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2 minutes ago, Nuke87654 said:

True but to be fair, she was going insane from disappointing Celestia, she did it as a last resort, and Celestia chewed her out for it. This stands in stark contrast to Starlight Glimmer in every little thing she does who uses mind control as the first thing to do and she relatively gets away with it from Twilight other than having to apologize to the remane five for it. Of the two, Twilight's situation was far more understandable in comparison.

Yeah, you're right. I have some sympathy for her, and unlike Starlight, she realized she fucked up. It's just... I have a lot more sympathy for the CMCs and the townsfolk who got brainwashed.

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1 hour ago, Jederick said:

Thi episode was on tv just a few hours ago here in Argentina xD

 

Oh, Lesson Zero. On of the first episodes I ever saw, and one of the reasons why I truly became addicted with MLP. The Y rating really made wonders for the show: The gags, the scripts, the toon-violence. S2 grabbed the best of S1 and took it to the next level.

 

And honestly, even though I always loved this episode, I never realized how important it was for the show until I read this (I didn't even know about the Y thing). Really, except for Rarity being WAY overdramatic, everything here is perfect (and even the couch gag was funny enough). There are so many characters that were so well written: Celestia acts like a good mentor yet at the same time retains a certain level of badassness and respect that never again was shown in the following seasons, Spike's characterization is the best you will get (and this episode is the reason why I like Spike so much, I'm glad I saw this before other episodes like Spike at your service) and even Twilight's characterization is one of the best, if not THE best, you will get in the whole show. And its funny because she is the 'antagonist' of the whole episode; we spend 22 minutes watching the worst of the worst of her, and that makes her so real!  I really miss this kind of episodes. Along with 'It's about time' we see the dark side of Twilight without making her an annoyance like in Feeling Pinkie Keen.

 

This...this is just so good! I always felt that if you want to make a friend start watching the show, Lesson Zero is one of the best ways to do it.

 

PS: The part with Smarty Pants and the Crusaders is pure gold.

 

Great points on Lesson Zero, especially on pointing more in detail for Celestia and Twilight being the antagonist as I haven't thought of that. Mine was Return of Harmony for first times episode. Our first episodes watching were awesome.

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11 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Yeah, you're right. I have some sympathy for her, and unlike Starlight, she realized she fucked up. It's just... I have a lot more sympathy for the CMCs and the townsfolk who got brainwashed.

 

I hear ya, what Twilight did was wrong and fortunately no lasting damage was done and Celestia administered appropriate justice for Twilight and helped restored the town in quick order.

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45 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

I stopped caring about the comics a long time ago and I thought that you did too. If you didn't, I really recommend that you do. :angrytwi:

 

I have too, it's just I hear stuff from time to time on Derpi and on my Discord chats and yea, they did do a story of Filly Twilight working with Princess Celestia and it doesn't paint a good picture on her. It reminds me of why despite the comics trying to do more for Celestia that they've made her look worse than better than what the do nothing show has done with her.

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1 hour ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I really didn't have much sympathy for Twilight when she MIND-RAPED three fillies because of a fucking friendship lesson

I could justify that as her not being in the right mindset, as she had already far gone in terms of sanity, I mean, she asked her friends for help the scene before and they just  laughed her off.

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9 minutes ago, Celli said:

I could justify that as her not being in the right mindset, as she had already far gone in terms of sanity, I mean, she asked her friends for help the scene before and they just  laughed her off.

Which, for me, really doesn't do much to excuse her actions.

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Just now, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Which, for me, really doesn't do much to excuse her actions.

True, but, it at least makes me understand how she must have felt. If the remane 5 took her seriously, she probably wouldn't have snapped.

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5 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

As much as I love Lesson Zero... it got really nuts in a bad way towards the end. And quite honestly, I really didn't have much sympathy for Twilight when she MIND-RAPED three fillies because of a fucking friendship lesson.

 

 

This is the reason I've grown to dislike Lesson Zero the more I've watched it over the years,

 

 that scene with the CMC is too cringeworthy for me to handle.

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Today's episode that I will review is the thirtieth episode in Friendship is Magic and the fourth episode in Season 2, Luna Eclipsed. It is written by M.A. Larson and its storyboard artists are Kenny Park and Marshall Fels Elliot.

 

Background information on the episode is that this is the first episode in Season 2 to not feature a main character in it in Rarity, though she was supposed to be part of the cast originally until she was ultimately cut from it. Her original role was that after she fails to get a costume for herself done in time, she was supposed to help Luna look less intimidating to ponies until she overdoes it and Luna ends up tearing the clothes up. Pinkie Pie seeing the piece of cloth in Luna's mouth would declare that she ate a pony and run away from her.

 

The summary here is that on Nightmare Night, Princess Luna makes an entrance to try to bond with the ponies of Ponyville but finds it difficult with her dark reputation as Nightmare Moon haunting her still.

 

Positives:

 

1. This episode gave us the Equestrian equivalent to Halloween with Nightmare Night.  In another world building moment on the show, we see that after Luna's banishment to the moon, sometime after they dedicate a night, or even the same night where Luna was banished to Nightmare Moon. On this holiday, they wear the assortments of costumes at their choosing while celebrate the terror and fright that Nightmare Moon brought upon Equestria that has faded to legend. Whether it's folks looking to have fun with the folks at parties, pranking other ponies, or just looking to be scared, Nightmare Night is your definite Halloween expy for the show.

 

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Candies are included of course!

 

 

2. We have a series pilot callback of the shadowbolts in Rainbow Dash.

 

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Rainbow Dash is wearing a shadowbolts costume in a minor but good callback from the series pilot.

 

 

3. Starswirl the bearded also makes an unofficial appearance here via Twilight's costume of him.

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To a mild surprise, this was actually the first mention and appearance of Starswirl the Bearded in the series via Twilight's costume of him. Seeing Twilight in a archetypal garb of a fantasy wizard leaves you with that initial impression that he's some old and powerful wizard that Twilight admires, and the fact that while no one knew who or what Twilight was wearing much to Twilight's disappointment but Luna recognized immediately of the costume and even commended Twilight on remembering his bells suggests that he was part of the time period within Luna's turn to Nightmare Moon; a period from a thousand years ago. 

 

Starswirl's name and character would than develop into a much more meaningful pony that holds high regard in ancient pony history in the series and thus we should give credit to this episode for building up that lore in Friendship is Magic.

 

 

4. Zecora had one of the few roles in the series where she actually didn't came off as a plot device.

 

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Good Zebra pony

 

Zecora had one of her better roles in the series simply because she actually wasn't here to administer the cheap 'plot device' in the episode but actually to partake in the festivities of Ponyville and lead the filles to the Nightmare Moon statue and tell the tale behind it. This also marks an improvement in relations between herself and Ponyville as she's allowed to head one of the festivities for the children.

 

5. Twilight Sparkle is very effective in her role in helping Princess Luna out throughout the episode. This I will give commendation to Twilight's characterization in the episode. She played an excellent and helpful guide that not only advised Princess Luna on what she should do and behave in order to win the hearts and admiration of the ponies in Ponyville, but even enlisted the help of Fluttershy who did little but gave Luna the confidence to lower her voice, and Applejack who proved much more helpful in telling Luna of how to simply mingle and have fun with ponies and at games. Most importantly, she also went and hunted down the trouble maker Pinkie Pie who was causing alot of grief to Luna for her oblivious actions and even managed to successfully have her reveal her real motivation for being scared of Luna that would lead to resolving the conflict in a fashion that would not only give the fillies of Ponyville their fright they want but also make Princess Luna happy for it. 

 

I feel that Twilight's role in Luna Eclipsed should really be called out more as one of her more positive roles in the series as if it were not for her helping Princess Luna out when she needed it, Luna wouldn't have come anywhere close to the resolution she sought in Ponyville.

 

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Good Twilight. 

 

 

6. And of course, Princess Luna had a good and successful proper debut in the series.

 

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I may not be such a big fan of her, but she is good. 

 

Now Princess Luna got herself a new makeover in look to reflect on her new appearance as a reformed Princess of Equestria. Her plight here is trying to connect with a society that she had long not been a part of for a thousand years. This is reflected upon her speech mannerisms where she speaks with an older Equestrian Dialect, believes that speaking to ponies with the intimidating Royal Canterlot Voice is the thing, and clearly has issues in actually trying to connect with folks on a social level.

 

Her story here is actually a tale of one person who had been in incarceration for so long due to a crime they have committed and of how they would react upon release. This would often lead to having problems like:

 

A. Feeling guilty about the crimes they committed that will weigh heavily upon them.

 

B. Society's reaction to knowing who they are and what they have done and with many being frightened of them and not giving them a chance.

 

C. Missing out on all the advances and changes to local dialect from the years spent away from the ever advancing society.

 

D. Having issues just trying to speak with folks in general.

 

All of these and more would highlight the kind of story that Luna would face against this new world of Equestria.

 

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Here, Princess Luna offers a candy to the Nightmare Moon Statue in front of her, praying that her shadowy past would not gobble up her future that she worries she'll soon face in her present.

 

Thanks to a very effective Twilight Sparkle that really carried the episode forward, Princess Luna learns how to change her approaches such as not using the royal canterlot voice in speaking to the folks of Ponyville, learning to simply mingle and have fun with folks and not get over theatrical

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Like casting live spiders on ponies. 

 

And especially learn how to adapt and change her mannerisms to what's acceptable to the modern Equestria and help ponies to be more at ease with her instead of to fear her as she has changed for the better.

 

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And have a rabid fanbase for her since. Eye of Sauron is watching btw.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Pinkie Pie's actions in the episode not only overextended the plot but her oblivious actions also tormented Luna for it. This is a pretty big issue I had with the episode was of Pinkie Pie's behavior. Throughout the episode, whenever Pinkie Pie sees Luna do something, she makes up some fear inducing story and causes the fillies she runs with on Nightmare Night and other folks around her to be frightened of Princess Luna which has only caused anguish on Luna's mind seeing the folks be scared of her. This not only overextended the plot when it seems Luna was going to hit it off well with the folks of Ponyville as she partied and played games with them without a hitch, but then the episode made one big mistake to reveal that she was doing it essentially to be scared for the lulz.

 

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"Yep, I was being a big oblivious jackass to Princess Luna the whole time!"

 

This paints Pinkie Pie at a bad spot as this shows that all the times of her scaring folks to be frightened of Princess Luna despite how Luna has pleaded folks not to she was doing it essentially to be scared for fun. Despite the innocent spin at it, she was doing it at Princess Luna's expense and never thought that perhaps Luna doesn't want folks to be scared of her and is trying her hardest to bond with them only for Pinkie Pie to come in and reset that whenever she appeared. This is a similar problem that Pinkie Pie had committed in the S1 episode Swarm of the Century where her failure to communicate her intentions to other ponies to let them know of what she is doing causes more problems for the plot but here it's even worse because Pinkie Pie is doing all of this without giving a second thought of the pony she was targeting in order to get her frights for the night. In Swarm of the Century, Pinkie Pie had good intentions to save Ponyville but didn't spoke of her plan well for other ponies to listen and ended up causing more problems than solving them for it. Here in Luna Eclipsed, Pinkie Pie came off as an oblivious unintended asshole who used Princess Luna without giving a second thought if Luna liked being the target of everyone's fear for the night just so she can have her fun being scared. 

 

 

Conclusion: Despite Pinkie Pie's poor role in the episode that was even worse than a similar role in Swarm of the Century, Luna Eclipsed is much stronger in comparison. This is due to the strong world building elements it had in giving us Equestria's Halloween expy in Nightmare Night, being the first episode to give an unofficial introduction of Starswirl the bearded, a great re introduction of Princess Luna with her new look into the series, and one of Twilight's more underrated roles in the series for helping her adjust to the modern Equestrian society, Luna Eclipsed is a good episode for anyone to enjoy watching.

 

Score: 8.5/10

 

Grade: B

 

 

 

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I gotta agree overall with this, although one other thing dragged it down for me. It's admittedly personal, but... I overall don't like Halloween. I don't like horror movies/being scared. Too much sugar gives me a migraine, and I don't like dressing up. So there's no 'hook' for the episode there.

 

But yeah, Pinkie was a giant asshole here. You noticed how much she dragged season two for me in my reviews, right? Here's where it starts.

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What annoys me in this episode is that, in retrospect, after we saw the actual events from that night where Equestria the audience saw the rise of Nightmare Moon, who then terrorized Equestria with her patented eternal night didn't have time to do anything other than wipe the floor with Celestia... I don't have a clue why ponies are afraid of Luna and I feel like Nightmare Moon shouldn't even be a thing. Also, I wonder what happened with ponies who ought have asked Celestia why did her sister vanish after a fight that no one else saw. To me some episodes are so bad they ruin past episodes.

 

Other than that, Pinkie's behavior in this episode is another instance of lack of subtlety. It's that silly twist where Pinkie is an idiot, but surprise! She wasn't being a dick... She's a genius! ... Yeah... I don't know if I should think that Luna is an idiot, Twilight is a dork (which she was...) or if Pinkie was a dick.

 

Other than those two points, I love this episode too. It's just too charming and entertaining enough to not make me care while watching.

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41 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

What annoys me in this episode is that, in retrospect, after we saw the actual events from that night where Equestria the audience saw the rise of Nightmare Moon, who then terrorized Equestria with her patented eternal night didn't have time to do anything other than wipe the floor with Celestia... I don't have a clue why ponies are afraid of Luna and I feel like Nightmare Moon shouldn't even be a thing. Also, I wonder what happened with ponies who ought have asked Celestia why did her sister vanish after a fight that no one else saw. To me some episodes are so bad they ruin past episodes.

 

Other than that, Pinkie's behavior in this episode is another instance of lack of subtlety. It's that silly twist where Pinkie is an idiot, but surprise! She wasn't being a dick... She's a genius! ... Yeah... I don't know if I should think that Luna is an idiot, Twilight is a dork (which she was...) or if Pinkie was a dick.

 

Other than those two points, I love this episode too. It's just too charming and entertaining enough to not make me care while watching.

That actually does raise a fantastic point about the pensive events we saw in Princess Twilight Sparkle as that does leave open why did Equestria feared her as such when the only thing she did of note was beat a Celestia whom didn't even wanted to fight her. That's something I never thought of. Good job.

 

Lack of subtlety and the case of Luna anguishing from Pinkie Pie's actions is what hurt her so much in the episode. I agree on that lack of subtlety there. It is a good episode otherwise.

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On 1/10/2017 at 7:08 PM, Metemponychosis said:

What annoys me in this episode is that, in retrospect, after we saw the actual events from that night where Equestria the audience saw the rise of Nightmare Moon, who then terrorized Equestria with her patented eternal night didn't have time to do anything other than wipe the floor with Celestia... I don't have a clue why ponies are afraid of Luna and I feel like Nightmare Moon shouldn't even be a thing.

The first MLP-fanfic I wrote was a G1/G4 crossover where the events of Nightmare Moon's banishment was a year-long war, where she commanded Shadowbolt clones and Ursa Minors/Majors to wage war on Equestria. When Princess Twilight Sparkle aired and that scene was shown, I literally said out loud, "Wait, that's it?"

 

On 1/10/2017 at 7:08 PM, Metemponychosis said:

Other than that, Pinkie's behavior in this episode is another instance of lack of subtlety. It's that silly twist where Pinkie is an idiot, but surprise! She wasn't being a dick... She's a genius! ... Yeah... I don't know if I should think that Luna is an idiot, Twilight is a dork (which she was...) or if Pinkie was a dick.

The correct answer for season two, barring Baby Cakes and MMMMystery on the Friendship Express, is Pinkie Pie is a dick. That answer is not limited to season two, for the record.

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Today's episode that I will review is the thirty first episode in the Friendship is Magic series and the fifth episode in it's Season 2, Sisterhooves Social. It is written by Cindy Morrow and it's storyboard artists are Sherann Johnson and Corey Toomey.

 

Only thing that I could find about the episode that it was originally titled 'sissy fit' according to writer Cindy Morrow.

 

The summary is that while Rarity and Sweetie Belle's parents are away on vacation, the two suffer a crises in their relationship as sisters.

 

 

Positives:

 

1. This is the first episode in the series to help characterize a member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders that does not pertain to their cutie marks at all and it does great with it. One great thing this episode did was taking the idea of 'can the Cutie Mark Crusaders for once not have a story centered around them getting their cutie marks?' Here they started with Sweetie Belle and her desire to seek approval from Rarity for being a good sister. A rather simple idea, but this allows a very effective story to be written as we see Sweetie Belle try whatever she could to seek Rarity's approval only for her older sister to spurn her away as she was upset at being forced by her parents to take care of Sweetie Belle without warning and wishes to try to keep her distance from her until things settle. This upsets Sweetie Belle at how no matter how many times she does something nice for Rarity or asks her for something, she turns it around and attacks Sweetie Belle's initiative for whatever reason such as:

 

A. Attacking Sweetie Belle for washing a very expensive sweater that shrunk under the sunlight despite her attempt at cleaning the clothes for Rarity's sake.

 

B. Using the rare baby blue sapphire shores to create an arts and crafts mural to commemorate how much Sweetie Belle cares for Rarity, which we'll talk more about later, that Rarity needed for a very important client requesting such a dress to be designed as such.

 

C.  Finally, Rarity criticizes Sweetie Belle for cleaning up her mess despite Sweetie Belle pointing out the hypocrisy in Rarity for demanding Sweetie Belle to clean her mess up but when Sweetie does it for Rarity she blasts her for it.

 

D. When Sweetie Belle tries to convince her to join with her for the sisterhooves social but Rarity refuses as she considers it uncouth.

 

All of these would finally break Sweetie Belle's love for Rarity and her relation as a sister for which she declares she does not wish to be her sister any longer for it which Rarity agrees to. 

 

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This would cause the rift that would send Sweetie Belle to hang with Applebloom and Applejack for the day. There Sweetie Belle sees how a good sister relationship can be between Applejack and Applebloom where they hit it off with each other on their chore so well and fluidly that they may as well be one pony as Sweetie Belle described it. This would inspire Sweetie Belle to seek comfort in Applejack as the older sister figure she tried to get from Rarity to no avail, even when Rarity came back to try to win her over and understandably so considering Rarity's behavior. This would carry over in the Sisterhooves Social event where Sweetie Belle alongside a muddied Applejack compete at the event to where they only managed to get 2nd place. Sweetie Belle however soon realizes that the muddied pony racing alongside her wasn't Applejack but instead:

 

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This would excite and please Sweetie Belle to see Rarity risking to get dirty over an uncivilized event just to please her and help repair their relationship back to full. 

 

I will explain more on Rarity's in a bit, but here, I would have to commend Sweetie Belle's characterization in the episode for being the first to really break away from the S1 monotone characterization of them being solely focus on finding their cutie marks and being spoiled brats about it. Here, Sweetie Belle became a more relatable and likeable little sister type character where we see Sweetie Belle trying her hardest to earn Rarity's favor however she can and get understandably hurt from it and seek something that would provide her that bond she wanted from Rarity. This really strikes you home on Sweetie Belle's plight and many folks can interpret it as someone from an abusive house hold seeking a better family if you're willing to push that view far. Fortunately if you do have such cynical views, it does help bring Sweetie Belle and Rarity back together thanks to Sweetie Belle's insistence on Rarity to change for the better which she does do that and it has ended with both of them becoming better sisters for it.

 

 

2. Rarity herself undergoes a great character development to where she becomes a much better older sister to Sweetie Belle. Now for Rarity's turn. Throughout the episode, as I mentioned above, due to being forced to take care of Sweetie Belle by her parents, Rarity was not thrilled to take care of her which explained Rarity's mindset early on as she had hoped Sweetie Belle would stay quiet and let her work in peace. Of course Sweetie Belle wanting to show how much she cares for Rarity would challenge that which would piss Rarity off for it. But in a brilliant display of intuition from the writer, Cindy, Rarity restrains herself likely being taught that as the older sibling she mustn't yell at her sister no matter how ticked she is at her. In fact this one thing that I wish to add and make mention of is of how well written their sisterly sparring is. As Sweetie Belle being the younger wants to make an impression and show off to the older of how proud they are to be their sister for attention and affection while the older sibling because they're ticked they're forced to do something they didn't want to is more angry at what's happening but at the same time has this level of restraint to her character that was clearly taught by years of taking care for Sweetie Belle to not show of how angry or pissed they are at the younger sibling but to grit your teeth and quench it as you're the older and mature sibling, you mustn't yell at your younger siblings inexperience and youth in action. However, Rarity's refusal to give Sweetie Belle any heed would eventually boil over to an explosive point where they would split off due to Rarity's refusal to give Sweetie Belle the time she wanted to as an older sister.

 

As Sweetie Belle was over at Applejack's place to recuperate, Rarity had the time to simmer alone and soon reflected upon Sweetie Belle's work properly. When she saw how the sweater that had shrunk being able to fit her cat Opalescence, saw how Sweetie Belle cleaning gave her an inspiration for a dress line, and took a proper look to Sweetie Belle's mural, Rarity tearfully soon realized the error of her actions and of how terrible of a sister she had been to Sweetie Belle. 

 

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As Celestia as her witness, she won't ever go sisterless again. Know what southern belle said that?

 

Despite Rarity's change of heart, of course it won't be easy as Sweetie Belle refuses to accept it after how crappy Rarity had treated her before hand. Rarity however refuses to give up as she knows the reason is justified and seeks advice and aid from Applejack, whom I'm going to discuss in detail soon of how good she and Applebloom were. 

 

Disguised as a muddied Applejack, Rarity would actually participate in an event she had previously called uncouth alongside her sister Sweetie Belle and actually shows grace and skill in athleticism showing that despite her dislike of such extraneous activities she's not incapable at it.

 

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While they would ultimately fail to win the top prize at the event, they won a much bigger one with their sisterhood repaired thanks to Rarity's willingness to go and give Sweetie Belle what she wanted her to do previously at her expense to make her happy. 

 

Rarity really came out great here as she learned the error of her ways and easily became a much better sister at the end due to her efforts to be one. 

 

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3. Applejack and Applebloom really had probably their best characterization I have seen yet here. This is the one thing that I feel both the Apple sisters really should get tons of positive credit for. Here not only were they very supportive to both Sweetie Belle in showing off at how good and tight sisters act and behave but even comfort Sweetie Belle to keep her at ease and when Rarity tries to seek advice from them at how to be a better older sister, they not only provide a good advice at how a good sibling relationship is an equal measure of give and take and that you shouldn't override one or it will not be a good one and point out at how Rarity needed to give something that Sweetie Belle wants earnestly and not what she believes is good for her just to placate her. 

 

There at the sisterhooves social event, they selfishly not only hand their spot in the race to the Rarity sisters, but even go and beyond to ensure that Rarity would race alongside Sweetie Belle without notifying a still angry Sweetie Belle to make the surprise even more impactful. 

 

I honestly feel that this is perhaps both Applejacks and Appleblooms most underrated characterization in the series as they really showed great care and selflessness to help Rarity and Sweetie Belle out when they needed their aid the most, even at their own expense at the spot of the Sisterhooves Social event.

 

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4. The is our first appearance of the sisterhooves event in Ponyville. 

 

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This event is here to not only celebrate the good bonds of sisters via through a friendly and civil competition to where they compete for the top first place prize likely to please the younger sisters at how good their older sisters are and deep their bonds are. Not only will this even play an important role for the sisters here in Sisterhooves Social, but also in a future S5 episode too.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Rarity ignored what the mural showed due to a case of plot induced stupidity. While we can at least understand Rarity may have been blinded with rage at Sweetie Belle using the sapphire gems that she needed for her dress commission, but to me this was plot induced stupidity. My reasoning is had Rarity recognized sooner that the mural Sweetie Belle created was meant to honor their sisterhood, it would've take a great moment Cindy intended away and it would've altered the episode into another direction as it would take Rarity being especially cruel to not care for what Sweetie Belle had made before hand other than the mentioned blind rage at her gems she needed being used for it. 

 

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Kind of hard for Rarity to ignore this picture she had saw before hand other than pure PIS. 

 

Conclusion: While Rarity may have been struck with a bit of PIS for the narrative's sake, she was still excellent in Sisterhooves Social as she learned to be a much better older sister to Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle broke out of the CMC's habit from Season 1 to show they hold greater potential in other areas where they can be taken into much more interesting directions for their characters outside of cutie marks such as Sweetie Belle's desire to be a caring and good little sister. Finally, Applejack and Applebloom had one of their finer characterizations in the series here that should be applauded more.

 

Score: 9.5/10

Grade: A

 

 

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I don't have too much of a problem with Rarity being mad at Sweetie Belle for using those sapphires. Since, you know, very important client and used without permission. Also, note she didn't rip them off or destroy the artwork. She went out to get more gems. :)

 

Anyway, I love this episode all-around. It pushed Sweetie Belle to the top for me, CMC-wise. I love Magnum PI and the Nanny as their parents, too. :D

Edited by RK_Striker_JK_5
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5 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

I don't have too much of a problem with Rarity being mad at Sweetie Belle for using those sapphires. Since, you know, very important client and used without permission. Also, note she didn't rip them off or destroy the artwork. She went out to get more gems. :)

 

Anyway, I love this episode all-around. It pushed Sweetie Belle to the top for me, CMC-wise. I love Magnum PI and the Nanny as their parents, too. :D

True, I don't have much of an issue with Rarity being mad at Sweetie Belle for using her gems as she had every right to. I actually should write in more detail about Rarity's actions tommorow. Only issue I had was her ignoring the artwork just so the plot can have that moment of realization for Rarity to have.

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Today's episode that I will review is episode 32 of Friendship is Magic and the sixth episode of Season 2, The Cutie Pox. It is written by Amy Keating Rogers and it's storyboard artists are Tom Sales and Dave Weibe.

 

The library scene in the episode was used by in an animation rough cut stage August 2, 2011. On one of the deleted ideas for the kinds of talents Applebloom would have with the Cutie pox was she would have a scootering talent that would enrage Scootaloo for it.

 

A short summary is that Applebloom in a desperate attempt to get her cutie mark takes a desire potion behind Zecora's back in order to get it.

 

Positives:

 

1. Applebloom's scenes using the cutie pox for whatever talent they give and what she does with it is entertaining. For the most part, this is the episode's meat of the story as throughout the episode we see Applebloom show off the effects of the hearts desire potion's effect in granting her wish to have a cutie mark. This would result in her initial hoola hoop cutie mark to be adept at it to the point her teacher Cheerilee wanted her to teach the students of how to perform it as well as she did. 

 

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Then when she acquired more cutie marks without any explanation, she continued to excel in many other talents or so much to her and the town's delight.

 

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Much to Spike's as well.

 

This of course would lead to more trouble down the road for her, but still when it came to the entertainment value of seeing Applebloom do so many stuff at once and with the skill of a veteran.

 

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I really liked this scene. Showing ponies can fight ably on their back hooves sword fighting.

 

 

2. The lore on the Cutie Pox is surprisingly grim dark for a kids show and I like it. This is perhaps the episode's most underrated and best value was the lore it had on the cutie pox. According to Twilight, it was an epidemic that had plagued ponies in ancient times (we're talking paleopony period so probably just after the dinos went extinct long). The disease mind controls the pony's body and forces them to perform all the talents it is marked upon their bodies, to strike a more horror feel for the disease, a cure was never found as it disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. The theme of that whole scene greatly added to that feel I had.

 

Think of it like this, considering how it forces the pony to continue doing whatever talent it has on it without any stops or breaks which would only tire a pony out, a bad end for this disease can be that the afflicted dies from the cutie pox due to exhaustion. That kind of thought and idea adds a pretty dark implication on the episode and the kind of disease Applebloom was afflicted with. 

 

3. I enjoyed Pinkie Pie tried to help Applebloom out when truth was needed to get the plot device cure to work. 

 

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This was a very appreciative role for what Pinkie Pie tried to do here where she tried to help Applebloom out by telling the truth to get the cure up and running. This was especially good of what Pinkie Pie tried to do but fail.

 

Negatives:

 

1. Zecora was once used as a plot device deliverer in the episode and it's use and impact cheapened the story for it. One noted problem that really started here is that whenever some hex or curse happens to an afflicted pony or area, it seems they go to Zecora to solve the problem for them but expect her to have some cure for it. Inexplicably, she does have a cure for it though it required Applebloom to speak the truth just to resolve the conflict when it needed to be for time. This to me feels like a cheap use of Zecora as she holds alot more potential than some plot device maker and deliverer and it just cheapens the story.

 

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Don't mind Zecora, she's here to deliver the plot device is all. Nothing else.

 

2. The pacing of the episode was slowed to make up for how rather light on materials the episode had. One other problem I had was of how rather slow the episode's pacing was as this was to make up for how the quantity of materials used in the episode was pretty light. For the most part, with AB's Cutie Pox scene at the school and again at Ponyville taking up alot of the time in the episode. This is an episode that you would have to like that particular choice or else you won't enjoy the slow pacing of it.

 

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Be prepared to either like AB's cutie marks on display or you'll get bored pretty quick.

 

3. And whatever lesson or impact this episode had was reduced to nil with Applebloom and the CMCs dumping it right after they give their lesson they learned from here. This was probably the thing that hurt the episode the most as whatever lesson and possible impact it could've had on Applebloom's character in the series was tossed away in favor of a gag on the CMCs seeking out the cutie marks with blind enthusiasm. Because of that particular moment, it rendered this episode essentially a filler episode as it had no real impact on Applebloom's character in the long run and it felt like DHX particularly really didn't cared much for the episode either.

 

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Now let's go to Zecoras and completely forget everything we said we learned from this episode!

 

Conclusion: The Cutie Pox to me was an episode that could've held a more meaningful impact on the series if it were treated with more respect. Instead, it felt like DHX treated it as filler that they held little regard for despite the interesting lore on the Cutie Pox it had that never really gets mentioned again, and especially on Applebloom's character that could've really helped build her character to learn more patience on her cutie mark. Overall, this is the episode that broke the awesome streak of episodes the series was having from Party of One to Sisterhooves Social and is really S2's first bad episode in my honest opinion due to it's very slow pacing, cheap plot device, and especially the disregard for whatever this episode had from the CMCs at the end.

 

Score: 6.0/10

 

Grade: F+

 

 

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Today's episode to review is the thirty third episode of Friendship is Magic and the seventh episode of Season 2, May the Best Pet Win. It is written by Charlotte Fullerton, and it's storyboard artists are Joel Dickie and Emmett Hall. 

 

For background information, this marks the first appearances of Winona, Owlicious, and Gummy since their last S1 episodes.

 

The summary here is that Rainbow Dash grows wanting for a new pet and after she finds that she can't decide which one to choose, she decides to host a contest to see which one is the best in the qualifications she wants in a pet.

 

Positives:

 

1. This is the first episode to show Tank the Tortoise and his impact on Rainbow Dash as her pet. 

 

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This is the first episode in the series where we get to see Rainbow Dash's pet, Tank the Tortoise make his first appearance int he series. Throughout the episode, the poor guy tries his hardest to win as he so desperately seeks an owner even when he's facing competitors far better athletic wise than him. Despite Rainbow Dash's insistence to give up and move on as he lost at every event she gave for him and others to compete in, he still pushes on and joins in a competition he's not allowed to compete in and his perseverance is rewarded when Dash in a moment of arrogance allows her wing to be caught by a bolder for which he bails her out of. Finally, after being rescued by Tank, Rainbow Dash humbles herself and comes to terms that perhaps Tank the Tortoise is the best pet for her due to his tenacity and especially his loyalty and care for her.

 

This would lead to future episodes where we see Rainbow Dash especially enjoy Tank and seems to have made an excellent choice in picking him for it considering how much she adores and cares for Tank. This would be the episode's best moment in my opinion.

 

2. The song, Finding a pet was entertaining for the duet between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. While I had my caveats in Fluttershy ignoring Rainbow Dash's suggestion for a flying pet felt like it was done to pad for timing, at the same time I do have to give the episode credit for the duet between the two as it was entertaining to see the two pegasus ponies to sing together and for telling the next part of the story where Rainbow Dash decides on doing a contest to choose which pet would be the best one.

 

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Negatives:

 

1. The story's resolution was lampshaded with Tank's involvement in the competition. Now this to me is perhaps the series most lampshaded resolution to their conflict in the series. Despite Rainbow Dash wanting only a flying pet and how she wants a stringent of demands for this pet to be especially athletic and cool, Fluttershy still pushes Tank to be out there for no reason other than to let him compete. Are you telling me that no other animal she had wouldn't want the chance to compete to be her pet too but didn't had the initial requirements to meet her demands for a pet? There's no other reason for why Tank is out there other than to tell everybody 'he will be Rainbow Dash's pet'.

 

2. Rainbow Dash's arrogance would lead her the creation of a death race through the ghastly gorge. This was a noted problem throughout the episode as Rainbow Dash wanted not just a pet, but a pet so much better than everyone else's that she held a competition just to pick which one was the best and especially to stroke her ego about it. While over the top, this wouldn't be such a big problem if not for her final decision to be based on who is able to keep up with her through the Ghastly Gorge.

 

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Tank had to fall all the way down to the bottom to race. No amount of Valkyrie references can make that up.

 

 

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They got caught through the thick and sharp vines big enough to impale them

 

 

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Go through carnivorous eels that nearly ate this eagle's head off and other creatures.

 

At this point, it becomes less of who is the best but who can survive this death race through the Ghastly Gorge. Not only was this extremely dangerous for the animals trying to be her pet, but this was done purely for the sake of preening her ego of how good of a flier she is.

 

 

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Which she honestly deserves after what she put them through on an ego trip.

 

 

3. The lesson of the episode was not only so forcibly tacked on but it misses on what's Tank's actual best attribute and what one should seek for in a pet and friend. The lesson of the episode being that Rainbow Dash realizes that the best attributes to seek in a friend or pet isn't physical attributes that make them dominant but a stick to it attitude and tenacity to persevere. This to me was not only tacked on simply to highlight on what is one of Tank's best attributes but it's one that I feel should be expanded more.

 

While yes his tenacity was one of his best attributes to his character, but to me his best attribute was his care and affection for Rainbow Dash despite her not being so nice to him. To me, the best attribute one can seek in a friend, let alone a pet, is one where they show genuine sincerity and care for you as it takes for someone who genuinely cares and wishes for you to be alright however they can. What Tank did in the episode was not only perseverance but also of how much he cared for Dash's well being as he saved her from a boulder trapping her wing when she needed it most but especially carried her on his back all the way back to the race in contrast to the other competitors who only cared about winning the race and not about her well being.

 

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Conclusion: May the Best Pet Win is the worst episode of Season 2 so far. This is a light and predictable story where due to Rainbow Dash's over the top attitude and arrogance would lead the pets on a death race and ends on a tacked on lesson for folks to stew over. It's a good thing that future episodes would make good use of Rainbow Dash's new found pet in Tank the Tortoise and her relationship for him to put May the Best Pet Win in a brighter spot.

 

Score: 5.0/10

 

Grade: F

 

 

 

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My biggest problem with this episode is the massively missed opportunity to teach a very necessary lesson among the target audience. That having a pet is a BIG responsibility and can't be taken lightly. They glossed over that with one line from Applejack, so it's doubly bad.

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2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

My biggest problem with this episode is the massively missed opportunity to teach a very necessary lesson among the target audience. That having a pet is a BIG responsibility and can't be taken lightly. They glossed over that with one line from Applejack, so it's doubly bad.

 

That actually would make a good episode if someone remembers what you found that nobody had taught that lesson before as they did skipped over it in favor of what we got here. Perhaps something with the CMC's or so when they have their own pet?

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May the Best Pet Win got a 8.3/10 average in IMDb, yet got a 5/10 and an F here. Everyone, fasten your seat belts for next episode's review. :P :D

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Today's episode that I will review today is the thirty fourth episode of Friendship is Magic and the eight episode of Season 2, The Mysterious Mare Do Well. It is written by Merriwether Williams and is storyboarded by Sabrina Alberghetti and Nicole Wang.

 

In several of the cutie marks of the Rainbow Dash hats, they carried Rainbow Dash's older cutie mark design before the final design was chosen. This would be seen by several ponies, including Rainbow Dash, in sticker form throughout the episode. The construction work ponies that were saved in the episode were also originally the same pony models used in the episode Sonic Rainboom. The difference being that they changed them from being pegasus ponies to earth ponies.

 

The summary is that after some time Rainbow Dash allows her heroics to get into her head, she meets a new heroine that is saving ponies in Ponyville better than she is doing and starts to feel down because of it.

 

Positives:

 

1. The Mysterious Mare Do Well costume is a good attempt by DHX in creating a hero persona for the show and especially all the superhero references used as well.

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This was perhaps the episode's highlight as the clear reference to comic heroes, Mare Do Well, is the show's first real attempt at creating a heroine in such vein. Mare Do Well's persona is one of a silent type where they are guised by her full costume that bears a strong resemblance to the same color scheme that a popular Disney masked hero, Darkwing Duck would bear. A fun little tidbit about that is before she joined on the show, Sabrina Alberghetti did worked on Darkwing Duck comics, but had not designed Mare Do Well. Also, the Mysterious Mare Do Well may have also been inspired by the masked vigilante, Spoiler, a heroine who supports Batman in an attempt to 'spoil' her narcissistic and villainous father Cluemaster's plans from bearing fruit.

 

And that was not the only reference they used here too as there were others such as:

 

A. Rainbow Dash's line, "Never fear, your friendly neighborhood Rainbow Dash is here," is a play to both Spiderman's catchphrase "Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman," and Underdog's ,"There's no need to fear, Underdog is here."

 

B. The Mare do well posters at the rally bear a strong resemblance and are inspired by the cover art of the Batman animated series.

 

C. The themes used in the episode also showed they were greatly inspired and paid homage to the Batman the animated series themes too. 

 

D. In another reference, the remane five's disguise as Mysterious Mare Do Well is also a nod to the batman animated movie 'Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman,' in which Batwoman's persona was played by three different women. 

 

E. Pinkie Pie's pinkie sense makes a return here where it was used in similar pre-cog sense much like Spiderman's Spider sense is used to sense impending danger and attacks incoming from whatever direction is hitting from.

 

 

 

All of these super hero references were not only greatly used but such phrases are subtle enough that adults or older teens who have immersed in such fields would be able to pick out many but maybe not all of them at once without research into it. So I give props on DHX for their use and knowledge on Superhero comics here.

 

 

2. We see Scootaloo has established a fanclub dedicated to Rainbow Dash to help expand on her admiration and infatuation for her idol. This to me is a small but notable part of the episode was Scootaloo's development with her relationship with Rainbow Dash. Most notably was of how she was the only one to not only seek Rainbow Dash out when she was upset at how Mysterious Mare Do Well was upstaging her, but even invite her to the rally they were having in honor of Mare Do Well much to RD's chagrin but she takes it anyway. I particularly enjoyed that moment of care Scootaloo had for Rainbow Dash. While not the episode's focus, this to me earns a small nod for me for how this helped further develop Scootaloo in a small way down the line for her. 

 

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Just to highlight that devotion she has for her.

 

 

Negatives:

 

1. Ponyville had alot of contrived events where it seemed to turn the place into a death trap. Not to say that Ponyville is a perfectly safe and peaceful place considering it's close proximity to the Everfree Forest, but when did Ponyville suddenly have all of these issues that require a heroine to overwatch the place?

 

 

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Ponies falling down wells.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We had runaway baby carriages

 

 

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Balcony breaking off.

 

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Balloons falling to the earth.

 

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Another runaway cart

 

 

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Collapsing buildings

 

 

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Dam breaking.

 

When did Ponyville became so dangerous these hazards happen frequently? This to me is contrived events artificially created for the sake of producing the events needed for a hero to save them in time in a trope called Author Fiat as @RK_Striker_JK_5 said below. This means that whatever events or stuff that is included the story without any real explanation is often explained as the 'author says so' because it fits with the narrative they're trying to tell here. This can be a bad sign of laziness on the writer. 

 

 

2. Rainbow Dash's ego trip was going over the top. I know what you're saying that it was the episode's point of Rainbow Dash to be enveloped by her ego and learn not to let it go to such lengths and it's why I don't consider it such a bad negative, but here's the problem I had with Dash's behavior throughout. 

 

While it's good to have ego, but Dash was pushing it towards where she seemed to game the lives of ponies she was saving for her own ego's sake. This can be shown in:

 

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Tosses the baby in the air for the mother to catch which she notably got ticked for it.

 

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Takes her time to save the falling balloon instead of flying with all speed towards it. Before that, she was busy trying to finish signing autographs despite the balloon was clearly falling to the ground during that time.

 

There's letting one's ego get the better of them, than there's letting your ego game people's lives for your entertainment. Those moments I saw did not cast a good look on Rainbow Dash in the episode for how far she's willing to go to stroke her ego. But that's nothing compared to:

 

3. The remane five were huge hypocrites throughout the episode. This to me is the biggest problem of the episode was the behavior of the remane five. While their attempt to teach Rainbow Dash a lesson in humility was good, but than this scene happened:

 

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Here, they bragged about how modest, great, and caring Mare Do Well is. If there was one scene in an episode in this series that killed an entire episode's premise, it's this one. The reasoning is this:

 

A. They criticize Rainbow Dash for basking in her glory for her efforts and saying how wrong it is to brag and preening your ego for it. But here, they were doing the exact same thing they criticized Rainbow Dash for it, except worse because they're doing it at Rainbow Dash's expense. Thus they were extremely hypocritical assholes here.

 

B. This also gives some bad implications with Fluttershy's fly over here:

 

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For which she saved no one but simply flown past RD when she was trying to build up her confidence in her flight abilities. Why did Fluttershy did that other than so she can rub it in Dash's face of Mare Do Well being able to fly?

 

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So it's bad Rainbow Dash receives applause and appraisal from the crowds but it's okay they do it?

 

D. And considering how far they went to turn Rainbow Dash into a town laughingstock for which she sought to cut grass in a desperate attempt to earn favor, it seemed less like teaching a lesson and more of humiliating Rainbow Dash for her past behavior. 

 

This to me killed the episode. Her friends not only didn't chose to talk to Rainbow Dash to establish at least some justification to act on this persona, but what they chose is to humiliate Rainbow Dash till she was brought low while they get to bask in all the fame and glory they were earning and bragged about it in front of Rainbow Dash. This is a Broken Aesop as they critiqued Rainbow Dash at how receiving glory for her works and letting it get to her head was wrong but yet they see no problem bragging about their deeds in front of Rainbow Dash and to humiliate her for it. 

 

This is one of the worst moments the mane six as a group acted towards a friend because what they did in their attempt to prove Rainbow Dash isn't above anyone and to be humble, they chose to humiliate RD until she was at a low point and than once that happens they reveal that they were responsible for it all along and of how before hand shows that it's alright for them to brag about their accomplishments at the expense of someone. They were really fortunate that Rainbow Dash forgave them for what the remane five did would destroy friendships as many more aggressive folks would've seen their attempt as betrayal and left them for it as we've seen in AUs and other fanfics. 

 

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But a real hero doesn't brag, unless it's us than it is a okay, Rainbow Dash. Who needs enemies with friends like them.

 

Honestly, the  better lesson instead of the tacked on 'Learn to accept your accomplishments with grace and humility,' should've been, "Don't humiliate or ruin your friend just so you can teach them a lesson for their actions."

 

On an additional note, hilariously they actually proved how better Rainbow Dash is as a heroine than they are as they needed the whole team sans Rainbow Dash just to match and beat her in hero saving work.

 

 

Conclusion: No amount of superhero references they put into The Mysterious Mare Do Well is going to save the amount of shit that happened in the episode. Mysterious Mare Do Well is perhaps the season's worst episode I've seen for how terrible the remane five were in the contrived plot filled episode in their actions towards Rainbow Dash where they tried to teach Rainbow Dash a lesson in humility despite how hypocritical they were on that regard and fortunate Rainbow Dash forgave them despite how their actions would've destroyed a friendship for it.

 

Score: 4.0/10

 

Grade: F

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Not to say that Ponyville is a perfectly safe and peaceful place considering it's close proximity to the Everfree Forest, but when did Ponyville suddenly have all of these issues that require a heroine to overwatch the place?

Writer fiat. That's all. Let us not try to make some sort of in-universe explanation, shall we? It was the writer doing it.

 

And yeah. I fully agree. Dash's ego was way out of control, even moreso than it normally is. But the others didn't even try to talk or reason with her, barring a fig leaf during one scene, I believe. So it's a basic, "Fuck you, fuck you and FUCK YOU," to both sides, here.

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2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Writer fiat. That's all. Let us not try to make some sort of in-universe explanation, shall we? It was the writer doing it.

 

And yeah. I fully agree. Dash's ego was way out of control, even moreso than it normally is. But the others didn't even try to talk or reason with her, barring a fig leaf during one scene, I believe. So it's a basic, "Fuck you, fuck you and FUCK YOU," to both sides, here.

Well that's the term for it than. 

 

Aye.

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