RK_Striker_JK_5

RK_Striker_JK_5 reviews FIM: Abandon all headcanon/fanon, ye who enter here.

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The problem with this episode for me is that they tried to portray Twilight as a skeptic individual. On a bad day, I'd say that they were trying to make her seem like the evil, short-sighted, monstrous atheist that thinks bad things of all that don't see the world in black and white as he/she does. The problem is that the people responsible failed horribly even at that. Twilight comes out as an idiot, period.

 

Here is how you do it: observe phenomenon, create an hypothesis to explain it, elaborate experiments that control variables and creates results which can be used to formulate a theory capable of predicting future events, test it. Did it work consistently? Good, collect your prize from the Canterlot Society of Cartoon Logic. Didn't work? Stop raging against reality for not conforming to your theory and see what you got wrong. Man... It must be hard being a fictional character... You're submitted to the stupidity of the plot.

 

This is probably the worst Twilight has been in the entire cartoon.

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14 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

This is probably the worst Twilight has been in the entire cartoon.

Aye, this is one of her worst though I feel her roles say like in Boast Busters, Owl's Well that Ends Well, Spike at your Service, Rainbow Falls, and Flutterbat are very comparable as well.

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8 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Aye, this is one of her worst though I feel her roles say like in Boast Busters, Owl's Well that Ends Well, Spike at your Service, Rainbow Falls, and Flutterbat are very comparable as well.

Rainbow Falls? Why?

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7 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

Rainbow Falls? Why?

Because remember how folks feared that Twilight would be the perfect mrs. know it all leader when Twilight became an alicorn? Yea that was used as one example of that fear and also because for the most part she was an idiot despite what the narrative was doing to make her stand out intellectually such as why didn't she used her position of power to tell the wonderbolts to knock it off or else, used lame excuses for why RD should not consider the wonderbolts offer, and essentially guilt tripped RD to the direction she wanted her to go to. It's not the worst of her in S4 as that honor goes to her characterization in Flutterbat, but I thought her role in Rainbow Falls was one of her weaker ones.

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@Metemponychosis, @Nuke87654, if you two think this is the worst Twilight sinks to... well, it's among the worst. But for me, that's Magical Mystery Cure. Or... "Twilight, you fucked up BIG TIME."

 

Anyway...

 

Okay, ready for a ton of Top Gun jokes? Sorry, but that episode's later on. Plus, haven't seen Top Gun in a few years. Instead it's time to break barriers and achieve the impossible as we hit a...

Sonic Rainboom

 

Originally posted here on June 3rd, 2014.

 

We open with a jaunty tune and Dash flying in, going over something that Fluttershy's apparently learned. Loss of control, screaming and hollering and passion. It sounds way dirtier than it should. :D No, they're the elements of a good cheer! Hmm, quite a way's away from the Elements of Harmony. We all know this one. Yay. Yay. "LOUDER!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yay. Too loud? Absolutely perfect. :D

We come back to Dash on a cloud. We see Fluttershy down below for a brief 'yay' and I grin. Dash inhales, but isn't waiting to exhale as she springboards off a cloud-complete with 'sproing' sound effect' and zooms off! She narrates about her routine. She weaves around some tall trees, done rather expertly. She speeds by Fluttershy, who is again diabeetus-cute. Dash flies up and begins spinning around clouds, turning them. Great animation, too. Now phase three, and the Sonic Rainboom is named. She flies up for a bit and then dives. A pressure wave is forming in front of her, but the engines cannae' take no more!

Okay, tangent? I do wanna write a TOS/FIM crossover one day. It would take place during year four of the five-year mission. Starfleet Command sends Kirk and the Enterprise to the Equestrian System to negotiate opening up diplomatic channels, but because this is in the Neutral Zone with the Organians the Klingons send Kang from Day of the Dove, so there's some respect between the two captains. Celestia and Luna tell them to play nice or else. And it goes from there. EDIT: Oh, look. here it is, called 'Where No Pony Has Gone Before.. :D

Also, Scotty's probably my... third-favorite Star Trek character. I love Relics. :D Anyway, back to the review!

The shockwave literally bounces Dash back like a rubber band. I have no words, but dammit it was funny. We cut to Golden Oaks and they've finished reshelving every single book. The set-up is so obvious it almost hurts. Twilight had a 'crazy weekend of studying'. I would never describe studying as 'crazy'. And on cue Dash flies in and wrecks the place. And right on cue Fluttershy flies in and cheers her on. Perfect. Timing! "Woo-hoo!" But no, Fluttershy. Your cheering did not do that. Dash apologizes, alright. She then berates Fluttershy's cheering. Bad form, Dash! You're the one who got snapped back by... something. Dash does a semi-clumsy infro-drop that she'd want the others to go to Cloudsdale to compete in the Best Young Flyer Competition. Twilight asks what that is, and somehow Pinkie knows what it is. To be fair, the name's pretty indicative. Applejack would like to go, and so would Dash like for them to go. Fluttershy's cheering is subpar and she looks sad. Boo, Dash!

Pinkie suddenly jumps up and says she wishes she could see Dash perform a Sonic Rainboom. Twilight asks what that is. I ask how Pinkie knew what it is. Pinkie says she needs to get out more and... I agree with her. Why am I agreeing with Pinkie so much?! She explains when a pegasus gets going so fast, a sonic boom and rainbow happen all at once! She leaps down and sends more books flying. Applejack says Dash was the only pony to pull it off.

Dash is actually kinda modest saying it was a long time ago. But she BSes a bit that she's the greatest flyer to come out of Cloudsdale and could do sonic rainbooms in her sleep. Yeah, right. She exposits the grand prize for the competition is an entire day with the Wonderbolts. A dream come true! Fluttershy even cheers! Okay, didn't remember her cheering at the end, there. Cute and funny. Dash says she's gonna rest up, but tells Fluttershy to keep practicing. She needs a cheering section to match her 'spectacular' performance. Boo! She flies off, and Fluttershy says Dash has never come close to doing it. She doesn't know if she can cheer loud enough. I don't know if Dash is skilled enough to pull it off. At least at this juncture I wouldn't. ;) And she flies off.

Twilight says they'd better get this cleaned up. Again. I feel for her. And Rarity literally pokes her in the ass with her horn. Literally. Wow. She tells Twilight to find a spell to get wingless ponies into Cloudsdale. With her eye for detail, she spotted Dash's nervousness. Applejack says how... boastful she was. ;) Rarity says they've got to be there for her!

Rarity, ladies and gentlemen, at her finest! Give her a round of applause! I am between typing this. Literally, too.

And she butt-bumps Twilight into the wall. Again, literally. Man, it's weird the shit you forget about when watching these older episodes. Twilight complains about finding a flight spell int his mess. Pinkie finds one. Because. No, wait. There is an explanation. It landed on her face. Okay, good show, show! It's a spell that will allow earth ponies to fly for three days. Looks difficult, too. She's not sure she can do it. Oh, how... ironic? Don't you think? Rarity says she must try. She even volunteers to be the test subject. Rarity, again, good on you. Twilight grunts, Rarity's encircled by magic, looking a bit unsure nbow that it's happening. A little globe flies from Twilight's horn. I've read that there's a split-second image of Rarity with the wings, but I've never been able to discern it. Twilight flies back, and suddenly we're in a discotheque. And Rarity's floating in midair. "I think it worked!" Either that or Blondie's about to start singing!

We come back from commercial and Fluttershy and Dash are flying along, Dash telling Fluttershy to speak up. As they do, Cloudsdale comes into view. And it looks gorgeous! It's a city in the clouds, but no Lando. Aww.

Ditzy flies by. It's just... the imagery is beautiful. They land in front of some stallions in hard hats. These are rather generic bullies. I know they have names, but I don't care enough to look them up. They mock Dash, because they're generic bully characters. They taunt Dash about getting kicked out of flight school, and Dash pointedly says she didn't get 'kicked' out. They keep on being assholes and my anger is rising. They call the Sonic Rainboom an old mare's tale. Fluttershy suddenly gets assertive... for about five seconds. Then she apologizes. Face, meet palm. But she keeps on. Well, two steps forward, one step back. Baby steps, everyone.

The bullies fly off, leaving Dash's spirits in tatters. Fluttershy tries to cheer her up, but saying just because she's failed a hundred-thousand times in practice, doesn't mean you won't be able to in front of an entire stadium full of impatient, super-critical sportsfan ponies is NOT a good thing to say Flutters. Dash has a semi-epic freakout, even thinking Celestia will banish her to the Everfree Forest. Ah, so Twilight's not the only one to have insane Celestia-related fantasies about banishment!

Fluttershy says, "Rare" and Dash continues. Aww, Freakout! Then she articulates and Dash turns to see Rarity with butterfly wings, flying! Kinda like a Flutter pony, actually.

She's a bit fond of the wings, insert 'water is wet' joke. :P Dash and Fluttershy are open-mouth shocked, naturally. Rarity says 'we' couldn't leave their favorite flyer without a big cheering section. And like the Enterprise in the Mutara Nebula, the Friendship Balloon rises through the clouds! I own that toy. Pinkie leaps out, Dash cries out for her to wait, but Pinkie makes a perfect four-hoof landing! Then the rest jump out. We get confirmation that only pegasus ponies can walk on clouds. Turns out the wing spell was too difficult, so Twilight found an easier spell that lets them walk on clouds. Okay, Twilight? That's pretty damned smart of you to do. Actually, for all of them, legit props on doing this. *Thumps chest*

Dash admits she was getting a little nervous, but she feels better with the others there. Aww. :) She decides to give them a tour. Dash calls it the greatest city in the sky, which might imply more cities in the sky. Might not be as good as the spirit in the sky, though. That is where I wanna go when I die. Thy're impressed, while Rarity makes googly eyes in front of a mirror. Rarity follows and some construction workers are construction worker stereotypes around her. The wings are gorgeous! And a jackhammer falls through the clouds. Wait, why are they using a jackhammer on clouds? No, how are they using a jackhammer on clouds?!

Twilight tells Rarity to be careful. the wings are made form gossamer and morning dew. They're very delicate, and Rarity brushes off her concerns. Applejack pipes up she'd like to see where the weather's made. For a farmpony like her, that's actually a very valid line of inquiry. So it's a tour of the weather factory! We cut right to there. A rainbow's off to one side while overhead, the thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes! They enter, dressed in lab coats and hard hats. Each snowflake is hoof-made. Yeah, I'm calling horse hockey on that. We see ponies hunched over magnifying glasses. It's a delicate operation, and right on cue, Rarity flies up to examine some. The snowflakes all blow around and Dash decides to beat a hasty retreat before rarity causes a drought. *Snort* Smart move, there.

We go to where they make rainbows. Pinkie tastes said rainbow, but these ain't skittles! She whinnies and races for water while the others laugh at her pain. Laugh, laugh!!!

...

Okay, I laughed too. :P

We pan over to see the bullies following around Rarity, admiring her wings while she drinks it in. Then they see Dash and out come the insults. Dash asks Rarity why she's hanging with them. Now, maybe Rarity didn't know they were bullies before, but after they insulted Dash she's still pretty nonchalant. They insult her some more. Ah, other friends? Little help for her, here? That's a bit dosconcerting, to be honest. Fluttershy tries to cheer her up, but no good. She freaks out about her plain old boring wings and finally some looks of concern from Applejack and Twilight.

At the cloud factory, it's kind of what you'd expect. Water's poured into tubs, and streams of clouds jet out. Simple, but effective. I like that. The workers there are admiring Rarity. And Twilight, Applejack and Fluttershy are giving her Class-A Death Glares. Twilight goes over and reminds her they're supposed to be helping Dash. She asks her to put away her wings. Rarity balks, and instead flies up to bask in the sun. All shall lover her fabulousity and despair! She lets out that mad little laugh, and I'm thinking back to a certain episode. You know the one. :P

Twilight notices Dash having a little panic attack. I have had a number of panic attacks over my life, one quite literally a couple of weeks ago. So I wanna give Dash a great big hug right about now. One of the workers says Rarity should enter the competition. Rarity completes her turn to the jackass side by deciding to compete. Oh, Rarity. And you started out with the best of intentions, too.

At the Cloudiseum, we see Doctor Whooves and his wife Ditzy. My guess is Whooves used some remaining regeneration energy. ;):D An attendant knocks on the door to Rarity's dressing room, but she'll be a while and blows in her face. How rude! Dash looks out and sees the other four, and Pinkie has a giant foam hand. It's not a Stone Cold-style hand, though. Right below are the bullies. An annoucner with a rather modern-looking headset announces Celestia's arrival. She flutters down and some celebrity judges are introduced, the Wonderbolts! They do some fancy acrobatics, finishing off with a successful Kolvoord Starburst. Dash's spirits brighten a bit.

A rather nasal attendant sends out number one, and Dash realizes she's number-two. Oh, noes! She switches numbers with Whooves. She keeps on switching. Rarity's number four, but needs more time. She's got mane curlers and a mud mask, but this isn't something to lose sleep over. We fade to the others. Twilight was impressed with number seven, doing 15 barrel rolls in a row. There's a Starfox joke in there, but at this late time of night I'll let it be. Fluttershy liked number ten because she looked so nice. Of course. Applejack wonders why they haven't seen Dash or Rarity and we cut back to Dash in the fetal position, shuddering. As Dash is called, Rarity emerges. We see bits and pieces of her and then a full-body shot. Up close, it is rather... well, I can't decide between Lady Gaga or Patti Smyth from 'The Warrior'. I've read this outfit looks best from a longer distance away, and that does make sense to me.

They both get sent out. I... don't get this bit. Wouldn't they have left enough time for the number of contestants? And would they really push them out like this? It's a small thing, but still bugs me. I know it's for the climax, but yeah. They both go out and Rarity says a rather 'just do your best' to Dash. Rarity changed the music. Oh, OH! Not cool, Rarity. She begins dancing to ballet-style music while Dash psyches herself up. Dash goes for her routine, but with phase one she slams into a cloud and rebounds head-first into a panel, right in front of the bullies. Rarity continues dancing while Dash tries for phase two. Dash tries for phase two, and it starts to work, but an errant puff of cloud smacks her in the face. One of the clouds spins out of control and nearly decapitates Celestia!

Rarity prepares for her grand finale, to fly up and beam her wings over the whole city of Cloudsdale. Wait, transporter accident? She stares at the camera and I decide to go with Gaga. Dash goes for the Rainboom and her voice is shakier than a Jenga Tower. Rarity flies up, and dammit, I wasted my Galadriel joke! She's sweating, not to the Oldies though. She! Is! Rarity! And the wings go up like Icarus'. Natch.

She plummets, screaming her gaudy little head off. and to their and the show's credit, the Wonderbolts dive for her. There's a really cool shaky camera bit as they zoom past. They reach her, but her flailing limbs kick each one right in the face! For anyone who thinks the Wonderbolts are glass cannon, equines have helluva strong kicks! But Dash hears Rarity's screaming and dives down for her! The pressure wave builds, the ground looms closer, Fluttershy can't look...

And Dash pulls off the Rainboom! And while the others are stunned silent, Fluttershy yells at the top of her lungs! She catches all four in the nick of time and flies them up, creating a rainbow-colored contrail over the Cloudiseum. She gets a standing ovation, and Dash, drink it in. You more than earned it. Rarity thanks Dash, and this is best day ever!

Back at the balloon, they're gathered around it. Rarity's in the balloon, because she didn't have the cloud-walking spell cast on her! Good show, show! She eats humble pie and apologizes for getting carried away. They forgive her. Aww. Dash even forgives her, but wishes she could've met the Wonderbolts while they were still conscious. And one tap to the shoulder and Dash has a fangasm. The Wonderbolts thank her for saving their lives. Dash is... slightly inarticulate, but it's understandable. Celestia shows up, and this time it makes sense. She awards Dash the grand prize, and even places Mercury/Flash wings on her head. Dash once again squees while being carried around for a victory lap. Celestia asks for a friendship lesson, and Rarity delivers the Aesop this time.

The bullies, in their own way, apologize for their name-calling and taunting, giving them more depth than those other two. You know who I mean. ;) They even congratulate her and ask to hang out. Dash declines and flies off with two of the Wonderbolts. "I've got plans!" And she flies off into the sunset.

Thoughts

Great episode. Really, really great. Awesome scenes. I love Cloudsdale. A lot of depth is added to Equestria. The Mane Six are great. Admittedly Pinkie and Applejack aren't used much, but they're used well. And it makes sense, being earth ponies. ;) Dash is given some great characterization, too.

Rarity... ah, you started out so well. But that road is paved with what you had. It does make sense she'd get so caught up with the wings, but it didn't make it right. At least she apologized in the end.

Now...

Headcanon

I've decided to put my own headcanon in a separate section. It's formed from almost all the Hasbroverse, my tiny little fanverse that I've formed. Anyway...

1. The last pony to do a Rainboom was Firefly, Dash's direct ancestor. She did it saving the life of her future husband Bloodwing.

2. Cloudsdale is not the only cloud city, but it's by far the largest.

3. Flutter ponies still exist, mostly in Flutter Valley/Province. They were not mutilated into changelings. To be honest, I... dislike that bit of fanon. Queen Rosedust still rules over them, because flutter ponies don't die of old age.

And I just realized I'm over halfway through season one! But don't take that little fact for granite, because tomorrow it's time to look into the eyes of the...

Stare Master

 

IMG_20140603_165118_zps58fcd657.jpg

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2 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

@Metemponychosis, @Nuke87654, if you two think this is the worst Twilight sinks to... well, it's among the worst. But for me, that's Magical Mystery Cure. Or... "Twilight, you fucked up BIG TIME."

I wouldn't exactly blame Twilight there as essentially Celestia threw a spell on her without warning that it was dangerous and had it cause mayhem at her friend's expense. If anything, that was a very bad look on Celestia for she essentially risked Twilights friend's lives for the sake of getting Twilight to be an alicorn without care.

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On 19/11/2016 at 9:26 PM, Nuke87654 said:

Because remember how folks feared that Twilight would be the perfect mrs. know it all leader when Twilight became an alicorn? Yea that was used as one example of that fear and also because for the most part she was an idiot despite what the narrative was doing to make her stand out intellectually such as why didn't she used her position of power to tell the wonderbolts to knock it off or else, used lame excuses for why RD should not consider the wonderbolts offer, and essentially guilt tripped RD to the direction she wanted her to go to. It's not the worst of her in S4 as that honor goes to her characterization in Flutterbat, but I thought her role in Rainbow Falls was one of her weaker ones.

Oh, crap. I was confusing Rainbow Falls with Trade Ya. Duh. Yeah, I agree.

4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Thoughts

Great episode. Really, really great. Awesome scenes. I love Cloudsdale. A lot of depth is added to Equestria. The Mane Six are great. Admittedly Pinkie and Applejack aren't used much, but they're used well. And it makes sense, being earth ponies. ;) Dash is given some great characterization, too.

Rarity... ah, you started out so well. But that road is paved with what you had. It does make sense she'd get so caught up with the wings, but it didn't make it right. At least she apologized in the end.

Flaws are part of a good character. If Rarity didn't get carried away sometimes, she wouldn't be her. I think that Rarity was great in this episode too.

4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

@Metemponychosis, @Nuke87654, if you two think this is the worst Twilight sinks to... well, it's among the worst. But for me, that's Magical Mystery Cure. Or... "Twilight, you fucked up BIG TIME."

 

4 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

I wouldn't exactly blame Twilight there as essentially Celestia threw a spell on her without warning that it was dangerous and had it cause mayhem at her friend's expense. If anything, that was a very bad look on Celestia for she essentially risked Twilights friend's lives for the sake of getting Twilight to be an alicorn without care.

I blame Twilight. She was the one that messed with something she didn't understand. I have trouble blaming Celestia for Twilight's behavior. Here is the thing: the cartoon changes the rules when it's convenient. It's the first time a spell has a spoken component and can be activated unintentionally when all other spells always needed the unicorn casting it to channel energy. To me, it was the same kind of stupidity Twilight shows in Bats!

 

It's annoying. This isn't the kind of messing things up because the character was dumb and the story grows from it and the character learns. This is the writer didn't give it enough thought, the character messes up, learns another lesson and the actual problem that gave rise to the whole situation gets ignored as the character is treated as if it is better than it was. If I was Celestia I would have sent Twilight back to Magical Kindergarten...

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32 minutes ago, Metemponychosis said:

I blame Twilight. She was the one that messed with something she didn't understand. I have trouble blaming Celestia for Twilight's behavior. Here is the thing: the cartoon changes the rules when it's convenient. It's the first time a spell has a spoken component and can be activated unintentionally when all other spells always needed the unicorn casting it to channel energy. To me, it was the same kind of stupidity Twilight shows in Bats!

 

It's annoying. This isn't the kind of messing things up because the character was dumb and the story grows from it and the character learns. This is the writer didn't give it enough thought, the character messes up, learns another lesson and the actual problem that gave rise to the whole situation gets ignored as the character is treated as if it is better than it was. If I was Celestia I would have sent Twilight back to Magical Kindergarten...

The dialogue and scene seems to heavily indicate that Celestia pretty much told Twilight to go and fix the spell Starswirl couldn't have resolved himself. all Twilight did was essentially try to figure out what the spell is, she never intended it to cause any harm to her friends.

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2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

The dialogue and scene seems to heavily indicate that Celestia pretty much told Twilight to go and fix the spell Starswirl couldn't have resolved himself. all Twilight did was essentially try to figure out what the spell is, she never intended it to cause any harm to her friends.

Yes, but it doesn't change the fact that Twilight was the one that cast the spell and didn't even seem to realize she was doing it. Casting a spell you don't know what is for, especially if the thing is broken, doesn't seem like something anyone with common sense would do. That is what I'm complaining about in the second paragraph. I don't know if Twilight cast the thing intentionally and was just stupid, or if she didn't even know that reading the thing aloud would activate it. Either way, it's dumb (and this is coming from someone that likes that episode). In the first case Celestia sent the book to Twilight and expected her to handle it correctly (because I would if I gave some student of mine something dangerous). In the second case Twilight didn't know that spells can be activated by reading lines of rhymes and that is something that I would expect her to know, given her talent and upbringing.

 

The third interpretation is that Celestia knew that Twilight would be careless (or wouldn't know how to handle the spell) and just played her and endangered everyone else. I just don't like to think that this was the intention for at least five different reasons. It turns Celestia into a maleficent dick, Luna into her accomplice, Twilight into an incompetent moron, Twilight's friends into Celestia's pawns and makes reading a goddamn book a danger. I hate their use of Celestia in the cartoon enough as it is already.

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12 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Yes, but it doesn't change the fact that Twilight was the one that cast the spell and didn't even seem to realize she was doing it. Casting a spell you don't know what is for, especially if the thing is broken, doesn't seem like something anyone with common sense would do. That is what I'm complaining about in the second paragraph. I don't know if Twilight cast the thing intentionally and was just stupid, or if she didn't even know that reading the thing aloud would activate it. Either way, it's dumb (and this is coming from someone that likes that episode). In the first case Celestia sent the book to Twilight and expected her to handle it correctly (because I would if I gave some student of mine something dangerous). In the second case Twilight didn't know that spells can be activated by reading lines of rhymes and that is something that I would expect her to know, given her talent and upbringing.

 

The third interpretation is that Celestia knew that Twilight would be careless (or wouldn't know how to handle the spell) and just played her and endangered everyone else. I just don't like to think that this was the intention for at least five different reasons. It turns Celestia into a maleficent dick, Luna into her accomplice, Twilight into an incompetent moron, Twilight's friends into Celestia's pawns and makes reading a goddamn book a danger. I hate their use of Celestia in the cartoon enough as it is already.

She didn't mean to cast the thing but merely to check what the spell was about. This is essentially the equivalent of me running a diagnostic on a computer after someone told me to check it out for an issue, saw nothing wrong with it, than the system goes to crap cause activating caused a shit load of viruses to awaken and I had no idea it would do that.

Here's proof that Twilight to essentially check up on what the spell was:

 

Twilight Sparkle: Dear Twilight Sparkle,The spell contained on the last page of this book is Star Swirl the Bearded's secret unfinished masterpiece. [gasps] Ooh! He was never able to get it right, and thus abandoned it. I believe you are the only pony who can understand and rewrite it. Princess Celestia

From one to another, another to one. A mark of one's destiny singled out alone, fulfilled. That doesn't make any sense. It doesn't even rhyme!

Twilight Sparkle: I cast the spell so I could find out what it was, but nothing seemed to happen. But now I know something did happen. The spell has changed the Elements of Harmony! That must be why their cutie marks are all wrong!

This would indicate that Twilight had no intention of even activating the spell, she was just trying to figure it out what the spell was until it showed up next morning that her friend's cutie marks were switched. I just don't see how one can blame Twilight for it when all she did was just figuring out what the spell was. She had no intention to inflict it upon her friends.

Unfortunately the third interpretation seems to be the more likely case as Celestia and Luna wanted Twilight to become an Alicorn, that's been the whole arc of S3 was Twilight's ascendance to alicornhood. It is one big negative for that episode for me was how manipulative they made Celestia and Luna out in this episode.

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2 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

@Nuke87654Well, what can I say that I haven't already? Thank you for making me hate her a little more.

A rather unfortunate thing to witness as I too am a major Celestia fan, just sucks that they written her like that in Season 3.

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20 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Flaws are part of a good character. If Rarity didn't get carried away sometimes, she wouldn't be her. I think that Rarity was great in this episode too.

Oh, hell yeah. What's even better is she realizes this, methinks. She's aware of her flaws. I really think she's one of the best damned characters in the show.

 

As for Magical Mystery Cure, season three and Celestia... not entirely sure how deep I should go into it, since I do have reviews for those episode. Lemme just say... although Celestia has some blame, IMHO, Twilight is the one who fucked up. She was given an unknown, unfinished spell made by the MLP-equivalent of Einstein/Edison/Tesla/Gandalf/Dumbledore/Merlin, did no research, asked no questions, and after the spell was cast, didn't even look around to see if anything had changed. I don't care if it was a spell to change the color of someone's mane. That is sheer idiocy and so careless the Three Stooges would be angry with her!

 

Although now I'm wondering, @Nuke87654 and @Metemponychosis, have either of you read my Boast Busters review?

 

Anyway, moving on...

 

Okay! *Runs up steps, then down while Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger' plays in the background* Feel the burn! Feel it! Oh, what am I doing? I'm just trying to become the...

Stare-Master

 

Originally posted here on June 4th, 2014.

 

Sorry, sorry. But it's kinda hard to come up with these on the fly!

We open with Sweetie Belle. Hi, Sweetie Belle! *Waves. Sweetie Belle waves back, then falls over* She's in Carousel Boutique for some reason while Rarity panics and runs back and forth. Sweetie Belle asks if she can help and if you don't know their relation this is pretty damned confusing. Rarity tells her to 'stand over there', and that's pretty harsh. Rarity almost goes Lesson Zero over a ribbon, but Sweetie Belle spots it! She reaches for it on top of a cabinet, but knocks it down into a ponykin. The tiny little spool barely brushes it, but knocks it over into a table which sends stuff flying. We have a very fashionable artillery barrage, including a sewing machine and another ponykin. Rube Goldberg would be proud. Byt the end the room is completely trashed and Sweetie Belle goes and stands over there, completely crushed.

Back from the credits and the room is clean. Sweetie Belle asks about helping to clean up. No, she's helped quite enough. And Sweetie Belle says, "I'm sorry, sis." WHOA! Okay, back then this was a fairly big surprise! So, she has a younger sister! Celestia was wise to hide her. Now her failure is complete. But seriously, wow. I do love how casually it's established. One line and then moving on, as it should be. Sweetie Belle thought she'd be able to find her cutie mark. Rarity understands, but has a rather big order. Sweetie Belle is looking rather hurt and crushed and huggable throughout all this. Rarity can't have any more interruptions. And ohhai, Fluttershy! she thought the 'open' sign meant she was open. Aww. Dammit, why are all the ponies so huggable?! She backs up, but Rarity apologizes. Turns out she's got Opal, back from grooming. Opal bounces out of her basket and sparkles. Literally. Rarity wonders how she does it, because she can't get near without getting swatted at.

Okay.. first off, I have dealt with cats before. My dad owns two. I know they can be... insane. But thing is in 'Suited for Success' we saw Opal being remarkably pleasant and patient with Rarity and not swiping once at her. I am declaring this a continuity error. And Opal hisses and swats. What the hell?! This has always bugged me. Granted it's a small thing in the grand scheme, but it's still there. Rarity asks if she used the Stare on her, complete with dramatic sting!

Fluttershy balks at that. She couldn't, because she doesn't have control over it. Remember that for later on, folks. It's gonna hurt when we get to BATS! :D She's just good with animals. It's her special gift. Rarity says she should have a pic of Opal instead of the butterflies and Sweetie Belle thinks she can be good with animals, too. She races over and Opal almost decapitates her. "Or not." The two adults laugh at her almost losing a head, oh ho! Rarity's bitten off more than she can chew with the order, and Sweetie Belle remarks she's not eating anything. Hah, hah? Rarity has 20 special robes to make tonight for Trottingham tomorrow morning. She picks up a piece of cloth and waves it about, showing off a bit. ;) She's using a special gold silk, and Sweetie Belle's eyes go wide. Fluttershy wonders how she'll get it all done. Sweetie Belle pipes up, then pipes down faster than Mario.

Fluttershy walks off, and the rest of the CMC dart in! It's time for wacky hijinks! They gallop over to Sweetie Belle and do a minor info dump about their cutie mark planning session tonight. CUTIE MARK CRUSADER SLEEPOVER AT RARITY'S, YAY! And Sweetie Belle shows off some capes she made for the others. They're red with the now-familiar CMC logo on them. Honestly... not too shabby. But it turns out Sweetie Belle used a certain gold silk, that took so long to make. And I think we all know where she got this gold silk. Rarity realizes it in about a second, rcaes over and finds a sheet of the silk with three big patches cut out. Sweetie Belle, NOT cool! Rarity has a somewhat understated freakout considering what her sister did, and declares the sleepover cancelled. Sweetie Belle has a bit of a freakout. Hey, maybe if you didn't cut up Rarity's fabric without permission, dudette. All in all, that's pretty light IMHO.

Fluttershy volunteers to watch them, and gets a little... boastful about her abilities. Rarity's doubtful, natch. "They're quite a handful." Ohhai, Dash's confusion about 'hands' in EQG. :P Fluttershy calls them sweet angels and they beam with halos over their heads. Rarity finally says yes. They yell, run off and Fluttershy says so cute. Ah, Fluttershy. So naive. We come back from commercial and the CMC are racing off while Fluttershy flies along, thinking they'll have tea parties, braid each other's tails, sit quietly-HAH!-and tell each other fair tales. Oh, Fluttershy. You poor, sweet, naive little pegasus. She realizes they've raced off, and we pan over to them zooming past Twilight. They stop to play by a well and reenact that episode where Bart falls down a well or Baby Jessica. Fluttershy flies up and Twilight says she's off to Zecora's for some tea. I guess Captain Picard is over. Nice little bit of continuity. Fluttershy freaks out a bit and asks if she'll be careful. Smart mare, there. Twilight asks about the CMC, learns about the sleepover and says everyone's got their hooves full. She wonders if Fluttershy can handle it. God, I'm wondering if Trixie shows up to ask if she can handle it. And man, that'd be pretty damned cool.

We cut to Fluttershy's cottage at night, but I have no sunglasses at the moment. She shuts the top half of her door and we're inside. The CMC are running about, one asking if somethying are 'tickets'. That's the closed caption, folks. Reference to her Gala tickets, perhaps? The animals are disturbed, too. Fluttershy repeats her 'no problem at all' madness mantra and asks what they'd like to do. They act like they drank an entire pot of coffee. Each. They also jump around. Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Apple Bloom nearly tips over a chair, Sweetie Belle gets her muzzle stuck in a birdhouse. She tries to get them to do a tea party, but no. Adventuring in the Everfree! Fluttershy, holding the majority of common sense in this house, stops them. Too many strange creatures. Sweetie Belle takes the logical step that Fluttershy go with them to catch the creatures. They can be CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CREATURE CATCHERS!!! Apple Bloom and Scootaloo dress up as a Scooby-Doo monster and Sweetie Belle tries to catch them. Gotta catch them all!

You know beyond a few episodes of the first season and playing Super Smash Brothers: Melee I have no real exposure to Pokemon.

They run around, ignoring Fluttershy. And there's some crashing offscreen. A table is destroyed, and they're contrite. So they try to be CMC Carpenters! Hmm, I'd make a Carpenters reference, but I can't recall any of their songs off the top of my head. So instead, "Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard!" I am wondering where they got those things on their head and stethoscopes. And actually what those things on their head actually do. We go offscreen for the usual heavy machinery sound effects and Fluttershy's reactions sell it far better than if we actually saw it. We come back to them and it looks like something Picasso would do. Apparently Scootaloo didn't even know they were trying for a table. It is quite funny and well-done. One wonders how Apple Bloom would've done solo.

Fluttershy yanks it offscreen and tries them for the game of 'shhh'! Who can stay quiet the longest? She's the world champion. And I read a fic a long time ago where we see actual Shhh competition. And yes, Fluttershy retained her title. :D We have a squeaky smile and the game starts. The CMC lose and run rampant. Again. CMC coal miners? Loretta Lynn, where are you?! Nope, bedtime. Fluttershy tries to be sweet, but it comes off as more saccharine to the CMC. This is also pretty danged early for bedtime IMHO. But Fluttershy herds them upstairs to bed. Apple Bloom wonders how they'll find their special talent in their sleep, and Fluttershy says maybe they'll have a lovely dream.

And somewhere Luna's ears perk up, but her contract says not until season three. Aww, dang.

Scootaloo pipes up that they're not even tired. Fluttershy sings them a lullaby. It's sweet and lovely. They begin drifting off, but Sweetie Belle pipes up and lets her pipes explode! Aretha Franklin would be proud. :D The bed is rocking like this one skit from Sesame Street involving Bert and Ernie. She's so loud, the chickens in Fluttershy's coop... fly the coop! Fluttershy puts up a clock, turns and finds the CMC have also flown the coop! She looks out the window and sees them there. Sweetie belle ponders what could've caused them to go nuts, and I legit can't tell if she's being snide or not. They go to 'herd' them, but really they just run around and cause even more chaos. Fluttershy flies down and finally snaps. "GIRLS!" She clucks her tongue and begins herding the chickens to the coop. They won't go in, so we get our first 'official' use of the Stare. Complete with eerie music and the image goes wobbly. We even get a stink-eye at the end!

After that little display, the CMC go to bed. She leaves and they get up to plan more crusading. Apple Bloom looks out the window and spots tracks leading from the coop to the Everfree. They sneak down while Fluttershy says it wasn't 'that' hard. Ah, Fluttershy. Why must you make this into a house of lies?! They sneak out and part of Scootaloo's cape gets conveniently torn off on the fencepost. Fluttershy realizes it's too quiet, and flies up to find them gone. She flies to the coop, finds 'Elizabeak' missing, spots the tracks and then the torn bit of cape on the post. She realizes they went into the Everfree, and goes after them. She realizes she bit off way more than she can chew. She takes a breath and flies in, probably scared out of her mind.

We wipe to the CMC walking along, ominous owl hooting. Apple Bloom calls for the chicken and we get the 'Scootaloo is a chicken' meme. And I chuckle. Apple Bloom knows how to call a chicken! "Scootaloo! Scoot-Scootaloo!" Oh, damn that's good. They walk off just as ominous glowing eyes open up. Sweetie Belle tells them to stop and is almost grabbed by the wind bending a tree branch shaped like a claw. yeah, makes just as much sense in context. Apple Bloom decides maybe arguing's their special talent! Scootaloo argues it isn't.A And Apple Bloom even has Scootaloo check for a cutie mark. They laugh and walk off as eerie wind kicks up.

We pan over to Fluttershy following them. She tries, but a broken branch and it's Dragonshy all over again. She backs into a tree, no beeping thank god! She gallops off, but in the distance spies Twilight. Oh, yay! She trots up, relieved, until the moon comes out and twilight is a fucking statue! Fluttershy taps it and it falls over. Thank god it didn't, I don't know, SHATTER! She realizes what happened and flies off, leaving the statue behind. Okay, to be fair not like she could carry it and find the CMC quickly. And she flies back to tell Twilight not to move. Ooh, groan! Hiss!

We cut to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo still arguing and Sweetie Belle tells them their special talent's not arguing. She even wonders what a cutie mark of that would look like. Hmm, a lectern? A megaphone? Fluttershy catches up and says they must leave at once. There's a cockatrice on the loose. It has the head of a chicken and body of a snake. They think it's silly. And Apple Bloom says she'd laugh at one if she ever saw it face-to-face. Fluttershy says no, but before she can explain Elizabeak runs out of a bush. The CMC chase after her, but an animal growling stops them short Sweetie Belle spots a chicken head in the bush, but another head pops up. Sweetie Belle swipes at one, which is an actual chicken. The other ducks, and then slithers into the sky. It's a cockatrice! It scares the CMC, flies over and turns Elizabeak to stone. Holy damn, that's good. The CMC are freaked and run off, but Scootaloo trips on a rock and it's a three-CMC pileup on the interstate. Unlike Dash, she doesn't accuse Apple Bloom of cheating, though.

They find Twilight's statue with a friggin' snail crawling across it. That's just... damn! They freak out even more and the cockatrice flies over. Fluttershy gets assertive and calls for them behind her. NOW! And... it happens. The staring contest of DOOM! Fluttershy chews it out, it tries but she out-stares it while being petrified! Fluttershy, you. Are. BADASS! She breaks the spell and the cockatrice turns Twilight and Elizabeak back to normal. The CMC praise Fluttershy and deliver a title-drop. They apologize and promise to listen to her. Fluttershy says they better, or she'll give them... THE STARE! They laugh while in the background, the cockatrice flies off. Twilight wanders onscreen, probably pretty out of it.

The next day, or later in the same day, the CMC are running around. Fluttershy is filling in Twilight on what happened, who is writing a letter to Celestia. Twilight says she was wrong and Fluttershy could handle then, but Fluttershy admits she was wrong. She thought good with animals equaled good with kids. Nope. Rarity shows up, having just delivered the capes. She says she might not have without Fluttershy. She picks up the CMC, but they don't pay attention. Fluttershy gets them lined up and rarity is agog. And Fluttershy... says she's just as good with kids as animals. Okay... that's a disconnect, there. Rarity says she might need help with Opal, and she turns to see the cat latched onto her right flank. OUCH! They chuckle at her legit pain, and fade-out.

Thoughts

Stare Master is a good episode with a good lesson. Don't bite off more than you can chew. All three adults learned that the hard way. This is the first CMC-centereed episode, a harbinger of the chaos to come. Also expanding the families a bit with Sweetie Belle as Rarity's sister. Semi-big shock back then.

There's some legit good shocks and creepy shit with the cockatrice, and the Staring Contest was awesome. I am still amused and tickled pink that Twilight lost to the thing. :D Ursa Minors, no problem. Cockatrices, problem! :P Somewhere, Trixie is snickering. And so am I.

We get the Stare, too. I like it... but to be honest, sometimes the fandom makes it out to be way too powerful. One of the only two things I liked about 'Keep Calm' was Discord no-selling the danged thing!

Heaqdcanon

In the Hasbroverse, the CMC expanded into the CMC 2.0. Dinky was added, as well as the daughters of Megan I created, Danielle and Michelle. Danielle and Michelle are 'honorary' members, but got capes and are best friends with them. Danielle is the Only Sane One of the bunch, but holds them back about as well as a screen door can hold back a tsunami! And since Dinky is Doctor Whooves' daughter, that means...

CUTIE MARK CRUSADER TARDIS OPERATORS! YAY Admittedly they had to get the danged thing working again, but that's a story for another time...

I don't know if I can get a review done tomorrow, sorry. I get paid and I'm going to go see X-Men: Days of Future Past. But if I can, then it's... Show-Stoppers? Dang, that's CMC overload!

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8 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

 

Although now I'm wondering, @Nuke87654 and @Metemponychosis, have either of you read my Boast Busters review?

I had read it a bit and one thing you noted was of Spike's behavior that honestly I should've critiqued in my own review or so. May have to look at that better upon reflections.

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21 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

I had read it a bit and one thing you noted was of Spike's behavior that honestly I should've critiqued in my own review or so. May have to look at that better upon reflections.

Thank you. :) I consider my Boast Busters review to be one of my best reviews. :)

 

*Striker does a tap-dance, trips on a shoelace and goes down* Ow, well, I guess I'm not one of...

The Show-Stoppers*

 

Originally posted here on June 8th, 2014.

 

We open with Applejack leading the CMC through the woods. But it's dangerous to go alone! Wait, there's four of you? Dammit, the joke is ruined! We get a stock 'plant branch/frond slapped into someone's face', but it's good. Sweetie Belle is seventeen kinds of confused. It's more than her usual eleven. ;) They come upon... something. We pan over to see a treehouse in a pretty bad state of disrepair. It's their new clubhouse! And the silence is deafening.  Applejack's a bit taken aback by their lack of enthusiasm. "Well, don't thank me all at once." :D It was her clubhouse, and has seen better days. As a chunk of the roof collapses. Scootaloos's snarky. Apple Bloom's in shock. Applejack tries the cutie mark route, but the wall she's leaning on collapses. Ohhai little birdies!

We come back to Scootaloo standing in front of Golden Oaks and drawing a map of Ponyville. She has the pnecil in her mouth and it's quite adorable. she rolls it up, stuffs in in her saddlebag and hops onto her scooter. EXTREME SCOOTING! *Headbangs, followed by whiplash* She uses a board as a ramp, does two complete turns in midair, sends Granny Smith into a spin and pulls a friggin' Neo by jumping over a tree branch. She is the One. Whoa! But, wait, Apple Bloom's the one who knows Kung-Fu! Well, karate at least. She bursts through a bush and skids to a halt in front of Apple Bloom. She takes off her helmet and even does a mane flip. Hmm, future as shampoo spokespony?

Scootaloo looks up and the camera zooms back to see the clubhouse, all restored. Mike Holmes would be proud! It even sparkles in that, "This is to let the audience know it's great" way. Scootaloo asks what Sweeite Belle's been up to. We push through some bushes to see her dusting a table with her tail and singing. She... even begins dusting a tree. Okay... The others find her, Apple Bloom saying they could find her by following her 'totally awesome voice'. She's been working on their own theme song. She's only come up with one part, and she begins singing it. As someone with a tin voice and zero talent in songwriting, I am quite jealous. Applejack wanders by and looks in, quite impressed. Then Scootaloo 'sings' and I think some glass shattered somewhere. She says she's impressed and asks what's next.

The CMC walk over, and I gotta say the interior's pretty damned nice. With a clubhouse, map of Ponyville and theme song-which leaves Applejack confused-they're gonna go out and find their talents and earn their cutie marks. Girls, I think the last few scenes have already shown you your talents. They'll leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed and not even any meal uncooked! Good. I have a bachelor's in Culinary Arts and there's no way I am eating anything undercooked after the sanitation portion! Not even any socks unworn! And methinks that last one broke Applejack a little. She'll go leave no apple unpicked! Hopefully with Big Mac's help.

We get a montage with one of my favorite pieces of background music. They try feeding pigs slop, but get trampled by the hogs. No cutie marks. Next is making taffy! Scootaloo's tail gets stuck and they get sucked into it, their eyes the only things visible. Nothing. Next is Carousel Boutique and hairdressing! Their one client looks like a clown. Over to a field and one of the opening scenes from Ghostbusters, sans electrocution. Apple Bloom presses all the buttons and it goes Skynet on them. Over to Mount Everest, they climb the summit, but tumble down a whole three feet. Wait, why is there one snowstorm over this dinky mountain? Did they forget it during the Winter Wrap-Up montage? We need 'Eye of the Tiger', STAT! Next is a lake, for SCUBA diving. But they awaken one of the Old Ones. And finally, Golden Oaks.

We see Twilight and Cheerilee walking inside. Hmm, interesting! Spike disavows any knowledge of their actions, and we pan over to see the CMC enacting Twilight's second-worst nightmare. The place is a mess. Twilight walks over and says she thinks they're going about it the wrong way. She suggests they dfo things in areas they already like. That... does sound reasonable. That's how Twist got her cutie mark. Cheerilee suggests the school talent show. They're all over it! And then they're all off of it as they suggest insane stuff. Twilight tries to bring them back down to Equestria. Twilight, Twilight... *Shakes head* They'll do it as the Cutie Mark Crusaders! High-hoof!

We come back from commercial and they're doing Grand Theft Fabric Bolt from Carousel Boutique. Rarity's pissed. Sweetie Belle promises she'll bring them back. How? They'll be used already. They also get a fan from Mister Breezy. Apple Bloom asks what they need a fan for. "Trust me on this one." Sweetie Belle, that look is all sorts of wrong and I love you for it. They have six wooden planks, a box of nails, four cans of paint and four brushes. As Scootaloo reads off the list, the camera zooms in on each word. Nice. It resets and Sweetie Belle says they need instructions for each item, with the same zoom. Excellent. She arches her eyebrow so high the Rock or Spock would be envious. Scootaloo zooms off and we cut to Twilight giving them a horror-themed book. "Ghosts, Goblins and Ghoulish Figures." Twilight wonders what they're up to, and Spike's not sure if he should be excited or scared to find out. Take the third option and both?

Back at the clubhouse, they've decided on a song with great scenery, costumes and dance moves. Sweetie Belle doesn't want to sing in front of a crowd. Stage fright. Aww. *Hugs* I... don't really get stage fright. She reminds them of what Twilight said, and she wants to be like her big sister, who's a designer. She'll do costumes and scenery. Scootaloo, instead of doing the choreography, wants to sing a wicked rock ballad, complete with microphone out of nowhere. So instead Apple Bloom does the dance moves. She's not much of a dancer, but she likes Kung-fu! *Gasp* So SHE is the One! Sensei Iron Butterfly would be proud. She does some kicks and nearly takes Scootaloo's head off. Sweetie Belle is naturally freaked. They get started!'

We cut to them outside. Apple Bloom is working out choreography, but spins into Scootaloo. Scootaloo shows off some great spinning. Apple Bloom tries again and we get some offscreen crashes, with a legit, "I'm okay!" from her. Hey, that's my line! ;) Scootaloo tries her hand at songwriting. Dave Lister would be aghast, methinks. She then does her impression of that one muppet from Sesame Stree who messed up lyrics and banged his head into the piano. A wild bolt of fabric suddenly appears, chased by an angry Sweetie Belle. "Dumb fabric." Sweetie Belle asks Scootaloo how it's going, and it's bad. She comes up with some awesome stuff on the spot and belts it out. We hear some... odd sound and we pan over to see the fabric rolling into a small pond.

We see Sweetie Belle working on a costume with five sleeves. Hmm, one for the tail? And Apple Bloom stumbles over. She's decided to stick to punches and kicks. She sees the 'costume' and reminds Sweetie Belle ponies have four legs. She gets a bit melancholy that she'll never be like Rarity. Apple Bloom points out the dress form, and apparently Sweetie Belle didn't know that. We zoom out and see the 'sets', and dear lord that's a lot of brown. Apple Bloom tells her to clean her paintbrushes. Oh, I am cringing a bit now. I do scale-models, you see. Apple Bloom even asks if she's using power tools, complete with a vague rimshot noise.

We cut to Applejack going to check on them. She peeks in through the window and all we see are their shadows, bumping into each other and a lot of apologizing. Applejack's also wincing a lot. She walks off, aghast. The CMC emerge and she tries to evade them, but naturally they spot and zoom over, asking how she thought. She can't formulate a response. Well, to be fair, neither can I and that is her little sister. They decide her being speechless is good!

Now onto the talent show! There's a huge crowd, there. Snips and Snails are doing a magic show, which is actually kinda nice and heartwarming and a bit of a Trixie callback. One wonders if Dash did any heckling or if anyone else talked loudly over their performance. :P They... don't do too badly, except Snails eats the carrots. Next is Sunny Daze and Peachy Pie reciting their favorite poem on roller-skates. We pan over to see the CMC huddled under blankets. We can see just enough of their costumes/makeup. I am getting definite Jem and the Holograms vibes, here. We see a pair of fillies skating by and the standard 'break a leg' misunderstanding erupts. Twilight trots by with a title drop and asks how they're doing. They're nervous, natch. Twilight reassures them and says as long as they stuck to what they knew best, they'll be amazing. And she learns Scootaloo is the main singer, Apple Bloom the main dancer and guesses Sweetie Belle did the costumes and scenery.

Okay, their act. it's infamous. It's a disaster. I'm literally muting the sound and just letting it roll. I've never been able to watch the entire thing. I'll give them an A++ for effort, and honestly I think with some more time and practice, as we'll see in Flight to the Finish, it wouldn't be too bad. The entire set collapses and they're laughed offstage. :( They're shocked, but almost as soon as they're offstage Cheerilee tells them to go back. Time for awards!

They balk, but Cheerilee says to be good sports, and they made a great effort. Good form, Cheerilee! Onstage is also Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon and Twist. Wait, what talents do DT and SS have, besides being assholes? Also, I do like the ponies doing stampeding as applauding. Snips and Snails get best magic act. God, there were worse?! Sunny Daze and Peachy Pie get best dramatic performance. The CMC get an award... for best comedy. Oh, that's damning with faint praise. Or the other way around.

Back stage, they rip off their outfits. No cutie marks. Twilight congratulates them, but they're depressed. No cutie marks, after all. They think they know why. Trying too hard, and forcing themselves into stuff they didn't like. Twilight is hanging off every word as Apple Bloom says they should embrace their true talent...

COMEDY! And cue sad trombone.

We pan over to see Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow Dash there. And it turns out Dash isn't Scootaloo's sister, so her being there is odd. Twilight is a bit condescending as we cut to credits.

Thoughts

As funny and screwbally as this episode is, the message is just... I dunno. It seems to be saying "Don't try anything new. Stick to what you know." I mean, okay, they weren't that good, but they were getting better. And it was what they liked to do. I mean yes, they also liked their 'true' talents, but who says they have to funnel all their creative energies into those pursuits?

I did like Applejack's interactions with the CMC, and the little shoutout to Trixie with the magic show. ;)

I'm not saying this is a 'bad' episode. It's not. It's just something that stuck out for me. Overall this was a pretty slice-of-life episode about the B squad

Headcanon

Nothing much to add, if anything. I already discussed the CMC 2.0 the last CMC-themed episode.

Now, I do apologize for this picture. I was in a bit of a rush to get it out. Tune in tomorrow for the Dog and Pony Show!

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Okay, I probably won't be able to post anything until Saturday after this one. Sorry, there. So...

 

Okay, I am feeling better. But soon YOU WILL NOT BE! For we are about ready, we are about set, to hit it. But we're not ready. Our bodies cannot handle the sheer awesome of this, the episode...

A Dog and Pony Show

 

Originally posted here on June 11th, 2014.

 

It's on. :D Also, don't expect many David bowie references. I like the guy, but I'm not extremely knowledgeable about his work. EDIT: And I really, really miss him. :( We open at Carousel Boutique, Rarity floating gems onto an outfit. The bell rings and she goes into a cute little spiel. "Welcome to Carousel Boutique, where everything is chic, unique and magnifique." And then she gasps as she sees Sapphire Shores, the pony of pop! Hmm, reference to Michale Jackson's 'king of pop' title? Rarity is shocked she knows her name, and it turns out Sapphire knoes the name of all up-and-coming designers. Alright, Rarity! Clothes Horse Magazine-*snort* raved about her. :D She's touring with her latest concert, Zigfilly Follies! By the by, I love Sapphire's design, voice, mannerisms... everything about her. :D Rarity's got what she needs, and it's a jumpsuit encrusted with diamonds. It looks like something Elvis would wear after going into a jewelry store. Sapphire will take it!

And five more, each in a different color. Costume changes. Rarity glances to her empty jewel chest and faints. "Yes, I do have that effect on ponies." Sapphire, never change. We come back to Rarity and Spike walking through some field, Spike towing a small Red Rider-esque wagon. Spike raves about Sapphire, but one look from Rarity and he quiets up about her and sucks up to her. Rarity says a lady is never jealous. Like you to Trixie. :P Rarity's horn is glowing at intervals. Ah, it's a gem-locating spell! She points it to the ground and we get a translucent image of a pile of them in the ground. Spike digs through the ground like Dig-Dug and finds a treasure trove! I... don't mind they look like the finished product. Easier for kids to ID. Spike almost eats them, but a stern word from Rarity and promise of some snacks later on stops him. Good, we've established he can control himself. This will hurt later on in season three. Spike is gallant and digs with claws, uses his tail as a shovel which looks really weird, and somehow gets a hardhat and uses his tail as a jackhammer.

At the end of the dig, Rarity praises him and gives him a fine gem. We get Spike-O vision concerning Rarity, all radiant, and he decides not to eat it. Aww. Rarity's horn lights up again and off they go! We cut to some hairy arm pulling aside an ominous bush. Gollum spots gems. BECAUSE WE WANTS THE PRECIOUS, FOR WE LOVES AND HATES THE PRECIOUS! They first decide to get Spike to get gems, oh noes! Then they hear Rarity's voice and realize she's the one finding the gems! As Rarity calls it a day, her horn lights up again and she goes to a tree, finding a large dog! She tries charm, and we learn they're 'Diamond Dogs'. There's debate over this being their species name or the name of their group. He says specifically, "A Diamond Dog," so for me, species name. Rarity tries some more charm and backing away, but it's not working. Right behind him two more Dogs dig through the earth like Molemen and make a grab for Rarity! *Gasp*

But Sir Spike is on the case! He... actually successfully drives them off. Legit props, Spike! He tells Rarity to run. One of them digs the ground out from under him, but he grabs his leg, trips him and traps the second. Spike, you the drake now, dog! Rarity calls for him, because in this episode Spike is not a butt monkey. But a Dog emerges from the ground, grabs her and they run for a hole! Spike gets tossed at the tree and his head fins get stuck in the tree. It's sad and funny at the same time. :D:( Rarity calls for him, complains about the dirt on her hooves and then is dragged down. Okay, that's legit worrying. Spike does a Luke/ESB skyward scream, and off to commercials.

And we're back from commercials. The other five are running into the field, Spike on top of Twilight and breathing into a paper bag. Twilight asks what he knows and Dash butts in. We get a flashback of Spike running into Ponyville and spurting out words worse than a bad phone connection. Back at the field, Spike exposits a bit about the previous scene. Applejack thinks it's gonna be easy. Oh, Applejack. I thought you were the sensible one. They come to the battle and there's a lot of holes. Twilight looks into a hole. We see cobwebs, debris and even a bone! There's a growling, yellow eyes and Twilight gets a faceful of dirt as the hole's filled in. Dash, near a hole, also gets an impromptu mud mask. All the holes are filling in! Fluttershy is... completely useless. Pinkie Pie tries her bounce, but the hole fills up under her. Applejack... pushes at a dirt stream with her face. I think that'd cause some pretty bad damage. She says they can't muscle through, and Dash says they'll see about that! She dives for a hole, but it fills up. She... stops. Aren't you gonna try to 'see about that', Dashie? :P

Applejack says although she doesn't mind dirt, she says Rarity only touches imported mud. There is a rather funny imagine spot of Rarity going all Monk in the DD dungeons. She's also gained an extremely exaggerated southern accent. The dirt stings, burns! And she's a totally distressed damsel. Applejack decides to try digging through, and the others do too! But the Diamond Dogs pop up and outclass the ponies. We also have a rather amusing Whack-A-Mole sequence, complete with dings. Fluttershy says how scary they are popping up and Rarity must be terrified. We get another imagine spot , this one of the Diamond Dogs demanding trinkets, treasure and her fainting. Short, but sweet.

Spike spots one open hole, pulls out his gem and says he'll save her! They all go, "Huh?" What are you 'huh'ing about? He lowers the gem into the hole, and as we pan up we see a rib cage in the dirt. Yeouch! Twilight tries syaing something and gets a 'shh'. If you had any idea how many times I wish she got 'shhed' in the coming seasons... And now we get Spike's imagine spot and it's just... wow. He's turned himself into draconic Prince Charming, to save his Fair Lady Rarity. The juxtaposition of the dragon saving the princess from the dungeon is just so... this has to be seen to be believed. The hounds are unleashed, but unlike Mighty Casey, Spike does not strike out! It's funny as all hell, awesome and actually kinda romantic/heartwarming. He demands to know where Lady Rarity is, finds her-somehow wearing a princess dress with goofy hat-and soft lights backlighting her. She goes to kiss him, he goes to kiss her, but the spot ends before they kiss. Aww. We cut back to reality as Spike is about to lay one on Applejack. "Ho-ho there, lover boy." Hmm, I guess Spike was loving every minute of that. :P

He suddenly gets a bite, and it's a whopper! Applejack does har favorite maneuver, grabbing someone by the tail. The rest follow suit, and are pulled in. Pinkie's "Wait for me!" is awesome, as is Fluttershy's "Oh, my goodness!" We see them being dragged down the tunnel, Pinkie at the end and flapping in the breeze. :D And now she's riding Fluttershy like a roller-coaster car. And that sounds a lot dirtier than it should, but I don't care. They're dragged down into a cave, Pinkie swan-diving, and they land in a heap. Spike's ecstatic they can save Rarity, but Twilight asks which way they should go. We pan out and see a lot of holes leading in a lot of different directions. Cue skyward scream by Spike! Back from commercial, they're confused as to how to find her. Spike gets the idea to go down the tunnel with the moist gems. Twilight points out Rarity's the only one who can do the gem-locating spell. Spike points out Twilight can copy the spell.

Okay, minor tangent, I never did cotton to Twilight being able to copy spells. Way too OP for me, especially since she can apparently do it better than the pony with that talent.

Anyway, she tries it and we get multiple gem locations. Meh, not really liking that. But it's minor and more what comes later than in this episode. Twilight kicks the air and they're off to the races! And... we finally cut to the actual Rarity, backed against a wall. She asks to be let go, but she's their precious little pony! The Gollum references write themselves, folks. They want her to find all the gems, to catch them all! And Rarity actually perks up at that. Her horn lights up and she finds a cache. She marks it with an X and asks to be let go. And one of the mooks shoves a spear in her face. Hey, careful with that! You could've mussed her mane! They tell her to dig them up, but she pulls some rules-lawyering. They said to find, not dig. Heh, clever. They command she digs, and she scrapes at the dirt. They're not exactly... thrilled with her progress. Well, what'd you expect with hooves? It turns out she had a pony pedi, and she's not going to chip a hoof because they don't like how she digs.

They get fed up and command the mooks to dig, which they do. Okay, she won't dig. She PULLS! They pull out this rusty-looking harness that looks like it'll snap from looking at it! "Precious pony pedi will be preserved!" Hah! We see a pretty aquicky shot of their claws pushing into her torso. Ugh. She complains about them never getting manicures, and one of them tells her to be quiet in a rather screechy manner. She complains about his breath and we see this ghastly green gas coming from his gullet. He even turns to check and is disgusted. They command her to search, and she does, complaining all the while. She even takes out two mooks with a well-placed gem-marker. One finally snaps and tells her to be quiet, pony!

Rarity says to stop calling her 'pon'y. She is a lady, after all. Whoa-whoa-whoa she's a lady! They say her whining hurts. oh, no you didn't! Oh, yes you did! She is not 'wihning'. She is complaining. "Do you want to hear whining? THIS IS WHINING!" And this is one of the best damned scenes in the show. Look it up. I'll be too busy laughing. At the end they say they'll do anything, pony. Rarity gives them a death glare, and he calls her 'Miss Rarity'.

Rarity... flawless victory!

We cut to some of the mooks tying up big, yellow banners over the place while the main Diamond Dogs struggle to pull carts. Rarity is next to a golden chalice, hopefully not a fake Grail, with a banner behind her while mooks fan her. I have no words. One of the DD asks why they're doing it, and it's to stop the awful noises. Makes sense to me! The other one objects. "What are we, mice or dogs?" I love that the other two start out with mice. He says to let her make the awful noises. Rarity opens her eyes and finds herself chained to a cart again! She tries whining, but he says to go ahead and make them, as long as she pulls. He slaps her butt and calls her a mule and... oh, no.

She turns to him and turns on the waterworks. Oh, you poor, poor Diamond Dog. She bawls for her Oscar, breaks the fourth wall and turns into a marshmallow for a moment. It's just... again, no words. Back with the 'rescuers', they're tracking Rarity down. They hear Rarity crying in the distance! Also, the gem spell is way overpowered when Twilight uses it. All of a sudden mooks jump onto their backs and slap rope-muzzles onto them! Applejack is nonplussed, and I agree with her. The mooks get bucked off, and that's why they call it rodeo! They hear crashing from behind a door. Spike reaches up, grabs a stalactite from the ceiling and goes Lone Ranger. "Hi-ho, Twilight! Away!" twilight is a bit "What in the hell?", but Spike asks just this once, and because this episode is awesome, she relents, including neighing, kicking the air and galloping off! They destroy the door and Spike declares he's here to save Rarity! Unfortunately it's cut short as the Diamond Dogs run off, asking to be saved from her.

Rarity greets them and says they're just in time to help her with carts overflowing with jewels! We cut to them towing them away, a hell of a lot easier than the Diamond Dogs, which makes sense. ;) Dash is surprised she tricked the dogs, and Rarity says just because she's a lady doesn't mean she can't handle herself. Twilight says she can't wait to write to Celestia what Rarity taught her. Which is just because you're ladylike, doesn't make you weak. Good lesson, there! And using your wits is good, too. And she's got enough gems for Sapphire Shores' costumes!

Thoughts

Okay, minor tangent for those of you reading this on my fimfic blog. I am also posting this at the Other Media forum of RPG.net. Yeah, I know. I guy who's never played an RPG in his life posting to an RPG site. :P But there a poster named Dawgstar did a review of this episode, and in response to that review I called it a 'perfect storm'. What do I mean by that?

From start to finish I LOVE this episode. Funny, scary, tense, awesome... Spike shines and gets his due. Rarity outdoes Ransom of Red Chief. The scenes, the antics just... everything. There's not much more I can say, really.

Headcanon

Not a whole heck here. I think 'Diamond Dogs' is the name of their species, and in the Habsroverse they are a nation to the south of Equestria.

So, after I have a very light lunch and maybe play with some of my toys, I am going to delve into... ZE MAGICKS! As I review Green isn't your Color.

Also, these are the Dreadnoks. Closest Diamond Dog analog I've got. Ah, Hasbro... why do you not release three-packs of these guys? I guess you don't want my money. Oh, well.

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On 11/23/2016 at 6:53 PM, Nuke87654 said:

Hmm, I remembered last time that I wasn't such a fan of this episode in comparison but hmm, I still need to do mine eventually.

How dare you disagree with me. :P Looking forward to the. :) review.

 

Now, then... considering how I was feeling yesterday and then Monday, I definitely agree with this episode...

Green Isn't Your Color

 

Originally posted here on June 11, 2014.

 

We open with Fluttershy in the spa's waiting room. Wait, that can't be right. *Squints* That magazine's only four months out of date! Rarity does a Kramer coming in with an insane hat. She's late for Will and Kate's wedding! Ah. it's a weekly get-together, and she calls for 'the usual'! We have a steam bath while Rarity explains what happened. She was walking down the street with her latest hat when Photo Finish spotted her. We get a nice transition with the steam, and next is a mud mask. Full for Rarity, two tiny dots for Fluttershy. Photo Finish is the premier fashion photographer for Equestria, and loved the hat. And we move to horn filing. I love one of the spa ponies going with a file to Fluttershy and realizing, probably for the umpteenth time, "Oh, yeah. None for her." And squeaky smile! Photo Finish wants to take pics of Rarity's clothes, and we go to... massage? MMA massage, apparently. :P Then seaweed wrap and mud bath. Rarity asks Fluttershy if she'll model for her, then to... standing in tubs of water. Bath salts, perhaps? Rariy kinda... browbeats/pleads/pseudo-whines to get Fluttershy to accept. Fluttershy finally says yes. They then leave, Fluttershy loving it and Rarity admitting to feeling frazzled, then feeling a pimple coming on. Can ponies get pimples? Legit question, mind. So she goes back for the usual, and the spa ponies have bit signs in their eyes!

Back from commercial and Fluttershy is... definitely ready for the runways of Paris. Rarity calls for more light and more feathers. The feathers go in easier than Fluttershy feared. Rarity friggin' chucks a cloud of sequins into Fluttershy's face. And thus the twinkle-eyed ponies were born anew! We have a brief gag with ribbons and Fluttershy is starting to look a trifle miffed. Rarity calls for a pincushion to fix a hem and Spike shows up with them sticking out of his scales. To quote the drake himself, that's creepy. She then shoos him away. Hey, Rarity? Remember him storming the castle LAST EPISODE to save you from the Diamond Dogs? She does thank them and apologize, though.

Twilight asks Spike if that hurts, and no. Thick scales. He then says there's no pain that would stop him from assisting Rarity. o_O Twilight's a bit squicked out. Spike then asks them if they can keep a secret, and we get the first Pinkie Promise. He motions them in close, WAY too close for my personal comfort zone. He has a crush on Rarity!

Extry, extry! Read all about it! Spike has a crush on Rarity! Water is wet! Inserting Hayden Christensen into the end of return of the Jedi was stupid! Trixie is Striker's favorite FIm character! More dead-on obvious news at eleven!

Twilight has a "Are you SHITTING me?" expression, while Pinkie gasps. Twilight says everyone already knows while Pinkie says she promised not to tell. True... but it's about an open secret as you can get. Still she's got a point about trust. She says losing a friend's trust is the fastest way to lose a friend. Forever! And we get the "For-EVER!" meme. It's... gonna grate on me towards the end, to be honest. Twilight's lips are sealed. She's also got the beat. She says Rarity's gonna pick up on her feelings, and Spike has somehow gotten a shirt on with Rarity inside of a heart. O-kay...

Suddenly, the bell rings and Photo Finish, based off of Anna Wintour, walks in to a funky beat. God, I love her. Cameras flash around her even when there's no cameras present! Rarity goes to greet, her and she walks right by. Okay... not the best first impression. "We begin... NOW!" She clicks open a suitcase that is more than meets the eye as it transforms into a camera. Rarity tells Fluttershy attitude and pizzazz! Wait, she wants her to show Photo Finish the lead singer of the Misfits? Bah! Fluttershy tries attitude, but nope. When she's shy, though... Yes! Rarity, stop helping. :P After a few more pictures she stops and walks off. Everybody's downcast...

And then Photo Finish zooms back and declares she's found the next fashion star here! Psyche! She will help her to shine while also chewing ALL the scenery! Rarity's ecstatic! She tries to hold it in, then squees and jumps up and down. On Spike's tail. Who smiles and takes it. Okay, crossing a bit of a line here! Twilight drags him off. The next day at the park, Fluttershy is turned into John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever. Photo Finish is... carried into the park by a pair of sleepy-looking stallions. Guys, stop hitting the salt licks! She disapproves of Fluttershy's outfit and says she should be in something simple. Inspired by... "Ze nature!" Rarity brown-noses a bit, can't blame her too much admittedly, but she's got nothing that's 'simple'. She'll MacGyver something up, but Photo Finish says no. Rarity is confused, and we learn Photo Finish isn't interested in her designs... but in Flootershy! She then curtly dismisses Rarity.

Okay, I'll take Hoity Toity over Photo Finish any day of the week, thank you very much!

Fluttershy says she can't, but Rarity insists. She can't throw away this chance. She MUST! So Fluttershy will while Rarity walks off, downtrodden. *Hugs* We cut to her in Carousel Boutique, apparently sewing up a Holocaust Cloak. Rarity, Twilight and Spike come in and ask how it went. Well, Pinkie does. Rarity tells them what happened, and vants to be alone right now. Spike goes and roasts Photo Finish ali-no, he shoos out Twilight and Pinkie, but Twilight pulls him out by the tail, which probably needs an ice bath from all the abuse it's gotten.

We see Fluttershy being prepped with the 'too much/not enough' joke with blush. She then sneezes, which Photo Finish has a mild fangasm over. She tries to give Fluttershy a pep talk and it fails miserably. It's like proto-Pinkie from Filli Vanilli, except she's not one of Fluttershy's best friends so it's slightly more excusable. She then barrel-bumps Fluttershy onto the walkway. She chants "You must" to herself, and as she flinches, the crowd goes wild. Yay. We even hear Hoity! Hey, Hoity! We get a montage of her photos, cowering in most of them. Some crosses between limos and carriages... okay. Rarity tries to sneak in at one and is rebuffed. Applejack uses her for adverts, smart. And apparently Carrot Top's in on it as Dash flies by with a banner advertising carrot juice. *Gasp* Oh, no! The Sixth Doctor is about to regenerate!

We fade to a newsstand and some ponies checking out fashion mags. They spot Fluttershy and chase after her. She runs, but runs into the ponyrazzi. I do like them having their cameras on mounts on their necks. She flies into the sky and runs into pegasi ponyrazzi. She hides in Carousel Boutique, and Rarity lies through her muzzle about being happy for her. Fluttershy also lies through her muzzle about being happy. Photo Finish comes in and drags her off to the thing at the place. How precise. Do you need the whatchamacallit or the doodad? And... whatchamacallit is actually a correct word according to the spellcheck. Color me legit shocked. Fluttershy walks off, but says she'll be at the spa. Fluttershy leaves and Rarity is steamed, wanting to be mobbed wherever she goes. As an introvert... no, maybe? Bonbon and Berry Punch come in looking for Fluttershy, but when told no, Bonbon is condescending and leaves.

We cut to Photo Finish conducting an interview, saying Fluttershy's a natural in front of a camera. Pony what?! How opaque are those glasses, precisely? Fluttershy tries to bug out for the spa, but Photo Finish thinks of a ballet opening and drags her off. We cut to Rarity with positively pruny hooves. *Shudders* She finally says she wishes Fluttershy's star would burn out. Twilight's aghast, and ultimately so is Rarity. She should be happy, but is just jealous. She begs Twilight to promise not to say anything. Twilight promises and SUDDENLY PINKIE PIE FROM THE SPONGES!

Rarity emerges and shines. She leaves just as Fluttershy runs in. She's so mad, she could just scream! So she screams... very softly. *Snort* She then akss Twilight to swear not to tell Rarity something. Twilight Pinkie-Pie Promises, but doesn't quite stick the landing. She does, however, stick a hoof into her eye. OUCH! Fluttershy confesses she hates being a model, and is only doing doing it because of Rarity. She must... complete with mild Rarity impression.

Twilight realizes if she tells Fluttershy Rarity's feelings, it could speed things along. But Pinkie pops out of the sponges again and motions 'no' and zip your lip. *Swats Pinkie with a newspaper* Bad form, Pinkie! Fluttershy asks what she was gonna say and, "Forever!" Ugh! We then cut to the two walking down the street. Twilight suggests her simply quitting, but nope. "Rarity would be devastated." Twilight tries again, but more Pinkie, this time doing a Death Note. I think. Never watched the anime/read the manga. "Juicy!" okay, that was funny. Fluttershy laments about everyone liking her so much. And Twilight gets an idea, bouncing about... and kicking off Fluttershy's disguise. *Swats Twilight upside the head*

In Sugrarcube Corner, Twilight says she'll use her magic to help Fluttershy do something unattractive at her next fashion show. Okay... that's a little skeevy. She has Pinkie promise not to tell anyone. Pinkie mimes zipping her lip... then digging a hole, putting the secret into said hole and then building a house over it. Hah! Twilight is confused, natch. We cut to another fashion show, and Fluttershy's in on the plan. Okay, not really skeevy, then. Fluttershy backs out onto the stage, fortunately no beeping involved. We pan down to see Rarity coming in with a peacock-esque ensemble. Twilight ASSUMES DIRECT CONTROL! And I am hoping tripping and falling flat on her face doesn't cause legit injury! She's dragged across the stage, flies upside down, picks her nose, scratches like a canine, barks and then brays. Even Ditzy is aghast. Okay, Twilight? WAY too far. So...

Five.

The crowd goes wild... with contempt. They say toss her off the stage. And suddenly Rarity begins clapping/stomping the ground and cheering her on. They notice her and her "gorgeous cape and headdress." They decide if she likes it, then she must be onto something. So they cheer Fluttershy on! So close, yet so far... Backstage, Fluttershy's so frustrated she kicks a vase... and barely wobbles it. Twilight tries to tell her, but gets a case of hoof-in-mouth disease. Rarity comes in to ask if she's alright. Twilight tries again and... okay, Fluttershy, Rarity, please notice what your friend is doing! Please remember those promises!

Rarity confesses she feels awful, because she wanted them to turn on Fluttershy. Twilight sticks the contents of a fruit basket into her mouth. Notice. NOW! Rarity confesses her jealousy, and then realizes that seeing Fluttershy failing would be awful. Fluttershy confesses she hates being a model, and she did it for Rarity. Twilight sticks her head into a plant pot. Rarity and Fluttershy realize that keeping secrets and not simply expressing their true feelings exacerbated the situation, and if they had confessed, it would've been easier. They promise not to do that, as Photo Finish sticks her head in. Fluttershy quits, and "They go!" Kinda nice seeing her dumbfounded.

And Twilight confesses about Spike's crush and Pinkie... is the Man in the Mirror. Pony what. We wipe to the spa and Rarity and Flutterhsy enjoying themselves. Twilight dictates a letter about the lesson about secrets. Spike says he didn't write it because of her spilling the secret, and to her credit, she apologizes. He'd write the letter, but he's busy fanning Rarity. With a fan that has the same emblem as that shirt from earlier.

Thoughts

Good lesson about sharing your feelings, here. I do agree that if they had talked, it would've been far easier on the both of them. Pinkie started out funny... but didn't end that way. If Twilight hadn't listened to her... things would've gone better. I can forgive Twilight for doing it, though. She is new to this whole friendship thing. The gags were gags. It's me, remember? ;) Those outfits... dang.

Photo Finish... she's not quite as 'nice' as I remember. She's not mean, but could be pretty damned clueless. Could've been worse, but also better. Like I said, I'll take Hoity Toity over her.

Headcanon

I think Fluttershy and Rarity were friends before the pilot. Maybe not super close, but these spa trips methinks predate Twilight coming to Ponyville. Not much else, off the top of my head.

With this episode I've completed disk three of my season one boxed set! Yayness! :D

My apologies about the picture. I'm feeling better today, but still not at 100% or even 90%.

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Okay, after being... nauseous last night, natch, it's time to go out into the desert and see this... episode. Get your hammers ready, because we're about to go...

Over a Barrel

 

First published here on June 16th, 2014.

 

We open with a train going down the tracks, tooting and being... pulled by a team of ponies. Okay, I've read explanations by other people about how the technology's new, it broke down, whatnot. I know Lauren Faust wanted there to be no engine, which would've been fine. As this is here... it looks just plain old stupid. It's the worst of both/any worlds here. We sweep over to the caboose and zoom in on Applejack reading a bedtime story. Then Rarity comes in and we see Applejack is reading a story to... a tree. The tree is in a bed. And is being tucked in. This is not funny. This is disturbing. Also, shouldn't the tree be upright or something and prepped for transport?! Applejack says 'Bloomberg' is one of her favorites. She has never shown this towards any other tree before. Rarity complains she's got a private sleeper car for a tree while she's with the others. Wait, there are other cars on this train. And shouldn't Bloomberg be in a cargo thing or something?

We get an info dump that he's being given as a gift to her relatives in Appeloosa and he needs his rest. He's a tree. And I think being horizontal isn't good for a live tree. Rarity says Applejack's treating it like a baby, and Applejack scoffs at the idea... and then talks baby to Bloomberg. It's Rarity who's all saddy-waddy! Oh, that hurt!

We come back to it being night. Now I'm wondering if there are shifts for the pullers or if they stop somewhere along the tracks for the night. Inside, we hear Dash say they're going fast. What, compared to how fast you go? Rarity's not pleased with the chatter. Rarity, there are other cars! Spike also complains, since he was up early fire-roasting those snacks. Dash complains that some of the kernels didn't get popped. Dash, you're an asshole. Spike incinerates her bag and goes back under the covers. Good on him! Also, Dash? *Slaps with a halibut* Twilight says they should get some shut-eye. The lights are turned off, but Dash pssts Pinkie. We get an amusing scene of Pinkie being painfully oblivious and not getting sarcasm. And the Fluttershy is a tree meme is born. Twilight pops up and acts kinda dumb. Spike storms out, and I'm with him. "Huffy the Magic dragon." Snort, okay, funny. Then Rarity rears her mud-masked head, scares the horse apples outta them and they go to sleep. We see Spike going to Bloomberg's private car to get some sleep.

The next morning, the train's a rocking! They look out to see a buffalo stampede right next to the train. Rarity focuses on their accessories, while Twilight in season-one 'only sane mare' mode, notices they're getting close. They start ramming the train and ponies pulling it, sending the Mane Six into a ball of chaos inside like a pinball game! Spike somehow sleeps through the ensuing chaos. The engineer ponies actually ram the buffalo back and speed up, but the buffalo hop on one another, allowing a younger one onto the top of the train. No, Pinkie, they're not doing tricks. Dash finally cottons that this "isn't a circus act." Thank you, Captain Obvious! She flies up to confront the smaller one, acting pretty damned casual. Dash chases her down, but the buffalo ducks down between cars and Dash eats a railroad crossing sign, getting left behind.

The buffalo lets out the hook keeping the caboose attached to the rest of the train and whistles for the herd. They high-tail it out f there with the caboose, Bloomberg, but most importantly, Spike! Dash comes to, hears Spike and, with a definite concussion, decides to show her. We come back from commercial and the train pulling into a wild-west town. They pile out and meet Braeburn, Applejack's very excitable cousin. He... needs decaf at this point in time. He headbutts into them and pushes them around. We learn Appeloosa was built in the past year and we get some legit funny scenes. Horse-drawn carriages, with them switching between passenger and driver. Horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages. We see the Salt Block, a definite bar and a definite drunk pony. Sherrif Silverstar, wild-west dances and then mild-west dances. :D I'd prefer the mild-west dances, personally. And finally, a huge apple orchard. He exposits that they need the first harvest to live on while Applejack wishes to choke a bastard. They finally tell him about the buffalo, and that Pinkie Pie's gone missing too. I wondered where she was in those shots. Braeburn gets green-eye... for some reason.

Braeburn finally comes down off his high. He tells them the buffalo wants the orchard gone, but no idea why. We get some sympathy nods from him about why the trees are needed. We cut to Dash, apparently looking for the Road Runner. We also see aftereffects of her hitting the sign. And she walks right onto Pinkie Pie, who scares the crap outta her. Pinkie... thinks this is hide-and-seek? The hell? Pinkie is seventeen kinds of obliviously stupid here and it's actually pretty irritating that she doesn't get it. Dash yells at her and the buffalo surround them. They start to charge, but suddenly Spike. Well, better than Suddenly Susan. :P He's remarkably blase and semi-surfer dude. He vouches for them and gets a claw/hoof bump from a buffalo.

We cut to later that night. Turns out they were after the tree. They actually respect dragons, which I rather like. They don't like ponies, but they're with them, so it's cool. Dash hates the food they gave them, but Pinkie digs in. Point to the Pie. Spike gets a bowl of turquoise and he properly introduces Little Strongheart. Dash snorts, but recognizes her from before. She goes to leave, Strongheart leaps in front and apologizes. They didn't mean for anyone to get hurt. By directly barreling into the engineer ponies and the train itself. Right... Dash, amusingly, has about the same reaction I just did. Strongheart says they just wanted the tree, and we have an odd segue into that the Appeloosans planted trees all over their traditional stampeding grounds.

We're introduced to Chief Thunderhooves, a bit of a droner. Admittedly it's funny seeing even the other buffalo starting to nod off. We learn they run the path every year, but with the trees there, they can't run the trail. Dash harrumphs. Literally, too. The buffalo are stuck there. Dash suddenly hops up, turns around, strikes a menacing pose... and agrees with them. Wait, what? They've got some apple-picking Appeloosans to talk to!

Did I miss something, here? Is her head injury worse than before?

Back at Appeloosa the others are getting ready for a rescue mission. Rarity's saddlebags are tightened by Applejack with a "Gently, please!" that sends out all kinds of wrong signals. They gallop off for a long hike into buffalo territory... and find the three just outside of town. Episode's over? Good! Fluttershy tackles Pinkie and sets the Shipping Wars ablaze anew. Twilight asks how they escaped, and Strongheart pops out from behind a rock. Dash promised them a chance to talk. Applejack is... none too pleased. Dash says Strongheart's got info about why the trees have to be moved, and Braeburn does seem to be receptive to the info. Applejack says Braeburns' got info on why the apple trees have to stay. And Strongheart is receptive to that. And if Applejack and Dash can keep their traps shut for five effin' seconds we might end this episode early, but they basically eat the idiot balls and argue like friggin' morons. Twilight says they both have good reasons to use the land. To be honest, I am more on the buffalo's side here. They were there first and the settler ponies have been there for barely a year. Pinkie pops up with an idea, and her and the idea crash to earth.

We cut to the ponies and buffalo gathered in front of a stage. Ho, boy. Pinkie emerges from a clamshell all done up like Miss Kitty and we get a musical number. We gotta share, we gotta care. It's bad, but intentionally bad methinks. Legit awesome moment when both Silverstar and Thunderhooves agree how bad it was. It's pretty cheesy and I am watching with the mute button on. Thunderhooves declares they stampede at high noon tomorrow, and if the orchard's there, they'll flatten it and the town. Silverstar says to bring your best. The buffalo and ponies run off to prepare while Pinkie laments.

We cut to the Appeloosans getting ready and Applejack saying a storm's a brewin' here. Listen, Applejack. You kinda stoked those winds with your attitude and actions. They go around to try and 'talk some sense' into everyone, but no go. Not that I can exactly blame the townsfolk at this point. They buck down apples and bake pies with them. They raise a flag and cheer. Over with the buffalo, they're butting heads, sharpening horns a'la Looney Tunes and putting on war paint.

Noon tomorrow the buffalo ready themselves, and the Appeloosans do as well. The clock tower chimes, but no De Lorean. Standoff. Strongheart puts one tiny paw on Thunderhooves' cheek, and he relents! Yay! But then Pinkie Pie starts singing again, and STAMPEDE! She does some crowd surfing as the settlers ready... pies. And they halt some of the buffalo. Pony what?! Carrot Top does a bit of bronco bucking with one of them, and there is a legit good bit with an anvil being hidden in a hay bale. But still, pies? One buffalo's hit and then veers right into the clock tower, which crumbles. Thunderhooves charges Silverstar with friggin' engine noises. A p;ie comes out of nowhere and hits him. Everyone acts sad... for some reason. He's clearly not dead, since no one else was killed by the pies. Also, what about the others hit with pies? Ugh! Some of the pie slides down into his mouth... and he decides it's delicious!

We cut to a path being cut in the orchards. The buffalo stampede through, and will allow the trees to stay for a share of the apples/pies. Spike prefers the turquoise, and we see a semi-creepy shot of Applejack and Bloomberg. Twilight gives the Aesop anout sharing and caring, Pinkie complains that that's she said, and end.

Thoughts

Ugh. This episode is pretty bad all-around. The Mane Six, Applejack and Dash specifically, carry huge idiot balls and make the situation worse. It's also a pretty insulting oversimplification/generalization of the conflict between Native Americans and settlers. Hell, Rawhide did a better job at this and it was made in the 50's/60's! The pie fight broke my SOD in a bad way, as well as Thunderhooves'... whatever the hell that was.

Overall, I am sailing past this one.

Headcanon

Appeloosa is to the south of Equestria proper. That's it.

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I hope no one's surprised I have a buffalo Transformer by now. ;)

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A Bird in the Hoof

is worth two in the bush. Unless it's an ex-bird, then go for the two in the bush. However, if you're playing the market, hold onto that ex-bird. There's a market for it somewhere.

 

Originally posted here on June 17th, 2014.

 

Anyway! We open at Fluttershy's cottage. She helps a mouse in a wheelchair to his family at a cartoon mousehole. It is so freakin' cute I have no words other than HNNGGGGG!!! and *Clutches chest and falls over from the cute*. Angel runs over, clutching a stopwatch. Hmm, Fluttershy must fly the four-minute mile? There's a bit of charades. Angel wants to be a watch? Well, Fluttershy and trees... The clock tower chimes in the distance and Fluttershy realizes she's late for a very important date! Quick, someone drop her some acid so she can get to Wonderland! No? Oh, it's a brunch for Celestia at Sugarsube Corner. Fluttershy does some semi-clunky wondering about if she should even go, then trumpets blow. Oh, it's not Celestia. It's King Friday XIII! God, now that would be a crossover! She runs off, then runs back to thank Angel, then lather, rinse and repeat until Angel locks the door. Okay, that's good. :D

At Sugarcube Corner, Dash bugs the Royal Guardsponies there and acts like they're the guards at Buckingham Palace. Well, the stereotypical versions of them at least. She even asks how she could join the Guard, too! She gets bored and goes back inside. Guards, one. Dash, zero! Fluttershy arrives, but their wings of steel stop her and almost give one hell of a mane cut! Twilight trots by and vouches for her, and she's let in. Inside we see the party. Spike is baking muffins with his dragon breath while Carrot Cake serves them. We see Celestia there, saying everything's fine. Fluttershy and Twilight talk and Twilight has a mild breakdown. For god's sake even Fluttershy points it out! Twilight says this is the first time she's ever really met them, and Fluttershy says there should be nothing to worry about. And on cue Rarity has a freakout about getting her dress dirty. Her Gala dress. Why is she in that?! We've seen her in other dresses. We know she has other dresses. I'm calling animation/writer error on this one.

We see Applejack not entirely sure where to start on the food. Ah, Aunt and Uncle Orange, if they could see you now. ;) Okay, to be fair it's probably been a long time since those days in Manehattan. Fluttershy tries to reassure Twilight and then Pinkie Pie... acts like a complete effin' idiot. No, seriously. She bounces around like a moron, slaps a pie in her face, drinks from the chocolate fountain and then goes up and is rather rude in Celestia's face. It's... yeah. The cakes' understandably freak and Cup Cake drags her off while Carrot apologizes. Celestia drinks her tea and we get the tea gag. "Gotcha." Okay, legit props for that to both the writers and Celestia. :) Also, I now wonder how badly she has to go to the bathroom. :P

She spots Fluttershy and strikes up a conversation about her and her tending to the woodland creatures. Celestia cares about all creatures, great and small. And then we hear a car's engine turning over. No, wait. It's her pet Philomena! She don't look so good. She looks sicker than me after reading Star By Star. A guard comes up and it turns out Mayor Mare has an audience with her. Probably to request an appeal about the impeachment due her gross negligence. Also, Twilight nearly does a spit-take. Why? There's no reason. She thanks them and walks out. Fluttershy has a meaningful look with Philomena. Applejack tries to eat, but the tablecloth and food is pulled away. The hell? Clear the dishes off, first! Pinkie Pie cartwheels out like an idiot and clocks some poor pony in the face, hopefully getting sued in the process. Rarity holds her dress hostage to leave, and we have a nice payoff with Applejack leaving with a bunch of food balanced on her nose. Twilight tells Spike no big disasters happened, and we swing over to see an empty birdcage. Oh, noes!

We cut to Fluttershy taking Philomena into her cottage, and some scenes of Fluttershy trying to help her. I won't recap them, but overall they're pretty funny. And in hindsight, yeah. Philomena's being a huge troll. And finally, Twilight comes in and says thanks for making such a good impression on the Princess. And she spots Philomena and begins freaking out. Fluttershy says she couldn't leave her there, and Twilight, rightfully, points out she doesn't belong to her. Meanwhile, Philomena is chewing the scenery worse than John Lovitz in his "ACTING!" SNL sketches. Fluttershy relents and says they'll return her. Twilight says if they hurry, they can get her back before anyone notices she's gone. She opens the door, and right on cue are two Royal Guardsponies. The pet's been noticed to have flown the coop. And Twilight is about ten seconds away from a Lesson Point-Five at this point. They BS the guards and this is, again, pretty damned funny. She shoves them out, shuts the door and begins hyperventilating.

She sees Fluttershy going to return the pet and says she has no idea what Celestia will do. Fluttershy asks Twilight is she has any idea. "Well, no." She might be banished, thrown into a dungeon, or banished and then thrown into a dungeon. Fluttershy calls her out on her bullshit with a great little look and Twilight, you need therapy. And no, I am NOT joking on that. All Fluttershy wants to do is get Philomena help. Twilight... is not helping. Twilight asks-kinda out of nowhere-if Fluttershy gave her any medicine. She tried, but no go. So Twilight says she can't be such a pushover-Ohhai, Putting your Hoof Down!-and show her whp's the boss. Tony Danza or Judith Light? And we see the iconic image of Twilight with a pill. Twilight pulls a Doctor Pulaski with Philomena and it's really disturbing. She opens Philomena's cage to force her to eat soup and she makes a break for it. Fly for it, Philomena! Get away from the crazy unicorn while I tranque Twilight!

We get a chase scene with Yakity Sax playing. Great callback and quite funny. We get Scooby-Doo doors, and RIP Casey. :( The Royal Guard's useless, natch. Dash suddenly flies over, figures they're having a race and joins in. Because! We cut over to Rarity, Pinkie and Applejack hanging out near a fountain. They look around for the bird, but the Royal Guard spot Philomena on top of the fountain. The bird does some overdramatic ACTING and then topples down. Fluttershy races to save her... but the bird bursts into flame and turns into a pile of ash, landing in Fluttershy's outstretched hooves. Oh, harsh!

Fluttershy breaks down and I wanna hug her. Celestia arrives and asks what's going on. Twilight and Fluttershy try to take the blame for each other and then Pinkie Pie says it's her fault. Not this time, Pinkie. Later... Fluttershy spills the beans about what she did. Celestia bends down to the pile of ash, and then chides the ash. Pony what? The ash shudders, flows up into the sky and transforms into a large bird, with dramatic solar backlighting! Very convenient, Celly. :P Fluttershy's confused, and we learn she's a phoenix! We get some info on what a phoenix is. Quite nice. Celestia leans down and tells Fluttershy it's rather melodramatic. Hah! She tells Philomena to say she's rory for taking advantage of Fluttershy. Aww. :D Fluttershy asks if she'll be banished/the whole nine yards. Celestia says no, and asks where she got such an idea. From Twilight 'bugfuck nuts insane' Sparkle, of course! Fluttershy covers for her insane little friend. Twilight says Fluttershy did everything she could.

Celestia appreciates it, but points out all she had to do was ask. Next time, find out before jumping to conclusions. Twilight asks if she should write Celestia a letter about this, but no. She'll remember. The guards bring in Philomena's cage and she gives Fluttershy a feather. Dash whispers to Philomena, and she tickles the guard's noses. We end on an actually organic 'everybody laughs' ending, and credits.

Thoughts

Good episode, but dang! We see early 'Lesson Zero' behavior from Twilight, which is actually genuinely disturbing and shows a remarkable amount of her not getting Celestia. I have my own problems with Celestia, but not the ones Twilight has here. She needs help. Like, seriously. It's kinda funny on its own, but taking into account future behavior and it loses that very quickly. The whole banishment thing... Twilight, what the hell? What the everloving hell is wrong with you?!

There were some good comedy bits, most of them with Philomena. Some think this was some elaborate prank with Celestia. I don't. She seemed genuinely surprised near the end of the episode, and her telling Philomena to say she was sorry was not in any real way gentle. Philomena played the prank, not Celestia.

I did like the party... mostly. I loved the tea prank. Applejack and Dash didn't really do anything wrong. Dash's little teasing of the guards was pretty harmless and outside. Applejack was simply having a hard time remembering her Manehattan lessons. Rarity... why didn't you wear another dress again? Pinkie Pie, ho boy. That wasn't cool in any way, shape or form.

This was a good lesson, too. Find out what the heck's going on first before going into an unfamiliar situation, or committing Grand-Theft Birdnapping. :D Overall I did like this episode. Yes, there was some odd behavior and Twilight needs therapy, again, NOT JOKING about that, but good lesson, good scenes, good comedy and good show, show!

Headcanon

Megan knew Philomena from when she visited Dream Valley before and was helping to raise Celestia and Luna. She has one of her feathers.

The Royal Guard is a part of the Equestrian Armed Forces, but not the entirety of it. There's the Royal Tank Corps, the Teleportation Corps, the Royal Air Force, so on and so forth. General Spanish Steel, a pegasus, is the Chairpony of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He personally assigned Captain Shining Armor to the Royal Guard to clean it up after centuries of incompetence. He's still working on it as of season two.

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Hmm, it does indicate that fear stuff Twilight would have for Celestia and played to an even greater role in S2. Hmm, good point there.

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On 11/16/2016 at 4:27 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Hmm, didn't know that. yeah, glad they brought in Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. Definitely improves the dynamic.

Yeah, the coordination's the big sticking point, but magic couldn't hurt. And it still has some bad implications overall.

 

I still wanna kill her. Spoiled Rich is a damned hate sink.

 

And it's the Blue Bomber on the outstretch followed close behind by Awesome Apple! They're neck and neck folks! I've never seen a race be this tight! Get ready for the...

Fall Weather Friends

 

Originally posted here on May 29th, 2014.

 

We open at Sweet Apple Acres and a horseshoe pit. It's Dash and Applejack playing, enjoying themselves. Nice. :) They banter a bit back and forth, Dash way overshooting on the target. Applejack gets a ringer, yay! Go, Applejack! Dash is... oddly devastated. Well, not oddly, considering how big her ego is. Applejack is a good sport, and tries cheering her up, which is good on her. But she does leave a little, "You're a good athlete. I'm just better." Ohhai Trixie! :P Dash asks if she thinks she's the top athlete in Ponyville, "I was gonna say all of Equestria," and she has got an ego inflation. Dash challenges her to an iron pony competition. Gonna fly now? They spit and shake hooves.

After the credits we see Twilight asking what they're doing while Dash stretches. Neither Twilight nor Dash know why she's here. Oh, she's the judge. Hmm, come a long way from 'Ticket Master'. Dash's ego grows. Again. We cut to a sports field and Spike doing his best Howard Cosell on top of Twilight while the running joke of, "Who are you talking to?" begins. We see the other three of the Mane Six walking/hopping/flying up. Three guesses as to who did what action. :D First is a race around barrels. Applejack gets a time of seventeen seconds, but a penalty of five seconds for nudging a barrel. Dash is nervous and Applejack reminds her it's all in good fun. Good on her! Dash zooms by while Applejack cheers her on. Heck, Dash is even showing slight self-deprecation at the end! Time is eighteen seconds, more than Applejack's but the penalty lets her win. Applejack teases her a bit as Fluttershy changes the scoreboard. Some more good-natured ribbing, which won't be so good-natured later on. ;)

Next up is a test of strength, bell ringing! I sucked at this, btw. Dash is good, Applejack knocks it clear into the sky, followed by a bucking a 'shave and a hair cut, two bits' apple melody onto Dash's head. their egos are starting to show... more. The Apple Clan's out in force. All three of them. bronco bucking's next, with Spike. Dash wins this one... and I don't know why. Applejack's the one who uses her hind legs all day, after all. Dash really doesn't. Bah. Lassoing goes Applejack's way, natch. Spike once again is the butt monkey. Dash lashes herself to a tree. "Does this count?" Cue sad trombone!

Ball-bouncing is next, and as we saw in Dragonshy, Dash is a master. She even gets Applejack's ball going. We get one weird shot of a pegasus dropping a rose from a cloud and Fluttershy catching it in her mouth as she changes the score. Huh? Bale tossing, Applejack. Hoof wrestling... Dash? Again, I would've put my money on Applejack. Football kick, Applejack. It even changes the score for her! Spike does more Howard while Twilight is very oblivious to the huge crowd gathered. Push-ups and... Dash uses her wings to wing. Okay, for me? That's... cheating, or not playing fairly. It's the forelegs, not the wings. Applejack mutters to be a good sport to herself.

Long jump. I... sucked at this one, too. I suck at sports period. Dash flaots over and I call serious foul! Next is carrying chicks across a muddy path. Applejack's fly over to Dash's and... I'm not sure on that one. Final event, tug-of-war. Dash flies up, dragging Applejack up. I call foul, DQ Dash and lock her in the penalty box! She tricks Applejack into letting go of the rope and falling into the mud. We see the final score is... 15-5, Dash. Ouch! "I win by a landslide, or mudslide, in your case." Okay, egotistical and mean... but funny. "I am the Iron Pony!" So... she's either gonna get shrapnel lodged into her heart or bite the head off of a bird?

Applejack accuses her of cheating by using her wings. Dash says it's sour apples. She says Applejack never said she couldn't use her wings. And she says even without her wings she would've won. Ah... push-ups, tug-of-war, bird-carrying, long jump to Applejack without them. Don't know about the others. Applejack challenges her to the Running of the Leaves, no wings allowed. Dash's response is to buck Applejack away. "No wings? No problem!" Right...

They spit and shake again and their egos are drawing in black holes.

We cut to tomorrow and Twilght and Spike going there. Spike's impatient because he wants to be the announcer again. We also learn this race is only for ponies. Now I'm wondering what would happen if Zecora or Cranky tries to enter. *Evil grin* Spike starts announcing, but is overtaken by Pinkie in the balloon, which I own. Because I do. :P She's got an electric megaphone as Spike fumes. Right there with you. She gives some exposition on what this is. They run, so the leaves will fall in Autumn. Eh... okay. We see Bonbon and Berry Punch stretching, along with Applejack. Dash struts through, wings outstretched. Insert own joke, folks. Applejack says she's ready to run a good, clean race. Dash says she could win the race with both wings tied behind her back. Cue an evil grin of Applejack's and jum cut to her with her wings tied behind her back. Nice. :D "Trussed up like a turkey." Hmm, implications there are interesting.

Pinkie announces them to take their positions while Spike runs up. He tries asking if he can co-announce, but decides not to. Pinkie, channeling her season-one self, asks if he wants to help. Good on you, Pinkie! He climbs up and I smile genuinely. Applejack and Dash ready themselves, but look up in shock as Twilight steps up to the starting line. She's racing and... they mock her. Dash is particularly jerkassish here. Excuse me, I have to go ponder which Flash I should put her up against. Applejack at least wishes her good luck before snickering again. "See you at the finish line. Tomorrow!" Dash... *Slaps*

Pinkie Pie and Spike set them off and fly after them. Pinkie Pie is... random. In a gloriously funny way. No, I'm not gonna type out everything she says. :P We see the ponies running and a cascade of leaves falling behind them, used to good effect as a scene wipe. Spike is a little lost with Pinkie's rambling. Spike, even if you had a road map you'd be lost with her. Dash and Applejack are ahead. Applejack is not watching where she's going and trips over a rock, faceplanting as the other runners... run by. Twilight trots up as Applejack accuses Dash of tripping her. Twilight chews her out about watching where she's going. Applejack sees it and is cross with herself. She gallops off while Twilight tells her to be careful.

Ahead we see Dash. She looks back and sees nothing but empty road. She slows down, but Applejack appears out of nowhere and passes her. By the by, I love Spike's old-timey microphone. Applejack speeds ahead and Dash trips, digging out a small trench! She thinks Applejack tripped her... while Applejack was nowhere NEAR her legs. Twilight wonders if they ever look where they're going as she trots up. She points out the rather not-small stump while Dash accuses Applejack of tripping. What?! How the hell do you correlate that, Dash? Did Applejack plant the stump the night before, oh dear Sherlock? Twilight reminds her this is just a game, while Dash goes all sinister. "The rules have changed." Cue wacky shenanigans?

Back from commercial. We get a hot dog reference from Pinkie. It's the writers giving her something funny to say. Go with it. :P Below, Dash overtakes Applejack. They enter Whitetail Wood, and that place gets its first appearance. But Dash bends back a tree branch to knock Applejack down. BOO! HISS! Applejack uses another to do a Wile E. Coyote and catapult herself ahead. We get a short bit from the William Tell Overture to my admittedly-untrained ear. Applejack knocks down a bee's nest and Dash legs it. Applejack, not cool. I've got an aunt who's allergic to bee stings. Although this kinda backfires when Dash actually gets ahead. So instant Karma got her. Dash ducks into a bush, the bees make a question mark/exclamation point and fly off. Dash turns around a sign and Applejack goes onto a rather rocky and treeless path. Dash laughs and the other racers overtake her.

Twilight trots up. Dash does an odd derp face and her confidence level is 8,999. And we get the 'horse apples' swear. And somewhere, Sherman T Potter looks on with pride. We cut to Applejack reaching the edge of a cliff! The balloon floats by and Pinkie asks what she's doing here. Spike points out there's not even any trees. Applejack realizes it was Dash and asks for a lift. She does a Tarzan and swoops down to the head of the pack. Dash object. "You said no flying!" "No, I said no wings." EPIC BURN! And Dash, after some of the stuff you've pulled lately, I'm gonna give Applejack a pass. Although no pass for the beehive! We see tree taps for syrup, too. Nice touch. Applejack kicks down a bucket and Dash gets stuck. Wait... did Snidely Whiplash possess these two? Dash uses it like a whiplash and breaks free and... pardon the pun, 'dashes' ahead. :P She sends Applejack into a Tasmanian Devil spin which engulfs Dash and we've just hit wacky. Well, passed it. They go up a mountain and onto a cliff edge, which cracks and sends them sledding down and to the back of the pack. Twilight passes them and delivers a nice burn.

Dash agrees and runs off, Applejack following. We look ahead and see no more ponies racing, but also... we didn't see them pass anyone. Dash does a Ben-Hur into Applejack and we get a slightly dated, "Oh no she didn't!" "Oh yes she di-id!" from Spike and Pinkie. "You started it!" And now I'm gonna finish it!" MORTAL KOMBAT! Applejack goes for her old standby of biting Dash's tail. Damn, I should've kept track of that. Dash returns the favor. Applejack tries again, but this time bites the rope. Dash flies off, Applejack tackles her and we get them in a big ball of crazy. They cross the finish line and argue who won. Spike pipes up. "You tied!"

For last. Hah, hah! :D

Dash asks who won and... Twilight trots up with a gold medal. They're agog. Actually, she got fifth place. Show. legit props for that. They're shocked since she ran so slow. Turns out she paced herself. Just like her book said she should. Twilight, you get first place from me. We pan over and see three ponies all worn out, all pegasi, mind. Show, more legit props. Dash is even more agog, and twulight gently rebukes them with a 'horsing around' pun. Applejack ponies up and apologizes, saying their behavior was terrible. Dash agrees.

And Celestia out of buckin NOWHERE! The ponies bow and she says an important lesson was learned. Very odd angle of her as she appears, straight ahead and her head's all bulbous and distorted. She came to celebrate the Running of the Leaves. Applejack apologizes to her, and Celestia's understanding. Anyone can get swept up in competition. Twilight says it's important to remember friendship is more important. Good lesson, here. Celestia agrees, and says that since they were so busy tricking each other, not all the leaves were shaken down. So they race off, smiling. And halfway down the path they pass out from overexertion. ;)

Thoughts

A good episode overall, with some genuine laughs, a good lesson at the end too. Nice worldbuilding, Pinkie is funny and sensitive, Spike gets to announce the Race and this is just... good.

Interesting how Applejack legit tried to be a good sport at first, but got caught up in the whole thing with Dash. Dash was... Dash. Ego the size of a dwarf galaxy. I do find her use of wings in a few of those Iron Pony events to be wrong. Applejack was right. Also, again, legit props for Twilight not taking first place. Not much more I can say, methinks.

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Fun fact, Dash's and Applejack's cutie marks on their toys are on opposite sides of their molds.

 

AJ was a Designated Villain at worst; RD was technically the Big Bad.

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2 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Hmm, it does indicate that fear stuff Twilight would have for Celestia and played to an even greater role in S2. Hmm, good point there.

Thank you, and yes. The seeds for shit like Lesson Zero were planted in season one.

 

1 hour ago, Anti-Villain said:

 

AJ was a Designated Villain at worst; RD was technically the Big Bad.

I can see that, yeah. Applejack at least tried to play fair.

 

Okay, day off so let's see if I can get two reviews for the price of one! *Unrolls scroll, which gets away from Striker and rolls into a nearby lake* Dumb scroll! Time to look at...

The Cutie Mark Chronicles

 

Originally posted here on June 17th, 2014.

 

We open with the CMC high up in a tree trying for a ziplining cutie mark. Because why the hell not?! Spike said it was awesome, and then Scootaloo jumps. Scootaloo, you fail at common sense! They speed down, the friction igniting the rope itself! It burns, breaks and they plummet through the foliage, landing in a sticky heap. "Tree sap and pine needles, but no cutie mark." No. Fucking. DUH! Sweetie Belle asks about Plan B, which according to Scootaloo involves a cannon. Scootaloo... *Rolls up Sunday edition of the New York Times* But Scootaloo finally gives up, saying no matter what they try, no cutie mark but lots of tree sap.

Sweetie Belle says they should do something less dangerous, like pillow-testing or flower-sniffing. Apple Bloom kicks over some buckets and has-Oh, God!-a plan! She says ask some of the ponies in ponyville! My goodness, a glimmer of sanity! Scootaloo says to start with the coolest pony in Ponyville. Apple Bloom says Applejack and Sweetie Belle says Rarity. Natch that they'd choose their big sisters. Scootaloo said 'cool' and buzzes around a bit. Pinkie Pie? Greatest flier to come out of Cloudsdale! Fluttershy? HAH! No, Dash. So they go off to find her and slap hooves... which get glued together by the tree sap. Nice. :D

We come back to Scootaloo on her scooter, towing the others. I like them wearing helmets, there. When suddenly a wild family of rabbits appear! They scamper off with a load of food, Applejack in pursuit. But she didn't see the wagon and crashes into it. Ouchies! Apple Bloom sees Applejack's cutie mark and asks her. That's... actually pretty damned smart of her! Scootaloo butts in, saying they were just gonna ask Dash. But no, multiple views are needed. As well as all the help they can get! She was smaller than they were and the screen gets all wavy, as per standard TV flashback tropes. We see a young Applejack with a stick balanced over her shoulder and bundle tied to it. Little Macintosh and Granny Smith are waving her bye. She's off to Manehattan to live with Aunt and Uncle Orange. It's a big city, with at least one rude jerk. She finds the Orange's and they take her in, good on them! They're a bit bemused by her accent. We cut to Applejack all gussied up at a dinner party and others asking how she's finding Manehattan. it goes well until she mentions rooster and... they don't know what that is. And my SOD just gets broken there. Yeah, sorry, no way they wouldn't know what a rooster was. Applejack feels embarrassed, but the dinner bell saves her. A dinner tray's floated in front of her, but it's tiny morsels. Oh, come on! That's rubbing it in too thick for me.

We cut to her sitting by a window, homesick. She does a rooster call and wonders what Big Mac and Granny Smith are up to. No mention of Apple Bloom, so probably not born yet. Therefore parents are probably still alive, too. Suddenly, sonic rainboom! She realized her place was at Sweet Apple Acres. She rushed home, finding Little Mac and Granny there. So hopefully called ahead and thanked the Orange's for their hospitality and taking her in. She got her cutie mark then. Just as she finishes the story, the rabbits come back and taunt her. Off to the races!

Sweetie Belle said it was sweet, and Scootaloo counters it was sappy. I side with the Sweetie. They speed off again, and nearly run into Fluttershy! Scootaloo, BOTH eyes on the road! They tumble while Fluttershy lets some ducks cross the street. she gently chides them about their carelessness and asks what the hurry is. Scootaloo tells her their epic quest, and Fluttershy says without Dash, she wouldn't have earned her cutie mark! DUN DUN DUUUNNNN! It started at summer flight camp, above Camp Crystal Lake... :P

We flash back to it, and Fluttershy says you wouldn't guess it, but back then, she was very shy and a very weak flier. And I own a Transformer or two. :P We see her struggling to clear a cloud ring, all gangly and looking bigger than most fillies or colts, but not quite adult. VERY nice, since she's a year older than Pinkie Pie. She almost makes it, but trips, slides down a hill, hits a ski jump, flies into a flag and lands in a heap. I must go and hug her, now. Two of the bullies from Sonic Rainboom pick on her and I must now also beat them up. Dash suddenly flies in and sticks up for Fluttershy! Go, Dash! And yeesh, how not-often have I typed that out so far? They challenge her to a race. Fluttershy drops the flag. I guess Dash is hydromatic and ultramatic, then. They speed by her so fast she spins right round, right round like a record, baby. And then falls off the cloud! I believe we've established how bad a flier she is, yes?

We come back to her plummeting... and then the butterflies made of dark matter catch her! It's an old reference. :P Turns out she's never seen butterflies, for she's never been near the ground before! And... and... oh, god. I can't...  no. NO! She's singing, she's singing and... it's an 'I want' song! It's an 'I want' song! I was only kidding about the Disney Princess references, for the love of Primus!!!!!!

Okay, all joking aside, it's a nice song. And she begins flying. It's legit sweet and flippin' adorable! And suddenly sonic rainboom! The animals scatter in fright, but Fluttershy calms them down. Also, bushes don't lift up like that and I'm fairly sure you can't talk underwater like she can. And she out-Snow White's Snow White. She finds she can talk to the animals, walk like the animals, and she gets her cutie mark! Scootaloo asks about Dash and the race, but Fluttershy wasn't there and didn't know what happened. Cue sad trombones for Scootaloo! They speed off, with Scootaloo saying she can't take anymore singing. Oh, have you picked the wrong franchise to be in!

Sweetie Belle suggests Rarity would know where they are, and Gilligan-Cut to them being used as ponykins. Hah! Rarity asks if they're still obsessing, and Sweetie Belle says most of the other fillies at school already have theirs! Dang, the stuff you forget! Rarity knows how they feel, and we flash back to the practice of a school play. We see young Berry Punch, Cheerilee, and a few others. The previous teacher, who I know of no fanon of but now wish I did, compliments Rarity for the costumes. But even back then Rarity was a perfectionist! Interesting the piano goes off-key as she laments them only being 'nice'. Nice musical cue, there. We cut to her working in a room, not sure if this is Carousel Boutique or at her parents' home. The play was that night! She says maybe she's not meant to be a fashionista, and her horn lights up and we get EPIC HORN-DRAGGING! Her expression is priceless! We also get several shots of it being night, which I am chalking up to continuity/script error. And she slams into... her destiny!

No, she slams into a rock. And we're not talking Monolith, here. Although damn but that'd be awesome. She chews out her own horn and calls it a dumb rock. So now we know where Sweetie Belle gets it from. :D And then sonic rainboom, the rock splits open and gems! We see some FABULOUS costumes now at the play, which I also now wish to know was about. Over at the Fridge Brilliance page at TV Tropes someone points out it's the Pony's five food groups. Okay, but what else? Rarity looks on in delight, and cutie mark!

Back in the present, the point whizzes by Scootaloo's head at warp 9 as she says these stories are about finding who they are and boring stuff like that. Scootaloo, you're going to be older than Celestia and still without a mark with that attitude! She pushes the other CMC away, saying they need action, Rainbow Dash!

And we cut to them listening to Twilight Sparkle, looking bored out of their skulls. Dammit, this episode is hitting all the right notes! She went to see the Summer Sun Celebration and saw Celestia raising the sun. She poured everything into learning about magic, and we see her struggling to turn a page. She goes through a lot of books, and we see her parents, one an homage to G1 Twilight Wish, with an application form for the School for Gifted Unicorns. Make sure to say hi to Trixie and Lyra there! Don't ask about Sunset Shimmer, either.

lol, I have plans for the Hasbroverse version of Equestria Girls! *Evil grin*

We see her dancing adorably, and then we see her having to pass an entrance exam! What is it?! It's hatching a dragon egg! She tries her best, but fails. She's crushed and, yeah, hugs! She walks off, completely crushed. And suddenly, you guessed it, sonic rainboom! the egg hatches and we see adorable tiny Spike. Her magic suddenly goes nuts and Spike becomes Zilla Junior, the testers are suspended in midair and her parents are turned into plants, specifically a fern and cactus! We cut outside to see Celestia seeing Giant!Baby!Spike. Back inside, she's twitching in what appears to be legit pain! Celestia is there, touches her shoulder and I legit can't tell if Twilight calms down on her own or Celestia does something. And... no.

The effects are reversed. Yay! Twilight apologizes and Celestia says she doesn't think she's ever seen a unicorn with such raw abilities. But she needs focused study while Twilight 'Huh?'s through the conversation. Yup, personal student at the school. Twilight jumps for joy, and cutie mark ahoy! She jumps around even more, and then we Gilligan-Cut to the present and her jumping around while going "YES!". The CMC flee for their sanity while Twilight comes out of it. SOmeone asks if she's alright. her response? "Yes." Nice!

Scootaloo laments they haven't crashed into Rainbow Dash, and suddenly Pinkie's in the back, complete with helmet. I don't know or care. :D She says if she was Dash, she'd be at Sugarcube Corner. If she was anyone that's where she'd be. Hey, let's go to Sugarcube Corner! She also almost falls out the back. And yup, time for her cutie mark story. Yup, the rock farm. I thought this was bullcrap until Magic Duel, actually. Straight-haired Pinkie Pie. No talking, no smiling. Only rocks. Heaven for Maud, though. They were rotating the rocks from the south field to the east field, and guess what happens next? If you guessed sonic rainboom, give yourself a hundred points, even though the points don't matter. :D And poof goes the mane and tail and here comes the sun and smile! She wants everyone to smile and laugh! So we cut to the next morning and the Pie family emerging. Real Amish feel to them. And we hear the Parasprite song coming from a silo! "Pinkamina Diane Pia, is that you?" She opens a door, letting out some confetti and balloons. Inside it's a party! They're agog at it. Their mouths quiver, and at first Pinkie thinks they don't like it. And of course they do and, to quote Wayne and Garth, "PARTY TIME!"

And cutie mark. "And that's how Equestria was made!" And... okay? She goes off saying on the way home maybe she can tell them the story of how she got her cutie mark as the CMC's minds all fracture. They're at Sugarcube Corner, and inside is Dash! And we finally get her cutie mark story! Yeah, it was the race. She'd never flown like that before. the speed, adrenaline... she liked it! Dashie likes it! And she realizes what she loved.... was winning! And sonic rainboom and cutie mark.

Back at the present, the other Mane Six suddenly come to the realization that they all got their cutie mark from the rainboom's effects! Group hug! And then song, grossing out Scootaloo. Hah! she says they should try ziplining again, but gets pulled into a hug. Cue BIG NO! We cut to Twilight and the message, that friends have a special connection. And maybe you're all looking up at the same rainbow. Spike asks when she got so cheesy, but he writes it. And end.

Thoughts

Wow, this is a dense one. Dense in a good way, mind. We learn the basic backstories of the Mane Six, and they're all good stories. I'm honestly not sure if I should talk about each one or dive into the Hasbroverse headcanon concerning them or what. Hmm... some thoughts:

1. I like Aunt and Uncle Orange. They took Applejack in and helped her best they could. Family takes care of family. The whole 'no rooster' thing is bullcrap and SOD-breaking. If you wanna read some great stories dealing with Aunt Orange, go to Life in Manehattan, run by Little Jackie Papercut. I do wanna write a fic for that group, but I don't know what! :(

2. I originally thought Pinkie's story was false, but now I think it's true EDIT: thanks to episodes like Magic Duel and Pinkie Pride, among others, we know it's true. I've heard some good theories, here and at fimfic/RPG.net about what it could mean. A simple quarry, gem mining like with Rarity, laying out rocks on leylines to soak up their magic, the aftermath of parasprite invasions, so on and so forth. I have no real opinion on it.

3. Twilight's backstory actually explains a lot. I've written an Au called Twilight the Terrible that's an alternate take on the events. It's stalled until I can finish 'Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds' at the moment, though.EDIT:  It's all finished!

And that's it for thoughts.

Headcanon

A lot of this deals with the Hasbroverse. Not all of it, but the majority. You have been warned! ;)

1. Trixie also got her cutie mark during the rainboom, explaining why compared to most other unicorns she's pretty damned powerful.

2. Fluttershy is the oldest of the Mane Six.

3. Big Macintosh between the flashback and the present joined the Equestrian Armed Forces, Tank Corps to be precise. He got a hardship discharge at the death of his parents.

4. Applejack is the direct descendant of G1 Applejack and Sweet Apple Acres is the land G1 Applejack used for her original apple farm, Applejack Acres. It got abandoned during the Nightmare War.

5. Twilight is the direct descendant of G1 Twilight Wish. She heard of the Tales of the Mag'ne from her mother, a librarian in the Royal Library.

6. Spike is g1 Spike's grandson, King Spykoran the Old, king of the Thirteen Dragon Clans! His egg was the only survivor of an attack on the Nests of Dargoth by Ursa Majors. While Spykoran was attacking the bears in grief-driven rage, Celestia found the egg. Inquiries turned up nothing, so she took it back to Equestria.

7. The rock farm does a lot of exporting to the Dragon Lands.

And I think that's it for headcanon, at least stuff not already mentioned like the stuff about Dash's ancestors Firefly and Bloodwing. So, yeah. Great episode overall. There was a lot there, but it didn't feel crowded or anything like that.

 

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Okay, ready for some lame 'who' jokes? Good! Because...

Owl's Well that Ends Well

 

Originally posted here on June 18th, 2014.

 

Hmm, Shakespeare, maybe? Nah!

We open on Golden Oaks, and it's late in the afternoon. There's a meteor shower tonight, hopefully no colony drops though. Fun fact, the only Gundam series I've ever seen in its entirety was G Gundam. I own a lot of toys from it. Spike is getting ready for the shower, showing off a bit. No Boasting, though. ;) It happens every one hundred years. Spike put the punch into a container with a tight lid, dude. Also, he's pretty good here. Remember that for 'Spike at your Service'. it's gonna hurt. Twilight asks for stuff, and it's all check. He's even got stuff she didn't ask for. She praises him and now he wants some more praise. Ohhai Great and Powerful Spike! :P But she forgot an astronomy book with alliteration of A in the title. It's a book on stars, moons and universe. 42 pages, perhaps? Spike goes to get it. He brushes off some dust, and we know what comes next. He fights off the sneeze, opens it... and green flame torches the thing. Wait, green flame? Did Celestia get some pages in her mail? He puts the book back and climbs down. Ooh, Spike. Not cool dude. Understandable, but still not cool.

After the credits it's night and ponies are gathering to see the shower. And Spike lied about the book. He then butters Twilight up saying she doesn't need it. Spike, you got a little brown on your nose there, bub. :P He sets up the spread, and Dash says Twilight's lucky to have such a great assistant. She wishes she had someone like that, and Scootaloo, standing there, says she'll do whatever Dash wants. Yeah, that's creepy. Dash tosses her an apple core and Scootaloo goes to add it to her shrine. Dash, you really are a jerkass in season one. Just saying. Rarity praises him and even for me, a Spike fan, it gets a little much. Rarity has a bow tie for him that looks like it's decorated with M&M's. Then thankfully the show starts. Sweetie Belle's on rarity's back, Apple Bloom on Applejack's and Spike on Twilight's. Scootaloo is not on Dash's. And the meteor shower's quite lovely. :) Spike Yawns, too. Epic foreshadowing! Later on, Twilight asks for some punch, and we see Spike curled up in the punch bowl. It's actually something of a callback to him and the lampshade in the premiere. And Pinkie says the punch has been... Spiked!

YEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Back at Golden Oaks, Spike is tucked in. Twilight writes a bit in what appears to be a journal about some forgotten lore. Suddenly, there's some rattling. Is it the Lost Lenore? A shadow swoops by, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of ponies! The door, not latched, opens and the scrolls fly out! Twilight says it's a job for Spike, but he's not awake. What, you can't go out and get some scrolls yourself, Twilight? She looks back to the table and sees an owl, scroll in beak. She thanks him and asks if he wants to stay inside, since it's so cold tonight. He hoots and hops inside.

The morning comes and Spike bolts out of bed. He overslept! He rushes down, full of apologies and promises to work. And now I'm a little skeevy about Spike's relationship to Twilight. But more on that later. Twilight says it's okay, because... okay, I'm just gonna call him 'Owly'. That's it. Anyway, Owly did them for Spike. He's the new junior assistant, so Spike won't be so tired all the time. That's really skeevy. Spike asks why they need him and there's a number of warning bells going off here. He goes down to the library part and Owly's head pulls an Exorcist, or a natural owl's head movement. Spike introduces himself and we get the 'hoot/who' joke. We all know it. It got annoying really fast and made whoever participated in it look dumber than a sack of hammers. So instead...

Who's on first? What's on second and I don't Know's on third!

Spike says Owly's number 'two'. Okay, nice little slip under the radar. :D He leaves and says he won't let Owly have his job, if it's the last thing he does! And we pan over to see Owly's eyes light up in the window. We come back from commercial and Spike is reading a book on owls. Owly, you magnificent bastard SPIKE'S READ YOUR BOOK! Down below Owly is getting all sorts of praise. Pinkie is 'whooked'! Nice. :D And Rarity made a tie for him. Spike goes nuclear! They wonder what his problem is and Fluttershy thinks he thinks he'll be replaced. Twilight says that's crazy, and we Gilligan-cut to Spike thinking he'll be replaced. He's gonna step it up! Twilight asks for a book, and Spike goes to get it. But Owly flew up to get it already. When? We never saw him over there, and Spike would've saw it, too. She needs another book, and Owly pulls it from the stack Spike's standing on. Not cool, Owly! Later on, her last quill broke. Hasbroverse Twilight loves ball-point pens, btw. :P Spike turns Golden Oaks upside down, even finding Owly in the shower. He goes to Quills and Sofa's, but Davenport's out of quills! He goes to Pinkie Pie, but nope. She has a quince, which IIRC is poisonous to RL horses! Then again these ponies can puke and eat chocolate, so never mind. We get some other Q-related stuff, but no quills. Spike chases down chickens for their feathers, and I don't think they'd make good quills. Back at Golden Oaks, he gives her the feather... but it turns out Owly gave her a feather.

Twilight, just accept his hard work and take the quill, you ninny!

Spike gets so mad his hand overheats and the feather bursts into flames. He sarcastically wonders if Owly did all the chores. nope, but he falls fast asleep. Twilight says he'll come around. Twilight, you're not really helping all that much, to be honest.

We do a jump scare to him... still on the stairs. twilight, why the hell didn't you take him to his bed?! But it's the burnt book! She confronts him about it and says she's very disappointed in him. Aww. :( He confronts Owly. "Two can play at this game!" And Owly hoots and...

Hey, did you know the Doctor was credited as 'Dr Who' until 1970 and then 'Doctor Who' until 1981, and there's 'Doctor Who and the Silurians'? So don't make fun of the Peter Cushing movies where that's his name. Back then when they were made, the 'canon' of the show would've had trouble filling up a loose-leaf binder!

Spike storms off to stop him and spots a mouse. He becomes Spikely Whiplash, complete with cape, top hat and mustache. Dick Dastardly would be proud. He sneaks into Carousel Boutique and steals one of Opal's toy mice. "So lifelike." Yes, if you've never seen a real mouse before. He's going to frame Owly with it. Spike, how many screws are loose again?! He messes it up and then puts ketchup onto it. It's... actually pretty damned funny, i have to admit. WAY over-the-top, though. He rips open a pillow for a trail of feathers, but backs into Twilight. He runs offscreen, then onscreen sans costume. He tries blaming Owly, but Twilight obviously doesn't buy it. She says this isn't the Spike she knows and loves. She storms off, and Spike thinks she doesn't love him anymore. :(

We come back to Spike run away from home and into the Everfree, saying Twilight hates him. He runs off a litany of problems and asks if it can get any worse. And the sky opens up. He finds a cave, goes inside and it's covered in gems! He dives in and pigs out. We come back to him with his belly stuffed, but the rest of him is still empty. Dang, that's deep. He misses everyone else. It's getting warmer, all of a sudden. And we pan out to see a green dragon, staring at him and kinda pissed. Spike tries to reason with him, but no go. Then he tries to buff himself up, but nope. Then the dragon, to quote YouTube reviewer TJ Omega, reveals himself to be a dragon made of knives. Spike tries to get away, but is quickly cornered.

But Owly for the win! He flies around, distracting the dragon and even confusing him enough to clobber himself in the head with his spiked tail! Spike and Owly run for it and Spike hops onto Twilight, running for it. It's dark, but Owly guides them, leaving a really pissed-off dragon behind and caught up in some underbrush. Outside the Everfree Twilight asks Spike why he left. Spike spills what he thought, and Twilight says he's her friend. She can't ask him to stay up late, since he's a baby dragon. Owls are nocturnal, and Spike can't be replaced. They both apologize, and Spike apologizes to Owly. And one more 'Who' thing.

Who, what, when, where, why and how!

Back at Golden Oaks, Twilight suggests Spike write the letter this time. It's a big responsibility, but one Spike can handle. It's a good lesson, here. But he falls asleep before finishing. And Owly breaks the fourth wall to wink at us.

Thoughts

Not the best episode, IMHO. Not the worst, by far, mind. Spike's attitude and behavior make sense when you remember he's a younging. The 'who' thing got old, fast. I like Owly. Spike to Twilight, though...

Best friends? Brother and sister? Mother and child? Employer and employee? All of the above? Some mixture? It's really odd and undefined throughout the show so far. It's just odd to me and like I said, pretty skeevy.

Good lesson, well-applied to the episode. So, yeah. It's not stand-out, but it's recommended.

Headcanon

the green dragon is an outcast from the Dragon Clans, however, this episode serves as sort of a prequel to the first chapter of my biggest ponyfic, The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds. It's a G1/G4 crossover, and... if I may let my ego show a bit...

I'm actually pretty damned proud of it. I know I'm not the best writer by far, and I've got a metric ton of improvement I can make and will make, but this one? I look at this and say, "I've done well." And to let it show some more... I think it might be one of the best damned inter-generational MLP crossovers written. :D Yeah, I said it. And I mean it, too. ;)

No review tomorrow, got some RL stuff and writing to do. The next chapter needs to get written. Tirac must be defeated!

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Stooges, party of six, seven counting Ted Healy? Musketeers, party of three? Pinkie Pie...

Party of One

Or two.

 

Originally posted here on June 23rd, 2014.

 

We open on Golden Oaks. There's a knock at the door, and it's Pinkie Pie with a singing telegram! She's shot, because they still need to find Mister Boddy's killer. no? No. Ah, damn. No Tim Curry, then! Admit it. Tim Curry as a guest star would be awesome! Anyway, she goes from friend to friend with invites to Gummy's one-year old birthday party! I love her switching between costumes and getting more and more tired throughout it. She finally crawls up to her loft in Sugarcube Corner and decides next time, written invitations. Hah! After the credits, it's party time! And overall it's a good party, barring Gummy in the apple-bobbing barrel. Good thing he has no teeth! Actually for his species that's kinda tragic. Rarity asks if it's the same punch for the 'Spring has Sprung' party. Nope, it's Gummy in it! Well, to be fair to Pinkie, he got in there after Dash chucked him off her face.

It's Pinkie's jam and she dances with Twilight and Fluttershy, butt-bumping them into walls. They dance around Gummy, who acts like... Gummy. We cut to that night from day. The party's over and they say it was a great party. Pinkie is... kinda desperate for the party to continue. The others are desperate to leave. Twilight says they should do this again soon, unfortunately within earshot of Pinkie Pie.

Twilight, you FOOL!

The next morning and twilight is woken up by Pinkie Pie. It's 'soon', so now it's time for Gummy's after-birthday party. It's three o'clock this afternoon, as in this afternoon-this afternoon. We have a running gag for the episode, folks. Hold on tight. Twilight passes, says she's behind on her studies and TK's a mess of book into the middle of the library. Pinkie Pie understands, and tells her to read the books, not hit them. Unless it's post-YJK Star Wars novels, then punch them with a flamethrower! Next is Applejack with three carts of apples! Pinkie pops up with an invitation, but nope. She has to... pick apples! And then sell a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge right after and some oceanfront property in Arizona. From her front porch you can SEE the sea! Points to Pinkie for lampshading the whole 'this afternoon' thing, though. Pinkie... stares into Applejack's soul before she buys it. A party is still a party, if only with three guests! At Carousel boutique, Spike is being taken advantage of by Rarity. Rarity, don't make me have your toys face off with my Transformers. It won't end well for you. He's taking out the garbage and she insults him for his efforts. Rarity, prepare to meet my Unicron's!

Yes, multiple Unicrons. Spike floats up and she pushes him away. She spies Pinkie and compliments her hat. Very modern! Anyway, She must wash her hair! Good lords, is this prom season all of a sudden? Anyway, Pinkie calls her out on it and Rarity dunks her head into the garbage! Rarity, you deserve that. So off the the pegasi and we get the bit with them housesitting. It's quite funny. :D They fly off. Back at Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie ponders the possibilities of all her friends busy. I love that she finds the housesitting bit to be fine. It's the other stuff that's skeevy to her. They're starting to sound like *Gasp* Excuses!

She looks out and spies Twilight entering. "That doesn't look like studying, OR hitting!" She's picking up a cake. Cup Cake is excited, but Twilight shushes her. Pinkie powers a tin-can telephone receiver to listen in on their conversation. She doesn't want Pinkie to know about this, then notices the tin can and pulls on it. Pinkie's hoof goes down the hole, then the thing's yanked down and Twilight's muzzle is... deformed a bit. Rule of funny, and it works. :D We cut to Twilight sneaking about in an obvious manner and Pinkie following her. She slides on some Groucho glasses, to honor the Master. But her cover's been blown, so she needs a new disguise! Twilight, meanwhile, passes the cake to Rarity. They act all obvious outside, and Twilight doesn't think Pinkie saw her. Despite the tin can. She drops the cake off, literally. Rarity sneaks around with the cake in her coiled and coiffed tail a bit, and we see Pinkie with her new disguise. It's a... hay bale. With the Groucho glasses. Okay.

Rarity sneaks over to Fluttershy and Pinkie overhears them glad to have come up with an excuse not to be at the after-birthday party. It's a standard 'poor communication kills' moment where the words sound mean, but the context is actually different. Still, even through the hay bale, Pinkie looks crushed. Fluttershy gets the cake. Pinkie goes to follow her, but hits her face, stumbles out and Fluttershy spots her. She screams, natch, and flies off. Pinkie's really hurt. Dash walks by, sees through the disguise-or realizes Pinkie's the only one to dress up like that-and says hi. But she freaks and flies off. Pinkie gives chase, but unlike Griffin the Brush-Off it's not really funny. Especially Pinkie as the clapper in the school bell! Dash flies to Sweet Apple Acres, Pinkie hot on her hooves. She flies in, and Pinkie bangs on the door. With her muzzle. Ouch...

Applejack opens up the top half of the door and says Pinkie can't come in. Dash went in, though! Applejack lies through her teeth, saying she had 'supplies' for a renovation. She shouts there's lots of construction going on in there! And all of a sudden Hook, Mixmaster, Scrapper, Bonecrusher, Long Haul and Scavenger show up. The ponies inside make construction sounds while Pinkie tries to push her way in by butting against Applejack's muzzle and I'm kinda surprised I've never read about her and Applejack kissing here or something. :D Applejack pushes her out and Pinkie Pie says "Okey, dokey, lokey" really menacingly this time around. One more muzzle bump and she stalks off. the others inside breathe a sigh of relief.

We cut to Pinkie really pissed off about secrets and lies. She knows who to put the screws to. It's Spike. She's got a gem banquet for him, and then here comes the Jack Bauer interrogation. Fun fact, this oftentimes doesn't work. She tells Spike to talk, and he, not realizing how around the bend she is, says it's a great day. No, talk about their friends. According to Spike, Twilight is good with magic but a real brainiac, Rarity is a total knockout and Twilight doesn't think Spike has a chance with her. Fluttershy's afraid of heights. What's up with that. Pinkie snaps and forces him to 'confess', and he does! He spilled juice over one of Twilight's books, used up all the hot water yesterday in a seven-hour bubblebath, and does 'looking real good, Spike!' in the mirror.

Even Pinkie is skeeved out by that last one, but she snaps out of it and into her 'mood'. She tells Spike to tell her that her friends are avoiding her because they don't like her parties. He says that, she feels triumph for a split-second... and then her mane and tail deflates. Ohhai, Pinkamina! Spike asks for the gems and she obliges. And the little background music is sad. :( Excuse me, I must hug Pinkie Pie now.

We come back to... the party. You know, Rocky, Madame Le Flour, Mister Turnip and Sir Lintsalot. It is genuinely disturbing. Pinkie does all the voices, spasms and moves them around. The worst part for me is when the inanimate objects begin speaking by themselves, convince her the others are jerks... and then we snap back to reality and see it all in her mind. There's a knock at the door, and it's Dash, thank Primus! She apologizes for earlier, but is quickly squicked out by the tea party from Hell. She says for Pinkie to come over to Sweet Apple Acres, but nope. Pinkie's spending time with her friends! Good lord that's wrong in this context...

Gummy bounces by on a balloon and Dash says they should get outta creepytown. Should they go to Funkytown? Pinkie shoves the turnip bucket, then the pile of rocks in front of Dash. Dash gets sucked in for a moment before snapping back to reality, flying over and pushing Pinkie Pie by headbutting her... butt. Pinkie lets her rear end rise before slamming it onto Dash's head. Dash decides to do it the hard way and drags Pinkie by the tail all the way to Sweet Apple Acres, Gummy along for the ride.

Inside it's a surprise party! Fluttershy thought she'd be more excited and Pinkie rips into them. She thinks it's her farewell party, because they don't like her anymore!Q Applejack is confused and asks why she'd think that, and she tells them about them avoiding and lying to her all day. Nope. Turns out? This is Pinkie's birthday party! She looks around, spots a pile of presents, a banner and a cake with her picture on it saying, "Happy birthday Pinkie Pie." We zoom in on her, and Pinkie Pie's back!

She pulls them all in for a hug and they breathe a sigh of relief. She hangs her head and asks herself how she could've doubted them. Aww. :) Twilight says it's alright. "It could've happened to any of us." If you mean the mind-breaking, oh yeah! Dash is glad she wasn't replaced by a bucket of turnips. When Twilight goes, "Huh?" "You don't wanna know."

Applejack kicks it into party time and we get my favorite background music. Twilight writes a letter while doing a conga line with the others, sorta like how Kirk can write his Captain's Log while in mortal peril on an alien world. Also, Spike's there. This is before the main 'screwing him over' kicks in, methinks. And for as the brick joke, Pinkie asks if they can have Gummy's after-birthday party now, since it was cut short. He gnaws on a balloon, and end credits.

Thoughts

Ho, boy. How... what do I say about this one? Is it great? Yeah. I still can't believe they did this one. I'm glad they did, mind. But taking the Party Pony and showing her hidden side took guts to do. To show Pinkie like this was just... I'm not sure I have the words. Or if I did they've already been said before by people for more articulate than I.

Pinkie... this is one of those episodes I look to for confirmation that Pinkie is not my least-favorite character and how good she can be. When she was Pinkamina I wanted to go through the fourth wall, hug her and get her some therapy. And no, I am NOT joking about that last bit. She needs some help. Her entire life and validation of said life is around parties and making others happy. If she's not doing it, she feels like nothing. I know most of you reading this either on RPG.net or fimfic will think I'm wrong, but she really does at least need someone to talk to. Therapy saved my life, at least.

I think the others took the surprise party a bit too far. Mileage varies on that, but personally, seeing Pinkie there I would've spilled the beans.

So overall intense, awesome episode. Tune in tomorrow for the season-one finale, as I ask the question, "What did the rest of the Gala attendees do to deserve having their party ruined?" And the answer probably is, "Nothing. Aside from Blueblood they're really not bad ponies at all, and I personally would've preferred the Gala like it was."

Headcanon

Not really much of anything that hasn't been covered already, sorry.

Yeah, might wanna read the first post and my warnings before reading tomorrow's review, folks. *Evil grin* :P

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