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

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Okay, time for the nest night ever? Nope. Time for dreams to be dashed and nights to be ruined. And I'm not referring to the Mane Six, but to the other guests of the Gala who got screwed. Remember the warnings, folks! Because it's time to relive the opposite of...

The Best Night Ever

 

Originally posted here on June 24th, 2014.

 

Pinkie is bouncing up and down, and in a clever move we pan back to see her on a trampoline. Twilight asks her to stop, because she's trying to concentrate. Rarity emerges from Carousel Boutique and gets Pinkie to come in. Pinkie puts on her air brakes-possible nod to an old Bugs Bunny cartoon-and follows her, but first asks Spike what Twilight's doing. She's working on a spell for the Gala. The others show up just as Twilight finishes studying. Spike sets down an apple, Twilight concentrates and we have a carriage. Off to the side, Cinderella applauds and holds up a 'ten' sign. Twilight looks quite... smug there. :P She goes over to Fluttershy and asks for her friends, some mice. Fluttershy's nervous, but Twilight reassures her. Her horn glows and the mice... become horse-sized mice. It's damned creepy, and even the music agrees! The others are aghast and for this...

Six.

Twilight says they'll be mice again at midnight. Then what the hell are they now?! Opal spots them, leaps onto one with claws extended and they spook. Rarity takes the piss outta Twilight and goes over to Caramel and an unnamed stallon to ask if they'll pull the carriage. We also get a pretty weird animation error with one guy's head. Twilight is embarrassed, natch. Back from the credits and we seeTwilight, Applejack and Fluttershy under hair dryers. Pinkie turns her on and... it's a twister, Auntie Em! Outside the door, Spike wants in. I don't actually know why he wants to go in, to be honest. Dash goes to let him in, but Rarity blocks her. They're getting dressed! in an inspired bit, Applejack reminds them they normally don't wear clothes. Episode, you win fifty points. Spike's excited that he and Twilight are back in their hometown and can hang out all night long! The rest are doubtful, though. Applejack spit-shines Fluttershy's hooves-literally. :D And she points out they'll be a bit busy. Straight-haired Pinkie says they'll be busy having FUN! And Spike is sad. :( Twilight says they'll spend some time together and he cheers up, and we do a clever fade to him driving the carriage, talking about his 'insider's tour of Canterlot.' Some interesting tidbits are the Princess' crown jewels for Rarity and the Princess' Golden Apple Tree. Wait, the Goldan Apple Tree? Come on, fic writers! And for Pinkie, his favorite donut shop. But inside the carriage, they're too busy talking. Spike cracks the reins and the ponies pulling aren't pleased by that. Natch. Fortunately, being friends with Rarity saves his hide.

At Canterlot itself we see a line of carriages. Spike opens up theirs and a glass slipper steps out, followed by everyone else. Spike sees them and... hops onto his tail. Okay... We get a shot of all six in their full Gala dresses. And Twilight does a title drop as fireworks go off. The music swells and we get their biggest number yet, "At the Gala". It's epic, it's great. It's a recap of everyone's dreams for the Gala. We also get Twilight having a dream for the Gala, which she didn't have beforehand. No, she really didn't care before about it. But now she wants to spend it with Celestia. This comes out of left field, pretty much. yes, this is me being a Doylist. :D

After the epic end of At the Gala, Spike slides in and says they'll all spend time to-gether and they all jet. I'll spend time with you, Spike! Back from commercial Twilight races up some stairs to Celestia, who says she's glad to see Twilight and wants her by her side the entire evening. So there's Twilight's evening. By the by, the stairway was uncrowded. Rarity spies Blueblood the Asshole and lackadaisically hurries to him. And no, that's not a contradiction in this case. He's everything she imagined! Rarity, you don't even know his name! She sees him, rose in mouth and probably some blood, too. It's all dreamy and Fabio-esque. A meadowlark flies by, possibly to the arena, and Fluttershy gives chase in a rather good segue. She hears some whistling and responds with some vocalizing. Next is Applejack, who kick-starts a stand-literally-that she must've had Doctor Whooves working on to fit so much stuff in. Soarin walks by, who's hungry as a horse. Nice! That's his primary trait in fanfic, apparently. Sale in the first minute! Inside the VIP area, we see some more Wonderbolts. Again, great transition. Spitfire jokes he's always hungry after a show, but he almost drops the pie! Oh, noes! Dash races over to save it, and Spitfire remembers her from Sonic Rainboom. She says she saved Soarin's apple pie, and we pan over to see him digging in. Spitfire invites her to hang with them, and she bounces in like Pinkie Pie, fangirling all the while. Very cute. And finally, Pinkie gets to the shiny dance floor. We see Octavia and Lyrica Lilac for the first time, too. Pinkie's gotta dance! Gotta sing! She bounces around like the ultimate sugar high and coffee rush at once, to everyone's shock. Yeah, it's a bit of a scene. She even bounces up on the stage and disrupts the music. Okay, no matter what, that's bad form, Pinkie! She grabs two ponies in a side-headlock and her voice cracks. We pan back to see everyone staring at her and she shrinks, her voice along with her body. And reality begins to set in.

Outside, Blueblood introduces himself to Rarity and the audience. She spots a rose, say's it's lovely. Blueblood picks it, holds it out... and then puts it in his buttonhole. Fluttershy follows the whistling, but nope. It's the gardener, Mister Greenhooves. He's an old fellow, and wants you to... get on his lawn! He was the one whistling. Fluttershy spots the animals and rushes over, but they run off. "Oh, Fluttershy. You're such a loudmouth!" :( Inside the VIP area, Dash can't get a word in edgewise. I... don't feel too sorry for her, to be honest. We cut to Celestia and Twilight greeting attendees. Twilight begins to talk, but Celestia interrupts her. Okay, not cool, Celestia. You can simply greet them and listen to Twilight at the same time. If I can do it, you can do it. Outside, no sales for Applejack. Eh... this isn't a county fair. Free food inside, after all. "This ain't what I expected at all." Probably not the audience either.

We get a montage of, well, reality setting in. I do feel bad for them. But all of a sudden they pony up! Time to seize the day-er, night! Yeah, one clue to contrast fantasy with reality is all their imagine spots in Ticket Master were during the day. The Gala is at night. Day and night contrast, here. So back from commercial and... Fluttershy is setting traps for the animals. And I am calling the Royal Guard. She catches Greenhooves, instead. Dash headbutts into some poor stallion's flank, knocks him into the air and then 'saves' him. And there goes a lot of sympathy I had for her. Spitfire didn't notice, so she kicks him off. And there went ALL of it. Season-one Dash, you are an asshole. Rarity gives Blueblood a chance. They stop in front of a spilled glass with a foot-wide puddle. I am reminded of Robin Hood:Men in Tights. You know the scene. And Blueblood uses Rarity's cloak to cover the spill. Rarity, you gain all sympathy points Dash lost. Pinkie gets the band to play the Pony Polka, copyright Cheese Sandwich. We get another montage of the Mane Six trying their best to make it their best night ever. Fluttershy needs help or at least an escort off the premises! And at the end of the Polka, Lyrica Lilac tells Pinkie, "Young lady, this is not that kind of party!"

For the record, I agree with her 100% and am glad it isn't!!!!

Pinkie Pie... misses the meaning entirely. Ho, boy. Time for endgame. Shall we begin? Rarity buys some apple fritters from Applejack, and Blueblood makes rarity pay for them. Blueblood, you asshole. Rarity, you saint. Applejack covers for her, because she's awesome. Blueblood eats it, then spits it out because it's 'common carnival fair!'. Blueblood, come here. I have several Optimus Prime toys I'd like to hit you with, some with heavy die-cast metal! He goes inside to the buffet and Applejack realizes why no one's buying her food. She decides to 'dress them up a bit' and bring them inside. Oh, this can only end in tears! Fluttershty's gone full-on insane with her traps, complete with thunder and lightning backdrop. Maleficent would be proud! But she's hoisted by her own petard, and by her own trap too. At the ballroom, Pinkie gets a DJ set going without Vinyl Scratch and then commits some assault on some guests. Applejack brings in a large cake, Pinkie does a stage dive that catapults it... right at Rarity and Blueblood. And Blueblood cements his status by shoving Rarity into its path. Blueblood, I am this close to killing you in 'Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds'! Rarity rightfully snaps and chews him out, but he's had himself groomed. "Afraid to get DIRTY?!" You go, Rarity! She shakes her head at him, covering him in grunge and getting him ready for a Pearl Jam concert. He falls over, unbalancing a statue. Dash... sees it as her 'chance', and has regained no sympathy points. She gets under the statue, but loses her own balance and knocks into a column. Oh when the walls, come tumbling down! When the walls, come tumbling down! Celestia and Twilight come in and see the carnage. Twilight... "Well, it can't get any worse."

At this point I ready the mother and father of all Gibbs-smacks... as the doors burst open and the stampede happens. And Fluttershy. good fucking lord. "You're... going to. LOVE! ME!" and the Gala disintegrates. Celestia tells Twilight to run and she whistles up her friends. They beat hooves, Rarity losing her glass slipper and them destroying it so Blueblood can't trace it to her. Clever girl... :D

At Pony Joe's Spike is getting drunk off coffee and donuts. Hmm, interesting bit of dragon biology. :P The Mane Six come in and Joe knows her. I wonder if Bo knows Twilight, too. Spike asks how their best night ever was, and then we fade to him saying it sounded like the worst night ever. They all agree, then laugh as their sanity snaps. Twilight is worried how Celestia will feel, and on cue, Celestia comes in, saying it was the best Gala ever! Oh, so this is when I start looking cock-eyed at her! She says it's always awful, and was hoping they could liven things up a bit. Oh, that does not sit well with me. And even though it didn't turn out as planned, it didn't turn out so bad for this group of friends. What about the other attendees?! Spike says they should've done what he suggested, and twilight says he was right. And being here together has made it... The Best Night Ever! And credits.

Thoughts

 

ANNOUNCEMENT FIRST!

My thoughts for this episode have changed since the original review. Therefore, I'm gonna put the old thoughts section in spoilers and write out a new blurb below:

Thoughts

*Breathes out* This... isn't gonna sit well with the vast majority of you reading this on RPG.net and the majority on Fimfic either, I reckon. But...

Okay, I do love this episode. It was epic. It was a great subversion of expectations. It kept up a great pace and had some insanely good scenes and twists on familiar scenes. It was funny, and a good lesson about expectations and the realism of fantasy versus reality. Awesome songs, and Spike being right in the end was cool. But...

Overall, while I do feel some sympathy for the Mane Six, you know who gets the VAST majority of it?

the other attendees not named Blueblood. They had their night ruined and it being laughed about in the end legit pisses me off.

You see, as I ramble for a bit, here's the deal. I would've vastly preferred the Gala as it was, not as how Pinkie would've liked it. I'm not really a party kind of guy. And the Gala as it was, was fine. It really was. But the Mane Six didn't like it, so they tried to force it to conform to their ideals. I can't exactly fault them for it, especially since in the case of Rarity and Twilight they didn't do anything really wrong. And Applejack's cake was the victim of poor luck/timing. Pinkie, Dash and Fluttershy on the other hand... no. Considering their actions I actually don't have much sympathy for them at all. They started out with good intentions, but by the end I'm thinking jailtime.

Yes, I know. I don't get it.

Anyway, the other guests... far as I can see? They did nothing wrong. At all. Hell, considering Pinkie's and Dash's actions we're talking the patience of saints here! They weren't rude, jerkish or really anything. they might seem that way through the Mane Six's eyes... but I don't see things through their eyes. Hell, now that I ponder it... is there even an actual nobility?! Beyond the Princesses and Blueblood, any one of them have a noble title? That's been bugging the hell out of me.

Do I blame the Mane Six? Kinda sorta yes/no. They obviously didn't go there with the intent to ruin things, but by the end they... sorta did. Well, some of them. And that does not sit well with me at all, since I know I'd be one of the ones who had their night ruined. Okay, lemme quote something from InsertAuthorHere's

review of this episode:

 

 

We finally meet up with Spike again, who is now drowning his sorrow in donuts at Pony (later Doughnut) Joe. It might be a bit of a coincidence that the others found him there so quickly, but it’s established that Twilight frequented the shop during her time in Canterlot, so she probably knew this would be a safe place to recover. And hey, when you and your friends have destroyed the most important event in Canterlot, wrecked part of the castle, and had your hopes and dreams crushed, you’d need a doughnut too, damn it! However, this is also kind of a weakness in this episode for me; the girls get over the mess very quickly, and while it’s obviously there to facilitate the moral (which is a good one), it just feels like they got over things too fast.

 

And finally, we get the twist. Celestia arrives to tell them that the GGG is always a horrible, boring event, so she invited the friends over to liven things up. She did not have them come over specifically to bring the house down. That was just a happy little side effect. In any case, she’s not angry that they’ve caused millions of bits in property damage, and the episode ends with everypony laughing, while back at the Gala, that one pony is digging for her grandmother’s brooch…

 

That last part really hits me. And it's why as much as I love this episode, it doesn't sit well with me either. I know they didn't intend to ruin the night... but in the end, the night was ruined.

Celestia's bit at the end is fifty-nine kinds of skeevy for me, too. Okay, you want a funner night? fine. Do NOT ruin the nights of a lot of your loyal, adoring subjects to get your jollies and then laugh it off!

So, let me explain. No, it's too long. Let me sum up. I love the episode overall, but there's parts that bug the hell out of me.

Headcanon

Blueblood was a former member of the Royal Guard and actually pretty good at his job. He can trace his lineage right to Princess Platinum and her father, Blueblood I. Canterlot predates the Ancient Kingdom of Ponyland by a few weeks and was where the Unicorn tribe came from in the play. The Gala was originally a celebration for the Dream Valley enclave after getting through the year intact and alive.

So... that's season one. Thank you to all who's followed this, either on fimfic or RPG.net. I know I can be a bit... impassioned, go against the grain and rambling. Tomorrow will be a simple 'summing up season one' post. Also, I might run a caption contest, but I'd have to gather my Soundwaves first! Again, thanks for reading this so far. Onto season two!

 

IMG_20140624_171840_zps569c283e.jpg

 

 

NEW THOUGHTS:

Over the seasons, the so-called Canterlot 'nobility' has been dragged through the mud, painted as a decadent, corrupt group with almost no redeeming features or values. The Grand Galloping Gala has been called Pony Versailles, which is not a compliment, or an utter snake pit. They're evil. The Gala is horrible. Poor Mane Six and poor Celly...

 

and it's FUCKING BULLSHIT!

First off, with the exception of Prince Blueblood, far as I can remember, none of those ponies were given any sort of noble/aristocratic titles. Second off, with the exception of Blueblood and Jet Set/Upper Crust from Sweet and Elite in season two, none of them have really done anything wrong! They like  fancy party! They go to art galleries! They act... slightly snooty, maybe?

 

Yeah, methinks compared to Discord, Tirek, Starlight Glimmer, Chrysalis, hell even lesser antagonists like the FlimFlam Brothers or Lightning Dust, we're not exactly talking the Legion of Doom, here.

 

This brings me to the maestro of this misery, Princess Celestia. Now, I do feel some sympathy for her if she finds this to be boring... but she squandered it be acting in one of the more petulant, whiny, arrogant and immature ways concerning the Gala. Find it boring? You're in charge, as we saw in Keep Calm and Flutter On! And hell, the populace worship the ground you trot on! Open a fucking dialog, don't ruin the night for guests that didn't do a damned thing to deserve having their night ruined!

 

And now we come to the Mane Six. Okay, I'm kinda sorry the night wasn't like what you thought it'd be... but that gave 3.5 of you no right to force it to conform to your expectations!

 

Lemme go through the list:

 

1. Twilight Sparkle: Didn't do anything wrong, really. Stood by Celestia's side, far as I could see, didn't interrupt anyone when they said hello or hurry them along.

2. Rarity: Patience of a saint. Blueblood, for all the excuses/reasons people give out, was an asshole to her. And she didn't deserve it. Not one bit.

3. Applejack: This is the .5. Applejack set up a stand outside... while there was free, almost certainly better food, inside. She also brought that cake in... but I can't really blame her for that. An accident due to events she had no knowledge of.

4. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie: Yeah, these three? Screw 'em.

 

So, to sum up... This episode leaves a bad taste in my mouth, due to the unfair treatment visited upon ponies that didn't do a damned thing to deserve it.

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Okay, moving on from the Gala, time for the debut of a complete, utter monster, a total bastard and villain. I speak, of course, of Discord. It's time to get away from his chaotic hell and get to...

The Return of Harmony

 

Originally posted here on June 26th, 2014.

 

We open at the Canterlot Sculpture Gardens. Cheerilee is leading a field trip of foals with speaking lines. She points out a statue representing friendship and the CMC pile into one another, giving each other dirty looks. Another statue is victory. Some people for some... reason or another think Celestia turned ponies into those statues. I do not because that's squicky as all hell and way too dark. The CMC argue some more and we get the 'Sweetie Belle is a dictionary' meme. They are really snappish. Cheerilee calls them over to Discord's statue and exposits a bit about his form. The CMC argue again and we get ominous panning/musical sting on Discord's statue. Then they come to blows while Cheerilee watches and shakes her head. Cheerilee... DO SOMETHING! And then back to the statue and his black heart begins beating. Cheerilee tells them they're all right and it represents discord, and they've represented it so well, each will write an essay on it. The others laugh, walk off and Discord's statue cracks.

Okay, most people think it was the CMC's bickering that led to him getting free. I don't. We've never seen them fight like this before or since. I see it as Discord's about to break free and he is causing them to fight. It'd be something he'd do, too. Anyway, back from commercial and Dash is flying around. A pink cloud  flies by and she gives chase, catching it. But it's cotton candy. A bunch more zoom around and one above her begins raining... chocolate milk. It's not supposed to rain until tomorrow! At Sweet Apple Acres, the clouds move in and begin raining. Dash reports a cola storm in Cloudsdale. It's just so... weird how 'normally' she reports that. The corn begins popping and Pinkie dives in like Scrooge McDuck into his money bin. Rarity walks by in a fashionable rain ensemble and asks if there's anything she could do without getting wet, or dirty. *Facepalm* And then the apples all grow so huge and heavy the trees bow down. Animals begine ating them and Applejack calls for Fluttershy, who pops up outta nowhere. She tries to talk to the animals, but they grow long legs and run around, freaking her and me out. And then Twilight and Spike walk in to complete the gang. Twilight's learned a new spell that will fix everything! And I call bullshit on that and...

Seven.

She fires it off, and nothing. And a part of me snickers at her. Rarity walks over and places her umbrella/saddle on Twilight. Plan B time, then. She has Dash corral all the clouds, which she is suddenly able to do when before she couldn't. Pinkie is just... laying in a puddle of the milk and drinking it. Ugh... Applejack lassos them down. She has Fluttershy tell the animals about the cotton candy clouds with a bit of reverse psychology. Twilight pontificates about teamwork and cooperation-working together! Dig it. And Spike burps up a scroll. Celestia wants to see them all in Canterlot! They go, using back alleys to avoid those still rightfully angry at them about last episode.

By the by, we have environmental damage, ruining of food and the body horror inflicted on those animals.

In Canterlot, Celestia is pacing back and forth. The others arrive and Twilight babbles. Celestia holds up a hoof and leads them down a corridor. An old foe has returned, named Discord. As she says it, Fluttershy looks up at a stained-glass window of him and we hear faint screams. Yeah, that's pretty damned unsubtle, there. To quote Celestia, "Discord is the mischievous spirit of disharmony." Before she and Luna stood up to him, Equestria was in a bad state. We see the window again and the screams are louder. After 'discovering' the Elements of Harmony, they turned him to stone. Good for them! But since no longer connected to the Elements, the spell's broken. She takes them to Canterlot Tower where the Elements are and tells them to use them. No obtuse planning, no wheels within wheels, just stop the son of a bitch. This, I LIKE. Twilight begins to ask why them, but Pinkie interrupts as she sees a window of them stopping Nightmare Moon. Celestia says they realized their full potential and it's them who are now connected to them. In other words, they can't use them. Okay, good. Twilight begins to say yes, but Pinkie interrupts and says eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain. I must now hit her.

Celestia unlocks the door and floats out a jeweled chest. Rarity wants the case! K... rarity's really being flanderized in this episode. Celestia says she has full confidence they'll defeat him. She opens it... and it's empty. She drops it and ominous echoing! Pinkie says she'll be outside in one of the puddles with a giant swizzle straw. *Cracks knuckles* So, it began earlier than I thought. Back from commercial, Celestia says the chamber's protected by a spell only she can break. Also, Pinkie's back. It doesn't make sense... and then we get evil laughter. "Make sense? Oh, what fun is there in making sense?" Personally, a metric ton more than nonsense. I'd be punching Wonderland residents left and right if I ever ended up there! Celestia shouts at him and, with a flash of light, becomes the glass portrait of himself. He was lonely encased in stone, but she wouldn't know that because he doesn't turn ponies to stone!

Well, no. That's no fun for him. Neither does Celestia. She does, however, encase evil bastards who turn other being's lives into Y7-rated versions of hell.

Celestia wants to know what he did with the Elements and he 'borrowed' them. He's also forgotten how 'grim' she can be. *Snort* Wrong princess there, bub. Dash sticks up for her and then flies at the window, smacking into it. Discord shows knowledge of them all and Pinkie again is an idiot by laughing at him standing on Twilight's head. Celestia butts in and asks about the Elements. Discord says he'll tell her, "My way." And I did it.... MY WAY! He does the little rhyme about finding the Elements back where you began, and Twilight interprets that as the hedge maze. To be honest, it makes sense. Celestia... does a knighting motion to Twilight with her horn. Pony what? More laughter and they're at the maze. Fluttershy's scared about going in there, but Dash flies up to scout ahead. Dash, good on you. Then Discord commits more body horror and removes wings and horns. Would've been a bit much if he removed Applejack's and Pinkie's hooves, methinks. He shows up in the flesh for the first time and laughs, complete with ominous thunder and lightning! He then says they should see the looks on their faces. I am legit surprised he didn't conjure up mirrors, actually. Twilight wants their wings/horns back and Discord said he took them to ensure no cheating. Yeah, pot? This is the kettle. You're black.

He lays out the rules. No flying and no magic. Hey, he broke that rule already! They get the Elements and petrify his ass! The second rule is everyone must play or the game is over. They do a pretty cheesy 'let's do this together' bit, complete with them putting their hooves forward. Then walls of plants spring up to separate them. For perhaps the only time in the show's history, I cheer Discord on. Twilight tells them to get to the center. All comply but Fluttershy, who legit freaks!

Back from commercial and it's time for Discord's mindraping to begin! First is Applejack, who follows some apples. Applejack... why are you following the rolling apples?! She finds herself in an orchard. the apples fall and roll around her in a pretty freaky manner. They turn into the three 'Keepers of the Grove of Truth'. And they remind me of the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock, actually. One question, and for some reason Applejack's not running out of there. Applejack says she doesn't trust them, but asks what will become of them. She peeks into a pond and sees them severing their friendship. We look up and see Discord as the puppetmaster to the apples. The apples tell her when the truth hurts, sometimes the lie's easier to take. Discord fades in, Applejack's eyes go wacky and she turns gray. A wall slides down and Twilight finds her as the orchard disappears. It's Liarjack, everyone, complete with scrunchy face! I won't be calling her that, though. Twilight's suspicious, but talks herself out of it. "Applejack wouldn't lie!" Well, she did in Party of One...

We pan up and see Pinkie bouncing along, finding a grove of balloons. It's the greatest-and first-balloon garden she's ever seen! She trips into the mud and the balloons laugh at her. Discord shows up and asks what's the matter. Pinkie says they're laughing at her, and her friends laugh with her. Discord's head also merges with a balloon and detaches from his body. The balloons laugh at her and turn into freaky effigies of the others. Discord's eyes go wonky, then Pinkie's eyes do that and she's mindraped. Twilight and Applejack show up and Pinkie's... not funny or happy. Twulight passes it off as stress. Yeah...

We cut to Rarity walking sideways and she slams into a wall. Discord says she's found the one thing that could rival his face for sheer beauty. *Snort* Yeah, right. Rarity's eyes immediately go wonky, but she fights it off! She walks away, but snaps faster than a pencil being squeezed by the Thing and rips at the wall, turning gray. We cut to her and several piles of debris, looking quite disheveled. We see a huge diamond, all set to be used in some evil mastermind's death ray. She hefts it and begins walking off as the remainder of the wall crumbles, revealing the others. Twilight is glad, then confused as we see what Rarity really has-a huge boulder. And not the character voiced by Mick Foley, either.

Over to Fluttershy, scared out of her mind. She tries to pony up, but three butterflies send her back into the foliage. She bounces back out and follows them, finding Discord as a butterfly. He tries vebral manipulation, but nothing. He gets so frustrated he brute-forces the mindrape onto her. Ah, so the games he played before with the others were him getting his jollies on their pain! Thanks, show! I needed full confirmation he was a sadistic bastard, too! Right on cue, the group meets with her. And ho, boy. Anyway, finally, Dash! She hops around, spotting a flash-animated cloud and, you guessed it, follows it! I'm guessing those had magic to them that 'suggested' they follow them. Otherwise, the Mane Six aren't looking too bright on that front. Anyway, she finds Discord lounging on a cloud hammock. Dash readys some hooficuffs, but Discord tells her she has a choice. He tells her the foundations of home will crumble without her. She sees Cloudsdale crumbling, and her eyes go wonky. And then Discord mindrapes her, gives her a box with her wings and gives her a choice.

Back to the group, Twilight is carrying on with what amounts to a madness mantra by now. Applejack says Dash is flying off, abandoning them. Twilight says that's a lie, but nope. Clouds roll in, the maze slides into the ground-I guess the light-cycles were destroyed-and DSiscord shows up, saying the no-magic/no wings rule was broken. He says this while flying and I now wish to unleash the Matrix on him. Well, spoilers for the Hasbroverse there... *Evil grin* He gives back the horns and wings and laughss, saying they're in for a big storm of chaos! Oh, noes! What will happen?! Well... time to find out!

The Return of harmony, part two

After a 'previously on' and credits, we come back to Discord still laughing, falling down. The Mane Six go nuts, Rarity showing off a surprising command of martial arts! Twilight tries to get them to stop, then tells Discord he's not playing fair. Twilight... are you kidding me?! Even Discord is surprised at her idiocy. She asks how they were supposed to find the Elements if he took away the maze and I am aghast at her right now. Discord does a flashback to him in the windows, and then informs her he never said they were in the labyrinth. He then taunts her some more. "Maybe the magic of friendship can help you!" He then leaves to begin turning Equestria into a Y7-filtered hellhole.

Twilight tries to figure it out while the others do funny background events, and she just wants to go home. Then she realizes back where they began... is Ponyville! And we cut to it and... ho, damn. Buildings are floating, chocolate rain is falling, and Twilight is trampled by body-horrified animals. "Good boy, Angel! Momma's so proud!" Oh, that's just... wow. And now the sky is being fucked with. The roads turn to soap, too. Discord calls it the new and improved Ponyville and says they're only the first of his changes. God, I am so glad they defeated him before that. Pinkie skates by, natch. Nice callback to Winter Wrap-Up, there. At Golden Oaks, Twilight is at the end of her rope. Fluttershy destroys the flowers in front, to boot. They're also all graying up even worse. Rarity refuses, since Spike will come and take Tom! So Twilight brings him on, on her back. Twilight, TK?

Inside, Fluttershy douses Spike with a bucket of water. He notices their color change, which brings up the question why Twilight didn't earlier if it's an actual physical effect. fluttershy does the 'Your face!' bit, and Twilight goes to look for the reference book to the Elements. Spike knows where it is and gets it, but Fluttershy grabs it and we get a game of keep-away. I hate keep-away. And considering how stressed Twilight is, I can forgive her forgetting about her magic. Spike tackles Fluttershy. Go, Spike! But it's not enough, and we get a big ball of crazy, that ends with Twilight finally with the book! Spike stands guard and inside are the Elements!

Twilight says they found them together, then notices they don't even care. She says she never thought her friends would turn into complete jerks! Yeah... Twilight? They've already shown they can be complete jerks in season one. She slaps necklaces onto them and big crown thingy onto her, while Spike becomes the new Rainbow Dash. Spike is actually a bit nervous about that, but too bad! Actually, that would've been interesting if it had worked. And hell, in a lot of ways Spike is more loyal than Dash. He sure puts up with more shit than her but sticks around, at least.

Twilight says they'll defeat Discord so they'll never have to see each other again. God dammit Twilight you're harsh here! You've gotta realize they've been put under mindrape, right? Outside, "Here comes Tom!" as Golden Oaks gets a taste of the season four finale. Discord says for them to fire when ready and paints a target on himself. His voice is pinging high on the sarcasm meter, too. :P They charge up, Twilight's eyes glow... and nothing. Discord applauds them and says harmony is dead. The others leave and Twilight snaps. "With friends like you, who needs... enemies?" And she turns gray. Aww. :( A single tear falls, hitting the ground as a broken heart.

We cut to her walking along, buffalo in tutus dancing and going to meet up with Ahiru and Mytho from Princess Tutu. Pies float and Screwball floats by. Discord pops in and we see Berry Punch getting doused with pepper. She sneezes and the walls, come tumbling down! Discord says she's got to get into the spirit of things! Twilight says not anymore, and Discord... pumps his arm and shouts, "YES!" Ah, he's glad he broke her and can reign this little hellhole. Good to know!

At Golden Oaks, Twilight tells Spike to pack. She throws her crown into the trash! on the floor, Spike is writing in pain and there's a pile of scrolls. Oh, dear lord! Celestia, stop it! Use teleportation! We get a montage of Twilight reading her old letters and her color returns. She flings him around, probably making him more nauseous. *Swats Twilight* STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!! She realizes her friendships are important and will help them save Equestria. She also lowers SPike into his bed, gently. I still must hit her for what she did, though. She notices Spike in pain and decides to let him rest... and then another scroll.

Okay, I am legit pissed at that. It's not funny!

At Sweet Apple Acres pigs fly. I like the NJO, Magical Mystery Cure and Keep Calm and Flutter On. I say the 2007 Transformers movie was bad and other stuff that's never gonna happen. Big Mac is digging in the ground... because he's been mind-swapped with Winona. Granny Smith is dancing, and I bet in massive loads of pain and Applejack is... reverse-eating an apple. Twilight shows up to fight for their friendship! She tackles Applejack to the ground and uses a memory spell to basically reboot Applejack. It works! Applejack's back! Then Fluttershy, who thought it was a nightmare. Next is Rarity, who asks they never speak of it again. Pinkie Pie is laughing, and finally Dash! but they can't find her! Pinkie finally does something productive and spots her on a cloud. Twilight tries to talk to her, but it goes as well as it expects and says she's staying in Cloudsdale, where it's AWE-SOME! Rarity wonders how she can think that's Cloudsdale, and Applejack pipes up the same way she thought Tom was a diamond. Applejack, bad form! Time for Plan B!

The balloon goes up, hopefully not towing Rose Tyler along with it, and Twilight tells Fluttershy to hold Dash down while Applejack lowers Twilight down for the spell. Fluttershy... flies down and asks her if she can hold Dash down for the spell. Fluttershy... you IDIOT! Dash flies off with the cloud and they give chase. Dash buzzes them, so Applejack lassos her, but the rope's not tied down and yanks Rarity and Pinkie into the air. Turns out Pinkie was supposed to secure the ropes. Oh, good lord, Pinkie! Rarity tells Fluttershy to fly faster, but she can't. If you had simply grabbed onto her to begin with...

Twilight says if they can't catch her, Discord wins. Fluttershy calls him a meanie and catches up. Applejack lassos her, pulls her down and memory spell time! They're all back! At Discord's throne of blood, where the rivers ran with tears! He's laughing it up, drinking the glass of chocolate milk and then tossing away the milk. The Mane Six show up, but he's not impressed. Applejack says he couldn't break apart their friendship, and he TKs her necklace around, saying not to lie to him. Okay, clever. He then does an indirect neck-lift on the others. Vader would be so proud. Twilight teleports into the middle of them and a protective bubble is formed around them. I... think that's the Elements beginning to activate. They land and she does a Patrick Stewart speech to him. Discord taunts them, and they power up. But first, Pinkie needs more chocolate milk. It wasn't funny the first time! The Elements really power up, flinging around bolts of energy. Discord has an epic Oh, crap moment and is petrified! Ah, good riddance to complete monsters! The Rainbow forms a double rainbow, then a dome that undoes all his chaos. Yay!

At Canterlot, it's celebration time! It's an homage to the end of ANH. The Elements get celebrated. Applejack winks at Celestia... for pretty much no in-universe reason. It's the ANH homage, pretty much, but makes no sense in-universe. But good on all of them! And we get a new stained-glass window, showing them defeating him. There's cheers, streamers and finally end credits!

Thoughts

WOW. These two episodes, what a way to open the season. Drama, action, tragedy, some humor and just overall they're great. I love both of them. Just pretty much great from start to finish.

Now, then. Discord... I think you can figure out how I view him. I'm not gonna lie, disseminate or, well, even apologize. I see him as an evil bastard. There's no blue or orange morality with him, no mitigating factors. He is pure scum, through and through. He knows he'd tormenting sapient beings. He knows he's hurting them, and he doesn't give a damn, as long as he can get his jollies. John de Lancie did a marvelous job with him, but he's not Q. he's not Q's son. He's not Trelane, or a rogue Organian or anything like that. Discord is... Discord. He's a separate character who has the same voice actor as Q, and was written as a Q expy, but he is NOT Q. There's no lesson with him, here. There is nothing but him turning Equestria into a Y7-filtered hellhole.

I am going to quote Onimar Synn, the main bad guy, from the JSA trade paperback Return of Hawkman:

 

"The vast majority of history's grand villains didn't think of themselves as such. I harbor no such illusions. I am perverse. A sadist, at heart. And I have had thousands of years to reflect upon this."

 

That's Discord. He mindraped the Mane Six for shits and giggles. That big "YES!" with Twilight shows he knows he broke her and is glad to have done it. It goes WAY beyond simply making sure he didn't get restoned. If he wanted to stop that then scatter them to the four corners of the planet, or into deep space!

Do I like Discord? I hate him, in a good way. I'm not sure how many of you remember form my Call of the Cutie review, but I compared him to Ted DiBiase. I'll pay to see him get beat, but I'll pay to see him. He's a great villain. Past that... yeah.

Some thoughts...

1. The CMC didn't break him out. He was already about to break out.

2. No, Celestia doesn't turn ponies to stone. That's him being an asshole.

3. The spell on him was broken due to Nightmare Moon and that whole fight. For my money's worth, the Mane Six dying while not breaking their bonds of friendship or the bit with the Tree of Harmony would not have freed him, since they didn't have the Elements for the rest of season two and he was still petrified. Or to go my favorite route, the Doylist route, if the writers didn't want to free him, they didn't have to. :P

Headcanon

I won't reveal Discord's origin in the Hasbroverse, but I will say Megan had a hand in his creation. He'll break free, mess with her and the Mane Six and then be resealed, never to be freed again. And no, he did not turn the flutter ponies into changelings. Ugh, I hate that bit of fanon!

Anyway, one hell of an opening. Tune in next time where Twilight snaps like a twig! Also, sorry. I have no Discord toy. Hasbro... where is he?! So here's a good substitute!

IMG_20140626_103526_zps8c8b7b92.jpg

Yeah, that says it all, doesn't it. :P

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Now, then. This one, ho boy. I guess if quality is Job One, then it's time for...

Lesson Zero

 

Originally posted here on July 2nd, 2014.

 

Strap in, folks. We're going for a ride! We open at dawn at Golden Oaks and Twilight is preparing for the day. it starts out alright, then we get extra extra ink and my alarm bells are going off already. Seventeen seconds in, too. She's got the things ready to create the checklist of things to do today. Item one is create the checklist. Spike faints and I am rolling my eyes in a bad way. The checklist thing is NOT funny! Back from commercial and we see Spike checking off stuff, including new parchment and quills. Twilight is flabbergasted because they ordered some a few days ago and I wish to smack her. Next is cupcakes. Except she ordered twelve and there's thirteen, and some of the icing's rubbed off the extra cupcake onto the next one. She... proceeds to ruin the Cakes' hard work and pretty much ruin the cupcakes. There are some pretty skeevy faces, too.

Eight.

Spike gets splattered, as does Missus Cake. Spike cleans himself off with his extra-long tongue. Missus Cake in the background has a worried look on her face. So do I, Cup. So do I. Back at Golden Oaks they finished everything except... triple-checking the checklist to make sure nothing was missed when double-checking it. Spike's got a claw cramp. tendinitis, perhaps? Twilight, take over writing for the rest of your life. He says it's good there's nothing to write to Celestia this week... and Twilight freaks. Apparently she's supposed to send a letter to Celestia every week about friendship. She gets all up in Spike's face and I'm about ready to get a restraining order on her!

I call bullshit even before the end of this episode! She didn't send a letter in 'A Bird in the Hoof' or 'Sonic Rainboom'! She searches for her calendar. Spike gets it and she TKs t over so hard she knocks him for a loop.

Nine.

Last letter was last week. If she doesn't send a letter by sundown she'll be... tardy. Spike pushes away the backdrop of Twilight's freak and says Celestia won't punish her. Twilight says she's afraid to take the chance. Like with Philomena? And the Gala?! You KNOW from previous episodes she's not like that! And Twilight begins going down a deep, dark hole, all the way to... magic kindergarten. Which is what she thinks Celestia will do to her if she doesn't send in a report. And we get that infamous imagine spot. Spike rolls it up and says its' ridiculous. Twilight agrees, because she's going to find a problem and solve it! The point whizzes by her head at superluminal velocity, it appears. She asks Spike, but he has nothing. Spike, either lie or tell her about the ultra-neurotic friend who's stressing out over nothing that she has SEEN is nothing!

In town, we see the sun moving to the ticking of a clock with a windmill. This is the writers and animators showing Twilight's stress. Twilight says she's got it. She hears Rarity crying out and runs to Carousel Boutique, finding her crying. It's The! Worst! Possible! Thing! She... lost her diamond-encrusted purple ribbon. Hey, Rarity? Discord and/or Nightmare Moon ring a bell? She then TK's a fainting couch over and... faints. This is her running theme, folks. they diva-fied her! Twilight looks away and is all sorts of glad Rarity's got a problem. Isn't this how one of the Flash's rogues got his start? Twilight launches into a speech, but Rarity finds it. Twilight asks if there's anything else wrong, and Rarity asks for her to get her measuring tape. Twilight, this is how Spike feels 27/7. Twilight storms out, huffy Rarity found her ribbon. Twilight floats it over and leaves. Rarity asks if there's something wrong, but she's gone. Strike one!

Back at it and we see Dash going all Karate Kid on Applejack's barn, and I don't mean Daniel-san! We see Applejack with a helmet on and ducking. Twilight thinks they're fighting. "How wonderful!" Wait, who's the bad guy again? she tells Dash to stop and pulls an Applejack with her tail using her TK. She says she can help them solve their problems! Dash is confused, Twilight is condescending and I am kinda hungry. We cut to her pulling a Deanna Troi, complete with her mane tied back, Dash on a couch and some floaty stuff. Dash says Applejack... asked her to go all Mythbusters on her barn, so she can put up a new barn. Wait, where'd she get the money for that? She says to get to it and Dash takes off. Applejack pulls a Burt Gummer and says to take cover. Dash flies up and does a... crash into the barn that results in a rainbow-colored mushroom cloud. Okay, I have problems with this episode-mostly Twilight-but this? This was awesome. :D

Applejack and Twilight dig themselves out of the debris, Applejack ecstatic and Twilight depressed. More sun-ticking animation that's shorthand for Twilight's deteriorating mental condition is shown. Her mane's starting to go, too. She says she should've come here, first. Fluttershy's always got a fear to get over. We see... a bear roaring at her. And then Fluttershy beats the bear up! MORTAL KOMBAT! Twilight is aghast, and so am I! And then... she breaks its neck. Yogi, no! Twilight walks off, apparently not caring about the apparent homicide... and then we see Fluttershy is massaging it. I call bullshit on that. That was an asspull. That was not what was happening beforehand in that scene.

On a park bench Twilight pulls a Gollum, or maybe Two-Face? Twillum? No, that sounds like a 'shipping portmanteau! Spike comes along with the ruined cupcakes and asks what the hell's going on as her server board crashes. Twilight hears laughter, sees some ponies playing jump-rope and it turns into the children from Village of the Damned. Spike pops the imagine spot-okay, is he wearing the Mask? Freakazoid at this point? He yells at her to snap out of it and he's worried. He tells her to go to the picnic and starts to say to relax, don't do it, when you wanna go through it. But Twilight cuts him off like a lightsaber, TKs the cupcakes and runs to 'see' her friends! Spike, she hasn't come to her senses! Don't join her in McDonaldland!

At the picnic, Pinkie-wait, why didn't Twilight go see her?! UGH! Pinkie puts down a basket, pulls off a blanket and balloons float from it, taking the basket with it. Wait, Dorothy still needs to get aboard! Dash is there with her Oppai Gangnam sunglasees and the othes are chilling. Rarity forgot the plates and we get another worst possible thing/fainting couch. Legit points for the others looking at her like she lost her mind. "What? You didn't expect me to lay on the grass, did you?" *Thinks to Dog and Pony Show* YES!!!!!!!!! Dash lays back and the cupcakes box drops next to her. We get a Dash-eye view of Twilight and holy shit it's BAD! Slasher smile a'la the Joker, hair all... frazzled. Applejack asks if she's alright, and Twilight explodes. Not literally, but the rate this is going I kinda wish she had... They ask her what's wrong and she pulls a Rarity. She tells them her letter's late and they all sigh in relief. She... begins 'porting around screaming how she'll be tardy, and they laugh at her. Okay... point against the Mane Five, there. But only one. They seem to know Celestia better than Twilight does at this point. Applejack tries to get her to calm down/see reason and Twilight rants and raves. Okay, about nine-thousand points against Twilight. Applejack tries to get her to sit down and stop sweatin' the small stuff, but Twilight 'ports out of there. Rarity calls her a drama queen, and the Pacific Ocean is wet. At least there's a 'relatively speaking' from her, but yeesh!

Back at Golden Oaks, and clock is ticking... for BIG SAVINGS at your local Chevrolet dealer! she decides to 'make' a friendship problem and she opens a chest. We cut to outside and a bird landing in a nest, then twilight pops her head up... and where's her horn? That bird's not moving! That laugh and look is genuinely disturbing, too. she spies the CMC playing with a ball, and then Twilight tele-frags right into it and says the infamous, "Hi, GiRLS!"

Ten. Eleven.

This... is not good. I any sense of the word. It's creepy, off-putting and plain WRONG. Apple Bloom tries to say hi and she bulldozes right through them. Scootaloo is hunkered down and legit SCARED. She holds up the tattered Smarty Pants doll. I own the mini-figure version of it that came with the Cake family. She wants to give them to the CMC, but they don't want it. Smarty Pants even has a quill and notebook to pretend do homework. That explains so much about Twilight. Sweetie Belle repeats that she likes her mane. Twilight wants them to fight over it and then solve it, but they don't want it or Twilight.

And then Twilight casts the want-it, need-it spell and basically mind-rapes the three. Ohhai, Discord!

Twelve.

They begin fighting over it, not this bad since... Discord. "Works every time!" And what the fuck does THAT mean?! Twilight tries to 'solve' the problem, but the ball of crazy knocks into her. She jumps in, but gets knocked out and into Big Mac. Big Mac gets the doll, but now he's affected with it. Then Mayor Mare, then a large chunk of the town, including Bonbon coming back from her Thimble Theater auditions. Where they all came from I have no idea. This episode's on the Crazy Train. I wish it was the Soul train, but that's just me. It's a fucking riot. Twilight can't get a clear shot at it.

Thirteen.

At the picnic, Applejack hears the rustling. Winona's not there, though, so herding might be a bit tough. It runs through and... that doll's pretty tough. Twilight tells them what happened, and that the day is almost over. Applejack points out 'not almost'. the sun goes down and Celestia shows up. And she is rightfully PISSED. She cancels out the spell and everyone wanders off, probably with at least bruising and/or contusions or concussions. Big Mac sees Smarty Pants and takes her. At this point I don't give a damn. Celestia tells her to meet her in the library, hopefully to be arrested. Twilight says goodbye and she'll be in Magic Kindergarten. They ask what's what and leap to their own conclusions, with Rarity doing her show bit. And this time really meaning it.

At Golden Oaks, Twilight tells Celestia about the letter thing, and Celestia says she's a wonderful student and doesn't need a letter every week to know that. And at the worst possible time, the others burst through the door at the worst possible time. They say it's all their fault for not listening and for not stopping her

No... it really isn't your fault for her actions. And you did tell her to stop worrying and tried to invite her to the picnic. Besides, if you tried she wasn't gonna listen and would've teleported out of there!

Celestia... decides they all learned a valuable lesson and decides they all will report to her about friendship. So they're punished for Twilight's mind raping of the CMC and the riot she caused. Twilight asks how she learned, and it turns out despite the pain, Spike wrote her his worries. Okay, in this episode, Spike is THE hero. Twilight gives him a hug, and we cut to them dictating their letter. Spike at the end says he didn't have anything to learn because he was the only sane person, but they laugh at him. Hah... no.

Thoughts

I... this episode was disturbing. And no, that's NOT a good thing!

Twilight suffered a gradual nervous breakdown, ending with her mindraping the CMC and nearly destroying Ponyville. Last episode Discord mindraped the Mane Six and nearly destroyed Ponyville. I just... I don't know what to say. I really do not know what to say here. It was... chilling. It was wrong. It reminds me why I'm not a horror fan!

The thing is... she's wrong. On all accounts. No, she doesn't have to send a report every week. She's NOT sent a report every week. Celestia's a lot more forgiving than she thinks, and has SEEN that. I can feel some empathy and pity for her... up until the spell. Then it's all out the window.

Also, if I may quote the Wallbangers page, Twilight could've written a report about any of those problems.

 

Sheesh, it's not like they're hard to wring out of the most basic activities. Rarity flipping out because she can't find a ribbon? "Dear Princess Celestia, it's good to take care over the gifts you give to others, but not to stress yourself out over them." Brutish Rainbow aggressively smashing up AJ's house? "Dear Princess Celestia, sometimes what might seem to be a flaw in your friends can actually be a strength, and strengths are best used when they help friends out." Fluttershy beating up a bear? "Dear Princess Celestia, I learned that your friends can have surprising reserves of strength, and that it's not right to assume you know everything about them."

 

Do I blame the others? Although they could've stepped it up a bit, by that time she was too far gone IMHO. And they didn't make her do.... that. Am I being too harsh on her? Maybe? I don't know! Lord knows I suffered my fair share of breakdowns, but here's the thing. Before it got out of control, I got help.

Twilight Sparkle needs help.

Other things... Spike was made of win. Rarity was awful in this episode. Her only real bits flanderized her horribly. The bear thing still makes no sense and even after there's no real way to interpret that as 'massage therapy'. Nice to see Celestia so powerful. The checklist thing is beyond grating. I've been tempted off and on to write a fic where Rarity and Applejack find out about the want-it, need-it spell cast on their sisters and are pissed at Twilight. Not sure what else, if anything, I can say at this point about the episode.

Also, sorry about the little lack of updates. Trying to get the next chapter of my fic 'Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds' done up. Tune in tomorrow for Luna Eclipsed, or 'Pinkie Pie, STOP IT!"

 

 

 

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Alright, this is... not gonna be a fun one, folks. Here, my ire for Pinkie Pie really starts. Doesn't help it's a Halloween-themed episode either. I'm not that big a fan of that holiday. So, time for...

Luna Eclipsed

 

Originally posted here on July 7th, 2014.

 

We open with Spike... in a dragon costume. That's meta. He looks up the stairs and complains to Twilight they'll be late for the 'Nightmare Night' festival. And Twilight appears at the top with triumphant music and background! No, no! Twilight, your Trixie costume is all wrong! The Great and Powerful one disapproves! She's got on a hat with bells and a cape. Spike asks if she's the creaky grandpa from Ponyville Retirement Village. Get off his lawn, that's his snack! No, she's Star Swirl the Bearded, the one who wrote... 'that' spell. He also created the amniomorphic spell. So he's the Wizard of Stallionlo  Park, then.  She grills him, but he's saved by a knock at the door. It's foals, all dressed up and asking for candy. It it very adorable. Granny Smith is chaperoning them and should've been asleep five hours ago. I can... actually empathize. I'm an early to bed guy myself. Twilight floats candy into their bags, but a colt bursts through the lines... and wobbles. He's not a Weeble, so he falls down. He's Pipsqueak the Pirate from Trottingham and he's our breakout character for the episode. It's his first Nightmare Night ever! I... can't read much into that since the first time I ever went out trick-or-treating was when I was seven or so. So, yeah.

And then our villain for the episode comes in. I speak, of course, of Pinkie. She's in a chicken costume and says she's never too old for free candy! Okay, but she's too old for going door-to-door. Twilight's a bit miffed as she gives her a piece of candy. She then says that Twilight makes a fantastic weirdo clown before STEALING all the rest of the candy from the bowl! *Slaps Pinkie* Twilight's indignant at people not knowing who she is.

Back from commercial, Twilight expostis about Star Swirl, and we get some awesome costumes from everyone around. I'll admit, I've got some big problems with this episode, but the costumes and scenery are great. Big Mac's towing a cart with some marvelous mares, there. Big Mac tonight! So, Star Swirl created two hundred spells and was the most important conjurer of the pre-Classical Era. I'll take him as an alicorn over you, Twilight. And I don't even read the comics! She thinks about starting up a group for him, and Spike doesn't care because he's got a massive pile of candy. Pinkie rushes up with her bag of candy, and then we see Dash dressed as a Shadowbolt. This is like Batman dressing up as one of the Joker's goons. She flies over with a thundercloud and she hits Pinkie with a bolt of lightning. She also causes Spike to choke on his candy. Dash, not cool. She's completely remorseless and goes off to screw with others. Excuse me, Dash. I need to smack you. Twilight shows some compassion to Spike as she floats him onto her back.

We cut to an apple-bobbing tank, hopefully Gummy-free. Applejack as a scarecrow is running it. I think she's looking for Missus King somewhere. She thinks is a country music singer. Willie Nelson, perhaps? One of the Oakridge Boys? El-vira! Carrot Top and Ditzy bob for apples, but then Ditzy shows off some stuff Doctor Whooves showed her by appearing in the tub next scene and pulling the plug. On a stage, Mayor Mare has dressed as a clown. Oh, so she's going as herself this Nightmare Night? She introduces Zecora who will tell the legend of Nightmare Moon, and we get an in-joke with Spike mocking Mayor Mare. Zecora appears in a puff of smoke, and thirty-six seconds later Dash shouts out, "Magic, schmagic, boo!" ;) She's dressed all up as an Evil Enchantress and looks awesome!

She leads them out to a... statue of Nightmare Moon. That has never been seen before and raises a metric ton of questions. She uses green dust to create illusions of Nightmare Moon. The costumes are to disguise them from her, and Nightmare Moon wants to eat them. Pinkie also put on the wrong costume, she should be an ostrich with her head in the ground like that. And the candy's to placate her from really returning. Pinkie leads them to dump candy there, but then an ominous wind kicks up. Clouds spiral around the moon and...

Okay, like I said, I got problems with this episode. But this, right here? This. Is. AWESOME!

Princess Luna rides a chariot that looks like the Munsters made it, towed by a pair of bat-pony hybrids right out of a pony's nightmares. Lightning flashes and Luna's got a jack-o-lantern's illumination thing going on with her face, there. Pinkie screams it's Nightmare Moon... which is dumb of her, and runs off. Pinkie you KNOW it's not Nightmare Moon. You were there when she was beaten, you dumb cluck! We come back from commercial with her running through the town with the foals, past one pony who actually kinda looks like a grown-up Babs. Luna steps off the chariot and everyone bows to her save Twilight. She goes to greet her, but Spike stops her. Spike... not the best move here. Luna smiles and then turns the dial past eleven as she speaks, saying she has graced their town so they may see she's a creature of nightmares no longer. They'll change this dreadful celebration-which I agree it is-into a bright and glorious feast! And they all creep away from her. Hey, everyone. Remember the SERIES PREMIERE and the party you threw for her?!

Pinkie cements worst Mane Six status by completely and deliberately misinterpreting Luna's words into her feasting on them all. Pinkie, fuck you. Luna's voice lowers and she says she wants screams of delight, not screams of terror. Screams of delight... I'll back off from that one. :P She stomps the ground and she craters it. The rest cower before her as she points her hoof at them, like a deer in headlights. She stalks away, not even bothering with the Traditional Royal Farewell! Twilight goes to talk to her, and Spike joins in the panic patrol. Twilight, however, displayin rationality, says she saw her be changed back to Luna and she's having trouble adjusting, which kinda makes me wonder what the hell Celestia's been doing with her for the past year.

We cut to Twilight finding Luna in front of that horrible Nightmare Moon statue, offering it a piece of candy. It is sad and makes me want to punch Pinkie with a freight train. Twilight introduces her and Luna knows who she's dressed up as. Even got the bells right. She even knows it's Twilight and then begins floating in the air while her voice echoes like it's in front of a fan, expositing a bit about the series premiere. Twilight's not sure if Luna's happy or not about it, but she is. Twilight questions the bullhorn effect, and it's the Royal Canterlot Voice, useful for balconies and speeches, not so much for conversation muzzle-to-muzzle. Twilight's beard is bent and somewhere ZZ Top sheds a tear. Twilight says she should change her approach a bit. Lower the volume, for one. Luna's not sure she can.

We cut to Fluttershy's cottage. Twilight's sure she can help because she's so shy and demure, and the irony fairy bites back with Fluttershy's voice shaking the door as she says no candy or visitors. I'm with you there, Flutters! Twilight announces herself and she opens the door, and calls Luna Nightmare Moon. Is long-term memory a problem or something? She slams the door shut. Twilight gets in and we hear some chaos inside, complete with the standard goat-bleating. She forces Fluttershy outside and Luna asks for lessons in lowering her voice. Fluttershy looks like she's about to stroke out from the stress and... I can't blame her too much. Nightmare Night sounds like her worst day of the year for her. She says lesson's over and flies back, but Twilight slams the door on her and we get concussed Fluttercake. Luna's voice lowers by a few dozen decibels, and it's all good! She TK's Fluttershy over to hug and thank her, but Fluttershy is still pretty Dazed and Confused. And on cue Awful Pie comes by, asking to be hid. She sees Luna and says Luna stole Fluttershy's voice so she could be gobbled up without no one noticing. Luna is visibly distraught and hurt by this and I am legit PISSED. We'll get back to why later.

At the festival proper we see some pumpkin-chucking. Next up, the Mythbusters! Luna walks in and the music stops, complete with needle scratch. Luna's depressed and thinks no one will like her. Considering Pinkie's actions, I can't blame her! Twilight's leading her to Applejack, who is saving Pipsqueak from a watery demise. Good on her. She sees Luna... and cowers. *Sigh* Twilight says Luna's looking for advice on how to fit in. Applejack stands up and gives her some advice. Applejack, thank god! Luna asks what 'fun' is. I'll get back to this, too. She tries the spider-tossing game and Applejack cheers her on! Yay! She enjoys it! Next is pumpkin-chucking, and we get the 'Fun has been doubled' meme. Applejack suggest apple-bobbing, and 'brags' she's got the best apples in Equestria. Luna asks to be called 'Luna', and this looks like a hope spot. She might fit in and be accepted! She spots Pip about to fall into the tank again and goes to save her... just as Pinkie shows up. She spots Luna saving Pip and yells she's trying to eat him. I have no words for my hatred of her right now. I am dead-on serious here how effin skeevy she is here.

She screams for them to run, and they do. Luna's understandably pissed and lightning flashes. And the ponies who were accepting of her... back off in fear. I am... so angry right now. Luna asks for them not to back away and Luna tries so HARD to get them back, tossing a rubber spider at them. She then... makes it come to life. Along with the rest. They crawl onto the net and she asks how many points she gets. This is so sad I have no words. One of them crawls onto Carrot Top's face and it's chaos an bedlam. Luna finally loses it and I can't blame her one bit. She decrees that this 'insulting celebration' is to be cancelled. For-EVER!

And you know what? I'm 100% on her side. This thing IS insulting to her.

Back from commercial, Applejack's miffed since they had things going their way. We pan to see the townsfolk sad and a foal crying she wanted to be a zombie next year. I am... not really sympathetic to them. Twilight lifts off a hoof, revealing the image of Nightmare Moon and says it's not over. She's gonna do what she does best! Completely misuse her magic in a way that if it was anyone else, jail-time would be the only option? No, lecture her! Wait, Luna doesn't need a lecture, she needs Pinkie's head on a platter! She runs around and find Luna on a bridge. She says Nightmare Night's one of the most popular celebrations they have. And so what? It's still insulting and demonizes Luna. Luna snarks at hr and walks off. Twilight thinks for a moment, and we fade back to Ponyville. We see Pinkie, who spots a piece of candy. She pulls a Woody Woodpecker on it, eats it and follows a trail. Twilight tackles her and tells her screaming or shrieking. She has Pinkie promise not to shriek, and Luna comes forward. Twilight introduces Luna, and Luna remembers her horse hockey. She asks if Pinkie's come to make peace. Oh... :( They raise hooves... and here comes Dash. Oh, no. I just... no. Dash causes some lightning, Luna's eyes flash and Pinkie screams and runs, leaving behind an egg. I don't care about explaining the egg. Dash laughs and I feel the need to KILL her. I know she didn't mean anything too bad by it and I don't give a damn. Because the worst is yet to come.

Twilight 'ports herself in front of Pinkie and tackles her to the ground. She says Luna's not scary or wants to gobble her up, and Pinkie says... she knows. She knows she won't gobble her up. Because "Sometimes it's just really fun to be scared." Oh, OH!!!!!!!!! But Luna doesn't WANT to be scary you fucking idiot!!!!!!!! And Twilight says... she's a genius. Oh, I have no words. Twilight goes back to Luna and says she's figured out why she's having trouble. I know why. It's Pinkie Pie. But nope, she'll explain on the way.

Back at Ponyville, Pip is sad his first Nightmare Night is the last. Zecora shows up and says they've still got candy to give. Mayor Mare pulls a Pinkie and says they don't want Nightmare Moon to gobble them up. Spike walks by, saying the rainbow wig kills it. Applejack says it'll sound like fun and we see them placing candy at the statue, which still bugs the hell outta me. As pip comes up, the wind kicks up and Luna's voice booms up, pleased for the candy and she'll eat it instead of them. And she shows up... as Nightmare Moon. Okay, cute she spits out the fake fangs. She's not sure that did what it was supposed to do, and Pip comes back and asks if Luna could come back next year and scare them again. Luna's confused, and so am I. Lune decides to bring Nightmare Night back. I have no idea why, and Pip says she's his favorite princess ever!

Luna's happy and goes full Voice, but tones it down at the end. Twilight writes a letter to Celestia as we see Luna finally fitting in, and that... I can't finish. Dash gets hers in the end from Luna, and I laugh at her.

Thoughts

I am... really conflicted here. I got problems with this one. Okay, I love Luna. I love her voice, her mannerisms, everything about her. She's large, in charge and the Voice is awesome. She exudes cool. Twilight and Applejack were great, too. I love Twilight trying to jhelp her out and Applejack, despite some initial nervousness, warming up to her really quickly. Pip's cool. The costumes and designs were amazing. But...

1. Nightmare Night? Really? Why is this a thing? Why if you've got a statue of her and an entire holiday you didn't know who Nightmare Moon was in the pilot? And why did Celestia let this go on?

2. Luna's behavior. While aweomse... what has she been doing for the past year?! Celestia, your sister's back! Might wanna bring her up to speed a bit! It's like she just got out of the moon YESTERDAY! No lessons about the Voice, about Nightmare Night, about anything like that? SOD-breaking.

3. Hey, Ponyville? Remember that celebration for Luna's return in the premiere! Apparently not. Good lord you have goldfish memories! I get it's night and the holiday and all, but good grief!

4. And the big one... Pinkie Pie. I LOATHED her in this episode. She came 'this' close to completely destroying Luna, made sure at pretty much every turn to ruin any progress Luna made at being accepted and riled the townsfolk up. And the thing is she KNEW that Luna was Luna. "Sometimes it's just fun being scared." For you, not for the person who didn't want to be scary! Luna wanted to be accepted and fit in, and you ruined it for her, you insensitive jackass! And in the end, it was Luna who learned the lesson, not you, even though you needed the Encyclopedia Britannica thrown at your head by the end!

Some people might say, "How could Luna not know she was being scary?" Well... she didn't know what 'fun' meant and spoke in a way a thousand years out of date. Maybe she really didn't know how to tone it down. She DID need help just to not speak at a level capable of outshouting Black Bolt. And Luna had no idea Pinkie was doing it on purpose, either. So... yeah.

Hell, think about it. Why did Luna go Nightmare Moon? She felt shunned and alone. Nice job, Pinkie. You had this close to reverting. You suck.

So to sum up, some great bits but Pinkie was a horrid little troll in this episode. There's a lot of confusion here and aside from Luna, Twilight and to a lesser extent Applejack, this episode's not one of my favorites.

Later tonight, Sisterhooves Special. I need something a lot cheerier after this one.

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Alright, folks. Time to move away from the pink menace, at least for now. Time for one of the best things for me, family! Time for some comedic hijinks between two pairs of polar opposites as we attend the ...

Sisterhooves Social

 

Originally posted here on July 8th, 2014.

 

We open on a slow zoom onto carousel Boutique, between a pair of symbolic birds. Rarity is dreaming, a pleasant one from what I can see. Smoke wafts in and she wakes up in an understandable panic. After tumbling down the stairs we see it's Sweetie Belle in the kitchen with a thick haze of smoke overhead. She was gonna serve breakfast in bed, and Rarity groans. Wacky hijinks, perhaps? After the credits Rarity flings off her sleep mask and stalks over, passing by two ponies in the background. Wait, what the heck?! Okay, that's awesome. :D Magnum PI there speaks up and Rarity identifies him and the Nanny there as her parents! And you have no idea how glad I was to see her with parents alive and well. Also, since she's living by herself, then it's OBVIOUS Rarity's true age is at seven billion, two hundred ninety million, three hundred sixty-three thousand, seven hundred forty-two and seven months!  :p

Okay, minor aside, I'm not fond of age debates. They can occasionally give me a worse headache than a candy shop that was once at the Fox Run mall in Newington. Even a few minutes in it and I was nauseous for a large part of the day afterwards. Not fun. Anyway, they say Sweetie Belle cooked, or fossilized, the breakfast all on her own! She even burnt the juice. I'd arch an eyebrow but I've seen even worse than that. Mom gave her lessons and wouldn't be surprised if she had a cutie mark in fancy cooking by the end of their vacation. Rarity's caught a bit off-guard by this revelation.

Sweetie Belle puts down a bowl of gray goo. Applesauce? Nope, toast! Okay, that is pushing it a bit! She goes to grab her stuff from Dad's wagon, and Rarity makes sure it's seven whole days. Yes, just like Project: Backstep. And six nights, too. That was a movie starring Harrison Ford, right? Rarity says she's got a long list, but she supposes Sweetie Belle can be added to the list. Oh, Rarity, don't pull a Twilight! There's a large crash and we see Sweetie with a lot of luggage. "Just a few necessities." Hah! :D Outside the Belle's are taxied away to wherever their vacation is. Rarity leads Sweetie Belle inside and says they have to clean up, which confuses Sweetie Belle. Well, the breakfast is burnt. She says it's not that burnt, but I think it's carbonized by now. Rarity starts a proper breakfast and Sweetie Belle wants to help, but Rarity says she'll get things started. We have a montage of rarity cleaning and cooking, with Sweetie Belle looking more and more frustrated. She finally pipes up, and rarity says she can... put the garnish on the plate. Rarity micro-manages her and says she's looking for perfection. The table gets tipped, the breakfast spilled... and the parsley lands perfectly. I believe that's either Karma, justice, irony or some killer combo of all three. Either way? HAH!

Rarity finishes cleaning. Again. She notes the time and asks Sweetie Belle to take the dirty towels to the laundry room. So will the bubble-headed bleach blonde come on at five and tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye? She cheerfully pushes the basket into the laundry room, saying she'll make herself useful. Hmm, a tub of soapy water, no machines there. She spots a sweater hanging on a line and gets a gleam in her eye! No, Sweetie Belle! It was only a reference  to a Don Henley song! We cut to outside. Rarity peeks outside, does a double-take and sees it and the laundry on the line. She's aghast and it turns out the incredibly expensive wool sweater, in the heat of the sun, and not the Heat of the Night, will shrink. And it does. It might fit on one of Rarity's dolls, but that's it. She tamps down her anger and decides to create, then steps in a bucket of water. Hey, that's on you, Rarity! She tells Sweetie Belle to stay out of trouble. Sweetie Belle's miffed.

We cut to her inside, and ohhai, Sweepie Belle! she remembers Rarity telling her to stay out of trouble, and she decides to draw. Happy little trees, perhaps? She starts, but decides it needs something. She spots a chest full of sapphires. Rarity walks in some time later, floating a some fabric and scissors. Sweetie Belle rushes over with the drawing and Rarity screams! She races over to the chest and Sweetie Belle's all Scootalooed down on the floor. Turns out these are extremely rare sapphires for a very important client. Sweetie Belle is sorry... but that doesn't really cut it too well. "Sweetie Belle, what am I going to do with you?" And Sweetie Belle pulls a Pinkie and says they could paint, ride bikes... wait, bikes for ponies? That just sounds weird. After some other stuff, Rarity cuts to the chase and says she has to go find more gems. Sweetie Belle asks if she can help, but Rarity gives her a big NO! Okay, slightly harsh, Rarity. She finally gives her a smaller no and says to clean up after herself. And find something to do that doesn't leave a large mess.

Sweetie Belle wanders, not cleaning up after herself and finds another room that's pretty messy. This can only end SO well! Rarity comes back with the gems, peeks into the messy room and nearly strokes out. Sweetie Belle literally pops up like she's got springs in her legs, which would explain a lot, actually. It's her inspiration room, organized chaos! Oh, so we don't need Discord for chaos. Good to know! She was planning her new fashion line, and now everything's put away! Sweetie Belle counters that every time she made a mess, Rarity got upset. Rarity rounds on her and says it's her mess, in HER house! Sweetie Belle says she thought it'd make her happy, and Rarity herself springs up, grinds her teeth and says she needs some time alone. Sweetie Belle reaches for her, but Rarity harumphs and that's that.

Outside, Sweetie Belle's walking along, head hung low. She spots a poster of two ponies with stars in their eyes and a blue ribbon on it. Apple Bloom shows up and asks how the sleepover's going. Sweetie Belle says it's 'smashing' in a mocking voice and kinda... waddles off. She hops onto the base of some statue and wishes she and Rarity could do something special together. I know that feel. There was a seven-year gap between my brother and I, eight between me and my sister. Apple Bloom zooms over and exposits about the Sisterhooves Social. It's a sisters competition with various events. Sweetie Belle says Rarity will think it's excellent! And... we do a Gilligan cut to Rarity calling it ridiculous. Okay, little harsh, there. It doesn't sound... 'clean'. Yeah, calling bullshit on that. They begin arguing and Sweetie Belle gets angry. She says she'll try the Social without a sister, then maybe the rest of her life without a sister!

Whoa, Sweetie Belle! Calm down, kid. You do NOT want to spend your life without your siblings. It's not a good feeling.

Rarity fights back and says she's better off with no sister. Rarity, same thing. you don't want that! But, they butt heads and Sweetie Belle storms out. After the commercials we're at Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack and Apple Bloom are miffed Rarity called the Social 'uncouth', with Apple Bloom eating an apple, burping and asking what 'uncouth' meant while spitting out bits of apple. Heh. Sweetie belle says Rarity thinks she's uncouth, and Applejack points out Rarity thinks everything's uncouth. She tells Sweetie belle to give her time. She'll come around, and she has a nice moment with Apple Bloom. Aww. :) Applejack asks her if she'll help with the chores. Sweetie Belle says she messes everything up, but that's just stinkin' thinkin'. And I am so glad that never caught on...

Applejack kicks some rotten apples at Apple Bloom, who catch it with a basket balanced on her brainpan. They're for the pigs to eat! They make a game of it. Sweetie Belle says she'll try, but gets an apple right on the horn. It's hard work, which is why they do it TOGETHER! Cooperation, working together-dig it! Back at Carousel Boutique, Rarity's still steamed. She's finished, looks around and suddenly i-dea!~ We get a cut to her finishing up a line of clothes she calls 'Full Spectrum Fashions'. she ponders about Sweetie Belle's involvement, but reiterates she shouldn't have touched anything without her permission. Back at Sweet Apple Acres and Applejack's getting grape ready for be squished. I'll get Lucy and Ethel over for this one, folks. Sweetie Belle calls it grape juice. I say, "Sure, show. Let's go with that." Sweetie Belle also says Rarity would kill her if she got grape juice near her outfits. Apple Bloom splashes Applejack with gunk, Applejack jumps in and... Applejack gives her a noogie. Also, the tub is bigger on the inside. *GASP* Applejack is a Time Lord!

Back at Carousel Boutique, Rarity floats her new line into the laundry room to be washed. She spies the sweater and is pissed again. Then she steps onto Opal's tail, and gets the idea to put it on the cat. "Opal-wopal!" Gag me with a spoon! She tries to stay angry at Sweetie Belle and says she's lucky this turned out so well. Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch for me. And back to Sweet Apple Acres and the Apple sisters are herding sheep. And one of them says they could've just asked which raises ALL sorts of odd/uncomfortable questions that I'm not addressing. And BACK to the Boutique and Rarity's almost finished with the outfit with the sapphires, but she's out. And now she's angry again. She goes over to the drawing and sees it.. and it's of the two sisters in a heart. Aww... Her heart grows 2.5 sizes and she goes for her Oscar here, declaring she'll never be sisterless again! I... wish I've seen a second of Gone with the Wind to make a reference.

That night, Sweetie Belle and the Apples are having a cookout. Rarity finds them but Sweetie Belle turns her nose up at her. The Apples are pretty uncomfortable at this as the Belle's go back and forth, with Sweetie Belle saying she's adopting Applejack as her new big sister! Ouch... Apple Blooms' not happy about that, then Sweetie Belle says Applejack should be Rarity's big sister! I think this is starting to look like the Summers family chart. Rarity says she doesn't need lessons and lists off some stuff for them to do, but it's only stuff Rarity wants to do. Sweetie Belle turns her down. Apple Bloom confirms she and Applejack are still sisters, heh. And Rarity asks why she's gotta be so good. Applejack says it's give and take, and Element of Generosity or not, Rarity's almost always had a problem with that, hasn't she. But no, she gives lesson! Reasonable demands! Applejack uses an apple pie metaphor to try and work some sense into her. And Rarity, in her own way, figures it out! Well, maybe. Next scene is coming.

Back from commercial and it's the next day, I think. It's the Social. The Whooves sisters win the blue ribbon in pie-eating. Sweetie Belle's trying to hide the hurt of Rarity not there. They see a big pig, the Whooves sisters there too. Wibbly-wobbly? And Carrot Top and some foal there also has a pig. A trumpet sounds and it's almost 'time'. For what I don't know. Sweetie Belle's sad, but Applejack has decided since she and Apple Bloom do this every year, this year she'll do it with Sweetie Belle! And I love Apple Bloom's "One. Day." there. :D Well, better than One More Day, that's for sure. Or Daying Another Day. We hear some feedback and everyone gathers around Granny Smith on a stage, speaking into the wrong end of a bullhorn. Big Mac corrects her and she spins it right round, right round like a record baby. And yes, I love that song. It's the big race! Race for your life, Charlie Brown!

The teams line up, with Apple Bloom being a bit... odd. "One. Day. Good luck!" I love Granny Smith rocking back and forth like that. I won't describe the race. And we all know what happens at the mud puddle. Notice the eyes. :D The 'sisters' move like clockwork. It... does get a bit much, though. It's like they hacked the Matrix, basically. The Punch sisters run by, and barely win. Sweetie Belle hugs her partner, knocking te hat off and revealing the horn. And we learn it was Rarity under the mud. She shakes the mud off and glows. Applejack surfaces, thank goodness! And all three of them were in on it. Rarity did it for 'them'. They're apple pie! And the sisters go to celebrate. Rarity says a spa, and the other three laugh. No, she's serious. Back at Carousel Boutique, Rarity has her hair in bows and Spike's there for a... letter. Okay, will not hold it against this episode. Having a sister is great, but isn't easy. It's compromises, doing stuff you might not like, and having fun. And we get Wet-Mane Rarity. They have a minor argument about dirtiness and Spike is the voice of reason. We have a bookend of the birds outside and credits.

Thoughts

Oh, this one... I like so much MORE than the previous episode. Can you tell? ;) It's always good for me to see family getting along, or working to getting along. I love the contrast between the Apple and Belle sisters, there. Applejack and Apple Bloom are tight. Rarity and Sweetie Belle are... not. I love Rarity going through the race, there. Good on her! Great advice from Applejack, too.

I will admit Rarity either finding a use or forgiving all three of Sweetie Belle's screw-ups pushed SOD for me a bit. Just seemed... not quite contrived, but getting there.

And the Sisterhooves Social is neat. Nice little bit of worldbuilding there. :) All in all, for me, a great episode. :D Not much more I think I can really say, there.

 

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Hmm, judging by your reaction to Lesson Zero, I bet you won't like how I view it now. Who knows how I'll view it now.

 

But yes, Sisterhooves Social remains one of my favorites though :)

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On 12/8/2016 at 3:32 PM, Nuke87654 said:

Hmm, judging by your reaction to Lesson Zero, I bet you won't like how I view it now. Who knows how I'll view it now.

 

But yes, Sisterhooves Social remains one of my favorites though :)

Actually, I'm looking forward to your 'Best Night Ever' review a bit more. ;)

 

Now, then. We all inoculated? Circle, circle, dot dot, but it's not an everlasting shot for...

The Cutie Pox

First posted here on July 9th, 2014.

 

Todays' the day the Crusaders will get their marks in... bowling! Man, there used to be a candlepin bowling alley a few minutes from where I live. Good memories of the place. And wait, bowling?! When do they bowl? But they'll be the... Three Strikes! And that's the whole ball game, ladies and gentlemen. Pin Twins? nope, three of them. Larry, Moe and Curly. And sometimes Shemp. The Bowling Dolls, complete with Charlie's Angels-esque silhouettes. Inside, we see Big Lebowsky expies. Since I've never seen the movie and have no plans to, I can't make any real jokes/references about them. Sweetie Belle is pleased with her gutter ball! Scootaloo nearly takes everyone's heads off before guttering out. And Apple Bloom gets faked out on getting a cutie mark. It turns out her ball does the standard 'roll slowly and fail to even nudge a pin' gag. Aww. :(

Outside and after the credits, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are cheery, but Apple Bloom's not. They notice her dour mood and try to cheer her up with treats, a party, a new chapeau  that looks like she's ready for a Royal Wedding, but nothing doing. Scootaloo even says it's 'just' a cutie mark. Okay, major change of tune, there! Apple Bloom wanders into the Everfree, and the others just... leave her be. The heck? Apple Bloom trips and... ooh, okay, I've had some fillings over the years, and all four wisdom teeth out at once, so I'm in sympathy pain right now. Zecora walks up, sees it and leads her back to her hut.

There, Apple Bloom lets loose a bit about not having a cutie mark. Zecora tries the patience bit, but Apple Bloom's heard that more times than I've heard the Transformation 'buzz-crunch'. "I'm too impatient to be patient!" And she almost blows up Zecora's house by messing up the tooth remedy. Apple Bloom drinks some of it and her tooth regrows! She notices all of Zecora's potion, stuff that fixes the bad and brings the good. She slyly wonders if she can mix up a brew for a cutie mark. But, no. Meanwhile, Zecora brews up some... rooster Viagra. I'll just be straight. It's rooster Viagra. Apple Bloom notices a plant called 'Heart's Desire'. It will ignite the rooster's 'fire'. And he'll get higher and higher, amirite? :D All the petals fall into the cup, like magic. I guess She Can Do Magic! She can Have Any-thing, that she Desires! Apple Bloom begins to get ideas while Zecora notices she's out of amethyst. Better get to Gemworld, then. Apple Bloom decides to become Sabrina, and we cut to the next day.

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are in the schoolyard when Apple Bloom walks by, nose higher in the air than Diamond Tiara's. And Apple Bloom flashes her flank at them. No, seriously. That's what she does! She blinds them... with her SCIENCE! Nope, her cutie mark! It's a steel ring. Ohhai, Twist! She speaks again! Hey, Apple Bloom! Remember your friend, Twist? Yeah, it angers me she was left out of the friendship circle and pretty much forgotten. No, it's a loop-de-hoop! And like magic, she's got one around her barrel. Wait, where did that come from?! It's from an old rain barrel from Applejack. So it's the Equestrian origin of the Hula Hoop here, then. The other Crusaders are very happy for her, which I rather like having them be. It would've been too easy for the writers to have them be angry/jealous. Instead, they're happy for their friend. Kudos! :)

And worst pony, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, say it's a lame mark. You fail at life! And hey, they appear again and are nothing but one-dimensional bullies! Why am I not surprised? Apple Bloom shows off a bit with it, and it's pretty cool. The bell rings and Cheerilee calls them inside, but they're too enamored with her tricks. We get a scare spot of Cheerilee about to bring da' hammer down... but no, she wants Apple Bloom to show off her special talent!

We get a montage that reminds me of those old news shorts I've seen from the fifties about people doing insane Hula-hooping, including one bit of Worst Pony messing up. And I chuckle darkly at that. Special props to Apple Bloom being able to fly with it. She must go. Her people need her! She also teaches a bit of loop-de-hooping. Oh, and she gets a second cutie mark! Diamond Tiara accuses them of being fake cutie marks. Hmm, Cassandra Truth, I believe? CHeerilee thinks that maybe Apple Bloom has two special talents! And Snips and Snails with plates and sticks OUTTA NOWHERE! No, seriously. Where the hell did they get those? Writers...

We get another montage of Apple Bloom showing off, including her using a hoop to slice the edges off of the cloud Dash is using for her midafternoon, post-morning nap. And then Dash wakes up, looks over the edge and heckles her! She even spins Twilight's mane into Rarity's style. Spike's eyes become hearts and it gets ALL kinds of skeevy, there. The Apple Family's there and proud of Apple Bloom. Applejack even helps her to show off, like a filly with some fancy ribbons. :P Okay, I kid. It's family, after all.

Back at Sweet Apple Acres, they're proud of her, but Apple Bloom looks pretty tired. Big Mac helps Granny with a Charlie Horse and yups and nopes. Apple Bloom goes to bed, but that night, Applejack's woken up by rabid tap-dancing! She finds Apple Bloom tap-dancing, with a third cutie mark. I guess three times isn't the charm when it comes to cutie marks. "Help me." Ah, she's got the body of a fly, then! Applejack tries to help, but no go. Applejack goes to Twilight for help, but Twilight's got nothing either. Spike finds the right book and gets proper praise for it.

Twilight looks through it, finding the cutie pox! It afflicted a population of ponies during the Paleo-Pony Period. Spike says to sya it ten times fast and Twilight bucks him off. I slap Twilight upside the head for that. Random cutie marks appeared, and the ponies couldn't stop themselves. Even worse, no known cure. The pox appeared and then disappeared, probably by the afflicted simply dropping dead due to exhaustion! And Apple Bloom gets a  fleur-de-lis. Oh, no! She'll hang all over Fancy Pants! She even speaks what I believe to be French. Applejack calls it 'Fancy'. And I do not see that as the Equestrian name of the language, for the record. Applejack's panicky, and Twilight realizes she needs Zecora for this! Applejack gets a... semi-skeevy smirk when she says 'Zecora' there. Just odd, there.

They gallop to get her, Spike again on Twilight's back. Spike, don't joke or she'll hurt you again! Apple Bloom is far behind, and gets another cutie mark. She's Michelangelo, and not the Turtle. And another, and she's Bert from Mary Poppins. Then another and She's... Cheese Sandwich? Next, lion-taming. Dang, I should've used one of my lion-mode Transformers for the pic this time! Ah, well. Then she's Gary Kasparov, D'Artagnan, and the Flower Trio begin to freak out. Spike... says she's not cursed. She's got a mysterious disease called cutie pox. Spike... you just re-earned that bucking off! The town panics, as it's wont to do, and evacuates. And a tumbleweed rolls by, natch.

Zecora shows up and... thinks it's her. Aww. *Hugs* That's pretty sad and kinda hits you. Twilight tells her about the cutie pox as Apple Bloom turns into Albert Einstein. Applejack says magically she's her... and asks if her zebra sense was tingling. Ho, boy. Nope. She thought she had enough flowers for all her potions, but after Apple Bloom had left she found her inventory lacking. Apple Bloom begins washing windows. She is... ze Viper! And ponies have hazmat suits? Zecora's got the cure, the Seeds of Truth. They'll grow if the truth's told to them. "True and pure." And with this close-up we realize Zecora knows Apple Bloom took the flower.

Applejack plants them while Apple Bloom becomes the Tasmanian Devil. Pinkie says she ate three corn cakes instead of two, and that's... kinda wrong, but not quite terrible. No, six corn cakes. She cries for it to stop! No, Pinkie. It won't stop. Hey, townsfolk? Might wanna at least try! Apple Bloom finally gives in and says the marks are all fake and she used the Heart's Desire. And the Seeds bloom. Apple Bloom eats it, and the marks disappear. The CMC ask if she's alright, and she is! YAY! She apologizes for lying, and is forgiven. Aww. Twilight gets a really weird look on her face as she asks Apple Bloom to write to Celestia about this. So we get the letter and lesson, and it's a good one about honesty and not lying. She's learned that good things come to those who wait, and of course, she's waited long enough. Cue sad trombone! Off to earn their cutie marks! They go to talk to Zecora about a potion-making cutie mark, and end credits.

Thoughts

I really like this episode. Good focus on Apple Bloom, here. She really shined. A good lesson, too. And even better, it fit and flowed organically from the episode itself. Always good to see Zecora, too. I really do like the relationship she's got with Apple Bloom, which makes sense, since she was the first one to try and be friends with the zebra. Her speech patterns are still hard to write, though. ;)

I also love the Apple Family, here. Applejack... might be my favorite of the Mane Six. I really don't know. She loves her family, she knows where she wants to be, she's simple. But simple isn't a bad thing, mind. Lemme give you an example. I own the Leader-class toys of Optimus Prime from the 2007 movie and the 2009 movie. The first one is less screen-accurate, and the transformation is simpler. But I can pick it up, play with it, transform it and have fun with it. The second one's transformation is effin' RIDICULOUS and leaves me genuinely frustrated. I've managed it once. I still play with the 2007 version. The 2009 version... I am thinking of selling. Applejack is the 2007 version.

The bowling scene was funny. It hit some standard sitcom scenes in alleys, but it was good. I loved the Crusaders sticking by Apple Bloom and being happy for her when she got her cutie mark. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon suck. And in other news, the sun rises in the east, water is wet and Snake-Eyes is badass.

I think that's about it for this one. Tomorrow hopefully ends disc one of my season-two boxed set!

 



 

 

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@RK_Striker_JK_5

Looking at your Luna Eclipsed review:

I have to agree about Pinkie Pie in that episode. I haven't seen much of the show pre-Season 5, but, based on some of your other reviews, I have to imagine that Pinkie is one of the trickier characters to write. When done well, you get stuff like "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" and her parts in "The Gift Of The Maud PIe", "The Lost Treasure Of Griffonstone" and "Saddle Row Review". When done wrong, you get one of the more annoying characters in the show and ammo for people who hate MLP in the first place. Pinkie in "Luna Eclipsed" is one of those episodes in the latter.

I could probably say the same for Rainbow Dash and Discord, but that's for another time.

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16 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

@RK_Striker_JK_5

Looking at your Luna Eclipsed review:

I have to agree about Pinkie Pie in that episode. I haven't seen much of the show pre-Season 5, but, based on some of your other reviews, I have to imagine that Pinkie is one of the trickier characters to write. When done well, you get stuff like "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" and her parts in "The Gift Of The Maud PIe", "The Lost Treasure Of Griffonstone" and "Saddle Row Review". When done wrong, you get one of the more annoying characters in the show and ammo for people who hate MLP in the first place. Pinkie in "Luna Eclipsed" is one of those episodes in the latter.

I could probably say the same for Rainbow Dash and Discord, but that's for another time.

I'm a fanfic writer, and yeah. Pinkie Pie can be damned hard to write, to get some sort of balance. And it seems more times than not, she's out of balance. Although if you think this one was bad, you haven't seen anything until I get my old 'A friend In Deed' review up.

 

Okay, sorry, folks. :( Work's been insane, and I've been sick. But I'm feeling better and it's time... IT'S! VADER! TIME!

No, wait. It's time for a review!

May the best man speak, may the best choice be made, and...

May The Best Pet Win

 

Originally posted here on August 14th, 2014.

 

We open with Dash on the Highway to the Danger Zone, flying around with the greatest of ease, that daring young pony without a trapeze. Suddenly, Owly shows up. It's a race, and Dash is enjoying herself. Suddenly, Owly is the victim of a transporter accident as his head is replaced with Winona's. Hello there, nightmare fuel! "Winona's head?" No, Herman's Head! Ten points if you get that reference. :D Then the head turns into Angels, then Gummy's body. it's moved down to freaky town, but I prefer Funky Town, specifically the Pseudo Echo version! Then HOLY SHIT OPAL PULLS A XENOMORPH! Ripley, where are you?! Dash begins falling to the ground, into a black hole of nothingness, then we get full confirmation it was a bad dream. Man, Dash. What did you EAT before your nap?!

She sees Opal in a tree, then we sweep down and see the other four at the base of the tree.

After the credits the rest of the Mane Six show up, and it's a pony/pet play date in the park! Aww. :) Fluttershy thought she knew, but she didn't. I like her kicking up a small dust cloud there, too. Twilight begins to explain, then Pinkie interrupts and explains in a rather rude, insensitive way. Bad Pinkie! *Swats with bus* She even gives Fluttershy whiplash. Dash brushes it off, saying she doesn't have a pet. They have fun, Dash tries to take a nap, but the sounds of merriment get to her. And she suddenly decides she wants a pet! That is classic Dash thinking there, folks. And Fluttershy... goes a little insane at this. She scoops Dash up by the armpits and flies her over to her house/veterinary clinic/animal shelter. Ah, Fluttershy? Get some altitude there while taking Dash, there. Her hooves are dragging in the dirt! Dash helps her out while Fluttershy... squees and almost fangasms.

We get the song about what Dash wants in a pet and Fluttershy... missing the mark on her wants. And Dash, I gotta say, she misses the mark on what a pet should be. She wants awesome and cool. Well, what about allergies? What does the pet eat? Can it fly with her? What does it need to be cared for? It's in-character for her, but for the target audience... that's important. Also, Fluttershy? Your choices for Dash make no damned sense for her! It's funny, it's a good song, if reminiscent of old musicals, but come on, Flutters! You've known Dash all your life! We also see shots of tank, and mentions of bullets, reinforcing my idea that the Equestrian Royal Air Corps uses rifles mounted to pegasi's backs. We see an eagle, backlit, and a bat. NO, no bat! Oh, wait, it's not a vampire fruit bat. Carry on and keep Twilight away from it! Dash realizes she's got so many choices, so many wonders! She asks for a yellow-striped bat, so she wants a Fuzor, then?

Dash decides to hold a contest for the animals of speed, agility and guts. Wait, what? What about living conditions, care factors, lifespan? Oh, and get off of Tank! Even Fluttershy gets the priorities wrong near the end. :( Dash, okay, but not Fluttershy! May the games begin. Okay. *Cues up Olympics theme* And before commercials, we get a title drop.

And we're back, and Dash is now Gunny. And she gives a ridiculously-overblown speech about how hard it'll be to be her pet. A ladybug even quits beforehand. They have to take it to the extreme. Thanks, Rob Liefeld! "Any questions?" Yeah, do you have any fucking clue what really goes into the care and maintenance for a pet? And Applejack proves she's best pony by asking that very question to Twilight. Oh, thank god, Applejack! Twilight lists some stuff they need, then gets licked by Winona. "And breath mints!" okay, that was good. :D Back at the competition for the insane, Fluttershy pushes the future Tank into the line, and we get the first tortoise/turtle joke. I am... kinda with Dash on how he doesn't fit, but she puts it a lot blunter and crueler than I. She even kicks him onto his back. Hey, Dash, guess what you are?! You're an asshole!

Fluttershy badgers her into letting him into the contest. Dash says the pet must have speed, followed by her going 88 miles and back to the future, agility with her fighting for the Users, guts and her doing a cloud sculpture of herself and good LORD she's got an ego. Style, coolness, awesomeness and radicalness, complete with sunglasses and baseball cap on backwards. Dash, you ARE Rob Liefeld. Twilight asks if those are the same thing. Points for Twilight! Dash says she'd think that, and that's why she'd never be her pet, while patting her head in that horribly condescending manner. Well, of course she wouldn't. You'd forget to feed her and she'd die from neglect!

Now, for the contests. The first is speed. The falcon blows the owl's feathers off and wins. I will admit, i liked Dash's "not speed, sorta speedy" comments. :D Ad tank finishes taking a step. "That's just sad." I must now throw my Masterpiece Megatron at you. Next is agility and an obstacle course. Tank tries while Dash, well, you know. The hummingbird wins, natch. And his/her eyes even begin watering up. They high hoof/wing, and it drops a bit. Dash says she's gonna shave a point off the score for that and it flies off, head hanging. Funny,, but cruel and grr-inducing. Next is trying to... get Opal's favorite toy rat. What in even the hell?! They all cower, but the monarch butterfly flaps over and hypnotizes Opal. Flat what. She flies off with the toy. Opal comes out of it just before Tank tips her cage onto her. She goes berserk and claws futilely at him in his armored shell. He's a hero, but in a full shell.

Style, because we need to reference G3 Dash. She even curls! Any pet with her has to look good to make her look good. Her ego now swallows star systems whole. Next is coolness. Wait, what? The eagle wins. Sam would be proud. Next is awesomeness, I guess. The bat does echolocation, which only ranks 'sorta awesome'. Dash, why do you make my points for me?! The toucan blows a raspberry. The flamingo imitates its plastic brethren. The owl does an Exorcist. And Tank pulls his head in. Dash says that's all he can do, and he looks sad. And it's time for a talent show! The duck does a tap-dance, while I wish Benjamin J Frog showed up. The eagle knits a sweater, with Dash's picture on it. That's actually pretty talented, but not for Dash. The falcon does card tricks, wrong. The wasp does some friggin' awesome shadow pictures, and Dash is asleep for it. Man, wasps never get respect in Hasbro properties. The bat plays the theme on glasses, then shatters them with its voice. Okay, that kicked ass. It's awesome... but this is the 'radicalness' competition. So points off. Oh good lord I'm gonna get a concussion from all the headdesking I'm doing with Dash. And it's time for Tank's turn, with a much more insane obstacle course. From the end to finish, we have a net to catch them, flaming hoop, loop-de-loop, guillotine, pool with friggin sharks-possibly with laser beams-and a spring launcher. Evel Kneievel, where are you when we need you? He hops off, but lands shell-side down. I am feeling so sorry for him right now. Dash calls him a turtle and Fluttershy peeks from behind the curtain! What was she doing back there, precisely? she tells him he didn't make the cut, then points up at the sky at the owl, eagle, falcon and bat flying by. Okay, she does try to let him down gently. Points for that, at least.

She turns to the others, builds up tension, even turning and saying, "Pause for dramatic effect..." and that makes me legit laugh. :D It's a race through Beggar's Canyon. No, Ghastly Gorge! She even does a 'dun dun dun!', which gets a bigger laugh, while Trixie gets steamed. :P We hear an eagle cry and... Dash flies over with a handkerchief. "Gesundheit." HAH! Ride of the Valkyries cues up as they get ready. Even Tank. Dash says the Gorge isn't scary and says whichever makes it across the finish line with her will have 'earned the honor and glory of getting to be my pet.' Those who are about to fly, we salute you! Be careful, too. Her ego actually makes up most of the planet you're standing on.  They fly/waddle off while the music soars. I am amused by the caption from my DVD saying, 'wind whistling', by the way. Ah, Wind Whistler. :) The bat gets blown back, but continues on. Dash pauses to straighten out her mane and brush herself off, and now I'm getting odd vibes of hair/hare there. Dash stops short of a briar patch, then turns and taunts her pats. A large part of me wants them all to simply quit, fly off and leave her hanging. The eagle and falcon get tangled up, the owl can't find a way through, but the bat makes up lost ground. Echolocation for the win!

Dash stops and in a tone that is quite punchable, tells them to watch out for the quarry eels. Oh good fucking lord, graboids?! Get Burt Gummer, STAT! Val and Earl, too. The first one's one of my favorite movies, you see. Just make sure they don't turn into shriekers or ass-blasters. Guys, it's not worth it! Leave this asshole to be. The bat gets eaten, but gets out through the nostril. Ew! The eagle nearly gets decapitated, reminding me of Weird Al's parody of Avril Lavigne's song 'Complicated'. The owl pushes the jaws of another apart, and the falcon loses some tail feathers.

Dash looks back, being a you-know-what, but hits a cliff face. It cracks and avalanche! And Dash gets hit from above and a wing gets trapped under a boulder. She calls for the others, but they show the same amount of loyalty and care for her, as she showed for them. Justice is served. "I'm the one who's supposed to win." She gets a bit over-dramatic at being stuck there, even though her friends know she's in the gorge.

We come back and Tank happens upon her. She says she'll be stuck there forever with the most annoying turtle in the world. Dash, fuck you. Tank, being awesome, manages to lift the boulder off her wing. We cut to the finish line and the other seeing the avalanche there. Good friends! Fluttershy sees Tank, calls him a turtle-tortoise-whatever, carrying Dash on his back. Twilight TKs the finish line there. Twilight says she hopes she's not hurt. "Just my pride." Okay... good on you, Dash. She even hoof-bumps Tank.

Fluttershy introduces the winner, the falcon. And Dash... doesn't look so sure, even with Spike and Fluttershy saying she got what she wanted. Well, you can't always get what you want, but you just might find, you get what you need. Fluttershy even asks if they should sing again, putting songs as real events in the 'universe'. Dash even begins to turn around and not be so assholy. She does a bit of rules-lawyering and exact words, saying whoever crossed the finish line with her would be the winner. Pinkie Pie loudly announces she said that. Pinkie, DON'T! And the only one was Tank. The falcon gets a guilty look, but to be fair the others were way past her when the avalanche happened. Twilight asks about the falcon, but it shakes appendages with Tank and resigns with true honor and dignity. Dash sends a letter to Celestia, saying that she was wrong about her views on what qualities about pets should be, while Tank grabs Opal's rat and pulls it inside, away from her. And it will come out no more! Dash even names him Tank.

Fluttershy reminds Dash she wanted a pet who could fly, but there's a solution. For the next play date, he's got a copter, complete with Ride reprise!

Thoughts

*Drums fingers on desk* This is difficult for me. The scenes, taken individually, are funny, good action, nice jokes. The turtle/tortoise bit wasn't overplayed and was funny. I liked the song a lot. But there's two big things that irk me.

1. I feel this episode was a missed opportunity. It had a perfect setup for a, "Pets are hard work and a big responsibility!" moral. Heck, Applejack and Twilight even started talking about it before it was dropped. For the target audience, it would've been spot-on. And before anyone mentions Baby Cakes, this is a lesson that should be repeated. And the episodes are different enough to avoid major repetition. Normally I can't fault it for what it could've been, but with that scene with Applejack and Twilight, I can't dismiss it. And let's face it. Dash needs a lesson about responsibility just as much as Pinkie Pie.

2. Dash, oh dear sweet Primus Dash. What an asshole, here. Condescending, jerkish, missing the point, wanting a pet for all the wrong reasons, complete disregard for their safety and a bunch of other crap. She earned my hate here. I'll give her points for the end, the hurt pride line, the letter and choosing Tank, but for almost the entirety of the episode she could go hang for all I cared.

So, that's 'May the Best Pet Win'. Good taken in small doses, but overall... yeah. And that finishes disc two of my season boxes set! Tune in Monday for... The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well.

...

Oh, this is gonna be fun.

Okay, for the record, this is the only shelled Transformer I have within easy reach. It's G1 Snaptrap, and according to the wiki page he actually does transform into a tortoise. hmm, neat.

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Okay, sorry about the delay. I've had... issues. I dunno. I was also borderline obsessed with getting my G1/G4 crossover done. It is. ;) But now season five is upon us! And I am so behind! So... time to get back to these!

Anyway, a few reminders...

1. I like spoilers and I will NOT be using spoilers bars or sblocks. I don't wanna see them from you folks, either.

2. My opinions and views are my own. I really don't care what the fandom thinks. I am starting to not give a damn/outright hate certain bits of fanon.

3. I don't care if they're the protagonists. If they screw up/act like assholes/whatever, I will call them on it.

Anyway...

It's a bird! It's a pegasi! It's the night?! No, it's...

The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well

 

Originally posted here on April 4th, 2015.

 

We open at the CMC clubhouse where Scootaloo is holding a Rainbow Dash fan club meeting! She declares she's the most awesome pony in Ponyville. We get some portmanteaus and puffing her ego up. Also, the hats/wigs are kinda creepy. We see posters, including that one of Dash as the toaster cat with the rainbow. She's also eavesdropping. Because. :P

After the credits and she's having some fun, including blowing some smoke rings. She gets into a competition with Gandalf and Bilbo later on. ;) But there's cries from help! A small pony, named 'Aura' in the closed-captions, is crying for help! She's down there with Timmy and Bart Simpson. Dash stops her sky swim, flies down and saves the dirty filly! Legit yay for her! She emerges... and there's a crowd there. Wait, what? Where'd they come from? There wasn't anyone around. Dash asks where they come from, and is actually... modest. They cheer her and Aura says it's something. Scoots and the Dumber Twins says she's something special. Aww... :)

And we cut to... a runaway baby carriage? Down a hill. Pony what? Oh, yeah. In this episode, Ponyville is transplanted to effin' Looney Tunes or something. Anyway, Bulk and/or Skull aren't there to save it, so Dash flies to stop it from flying off a cliff. A cliff the path the carriage is on leads directly to. This is lazy writing, folks. Dash stops it and blushes. but then she says there's something wrong with the baby. The crowd below gasps... because the baby's not cheering for Dash.

Wow. Screw you, Dashie. Also, some people think the baby's not cute. I... think it is. Tastes vary, there. The ponyratzi's right there and she poses. Turn to the left! Twilight says she has a few words to describe her. Applejack says modest's not one of them. Okay... the hell did that come from?! Dash creates a bolt-shaped cloud in the sky, and Twilight says she's 'kinda awesome'. Flip-flop! Anyway, at an old folks' home, way back in nineteen-dickity-doo, when I WAS YOUR AGE and get off mah lawn! But anyway, a balcony suddenly begins breaking. Bonbon and Berry Punch look on in horror as Dash does Spider-Man's line and catches the balcony. the crowd cheers and Dash's ego grows three sizes too large. Twilight says, "Call me silly, but I think this here thing is going to Rainbow Dash's head."

Pinkie agrees, and calls her silly. Okay, good one. :D At Sugarcube Corner, Dash is regaling her fan club with tales of her dating do, and we don't mean the author. ;) Spike is in Jimmy Olsen mode and taking notes while Applejack says she's awesomely arrogant ever since. Where the hell is this coming from? She's really not acting much worse then before. Has she reached her ego-meter's redline or something? Dash pulls her in for some pictures while Twilight asks Spike what he's doing. He's ghostwriting her autobiography. Hah! Talk to Mick Foley, kid. He'll tell you how it's done, then hit you over the head with a steel chair. :P

Twilight points out autobiographies are self-written, but Dash says she's far too busy saving lives. She says Spike's her ghostwriter. God, I remember that show on PBS. Pinkie freaks out because... it's Pinkie. Dash speaks for me. "Anyway..." It takes guts to do what she does, and brains, and sometimes a big lunch and nap. Good lord this is the Spanish Inquisition sketch all over again! The others of the Mane Six make dumb faces because... anyone? Beuller?

We cut to Dash doing autographs, but a balloon is falling! Dash is... still signing autographs?! The fuck is the matter with you?! She says she's got ten seconds to spare. This isn't cloud-kicking to impress Twilight, you jackass! She flies up in a lackadaisical fashion... but a new figure emerges and grabs the balloon pilot! I should note that Dash missed the basket and she hit the punctured balloon instead. Ten seconds my aunt fanny!

The crowd wonders about mysterious masked mare. "I've never seen such bravery in all my life!" Okay, how many blows to the head have you received?! Suddenly Mayor Mare outta nowhere, saying Ponyville's got a new hero. What, in addition to the seven it already had? She dubs her the Mysterious Mare Do Well. And that's her mayoral work for the week. Dash is livid, because Ponyville's only got room for one hero! She then trips on part of the balloon and faceplants. Cue sad trombone!

Back from commercial, a carriage/bus is careening down a hill! The harness was broken, it seems. Dash flies in, tries to do a pre-rescue speech in but one of the passengers says to cut the crap and save them! She tries a Spider-Man II, but gets knocked out of the way. Suddenly, Mare-Do-Well is there and blocks it with two mighty legs! She's got legs, folks, and she knows how to use them! Also, this is another path that leads right to a cliff. Bad writers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dash is angry because... Mare-Do-Well saved lives and is cutting into her heroing. We are now at a construction site, with wooden beams as the superstructure. Holmes on Homes would have a field day, then a heart attack. The crame shorts out and swings around and around... and Dash, flying by, sees it! She stops to do her spiel, but has to cut it short or else 2x4 to the gut. It hits the frame and it goes down like a house of cards. We even see steel support beams. Dash is still trying to get her spiel in, but Mare-Do-Well is there and rescues several workers. Dash suddenly spots one about to be crushed, gets her head out of her plot and goes to rescue him. Dash then... acts like an ass to Mare-Do-Well. "Or should I call you Mare-Do-Slow?" MDW meanwhile rescued four workers. The pony Dash rescued... didn't even say 'thanks'. Jerk.

Dash notes MDW's advantages, then says she has to step up her game. At a... hydroelectric dam, it begins breaking. Optimus Prime and Megatron are fighting on the top, just out of sight. We don't have a dutch boy to stick a finger in the hole, so Dash flies over and places a hoof over it. The crack, meanwhile widens. She suddeny takes her hoof off the hole and pats herself on the back with it. Head, meet desk. We haven't seen each other for a while. The dam explodes! mare-Do_Well is there... and begins TKing the water and debris back, repairing the dam better than new! Dash is completely ungrateful for the rescue, too. She wonders how she can compete, but notes her wings. She flies around...

And then MDW flies by. So it's an early appearance by Cadance? :P

And now... it's the scene. You know the one, at Sugarcube Corner, where the others brag about MDW and rub salt into Dash's wounded ego. Here's where the pendulum swings the other way, folks. Twilight boasts about the dam-fixing, Rarity about the costumes too. Yeah, this is pretty damned skeevy. Spike even gets into it, a bit.

In Ponyville, the disasters have stopped. Because of plot. "Where's an out-of-control vehcle when you need one?!" Oi... She suddenly spots Granny Smith, begins to go overboard and helps her cross the street. Granny Smith is ungrateful, probably because Dash is shoving her with her head. USE! YOUR! WINGS! Granny then says she didn't wanna cross the street in the first place. We cut to Amethyst... unable to open a jar of peanut butter with her TK. That is so... wow. Dash admittedly goes over the top, then Amethyst taps the jar on the side of a fountain and Dash opens it. And this is getting uncomfortable to watch as Dash does... super-lawnmowing. And the ponies are pretty jerkish.

Dash is sitting on a thundercloud, grousing about MDW and wondering why no one's talking about her. Has she changed? Well... to be honest, not really. You were a braggart before, braggart still. She hates being alone, but Scootaloo calls out! She's there to invite her to a banquet in MDW's honor! ooh, harsh. Dash at first says no... but then decides to fly to it. For shenanigans, no doubt.

At the banquet/parade, we see some posters based on Batman:TAS. Nice touch. MDW bursts out of a banner, and I'm calling bullshit on the 'humble' part, for the record. Dash flies up, a'la Boast Busters, then MDW bolts and we get a bit of a chase scene with Scooby-Doo doors. Dash is about to lose it, but suddenly there's two MDWs! She finally catches MDW and... it's old man jenkins from the amusement park!

No, it's Pinkie! No, it's Twilight! It's... all of them. Applejack stopped the carriage with her hind legs, who she named. Which is weird. Pinkie used her Pinkie Sense at the construction site. She suddenly saves Dash from a flower pot. Twilight fixed the dam. Fluttershy did a fly-by and Rarity designed the costume. And this entire thing was to teach Dash some humility. A real hero doesn't 'brag'. She's been BRAGGING all series long! Ugh... she 'learns' her lesson in about five seconds. So Spike says he wrote a letter already! Dash suddenly says there's a real ghost! Hah, hah?

Thoughts

Oi...

Okay, this is hard for me to put into words. Admittedly it's been a while since I did this. ;) But...

The usual argument comes down to who is right. MDW or Dash? Who's wrong? I say... both.

Okay, here's the thing. Dash has always been a bit of a braggart. And in this episode, she's not really much worse than before or even after. That's her 'thing'. But... her competence drops quite a bit, and with the balloon incident she crosses into, "dudette, you screwed up big-time'. NO excuse for that at all.

But here's the thing, did the Mane Six talk to her at all? I don't think so. They went right to MDW. If there was something-anything!-that indicated they tried to talk to Dash, then all right. But they didn't, so that's on them. And the scene in Sugarcube Corner was where they crossed the line.  Hell, there's going too far and this goes beyond too far!

The citizenry turning on Dash like they did was not cool. At all. It was rather ridiculous, IMHO. Goldfish memory? Bad writing? You be the judge!

As for the disasters, plot fiat.

There's not a lot for me to like in this episode, to be honest. Sorry. :(

Anyway, tune in tomorrow for 'Sweet and Elite', where my view that, 'the Canterlot populace really doesn't deserve their reputation' is solidified.

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And for those of you on fimfic, I'm watching the season premiere. Awesome so far! :D

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Now for Canterlot and its populace, a populace I am really starting to side with. Because if it can't be beat, go for the treat to be...

Sweet and Elite

 

Originally posted here on April 5th, 2015.

 

We open on Canterlot and triumphant theme! We close in one one particular tower, with Celestia and Rarity entering a room. *Gasp* Scandalous liaison?! No, Rarity's there for a visit and Celestia decided to be legit awesome. :) Aww. Then Rarity goes to the Skeevy Side with the multitude of 'thank yous' and kissing Celestia's hooves. How did Rarilestia not become a thing, again? Then a porter comes in, groaning under an absolutely ridiculous amount of baggage. It appears to be a palette swap of Snails, with acne. Neither Rarity nor Celestia help him with it. I... think I'm 'supposed' to find this funny, but I really don't. He collapses and a single case rolls to Rarity. "That's perfect." Hah, hah?

Back from commercial and Rarity is having tea at an outdoor cafe with Opal, who is insanely well-behaved for her and for being a cat. *Gasp* She's a changeling! The infiltration has BEGUN!!!!!!!!She loves 'everything!' about Canterlot. We learn she's there to pick up fabrics for Carousel Boutique. As odd as this might sound, I really legit like there being a practical reason for her being there. It's an organic, perfectly logical reason. We aso learn Twilight got her the suite in the castle, so being the Element of Generosity and a genuinely good person, she decides to make her an outfit for her birthday this weekend! Well, Twilight... they say it's your birthday!

Suddenly, ominous shadows! In a rather blatant shot, we see our 'villains' for this episode, Jet Set and Upper Crust, looming over her. They look like Robin Leech is about to interview them. Fun fact, I named a pair of OCs 'Robin' and 'Lifestyles' in my G1/G4 crossover. :P And these evil, snooty ponies... wish to know where she got that marvelous chapeau? Shock! Horror! I... wait. That is their 'villainous' introduction?! Ho, boy. Suddenly, a window-washer from above who recognizes her! He also couldn't be more 'redneck' if he was voiced by Jeff Foxworthy. Hayseed Turnip truck-what a name- falls and makes a spectacle of himself, saying he saw her at the Ponyville Hoedown. Jet Set and Upper Crust are not amused.

To Rarity's credit, even though she is rather visibly uncomfortable and embarrassed, she doesn't deny knowing him. They throw up their muzzles and trot away. And... they're assholes. Well, maybe bot assholes but pretty big jerkasses. And how many thought I'd defend their actions here? :P She tears up and I wanna hug her. Back at her suite she ponies up and begins EPIC DESIGNING! The next day we see her TKing an impressive amount of stuff as she readies herself for EPIC DRESSMAKING! she's talking up a storm, but bumps into someone. There's a bag on his head, it's pulled off and... epic backdrop and musical cue! It is the one, the only... FANCY PANTS! He of epic mustache and monocle! The anti-Blueblood, if you will. Fleur De Lys is there, draping forelegs over him. He's nonchalant about it, but his interest is piqued when she mentions staying at the castle. I love how he TKs his monocle around, too. :D Oh, and Fleur speaks! I forgot that! She's sorry she bumped into them, but Fancy Pants isn't! As Fleur uses him as a legrest, he invites Rarity to his VIP box at the Wonderbolts' derby this afternoon. This afternoon this afternoon? Fleur is a funny background event in pony form, btw.

At her suite, Rarity debates either the derby or the dress. My view is, Rarity is a whiz and damned fast at dressmaking, able to go quickly without sacrificing quality. So going to the derby won't cut into the dressmaking time to any appreciable degree. Fancy Pants is 'the most important pony in Canterlot'. So... Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor... and an alicorn is still a pony, mind. But still, legit good on her for even debating it. She decides to go to the derby and rocks a very fancy hat. That I believe is bigger than her whole body. Fancy hat for a meeting with Fancy Pants, then.

We cut to a cloud track with stands set into a cliff face. One only hopes emergency procedures are better than at the Cloudiseum at Cloudsdale. All kidding aside it's a gorgeous backdrop. Rarity passes Jet Set and Upper Crust, who glare at her briefly. Fancy Pants lets her in and they're all, "WHAT?!" Up in the box, several ponies swarm Fancy Pants until he mentions Rarity and she's staying at the castle. The intercom announces the race. Fancy Pants backs Rapid Fire, but Rarity backs 'Fleetfoot', a character who will be turned into a jackass for NO good reason in season four. :P This is reminding me a bit of 'My Fair Lady', for the record, even though I haven't seen that movie in about a decade or so. :P They're off! Rarity is enthralled and Fancy Pants looks on approvingly... for some reason. Fleetfoot wins, and Fancy Pants asks how Rarity knew. She mentions Dash and one of the others asks how she knew in what I... guess is supposed to be snooty, but just comes off as curious. There's also a shot of them looking at her that is supposed to be ominous but, again, doesn't come off like that.

Rarity... lies and says Dash is the Wonderbolts' trainer. Rarity is a moron here too, for the record. "Rainbow Dash, performs a sonic rainboom, won the Young Flyer's Competition last year." BOOM! Fancy Pants buys it. And she's his new favorite party guest! We cut to her with a group of ponies, making a joke. And they... laugh at the joke. One of them asks her to attend an art gallery opening this evening. Another brings up a charity auction tomorrow morning! and a dinner party tomorrow night! Oh, those snooty, evil... I can't even fake it anymore.

For the record, with the exception of Jet Set, Upper Crust and Blueblood from season one, I don't find any of these character snooty, snobbish, evil or really anything all that bad.

Rarity accepts all of them. We cut to her working on the dress and all happy. And we get 'Becoming Popular', complete with Rarity as Audrey Hepburn, cameos by Photo Finish and Blueblood. Blueblood, I got nothing. :P She also rocks her 'Green isn't your Color' ensemble. It's a great song and video. But at the end she comes into her room, does a tiny amount of work on the dress-complete with Opal pointing to the design-and it ends on a downer note. :( The next day, Rarity gets ready to leave, with the still-suffering bellhop and it's still not funny. She's getting ready to leave and finish the ensemble, but note under the door! It's an invitation to the Canterlot Garden Party, from Jet Set and Upper Crust! Holy schniekies! Next to the Gala, it's the premiere event in Canterlot! Rarity is agog! But if she fgoes, she'll miss Twilight's birthday! If she doesn't, her reputation "might be ruined." That might seals the deal for me. Go to the party! Jet Set and Upper Crust are jerks! Rarity, ration out your popularity!

But... she decides on the party. She lies and says Opal's ill, going on histrionics while alone. *Hands Rarity an Oscar* We cut to her about to go to the Garden Party, making sure to put on a goofy hat in the process, and right on cue the doors swing open and Twilight's there! Along with the others! Spike's not, though, and that pisses me off.

It does. There is NO reason for him not to be there. This is Twilight's birthday party and he's Spike. It is wrong and no attempts at rationalizing it are going to hold with me. NONE. Now, back to the recap.

Rarity comes to and babbles. She asks why they're here, and Twilight says she asked Pinkie if the party could be moved there. It was actually easy. Balloons are easy to pack. Rarity is hard-pressed for words, and Dash asks her about the getup. Dash... nice. *Nods* She always puts on something fancy when Opal's sick. They buy it and I ready to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge. :D Fluttershy asks about the poor cat, so Rarity runs in, TKS the poor cat-dead serious- and runs the shower over her. Opal, you are now free to shred all of Rarity's new fall line. Fluttershy goes in and Opal is PISSED.

Twilight spots the dress, but she loves it! It's the perfect dress for her! Twilight, you win all the points, and this isn't WHo's Line is it Anyway, so they do matter! Rarity is very glad and tosses the design into the circular file. Also, Celestia geve them use of a ballroom for her party! Pinkie says it's Fancy Pants and Rarity has a minor stroke. :P We also have the debut of the party cannon. Weaponized decorating. And what a coinkidink, the Garden Party is right outside!

We have a montage of Rarity trying to attend both parties and getting more and more frazzled. I won't go into details too much, but suffice it to say it's quite funny and ohhai Octavia! :D Rarity also gets more and more disheveled and discombobulated. The contrast is... funny. Also, canon evidence of bathrooms. Rarity says she has to use the little filly's room. :P But Rarity slips up with a croquet mallet, in the ballroom. So she killed Mister Boddy, and not Tim Curry!

Twilight figures she was at the Garden party, and Rarity's about to beg for forgiveness when Twilight says... she didn't realize how business-savvy she was! And with this year's Gala coming up, it's networking time! So Rarity gets away with her lies. Show, I love you. Twilight says to go and mingle. Rarity is suitably chastened. She goes off... and the others follow. And here's where it goes off the rails.

The Mane Five... act like jackasses. They do. they invade the party, without asking if they can and proceed to wreck it. Pinkie shoots off her party cannon, willy-nilly. Dash flings a mallet and nearly decapitates someone. Takes her wig off, at least. Fluttershy gathers some birds into a tree and their shedding disturbs other guests. Pinkie is also a pig and glutton. Applejack uproots the landscaping. And Twilight... 'dances'. Okay, so like in 'Best Night Ever' she's the least offensive of the lot.

Jet Set and Upper Crust cement their jerkishness by insulting Twilight's dress instead of the utter chaos the others are doing. Fancy Pants asks where she got it, and Twilight says it's Rarity's work, despite Rarity's attempt to distract him. She says Rarity made it and everyone gasps. Fancy Pants asks if Rarity knows these destructive hellions, and Rarity says she does, with the stock 'they may not be perfect, but they're my friends' bit. The others gasp, and considering how they acted, I can't exactly blame them.

Fancy Pants saves the day by saying they're 'charmingly rustic' and liking the dress. And the others fall in line. Fancy Pants asks to be introduced and we end on Rarity writing a friendship letter, with Celestia right behind her. Okay, clever. :) We get the Aesop of not forgetting your home and friends. And we end on the poor, suffering bellhop. It's. Not. funny!

Thoughts

Okay, let me get this out of the way. Except for some hiccups I'll be getting to, I genuinely do like this episode. Good moral at the end, great song. The look at Rarity was insightful. Some genuinely LOL bits, too. She got away with her lie! Holy crap that's big for a show like this. Fancy Pants and Fleur are awesome. I really liked the Canterlot populace. I still do like them.

But...

1. Where was Spike? No excuse in-universe for his absence. NONE.

2. I don't get it. Jet Set and Upper Crust, sure. They're jerks. the rest of the populace... no. A little ingratiating maybe, but honestly I don't mind them at all. And their attitude to the others of the Mane Six at the Garden party...

3. Yeah, their actions at the Garden party. It would've been, I don't know, nice to ask if they can attend! You can't even say 'target audience' because it's something children should learn! Ask before attending a party. As for Rarity going there, ask if she got an invitation. As for their actions there? There's some leeway with the Gala. Here? None. They crash a party without asking if it's all right and wreak havoc. I would've called the Royal Guard or police on them. And they should've gone to jail if it happened.

Again, I do overall like this episode, but that ending just doesn't sit well with me. If the Mane Five had acted relatively polite and were still rejected, then fine. Here they acted like non-sapient animals. I don't know quite how to put this into words, sorry. But overall very nice episode but an ending that doesn't stick the landing.

Headcanon

Again, headcanon is about 90% based off of the Hasbroverse, the small fanverse I created.

Fancy Pants is chancellor of the Equestrian Senate. Fleur is his wife. There is NO 'nobility' or hereditary government positions in the Senate. It's elections. The government of the Equestrian Alliance is a small blending of human governments based off of books Megan, Molly and Danny brought over. Closest would be a constitutional monarchy.

Due to my scheduling tomorrow, no review. Instead, I'll post some insane fanfic ideas I have and a new review Tuesday!

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It's a Spike-centric episode! That means bad things happening to the guy and me going off on rants while being pissed off about said bad things! You have been warned!

Secret of My Excess

 

Posted here on April 7th, 2015.

 

Paging Mister Fox, paging Mister Fox. No? Okay, then! We open with Twilight lighting a candle and closing her drapes. It's too important! It's... re-shelving day! Oh, this is gonna be a long one as she TKs all the books out and rearranges them. She wants to read 'The Art of the To-Do List' again. Of course she does. *Headdesk* Did I mention how much I dislike her checklist obsession?! Anyway, Spike laughs and all the books fall. Twilight, that's on YOU, not him. He's got a Fire ruby and has been aging it for months, even has a tuning fork. It's his birthday gift to himself. he slips, but catches it with his tail. He cracks a joke and Twilight is mad at him, because of course it's his fault a little chuckling messed you up.

Back from commercial and Rarity enters and is agog at the Fire Ruby. She wanted books on historical fashion, but suddenly realizes Spike is gonna eat the Fire Ruby. Because he's a dragon, don'cha know. Rarity fights with herself for about a half-minute before she turns on the charm and cons him out of it. I do not like her doing this. She knows her effect on Spike, knows this is a birthday present for himself and she goes through with it. Self-control, Rarity. Do you cogitate it?! Anyway, at least she kisses him and we get the standard 'I won't wash this cheek again' bit. Except Spike doesn't wash his cheek, at least for a week. Dear god I think that lip imprint is gaining sapience! Kill it with fire or at least a chainsword! Oh, and Golden Oaks is decked out for Spike's birthday. Aww. :) It's quite heartwarming to see Twilight going all-out like this.

He runs off but she 'ports him back in a funny gag. Pinkie... pops into the teleport. Okay, folks? I'll let you fill in the blank. What would Striker say? "Pinkie got into the teleport because____" Spike's amazed he's got birthday presents! Dash's is a weight with a ribbon tied around it. Before, all he got was one birthday present. From twilight. A book. And on cue she backs up, book behind her and looking sheepish. Okay, to be massively fair to Twilight 1. she remembered his birthday and 2. she was pretty clueless about this kind of stuff beforehand. It would've been entirely within limits for them to have her to not even have remembered his birthday. Anyway, Rarity shows off her new cloak for a new line. She was inspired by Spike's generosity. She even nuzzles him. Okay... that was good. We cut to later on and Spike incredibly grateful for his presents. He wishes the party could last forever! Pinkie says the party can't last forever, though. I knew it! Season-two Pinkie is a changeling infiltrator! A really bad one, too. No, the Cakes' have a surprise for him at Sugarcube Corner! They have a sapphire-flavored cupcake for him. Outside, he bumps into Cheerilee, but he manages to save the cupcake. Then he eats it in one gulp. He then helps with the groceries. He lets spill it's his birthday, so Cheerilee gives him a pimpin' hat. Why she has a pimpin' hat with her groceries, I have no clue. Michael Jackson impersonation auditions? Is she a Smooth Criminal? Equestria may never know...

We fade to Spike walking along, with his Pimpin' Hat of Coolness +20. He ponders about his birthday and presents. So he sees Lickety-Split, tells him it's his birthday and he now has a ball. His eyes narrows and we get 'Bad Feeling' time. He goes to Junebug and freaks her out a bit, asking for flowers. Twilight intervenes. For a moment, he seems to snap out of it, and his eyes go wonky and his tongue gets long. O-kay. The next morning, Twilight wakes up... and finds Spike's Hoard, Beta Version at the foot of her bed. Spike's also grown and is pimptastic with his hat.

After commercial, Spike is freaked out. He's also got sparkly-vision. All over. He wants the Precious, and everything's the Precious! Good lord Gollum would be going, "Tone it down a notch!" His voice also goes deeper. That weirds him out a bit and we cut to Equestria's Suckiest Doctor. The doctor treats Spike like a friggin' child, then says he doesn't know anything about dragons, then suggests a vet. Asshole. The vet has never seen a dragon before. This has got to be out of Ponyville, then. The vet treats Spike like a dog and I'm getting pissed. Twilight's getting worried. At Zecora's, she tries a watch, then some breakdancing. Unfortunately Spike doesn't have his hat, so it's only 50% as cool as it could be. He's maturing, and a dragon's prone to greed. They get bigger with the growth of their hoard, but that means they want more. It's a damned vicious cycle, and one I really hate. Spike breaks free, and Twilight chases him down and finds him trying to take Scootaloo's scooter! He's also devolved into Hulk-Speak, another thing I really don't like.

Twilight tempts him with a broom and he grows. Nice job breaking Ponyville, Twilight! She leads him back to Golden Oaks and locks him in the library. Turns out books can be boarded, too. "Spike, I just re-shelved this room!" PRIORITIES, MOTHERBUCKER! And it turns out dragon beats wood. We cut to Applejack and her bare trees. Someone stole their apples and leaves. Three guesses as to who and the first two don't count. Twilight asks for her help, but Applejack laughs it off. On cue, Spike runs by. "Twilight, get my rope." And of course, epic leaf mustache. They run, but Spike ducks and they tie themselves up. Twilight'' forgets about her TK. Ugh. Dash flies down and laughs at their predicament, because Dash. Suddenly, there's an indistinct scream! Dash knows it's Fluttershy, though. Insert innuendo. She's up in a tree. She was helping some squirrels with a dance step, then a d-d-d-dragon stormed through and stole her chicken coop! He then... no, I won't do it and you can't make me. :P Anyway, learning it's Spike must be a rather big 'worst fear' for Fluttershy, there.

We then get another scream, this one Pinkie Pie. She's assaulting him with cake! He took the cake, all right, and grows and demolishes Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie is in utter shock. We then finally go to Carousel Boutique, where Spike as Godzilla pulls a King Kong. A loudspeaker we've never seen before set up in the middle of the street sounds out, and Spike rips it out of the ground. Spike's lost it and pulls the water tower top off as a hoard container, with a rather amusing bit of the water holding shape for a moment before rushing down and out. Rarity scolds him and her manedo is turned into a ski ramp. Fluttershy and Dash try-emphasis on 'try'- to talk him out of this, but no-go. Good cop, bad cop doesn't work as he uses his tail and catches the pair in Rarity's cape. Then the Wonderbolts fly in and... slice his spinal scales off. Okay, hardcore there. But he uses the water tower top to cage them. They fly right into it, by the way. Spike didn't even move it much. Lame.

Rarity tries to 'Dog and Pony Show' her way out of it, with the ripped cape the worst thing, natch. Spike spies the Fire Ruby, and Rarity partially-redeems herself by trying to protect it. And Spike... remembers giving it to her. And it snaps him out of it as all his extra mass goes into subspace. It's a Transformers thing. Look it up. :P He turns to normal and both plummet to the ground. Dash and Fluttershy grab the cape and fly up to them! While in the freefall, Spike tries to confess, but Rarity puts a hoof over his mouth. She knows already and it's actually a pretty nice moment. Fortunately, the pegasi come to the rescue! Fluttershy is ecstatic! Also, thew tower top falls off and we find the Wonderbolts, huddling together in apparent fright. They puff out before flying out.

Spike sees the carnage he caused, comparing his current hand with the Kaiju-class imprint left by his greedified self. Ouch, poor guy. :( Rarity says she's proud of him, because he managed to reel himself in and stop him from destroying Ponyville. Well, destroying it more. This time, Spike writes the letter, about learning it's better to give than receive, which is a good lesson. We also see Rarity handing out cloaks to the others, and they learned from 'Suited for Success' and just accept the darned things. And we iris in on Spike's cheek with the kiss in a picture frame. hah, hah?

Thoughts

Eh, this one doesn't sit well with me. Now before anyone says anything about RPG dragons or from D&D and whatnot, keep this in mind. I don't know anything about them. At all. I own some Star Wars and Star Trek RPG guides for fanfic material! So, anyway, there's one big thing about this episode I hate...

Greed Growth.

So, a dragon gets stuff, gets greedy, grows and gets greedier, apparently losing IQ points. I do NOT like this, nor do I like the implications for Spike. I know some people will say, "Striker, it may not be that way for other dragons! Spike might've been affected by Twilight's magic burst!" there's two things wrong with this. One, it's fanon and unconfirmed. And second, it deosn't matter if it doesn't affect other dragons...

Because it affects Spike.

Spike gets screwed over in this show. A lot. And it pisses me off. Some bad stuff, okay, rule of funny and all that. but he gets dumped on and dumped on and dumped on so much it'd take an army of Junkions to dig him out. This is one instance of that. How far does it go? Can he get anything beyond a book? Is he stuck a child forever? Are parties out of the question? There are a lot of unspoken and unfortunate implications, here.

And before anyone brings up one of the latest comics, please keep in mind this episode was a few years before it and the comics and show are separate canon. Besides, fitting Fillydelphia and Dragon Quest together would be an exercise in frustration!

Rarity... I don't 'ship her and Spike, even if I wasn't a Rarijack 'shipper. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't feel right to me. We also see she knows how he feels, which puts how she treats him into an even skeevier light than before.

So to sum up... lemme put it to you this way. I formulated some stuff for dragons for the Hasbroverse before season two even started, and there's almost nothing I've used from the show for it.

Tomorrow, something a little more pleasant as we see Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon actually show tiny nuggets of goodness between being assholes! 'family Appreciation Day' tomorrow, folks! Zap apple jam for all!

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Good point on them not including Spike with Twilight's birthday party, especially as the episode came from Meghan McCarthy, who is arguably the best writer for Spike so it was really ooc for her to completely forget about him.

 

As for Secret of my excess, I do agree that the implication that the adult dragons are greedy assholes doesn't sit well with me. Do you think they're actually trying to move away from that trait or so in the later seasons?

 

Thx for the reviews man and please keep it up!

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20 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Good point on them not including Spike with Twilight's birthday party, especially as the episode came from Meghan McCarthy, who is arguably the best writer for Spike so it was really ooc for her to completely forget about him.

Yup. Some people wonder why Spike's viewed as a chew toy. This is a prime example of that.

 

20 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

As for Secret of my excess, I do agree that the implication that the adult dragons are greedy assholes doesn't sit well with me. Do you think they're actually trying to move away from that trait or so in the later seasons?

With Ember and the whole Dragon Lord thing, I'd say yes. And thank goodness for it, too!

 

20 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

Thx for the reviews man and please keep it up!

Thanks. Although I'll have to restart reviewing, since these are all older review. ;)

 

13 hours ago, MasterSaruwatari said:

Someone been busy:) I just got done with the semester. So expect me to talk about the finale in my thread.

Good to read on that.

 

Okay, folks! Set your timers! We have possible good actions by Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, here! This is not a drill! Also, it's time for...

Family Appreciation Day

 

Originally posted here on April 8th, 2015.

 

It's early morning at Sweet Apple Acres. Suddenly, there's howling! Applebloom, Applejack and Big Mac are woken up by Granny Smith yelling that the timber-wolves are howling! The zap-apples are coming, and if you've never seen this episode, you have no idea of the context of that. :D Also, good to hear Big Mac saying something other than 'yup' or 'nope' then. After commercial and baskets are placed under trees. Inside, Applebloom is helping Granny to make zap-apple jam, but Granny is a bit... out of it. There's a number of steps, as always with secret recipes. Think of the bibi-babka's from that one episode of Perfect Strangers. She hands Applebloom a broom while she reboots. Outside, ominous wind and clouds! We even get a cool shot of Big Mac looking all serious-like. Suddenly, the trees start sparking. Apparently they paid too muchm on their electic bill and are getting extra voltage. :P Leaves spring from the bare branches and the clouds part. How... interesting? We pan over and we have our first sighting of Filthy Rich, and his daughter, Diamond 'two-dimensional' Tiara.

We cut to... Granny and Applebloom in bunny outfits, hopping over watering cans while singing the alphabet song. Makes just as much sense watching it folks. Filthy's heard a zap-apple harvest is coming, and has come to make sure he gets 100 jars. While they negotiate the purchase, Diamond Tiara is 1. an asshole and 2. an asshole. She puts down Granny Smith and mocks Applebloom. We cut to the pair of Apple's in Ponyville, getting supplies. Granny's... enthusiastic and Applebloom's embarrassed. Also, Granny is apparently a bee-whisperer. And on cue Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon walk by. Applebloom's mortified, and I can... kinda see why.

We cut to the schoolhouse and Filthy rich explaining how he built his Barnyard Bargains empire and... holy. No. NO. NO! Diamond Tiara is... watching. Attentively. She's paying attention to her father with a loving expression on her face.

HOLY SHIT SHE'S NOT A JERKASS HERE!!!!!!!!!

I... I need to stop for a moment. This is big, folks. I mean really big, here. It's her first decent act... in the show. I mean, my god! Admittedly it is literally 'blink and you'll miss it', but for her this is massive improvement, especially when every other student looks like they got tranquilized! We also learn he prefers Mister Rich. No relation to Richie. Next week is Applebloom's turn. Applejack and Big Mac can't come, and she realizes it'd be too embarrassing for Granny to come, but Diamond Tiara shows her true colors and says Granny can come. Ah, a tiny spark of decency, snuffed by your enormous assholishness. I am looking forward to this episode's picture. *Evil smile* After commercial, we see Applebloom failing to get Applejack to help. Also, ominous clouds again! Also, a large murder of crows. I think they're crows, not sure. Anyway, the third sign! Stop, caution, men at work? Maybe Equestria is the land down under? Flowers bloom on all the trees, star-shaped and it looks very cool.

At the CMC clubhouse, Applebloom is taking Sweetie Belle's spot as the dictionary as she frets worse than a stratocaster. They'll help her, but Applebloom is sick from worry! But the CMC gets an idea! In the kitchen, Granny has flashed back to her days as a drill sergeant, apparently. She smacks one, and it cracks under pressure. Court-martialed! Upstairs, the CMC work to make Applebloom appear ill. Granny comes upstairs, but sees through it. Applebloom is getting antsy, but the fourth sign appears! The flowers burst into silver-colored apples. Paris breathes a sigh of relief. They get the idea to pick the zap-apples early, and Applebloom says the zap-apples aren't normal. Really?! Sweetie Belle tries to buck them down, but gets friggin' electrocuted! Applebloom tries picking them, but they're stuck tighter than that guy in the super glue commercials over the Grand Canyon.

The next day, Cheerilee comes over because Applebloom said she wanted to speak with her. I sense shenanigans afoot. Inside, Granny has been turned into a marionette. Good lord how deeply does she sleep?! Cheerilee... buys it. Okay, to be semi-fair it's through a window. But the pulley system breaks and Granny wakes up. And the plan's foiled. And then she's hauled into the air. Okay. Sweetie Belle gets the idea to get Granny out of town, and suddenly the thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes! The clouds part, natch. We get a rainbow and the zap-apples change from silver to rainbow-colored. And they do it by shooting out laser beams. Scootaloo comes over, dressed as a telegram delivery filly, then gets shot. :P Uncle Apple Strudel wants her to visit, and Applebloom conveniently shows up to tell her about the 8 AM train. And gets her the saddlebags, too.

At the schoolhouse, Granny is obviously a no-show. And Applebloom is so sad. But suddenly Granny Smith outta nowhere! And with obligatory 'Diamond Tiara is a smug asshole' glance from her. She didn't miss the train, Apple Strudel was on it! Wait, what? He's there, with magnificent mustache and beard. Anyway, Granny starts, with a rather simplified map...

When she was a filly, there was no Ponyville. The Apple's were pilgrim ponies, collecting new seeds and selling old. Then one day the 'Smith' family was in Canterlot. Back then, lots of tents. Then Celestia on chariot! She looked at her father's seed collection, but saw the haggard condition of the family. So she gave them land of their own. Pa gave her a mighty kiss on the hoof, to his wife's irritation. :P They built their first home and planted an orchard. But food was short. One night, Granny went into the Everfree to search for food. And she found the zap-apples! She picked them, but timber-wolves make their first physical appearance! savor this, folks. It's all downhill from here for them. Granny got out of there, banged some pots and pans and scared them off! They planted the zap-apple seeds, and trees outta nowhere! Granny paid attention to the signs, making notes of them. She was mixing up the jam, and got the jam-making right. "Magic is as magic does." Stinking Rich, Diamond Tiara's great-grandfather, bought the jam and sold them> And before they knew it, Ponyville was born.

Back in the present, the foals are all astonished, as they should be. A damned fine story. And... Silver Spoon exhibits independent thought by clapping first! Holy crap, two acts of decency in one episode by them?! Has Gozer the Gozerian returned?! Scootaloo realizes Granny Smith founded Ponyville, and Applebloom rubs that into Diamond Tiara's face. Diamond Tiara calls her a kooky old lady, and you know what I'll say here. :P

Later on we see the zap-apple jam being sold. It's rather nice. :) Also good to see Applebloom making nice with Granny. Later on, all the kids want to help Granny sing to the water. Filthy Rich gets Diamond Tiara to sing to the water, too, in a belated attempt to get some sense into her. And we fade on Applejack and Applebloom.

Thoughts.

I love this episode. It's a great look at the Apple's, and at Granny Smith. And, well, aging too. Respecting your elders, which is something kids do need reminding of. ;) She's not getting any younger and has been around a long time. The episode touches on that, with her bad memory and the flashback.

Zap-apples are... really cool. Like, really cool. Interesting the signs, there. Earth pony magic? Could unicorns or pegasi raise them? I think so. It's more keeping an eye out for them and getting the stuff right. Very interesting and intriguing process, there. I really do like it.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon both show one decent act this episode. With the former, like I said, it's damned quick and damned small, but still there. So I'll give her that. But Diamond Tiara still shows what a massive asshole she is. The apple fell far from the proverbial tree between her and Filthy. Nice to see Silver Spoon isn't some semi-autonomous construct of Diamond Tiara, though. :P

Lemme put it to you this way. In chapter twenty-eight of The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds, I had those two brats get verbally owned by Danielle and Michelle Richards, human OCs. The general consensus? Good on them! Think about that for a second...

Headcanon

In the Hasbroverse, Applejack's the direct descendant of G1 Applejack. G1 Applejack founded 'Applejack Acres', but during the 'Nightmare War', the Apple clan was forced to flee. When Celestia saw them in Canterlot, she realized who they were and gave them their ancestral land back. Big Mac was a member of the Royal Tank Corps, but got a hardship discharge when his parents were killed in a flood.

So, get ready for tomorrow, folks. It's a double-dose of D'AWWWW as the Cake Twins are introduced in... Baby Cakes.

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So... ready for the d'aww? Ready for the cute? You may think you're ready, but you're not. Pound and Pumpkin Cake make their debut and Pinkie levels up in...

Baby Cakes

 

First posted here on April 12th, 2015.

 

We open in Ponyville General and the Mane Six looking into a maternity ward. We see carrot Cake inside, his Lantern Jaw of Justice covered in stubble. Nice touch. :) First, we meet Pound Cake. He yawns and my blood turns to sugar. Then he reveals Pumpkin and I keel over. Pinkie is right there with me. She pops down, then pops up inside the ward, complete with hat. not cool, Pinkie! They need quiet in there! Redheart is there to stop her, thank goodness. Pinkie sings a bit, and fortunately gets tossed out. Sorry, but like I said, those babies need quiet.

Applejack asks why Pound is a unicorn and Pumpkin a pegasus. And carrot gives some convoluted explanation about their family tree, complete with "And that makes sense, right?" And shifty look to the audience. And... this needed explanation? Really?! We fansneeded that? Anyway, both Dash, Twilight and Rarity drop some foreshadowing concerning pegasi and unicorn foals having flight/magic surges, which unfortunately flew under several viewers' radar. Pinkie's back inside with a cake. No candles, since they're zero years old. And I'll give her an A for effort.

Back from commercial, we zoom in on Sugarcube Corner. God, every time I see that place I get hungry. :P Pinkie has a cake because they're a month old and sings them a song. And as much as in other instances I'm not fond of her, here... I can't help but smile as she plays with Pound and Pumpkin. :) <--That's me in front of my computer. It makes a sad sort of sense since, if you think about it, she didn't have this when she was a foal. She wants them to have the happy childhood she didn't have. Carrot looks on while Pinkie plays "Here I am!" with the twins, which is a good game for their development. The Cakes' busy themselves with getting ready for work, but suddenly Pumpkin needs a diaper change! And Carrot changes them... WITH HIS MOUTH! Badass of the year, folks? Then Cup Cake feeds them. And Pinkie has a watch with 'party time' at the twelve o'clock.

The foals go off to play, and we do see Pound pounding and Pumpkin chewing. Uh, uh! No pounding or chewing. Pinkie says except food, but no! They've got a huge catering order and have to find a babysitter! Pinkie wants to do it, but... first Fluttershy, but she has a picnic with Angel. Fluttershy, I'm sure everyone would understand if you kicked the bunny away and babysat the twins. Twilight has to write a report summarizing all the other reports she's sent to Celestia and... screw it. Fourteen. Applejack is picking apples ahead of caterpillar pests. Hmm, wonder what Fluttershy would think of them. Dash has tickets to a Wonderbolts air show this afternoon, and Pinkie fails at juggling a cloud baby. And Rarity says no, because no. Finally, they cave and ask Pinkie. She says she'll have to check her schedule. Oh, and just when I was starting to like her...

Back at the Corner, Carrot asks if she understands the responsibility of babysitting. It's not like playing with them, after all. Responsibility is her middle name! No, it's 'Diane'. :P Cup makes sure to reinforce that it's not just play. She gives them a rather long list that would have Twilight drooling. Pinkie shoves her out, but as soon as the Cakes' are gone the twins begin bawling. Pinkie's response? "Uh, oh." She tries the 'Here I am!" game, but nope. Then she tries a standup routine. Tough crowd. "Tell me about it." Folks, it was a wipe. Not her being in two places at once. She then tries a pig song. It's... not quite what the twins want. She trips, rolls and gets flour doused on her. It's her ancestor, Surprise! And they laugh.

Now, snack time! Pumpkin... goes to suck on the tablecloth. And Pound pounds the baby chair. Flour bag time! "I think I can see where this is going." Bath time, and Pinkie has to chase them all over. They end up in the medicine chest, then Pinkie gets them inside, but they cry. Pinkie almost gets them calmed down, but a bubble pops on Pumpkin's horn and they cry. She tries massive toys, and Pound breaks the shower faucet. Unfortunately, a sopping-wet Pinkie has to go for the flour and ends up a mud golem.

Pinkie's perusing the list when she gets a whiff of something pugnacious. It's time for a diaper change, but Carrot Cake-STALLION OF ACTION!-isn't there. She slips the diapers onto her hooves... for some reason and tries to get the drop on them. They end up behind a dresser with a typical ball of crazy obscuring most of the action, and Pinkie ends up with a diaper on her head and butt. The doorbell rings, and thank Celestia it's Twilight! She finished the work, so stopped by. Pinkie is ecstatic! Twilight figured she'd need some help and Pinkie takes umbrage at that, despite being very grateful Twilight stopped by. Twilight makes a slightly-thoughtless remark about Pinkie not being up to the responsibility, and gets pushed out. Pinkie, so close there. You ALMOST had it. Pinkie has a brief realization that she hadn't been able to handle things on her own, so she determines to handle things!

She goes into the twin's room. She tells Pound a crib is for napping, sleeping and occasionally an old-timey western fort. She tells Pumpkin to stop slobbering on her rubber chicken. Cheese Sandwich hasn't debuted yet, after all! she tells them to fall asleep, and they do. How con-veeeeenient. She walks out, then looks back in and they're gone! And she freaks. Suddenly, there's a squeak. She checks the closet, and Pumpkin's in there with the chicken. Pinkie goes to find Pound, and the hallway is suddenly very ominous. There's even freaky, echoing noises and laughter. There's a shadow on the ceiling, and even the squeaking gets ominous. Pinkie looks up and... Pound is dancing on the ceiling, next to Lionel Richie! Pinkie, "You can fly?!" And somewhere, Samurai Jack goes, "No, jump good!"

Now there's an idea. Jack visits Equestria for a day. No Aku, just Jack.

Pinkie tries suction cups and gets him down. Pumpkin tries to reach for him, and floats all her toys over. Pinkie locks the toys up, then tries to pull Pound down. He manages to fly all over Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie in tow. Holy cow, this guy's got some wings on him. And Pumpkin floats herself up! They fly around, but Pinkie manages to cage them with their crib. Pumpkin friggin' phases through the netting, and Pound breaks the rope holding it down. And Pinkie loses it. She begins crying, and it's actually pretty damned sad. The twins actually notice this, so they... dump a bag of flour over their themselves to cheer Pinkie up. Aww. :)

We get a montage of Pinkie cleaning up while writing a letter to Celestia about responsibility, and the difference between playing with kids and caring for kids. It's a GREAT lesson and one everyone needs to know. At night, the Cakes' come home and Carrot's astonished the place is spotless. Upstairs, the twins are sleeping soundly. They're shocked, but very pleased. Carrot asks if she'd be willing to become their go-to babysitter. At first she says no... then the twins say her name. "I have some free time next Tuesday." And end.

Thoughts'

Can you tell how much I genuinely love this episode? I really, really do. It's heartwarming, funny as all heck, with some actually appropriate scare moments. The lesson about responsibility is great, not only for the target audience, but for everyone.

And Pinkie, good god she was great. She stepped up, here. She really, really did. A bit of backsliding with Twilight, but otherwise holy cow. If she was like this all the time she'd be number three, maybe tied for the two-spot.

The only things that bothered me about the episode... really weren't about the episode. I guess the whole 'pony genetics' thing was a thing? So glad I either don't remember or it passed me by. This is where my Doylist leanings really help out. There was no need for that convoluted explanation about the Cakes' family tree. The other thing was people calling foul on the twins. We had pretty blatant foreshadowing in the beginning from Dash, Twilight and Rarity, folks! There's also rule of funny/drama, too.

So, yeah. All in all I love this one.

Headcanon

In the Hasbroverse, I won't change a thing here. Maybe a month or two after this episode Danielle will have to sub for Pinkie Pie. "I had to babysit Michelle all the time, and did this part-time. I know all about it." Cue epic-level shenanigans. :D

 

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All right, class. Get your number-two pencils ready. Your history test is about to begin with...

Hearth's Warming Eve

 

Originally posted here on April 13th, 2015.

 

It's snowing in Ponyville! After the February and March New England had I'm ready to dropkick Old Man Winter into an active volcano. :P We pan up and zoom in on the Friendship Express as it chugs along, leaving Thomas and Team Bullet Train in the dust. No, seriously. There really was a train combiner team for the Autobots in the 2000 RID anime. :D I own all three. They're all excited, and they just can't hide it! Fluttershy even shouts in her own, quiet way. Doc Brown in the engine looks back and nods. They're going to Canterlot, and Rarity has an insane hat. It's a Christmas tree. Is she going to the Royal Wedding? It's not Christmas, though. It's Hearth's Warming Eve, the Equestrian equivalent. Canterlot's all decked out for it. They play 'I Spy'. Sadly, neither Bill Cosby nor Robert Culp are available. Scootaloo's got her tongue stuck to a candy cane. I am so glad I never did that. Pinkie spies someone eating a gingerbread house... and she runs into a shop, buys one and scarfs it down. Okay, that was golden.

At Canterlot Castle, complete with epic theme! We cut to a stage, then backstage as the Mane Six are getting to put on a play, "the most important play of the season!" according to Twilight. Fluttershy has stage fright, natch. Rarity tries... but exacerbates things. Suddenly, a window blows open while Dash cheers herself on. Applejack exposits that the play's about the founding of Equestria, not the Rainbow Dash show. Good luck getting her to realize that. :P There's a bit of arguing and chaos, but curtain in two minutes!

The curtains go up, and Spike the narrator starts. Before the Princesses ruled and even before Equestria was discovered, ponies did not live in harmony. It was a dark time, the time of G3 and even... 3.5! *Scare chord* The ponies lived apart in the Three Tribes, split along earth, pegasus and unicorn lines. The pegasi controlled the weather and the unicorns controlled day and night, in exchange for food from the earth ponies. Like a protection racket. "You know, that's a nice field of pumpkins. It'd be a real shame if an errant rainstorm swept through and washed it all away." :P But one day, tensions came to a boil. What happened? A blizzard! Bah, come to New England. We'll show you how to deal with snow! :P

Anyway, we transition from the play to, "Way back in olden times!" The earth ponies couldn't farm. So the pegasi couldn't eat and the unicorns were freezing and hungry. They all blamed each other, and as their anger grew, so did the snow. The tribes called a summit, with Princess Platinum, played by Rarity, Commander Hurricane, played by Dash, and Chancellor Puddinghead, played by Pinkie and complete with kazoos for her entrance. And... it's a disaster. The pegasi accuse the earth ponies of hogging food. The earth ponies accuse the pegasi of making it snow like crazy, then the pegasi accuse the unicorns of using their 'freaky magic' to make it snow. Yeah, it's pretty pathetic. They even get into a fight over who leaves first. And right before the commercial we see ghost ponies!!!!

After a brief bit in the play, it's back to history. Hurricane flies home and we meet Private Pansy, played by Fluttershy. And we get the pegasi as 'mighty warriors!' and he decides they've got to leave. Back with the unicorns, we meet Clover the Clever, played by Twilight. She's the student of Star Swirl the Bearded, too! Same thing with Platinum. They're leaving. And the unicorns are noble and majestic. And with the earth ponies, was rinse and repeat. Smart Cookie, played by Applejack. We also learn Puddinghead can think inside the chimney. It makes just as much sense in context, folks. :P And to emphasize, all three declare with split-screen action, "We must find a new land!"

We see the three pairs moving out, Hurricane paranoid, Platinum fussy and Puddinghead nutsy. I'm kinda surprised at least Clover and Smart Cookie didn't kill their 'fearless leaders' and dig shallow graves out in the wilderness. Spike narrates that they found 'Paradise', as all three pairs arrive basically in the same general area at the same general time. And another split screen of the three leaders declaring, "We found our new home!" Then we pan back and they're all within spitting distance of each other. :P As they argue, a cold wind blows through. Their subordinates try for calm and the wind dies down, but a snowball fight breaks out. Wait, snow?! Yup, there's a blizzard moving in already. Puddinghead, in a moment of clarity, wonders where the snow came from. And more ghost ponies, too.

Back in the theater, a pony heckles Spike and I toss her out. :P They all seek shelter in a cave. Platinum asks for her 'royal space', and Hurricane has Pansy draw a line in the dirt. Platinum and Puddinghead follow suit. They then fight over a rock. And it's not even a big rock. The wind enters the cave and the ceiling and entrance ice over. Puddinghead, Hurricane and Platinum begin to friggin' ice over themselves. They can't even stop arguing, for Primus' sake! "Earth ponies are numbskulls!" "Pegasi are brutes!" "Unicorns are snobs!" And they're frozen with their hatred.

Clover, Smart Cookie and Pansy huddle in the center as the ghost ponies, recognized as 'windigos' by Clover, advance. We also learn Star Swirl taught her about them. More on that later. They feed on hatred and strife, and Smart Cookie realizes they brought this upon themselves. Pansy says she doesn't hate them, and hates Hurricane more than them. No, she just dislikes him. They reconcile and say they don't hate each other. They're all ponies, and just in the nick of time... Clover's horn lights up! and the windigos are burned away. Holy crap, I forgot that part! The magic forms a giant, flaming, pulsating heart. Nothing like this has happened before, but it wasn't just Clover! It was their friendship. Spike narrates that they stayed awake, singing songs. The leaders thawed out and so did the land. They agreed to share the land, and even planted a new flag. A flag with the alicorns on it. :P My view, it's from the play itself. They named it Equestria. The stars of the play come out and take their bows. There's singing, streamers and it's a good feeling I've got at the moment. :)

Later on, everyone's hugging backstage. Suddenly, the window flies open again. there's some arguing, then a possible roar. Dash flies up to shut it, and we pan back and see a giant flaming heart above the playhouse. The end.

Thoughts

I... really like this episode. It's their 'holiday' episode, basically. And Hearth's Warming is a good Equestrian equivalent, IMHO. It's festive, it's cheery, it's snowy.

Some people think this episode contradicted stuff from earlier. I... really don't see it. The only niggling thing might be the flag, but I see that as the flag used in the play itself. We saw it cutting back and forth between 'olden times' and the play. And to be honest I never took the play as 100% historically accurate anyway. Still don't. :P I've never read the 'Journal of the Two Sisters' and quite honestly don't plan to. I see it as two parts history, one part Aesop, one part narrative compression, one part historical drift and one part:

"Hey, Bob? What's this say?"

"Chancellor Pudding... Hide? Pudding Had? Pudding something like that."

"Eh, we'll just go with Puddinghead."

I also don't think the rest of the tribes froze, but were able to move to the new lands as well.

For the record, if you want a really good take on Equestrian history, I highly recommend A Brief History of Equestria, by K9 the First.

Headcanon:

Back when I first started 'The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds', I realized there weren't enough ponies to grow into Equestria. So I invented three other groups to aid in that. They were...

1. The Ponies of the Plains, semi-nomadic earth pony farmer2.

2. The Sky CLans of the Peak, pegasi warriors, and...

3. the Mages of the Rock. Unicorn wizards living... on a mountain.

Sound familiar? :D I fused the Three Tribes with these groups. In the Habsroverse, the Three Tribes are the largest remnants of the Ancient Kingdom of Ponyland, after Queen Majesty was deposed of by Tirac the Abomination. They made contact with the Dream Valley enclave and formed the basis of the 'Equestrian Alliance'. However, Hurricane, Platinum and Puddinghead were not thawed out, and remain frozen to this day. The Mages' home is Canterlot, while the pegasi under the leadership of Firefly and her husband Bloodwing would found Cloudsdale. The windigos were a problem during one bad winter, but were driven off. Maybe. :P

I do have an idea where the play is put on, showing what 'really' happened. Trixie would be the director, natch. ;) Her role in the Hasbroverse is a bit... different than in the show. Megan's daughter Michelle would play Megan herself during the events. Maybe some day.

Also, the lineage of magic teachers to students goes...

Beorht taught the Moochik.

the Moochik taught Star Swirl the Bearded and an Oc I created named Spellion the Powerful.

Star Swirl taught Clover.

Clover taught Twilight Wish.

 

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It was the only thing I could think of to use, okay? :P:D

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22 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

I loved this episode at the time, but it also had my first disappointment with MLP.

How so?

 

Anyway, are we ready to get rolling, rolling, rolling and get those doggies moving? Miss Kitty's upstairs with a Bonanza for you all. But be careful of the Gunsmoke around the stables, though. As we get ready for...

The Last Roundup

 

Originally posted here on April 14th, 2015.

 

For the record, I'm using the 'Friendship Express' DVD for this episode.

Anyway, we open with Applejack galloping along an obstacle course, some familiar-sounding music playing. she goes bullet-time over one, but we get epic foreshadowing! when one of her hind hooves strikes the top. Applebloom is waving her on and wearing her hat, but it's still a size or two too big. Applebloom says she'll win the Equestria Rodeo Competition hooves down, and we even get a pan across all the blue ribbons she's won, at least won locally. She's blushing, it is adorable.

Back from commercial and... we get it. Dash is hanging up an Applejack-themed banner when lightning outta nowhere. And... "Careful, Derpy." Yes, she gets named here. No, I'm not going into the whole damned controversy and I would REALLY appreciate it if no one else does, either on RPG.net or my fimfic blog. It turns out Derpy damaged City Hall. Sadly, Mayor Mare was unharmed. She just doesn't know what went wrong! She even shocks herself. Derpy goes over to admire the work and causes even more damage. By the end I am feeling legit sympathy for Dash. We cut to a crowd chanting for Applejack. Mayor Mare speaks and talks about Applejack going to the Rodeo, and that the prize money is gonna go to fix Town Hall. Good lord, Mayor. I am SO voting you out of office in the Hasbroverse. make way for Mayor Ditzy! Applejack makes a nice speech about the support she's gotten, and that she'll do her best. At the train station, Granny says to show the 'high-faluting' ponies what a real rodeo pony is like. Granny, it's not like they haven't been training themselves, you know. Mayor Mare is still an idiot. Pinkie motor-mouths on and eats candy. Because. :P

A week passes and they're getting a surprise party ready. Fluttershy is concerned the party might be too startling, and Pinkie... startles her. *Striker hits Pinkie on the nose with a newspaper* Bad Pinkie! No dessert for a month for you! Twilight thinks she sees Applejack coming and Pinkie limbers her lips up. And... it's a mailpony, but it's his birthday! Twilight snatches the letter from him and slams the door in his face. Rude! But Pinkie gives him a slice of cake. Pinkie, you win all the points. And Twilight? Screw you. The letter's from Applejack. It turns out... she's not coming home! She'll send the money soon. Applebloom is devastated, as are the others. Dash says for them to go find her!

Okay, one thing's always bugged me. Why didn't either Applebloom or Big Mac go with them? Granny I can understand, but it's a plot hole with no in-universe explanation. Doesn't make much sense out-of-universe either.

We see the Friendship Express chugging along and them going to the rodeo, with a montage of them looking for Applejack and asking others about her. Finally, one recognizes her. They pull into Dodge Junction, with a Marshal Dillon there keeping the peace and Gil Favor bringing a herd of cattle through. Pinkie heads for the restroom, and it's Applejack who's in it. Okay, clever. They ask her why she's there and what happened, but... Miss Kitty in pony form interrupts. She's Cherry Jubilee, boss of Cherry-O Ranch. She saw Applejack at the rodeo and never saw anyone win so many ribbons, so she hired Applejack. Dash asks what's up, and Applejack says she wanted a change of scenery from apples to cherries. They don't buy it and are gonna get to the bottom of it.

We cut to Applejack getting ready to sort cherries. But it turns out the rest of the Mane Six get hired. Applejack tells them no talking about Ponyville, then begins walking around in a wheel and the cherries come out on a conveyor belt. For the record, this is a great homage to an incredibly funny scene from the classic sitcom 'I Love Lucy'. Right now, Lucy and Ethyl are next door, wrapping chocolates. :D They begin asking her questions, including about Wild Bull Hickok and Calamity Mane. As they talk, Applejack speeds up. Fluttershy and Pinkie are a bit stressed out. She stops and is assaulted by cherries.

Dash decides to 'call in the big guns', and we have a scare chord and epic zooming! on Pinkie. The next day, Applejack is cherrybucking. That so does not have the same ring to it. Pinkie asks if she needs help, then we get the cherry-changa/chimmycherrychonga thing. And kumquats! And dear god Applejack is feeling my pain. Dash says the only way for it to stop is to spill the beans. Applejack loses it, then asks if she can say it at breakfast tomorrow. She Pinkie Promises, even. The next morning they go to her room, but Applejack's gone!

And... Pinkie goes nuts and even speaks with the fuckin' Voice of the Legion! "No pony breaks a Pinkie promise!" That means I can break one, you know. :P We cut to Applejack at the train station, and Pinkie... god. Applejack leaps onto a stagecoach, but the others follow in a wagon of their own. Suddenly, there's a bunny in the road and Fluttershy puts on the brakes, forgetting about her wings. They try bribing the ponies pulling Applejack's wagon, and it's pretty clever. They catch up and Pinkie leaps onto the stagecoach. And Applejack says she didn't break the Pinkie Promise, since she didn't go to breakfast! She couldn't! and Pinkie... jumps off and knocks Rarity off the wagon. Pony what.

Twilight says to go back, but Dash says no. "They knew what they were getting into!" *Smacks Dash upside the head* Asshole. The train comes along. The stagecoach makes it, and the ponies leave her behind. Applejack thinks she's won... and the pegasi fly over. Nice. She runs off, but Dash tackles her, knocking the contents of her saddlebags open and spilling her ribbons out. Twilight's impressed, but Applejack's ashamed. She won every color and place... but blue and first. So she took the job at Cherry Jubilee's ranch to make the money. She couldn't come home a failure, but they didn't care what place she made.

We cut to Applejack coming home and mentally writing a letter to Celestia, that it's all right if you don't do as well as you hoped to. And that you can't run away from your problems. We see her being greeted, and it's nice. Then... back to Pinkie and Rarity on a rail cart, making their way home. Rarity swears vengeance on Dash and I can't blame her ONE BIT!

Thoughts:

It's not a bad episode. Not great, but I've seen worse. There are two worse coming up. It'[s a good lesson, about facing difficulties instead of running away from them. A few things, though...

1. Why didn't APplebloom and/or Big Mac go with them to find Applejack?

2. Aren't there other prizes for placing in competitions? I don't recall too many where only first-place gets money.

3. Why didn't they go back for Rarity and Pinkie?! 'Rule of funny' doesn't cover it since I didn't find it funny.

Headcanon:

It concerns our resident ditz of a Ditzy. What's she like in the Hasbroverse? It's mostly like the fanon. She's a mail carrier, married to Doctor Whooves, formerly the Doctor. They're the parents of Dinky and Amethyst Sparkler. Ditzy's a lot older than she looks. The Doctor runs a fix-it shop in Ponyille, and up until about a month after 'The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds', the TARDIS was actually too damaged to fly. It's his last life, me having made up the canon before Day of the Doctor, but the War Doctor still exists. It's just the Meta-Crisis version wasn't a regeneration here. He also lost pretty much all his plot armor.

Now, tune in tomorrow for... The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000. Oh, joy, economics [/deadpan]. I'll have to dig out my Swindle toys, too.

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4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

How so?

 

Anyway, are we ready to get rolling, rolling, rolling and get those doggies moving? Miss Kitty's upstairs with a Bonanza for you all. But be careful of the Gunsmoke around the stables, though. As we get ready for...

The Last Roundup

 

Originally posted here on April 14th, 2015.

 

For the record, I'm using the 'Friendship Express' DVD for this episode.

Anyway, we open with Applejack galloping along an obstacle course, some familiar-sounding music playing. she goes bullet-time over one, but we get epic foreshadowing! when one of her hind hooves strikes the top. Applebloom is waving her on and wearing her hat, but it's still a size or two too big. Applebloom says she'll win the Equestria Rodeo Competition hooves down, and we even get a pan across all the blue ribbons she's won, at least won locally. She's blushing, it is adorable.

Back from commercial and... we get it. Dash is hanging up an Applejack-themed banner when lightning outta nowhere. And... "Careful, Derpy." Yes, she gets named here. No, I'm not going into the whole damned controversy and I would REALLY appreciate it if no one else does, either on RPG.net or my fimfic blog. It turns out Derpy damaged City Hall. Sadly, Mayor Mare was unharmed. She just doesn't know what went wrong! She even shocks herself. Derpy goes over to admire the work and causes even more damage. By the end I am feeling legit sympathy for Dash. We cut to a crowd chanting for Applejack. Mayor Mare speaks and talks about Applejack going to the Rodeo, and that the prize money is gonna go to fix Town Hall. Good lord, Mayor. I am SO voting you out of office in the Hasbroverse. make way for Mayor Ditzy! Applejack makes a nice speech about the support she's gotten, and that she'll do her best. At the train station, Granny says to show the 'high-faluting' ponies what a real rodeo pony is like. Granny, it's not like they haven't been training themselves, you know. Mayor Mare is still an idiot. Pinkie motor-mouths on and eats candy. Because. :P

A week passes and they're getting a surprise party ready. Fluttershy is concerned the party might be too startling, and Pinkie... startles her. *Striker hits Pinkie on the nose with a newspaper* Bad Pinkie! No dessert for a month for you! Twilight thinks she sees Applejack coming and Pinkie limbers her lips up. And... it's a mailpony, but it's his birthday! Twilight snatches the letter from him and slams the door in his face. Rude! But Pinkie gives him a slice of cake. Pinkie, you win all the points. And Twilight? Screw you. The letter's from Applejack. It turns out... she's not coming home! She'll send the money soon. Applebloom is devastated, as are the others. Dash says for them to go find her!

Okay, one thing's always bugged me. Why didn't either Applebloom or Big Mac go with them? Granny I can understand, but it's a plot hole with no in-universe explanation. Doesn't make much sense out-of-universe either.

We see the Friendship Express chugging along and them going to the rodeo, with a montage of them looking for Applejack and asking others about her. Finally, one recognizes her. They pull into Dodge Junction, with a Marshal Dillon there keeping the peace and Gil Favor bringing a herd of cattle through. Pinkie heads for the restroom, and it's Applejack who's in it. Okay, clever. They ask her why she's there and what happened, but... Miss Kitty in pony form interrupts. She's Cherry Jubilee, boss of Cherry-O Ranch. She saw Applejack at the rodeo and never saw anyone win so many ribbons, so she hired Applejack. Dash asks what's up, and Applejack says she wanted a change of scenery from apples to cherries. They don't buy it and are gonna get to the bottom of it.

We cut to Applejack getting ready to sort cherries. But it turns out the rest of the Mane Six get hired. Applejack tells them no talking about Ponyville, then begins walking around in a wheel and the cherries come out on a conveyor belt. For the record, this is a great homage to an incredibly funny scene from the classic sitcom 'I Love Lucy'. Right now, Lucy and Ethyl are next door, wrapping chocolates. :D They begin asking her questions, including about Wild Bull Hickok and Calamity Mane. As they talk, Applejack speeds up. Fluttershy and Pinkie are a bit stressed out. She stops and is assaulted by cherries.

Dash decides to 'call in the big guns', and we have a scare chord and epic zooming! on Pinkie. The next day, Applejack is cherrybucking. That so does not have the same ring to it. Pinkie asks if she needs help, then we get the cherry-changa/chimmycherrychonga thing. And kumquats! And dear god Applejack is feeling my pain. Dash says the only way for it to stop is to spill the beans. Applejack loses it, then asks if she can say it at breakfast tomorrow. She Pinkie Promises, even. The next morning they go to her room, but Applejack's gone!

And... Pinkie goes nuts and even speaks with the fuckin' Voice of the Legion! "No pony breaks a Pinkie promise!" That means I can break one, you know. :P We cut to Applejack at the train station, and Pinkie... god. Applejack leaps onto a stagecoach, but the others follow in a wagon of their own. Suddenly, there's a bunny in the road and Fluttershy puts on the brakes, forgetting about her wings. They try bribing the ponies pulling Applejack's wagon, and it's pretty clever. They catch up and Pinkie leaps onto the stagecoach. And Applejack says she didn't break the Pinkie Promise, since she didn't go to breakfast! She couldn't! and Pinkie... jumps off and knocks Rarity off the wagon. Pony what.

Twilight says to go back, but Dash says no. "They knew what they were getting into!" *Smacks Dash upside the head* Asshole. The train comes along. The stagecoach makes it, and the ponies leave her behind. Applejack thinks she's won... and the pegasi fly over. Nice. She runs off, but Dash tackles her, knocking the contents of her saddlebags open and spilling her ribbons out. Twilight's impressed, but Applejack's ashamed. She won every color and place... but blue and first. So she took the job at Cherry Jubilee's ranch to make the money. She couldn't come home a failure, but they didn't care what place she made.

We cut to Applejack coming home and mentally writing a letter to Celestia, that it's all right if you don't do as well as you hoped to. And that you can't run away from your problems. We see her being greeted, and it's nice. Then... back to Pinkie and Rarity on a rail cart, making their way home. Rarity swears vengeance on Dash and I can't blame her ONE BIT!

Thoughts:

It's not a bad episode. Not great, but I've seen worse. There are two worse coming up. It'[s a good lesson, about facing difficulties instead of running away from them. A few things, though...

1. Why didn't APplebloom and/or Big Mac go with them to find Applejack?

2. Aren't there other prizes for placing in competitions? I don't recall too many where only first-place gets money.

3. Why didn't they go back for Rarity and Pinkie?! 'Rule of funny' doesn't cover it since I didn't find it funny.

Headcanon:

It concerns our resident ditz of a Ditzy. What's she like in the Hasbroverse? It's mostly like the fanon. She's a mail carrier, married to Doctor Whooves, formerly the Doctor. They're the parents of Dinky and Amethyst Sparkler. Ditzy's a lot older than she looks. The Doctor runs a fix-it shop in Ponyille, and up until about a month after 'The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds', the TARDIS was actually too damaged to fly. It's his last life, me having made up the canon before Day of the Doctor, but the War Doctor still exists. It's just the Meta-Crisis version wasn't a regeneration here. He also lost pretty much all his plot armor.

Now, tune in tomorrow for... The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000. Oh, joy, economics [/deadpan]. I'll have to dig out my Swindle toys, too.

IMG_20150414_154937_zpsnri4q54l.jpg?t=1428955649

 

Those and the fact the bloody censors had to react to whining for derpy's original voice and changed it to someone especially bored as her new voice. Thank god Slice of Life gave us her voice back (in a more feminine) style.

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13 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

How so?

It's something very subjective and very nitpicky but it was the first time the rose-tinted glasses broke and I realized that the production staff didn't seem to give the cartoon their 100%. It's about the flags for each tribe, the one for the united Equestria and the absence of the Two Sisters in this story. I felt that, in light of Celestia's absence, the unicorns' ability of raising the sun and the moon marked the beginning of Celestia's journey into uselessness and put front and center the fact that the production staff doesn't really give a damn.

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18 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

 

Those and the fact the bloody censors had to react to whining for derpy's original voice and changed it to someone especially bored as her new voice. Thank god Slice of Life gave us her voice back (in a more feminine) style.

I know. It was just... dumb of them to change it. And I still don't get what the problem was!

 

8 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

It's something very subjective and very nitpicky but it was the first time the rose-tinted glasses broke and I realized that the production staff didn't seem to give the cartoon their 100%. It's about the flags for each tribe, the one for the united Equestria and the absence of the Two Sisters in this story. I felt that, in light of Celestia's absence, the unicorns' ability of raising the sun and the moon marked the beginning of Celestia's journey into uselessness and put front and center the fact that the production staff doesn't really give a damn.

The flag, I don't mind. The unicorns... that's not too bad of a point, actually.

 

Okay... Are we all ready for one hell of a headache? Do we have our pencils, papers, graph paper and what not? Good, because the FlimFlam Brothers are here with...

The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000

 

Originally posted here on April 15th, 2015.

 

It's night at Fluttershy's cottage. Suddenly, Dash bursts through the window! She pulls away Fluttershy's blankets and Flutters covers herself up. I laugh every time at that one. :D Turns out Cider Season is about to start! And cue the 'Dash is a lush' jokes. :P Dash grouses about previous seasons and Pinkie 'the asshole' Pie getting ahead and them running out. But Dash goes into asshole mode with her 'buy some for later and drink it in front of her, drop by drop' thing. They arrive and the line stretches out past the frame. Turns out Pinkie had the idea to camp out, then told others about it. "Hope they don't run out before you get any." First mention of 'innocently insensitive' and/or 'it's just Pinkie Pie' and I will fucking NUKE you.

After the commercials, Applejack opens cider season. Pinkie buys almost a dozen or so mugs and my urge to kill is redlining already. We see the operation. Granny runs the till. Applebloom pours the cider. Big Mac gets barrels when the others are empty. Fluttershy gets one, and just as Dash gets up there... it runs out. Yeah, not really 'funny' to me. Fluttershy offers Dash hers, but Dash is pissed and wants to know why there isn't enough cider for all, and the crowd gets ugly. Applejack says they took measures to increase production, but it's made with 'love and integrity'. It takes time. We'll get back to this, but for the record, I'm not buying it too much.

We get a scene of Pinkie rubbing the cider into Dash's face, and I honestly wish I could punch her. Or even better, if Dash could punch her. Suddenly, a steampunkish contraption of a carriage pulls up! It also knocks into the Apple family's fence. Foreshadowing? Foreshadowing. And Flim and Flam hop off. Are they gonna sell a monorail? Oceanfront property in Mongolia? The Brooklyn Bridge? Tell the evils of pool halls? Well, with an incredibly catchy number, they sell their machine, the titular Super Speedy Cider Sqwueezy 6000, which from now on I'll refer to as the machine. And they got the crowd eating out of the pad of their hooves. They fire up the machine, and Rarity faints for... effect.

By the way, if this stuff isn't RL_style alcoholic, it sure as hell affects the Equestrian ponies that way.

The thing sucks up apples, and there's a window to the interior. Granny interrupts in song, reminding them of quality. She also sips some, and you can tell by her expression it's good stuff. Turns out, the machine has quality control, some damned advanced QC too. It's obvious the machine works and works well. Applebloom says they've got a deal! But Granny's not buying it, despite her expression during the musical number. They huddle, decide on 42 long and to heave it deep into the end zone. Applejack's unsure, then the Brothers break into the huddle and say they'll supply the machine if they supply the apples and split it 75/25, with 75% of the profits... going to the FlimFlam brothers. And I call bullshit on that!

Applejack does, too. She also notes cider sales keep Sweet Apple Acres afloat during the winter. And I had to correct 'afloat' twice, there. *Headdesk* "No deal," Big Mac says. So they'll compete. With what, though? They have no apples to compete with. Next morning, another line. And last cup, and the line is pissed. The FlimFlam Brothers pull up, denting the fence again. and they somehow got cider. Dash is about to take a drink when Applejack lassos a barrel away and Dash's mug gets knocked away and spills into the ground. It's... not funny for me. She is CHEWING THE DIRT! Oh, and the cider was made from Apple family apples. So here's the challenge.

The machine can make enough cider to satisfy the whole town. Applebloom says they can do it in forty-five minutes! One of the brothers-I can never remember how to tell them apart-calls her chicken and she goes Marty McFly on them. She says they can use the south field. It'll be worth it, apparently. And we have a bet, from the episode itself...

"Whoever produces the most barrels in one hour wins the exclusive right to sell cider in Ponyville." Applejack is about to stroke out, for the record. According to her, if they lose, they lose the farm.

The next morning, the Apple family is getting ready, with Big Mac sporting some awesome goggles, Granny with some cool glasses and Applejack kicking a punching bag, with Applebloom hanging on for ballast. Mayor Mare announces the stakes and the crowd... wasn't aware of it? There's some grumbling and audible, "Oh, really?" there. And it's Doctor Whooves at the hourglass, like days of our lives.

The Brothers power up their machine and they lounge back. Meanwhile, Applejack kicks down apples, Applebloom collects them, Granny critiques them and Big Mac runs on a treadmill, powering their cider press. As the barrel fills he caps it, kicks it away and gets another. And in the time it takes them to get one barrel filled... they have six filled. Rarity says they make one barrel to the twins' three, though, but visually it was six. I am going with six to one since Rarity might not have counted properly. And the pile's growing. Twilight asks if honorary members can help, and the Brothers, in their idiocy, declare all of Canterlot can help! applejack, in a legit sign of character development, accepts. It's heartwarming.

Twilight has Fluttershy help with the trees, Pinkie help with apple-catching, Rarity help with QC and Dash on the apple press. And... it really, really works. I do love the little look Big Mac and Dash exchange. :P Twilight supervises and switches out full barrles for empty ones, and it's five to three in the Apple family's favor! The Brothers double the power, then shut off their own QC. Morons. Dash says they should shut off their own QC, but both Applejack and Granny say no. Because they know what they're doing. There's a hard-work montage, but at the end... Flim and Flam win. And the townsfolk are unsure, too.

The Brothers gloat, because... it's now FlimFlam Fields? No, it's not. they got rights to cider-selling, not the farm itself. The townsfolk realize what assholes the Brothers are while Applejack and Pinkie cry. Fortunately, it turns out turning off the QC was a really stupid idea. They don't have cider. They have apple-flavored gunk. The townsfolk turn on them. Bonbon's has rocks in it! They get the hell outta Dodge, and outta Ponyville, too. "Next town?"

Due to the competition, they made enough for the whole town! Applejack writes a letter to celestia, saying she didn't learn anything... then recaps she knew stuff already. And Dash finally get a mug of cider to feed her addiction.

Thoughts

It's... oh, god. I just realized this is one of the biggest flame war episodes of them all. For those of you on my fimfic blog, I post this to a thread on RPG.net. it's a nice place, good people there. :) And to those on RPG.net, I post this to my fimfic blog. So...

I like the episode, overall. There's no real 'anti-technology' message. The machine works, wonderfully actually. It's not the machine, it's the Brothers. They're con artists, folks. Applejack was right to reject their offer. I could go into some huge thing I am incredibly not-qualified to go into, so instead...

Here is a review by the very-talented and very smart Little Jackie Papercut who goes into detail far better than I could about how the machine won't really help all that much, if at all.

Although... I'm not entirely sure the Apple family can't get some help. I'm pretty cure they could definitely increase prices, then use the money to hire more help. Or pay Dash in cider itself. :P That way they can keep their customer base happier, at least.

EDIT: and as MrBirthday pointed out here, set limits on how much someone can buy!

The FlimFlam Brothers are... they're fun, albeit slimy. :D I like the machine, too.

No review tomorrow, sorry. I wanna get some writing done.

 

 

 

IMG_20150415_171239_zpskneyzz60.jpg?t=1429046007

Okay, technically only one of these guys is 'Swindle'. the G1 repaint is Rollbar from the old 2001 Robots in Disguise/Car Robots show, and the other guy is 'Munitioner' from the third-party company Fansproject, as part of an update to the old Bruticus Maximus combiner from Energon. Also, the FlimFlam Brother minifigures are very hard to stand up and keep standing up. I have to use a bazooka from my Ace McShane action figure to keep them steady, for Primus' sake.

And to try and quell debates...

IMG_20150413_142907_zpslfq8e2ot.jpg

Caption contest! The prize is... laughs!

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So, let's see... Rainbow Dash and reading. Gee, this is gonna be fun!

Read it and Weep

 

Originally posted here on September 8th, 2015.

 

Pegasi in the sky, Dashie goes twice as high... Rarity and Pinkie watch her, with Pinkie's neck doing a corkscrew that has me wincing in pain. Twilight joins her, but... pull up! Pull up! No, Dash crashes. And in a clever bit, they don't show us what happened. The imagination takes us places, after all... "So much for dazzling." No, they're in the second movie, Pinkie.

After the credits, Dash's eyes open with the stock 'fuzzy into focus' effect of people regaining consciousness. "Is her face gonna stay that way?" *Striker smacks Pinkie* NOT. FUNNY! The doc says she'll be okay, and we see an X-ray photo of her wing bones. Fascinating. She'll be there a few days minimum. She'll climb the walls... which she can do already, being a pegasus. Pinkie asks if the crash gave her amazing spider powers. Dash, you do not want the Parker Luck. No on that, or amazing healing powers. that's Wolverine's job! Applejack and Rarity try to cheer her up, but good wishes for good grub and fashion able gowns don't make up for it. There's even a roommate, a pony in a full-body cast. I... hah, hah? Luckily, a book cart wheels by. Twilight floats over...

"Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone!" If adventure had a name... it would be Indiana Jones, but Daring Do would be a close second! Twilight owns all of them. But Dash doesn't read. It's for eggheads like Twilight. "No offense." "It's undeniably, unquestionably, uncool."

...

IMG_20150908_103955_zpsa9i08fwe.jpg?t=1441638179

Dash, those are the last eight books I read, along with the one I'm currently reading. So no offense, but fuck you.

Everyone rightfully laughs at her. Applejack is more literary than Dash is! Pinkie has a tangent about how fruit-shaped her head is. Twilight leaves the book with her and says Daring is undeniably, unquestionably, unstoppable. But you don't have to take her word for it! Dash is bouncing a ball against the wall, gets her muzzle stuck inside a glass and begins EPIC LIGHT SWITCHING! She's bored, so she eventually tries the book. We fade into the action, with Daring, who is pretty clearly a Dash recolor. I won't really go into the action much. When this came out, I had the idea that this book was enchanted, so that whatever type of pony was reading it, that'd be Daring. So if it was a unicorn, Daring would be a unicorn with a damaged horn, earth pony and sprained ankle or something. Also, Dash is really getting into it! She loves it!

"I'm an egghead!" Complete with musical sting. Ugh.

More reading, more action. She needs a whip, or a revolver to shoot the guy with the sword. She even does an Indy slide with her hat. Suddenly, Twilight and Fluttershy come to cheer her up! They brought some Battleship-expy. Dash throws the game. I honestly wonder if anyone's tried to come up with rules for it, actually. There's a Daring slip and Dash does fake-snoring. Because Zacherle forbid she admits she likes reading. Back to the book! More Indy references. Except no bag of sand! Throw me the idol! Then Pinkie, Applejack and Rarity come in to cheer her up. Then the nurse with lunch. They tell het to go ehad to eat and she's... a complete pig about it, to get them out of there. Back to the book. I feel unclean.

Then the doc interrupts, and we see a lantern lit with fireflies. Clever! the doc says she's being checked out. Right now right now! He says to stay off the wing for a week. Dash doesn't know what'll happen to Daring Do! She remembers Twilight has a copy... but also remembers the nasty stuff she said. Karma gets you, Dashie. She tries her best Doctor Smith impression to get back into the hospital, but she messes up the check by faking pain to the wrong wing. It's a severe case of lazy-itis! Well... she does have that. :P So in her infinite wisdom, she... breaks into the hospital to get the book.

Hello, desk, my head said. It's been a while! Anyway, there's a bald pony in her bed, but she finds the book underneath! The pony wakes up and shouts burglar! But no, she's not trying to steal his slippers. She's trying to steal the book. Okay, I chuckled. Still wrong and this is adding up, but funny. The hospital staff, including some cute filly for some reason, snap into action! Dash flies off... and her wing snaps. Alarms blaze, guards rush forward and Pinkie's angry. No one invited her! Dash comes to a riverbank, and swings across! the pursuers... cross the bridge.

Excellent. :D

Others wake up as the chase goes around. It stops at Golden Oaks... and it turns out the barking dog is actually a patient. That is REALLY dark. The mess gets straightened out as Dash confesses to being an egghead. Oh, the ponyity. And Twilight outright states this is petty theft. Also, breaking and entering and causing a disturbance. Twilight, in a legit heartwarming moment, says she can borrow any of the books any time. And says just because you're athletic, doesn't mean you can't enjoy reading. The Greek ideal of the sound mind and sound body, but you don't have to take her word for it! Spike shows off for some reason. I don't get it, either. We also get the lesson of "Don't knock it until you try it." It's a great lesson... that Dash fobs off onto Spike to write to Celestia. For the love of Mike...

She finishes the book, and loves it. And we'll see you next time!

 

 

Thoughts

This episode is... kinda mixed for me. The lessons about reading and trying something first are great lessons that should be taught to everyone. I love Daring Do... as a fictional character. She expands that world and is really cool.

However... Dash is an asshole. I dunno. Maybe it's because I used to get bullied a lot back in school, but her entire attitude just really set me off. she took it past Eleven and to about seventeen or eighteen. The thing is, any of the Mane Six beyond Twilight could've been used for this... and might've been better used, especially since we've had Dash-centric episodes or ones where she's a strong side-character already. Maybe Pinkie Pie or Applejack would've been better for this? I dunno.

EDIT: This also completely destroys the TwiDash ship for me. I mean torpedoes the ammo room, sends it to the bottom of the ocean.

 

Headcanon

In the Hasbroverse, AK Yearling was a former archaeologist who... embellished her exploits a bit in the Daring Do series, but was more Professor Jones than Indiana. Also, Dash did thirty days community service for her actions.

 

IMG_20150908_104134_zpsfy5gmdsx.jpg?t=1441640619

Yes, that is the unabridged version. Yes, I read it. Victor, as much as I loved this... did we really need the digressions into Waterloo and the Parisian Sewer System?!

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One more for tonight? One more for tonight. As it's... twu wuv! Well, not really, as potions are brewed and brains washed as we settle into...

Hearts and Hooves Day

 

Originally posted here on September 8th, 2015.

 

We open with the CMC at their club house, making a card for Cheerilee for Hearts and Hooves Day. It's legit sweet, heartwarming and nice. It's also so glittery G3 would gag. :P It's also huge. "I think we're gonna need a bigger envelope." And boat, too, Scoots. Fun fact, I have never seen Jaws. At the school, valentines are exchanged and painful memories for me are brought up. :P Truffle Shuffle gets one from Twist. Hi, Twist! It still sucks how Apple Bloom abandoned you! Cheerilee is impressed by the card. I'm impressed they got it there in one piece! No, I really am. But it collapses over them. :D <-- me in real life. And Sweetie Belle does the 'nudge, nudge, wink wink SAY NO MORE!" routine with Cheerilee concerning her own special somepony. But she has none. She's single! The CMC are agog, and making her uncomfortable. Truffle gives her a card, too. It's sad, and also nice how they wanna help her out. Sweetie Belle wants to set her up with a special somepony! I sense NOTHING but good things from this!

Outside, they try to figure out who to ask through song. We get more bobbing heads and extend-o necks from Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. We see Button Mash playing... something? We don't see what he's looking at, so for all we know it could be a crane game or something fully mechanical. Sweetie Belle also disrupts what appears to be a funeral. We also get the really weird Jelly pony dude. I got nothing for him. :P Finally, they spot the perfect stallion... Big Mac! And only at the end does Apple Bloom realize it's her brother. Nice. :P It's a cool little song, nothing bad about it.

At Sweet Apple Acres, we see his strengths and weaknesses. He's really shy. And Sweetie Belle decides to play matchmaker, by getting them together so Cheerilee can ask him. We cut to them setting up a nice little picnic, and again, I can't fault them for this. Well, not yet. They told Cheerilee they needed help IDing a tree near the gazebo. "That's an apple tree." My god that was the deadest of deadpan. They got Big Mac there to help them repair the gazebo, but they got it repaired all on their own! Nudge, nudge, wink wink. SAY NO MORE! There's only room for two at the picnic, though. And god this is just so funny. Sweetie Belle turns on the music and leave them alone. The adults are... awkward as all hell, too. The CMS's faces are insane. Big Mac is limited to 'yup' and 'nope', and I still hate it. CHjeerilee gets closer and closer and the mood lighting is perfect and...

"You have something stuck in your teeth."

"OH, COME ON!"

D-dammit... :D:D "Well, this has been... strange." "Yup." And they walk off, leaving the CMC devastated and despondent. They bump into Twilight Sparkle, who was engorssed in a book about the history of Hearts and Hooves Day. Getting ready for Trixie, no doubt. :D Turns out the holiday got started because of a love potion! And they perk up... slide under her and borrow the book. Twilight lets them, they grab it and run off.

Excuse me for a second...

Okay, probably worst thing you can blame on a CMC member by this point is the Cutie Pox by Apple Bloom. And not Discord. His breaking free caused them to fight. So... I really can't blame Twilight for letting them have the book. Scootaloo gets part of a cloud, sucks uyp a rainbow's glow with a friggin' hoover, and Sweetie Belle pulls one of Scootaloo's feathers to stir their brew. "Serve to two ponies who aren't in the know." Oh, that's more than a little skeevy!

At the newly-redone picnic, Apple Bloom has reservations. Listen to those, Apple Bloom! Ugh, this road is paved very thickly with good intentions. Cheerilee is a bity wary, but they blurt out they need taste testers for their new punch they're gonna sell! Cheerilee sees through it, and they decide to humor them. So... they drink. They each hiccup half of a heart, it combines and... HOW DO I GET YOU ALONE?! Ten points if you get the reference! :P And the love potion works. the CMC's faces are... you gotta see them, basically. They get into some inane baby talk, although it's oddly gratifying to hear Big Mac saying something other than 'yup' or 'nope'. The CMC sense trouble! Good lord this is nuts. Scootaloo's about to regurgitate her last fifty meals.

Back at the club house, they realize they were given not a love potion, but a love poison. Oh, you magnificent half-wits! We get a shot of a page from the book and an early Cadance cameo. :P Apparently some prince whipped up the potion and gave it to a princess he loved. Things went pear-shaped, with mentions of a dragon, a kingdom falling, chaos... oh, it's Discord! No, turns out the prince and princess ignored their duties for nookie. Apple Bloom, quite frankly, overreacts, saying with Big Mac and Cheerilee so in love, the ponies will be uneducated and starving.

Okay... they're important, but they're not that important. And methinks even the Ponyville citizenry will see what's up before too long. She also has rubber forelegs. Ohhai, Looney Tunes! But Sweetie Belle spies an antidote! "Well, why didn't you say so?! Didn't you see me getting all panicked back there?" Oh, Apple Bloom! Cue sad trombone. All they have to do is keep the two from looking into each other's eyes for an hour. Wait... so wouldn't them going to sleep cure it? Scootaloo is nonchalant and nonlinear. "Only an hour? We can pull that off in a second!" And somewhere Doctor Whooves ears are twitching.

At Sugarcube Corner, Missus Cake is freaked out by them. Missus Cake mentions catering their wedding and Sweetie Belle decides to use that against them! Sweetie Belle... she's been the catalyst behind most all everything this episode, hasn't she. Apple Bloom retches while Big Mac goes to get a wedding ring. Cheerilee, meanwhile, goes for the dress. Well, it's a nice day for a white wedding. Sweetie Belle ges to keep Cheerilee occupied while Apple Bloom and Scootaloo head Big Mac off at the pass!

 

At Carousel Boutique, Sweetie Belle shoves about a half-dozen dresses and Cheerilee into a dressing room and barricades the door. Good lord, what is Rarity gonna think about the mess?! At some jewelry shop we've never seen before and I don't think we'll ever see again, Big Mac is a bobble head doll concerning the rings. They manage to get through thirty-five minutes, which is actually pretty good just rubbernecking with diamonds. But while the girls are distracted, Big Mac gets some bling and heads out the back. Apple Bloom goes to slow him down while Scootaloo goes to warn Sweetie Belle. Apple Bloom grabs his tail. It's totally ineffective. She uses her body. It's totally ineffective. A convenient cart of anvils being pulled by oxen twice his size do nothing.

At Carousel Boutique, Scootaloo arrives, out of breath. Apple Bloom ties Big Mac to a fucking house... and Big Mac is apparently Kryptonian. No wonder I always give his parent's names as Jonathan and Martha. :P He pulls the house, along with Berry Punch inside. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo dig a hole, and he falls in. There's also a mattress down there... somehow? One more minute until the spell's broken! But Big Mac pulls a Stella and Cheerilee kicks away the barricade as a silly love song tunes up. Paul McCartney, no! The CMC try to block as the bell tolls for thee. Cheerilee bowls them over and DIVES! into the hole.

"Am I wearing a wedding veil?" The spell's broken! And the CMC confess to their... possible felony? More later. Their hearts were in the right place, their brain... And they realize they shouldn't have meddled and spell out the Aesop. They apologize, while Cheerilee decides to have them do all of Big Mac's chores. It's a fair cop. At the end of the day, the two walk up to the CMC and say they're gonna have a picnic at the gazebo. They even throw in some schmoopie-doos to fuck with the CMC's heads. nice. :D And we get a wink and nod from them as the episode ends.

Thoughts

Eh... overall I think I liked it. The CMC... hearts in right place. The method to carry out their madness, however, does not sit well with me at all. It's... a skeevy as all hell the potion/poison used. I've always hated love potions in fiction in general, though. Here is no exception. It's just ugh-inducing to me under the best circumstances. And these aren't the best circumstances. At the very least they got punishment and realized the error of their ways at the end.

Now, if the previous episode sank the TwiDash 'ship for me, this one effin annihilated Cheerimac for me. Destroyed it. Just... no. I don't see them together. I CAN'T see them together, not after this. No. Just NO. I'm sorry, but I just can't. Friends, yeah. But nothing more. Just... no.

Headcanon

Eh, not much, if anything.

So, next time it's... it's...

A friend In Deed.

 

 

*Clears throat*

WARNING!

I hate A Friend In Deed. I will review it, but it's not gonna be pretty. I consider this episode to be the nadir of the franchise. I'm a completist. I can't 'not' review it. It's not who I am. But yeah. This one hurts me on a personal level. It's not gonna be a fun one, folks. You have been warned.

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FINAL WARNING!

This is not gonna be pretty. I am not gonna pull punches or anything like that. To say I hate this episode is ye old 'Pacific Ocean is wet' analogy. Okay? Okay...

A Friend in Deed

 

First posted here on September 9th, 2015.

 

Buckle up, folks. We're going for a ride. Anyway, Pinkie starts up a record and puts on some 80's exercise gear. She does her best Flashdance while also doing some weird faces and... we then see she's trying to entertain the cake twins. She then falls on some jacks, gets caught in the ceiling fan and is tossed into the wall. They laugh. "Nailed it!" And we have the one of the only times this episode I don't wanna kill Pinkie. After the credits the rooster crows and a Minnesotan cow comes to Sugarcube to get some cookies. Pinkie goes about town, complimenting Roseluck on her flowers - and we get an amusing gag with rose giving her a flower as a snack. Clever. She talks to Mister Waddle, says happy birthday to Cheerilee, happy day-after-birthday to Zecora and happy birthday in 132-days in advance to Matilda. She spends about five seconds talking to Matilda, by the way. That'll be important later on. Matilda asks how she knows and that segues into the Smile song.

I'll skip talking about it. We've all heard it, or most of us have. It's nice. It's peppy. It's the end of any like I have for this episode. Or at least when it ends, because right after... she bumps into Cranky Doodle Dandy. He's voiced by the man who voices Rhinox from Transformers: Beast Wars. She introduces herself, and he walks right by. She tries to guess his name. Pinkie, leave him alone. He doesn't want to talk! And apparently Yankee Doodle Dandy exists? She invades his personal space, and he yells at her. She's shocked, because according to her felt-thoughts, this isn't how it's supposed to go.

"How can somepony not become instant best friends with me?" Very, VERY EASY! You invade their space and act like you've inhaled ten tons of sugar. She decides to do anything she can to win him over. So she stalks him. Natch. She hops along and he keeps walking by. He tells her he doesn't need any more friends. Gyah, shut up! He came to Ponyville for peace and quiet, to be alone with his-and now she's inside his cart with his stuff. Fuck you, you pink ball of crap. Fuck. YOU.

She wheels around her own cart, a welcome wagon. She talks him into giving him the special welcome. It opens up, she does a song, dance and is generally annoying. Then confetti explodes out of an oven and cake batter shoots out of funnels. The confetti knocks off Cranks' toupee, too. Pinkie is nonplussed about the mix-up, natch. Cranky's not happy and is frantic. Pinkie mistakes his toupee for a spider and mangles it. She then... climbs onto a flagpole and loudly announces about him being bald and everyone laughs at him. Good fucking lord... And okay, she buys him a new toupee and gets him worked on in the spa. I'll admit, that bit is good on her. He even vogues a bit in the mirror.

At his house, she barges in and once again messes with his stuff. Put it down! God, that's not your stuff! We get a hint it's concerning a 'she'. And she steps on a floorboard, sends a bauble flying and his album is... set on fire. His personal possessions... and he snaps and I'm right there with him. And she doesn't fucking GET IT! He throws her out. GOOD!

At Golden Oaks, Pinkie's upset about him not being her friend. That's what she's upset about. Not about what she did to him or how annoying she is. She decides to leave him alone... after he accpets her apology and... okay. We get her stalking him around town. It's not funny. It pisses me the hell off. Oh, we also see him crying over his destroyed mementos. And finally... we get the biggest asspull I've ever seen.

She bring back Matilda, who we saw for about five FUCKING SECONDS before the Smile song. Because Pinkie pulled off a Sherlock Scan that would've had Sherlock going, "Bullshit!" And I said that back then, too. And now. We leaqrn Matilda and Cranky met at the Gala one year, but due to a kerfluffle involving a misplaced note, Cranky never saw her until now. And... he says she's his friend. She overreacts, but realizes not to overdo it. She leaves them alone... sort of. She bugs them one more time before the credits. And thank God this episode is over.

Thoughts/rant

Okay, I hate this episode. I fucking hate it so much. Why? Well, to be honest, it's personal. Don't wanna read? You don't have to. So skip this if you wanna. All I'm doing is explaining. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. It's just... this is why I hate it.

I'm an introvert. I don't like loud parties. I g out with my friends... to the video arcade, or parties that would maybe rank a .75 on a scale of one to ten for Pinkie. I'm apart of the group, but also a part from it. I'm usually the first to leave. I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed. I enjoy quiet nights doing things quietly. So there's two strikes there concerning Pinkie, because she just doesn't seem to get it, that not everyone likes loud, insane parties. I don't.

Now... okay. My brother, as some of you may or may not know, committed suicide on November 10th, 2011. I have some pictures of him. That's it. No video, no audio. When this episode first aired, and when Pinkie destroyed Cranky's possessions-and no, I don't give a damn if it was accidental or not. She shouldn't have been touching it-I literally had to pause the VCR, turn off the TV and walk away. Or I would've put my fist through the fucking screen.

I'm better now, thank God for therapy.

Anyway, by the end, when the asspull of asspulls happened and Pinkie basically got away with all the shit she did? That was it. That was... that was it. And for the record, there is nothing anyone can say to somehow convince me that was a good ending. Or that the lesson was bullshit because she didn't leave him alone. And that it wasn't really about him. It was about him not being friends with her and I could just go on and on, but I think I've said enough.

People will say, "It's just Pinkie Pie!" Yeah, it is. It's her being an insensitive jackass. And that's all I really got left to say. If you agree with me, fine. If you disagree with me, fine.

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