems Shining Armor and Twilight are most like their father in personality as neither of them have the adrenaline seeking streak their mother has.

 

 

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Even playing a casual fun activity, Night Light isn’t exactly a quiet one.

 

Now both of them were showing in Once upon a Zepplin to be rather easy going and good parents as both of them love to spend time with their family however they can, both can be a bit on the gullible side as they were duped by Iron Will to signing an agreement that put their family’s princesses to help the princess themed cruise, and they are very empathetic ponies as we see of how easy going and accepting they are of a fan who had won the prize of spending a day as an unofficial family member of Twilight’s family and how concerned they were with Twilight and Shining Armor’s sea sickness that he was frequently getting in the episode.

 

 

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Poor Shining Armor, if only he wasn’t so vulnerable to being sea sick.

 

 

 

Overall, Twilight’s and Shining Armor’s parents are just so adorable that you can’t help but love them for what was shown in them and they easily hold their own against other great parental showings that were a plenty in this season.

 

 

 

3.       The fan, Star Tracker, is pretty good. Now one part of this episode that gets shown here is fans in this episode. Depending on your view from a certain Season 7 episode, either you’ll eagerly meet it to have the episode poke fun at fans or apprehension. However, I will say that compared to Fame and Misfortune, this one seems much less bitter and nicer to the portrayal of fans here. While it does show fans being a bit on the obsessive and lacking a bit on the mannerisms side at times, we do see and shown that they’re not bad people and do appreciate the famed celebrity taking their time to meet with them. Heck, they would be the ones to help Twilight out with Iron Will by nearly rioting against him till he bailed out.

 

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The fans.

 

 

Now as for the primary fan of the episode, the winner of the competition to become an unofficial family member of Twilight’s family for one day, Star Tracker, I thought he was pretty good.

 

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Here’s this fan right there.

 

While he was shown to have his issues such as not knowing personal space that does annoy Twilight, we do see that he means well with all his interactions with Twilight as he was trying to help her out however he can and does show great appreciation towards Twilight’s family for easily accepting him, even stating it himself:

 

Star Tracker: You and your family have been really kind to include me, but you deserve your own vacation together. [laughs nervously] And I'm really glad we met, too!

 

 

At the same time, his characterization throughout the episode is one who was nervous mainly for getting the chance to speak with his favorite celebrity and of course getting to meet said famed celebrity, also he’s an otherwise well-meaning pony that does show his own assertive streak when he even challenges Iron Will for trying to take away Twilight’s personal family time from her.

 

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Which Iron Will quickly put him in his place. Well he tried.

 

 

Overall, Star Tracker is a pleasant enough character for interested fans to take up on him and even pair up with Twilight for a reasonably fair straight ship for her in my honest opinion.

 

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Here’s Twilight’s newest pet.

 

 

4.    Princess Cadance had one of her best roles in the series with her support for Twilight Sparkle here. Now, I know a lot of folks have justified reasons to not like the pretty pink princess pony as for the most part, her character is rather flat even if she’s not really doing anything wrong, she’s just not as interesting as many other characters since her debut. Here, this episode seems to throw Cadance a much-appreciated bone here by not only being part of the processions and trying to manage the fans as she manages being a mother with Flurry Heart, she also will play a key role in this episode to helping Twilight out. When Twilight is feeling down on missing an event she dearly wanted to see in the shooting stars, Cadance would be the one to go and comfort her. She would impart a good lesson for Twilight to learn which is that it’s good you care so much for your subjects to even willingly put them above yourself, at the same time, don’t make yourself miserable doing it. Dedicate some time to yourself from time to time. Cadance would use the fact that she herself learned that lesson when she became a mother to Flurry heart.

 

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Awe, character growth sign for Cadance.

 

While it’s not exactly a big character defining moment for Cadance to make one go nuts for her, it’s one of her best roles in the series and it’s one that would satisfy fans watching her.

 

 

 

5.    Iron Will returns and he’s awesome still. Iron Will, noted as being one of the few good things about S2’s otherwise hated Putting your Hoof Down, returns five seasons later in Season 7’s Once Upon a Zeppelin.

 

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The minotaur is back!

 

 

Now we hear that since his assertive seminars have dried up (a shame as I know a couple that would so badly need his training), he has chosen to do cruise line vacation tours where he would spice these trips up with themes. In this one, it’s a princess themed thing. He would manage to get his princesses by manipulating Twilight’s gullible parents to signing an agreement without checking it, allowing Iron Will to be able to post stipulations on them to allow them to continue the trip as he also guilt trips them that they will disappoint so many fans if they refuse.

 

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Now that’s a justified antagonist role here.

 

 

Here in the episode, he would pretty much force Twilight Sparkle to go and do whatever scheduled activity he wants her to do such as hosting the boat race, bingo, and signing autographs.

 

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What Twilight will do through much of the episode.

 

 

Now Iron Will in this episode as I mentioned above has a much more justified role as a villain since he’s shown to be manipulative and greedy here as he’s willing to do however it takes to get what he wants unlike his last appearance in the show. Speaking of which, he does show his character building here where he now has revoked the 100% satisfaction guaranteed or money back thing to cover his finances. Smart.

 

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To the extreme!

 

Thus, Iron Will’s appearance is not only appreciated but his characterization and effective and justified role as an antagonist here is also appreciated too.

 

 

6.    I really liked the ending for what Twilight’s family does for her to make up missing on the shooting stars event. To put the cherry on top of this episode, at the end when Twilight is enjoying spending her time with family without being forced to do work on the cruise, they would do something great to help make up to Twilight for missing out on the shooting star event she missed.

 

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A play of it!

 

Seeing what Twilight’s family did to help her out to feel better and to show their appreciation for all the hard work she did to let them have fun in their own vacation, this just only makes one to love this family even more.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1.N/A

 

 

 

Conclusion: Once Upon a Zepplin is in my honest opinion the best Twilight Sparkle episode since Season 5’s famous Amending Fences. This sweet episode not only gave us some nice moments with Spike’s kindness to let Twilight have fun, Twilight’s parents receiving characterization, Iron Will’s effective and justified villain role, Princess Cadance imparting a good lesson for Twilight to learn as she learns to put some time for herself, and that ending at the end to me highlights Once upon a Zepplin as one of the season’s finest episodes in my opinion.

 

Score: 10/10

Grade: A+

 

 

 

 

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I wrote it before, and I'll write it again. Zeppelin is Fame & Misfortune written correctly. The story comes first, and is written with more care for continuity, effort, and heart. The lesson is outstanding. Every fan (including Star Tracker) has a real reason to be there, and they're treated like people than stereotypes. Furthermore, neither Tracker nor Twilight are written entirely in the right or wrong. It's a deep, nuanced story.

Great review. :D

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About the worst that can be said is Twilight's family falling for the fake contest. Haven't they played Luigi's Mansion? Chrysalis could have gotten to them instead of someone like Iron Will. Also, it seem like they've adopted the comic's incarnation of IW, but at least they just made him like Flim and Flam instead of the trainwreck he was in Siege Of The Crystal Empire.

Other than that, another great Twilight episode.

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Today, I shall review Friendship is Magic’s one hundred and sixty sixth episode and it’s seventh season’s twenty third episode, Secrets and Pies. The episode’s story was written by Josh Hamilton. The Storyboard artists for this episode are Jen Davreux and Megan Willis.

 

N/A

 

Pinkie Pie starts growing a suspicion within herself that Rainbow Dash doesn’t like her pies.

 

Positives:

 

1.       I really loved the humor presented in Secrets and Pies. Humor is a subjective thing, but for the most part I not only enjoyed Secrets and Pies for its humor but I thought it was one of the show’s funnier episodes personally. My reasoning for this is mainly for how much I enjoyed seeing Pinkie Pie try however she can in many over the top fashions to be a detective and to expose Rainbow Dash for her lies.

 

Detective Pinkie Pie is back on the case.

 

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This would go to such lengths that I had tons of fun on the episode through that alone. However, the funniest part of the whole episode for me would be evil Rainbow Dash. An entity that Pinkie Pie imagined in her dream of how Rainbow Dash hates her pies so much that she will go on a major quest to destroy every of these disgusting pies from her sight via laser beams.

 

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YES DESTROY THEM ALL!

 

The humor alone is enough for me to consider the episode a pleasant experience and one that I will mark highly for it.

 

 

2.       I liked how Rainbow Dash was characterized here. As for the primary antagonist of the episode, Rainbow Dash, I enjoyed her performance in it. While there was a minor issue I had that I will explain in a bit, I will say that overall I enjoyed Rainbow Dash in Secrets and Pies. Not only did she played a very effective cat and mouse game with Pinkie Pie who tried everything she could to catch Rainbow Dash in the act but would fail to, the funny evil Rainbow Dash segment, but it even explained well enough for why Rainbow Dash would keep such a lie going.

 

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Here's Rainbow Dash explaining to her friends why she chose to lie to her girlfriend.

 

She was afraid of upsetting Pinkie Pie as she saw how ecstatic Pinkie Pie is seeing Rainbow Dash accept and ‘eating’ her pies despite how Rainbow Dash herself doesn’t like pies.  Thus she felt it was better to keep a lie going to see Pinkie Pie happy than to see Pinkie Pie upset that Rainbow Dash doesn’t like her pies. Sure, it would be far better to tell the truth as Rainbow Dash would learn at the episode’s end, but her actions were understandable if over the top. Heck, one great thing that Rainbow Dash was going to do was eat a disgusting rotten pie just to show how sorry she is towards Pinkie Pie which she thankfully stopped Dash from eating it.

 

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Why does this dispute feel like a love spat between them?

 

While her performance is not perfect, I will say that I enjoyed Rainbow Dash here and consider it one of her better secondary roles in S7.

 

 

3.       I liked seeing Applejack and Twilight Sparkle call Rainbow Dash out for her behavior together. While this is a rather very minor role for both, I will say that I did enjoyed seeing Twilight Sparkle and Applejack interact with each other to offer console and advice to Rainbow Dash for her lies. They would even point to her how her lies leave them suspect of what else she could be lying about, which Rainbow Dash admits that it’s something she has lied before, but not immediately known now. This pairup only highlights to me of how rather rare it is for Twilight and Applejack to really interact with each other since the early seasons at least.

 

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I’d like for a Twijack episode please!

 

 

Negatives:

 

1.       Despite how the episode tries to show us of how Rainbow Dash gives other folks pies she doesn’t want them to eat, they had Rainbow Dash start out by throwing one of Pinkie Pie’s pie’s away. At the start of the episode, we see that Rainbow Dash would choose to throw out the pie Pinkie Pie would make for her that day.

 

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Like that.

 

This is an issue for me as considering how the episode would go on to talk of how Rainbow Dash would give the pies for other folks to eat to show how generous Rainbow Dash is for at least considering how other folks like pies, it just feels like an oversight from the minds behind this episode.

 

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Here’s Rainbow Dash giving pies to other folks who want it out of consideration that other folks like pies.

 

 

2.       Pinkie Pie’s behavior was idiotic in Secrets and Pies. The biggest issue I had with the episode was Pinkie Pie herself. When it was revealed that Rainbow Dash would refuse every pie offered to her and considering how the episode would tell us of how frequently Pinkie Pie gives Rainbow Dash her pies, one would ask how did Pinkie Pie not notice this going on beforehand?

 

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Rainbow Dash is not exactly being clever with her attempts to hide her refusing the food from Pinkie Pie.

 

To make this point more poignant, when Pinkie Pie realizes that Rainbow Dash has been lying to her, instead of doing the smart thing and directly confront Rainbow Dash on the matter, she would choose instead to play a game of Cat and Mouse to catch Rainbow Dash in the act of refusing her pies in secret which Rainbow Dash would obviously keep the façade up to not upset her as Rainbow Dash would prove to have more skill than Pinkie did at catching her in the act.

 

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Which btw does extend the episode longer than how it’s plot should’ve been.

 

In fact, the episode only lasts as it did mainly for how stupid Pinkie Pie was in it. As a result, despite my favor for the humor and Rainbow Dash mostly, Pinkie Pie brings this episode done quite a bit for me.

 

 

Conclusion: While I consider Secrets and Pies to be a hilarious episode that entertained me so and how effective Rainbow Dash was in the episode, Pinkie Pie’s idiocy does make the rather light story last longer than it should. As a result, I would call this episode rather average in my opinion.

 

Score: 7.5/10

Grade: C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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