RK_Striker_JK_5

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

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4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

...

At Golden Oaks, Pinkie's upset about him not being her friend.

...

I can't imagine why. [/sarcasm]

As for Cranky's apology to Pinkie, I just got flashbacks of the mane six giving Starlight a slap on the wrist in "Every Little Thing She Does". Granted, Pinkie in this episode wasn't as cold-hearted as Starlight, but she was still just as annoying.

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18 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

I can't imagine why. [/sarcasm]

As for Cranky's apology to Pinkie, I just got flashbacks of the mane six giving Starlight a slap on the wrist in "Every Little Thing She Does". Granted, Pinkie in this episode wasn't as cold-hearted as Starlight, but she was still just as annoying.

Yeah. This episode just... it's one of the ones that say, "If you know, or are the right person, consequences don't matter to you! Asspull of asspulls. How I loathe it. Same with Starlight in that one. 

 

Okay, so there's more impetus for an 'Other Media Watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' super-page, I'm gonna try to get these out quicker. So, put your hands up quickly, or else you'll be sorry when it comes time to be...

Putting Your Hoof Down

 

Originally posted here  October 6th, 2015.

 

We open on Fluttershy getting lunch for all her animals. It's cute and adorable, and then Angel was an asshole/zombie. He kicks aside her greens, then kicks aside a rather nice salad and plays dead, then gets a cookbook with a rather elaborate  salad there. Fluttershy's not sure she can make it, but he's a whiny little rabbit. And then he slaps her and jams the book into her face. Angel, fuck you. After the credits, Fluttershy's at Ponyville's market. She gets in line for asparagus, and some jackass cuts right in front of her, then says she didn't notice Fluttershy there. Yeah, bullshit? Then some older stallion gets in line, and to be fair to him she was out of the line. Then two 80's chicks get cut in front of her and this is getting insanely ridiculous in the stupid sense. She backs away, passing Rarity and Pinkie. Rarity tells Fluttershy she mustn't let them treat her this way.

"You are a pony with a problem!" God, when season-two Pinkie makes sense... Anyway, while they're trying a pep-talk, some... stereotypical-looking nerd gets the last bundle of asparagus. So Rarity butters him up and gets the bundle from him. With no compensation. Yeah, not gonna lie. I kinda sorta hate that. Fluttershy gets tomatoes, but the price has doubled since last week. That's some bad inflation, there. Pinkie pulls a duck season/rabbit season on the vendor and I am not actually mad at her for doing so. So the final ingredient, a cherry. She spills that she needs the cherry to the vendor... and he charges ten bits. Ten. Bits. I hope his stall burns down with him in it! Fluttershy tries to butter him up, but no go. Pinkie's strategy massively backfires as Pinkie pulls an ostrich. The vendor then raises the price to twenty bits.

Then some mare walks by and buys it for two bits. And I am actually pretty damned angry. And no, this is not 'Fluttershy's perspective', since Rarity and Pinkie are there and reacting to the insane price gouging. These are vendors and customers being assholes for... the hell of it, pretty much. Back at her cottage, she puts the salad in front of Angel. But because of no cherry, he... tosses her out of her own cottage. God, I want the little shit shot and turned into rabbit stew at this point. Fluttershy realizes she's got a problem, but in her mail is an advert for Iron Will's assertiveness training. And Fluttershy channels her inner Scarlett O'Hara.

Back from commercial, and in an insanely clever bit, the seminar is in the middle of a hedge maze. :D Goats with headsets are staff personnel. Fluttershy tries to make her way to the front, and is literally tossed to the back. *Groan of anger* Speakers begin pumping. Smoke machines activate. A spotlight turns on as a medley eerily reminiscent of 'Eye of the Tiger begins. And...

Rainbow Dash flies down and shouts, "Magic, schmagic, boo!" :D No, it's Iron Will! And...

IF YOU SMELL-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA... WHAT THE WILL. IS. COOKING!

He's Iron Will. He's a minotaur and he's fucking awesome. He's an informercial host. He also says that if you're not 100% satisfied, they pay nothing. But he pities the fool who doubts him! he then drives a black van with red stripes and participates in the main event of Wrestlemania I. His lessons include, "Look them in the eye." He needs a volunteer, and a goat points out Fluttershy. She gets up on stage, but a goats tries to block her path. What's she gonna do? Know her role and shut her mouth? No. "When some pony tries to block, show them that you rock!" "Never apologize, when you can criticize!" And check yourself into the Smackdown Hotel. And Fluttershy... actually asserts herself.

Back home, she 'attacks the day'. Outside, Mister Greenhooves drowns her petunias and is rather dismissive of her. So she steps on the hose and lets him get a squirt in the eye. She's giddy! On a bridge, Bonbon and one of the Flower Trio are blocking the route entirely with a standup routine. Fluttershy asks them to move... when she can fly over. They're very rude to her, though, while creating a safety hazard. So she... kicks their wagons over and dumps several hundred pounds of garbage on them. Eh... overreaction, Fluttershy. Ten yard penalty, first down!

At Sugarcube Corner, someone cuts in front of her. What is with Ponyville residents and cutting in line today... writers? She spins her around and asks who in the blue hell she is to cut. 100% in agreement with Fluttershy. But the rest of the line scoots back, too. Outside of the damned shop! That is... not really her doing. So Fluttershy goes to the counter... and Pinkie calls Iron Will a 'monster'. Not cool, Pinkie! Pinkie says Old Pinkie is proud of New Fluttershy. She's better than New Coke, even! She gets into a bit of a laughing fit... which Fluttershy misinterprets as laughing at her. She knocks the punch over! She then flies out to get a taxi, that some other pony hops into. She beats the crap out of the interloper and bodily tosses him out. "Nopony pushes new Fluttershy around!" Or else she will kick their roody-poo, candy-ass! And both Rarity and Pinkie are unsure about New Fluttershy. I'd make a 'New 52' joke, but I haven't read any of those comics.

Back at her cottage, Fluttershy is now using Canterlock-light on her animals. She beats the crap out of the mailman after he delivers the wrong mail. A tourist asks directions to the 'Ponyville Tower', but Fluttershy drops her mail into a Convenient Puddle. She blames him and she's gone around the bend. She whips him into a hay bale, his camera bouncing off a bell in the possible Ponyville Tower. Pinkie and Rarity ask her what's going on, and Rarity says she thinks Fluttershy's taken her training a little too far. They want Nice Fluttershy back. And Fluttershy... goes too far. Here are some excerpts:

"Things getting too complicated for your simple little brain, Pinkie Pie?" "Why not? I thought petty was what you're all about, Rarity. With your petty concerns about fashion!" "I can't believe that the two most frivolous ponies in Ponyville are trying to tell New Fluttershy how to live her life when they are throwing their lives away on pointless pursuits that nopony else gives a flying feather about!" Wow. In the previous episode, I wanted to kill Pinkie Pie. Here, I'm actually feeling kinda sorry for her. They gallop away, sobbing. Fluttershy looks down... and the Abyss stares back.

That evening, or during a bad storm, Fluttershy's boarded up her cottage with her inside. Rarity and Pinkie go to check up on her. "We all said things we regret." "We did?" *Slaps Pinkie upside the head with a trout* Inside we see Fluttershy tied up, with Angel doing the tying. Natch. They tell her she received some bad advice... except it wasn't really. It was Fluttershy swinging from one extreme to the other. And inside we have a Meaningful Shot of Fluttershy looking at herself in the mirror, with a pair of horns on her reflection. She's not sure she can't be assertive without overdoing it. And we have a monster segue into Iron Will showing up. He's... there to get his due compensation. "Fluttershy's in no shape to deal with that creep!" He's not a creep, Pinkie! Maybe if he was trying to 'apologize', though...

Anyway, Rarity tries to butter him up, but no go. And I'm cheering Iron Will on. Pinkie fools him into thinking she's not home, so he... goes grocery shopping while they look for her. Only a half-day, but Pinkie pulls another duck season. However, Fluttershy sneezes and the monster... goes to get due compensation for services provided! He tosses Pinkie into a mud puddle and has earned my undying devotion. He tears off the boards nailed into the door, rears back and... politely knocks. Yes, such a monster. [/sarcasm_on_full] He wants her to pay him and for the love of Primus,just pay the guy!

She says... "Um, no." And Pinkie faints. Iron Will loses it a bit and stretches her wooden fence a'la ring ropes. She says she wasn't 100% satisfied, so she wants her money-back guarantee. Iron Will confabs with his goats and tries to negotiate, but no means no. And apparently... no one's told him no before. Pinkie and Rarity hug her, Pinkie calling Iron Will a monster and no correction on that. Rarity says she's the same old Fluttershy, too. She apologizes for going too far and they make up. We get a voice-over of Fluttershy writing a letter to Celestia, saying that standing up for yourself doesn't mean changing who you are. While the voice-over happens, she tries feeding Angel again. He's a little asshole, so I think she gives him the Stare. And he eats. Finally.

Thoughts

I... I don't know what to say, here. I found this one, barring Iron Will, to be pretty damned unpleasant and incited a lot of cringing. The market scene just makes no damned sense to me. And again, it was not 'Fluttershy's perspective'. Those ponies, overall, were rude assholes. And it was just, "Ah, oh!" for me. And while I didn't mind Pinkie's duck season gambit, Rarity buttering up that guy to get his asparagus from him angered me a lot.

Fluttershy... needs help. A therapist, someone to talk to and through some of the problems she has. She swings from one extreme to the other through this episode like a metronome. Angel... god how I loathed him here.

So, is there a saving grace to this episode? Yes, there is. His name?

IRON WILL!

I love the guy. His advice is sound... when not taken to the extreme. He's funny. He's nice and polite and damned reasonable. And quite frankly, he gets demonized a lot. Lemme put it to you this way. You know my views on Trixie, right? Got screwed over in Boast Busters, not that bad a pony and all that? I think Iron Will gets screwed over even more than she does!

1. There was an old flash game on the old Hub website that had him as a boss character.

2. After season two they put out four free posters. One of them seemed to be a 'bad guy' poster. Trixie was on it, which was bullshit. but Iron Will was on it, which was even worse.

3. And finally, apparently the IDW comics did something with him, casting him as a bad guy. And my interest in reading those comics are no in the negative percentage.

So, I'm sorry, but this episode hit a lot of wrong notes for me.

And so, I must go, walk down to the mailbox at the bottom of the hill and get the mail. But after that, it's about time to review 'It's About Time'. Or, "Twilight, stop it NOW!"

 

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4 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Okay, so there's more impetus for an 'Other Media Watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' super-page, I'm gonna try to get these out quicker. So, put your hands up quickly, or else you'll be sorry when it comes time to be...

*raises hand for the super-page*

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18 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

*raises hand for the super-page*

For the record, I'm referring to the following super-threads on another message board...

 

]Where I Watch My Little Pony 9-Trampling the Status Quo and all previous threads in the chain.

 

WIW My Little Pony FIM 6: Trixiemania! and all previous threads in the chain.

 

and my own...

 

WI My Little Pony FIM.

 

We do some great work. :)

 

Anyway...

 

Anyway, time for some wibbly! Time for some wobbly. Time for some timey and time for... Twilight to go off the deep end. Again. because it's about time I review...

It's About Time

 

Originally posted here on October 6, 2015.

 

We open with... Spike and Rarity walking through the land of ice cream. And Spike shows her the ice cream house he made for her. The clopping of hooves downstairs wake him up and he goes down to see Twilight pacing about. It's 3 AM. What's got her so worried? It's the fourth, but not May. So no 'May the Fourth be with you' jokes? They forgot to celebrate Arbor Day? She finished scheduling for this month, but she didn't leave time to plan for next month!

Am... I supposed to find this funny? I don't. I actually hate Twilight like this. I hate it so damned much. It's not funny. It's not quirky. Spike leaves her to her madness. "And I woke up from an ice cream dream for this." After the credits, the rooster's crow and apparently all fucking night, she can now make her schedule for next month. Although why she didn't do it right then and there... Anyway, an Ominous Wind kicks up. There's a hemisphere of light, some books and papers flying out of it and a flash. There's a Twilight Sparkle there! She's wearing a black bodysuit, has an eyepatch, a small scar and her hair looks like she shook hands with Electro. I'd make a Metal gear joke... but I have NO knowledge of the games. I've never played them. I think the main guy's name is Snake?

I'm not joking, either. I know next to nothing about that series.

Present-Twilight has a minor freakout and declares the other one to not be scientifically possible. Twilight, shut up. There's a very important message from the future. Great scott, this is heavy! Unfortunately, Cadance won't show up until the season-finale, so the Power of Love can't help out. Twilight asks if there's some epic pony war in the distant future. Insert your own Fallout: Equestria jokes here, folks. Never read it. :P But no, she's from next Tuesday morning. Okay, that was legit funny. :D The future one's got an important message, and exposits the time-travel spell's in the Star Swirl the Bearded wing of the Royal Library. The present version rambles on like an idiot despite her future self telling her she's got an important message. And as expected, she goes back to the future at 88 miles per hour before she can finish. Twilight, you idiot. Fifteen.

Twilight has the usual time-travel-tenses problem, then realizes the future must be horrible!

Outside, Pinkie is floating along, kicking the air. She's off to a party. She's got balloons. Right behind her... Fluttershy is weighed down with at least five heavy bags of party supplies. Okay, Pinkie? I get Fluttershy was... a jerk last episode, but this is still bullcrap. Twilight runs into Fluttershy and dons some Groucho glasses. She hops onto a fencepost and says she's got something important to tell everyone. They laugh at her with the glasses, natch. :D She says they have a crisis, and they gasp. She then says what happened... and Amethyst Star, Doctor Whooves, Berry Punch and Carrot Top all laugh at her.

Okay, folks? You live next door to the Everfree Forest. Your rulers are long-lived magical pony princesses who move the heavens by their command. Dance numbers happen pretty much spontaneously. How is being visited by her future self the one that's 'too out there' for you?! Fortunately, Applejack outta bucking nowhere. And she takes Twilight seriously. Applejack, you win a gold star. Pinkie Pie, still tied to the balloons and floating, skitters along screaming, "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" And I laugh. :D

So, twilight uses her organizational skills in a productive manner. She has Dash and the other pegasi scout out any potential disasters. Pinkie drifts by and asks if anyone else wants to panic with her. Okay, so she's all set. Twilight says to disaster-proof Equestria! We have a... disaster-proofing montage. First, the dam, complete with Rarijack moment. The Cakes' fill up the water tower. Pinkie and Big Mac check on a bridge, complete with him dunking Pinkie into the water. :D The CMCs do some light cleaning up. Spike fills in some cracks in Golden Oaks. Rarity... snips a stray lock from Pinkie's hair. Rarity, priorities?! Applejack's also checked the Everfree, and Dash's team's checked "From Fillydelphia to Las Pegasus." Twilight's skeptical that they've fixed the problem, and suddenly there's a huge roar!

It's Cerberus, three-headed guardian of Tartarus! Pinkie Pie... "Okay, everypony. Follow my lead!" She then screams and runs off. And damn that was good. The rest scatter. And if he's here, no one's watching the store at the gates of hell. This is where Tirek escapes, too. Hopefully unnoticed by Celestia, or else I am gonna have words with her. Twilight... thinks it's great, and then taunts the huge hellhound. Okay... she thinks this is the big disaster, so partial justification. Fortunately Fluttershy pulls a Usagi and gives him a belly rub. We also get the 'Pinkie has ___ stashed in case of ___ emergency," as Twilight gets a ball from her and uses it to lure Cerberus home. Clever girl.

The next morning, Spike's had a great night's sleep. Twilight returns, stinky but successful. Spike suddenly burps up a lost-dog flyer from Celestia... right in Twilight's face. The first sign! It's the scar the future version had. Wait, she can't but a band-aid on it? She's back into panic mode. She has literally worn a groove in the floor. She then snaps at Spike for pointing it out. "I don't have time for another one of your lectures!" Wow, hypocrite much? That wasn't even a lecture. Thankfully, Spike throws it back at her. She figures it's what she doesn't do. So she 'ports out to a spot and decides not to move until next Tuesday. Wow. Twilight, you've cracked. Even more. Spike decides to taunt her, despite her massively fragile nature at the moment, and will eat a whole tub of ice cream. Twilight says to think of the stomachache, and Spike says it's future-Spike's problem. Damn, Spike...

Anyway, Dash comes in and reports Baltimare is all-clear. And she sees Twilight standing stock-still and Spike stuffing his face with ice cream. Spike explains Twilight's 'plan' and Rainbow Dashole has some fun. Spike then begins tickling Twilight's throat and I am getting pissed at him. She TK's him away, he hits a wall and belches out some fire. It hits her and she gains her Patti Smythe and Scandal hairdo. Although... can't she just fix her hair? No, seriously. She's frustrated she doesn't know what the disaster is to stop it, but Spike knows someone! He takes her to a tent. Madame Pinkie's place! And I say what the hell?! Pinkie's gone full Gypsy Rose Lee inside. And I actually really wish this was Trixie. :P Pinkie sees... Twilight will get a really cool birthday present next year! Twilight asks about the Pinkie Sense, and... that actually makes sense to do. Except the Sense is only for vague and immediate events. A potted plant then falls on Twilight's head. Hah, hah? "Where did that even come from?" Okay, that was definitely, "Hah, hah!"

Back at Golden Oaks, Pinkie finds Twilight in full crazy-pants mode. She's racing back and forth between telescopes, writing stuff down and has gone nuts. Well, nutsier than usual. Spike is still an idiot concerning the ice cream, too. Twilight tells Pinkie a bunch of technobabble concerning a telescope, and has a bandage from the flowerpot, like her future self. She's now monitoring everything. And Pinkie's freaked out by it. She stared at the Horse head Nebula for three straight hours and I am getting my tranquilizer gun ready. And possibly other 'tools'. And she hasn't slept since future-Twilight's showed up. And Tuesday is tomorrow, too. Twilight 'ports up to look through the telescope that she told Pinkie about... and she looks straight into the sun. Ouch... Pinkie's got eye patches stashed all over Equestria, and the looks is almost complete. So she decides to... stop time. Sixteen.

At Canterlot, Twilight, Spike and Pinkie are set to break into the Canterlot Library... and we've gone full-on spy mode with Twilight. Spike takes back his role as voice of reason and says it's not illegal to walk through Canterlot at night. But Twilight spies guards and they... mime? Vogue? Something. Spike complains about their black bodysuits, and Pinkie thought it was for fun. Wait, so is she Angel Bob, then? Oh, and Spike is still eating ice cream. Pinkie punts twilight through the window and they're in for this impossible mission. If they're caught or killed, Fluttershy will disavow any knowledge of their actions. Spike speaks for me. "Let's get this over with."

We have some sneaking about, the guards being pretty oblivious. Twilight's calculations... lead right back to where they started. Right across is the wing. And that... was funny. :D Then a guard comes up... and recognizes Twilight! He opens the door, and now we see why they didn't do anything to her. Nice. :D Twilight sees her full image and has no idea where any time-stopping spells are. And thank god for that. The sun rises, it's Tuesday morning and... nothing. Celestia outta nowhere and says nice new hairstyle. Hah!

And yeah, there's no disaster. Twilight is able to laugh at herself and how she looks, so good on her there. She decides to solve problems as they come and stop worrying about every little thing. *Looks ahead* Yeah... get back to me on that, Twi. :P She wishes she had learned it last week. Pinkie pops up with a spell she found.

"It doesn't stop time, but it lets you go back in time. It says you can go back once, and it only lasts for a few moments." Sounds like an early prototype spell, actually. Twilight decides to use the spell to tell her past self to not worry. And we all know how that went. Also, Spike gets a bad stomachache. Eh... considering how much of a jerkass he was, and it was a lesson he needed... Twilight TKs him onto her back to get him home. Okay, legit good on her there.

Thoughts.

I have no idea how to feel about this episode. There's good. There's bad. I liked the town pulling together. I hated Twilight's breakdown. I liked Pinkie Pie. Spike was pretty jerkish. I... I don't know. I think the good outweighed the bad... but not by much, to be honest.

Also, Twilight? *Slaps Twilight upside the head* BAD TWILIGHT! BAD!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, tune in tomorrow for... oh, joy. Dragon Quest, or 'Unfortunate Implications: the Episode'. Yeah, spoilers? I hate that episode too.

 

 

 

 

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That is Vector Prime. Twilight's got some explaining to do.

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Okay. Time for 'Unfortunate Implications: The Episode'. No, wait. Cue card's wrong. 'Wasted potential: The Episode'? 'Didn't Think it Through: The Episode'? Ah, here it is...

Dragon Quest

 

Originally posted here on October 7th, 2015.

 

Applejack and Pinkie are digging a trench, in preparation for going over the top. We pan left and zoom in on Fluttershy's cottage, with Twilight saying, "It'll be fun!" Inside, Dash is dragging Fluttershy and chasing her back and forth while Twilight talks about the Great Dragon Migration. It's once in a generation. Okay, Twilight? You know how Fluttershy is about dragons. Leave her alone. Fluttershy's hooves are planted on the doorframe and Dash is trying to push her out. Dash then says that she watched the boring Butterfly Migration, so now Fluttershy owes her. Wait, that's not equivalent at all! Give her a break! But then New Fluttershy reasserts herself. She slams Dash back, plants a hoof in her fucking sternum with audible crack and gallops off. And we've now swung the other way. Semi-amusing bit at the end where she gently pushes the window open and dives out. Back to Dash, she looks concussed. "I guess I'll let you off the hook this time." Ha... ?

Back from commercial, with a rather peppy bit of music. Neither Twilight, Applejack nor Pinkie sees any dragons. Twilight's glad they're early, since then they won't draw attention. And on cue Rarity appears with red carpet. Why a red carpet for a nature observation I have no clue. Oh, and a small burst of confetti and streamers! Like showing off there, Rares? She also has a loud dress on. Twilight 'ports the stuff away. "Who says camouflage has to be drab?" The dictionary definition? Suddenly, dragons. And it's an impressive sight. Also, Rarity has opera glasses. Very nice touch. Dash mocks them, and suddenly an fight breaks out and she gets lightly singed. Pinkie is scared, and suddenly Spike arrives via ground bridge. No, seriously. I didn't see him in any previous shots of the trench. He gives her a cupcake and says how dragons are a force to be reckoned with. Dash laughs at him, mocks his apron and about 64.98% of my sympathy for her is gone.

Spike defends his practical attire, and as one who values function over form I'm there with him. And Rarity steps up and defends him. Go, Rarity! But.. "He doesn't have to look like other dragons." Okay, not too bad, then Twilight... "Or act like them." This throws Spike off when he realizes he doesn't act like other dragons. And Applejack says, "Why would you want to?"

From Mister Enter's review of this episode...

 

You don't act like other dragons, but why would you want to?

 

You don't act like other boys, but why would you want to?

You don't act like other girls, but why would you want to?

You don't act like others of your race, but why would you want to?

 

Think through your implications, episode!

According to Rarity, he's got one thing they don't. Cute widdle chubby cheeks. Spike is not happy. He's not happy with Rarity's actions. This is a bad sign. He then storms off, with Rarity pretty damned oblivious. "Oh, isn't he adorable when he waddles off in anger?" Oi...

Later that night, Spike has a pretty bad existential crisis about who he is or is supposed to be. Twilight is angry at him. Twilight, screw off. You've kept him up with your useless late-night scheduling and crap like that. She tells him he was given to her as an egg, and doesn't know who found him or where. He goes to a mirror, but the Dragon in the Mirror has no answers. I feel for the guy. Twilight finally gets up and says they'll do some research to find out what they can. Okay, twilight, good on you. She's sure they can find something. And one scene wipe later, all the bookshelves are empty. "It's hard to believe, but ponies know next to nothing about dragons." Except migration patterns, greed growth, using their eggs for school entrance exams... They're too rare/scary to talk to or study. Okay, the scary bit I might buy, except for the red dragon in Dragonshy was pretty cool when not being swindled/kicked in the face, but too rare?! Did you not look up at the sky that afternoon, Twilight? "I wonder if dragons cry..." And damned that's heartbreaking. Spike has made a decision, though!

Suddenly, Rarity and Dash appear. Spike scrambles into the book pile for protection. Breakfast? Not for Spike. He's going on the Dragon Migration! Dash says it's nonsense. They're big and strong and tough, and Spike is small and meek. And Spike says that's why he's gotta spend time with them. Dash is showing unusual concern for Spike, but it's a welcome breath of fresh air with her. Rarity... misses the point and Spike slaps her hoof away. Holy shit, he means business! She begs Dash to stop him and she bits onto his bindle stick. There's a brief tug-of-war before Twilight 'ports over and TK's them both away, forcibly. Eh... a bit skeevy, but I'll let it pass. She understands Spike's desires for answers, their lack of them in Ponyville, and says it's right for him. Pretty mature there. Dash says it's nutty, but she herself has done lots of nutty things. "We know." HA! :D Dash tries to be nice, and B+ for effort. they wave goodbye to him with grins pasted on with Elmer's glue. "We're following him, right?" "Of course." And somewhere, Miracle Max says they'll need a miracle, while Test and Albert says that Trish Stratus has 'not a chance' in one of her earlier wrestling matches.

We have a montage of Spike questing, complete with EPIC MUSIC! Only real thing I'll note is that the animators, for some reason, reused Cranky's character model for part of the journey. I don't know why they did that. We also have minor foreshadowing of a shot of a phoenix couple in a nest. Spike also has a beard. Huh. He approaches a couple of what appear to be active volcanoes, where the dragons gather. And the beard is a fake. Heh. Inside, there's another impressive shot of the dragons, including the red one that shoots fire at Spike. Well, general direction. Methinks it's not the same one from Dragonshy. He spots our antagonists for this episode, the teenager dragons, and slides down to join them. Right behind him... is Twilight, Rarity an Dash in a dragon costume. Ponies in disguise! It's one of Rarity's finer creations! Pony what?

Down in the crater, the teenagers are wrestling a bit. One of them emulates Hercules Hernandez as he goes for a Full Nelson. He's the red one. I think he has a name, but it's never mentioned in the show and I have no real desire to look it up. They mock him, naturally. God, this is cringe-worthy. He also reveals he's from Ponyville. "I knew there was something vaguely ponyish about you." Do I even have to?! The red one taunts him, saying he might be a pony in a dragon costume. Cue one of the others next to the real ponies in the costume. They tell him to prove he's a real dragon, with such activities as a belching contest. Spike's up, but suddenly, he shoots out a scroll. They mock Celestia, showing either complete ignorance or utter fucking idiocy. Or split the difference and both? They burn the scroll. there's epculation on what the scroll contains... but it's all speculation. We have no idea what was on it. Also, Twilight's priority is more the disrespect shown Celestia than he;ping Spike.

Next up is tail-wrestling. The ponies volunteer, and they speculate this 'weirdo' is Crackle's cousin. We then see a shot of Crackle and... dang, Rarity! Mirror image, there. They take a dive, fifth round, uppercut. He gets a little cocky, and we have a fakeout with a dragon that looks wimpy, but is revealed to apparently be on performance-enhancing drugs. And Spike gets tossed into a wall. Next up, king of the hoard. God, I remember king of the hill. Hated it. With help, Spike manages to almost win... before stumbling down. Next is cannonballing into pools of fucking lava. That is hardcore. Here's a link to some lava temp stats. The ponies can't help him. Spike's afraid, but some taunting and he manages to dive in. It's a belly flop, literally. But he actually manages to impress them by going through with it. So they... extend their tails and he walks under them. He levels up to Rookie Dragon and is given the Noogie of Initiation. Now they party dragon-style. It's basically a mosh pit.

Spike's having a lot of fun, and wants to stay there, forever. The ponies are not pleased. Why? They wanted him to find out who he was. The other dragons decide Spike's ready for a raid! They fly off, and Spike thinks he's off the hook. But one of them grabs him. The ponies try to go after him... but not a chance. And Rarity's more worried for her costume. Ugh! So they hoof it. At the phoenixs' nest from earlier, Spike's the lure. He... tries to take a survey? Then he tosses a rock. It's unfortunately super-effective. They chase after him and the others go for the nest. But the eggs have hatched, so they decide to take the hatchlings and cross some event horizons of the moral kind. And we see Philomena's prankishness might be an inborn trait. The dragons give chase, but one unhatched egg rolls out. The adults escort their babies away and do a Solar Flare, blinding the dragons. Good. Back at the nest, Spike finds the egg. The dragons cheer him on! And then... they tell him to smash it. Ugh...

Spike decides.... no. He backs up, into another dragon? No, into Twilight, Rarity and Dash, who ditch the disguise to help him! Rarity is more into fashion, not fighting, but she'll rip them to pieces if they touch one scale on his head! YES! Now that is the Rarity we know and love. The dragons laugh and ask if Spike's their friend. He says yes, and they're better friends than the dragons ever could be. For this group, true. He also self-identifies as a pony. I am... not liking that. The lead dragon roars and Spike pulls a Holy Grail. Twilight tries to 'port them out... but apparently her HP is too low. Or MP. Or something. Some people wonder why they're running. Rarity knows karate... and her kicks barely phased a manticore. Against a lava-proof dragon?! Twilight's also apparently low on power. Dash is outnumbered in the air. Spike would be useless in this situation combat-wise and he's protecting an egg. I think it's actually a good idea for them to get out of there. Twilight tries again and her engine turns over.

they end up in some silven glen, and Spike declares them family. Later on he writes to Celestia and he says he may be a dragon, but his pony friends are the ones who taught him how to act right. We also pan across a selection of pictures and...

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From Twilight's birthday in 'Sweet and elite'. You have no clue how much this fucking pisses me off.

The egg hatches. hello, Peewee!

You will never appear again, save a photo montage that shows Spike giving you away. Also, Spike's got a lot to teach you about "being a pony". Damn, that's skeevy right there.

Thoughts

Yeah, this episode... is functionally useless. spike goes on an epic quest... and learns that dragons are all assholes through a tiny selection of them. He finds Peewee... who never shows up in the proverbial flesh again.

Okay, if you watch the entire Mr. Enter review I linked to, he will explain what I'm about to try to, except a lot more coherently. basically, this episode hits a lot of unfortunate notes that can easily be divided along gender/race/species lines. See the brutish male dragons and the civilized female ponies. See the brutish dragons and the civilized ponies. ALL we see of the dragons are they're brutish barbarians. And no, it does not matter if it's only teenagers. We see no other insights into any possible draconic culture, so this is what we've got to go on. Unilaterally, all dragons are bad. That's the implication here. Game, set, match.

And I mean... in Dragonshy, we got a pretty reasonable dragon. I mean if I was almost swindled out of my food supply and then kicked in the face, I'd be pretty angry, too. Hell, fluttershy outright says he only made a bad decision. The dragon in Owl's Well that Ends Well was a jerk, but I didn't mind that. I like variety with my species! But here... no.

And the thing is, there was so much potential! That was another big thing. We could've had some great insight into dragons. We could've met Spike's birth parents! It coud've been awesome! Instead... we get tail-wrestling. Yay? No, no yay.

Think about this. In G1 they had an episode a lot like this called Spike's Search, where Spike wants the same thing G4 Spike wanted. And it went about the same way. He met some raiders and rejected them. thing is... at the end, Danny tells him that although these dragons were jerks, not all dragons could be jerks! They just had to meet some other dragons!

G1>>>>>>>G4.

So, some bad implications and a metric ton of wasted potential. That's about it. Tune in tomorrow, though, when we have a much better episode in 'Hurricane Fluttershy'.

 

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And if you're reading this on fimfic EDIT: The EQD forums,, here's what I came up with for the Dragon Clans of the Hasbroverse.

 

And here's some backstory on the Dragon Clans. Please note I came up with all of this before the episodes 'Dragon Quest' and 'Secret of my Excess'. So don't count on those episodes, especially since Spike now has a ready and available source of information.
;)

 

And again, please keep in mind, off the top of my head/seat of the pants. :P

General History

One hundred thousand years ago, an ancient dragon known only as 'Draco'-yes, real original on my part-defeated several other dragon leaders, becoming the first King of the Dragon Clans. He gathered all the clans together into the newly-claimed 'Dragon Lands', setting down laws and customs that are followed even to this day.

The dragons are organized into thirteen clans, their leaders meeting in the Valley of the Chieftains. Twelve of them lay on a hoard carefully cultivated over the centuries. The King of the Clans, however, gives up his or her hoard during their coronation. For if the King cannot support their own weight, how can they lead the Clans?

Advancement through the clans varies. Mei Long's clan is done through debate and reasoning. Jormun the Red's clan uses tests of strength and skill. Another clan of blacksmiths and tinkerers bases their advancement on what sort of weapons and armor they can forge. Dragon-forged artifacts are highly prized outside of the Dragon Lands. Another is a clan of minstrels and songwriters and use heavy mithril. However, one method almost universally banned is any fight to the death. Only the King of the Clans is attainable by that.

Generally, a Dragon King sees a Clan Leader and begins fostering a mentor/student relationship, teaching him or her how to lead the most fierce some creatures on Equus. Spkyoran the Old is doing this with Jormun the Red, as Terronax the Fanged did with him. Eventually the two will fight, with the older king usually being slain. Their body is then incinerated by the Clan Leaders, save a single scale that is placed with the others in a mosaic.

Spykoran the Old

King Spykoran the Old is, well, G1 Spike. About a hundred years after the events of G1, he left Dream Valley and traveled to the Dragon Lands, finally finding his people. he became a clan leader and changed his name to Spikor. Nine hundred years before the start of the series, he challenged and killed Terronax in ritual combat, becoming Spykoran the Old.

When he was clan leader, he helped convince Terronax to help Celestia and Luna reforge the Rainbow of Light into the Elements of Harmony. This drew Terronax's attention and set him on the path to become Dragon King. Although relations with Equestria were already on a bit of an upswing, his ascension put the Clans firmly on the path of cordial relations and allies.

G4 Spike is his grandson. His mate and his children were at the Nests of Dargoth, a northern settlement. It was attacked by Ursa Majors and all were killed, save Spike's egg, which was overlooked. He went mad with grief and rage and led an attack into Ursa lands, driving them back. During that time Spike's egg was found by Celestia, but with no dragon claiming it, she brought it with her back to Canterlot.  

Dragon relations with Equestria and the Clans themselves

Most dragons think little of Equestria. That is to say the country rarely crosses their minds. "They send us delicious gems and ores. I like them!" That's... really what most of them think of Equestria when asked.

There are about ten million dragons in the Dragon Lands, in an area roughly twice the size of China. They're spread out a bit, a permanent haze in the air. Even Celestia, Luna and Cadance use protective force fields when traveling there. Celestia and Cadance attended Spykoran's coronation.

He landed and his hoard was piled up in the center of the Valley of the Chieftains. Mei Long asked him what it was and he said it was his hoard. She asked him again. "What is this?" He repeated it was his hoard.

"And what will you do with it? Lay about like us? You are the King of the Dragons, Spikor. You must stand on your own two legs. So I ask again, what is this?"

And he said it was nothing to him. And he stood up, sending out a great gout of flame.

 

What do you think, sirs?

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@RK_Striker_JK_5 A couple of thoughts:

1. I think the reason they didn't show Spikes birth parents is that they felt that, at this point in the show, it would have been too big of plot reveal too soon. And given the quality of the episode, it was probably for the best.

2. Kind of a shame it wouldn't be until "Gauntlet Of Fire" that we would get back to the dragons, much less break the "all dragons are brutes" thing with Torch and Ember.

3. I think the episode itself isn't that bad (at least, based on your description), though I admit the execution of certain parts was kind of poor, especially the Mane Six's interactions with Spike.

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21 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

1. I think the reason they didn't show Spikes birth parents is that they felt that, at this point in the show, it would have been too big of plot reveal too soon. And given the quality of the episode, it was probably for the best.

I don't think we'll ever actually see his parents. :(

 

21 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

2. Kind of a shame it wouldn't be until "Gauntlet Of Fire" that we would get back to the dragons, much less break the "all dragons are brutes" thing with Torch and Ember.

Immensely. So much waste potential! I do like Torch and Ember, though. :)

 

21 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

3. I think the episode itself isn't that bad (at least, based on your description), though I admit the execution of certain parts was kind of poor, especially the Mane Six's interactions with Spike.

And the massively bad implications. ;)

 

Well, back to these. The hiatus is upon us, so let's see how many I can get done!

It's the, flight of the Flutters it's the thrill or the fright, rising up to the challenge of our dashers! It's time for Fluttershy to do the TTGL motto, kick reason to the curb as we're hit with...

Hurricane Fluttershy

 

 

Originally posted here on December 1st, 2015.

We open with Dash zooming about, scattering leaflets about. Fluttershy sees one, then hides. Phobia of announcements? It's a meeting at Golden Oaks tonight. "Be cool, or be mule. No offense." That rhyme doesn't even make sense. Dash does a head count, and we get full confirmation of the 'wants to be a tree' meme from Over a Barrel. Well, at least they're calling back to the good part of the episode. Inside, we get an old-timey film projector, the kind I remember from school and used to love to run. :D It's a 50's-style educational film that says that pegasi gather together to form a tornado that will funnel water out of a reservoir up to Cloudsdale, and it must hit 800 wingpower to get it up there. Nice, clever way to get exposition done. :) The film snags and tangles around Spike, so Dash sums it up. Ponyville's been chosen this year. Also, Spitfire will be there to oversee the transfer. Last year, Fillydelphia got their wingpower up to 910 and broke the record. Dash wants to not only break that record, but get it up to, say it with me, "Over ONE THOUSAND!"

"One thousand, are you sure?"

Oh, I like the nervousness reaction shots of Fluttershy, there. Nice touch. They can do eet... if they train hard. Also, new character Thunderlane begins coughing. Dash, pay attention to those under your supervision. Thunderlane, go to the doctor. Dash does a good pep talk, and hello Bulk Biceps! Bulk is a refugee from Rob Liefeld's comics.

Dash notices Fluttershy channeling the Cowardly Lion. The next day, training! Cloud Chaser has great flexibility! Blossomforth... is a pony pretzel. Dash is surprisingly encouraging and doing a fairly good job as supervisor. I am legit shocked, but also impressed. She's focused on breaking the record... but if the record's broken, the job's done. So I don't mind. Dash goes to confront Fluttershy at her cottage about missing out on practice, and she's... faking it. She has the 'pony pox'. Yeah, and I got a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge. That fake sneezing wouldn't fly in an Ed Wood movie, and Dash... does not buy it. There's only one cure for pony pox. Cold water! Wait, where'd she get the bucket from?! Ah, well. The paint runs off. Fluttershy then backs up, trips and sprains an ankle/wing. She's giving Susan Lucci a run for her money with the histrionics. Dash is channeling Queen Victoria and is not amused. However, she asks what's wrong.

Fluttershy can't fly. Dash reminds her of saving a baby bird last week. This is a performance. Remember flight camp? We get a flashback of filly Fulltershy and mocking, and I'm getting some flashbacks of my own. :( "Fluttershy can hardly fly!" Dash backtracks a second, but reins herself in and gives Fluttershy a pep talk. No go, though. However, at the last second, Fluttershy says she's game! All right!

The next day, the pegasi twins whose names I will never remember ask Twilight about a device. It's an anemometer. She spiels off some technobabble that Spike translates. It measures wingpower, basically. Thunderlane coughs, but this time it's Blossomforth. Dash... ignores his coughing. Not cool, Dash. he also loses feathers. Dash, PAY attention! You're doing well so far. He does a trial flyby and has 9.3 wingpower. Dash then takes off, and gets 16.5! She also almost sends Fluttershy to Oz. Twilight looks like she's in Lesson Zero without the crazy. She wants everyone to get them up to at least 10.0. We get a testing montage. Rainbow Dash is impressed! Now it's Fluttershy's turn, and she begins to slooooowly speed up, but then the twins laugh at... I think they're laughing at her. Not cool. She slows down and barely budges the anemometer. She measured .5. Ouch. Neither Dash nor Twilight wanted to tell her. Fluttershy has a massive freakout and even freakier imagine spot. Attack of the the Eye Creatures! Dash tries to help. "You're not gonna quit because of some punks?" "YEEESSS..."

We cut to a silven glen and her being comforted by the animals. It's friggin' adorable. They try to help and encourage her, even Angel. They remind her of some noodle incident with a raging river, and...

It's a training montage right out of Rocky. She's gonna eat lightning and crap thunder! You know the songs, 'Eye of the Tiger', 'You're the Best' and the main Rocky theme. I've never seen Team America, so I can't bring that one up. :P She's the best, a-ah! Nothing's ever gonna slow her down! I honestly love this sequence. It's so cheesy, but so awesome. We also get wing-ups. We got a solar spotlight, and back to the training field. Dash is optimistic. A squirrel comes up, but Twilight's universal translator is down. Fluttershy flies in, backlit by the sun and with an animal escort. She gets a... 2.3.

Okay, that is some actually legit impressive improvement from before. Fluttershy is devastated. Dash and Twilight try to encourage her, but no go. Flutterhsy points out how Dash would feel if she only had 2.3 wingpower, then flies off. Spike points out they've still got plenty of wingpower, but she wants to help Fluttershy and lift her out of the dumps.

The next morning, Spitfire arrives. This is her only physical action during the episode. :P But oh, noes! Thunderlane's not there. Dash asks Rumble, his brother, and possibly related to Frenzy, Ravage and Ratbat, where he is. He's got the feather flu. Ugh, Dash, should've caught it. Thunderlane, you should've gotten a checkup. Turns out there's eight sick in total. Yikes. Twilight isn't sure they'll even have enough wingpower to get the water up to Cloudsdale! Spike wonders if they should even try, but Dash, to her legit credit, focuses on the mission. Spike blows a horn and they take to the skies!

It's a legit impressive visual. Twilight is tracking the... excuse me. *Striker goes up to Spitfire and tosses her into the vortex* DO SOMETHING! Anyway, Fluttershy is there, too, to offer moral support. Water begins flowing up, but a pegasi loses control, causes a pile-up and the vortex collapses. Dash slams into a tree, and twilight exposits they were so close. Dash wants to try again, but Twilight urges caution. Dash wants to go down flying, and they try again! Twilight counts up the wingpower, Spike mentions they fell apart right before making it. They're stuck at 795. Twilight tells her to do it for herself!

And Fluttershy... flies into the vortex! Spitfire, meanwhile, does NOTHING. Fluttershy surpasses her best, but get assaulted by her demons. She blocks them out and they hit 800! The funnel forms and channels into Cloudsdale! They all did it! Spike blows the horn and they stop... except for Fluttershy. Okay, I laughed. :D They do a wing-five and Fluttershy is congratulated. Spitfire says Dash showed a lot of guts, and Dash, to her MASSIVE CREDIT, tells Spitfire it was Fluttershy, and they cheer Fluttershy on. "Fluttershy can really fly!" The Aesop is that everyone's contribution counts. It's a legit great message, and then we pan up and see clouds emerging from CLoudsdale.

Thoughts

Oh, this was a friggin' GREAT episode. Anyone else wanna hug Fluttershy after this? She rocked. Rainbow Dash... 1.64 steps back, but maybe about 7 steps forward. I'll give her props for her leadership and all that. Minor demerits for not taking care of Thunderlane... but also demerit to Thunderlane for not getting himself checked out earlier and avoiding the whole mess! Papa Soundwave's gonna be angry. :P

Also, Spitfire, get off your flank and get in there. EDIT: I know people will say this was a pride thing, and Spitfire wasn't supposed to help out. Thing is... this is a fairly important project for Equestria as a whole. Pride takes a backseat to getting the job done! I don't care about Dash's bruised ego, or anyone's bruised ego. 

Great lesson. It's true, too. I hope we remember it down the road.

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Okay, minor tangent... Hasbro? JOINTS! I want fucking JOINTS! EDIT: Thank God for Guardians of Harmony. :D

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Extra, extra, read all about it! Diamond Tiara's a scheming jackass who wants pictures of Spider-Man! Read all about it in...

Ponyville Confidential

 

Originally posted here on December 2nd, 2015.

 

We zoom in on the schoolhouse. Most of the foals pile out happily, but the CMC are dejected. turns out new character Featherweight got his cutie mark. He'll be boxing Glass Joe tomorrow at the Sportatorium. We see a tiny colt with a big head-literally-and the cutie mark of a single feather. Wow. :P Apple Bloom comes up and says she's got the answer to their problems in the Foal Free Press! Before she can clarify, Granny Smith calls for her offscreen and she dashes off. They decide to try it out. And we cut to a montage of Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle doing EPIC MISSING OF THE POINT! They use it for packing material for Rarity, to help a bird with a nest, and they made a boat with it. Unfortunately, it's not pykrete, so no-go. The pair confront her about it, and she clarifies. Write for the paper. Ah!

After the credits, Cheerilee has a meeting for those who want to join the newspaper. The editor graduated last year, and Sweetie Belle asks what that is. Cheerilee likes those reporter's instincts, and Sweetie Belle looks so cute when proud of herself! Cheerilee tells them the Foal Free Press is student-run, she's only an adviser, and we learn what the editor does. Clever bit of learning inserted into there, organic and logical. The new editor is... Diamond Tiara. Cheerilee walks off. NO, DON'T LEAVE THEM WITH HER!

Okay. How do I handle Diamond Tiara in lieu of Crusaders of the Lost Mark? *Sigh* I gotta be honest. As much as I love that episode...

1. I'm a Doylist. Spoiled Rich does not exist here.

2. I still think Diamond Tiara got off too easily at the end.

3. Spoiled Rich honestly seems like a 'hate sink' or a badly-done excuse for Diamond Tiara's assholish behavior. "Oh, look! This is why she's such an asshole!" Yeah... no. Just no.

4. Excuse or not. I'm still gonna call her out on her crap. The ones she tormented deserve it.

5. I... don't like bullies all that much. Not gonna lie/sugarcoat it. Diamond Tiara was/is a bully and I simply do NOT like her.

So, she kicks the wall and a big picture of her unfurls. Thanks, J Jonah. She will lead them to NEW HEIGHTS of glory! We learn the staff photographer is actually Featherweight. She tells him to go out and document everything. Then the rest, she wants "Hard-hitting news and interesting think pieces." This is a school newspaper, mind. Thanks, Charles Foster Kane. "No more namby-pamby stories like last year's editor."

"But Namby-Pamby was a great editor." Episode, for that alone you win all the points. That was legit brilliant. Diamond Tiara wants juicy stories, pictures of Spider-Man and an interview with Superman! She then kicks the wall and her picture rolls up again. Scootaloo wants to bail, and to be honest, I would too. Sweetie Belle says this might be their last chance at cutie marks. No... I don't think so, and convinces Scootaloo to stay.

Sweetie Belle interviews Rarity, who spruces up her reporter's hat while also apparently doing work on something for Sapphire Shores. Rarity then launches feathers at her. K... Scootaloo does a nature piece on a bird's nest. The same one they helped to build. Apple Bloom tries for a history piece with Granny Smith. Instead we get an embarrassing foalhood shot of Apple Bloom. D'aww...

Back in the schoolhouse, and the room for the paper's a mid-level disaster area. the CMC walk in with their stories, but no go. She tosses them away, marches up to their face and says it isn't news. For an elementary school paper, it IS! She says to get something by the end of the day, and it better be juicy. She also has crazy/nutsy "I'mma gonna eat you!" faces going on, and she tosses them out of the basement. Outside, the three are sad, while Featherweight zips about, being a funny background event.

We suddenly hear the Double-Dumb twins, Snips and Snails. Sweetie Belle walks around the schoolhouse and sees the two, stuck together by chewing gum on their flanks. Trixie, come back, please! Snails tries to kick Snips off, but he rebounds and it's like the Blob. Sweetie Belle has Featherweight take a pic of them, then meet her at lunch. Ho, boy. We get a spinny newspaper and the headline, "Snips and Snails and bubblegum fails." We also see their written language is... decipherable, for the most part. A lot different, too, since in earlier episodes we've seen it as standard English. Hmm.

We cut to the students reading the paper. Snips and Snails are actually proud, and partially bald. We also see their butts, and learn that cutie marks appear only on their coat. Their bare skin is blank. Featherweight takes another pic of them, and Diamond Tiara wants more columns like this! They're her new gossip columnists! And they look... happy about it, too. Diamond Tiara is complimentary about their pen name, 'Gabby Gums'. Hold onto that goodwill, CMC. It's gonna turn on you later. "I want MORE Gabby Gums!" And pictures of-you get the idea. :P They high-hoof each other...

And cut to them on a picnic table, with no ideas. Very nice jump cut, there. We also see in the background, the morons stuck themselves together again. After the break, in Carousel Boutique, Rarity trips over Sweetie Belle's bag. She does a short Gollum/Smeagol impression and snoops, reading the Press. She is amused, and has an amusing face. Sweetie Belle walks down due to the noise and is not amused by the invasion of privacy. She smacks Rarity's horn, which wobbles and gives off a 'SPROING!' sound effect. I'm gonna go with gag on that. Rarity loves Gabby Gums' column. "It's so much juicier than anything in the boring old 'Ponyville Express'." Two colts stuck together is better than the town paper. I got nothing for that, folks.

Rarity wants to borrow the paper to show her friends. They all love it. Sweetie Belle gallops back to the school and tells the other two they need to expand! Hmm, I believe that's called DLC in video games. ;) We see the Cake Twins bawling and shaking a building to the rafters! "Pound and Pumpkin Cake Trip Ends in Tears." Then a colt whose name I don't know gallops up and says the Ponyville newsstand wants to carry the Press. And Diamond Tiara is... legit praising the CMC. Just feels odd, to be honest. Albeit it's for muckraking. :P We get a montage of the staff in action. We cut to outside and pretty much everyone reading the paper. At the spa, several of the Mane Cast are getting a treatment done. We even see Spike there, which for me is VERY nice. Suddenly, Rainbow Dash comes by with the latest edition. "The Great and Powerful Trixie's Secrets Revealed!"

Yeah, sorry, but I gotta do this. *Takes a deep breath* Trixie is a legit interesting, underrated and horribly underutilized character with some vastly unexplored hidden depths. There have been MANY times she could've shown up, even for a cameo, but didn't, which is a damned shame. She was the victim of protagonist-centered morality, disproportionate retribution and got screwed over. She's my favorite character of G4 and one of my favorites of all-time. And it should have been her or Sunset Shimmer or Moondancer and not Starlight Glimmer who became Twilight's student in friendship. A massively-wasted opportunity and it angers me. Bring her back!

Rarity tells Dash to have a hooficure, but no go for Dash. The day she has one is the day she turns in her daredevil badge. Twilight is concerned about Gabby and how mean she can be. We see a pic of Celestia engulfing cakes like Unicron. She doesn't value anyone's privacy, but both Rarity and Applejack are dismissive, calling it harmless gossip and a hoot, respectively. Pinkie even pulls out a paper from the bath that is somehow not soggy and disintegrating. Mayor Mare's not naturally gray, but dyes it from her natural pink! Wait, what? Twilight still feels sorry for the targets, and I'm right there with her.

Dash finally tries for a hooficure, but nope. She doesn't like anyone touching her hooves. Fair enough. She wants Gabby to do a story on her, but turns out Spike beat her to the tagline! And we cut to the schoolhouse and the CMC presenting their story on him. He opens up on Canterlot! Turns out with three exceptions, they're all nice ponies. What a tweest! Diamond Tiara hates it, though. Wait, what?! Apple Bloom points out it's softer than their usual stuff, and Sweetie Belle wonders if they're hurting other pony's feelings. Turns out the others felt the same way. Sweetie Belle says they have to go hard again, and we get a rather halfhearted hoof-five. Aww. :(

The next story, Applejack asleep on the job! She's a silly pony, you see. Or related to Dagwood Bumstead. Next page, Big Mac and Mister Smarty Pants. Horseshoe is on the other hoof, Applejack. Is it a 'hoot', now? Twilight also has an article, calling her a 'Canterlot snob'. Oh, what I could say here. :D She confronts Spike, the 'scaly source', but it turns out he didn't say anything like that!

Rarity reiterates it's just a little idle gossip. At least it's not Bridle Gossip. Twilight counters that it destroys reputations. Fluttershy has tail extensions! "Pinkie Pie is an out-of-control party animal!" Wait, you needed a newspaper to tell you that?! The Cakes are breaking up! And then Dash flies in, overburdened with newspapers. Somehow a Ponyville school newspaper has made it to Cloudsdale. And there goes my suspension of disbelief. "Rainbow Dash: speed demon or Super-Softie?" Wait, didn't you want an article on you, Dashie? :P

Rarity is nonplussed, then on cue sees an image of her on her fainting couch. "I'll DESTROY HER!" Again, horseshoe on the other hoof. However, it goes too far when it's her diary that was printed. Yeah, that crosses some lines, CMC. Twilight suggests Sweetie Belle find out who Gabby is. Rarity protests Sweetie Belle even associating with someone like Gabby... then we cut to the inside of Sweetie Belle's saddlebags being opened and Rarity realizing who Gabby Gums is. Again, excellent editing.

Rarity goes upstairs. "Et tu, Gabby Gums?" You know what this means, folks? Right! The writers put in a Shakespeare reference! :D Sorry, sorry. Rarity says gossip can be hurtful and an invasion of privacy. Here, Rarity, the first stone. Now go cast it in this glass house. Sweetie Belle says they've felt bad, but they want their cutie marks so badly. "Do you really think that writing nasty things and making everypony fell horrible is your destiny?" Okay, that is a good line.

And back at the schoolhouse, Diamond Tiara won't let them quit. "Feelings? I don't care about feelings!" Straight from the pony's mouth. And then she brings out the blackmail. Some embarrassing pictures of them. Yeah.. urge to kill rising. Outside, the CMC go looking for some stories. Unfortunately it turns out them being Gabby has spread. And... this is where the episode loses me. Dash kicks a raincloud over them and douses them. At Fluttershy's cottage, she is... crying so hard her living room is flooded. Twilight has a fucking force field over Golden Oaks. Applejack is two-words and Big Mac rips their heads off and tells them to shove off. Yeah, this is way too harsh and WAY too hypocritical.

The CMC are despondent. The next morning, Diamond Tiara is about to publish the blackmail. The CMC burst in. "Stop the presses!" "Ah, we haven't started them, yet." HAH! They've got a column at the last possible moment. "You're lucky I'm nice." Pull the other one! It turns out the column was an open letter, apologizing for their actions and trying to explain why they did what they did. Diamond Tiara decides to publish the blackmail. Because she's a petty, spiteful one. We get another montage of them not being messed with.

Back at the schoolhouse, Diamond Tiara is stripped of her title. Thank god! Featherweight's made the new editor-in-chief. Let's hope he takes after Perry White. Diamond Tiara is made printing manager and gets inked.

Thoughts

This... had a good beginning, middle, but not the best end. The citizens of Ponyville came off as really hypocritical and spiteful towards the CMC. Yes, what they did was wrong, but their punishments went way over the top and soured what was actually a rather fine episode overall.

Diamond Tiara was kinda nice... when the CMC was delivering vapid gossip columns, and quickly became drunk on power. Par for the course with her...

The moral was good. Respect privacy, okay. But like I said, the ending wasn't all that good. Also, for god's sake, Cheerilee, why the hell didn't you step in?! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No review until Monday. Christmas shopping tomorrow, and the weekend, where I work in retail. Joy. :P I do hope you all have a good weekend, too. :)

 

 

 

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Well, it's now 2017! I hope it goes as well as it can for all of you. I am... cautious, at best about the new year.

 

Anyway...

 

It was a spatula in the dining car? Spoons in the caboose? Whodunit? We'll find out in...

MMMystery on the Friendship Express

 

Originally posted here on March 30, 2016.

 

We open on a downward tracking shot of the Marzipan mascarpone meringue madness, the pinnacle of the Cakes' baking technology and prowess. It's for the National Dessert Competition. Pinkie is transporting it to Canterlot, with assistance from a massively-strained Big Mac. Pinkie leads him on with a hardhat with a red light on top. It's kinda cute. Cup Cake specifically says it took months of planning and testing. We also begin the gag of Carrot Cake fainting. Glass of water for Mister Cake, and those who have ever seen 'Are You Being Served?' might get that reference. :P Fortunately, Dash and Fluttershy arrive for some timely pegassistance. Then Twilight with some telekinesis. And finally Applejack and Rarity with a safety net in back. They arrive at the Friendship Express... and the door's too small. Okay, I legit laughed at that. :D

After commercials and Big Mac putting the side of the train car back on, turns out Pinkie invited them all to the competition. Applejack's mouth starts watering and she goes for the MMMM, but Pinkie slaps her hoof away. I am in agreement with this. it's an entry, Applejack! Control your impulses. Pinkie does a sell job on the cake. I am... not sold, but I'm not too fond of sweets anymore. I'm also a viewer while Pinkie's a fictional character. *Shrug* Anyway, in comes Gustav la Grand the griffon, who challenges with his Exceptional Eclairs! He also has a mustache you could trip on! The eclairs shine, with help from a spotlight he's got for such an occasion. Very nice. :D He even strokes the mustache, for god's sake.

Next up is... Donut Joe? Ah, no. He was Pony Joe last time we saw him. This, folks, is a continuity error. And one I don't like much, either. He was getting the last ingredient for 'Donutopia'. Is that like Dinotopia, close to Shangri-La? He has super sprinkles, which are super shiny. His donuts are in the form of towers, more than two. He channels Doctor Evil when he declares his donut shop will be famous "For-EVER!" And finally, Mulia Mild, who channels Julia Child in name and voice. Might be a bit before some of your times. ;)  She has a Chocolate Mousse Moose. It's pretty much what it says on the tin. A life-size moose made of chocolate. Some may like it, but looks way too rich for my taste.

The four representatives argue as the train takes off. Twilight suggests they settle in for the night, but Pinkie wants them to stand guard at the MMMM. The rest just go to sleep, leaing Pinkie to pull a Gandlf and make sure none pass. Late that night, she begins to fade. But suddenly, something whizzes by! She chases it to the caboose, but nothing back there. The rest of the cars are pretty empty, too. She turns, and spots a silhouette in the window at the other end of the dessert car. Up to the front and... Casey Jones, I believe. Back to the MMMM, "One of those bakers is mixing up something bad." Okay, clever. Then the window shades go down and we have nocturnal shenanigans. The shades go up, and apparently the MMMM is all right.

Pinkie falls asleep, and it's morning! She wakes up, and the MMMM's all right. Twilight comes in, is in shock... and reveals that the MMMM had three big chunks taken out of it, one on each of its tiers. She cries out and everyone comes in. Whodunit? Who did it, Twilight correct, then says after reading many mystery novels, they have to investigate. Pinkie slaps on a deerstalker hat, a hat Sherlock wore I believe two times in the original Conan Doyle canon, and a bubble pipe. Yeah, methinks she's closer to Lestrade, actually. She slaps a bowler onto Twilight, but Twilight's no Watson... hell, I can't really think of much/any real traits the two share.

Twilight suggests they look for clues, but no. Pinkie knows the culprit! It was... Gustav? And we cut to the Silent Era of Film? Yeah, this is Snidely Whiplash territory, complete with the MMMM sliced up by a saw and Pinkie tied to train tracks. Pinkie, what did we say about snorting the white powder without checking to make sure it was sugar? Twilight rips it apart, natch. She also points out teeth marks.

This time, Joe. Or 'Con Mane'. It's a Bond parody, basically. Complete with glass cutter, gas grenade and laser trap protecting the cake. Oh, and Berry Punch and Carrot Top as Bond Girls/Mares. Twilight points out Joe is big, gruff and messy, which Joe naturally protests. Dude, shut up. That puts you in the clear. :P Rarity, with one eye covered, points out she's look dapper in a tux.

Finally, Mulia, as a ninja. Because, of course she is. She knocks out Pinkie with a frying pan, and then slices the cake with a katana. Pinkie's confused and then begins pontificating on the other desserts. Again, I am not exactly salivating at her descriptions. Then the train goes through a tunnel! And all the other desserts are destroyed. "Now I have no idea who do-doned it." I know who did, but I still have no idea why.

Back from break, Twilight steps up and sends everyone out. She also switches hats, thank goodness. She walks Pinkie through the events of last night, not much to report. She finds a clue, but no wrench in the observatory. Another clue, but it doesn't make any sense. I am right there with you, dudette. At a portrait of some military dude, Twilight finds one more clue and is surprised. Again, right there with you. Pinkie's ashamed of falling asleep.

Twilight calls everyone in and we get the resolution. First... a blue feather. Rainbow Dash's feather. Case solved? No, in the hat was a pink strand of hair. Fluttershy's hair. And finally, an eyelash. Rarity's eyelash. So three of Pinkie's best friends... destroyed the Cakes' entry. I'll get back to this. Apparently Pinkie's descriptions tempted them too much. Yeah, I don't get it. They apologize and Pinkie accepts. Ugh, not cool!

As for the other entries, Pinkie does some investigating and trampling. Gustav has mousse in his mustache, Joe has eclair in his hair and Mulia has sprinkles in her wrinkles. She also needs some cosmetic surgery done, too. The bakers apologize and... you all get it. I don't. I never will. Anyway, the train pulls into the station. And all four desserts are destroyed. Pinkie's got an idea, though.

We cut to Pinkie doing a friendship letter, about not jumping to conclusions and finding out all the facts. And... it's a legit good moral. We also see they melded all the bits of dessert together into some gestalt which... is probably the best they could do under such a tight deadline. It gets the blue ribbon... but who really won? Celestia goes agog at it, and Pinkie... devours the entire thing in one gulp a'la Garfield. Hah, hah?

Thoughts

This one is hard for me to rate, because with a few exceptions, I really enjoy this episode. Those exceptions, though, are big exceptions.

Okay, I love the mystery. I love the parodies. I love how the mystery is pretty logical and the clues make sense. Pinkie here was pretty good, and I liked her. I loved the side-characters. I love Gustav for showing us being a griffon doesn't mean you're an asshole. As someone who's read the entirety of the Conan Doyle canon twice, this really tickled me. :) The moral is a GREAT moral.

But... okay. Dash? Sure, I can see her ruining the cake. Rarity, though... borderline. Fluttershy? No. What they did was bad, and quite frankly there's no real excuse for it. And no, "Pinkie Pie describes a dessert," is not a valid reason/excuse. In our out of universe! This isn't even about 'embodying their Elements,' as I've seen argued. It's about being mature and not ruining someone else's hard work. Hard work that they saw the Cakes' fretting over. That just took me out of the episode and left a sour taste on an otherwise-excellent episode. Hell, same with the bakers. They have even less excuse.

Anyway, I will be writing out the review for Canterlot Wedding Friday, but might be a bit. Little Jackie Papercut wants to add his own review to it. Stay tuned for changelings, big brothers and new alicorns!

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Before I begin, this is a collaboration with Little Jackie Papercut. His part of the review is posted with permission and unedited. Thanks, Jackie.

 

 
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And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still working on destroying that waste of ink called Nightmare Rarity.


 

 

And there was much rejoicing! :D

Okay, time to end the season. How do we end it? On a schmaltzy, girly and kiddified wedding. Oh, this will be so dire and dumb. Won’t it. (Evil laughter intensifies) Get set, get the rice and get ready for…

 

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Oh, come now, Striker, why so melancholy? A wondrous two-parter lies before you. You, the destined viewer of a charming fairy-tale wedding. Behold!

 

 

But it’s gonna be bland and dumb!

A Canterlot Wedding, part one

 

Originally posted here on April 14th, 2016.

 

We open on a picnic. It’s idyllic, it’s gorgeous out, as Rarity repeats several times, but Spike runs up, out of breath. He spits up a scroll. It’s from Celestia and it’s about a wedding. Wait, wedding? What wedding? Fluttershy’s bird choir will provide music. “Pinkie Pie, I can think of no one more qualified than you to host the reception.” Celestia, I got a list a mile long of people more qualified. [/dead_serious] Applejack will do the catering, okay. Dash will perform a sonic rainboom at the end of the ceremony… and I don’t like the sonic rainboom being reduced in importance or difficulty to pull off.

 

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A glorified firework. Apt, in my humble opinion.

 

 

Rarity will design dresses for the brides and bridesmaids, and Rarity goes wonky. No, Wonko the SANE!

Beast Wars joke. We’re walking, we’re walking…

Twilight gets the job as organizer. Okay, but who’s getting married?! Spike shows her another scroll, the one he should’ve given her first. It’s Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and… her brother?!

 

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Brother Chuck has returned to us, as has long been prophesied!

 

 

Now I wonder if Shining Armor’s come down any sets of stairs...

Cue credits! Cue the skip button!

Back… and wow. Okay, no confusion from Applejack, just congrats. Holy shit, I was wrong. Twilight is pissed he didn’t tell her personally and uses a sandwich to mock him. It’s actually pretty damned funny. We also get the BBBFF abbreviation. Before she came to Ponyville, Shining Armor was her only real friend. Well, him, Cadance, possibly the Canterlot Six… but we’ll get to that later. ;)

 

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They don’t exist yet. Don’t worry about it. Although it does pose a problem for my story about Twilight and Trixie as roommates, and Trixie’s jealousy over Twilight being Celestia’s personal student slowly boiling over into unbridled passion...

 

 

I look forward to that story...

We get a nice song and flashback to Twilight as a filly interacting with Shining Armor. It’s lovely, heartwarming. I legit love it. We also see him wanting to get into the Royal Guard. No, Shiny! Go for the Tank Corps! You’ll meet Big Mac and you’ll fight at the Battle of the Triple Hills against the Griffon Empire!

Applejack thinks he sounds like a real good guy. Rarity realizes it’s the wedding of a princess and captain of the Royal Guard. So she faints. Natch. :D Next thing we’re on the Friendship Express to Canterlot. Spike says he’ll be planning the bachelor party… but doesn’t know what that is. Personally, I’ve only been to one bachelor party, and that was going to Worcester Massachusetts for a Star Trek convention. Twilight’s despondent/angry/mocking. Nice to see Applejack being supportive. Makes sense, too. She’s got an older brother.

At Canterlot, there’s a large, pink shield surrounding the city. That’s a problem. Too much pink energy is dangerous! And lots of guardsponies. Not that it matters, they all suck.

 

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Conservation of Power. The bigger the army is, the weaker they all are. Think of them as ninjas. Shining Armor is the badass ninja who stands out from the rest, so he’s the most skilled. The others are all simply forgettable cannon fodder.

 

 

Probably not a good thing to use ninjas. ;) One of my favorite scenes in the movies is from the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. Raphael gets isolated by the Foot Clan, who proceed to destroy him, finally tossing him through a skylight into April’s apartment. They then use their superior numbers to overwhelm the Turtles and nearly kill them in a great fight.

Besides, I’m not one of the badasses. In real-life, I’m not Max Rockatansky. I’d be one of the skulls in the pyramid, so with very few exceptions,I doubly-hate it when I see cannon fodder like that.

I’ll get to that later. Pinkie… sneezes confetti and streamers. Okay.

Back from commercial we see Celestia on top of a tower looking down through a telescope. Is she gonna spot a supposed murder taking place in an apartment and investigate?

 

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It’s symbolic of how she looks down upon her subjects from her lofty position. Down with the sun! All hail the New Lunar Republic!

 

 

We finally see Shining Armor in the flesh, directing traffic and being all military. Snazzy armor, too. Yeah, nice being leader of the loser legions… reign it in, Striker, pun not intended. Twilight marches up, mad enough to boil an egg on her forehead. Shining Armor says there’s been a big increase in security, due to some unspecified threat.

 

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Yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah, death to Canterlot, who cares. Can we move on to the real wedding action?

 

 

EPIC VOW EXCHANGES!

We also see he’s the one providing the shield over the city. Pretty impressive. “The burden of keeping Centerlot safe and secure rests squarely on my shoulders.” Well, considering how much the Royal Guard sucks, yeah.

 

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Remember: Ninjas.

 

 

More like nonjas.

Twilight gets it, but still is mad about the wedding. Shining Armor wins her over by asking her to be his Best Mare. And we learn Mi Amore Cadenza… is Cadance, her old foal-sitter. We get a rather cool iris into another flashback, and we see Cadance, an alicorn.

It’s horrible! It’s dumb!

 

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Ah know! That’s not how ya spell Cadence! It doesn’t even work as a diminutive for “Cadenza”! Stop screwin’ around with continuity, Hasbro!

 

 

It goes against mah headcanon and… I can’t keep it up. :D Ah, guess what, folks? There was nothing that said Celestia and Luna were the only alicorns, at least in the show, and for me, that’s what counts.

 

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Yes, well, it just means one more ineffectual authority figure in Canterlot.

 

 

Oh, I dunno. Cadance overall has probably been more effective than Celestia. She protected the Crystal Empire from Sombra for a while and there’s no evidence she’s been a bad ruler there.

It’s another heartwarming flashback, and we get the Unicorn Shake. Although we also see her using her ‘Love Magic’, and no two ways about it, I do find it disturbing, no matter the context. “How many unicorns can just spread love wherever they go?” Now we know where Twilight got the idea for a number of her screwed-up spells…

And a grown-up Cadance comes in, sounding… pretty snippy, actually. Twilight bounces over and does the Unicorn Shake and… I have seen this on a number of PMV’s with ‘Baby Got Back’. I would not be surprised if this was the start of any number of adult writings. Cadance wanders over to Shining Armor and he bedroom eyes. And my god that stare.

We see Applejack doing the catering. Applejack, the ice sculpture’s gonna melt there. Cadance comes in, using green-tinted magic. To quote AlchemyStudent, “Foreshadowing, oh noes!”

 

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The ice sculpture is clearly symbolic. As the heat of a summer’s day melts the ice, so too will the passion of the newlyweds, um… melt? Oh, did you mean the magic? I’m not sure how that qualifies as foreshadowing. She has green eyes, and magic often matches the pony’s eye color, does it not?

 

 

The green magic. In flashbacks, it was pink. :)

She says she loves them, and it’s about as sincere as Megatron at the end of Dark of the Moon. In other words, not at ALL. Applejack gives her some for later, which are promptly thrown out.

 

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She’s a monster!

 

In the next scene, we see Celestia at the telescope, Shining Armor doing his shield, the Twilight and Rarity. Then in comes Cadance and… holy shit, it’s Lyra, Minuette and Twinkleshine!

 

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Now that’s foreshadowing.

 

 

Rarity sucks up a bit, but Cadance brushes past her. Rude. It’s a very nice dress, but Cadance wants more beading and a longer train. Rude, much. And the bridesmaid’s dresses should be a different color. The bridesmaids speak up, and holy crap it’s weird hearing them speak. Cadance does a backward glare and they shut up. “Gee, maybe her name should be ‘Princess Demandy-Pants’.” Ooh, burn! :D

Later that day, and I like the darkening sky. Pinkie shows her plans for the reception. It’s a board game and a record player playing the anti-parasprite song. I am… not impressed. Cadance says it’d be perfect for a six-year old’s birthday party, and Pinkie… is oblivious. I am torn. On the one hand, Cadance was rude. On the other. It is a poor reception.

 

 
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The sad thing is that what she said was actually, literally correct. This is the master party planner? I’d be angry with Celestia at this point. Clearly she’s promoting a favorite pawn instead of being at all concerned about the actual quality of her services. At least Applejack was clearly competent enough in her field that pretending to like her food was the better choice.


 

 

Even with my admitted bias, you’re right and I agree. All the others are doing their damned best and I wouldn’t really object. Here, though? Bad form, Pinkie!

Now at night, Luna flies in and takes over Celestia’s peeping-tom duties. “Rest, my sister. As always, I will guard the night.” Well, except when you went crazy, turned into Nightmare Moon, tried to blow a hole in your chest and cause Eternal Night, then got banished into the moon for a thousand years.

But other than that, always!

 

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What about that time a giant star bear attacked Ponyville at night? Where was Luna for that one?

 

 

She was probably learning how to operate a microwave oven. Progress for the win! :D

Down at an open-air cafe, Twilight is pissed off, and rightfully should be, concerning Cadance. Rarity says Cadance is an absolute gem. The same Cadance who was pretty jerkish to you? They’ve got explanations… but it rings pretty hollow overall. Twilight’s known Cadance longer than them together times thirty or so. And remember ‘Lesson Zero’, ladies?

 

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Lesson Zero, where Twilight delusionally thought Celestia was going to send her back to kindergarten for being late on an assignment and didn’t think to just fake it? Yes, I can see how that should have established her credibility.

 

 

Well, establish, “Listen to Twilight instead of dismissing her claims.” And here, she’s got more than a leg to stand on, especially when compared with last time. She’s known Cadance a long time, after all.

 

 
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She also hasn’t seen her in a while, at least long enough not to know that Cadance and Shining Armor were getting married—or even that they were interested in each other, presumably, since she didn’t immediately think of Cadance when she heard about Shining Armor’s wedding. So it could simply be that Twilight is fixating on idealized memories of someone she used to look up to. And people do act differently when they’re under stress—an approaching wedding counts for several different kinds of stress. It could very well be that Cadance is just breaking down, and maybe Twilight should go ask about that before jumping to conclusions. And besides all that, Twilight was clearly bitter about being left out of the whole thing until the last minute, which is valid cause to doubt that her judgement is spot-on.


 

 

But they still don’t know Cadance as well as Twilight, even with nostalgia goggles. They didn’t even give her the benefit of the doubt. Eh, agree to disagree on this one. I just think they dismissed her claims way too quickly.

Also, Pinkie and Spike playing with the wedding toppers? Makes me laugh. :D Twilight blows up and stalks off.

At some house, possibly Twilight’s family house, Shining Armor’s getting a dress uniform on. Just before Twilight says anything, Cadance comes down. She’s like Batman, except pink.

 

Quote

That one actually happened.

 

 

She leads Shining Armor off and we hear some muffled arguments about him wearing his favorite uncle’s… uniform? Emblem? Not sure, but that means Twilight’s got an uncle!

 

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Spoiler alert: It’s Uncle Orange.

 

 

*Gasp* They’re all related to the Apple’s!

Anyway, during the argument, Shining Armor goes all dizzy. And Cadance.. Fires a magic beam at his head. His eyes spin, go green and holy shit, that’s nuts. Twilight gallops off, Luna playing truancy officer in the tower. She runs to what appears to be Canterlot Castle, but inside, the others are in… dresses? And are the new bridesmaid? Okay, that took a left turn. A clever left turn. Got them into her good graces.

At the rehearsal, it’s going fairly smoothly. Except for Spike. :P Twilight barges in and goes all Phoenix Wright on Cadance. Cadance turns on the waterworks. It’s Super-effective! Holy crap, two video game references in a row. :P Twilight is pleased as punch, but Shining Armor is pissed as all hell. He explains Cadance has been using healing magic on him, not ‘casting spells’.

 

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This is what happens when you present the wrong evidence.

 

 

Good point. Although it also shows Chrysalis has all her bases covered.

The bridesmaid were in the wedding to meet royalty, and she’s been jerkish because she’s had to make all the decisions about the wedding. Game, set and match. He sends her packing, then her friends ignore her. And finally Celestia brushes her off. Wow, okay, that is TOO far, folks.

Twilight is doubtful of herself and remorseful. We get a sad reprise of the earlier song. :( Cadance walks up, doing a symbolic trampling of Twilight’s imagine spot. Twilight tearfully apologizes, Cadance’s eyes flash green…

HOLY SHIT GREEN FLAMES AND TWILIGHT IS SENT TO HELL!

 

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Ah, the good old days when villains could actually do that.

 

 

Cue happy ending theme!

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A Canterlot Wedding Part Two

And from the cliffhanger out of nowhere, we first get the standard recap. Then Twilight is alone in some sort of cavern. We get creepy laughter, about a .6 on the Joker scale. Cadance shows up in the reflections, and we learn these are caverns beneath Canterlot, and greedy unicorns wanted to claim the gems inside. Nice little history.

 

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I am the Lorax, I speak for the gems.

 

 

Cadance taunts her and Twilight fires off a magic beam, but it reflects and she almost blows her own head off. She blows up one crystal and… it’s Cadance? Looking like she’s had a bit of a rough time. Twilight tackles her and is about to straight up murder her, but a reciting of the Unicorn Shake convinces Twilight it’s her. Yay. :D And yes, it’s a faaake. Thank you, Senator Vreenak.

Up in Canterlot proper, the… okay, we all know who it is and it’ll be confusing otherwise. Chrysalis begins her villain song. It’s really great, and of course Cadance does her own counterpart down below. I don’t have much to say, other than great singing and just great visuals. I honestly love it. And of course, Temple of Doom mine cart ride. :D

 

 
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I, on the other hoof, have many things to say. This song is one of the moments that absolutely make this two-parter. We’ve had a sinister villain in Nightmare Moon, we’ve had… whatever Discord was, but this? This is truly classic. This is someone who is not only winning from the beginning, but is also enjoying every moment. Nightmare Moon could ham it up, but she was doomed the moment she started placing childish traps instead of confronting the insects trying to stop her outright. Discord was in control, but he seemed bored of even that within minutes. Chrysalis has done it all, and none of her enemies even know she exists.


 

 

Damn, that’s some good observations. Something else I thought of reading this. She’s doing her gloating and villain song in private. A little indulgence that’s not gonna damage her in any real way. Chrysalis really shows how devious, how smart she can be here. She’s got Canterlot wrapped around her horn.

Up above the CMC are flower girls? Okay… also, Trixie is one of the trumpeters. :D Twilight finds a hole in the ceiling, but the bridesmaids are now Brides of Chrysalis! So, so creepy. At the wedding, mawwiage! But Twilight barges in! And then Cadance. And mirror dance? Also, the bridesmaids made lousy guards, but good players at fetch.

Chrysalis reveals herself, and Cadance says she’s a changeling. Wait, where’s Celestia? She kinda disappeared. They replace ponies and feed off love. And god, Chrysalis’ design is damned creepy when you get down to it. Holes in her legs and wings, bent horn, the fangs.

 

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And the hellfire!

 

And brimstone… it’s Kane, bah gawd!

She says Equestria’s got more love than any other place she’s encountered. Cadance counters with Shining’s Shield, but it’s not super-effective any more. Chrysalis has been feeding off Shining’s love, making him weaker. He’s also now fully under her control. Again, cree-py. We then zoom up and see changelings bouncing off the shield. It’s… really silly-looking. And does no one see them doing that?

And finally Celestia shows back up. We get a beam-of-war, which Celestia loses. This… does not sit well with me. I’ll get back to it. But I do love that Chrysalis had that, “Holy shit, did I do that?!” look on her face afterward. Celestia tells them to get the Elements, and we have a cute spot of them ditching their dresses and Rarity collecting them. :D The shield shatters in a rather nice effect, and the changelings dive in as kinetic-kill weapons, with very nice shields around them.

They’re surrounded, and Dash says they’ll have to do this the hard way. And she… bumps into herself. This actually reminds me a bit of the Patty Duke show, and now I’m sad concerning Patty Duke’s recent passing. :( I loved the Patty Duke show, one of the first sitcoms I ever saw, even if in reruns.

The changelings turn into copies of the Mane Six. And it’s a fight. First action, several changelings approach Fluttershy. And she… fools them. Rather easily. Score one against hive mind. She runs into a pack of Dash’s, but the real Dash is among them and kicks their butt. She picks up Fluttershy, and their lips come close and there’s a smooch sound effect and holy shit they kissed and there’s nothing you can do to convince me otherwise. :D

 

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In retrospect, that probably didn’t help matters. You know, sharing a moment of passion in the middle of a swarm of love-eaters… or does it have to be directed at them?

 

 

Oh, so that’s why the changelings were so hard to beat in the next round!

Applejack is piled on by a bushel of herself, and Twilight saves her. “Real me! Real me!” Pinkie tells one to do her… again, perfect intro for an adult fic.

 

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And he was forevermore known as… Doomy.

 

 

“I’ve seen better.” She then grabs Twilight and uses her like a .50 caliber machine gun.

 

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I like this new weapon. Killing you is full-time job now! Keep crying, babies! ...and other TF2 Heavy quotes.

 

 

We get a montage of the Mane Six winning. They go for the Elements, but they’re blocked. Wait, why not continue fighting? You kicked ass earlier!

 

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Law of threat escalation. The second wave will always, always be harder to defeat than the first.

 

 

And they may be tired, while the others are fresh. Okay, I can let this one go.

Anyway, back from commercial, and Celestia is in a cocoon. Cadance is defiant, and then the Mane Six are brought in. Chrysalis gloats that Twilight was the only one to see through her deception. Applejack apologizes, and twilight says she fooled everyone. Well, except you. We get the Perfect song, and we see the changelings running amuk, including one shot of the Royal Guard tied up. In other words, completely useless.

 

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Niiiiiiiinjaaas.

 

 

While Chrysalis is gloating, Cadance is freed and goes to Shining Armor. She hugs him, her horn sparks, and it turns out the Power of Love is a curious thing. It makes one mare weak, but makes another stallion strong. More than a feeling, it’s the power of love!

Also, Huey Lewis and the News is a highly underrated band.

Chrysalis pops back in, though. Twilight says to perform the shield spell, but no go. Cadance says her love will give him strength, and Chrysalis… mocks that. Ah, Cryssie? Remember the whole ‘love-fueled beam of war’? Ah, I can forgive this. It’s been a great two-parter, and villains can be shortsighted and egomaniacal. But the love works and their horn sparks up. Shining Armor is doing it all for his Cadie, because she’s as fine as she can be! It’s like the end of G-Gundam and they’re Domon and Rain. Sekiha Love-Love Tenkyoken! It blows away all the changelings, sending them away into the air.

And… it’s wedding time! We get a cute montage of prep, followed by the wedding itself and reception. Celestia apologizes to Twilight, thank goodness. Lune shows up, which takes me out of the scene a bit as I wonder, “Where the hell were you?!” Vinyl Scratch cues up the music. We get some odd snapshots. Not much to say overall, except Rarity shoving the bridesmaids out of the way for the damned bouquet like that legit pisses me off. No excuse, at ALL.We get ‘Love is in Bloom’, and I’m overall happy.

Thoughts

Let’s get the bad out of the way, first.

1. The Royal Guard being completely useless. Okay, here’s the deal. I understand the ‘redshirt army’ trope has its uses. I don’t mind it… sometimes, like in Godzilla movies. But here, no. I’ve never liked the Royal Guard being useless. Not here, not ever. It doesn’t make the changelings look badass, not the Mane Six badass for beating the changelings. It looks like a group of clowns beating up on another group of clowns before being beaten by civilians.

And no, them being ‘the Mane Six’ or Rarity or Rainbow Dash knowing martial arts doesn’t matter to me. I’ll take trained soldiers over them any day of the week. Because, you know, trained soldier! It’s a fashion designer and weather manager.

 

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You forget Rainbow Dash has the power of hype. One day, when that fails…

 

 

Mick Foley said in I believe his first autobiography, that in a promo, you shouldn’t make your opponent out to be nothing. If you do, and you beat him, you’ve beaten nothing. If you lose, then a loser just kicked your ass. That’s what happened here and every other time the Royal Guard is seen to be useless. It makes me wonder why the hell they’ve even got them around.

 

 
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I have to say, the Royal Guard losing also reflects poorly on Shining Armor. As Captain of the Guard, he should have some responsibility for the condition of his troops—their training, their fitness, their general preparedness. When they lose, it also devalues him as a leader, which makes his happy ending feel more unearned. He’s an incompetent authority figure. Normally that would make him the butt of jokes at best, and should really get him deposed.


 

 

Hmm, I never thought about that angle, but again, you’re right. If he’s in charge of the Guard, and the Guard sucks, what’s that say about him? Not anything good, that’s for sure. It’s probably why in the Hasbroverse, not only is the Royal Guard a part of the overall Equestrian military, but Shining Armor was put in charge specifically to whip them into shape.

2. Celestia being taken out like that/Luna no-showing. Now I’ll admit, I’ve grown to… sort of hate Celestia after season three, and this one’s kinda iffy, but Chrysalis taking her out like that just didn’t sit well with me, nor Luna just disappearing like that. I actually hate her being made out to be useless, like the Royal Guard.

 

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I sort of agree, but not because of what it does to Celestia’s reputation. It was just anticlimactic. Oh, look, an angry god is about to smite the villain—whoops, no, it’s already over. Maybe if Luna ever bothered to show up for royal events like she’s supposed to it would have lasted a little longer.

 

 

Yeah. There was an idea floated about when this episode came out. Have Celestia and Luna engage in a running battle with Chrysalis. She’s just too fast for them. That way, not only is Celestia not made to look weak, not only does Luna get some cool screentime, but since Chrysalis isn’t around when Cadance and Shining Armor do their love-fueled shield, she doesn’t look dumb for dismissing it. Three birds with one stone.

3. Twilight’s concerns being dismissed so easily. I think Foals Errand and I summed it up one time on Skype. “Hey, everyone. Twilight’s suspicious of Cadance. Now, she’s known her longer than all of us put together, multiplied by twenty, and we have an object lesson about not listening to her in ‘Lesson Zero’. Still, let’s just make excuses for Cadance and brush off Twilight’s concerns. Okay? Okay!”

 

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They were caught up in doing their own things and in a situation that should have been perfectly safe. I wouldn’t really say it’s that absurd.

 

 

Not too safe. There was that threat they knew about.

But… other than that, I loved this two-parter. I loved the subversion of it being a wedding and gonna be all sorts of cutesy and then BAM! Changeling invasion! Epic fights! Badassness abounding! I love the worldbuilding. Twilight and Shining Armor have an uncle. Where is he?!

I love the changelings. Oh, god. So much potential, so many questions. Where did they come from? Do they have to suck love dry? Can they eat? How far can their shapeshifting go? Is Chrysalis’ group the only ones?

 

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Chrysalis is magnificent, as well. Oh, there is so much to say…

 

Alright, let me start with this. Because very little is actually given to us about the changelings, there are multiple interpretations for everything. Chrysalis, herself, has two common interpretations:

1. The monster. Chrysalis is an unfeeling, uncaring brute, which may reflect on all changelings (or they could all be rainbow sprinkle happy-dappies who would be perfectly sweet darlings if not slaved to a hivemind or suffering under an incompetent ruler). She’s a feral monster, and the changelings are (probably) a swarm of insects who are best treated as such.

2. The mother. Chrysalis is just a poor, mistreated mom trying to feed her kids, and we should all sympathize and feel bad about the implicit damage done to the changelings by expelling them from Canterlot.

Most people tend to select one of these and run with it. And frankly, I hate both. They limit Chrysalis and the changelings and take away what was so amazing about them all. No, Chrysalis is a queen, and just the fact that she took that mantle sets her apart. She is everything a queen should be, regal, powerful, and wise. She is regal enough to have a commanding presence even when surrounded by enemies who she knows should be able to defeat her. She is powerful enough to stand and face the full might of the sun head-on. She is wise enough to set everything up so well that even with advance warning, nobody could touch her. And she commits everything she has to her role as a ruler. The invasion of Canterlot was exactly that; an invasion.

The way they did things isn’t even consistent with just wanting to feed. After all, the episode clearly shows that they can simply assimilate into pony society and subtly feed off those around them. An invasion would make that harder to do, not easier. So what was their real end goal? Well… to invade. To gain territory, resources. The same things real wars are fought over. That tethers the changelings to reality and reminds us that they’re more than just leeches. It was one sovereign power against another. We want what you have so we’ll take it. It failed, and at the end of the day the changelings will have to pony up war reparations...

By the way, Striker, I’ve had something on my mind for a long time now. Everyone thinks of changelings as insects, but that doesn’t make much sense to me. I mean, yes, I can see they have chitinous wings, but so do fairies, and that makes a lot more sense, since the name “changeling” comes from faerie lore and shapeshifting is a common fey ability. What’s your take on it? Personally, I feel like faerie connections open up a whole world of characterization possibilities. It allows the changelings to be monstrous without being monsters, and gives them the beauty and danger of something utterly alien.

 

 

 

Hmm, intriguing idea. I like it, actually. That’s one of the fun things concerning changelings. We have just enough info to hook and reel us in.

Concerning Chrysalis, you’re right. She’s powerful, and she knows it. She’s smart, conniving and can think on her hooves. This wasn’t some personal plan. It was what she felt was best for her people overall.

As for the changelings, fairies? That actually makes a lot of sense. Hell, maybe they do the whole, “Switch babies at birth,” thing so their infants can soak up parental love, then switch them back before anyone notices anything. I do vastly prefer that idea to them being hive-minded insects or other fanon ideas I’ve seen. And as we saw in ‘Slice of Life’, the 100th episode, being a changeling doesn’t mean you’re automatically evil.

Suck it, Fiendship is Magic!

“Well, the comic-”

No.

The comic and cartoon are separate continuities, and quite frankly I loathe the origin given to them in it.

 

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I may have to move “Fiendship is Magic” up in my review queue. This indignity shall not stand...

 

 

Oh, where’s that GIF of Michael Jackson eating popcorn when I need it?

The Hasbroverse has its own origin for them, and it will be a majestic and regal origin. And it will not condemn an entire species for being born.

Anyway…

I love Cadance and Shining Armor. I love her being an alicorn. :D Ah, as I pointed out, there was NOTHING that said Celestia and Luna were the only alicorns. Shining Armor comes off as a good guy. Not much personality given to either of them here, but considering the circumstances, easily forgivable.

Chrysalis is a deliciously evil baddie. Oh, how I love to hate her. :D And unlike Discord, not ruined by subsequent appearances! A minor misstep at the end, but again, one I can overlook.

So, yeah. With the exceptions listed, I really love this. Probably my second-favorite season finale, right behind Twilight’s Kingdom.

So, stay tuned for my thoughts on season two overall, and then, season three. Or as I like to think of it, “The season I lost all my trust in Celestia, and my hate for trickster mentors solidified.”

 

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I don’t believe in M.A. Larson.

 

 

Neither do I. And thank you Jackie, for doing this. :)

See you then. :)

 

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Speaking of Dragon Quest, there's also a very dark implication about the Dragons and even the ponies and Spike's portrayal. Faust at a pony convention admitted that the Dragons were to represent folks negative views on girl toys. Meaning that their characterization can interpreted as a very sexist one by Faust who had written the bully dragons as a negative masculine types along with poking fun with how Spike was more feminine compared to them. This is the thing that soured me so much about the episode as Dragon Quest had one of Spike's finest performances on the show, but it goes to waste due to how Faust allowed her personal beliefs to get in the way of proper story telling other than to vent her anger towards the negative views on girl toys. I'm glad S6's Gauntlet of Fire corrected that for the dragon's sake for Faust's blatant use of them for her negative views..

 

As for Iron Will, definitely agree he got shafted hard on the narrative's portrayal of him when it was totally Fluttershy's fault for taking his lesson way too far and using it as she saw fit for her own ends instead of what he intended. It's like blaming a gun instructor on someone going a murdering spree after he taught him how to properly use a firearm. It's really unfair to the instructor they get blamed as a villain for their students deciding to take it beyond what the intention was. Especially as Iron Will's lesson did work, but once again he lost out on money simply because Fluttershy decides that the lesson 'didn't work' when the consequences of her actions were totally her fault. Putting your Hoof Down really hurt Fluttershy in the series for which she's only now starting to recover in S5 and 6. 

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1 hour ago, Nuke87654 said:

Speaking of Dragon Quest, there's also a very dark implication about the Dragons and even the ponies and Spike's portrayal. Faust at a pony convention admitted that the Dragons were to represent folks negative views on girl toys. Meaning that their characterization can interpreted as a very sexist one by Faust who had written the bully dragons as a negative masculine types along with poking fun with how Spike was more feminine compared to them. This is the thing that soured me so much about the episode as Dragon Quest had one of Spike's finest performances on the show, but it goes to waste due to how Faust allowed her personal beliefs to get in the way of proper story telling other than to vent her anger towards the negative views on girl toys. I'm glad S6's Gauntlet of Fire corrected that for the dragon's sake for Faust's blatant use of them for her negative views..

Oh, for the love of mike. That's horrible! And yes, that is a VERY dark implication there. As if the portrayal of the dragons wasn't bad enough here. Is it any wonder I try to pretend this episode just doesn't fucking exist?

 

1 hour ago, Nuke87654 said:

As for Iron Will, definitely agree he got shafted hard on the narrative's portrayal of him when it was totally Fluttershy's fault for taking his lesson way too far and using it as she saw fit for her own ends instead of what he intended. It's like blaming a gun instructor on someone going a murdering spree after he taught him how to properly use a firearm. It's really unfair to the instructor they get blamed as a villain for their students deciding to take it beyond what the intention was. Especially as Iron Will's lesson did work, but once again he lost out on money simply because Fluttershy decides that the lesson 'didn't work' when the consequences of her actions were totally her fault. Putting your Hoof Down really hurt Fluttershy in the series for which she's only now starting to recover in S5 and 6. 

Good analogy, there.

 

And time to start season three!

Season three is the shortened one, natch. I am... it's not gonna be pretty, folks.

So, we begin with a dark lord... of stairs, a plan... of dubious merit. A mentor... who takes things too far.

The Crystal Empire part one

 

Originally posted here on April 19th, 2016.

 

We start in on Canterlot. Celestia is doing paperwork, accompanied by some pony I don't know if she has a name or not. Suddenly, a guard bursts in and delivers news from Northern Equestria. With a dramatic helmet-removal and mane-flip, even! "'It' has returned." It? What It? Pennywsie? the Thing from another world? Pulaski's nickname for Data? Apparently Celestia knows, because she sends for Cadance and Shining Armor, and writes Twilight a letter.

At Golden Oaks, Twilight is having a not-funny spaz attack. It's not funny. It really isn't. Her friends look on in concern, hopefully about to call for the special people with the white jacket for Twilight. She pulls a huge-ass book out of a shelf and drops it on Spike. Then flash cards. Because. Spike tells her to calm down. "It's just a test." She flips out on him and the library goes midair.

Sixteen

At Canterlot, in front of a stained-glass window of Shiny and Cadance defeating the changelings, Celestia and Luna are talking. Luna wants to go... somewhere. Very wise of her. Apparently Shiny and Cadance are there, wherever 'there' is, and some empire's magic is powerful. Well, Palpatine sure as hell was strong in the Dark Side. It can't fall again. Okay, then send Luna to help. 'She', that we know is Twilight, will succeed, and she'll be much closer to and for god's sake we all know what it is. To become the 'Princess of friendship', a title I still don't think she's earned, tested in a way that put a lot of people in far too much danger and took way too much risk.

Twilight arrives, and Celestia says to trust her. That ship will sail and sink by Magical Mystery Cure, Celly. We get a legit-amusing scene of Twilight dropping her stuff and it getting messy. But no, this is a different kind of test! Okay, multiple-choice? Finally, we get some solid info. The Crystal Empire has returned! Twilight doesn't know of it, and even Celestia knows little. She gets an exposition crystal ready. A hologram-map of it lights up, nice effect there. It's got a 'powerful magic', which just sounds like an odd way to phrase it to me.

A thousand years ago, very coincidental time, :P King Sombra took it over. By the way, Sombra's design has always made me laugh. Curved red horn, glowing eyes, it's like an alicorn OC that everybody parodies! We see him lording over the crystal ponies and them in chains, and it's bad. Then Celestia and Luna come in and blast him. Multi-colored effects from their horn. I'm going with not the Elements of Harmony. He was banished into the ice, but cursed the Empire to vanish. We also learn the Empire is an amplifier artifact. Celestia also uses Dark Magic to make a point she could've just told Twilight.

So, she's sending Twilight there to... protect it, as Twilight says and Celestia does not deny. She and the other Mane Six will be sent there. I notice a distinct lack of, I don't know, Elements of Harmony going with them. As they leave the throne room and Celestia says more about her level of studies than the ponies she'll be helping, Luna glares at Twilight. I am right there with you, sister. And...

Celestia tells her it must be "You and you alone" who assists Cadance and Shining Armor in doing what's necessary, which goes against every damned thing Twilight's been taught so far. And considering it's Twilight, that's not a good thing!

God, how I loathe trickster mentors.

And she's sent off... without the Elements, without, I don't know, Royal Guardsponies? Scholars who could assist her in research? ANY mention of a backup plan?! Just her and the others.

Outside, Spike tries to cheer her up, and we get a song about how Twilight wasn't prepared for what happened. It's a nice song and tour through Canterlot. Her mind's sharp... except when she snaps or goes on a checklist spree. At the train station, the others arrive. Quick, get the Elements! Pinkie fires off her party cannon... and it and she somehow reverse it back down. Okay, clever. Twilight tells them where they're going, and it's met with understandable confusion.

After the commercials, we see a train chugging through an arctic wasteland. They get off... and besides Rarity and her scarf, none of them have any winter clothing. Also, Spike pratfalls. Shining Armor shows up, with some rather cool and appropriate glare-reducing glasses. He says they should get going, because of things in the dark, which wouldn't be as much of a problem if they had some guards with them.

Actually, the specific threat is Sombra, so maybe guards wouldn't be quite so effective against him. So the Elements? Other unicorns? Suddenly, Sombra shoots up like a bubbling crude! He's... a big black cloud with glowing, mascara-covered eyes. Shining Armor suddenly stops to fight him... even though that was actually unnecessary, since they were pretty far ahead of him. Totally ineffective, natch. They make it inside, but Shining Armor's horn has crystals all over it. Oh, no. He got into the rock candy! No, he's been conveniently removed for added drama.

We get a nice shot of the Crystal Empire and a large tower in what appears to be the center of the place. Rarity's so agog about the crystals she's about to... do something you can't do in this show. Applejack tells her to focus, and Rainbow Dash is dismissive, and Rarity nearly has an aneurysm... but Dash was messing with her. "Very funny." Quite nice character interaction.

At the throne room, Cadance looks like she's marathoned all of Star Trek and Doctor Who. she's still got enough energy for a Unicorn Shake with Twilight, though. It's cute, like last time. "One of these days we need to get together when the fate of Equestria isn't hanging in the balance." NICE. :D Her horn flashes and cue ominous dark skies. She's been using her magic 'to spread love and light,' which has been holding off King Grumpy Pants. Shining Armor can't help because of what happened... ten minutes ago. What have you been doing previously?

Both have been too busy to get any infro from the crystal ponies-and Rarity again does that thing. And people were joking about Spike having self-control issues here... Twilight suddenly says, "research paper!" And I am literally, "What..." Oh, for fuck's sake... she says that gathering info must be part of her test! She'll gather info and deliver it to Shining Armor. Wow, can you say 'misplaced priorities'? Good lord, Twilight, get your head out of your plot! Dash jokes about who doesn't love research papers and Pinkie goes off on a tangent.

Outside, Twilight is asking questions. No one remembers anything, and there's a nice bit where they wince in pain and his eyes appear. They can't remember anything before him, and don't want to remember when he ruled over them. It's a somber little scene overall. We cut to Dash being... Dash and being bad cop with no good cop around. Dash, cool it NOW. Fluttershy is... meek. Pinkie Pie is channeling Solid Snake/Snake Eyes. Two of the crystal ponies look to the castle and say it looks the same, but doesn't feel the same. And before we learn anything else, Pinkie literally drops in. Smooth. And Pinkie does... pinkie things.

We cut to Rarity... having an imagine spot of her being crystalline in front of some crystal ponies. I think. The ponies are creeped out, and so am I. The Mane Six gather... including Pinkie in a Fluttershy-suit. Why she has a Fluttershy suit is a question best left to others. Applejack mentions a library and Twilight... nearly does that thing that Rarity almost did, and pretty much loses herself. PRIORITIES, MOTHERBUCKER! Do you cogitate?! Applejack moves things along by asking the librarian, possibly a relative of Mister Atoz, about the history of the Empire. Unfortunately, she can't remember. She's not even sure if she works there. Ouch... We get a montage of EPIC BOOK SEARCHING! And finally Twilight finds something. It's a history book.

After commercials, we're back in the throne room. Twilight reads about the Crystal Fair, established by 'their first queen'. Now there's someone I'd like to hear more about. It's their most important tradition, besides the Crystalling, of course. ;) It renews their spirit, and apparently the book's got all the info in it. we now get another song about putting the Crystal Fair together. It's a nice montage and song, overall.

Twilight praises them and says she couldn't have done it without them. Hint, hint... and Twilight even carved a crystal heart as a centerpiece. Pinkie blows her horn and Dyna comes running. As Twilight tries to announce the Fair, Pinkie pulls a Constructicons in the 1986 Transformers movie. Excuse me.

*Grabs horn and tosses it into a trash compactor*

She announces the Crystal Fair... and their coats all light up! Rainbow Dash is an obnoxious idiot to one of the ponies, par for the course. Others start to remember and mention the Crystal Heart. The lady from the library exposits about the Heart and its role, and even remembers she does work at the library!

Dash grabs a banner, flies to the castle and covers Twilight's sculpture. Turns out it's an actual relic, and there was a page missing. Sombra, you magnificent bastard Twilight didn't read all your book! Also, Cadance does a full diving faint, complete with swoon. Her shield fails and dark clouds swarm in.

Cue happy theme!

The Crystal Empire part two

After the recap and opening, Shining states the Empire's under attack. Thank you, Captain Obvious! Cadance manages to recover. Her shield slices off the tip of Sombar's horn, where it lands, causes the ground to bubble... and nothing of consequence happens with that. Shining Armor says he will find the Crystal Heart! No, dude. You can't be too useful here. Save it up for wife-tossing at the end. Twilight goes on about that damned test and thinks getting the Heart is the test. So no help from Rainbow Dash for this. Ugh. Okay, they're keeping the Fair going in order to lift the spirits of the crystal ponies. Laudable goal, but for selfish reasons. We also get a close-up of the bubbling area and a dark crystal rising from it. Foreshadowing, perhaps?

At the Fair, Spike finds out what Twilight's doing and rushes off to help her He's like a reptilian Samwise Gamgee. Also, Pinkie wants a flugelhorn. Everyone keep them away from her! Spike runs up to help Twilight, but she rebuffs his help. Because... *Striker growls in real-life* He promises to not lift a claw, and she takes him with her. She runs for the castle, counting on Sombra to think that no one would dare go look for it there, because of fear. Good reasoning.

Back at the Fair, Dash is playing guard to the Heart... by playing attack dog. Applejack wisely sends her away before she causes a panic, to go jousting! Hmm, got enough quarters? That game was hard. So she flies off and butts into Fluttershy's butt in one of those, "Holy crap, this is another lead-in into an adult fic," way. Applejack does a far better job keeping them away and not scaring the hell outta them, too.

With a nice segue, we're back to Twilight. She spots the throne, and realizes it looks like the exposition crystal from part one. Right, the throne room didn't look like this when he was in power. She hits the throne with dark magic and a hidden stairwell is revealed. She tells Spike to stay there, and he's all too happy to. Outside, Sombra actually speaks. "Yes, crystal." Twilight bounces down, but saves herself from a fractured skull. Reminds me of several times in real-life I've tripped down stairs, occasionally into concrete walls...

At the bottom is a door. No lady or tiger behind it, though. It zooms around whenever she gets close, but she uses more dark magic to stop it. It opens... and we're back at Canterlot? There, Celestia tells Twilight she failed. And she won't continue her studies. The door shows people their worst fears, basically. We then hear echoey Spike, who manages to shake her out of it. He then goes up to the door, and we can surmise his worst fear is Twilight sending him away. She says she'll never send him away. Okay, legit heartwarming there. She also won't fail her test... priorities, for the love of Mike?! She uses what appears to be light magic to open the door for real. Inside, another set of stairs. These ones go up. And Twilight gets a fucking clue and has Spike go with her.

Outside, Sombra is engaging in Maniacal Laughter 101. Back at the Fair, Rainbow Dash jousts with Fluttershy. And by 'jousts' I mean nrearly kill her! What the hell?! She lays on a massive guilt trip onto Fluttershy, and says she'll take it easy-but not too easy-she's got a reputation to maintain.

Back at Twilight and Spike, Spike once again proves his usefulness by wondering if the staircase goes on forever. And thus the 'Sombra loves stairs' meme is born. Twilight reverses gravity on her and Spike and slides on the bottom! Nice! At the Fair, Rarity's reacher her artistic limit with a hat made out of three pieces of hay and a drinking straw. Not even Pinkie can keep it going. And on cue, she slips on the ball she was balancing on, one of the horns she was juggling goes flying and... hits the shroud covering the sculpture. The sculpture goes flying, and the jig is up. Sombra laughs and speaks once more. "Crystal Heart."

Twilight is having a blast skating along, and ends up at the top of the tower. No Gandalf there. But there is a Crystal Heart! Sombra spots it and crystals start growing inside. Twilight gets trapped and verbally reprimands herself. And finally... she tells Spike to grab the Heart and bring it to the fair. Spike grabs it and dives out the window. Cadance's horn finally runs dry, the shield completely fails and it's complete panic.

It's a race as Spike tries to get the Heart, but Sombra's crystals knock him off-balance. Sombra also manages to regain his corporeal form. Hmm forgot that bit. His design's still goofy. Shining Armor performs his one act and tosses Cadance towards the Heart. She also picks Spike up. She flies to the crystal ponies, it gets locked into position, and epic power up! They all get crystallized, which for the record is infinitely better than Rainbow Power. Sombra fucking explodes, and we get fireworks that reach to Canterlot. "Good job, Spike." Yay!

The Mane Six are leaving. We get a bit of rarijack, too. Twilight is... embarrassed Spike was the hero. She failed the test. I mean, the Empire was saved, an evil dictator was defeated, citizens were liberated and Equestria wasn't screwed over... but Twilight failed a test. Of course, back at Canterlot, we see Spike's gotten his own stained-glass window. Way to go, dude! :) And we get the 'true' tst, that Twilight shouldn't put herself before others and trust in her friends. In other words, friendship is magic. No, really?! Yes, she passed the fucking test. We get a reprise of the first song, including, "Since when does Twilight Sparkle ever fail?" Oh... it's happened, Dashie. And we get an ominous shot of Celestia and Luna with Star Swirl's journal. Oh, joy.

Thoughts

Eh... there's good, here. Good action, nice worldbuilding. Twilight was damned clever. Nice designs and effects. But the story falls apart for me, and it rests on one undeniable fact about myself. Well, two,m but they're intertwined.

I'm stupid, and I'm dense. And I hate trickster mentors.

Okay, here's the thing. If you're gonna teach me something, you can't do the "Unlearn what you've learned" or not tell me things. Or try to 'trick' me into learning my lesson that way. Tell me the operation, let me start doing it. Some things I can figure out on my own, but if the procedure isn't gonna cause thermonuclear meltdown, there's a good chance I won't pick up on the mistakes!

So, the lesson is... let others help you out. The same damned lesson Twilight learned in episode one! Celestia sends her out to learn the same lesson she's been learning since the premiere, with vague warnings and almost no prep! And I'm not talking about info. I acknowledge Celestia didn't know a lot. That's fair. But... no soldiers? No other scholars? Not even decent winter clothing?! Where the hell were the Elements of Harmony?!

And... no. "It's a test" does not cut it for me. Yeah, Sombra can be taken out by Celestia and Luna... when they find out what happened. And get there. God knows what he's done in the meantime! Hell, he'll probably set up another, "Fuck you!" spell and there goes the Empire for another thousand years! She doesn't even have a backup plan!

No, she doesn't. Twilight specifically asks what happens if she fails, and all Celestia can say is, "You won't." Well, what if she does fail?! What then, oh wise mentor?!

The risk here is not worth the reward. There are lives at stake at the very least, and probably Equestria/possibly the planet will get screwed over.

Anyone know of the fic Parting Words? It's pretty much the only thing of RealityCheck I've read, but that opening chapter, for me, is epic and something I really wish most trickster mentors get told.

 

 
Quote

 

Celestia got to her hooves.  She towered over the ranting little unicorn, clearly losing her temper.  “You have been told all you need to know!” she said in the Canterlot Royal Voice. “I told you, this was to be a test – ”

 

Twilight was too far gone to even flinch. “A test?!” she shouted back.  “The fate of an entire kingdom at stake, and you want to make it a TEST?!

“All that tells me is that you already know all the answers, and precisely how to fix this, and you just aren’t telling me!  I don’t care what it is you’re ‘testing’ me for.  Forget it, I don’t care!  The welfare of other ponies is supposed to come first for a ruler, no matter what.  So either tell me everything I need to know, or find somepony else to do this, because I’m not going to imperil hundreds or even thousands of innocent ponies trying to get a gold sticker from you on a TEST!”


 

 

Although I can't forget Twilight. In the episode she comes off quite insufferable, more concerned with the damned test than the lives at stake until it's almost too late. I'm not Twilight Sparkle. I'm one of the crystal ponies who will be enslaved again because she's too busy trying to make love to all the books inside the library. Nice.

Sombra is... someone I must divide into two parts. Past-Sombra and Present-Sombra. Past-Sombra is a devilishly clever guy who is scary, mean and knows what he's doing. Present-Sombra is... Gassy Mane. he just doesn't really do anything for me. It doesn't help his design is just so... funny. Also doesn't help we had Queen motherbucking Chrysalis last episode. Now that is a good villain all-around.

So... not a good start to the season. Not at all. Some good, but there's a lot here that just ticks me off.

 

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So, we have Pinkie Pie. Multiple Pinkie Pies... and a SAW trap at the end. Oh, joy! Okay, folks. Get your tally marks ready, because we've got to figure out how many is...

Too Many Pinkie Pies

 

Originally posted here on April 20th, 2016.

 

Do I even have to say two? :P We open with Twilight trying to change an apple into an orange. Out in the middle of Mane Street. With absolutely no safety procedures in place.

Seventeen

Pinkie suddenly bounds into view and tackles Twilight, sending the beam ricocheting around and turning a bird into a bird/orange hybrid. Wow. Apparently hugs are funnerific, or something. Pinkie, let go. NOW. "What a cute orange birdie." No, what a horrible abomination. Get it right. She wants Twilight to turn her into an orange. Do it, Twilight! Do it NOW! She bounces into Rarity, who's sporting the Dark Ominous Cloak of Fashion +1. Pinkie, switch to decaf. Have your blood filtered or something. Ugh!

Rarity takes off the cloak, revealing her latest ensemble. And it's a rather dapper outfit. Pinkie freaks out because Rarity had fun, and she missed out on it! Pinkie... you do realize that happens all the time, right? Oh, god. She didn't realize that! We cut to Rainbow Dash thinning out a cloud so it'll float back up. Pinkie does a Road Runner around it, then zooms off. She hops onto a cart Applejack is pulling, which doesn't look like 'fun' so much as 'work'. And finally, a tea party with Fluttershy. And pinkie needs an oxygen tank as she goat-faints.

Back from commercials, Fluttershy's butterflies are... cocooning Pinkie. it's an odd image, but neat. Pinkie spills that she can't keep up with all her friends having fun. "It's driving me even more coco-loco than usual!" Well, at least we've got solid confirmation on her being coco-loco period. Fluttershy promises not to have any fun. And that's a sentence I just typed. Applejack and Rainbow Dash show up to invite her to some fun. Dash wants to chill by the lake, and Applejack wants her to go to a barn-raising. Dash is... surprisingly reasonable, saying whichever one she chooses will be cool with her. Applejack's reasonable, too.

Back with Twilight and another attempt at the spell and Pinkie bounds in and this time it's a frog that gets mutilated and...

Eighteen

Pinkie digs a trough in the ground with her braking. She's trying to get herself fast enough to attend the swimming hole and barn-raising. "If I can cut my time by only twenty minutes, I'm good." Oh, wow. I kinda wanna hug her and offer her a ride. Twilight says the only way to pull it off is if there's more of her to go around. Pinkie... becomes an alarm clock. "The legend of the Mirror Pool!" And she bounces off, leaving a thoroughly-confused Twilight behind. Spike asks if practice is over, but nope, back to work. And cue sad trombone.

Depp in what appears to be the Everfree, Pinkie is wandering along, hoping she remembers the rhymes from Nana Pinkie's story. Some people think this is a continuity error, with her mentioning another granny earlier... except I've got two grandmothers. She tumbles down a hole and finds herself in front of the Mirror Pool. And in a remarkably well-staged scene, she reaches in and pulls herself out of the reflection with a clever camera twist-around. Now there's two Pinkie Pies. Oh, these are what my nightmares are made out of.

Pinkie quibbles a bit about if talking to her clone is still talking to herself. The clone is obsessed with 'fun'. They climb up and emerge, with Pinkie expositing about her friends. the clone wants FUN! Pinkie tells her to go to the barn-raising, then come back and tell her all about it. I see nothing but good things happening with this plan! She's off to double her fun, with Doublemint Gum!

We're with Rainbow Dash at the lake, reading Daring Do. Nice. :) Pinkie jumps up, does a Neo as she inflates a flotation device, and jumps in. The water's especially wet today! Dash, however, is tired from work earlier. *Thinks back to yesterday* I am so with her. This is actually pretty cute and heartwarming, albeit a bit confusing with Pinkie's double-talk about her twin. Don't worry, Dash. I'm so with you there, too. :P

We cut to Fluttershy picking berries and the Pinkie-2 bouncing by. Fluttershy couldn't help herself, and is having a picnic! Yogi and Booboo are banned, though. He and Harry are pretty sore at each other. God, even a mouse goes up and offers a hunk of cheese to the clone. Too... cute... Unfortunately this causes Pinkie-2 to get really confused and has a fucking panic attack. Back at the lake, Pinkie's told Dash about the duplicates. Dash is dismissive. Dash, after everything you've seen... Dash takes a nap and Pinkie turns the volume way down. Then Pinkie-2 shows up and Dash is all, "Okay, whatever." Pinkie grills Pinkie-2 about the barn-raising, but she confesses about 'Fluttershutter's' picnic. And she breaks down because she didn't have any fun. Aww. So Pinkie decides to... make some more Pinkie Pies. "Would I lie to me?" I don't know, would Annie Lennox?

Oh, no. This is what my nightmares are made out of!

So yeah, two ore clones. Fun-obsessed. And then they create more clones, and then even more clones, all bouncing up and down and chanting fun. Pinkie is... starting to get exasperated, methinks. She gives them a quiz on names and... they pass. and then they fan out. First they're at the lake, and Dash realizes Pinkie wasn't kidding. It's a cacophonous crowd. Pinkie realizes the barn-raising might be taken over, too. There, some of the Apple Clan are raising a wall. Applejack, Big Mac and two I can't identify. One of them bounces on Big Mac, he lets go and all the walls come a tumbling down. My god, John Mellencamp was right! Aplejack is pissed as a water tower is destroyed, too. Pinkie is having an, "Oh, god what have I done?!" moment behind a haystack.

There's a crowd gathered in front of Golden Oaks, fortunately no pitchforks or torches. Rarity's shop was ravaged, and fluttershy's picnic was ruined, too. inside the library, Twilight tries to recall the name of the legend Pinkie mentioned. Spike finds... a hidden panel, and opens it. No, that's not ominous at all! Inside is a book with info on the Mirror Pond. There's a spell to send them back. And to quote...

"If I can't figure out which one's the real Pinkie, I might send her back by mistake." Remember that for later, folks! Back outside, Twilight asks if anyone can tell them apart. What is obviously the real Pinkie bounces in and asks for help. Twilight brushes her off, while another mirrors her actions. Other Pinkies bounce up, saying they're the real Pink Shady. Including one... who rises from inside Fancy Pants' hat.

Okay, why did they use Fancy Pants' character model, there?

Pinkie has an identity crisis as she kinda loses herself with the others, and... you have to feel sorry for her, here. Hell, I feel sorry for her. As the clones bounce about, Spike points out the real Pinkie, saying she's not acting like the others. Spike, you win all the cookies. Twilight brushes him off, saying the real Pinkie's never sat that still her whole life. How the hell do you know this, Twilight? Spike asks her, and my god this is legit sad. More on this scene later, but it's like she's realizing, "It's how they all see me." Twilight is confused about what to do. I don't know... ask them questions only the real one would know? Realize the only one not bouncing about and screaming, "FUN!" might be the real one?

Pinkie then pipes up and says to give them all a test, something hard for a Pinkie to do. Questions, maybe? Whoever wants to stay the most must be the real Pinkie. This is a horrible plan, so of course Twilight goes along with it. Pinkie also has another breakdown. "Stupid magic mirror water! This is all your fault... and mine." Oh, thank you so much for those words.

Twilight finds the others, hidden in a tree trunk. She tells them her insane plan, while Applejack's family rounds the clones up. They all sit down. Inside is the test. Just before the test begins, Dash brings the real Pinkie inside and dear god this is nightmare-grade fuel already. The test is... watching paint dry.

You are fucking kidding me. Nineteen.

After some time, one gets distracted by a bird. Twilight shoots it... and it floats up, puffs up like a balloon and explodes. Some sort of energy, probably its soul, goes back to the Mirror Pool. Oh dear sweet fucking god. Oh, and we have a 'Take That' against G3. Because of course. Twilight's horn even starts fucking smoking.

Two are left. And Dash, being an asshole, does a deliberate distraction. And yes, the real Pinkie is left. She realizes she has to choose which friends to hang out with, and it's all right to choose between them. Also, Tom is plugged into the hole that leads to the Mirror Pool. At the end, Pinkie decides... to take a nap.

Thoughts

I'm gonna divide this up into two parts. The majority of the episode, and then the horror movie at the end.

1. Okay... I think I've made it clear my feelings on Pinkie. For me, she can be quite intolerable at her worst. Here... was not her worst. Okay, she messed up big. Thing is, she owns up to it. I'll give her that all day and twice on Sunday. She meant well for people she knew could mostly handle her wackiness. She didn't destroy any property either or get bailed out by an asspull.

And... I felt pretty damned sorry for her by the end. I think she had a realization. "Oh, god. This... this is how they see me. I'm everyone else, seeing Pinkie... and I can't even blame them!" It's sad, in a great way. And it's deep, too. I commend the show for that.

The Mirror Pool is an interesting concept.

And then... the test, the fucking test.

Okay, Twilight. You have clones all acting insane and shouting fun and acting insane, and there's one of them who is acting depressed and completely not like the others. You have a spell that can 'send the others back', but as I quoted above, can also send the real Pinkie Pie back, too. So in other words you have to be really careful with it. So... you have them watch paint dry.

I have no words. Okay, I have words, but they're kind of rambling. What if one of the clones was brain-dead? What if the real Pinkie had another panic attack or seizure? What if you miss? What the hell is wrong with you, here?! This is the most insane, unsafe thing I've seen in a long time. It's also completely unnecessary, as I pointed out. Question the clones. Observe their behavior. Don't herd them together and fire off a spell that can send the real one back if you fuck up!

So... up until the end of the episode, rather good. Rather thought-provoking. It made me sad for Pinkie and want to hug her. After, it's a horror movie. 

 

BIG EDIT: Okay, something I forgot to touch on in my initial review. The clones. What are they? Well... they're less than a few hours old. They come from the mirror pond... which makes NO difference to me. They were people, basically. I thought of them as young, sapient beings... and Twilight fucking murdered them. Because they were inconvenient or some bullshit like that. 

 

Yeah, not pleased. Skeevy as all hell.

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So, a Broad Street Bully? A Sweat hog? Maybe. Nah. Dump out the barrel and roll it out, because we've got...

One Bad Apple

 

First posted here on April 20th, 2016.

 

We open at Sweet Apple Acres, so we know I'll view this favorably. :) Apple Bloom is nervous and trying to get dressed for... going to the train station, according to Applejack. We even get Apple Bloom channeling a bit of Rarity. Emulating your future sister-in-law? ;) Ah, they're picking up her cousin from Manehattan! And they've never met. You know what would make a good impression? Being on time! And Applejack is a mare after my own heart. They've got no cutie mark in common, and before Apple Bloom can become Pinkie's newest clone, she races off to get the other Crusaders!.

At the train station, the Crusaders are excited. Applejack is... annoyed. Scootaloo even manages to fly a bit! Sweetie Belle fires off a small firework, too! Finally, the Friendship Express arrives. Apple Bloom... loses at the 'guess who your cousin who you've never met before' game. There's a puff of steam, and we see Babs! She's small, with a mane she keeps blowing out of her hair. And a Noo Yayk accent, to boot. She loves the Yankees and hates the Red Sox! The Crusaders kinda... crowd her, and I'm feeling a bit of sympathy for her. We hear some exposition about the Summer Harvest Parade, and the Crusaders have a float. No root beer, though. Her eyes are covered, and when they're opened... she's tied up in a warehouse and held for ransom?! No. They're at the clubhouse. We see a shiny shot of Scootaloo's and Sweetie Belle's butts-which is creepy-and Babs' tail covers her own flank.

She gets the executive tour of the place. Babs is less than impressed, natch. They have a confab and decide to show her the float. In the barn is a legit impressive-looking pumpkin float. They shall ride it eternally, shiny and chrome! But... *Groan* Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon show up to be assholes. No, Spoiled Rich does not exist, and I still feel like she's an asspull/hate sink. They notice Babs, and another covering of her flank by her tail.

And Babs... turns on her family/the only ponies she knows in Ponyville and joins the Dark/Lame Side of the Force. "More like the Cutie Mark crybabies!" Diamond Tiara likes it, and Babs kicks off one of the float's wheels. The strut collapses and the entire fucking thing rolls out of the barn. Apple Bloom says she'll tell Applejack, but Babs threatens her. Snitches get stitches, and my sympathy for her is bottoming out.

Confession: I got bullied at school and at home, thanks to my asshole of an ex-stepfather. I have issues.

Babs leaves with the assholes, and Scootaloo even says, "I think Babs just went to the Dark Side." Star Wars confirmed to be a known quantity in Equestria! :P Sweetie Belle says to tell Applejack. I am... not sure if she's right. I'm out of it when it comes to this kind of stuff nowadays. My gut says to tell someone, but I'll cop to being possibly wrong on that.

Scootaloo says they're not babies! "Then why do I feel like crying?" Well, Sweetie, because Babs is a jerkass. Apple Bloom says they'll build a new float... which will get wrecked, too. Sweetie Belle is again the possible voice of reason. Apple Bloom says they're not snitches and she's only there a couple of weeks. They'll simply avoid her. I must now hug all the Crusaders.

We get the song Babs Seed. It's catchy, but also sad if you listen to the lyrics. Brings back some bad memories for me. And finally... she and Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon have kicked them out of the clubhouse. I am wondering how the hell none of the adults at Sweet Apple Acres have noticed anything, but adults are useless, yadda yadda yadda. Fuck you, Babs. Fuck. YOU.

Sweetie Belle cries, and at her house-hi, Magnum! We see him fishing-we also learn Apple Bloom's been kicked out of her own bed. I have negative sympathy for Babs, now. They need to fight back! And they see the floats, hear the anti-parasprite song... and they're on the jazz.  While Babs sleeps in Apple Bloom's bed, the Crusaders signal her, and they go to the barn. They have supplies, including 'luster dust' from Sugarcube Corner. At least according to the captions on my DVD. "That must be what Rarity uses on her emergency edible boots!"

...

We're walking, we're walking.

We get an A-Team montage, complete with a damned fine pastiche of the original theme. Even a false cutie mark sighting. No, Scootaloo. Season five!"Is this it?" Please let me kn-ow! If this ain't love... wait, no. Probably not a good idea to start a Huey Lewis and the News song. I'll be here all night.

the next day, it's parade time! The Three Stooges... no. No, they're not that cool. They find the Golden Apple float. Symbolism... ! They manage to reverse-psychology Babs into riding it. Sweetie Belle sets a timer and the Mission Impossible theme cranks up. Babs butt-bumps them onto a cooooonvenient mattress. As they shake their hooves at her, Applejack finally shows up. Good lord, where have you been?! She's proud of them letting her drive their float Apple Bloom channels a super-villain, and Applejack is still oblivious. Applejack exposits that Babs had been bullied back at Manehattan. Oh, of course... A little bit of guilt. The Crusaders say that they're the bullies! No, no you're not. That much I'm sure of.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon cheer Babs on. The Crusaders try to explain things to Applejack, but conventient marching band is right there to mess things up for them. I forgot that part. We see an Shot of a Cliff and muddy river below. They catch up to Pinkie's float. "Let us in!" "Funny joke!" It took me a while to get that one, admittedly. She lets them in and they zoom up to the float to warn Babs the float is booby-trapped. And Pinkie shouts, "Veggie Salad!" as the float crashes. "Seriously?" Scootaloo speaks for me as Pinkie gorges herself on vegetables.

Anyway them timer goes off and the float goes out of control. The Crusaders manage to get Babs out of it... and they crash it themselves. That's... that's not Karma or even really right. They crawl out, covered in mud and in pain. "Maybe we'll get our cutie marks in 'dtupidest ideas of all time'." Ugh... Babs comes down, amazed and all apologetic. Babs, should've been you in that slop.

Back at Sweet Apple Acres, the Crusaders are doing their usual cleaning up after a failed series of shenanigans. They confess to booby-trapping the float to get back at her, and ended up being bullies themselves. Sweetie Belle snaps, and I'm right there with her. "Oh, why does life have to be so ironic?" I don't know, Alanis. Why? They apologize, and so does Babs. She should've gone first. And Applejack says... they should've told her from the beginning. From what I've read, that is the beginning, and sometimes doesn't even work. Babs asks if they can start over.

At the clubhouse, we get some overwrought ceremony to induct Babs into the Crusaders. Eh, fine.

At the train station, Babs is gonna start a Manehattan Crusader branch. And talk to her sister about the teasing back home. And then the jerkasses show up and start their bullying. Applejack... does NOTHING. Way to sink your own damned moral within five minutes of it! Babs instead steps up and threate to tell their mothers about their bad attitude. Babs, that's not gonna do a THING. And she backs them over the train platform and into a mud puddle. Is that ironic? And we get Sweetie Belle doing a monologue. And end.

Thoughts

Eh... not so good for me. Like I said earlier, I got bullied for most of my schooling, at school and at home thanks to my ex-stepfather, may he rot in hell. I... just don't have much sympathy for Babs. Some, but not a lot. She turns on the Crusaders when they tried to be her friend and was vicious doing it.

Applejack, to be honest, does not come off well here. Very ineffectual at best. She misses the obvious bullying, withholds vital information, and at the end proves to be completely useless concerning Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.

As for the moral/message... tell someone, yeah, but that's not the end of it. Or even the beginning of the end or end of the beginning or anything like that. I don't know at this point.

And I still hate those two assholes.

So... this episode is just... eh, at best. Not sure how to rate it, or even if I can. Talk among yourselves, folks.  

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@RK_Striker_JK_5Episodes like this one make me wonder if there isn't some Ivory Tower nonsense going on with DHX/Hasbro sometimes. With both feet on the ground though, the though that comes to mind is that they wanted to make something nice and heartwarming but missed the mark.

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On 1/5/2017 at 5:58 PM, Metemponychosis said:

@RK_Striker_JK_5Episodes like this one make me wonder if there isn't some Ivory Tower nonsense going on with DHX/Hasbro sometimes. With both feet on the ground though, the though that comes to mind is that they wanted to make something nice and heartwarming but missed the mark.

If you're referring to One Bad Apple, perhaps. Although to be fair to the show, it's not the first, nor will it be the last, that misses the mark on bullying.

 

Let's look back, shall we? Before the next episode, when a certain Great and Powerful pony in all likelihood wasn't thrown under the bus for Starlight 'Karma Houdini' Glimmer. The one, the only, my favorite G4 character...

TRIXIE LULAMOON, MOTHERBUCKER!

Magic Duel

 

Originally posted here on April 24th, 2016.

 

We open on a dark and stormy night. Captain Picard is having flashbacks to the Royale. A pony in an Ominous Cloak of Hiding +1 goes into an Ominous Shop of Mystic Items. The shopkeeper comes out and asks if she-Trixie-needs help. The Alicorn Amulet, turns out. And I just noticed the words 'great' and 'powerful' used close together. Clever. The shopkeeper says it's too dangerous, but Trixie channels Ted Dibiase and places a bag of bits on the counter. "Would you like that gift-wrapped?" HAH!

After the credits, we're in Ponyville. Fluttershy says to her friends that 'Twilight is wonderful with magic'. I call bullshit on that... and she threatens Twilight with bodily harm if anything happens to them. I'm fully behind her on this. Twilight's horn lights up and... they begin floating and flying around? Oh, and Fluttershy has chewed through her hooves in nervousness. We get a small infodump that this is entertainment for delegates from 'Saddle Arabia'. Okay, bad pun there. Also, this is their entertainment?! Good grief! And Spike butters Twilight up with praise about her magic.

Suddenly, Dash flies in... and barrels into Twilight. There's an emergency! Timmy fell down a well again?! No. In front of City Hall, Rarity suddenly has colorful dress teleported onto her. It... looks nice to me, but not to her. "This shade of brown should only be used for accents!" LOL. And Twilight arrives and...

The Great and Powerful Trixie has returned!!!! And her eyes are flashing red. Foreshadowing, dontcha know. Or she needs extra-strength Visine. Dash challenges her, and Trixie enlarges one of her wings. Trixie, ALL my love! :D Snips and Snails try sucking up, but Trixie's not buying their horse apples, OH NO! She fuses her horns together. Trixie for Princess at this point! Give HER the wings!

Trixie challenges Twilight to a magic duel. Winner stays, loser leaves ponyville for-EVER! Twilight says no, so Trixie begins to try to 'persuade' her. She turns Spike into a superball, and dunks him. Twilight asks why, and we learn... after Boast Busters, yeah. Trixie's career was ruined, complete with assholes graffiti-tagging a new wagon of hers. Although personally I'd put the blame more on Dash, Applejack, Rarity and Spike. She even took a job on a rock farm, which now makes the canon and not Pinkie's inane ramblings. Pinkie Pie speaks up, and Trixie... tosses Pinkie Pie's mouth into the trash.

...

I have NO words for how much I am loving Trixie right now. None.

She then TKs Golden Oaks up and spins it right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby. Sadly for Twilight, it takes the library and books for her to agree. Trixie restores everything... except Pinkie's mouth. Keep it that way!

We get a staredown while in my mind Sergio Leone plays. Suddenly, "Draw!" i can't. I mess up stick figures. She sends a cart flying, but before it crushes someone, Twilight stops it. We also see the corruptive effects of the Amulet beyond the flashy light-show, now. Then it's flying pies straight out of the 30's, but Twilight summons a parasprite to eat them. Trixie drops a nor'easter, but Twilight melts it. Twilight retaliates with a mustache spell... which to be honest is kinda lame. Trixie counters with... age magic. Snips is turned into an infant, and Snails into an old geezer, way back in nineteen-dickety-doo! Twilight's flabbergasted. "That's only for the highest-level unicorns." Ugh, I hate power levels. Twilight tries... but it's no good! So that means Twilight is not one of the highest-level unicorn. Oh, how sweet that is.

The other Mane Six try to defend Twilight, but no go. Twilight's flung out like Team Rocket, and a dome descends over Ponyville. Hmm, good. Mint-in-box is always worth more. Not that it matters to me. You've seen my pics. I play with my toys. Twilight reassures them and says to keep an eye on Trixie. "There's something strange about her." And water is wet... And there's a rather nice shot of Spike watching her as she runs off.

After commercial, we see Twilight training, and a rather good reason why she can't contact Celestia-she's in Saddle Arabia, Spike is under the dome. I'm gonna figure Luna's there, too. Good. Plot-hole filled. We cut to Zecora's hut, who offers to train Twilight, including a rather clever refilling of her cup. And twilight spills her drink. Again. Twilight...

Back at Ponyviulle, Trixie's kinda gone Sith Lord, if the colors of her banners are any indication. She's kinda gone a bit Palpatine, using tickle-torture on Applejack for an applesauce facial, forces Pinkie to dance-which I will admit I love-and has Rarity making those banners. Back at Zecora's, Twilight is balancing on a lake and floating water blobs around. "Unlearn what you have learned." Ah, good. Using from the best.

Yeah, Yoda may have tested Luke a bit... but when it came to brass tacks he taught Luke, and, something the Prequels forgot, he DROPPED THE YODA-SPEAK!!!!

Twilight loses concentration. "I can't stop thinking about Trixie." Twixie confirmed! Out in the Cold canonized! OTP WINS! :D Twilight also cottons to the personality change... something I picked up kinda-sorta instantly. ;)

Back at Ponyville, an ill wind blows through. Carrot Top and what appears to be her daughter/younger sister follow. At Golden Oaks, Spike and the Mane Six are searching for info on Trixie's magic. "Twilight has every magic book there is!" no, she doesn't. Fluttershy finds something, but she's drowned out by Rarity's histrionics, Applejack's complaining, Pinkie's mumbling... and finally Spike pulls the book down, and we get the infodump on the Amulet. Also, I could be wrong, but show-wise, this is the first time we hear the word 'alicorn'. It gives great power, but also great insanity. Natch. And finally, it's gotta be removed by the user. Dash comes up with a plan to have Fluttershy sneak out and find Twilight, and she's all kinds of oblivious about Fluttershy having a mini-freakout. Also natch.

We cut to Snips and Snails dragging Trixie about on a chariot because the force field was tripped. They ask her about wheels, and she... doesn't trust wheels.

She says this while we just established LAST SCENE her mind is being fucked with. So, the whole 'Trixie hates wheels' meme was tired when it started.

*Ahem* Even Snails is getting it. At the force field, Trixie lets some beavers out. She then turns her chariot into a throne/bed combo. "Why is she so mean to us?" Because you morons got an Ursa Fucking Minor into town and was semi-responsible for the ruining of her life. "I miss the days when she was just a fraud." And Snips becomes Worst Pony. Whip them good, Trixie!

Back with the beavers, Wally and June let Fluttershy out. She tries to backpedal, but ponies up. The birds tell her she's in the Everfree, and fly her off by her hair. OUCH! At Zecora's hut, Fluttershy tells Twilight. Zecora tells her she's learned all but one lesson. "You must nix your magic and use the six." Six friends? Six demon bag? What, Zecora is Egg Shen?!

Back at the dome, Twilight says she knows about the Amulet. And she says she's got her own Amulet. She challenges Trixie to another duel, and uses a bit of psychology to get Trixie to agree. Later that night, it's set. Oh, and I just noticed Mayor Mare in the cage. Trixie, could you be any more awesome?! Trixie turns Dumb and Dumber into foals. Twilight calls Rarity and Applejack forth. They're turned into foals, too! Then back, and some more tricks. Dash is cloned, which sucks. Then Pinkie does the anti-parasprite song. Trixie's freaking out, and finally... rule-63 Applejack. And back. Trixie steals Twilight's Amulet and ditches the Alicorn Amulet. No, Trixie! Nope, turns out, to quote Ackbar, it's a trap! Dash flies in and gets it. Trixie tries a torture spell, but no go. And the amulet she's got, it's a doorstop.

And we get the full monty. Twilight used sleight of hoof. Pretty clever, actually. Except for Pinkie. She's just Pinkie. No, not gonna buy it. Never gonna buy it. Trixie backs off, and the sun comes out.

Later, Twilight us twirling the animals about while Fluttershy nearly strokes out. How is this entertaining?! Fireworks go off, and everyone, including the horse-like delegates from Saddle Arabia, are impressed. Turns out it was Trixie, humbled and apologetic. Twilight makes her sweat it out a bit, but ultimately... she forgives Trixie. Aww... now there's someone who deserved that! Trixie hams it up a bit, but it's all good. She drops a smoke bomb and runs off, tripping a bit. But she picks herself up and keeps going.

Unfortunately, the episode ends on a slightly-sour note as Pinkie gets her mouth back. Dammit...

Thoughts

Yeah, loved this one. :D "Trixie comes back for revenge" was and still is a stock fanfic plot. Here, it's done right. The Alicorn Amulet was a great way to add menace and have Trixie be evil... while remembering she really wasn't all that bad to begin with. Very clever. All-around it was a fantastic episode... although the entertainment still leaves me puzzled.

And... I got some catharsis and some evil chuckling when Pinkie, Dash, Snips and Snails got screwed with. Ah, that was wonderful!

Trixie is, if you haven't noticed, my favorite character from FIM. And third only behind Wind Whistler and Megan. I think she's been woefully underutilized, with only this episode, Boast Busters, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot in Cutie Re-Mark and... the upcoming episode. Which I have a BAD feeling about.

No, I don't trust them.

Although I will say... one alternate ending I've heard of is that Trixie does some community service. Tears down the throne, helps clean up, apologizes to others and puts on an uninterrupted show. I think I would've liked that better. But it's a minor gripe overall. Trixie is Best Pony, and right now this is best Episode of season three.

Headcanon

Haven't done this in a while. ;) In the Hasbroverse, which if you're on Other Media almost none of you know about... Trixie almost went dark, but pulled herself back, did a lot of studying, and in the course of a week... made friends with Queen Rosedust and Morning Glory of the flutter ponies, saved the CMC mark two from an Ursa Minor, made up with Applejack, Rarity, Spike and sorta-Dash, and is now really good friends with Megan. Yes, G1 Megan. Saving Megan's daughters kinda helps out with that. :D She now lives in Ponyville and runs the Ponyville Theater. Quite successfully, too.

I don't know if I can get an episode reviewed tomorrow, sorry. It's my mother's birthday. Rest assured, though. I'm getting season three done this week. Wednesday and Thursday off, and nothing to do!

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Okay... it's after miiidnight, and something evil's lurking in the dark! Is it a Nightmare on Elm Street? No, but we are...

Sleepless in Ponyville

 

Originally posted here on April 26th, 2016.

 

Least it's not Seattle. :P We open at Ponyville! Dash flies, by, then we see Scootaloo speeding by, one stunt with an assist by Granny Smith. Dash flies by and compliments her, but that somehow causes Scootaloo's scooter to... lose momentum? Odd. Convenient haystack is convenient!

After the commercials, we're at the clubhouse. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom are playing what appears to be the pony-version of checkers. Scootaloo is fangirling, natch. :P She also blows it all out of proportion, and wants to spend more time with her. Apple Bloom suggests having her go up with her and Applejack to Winsome Falls this weekend. Sweetie Belle wants to go, too. Aww... *Hugs the marshmallow* She'll get Rarity to go, too. "Rarity loves camping!"

Cue the jump cut... "I despise camping!" HAH! :D "All of that... nature." Yeah, I can see it. Sweetie Belle guilt-trips her and pulls of EPIC SAD-FACE! We cut to the trail to the campsite. Applejack and Apple Bloom do a small checklist of stuff. Bug spray and canteens. Rarity has packed all of Carousel Boutique and has Sweetie Belle pulling it. Turnabout's fair play. :P Scootaloo's nervous because Dash isn't there, but Applejack says she'll meet them at the first campsite. "Let's move 'em out!"

RAWHIIIIDDDDDEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH! *Whipcrack*

We get a lovely tracking shot of the trail and waterfall, then cut to them going along the trail. Rarity whines a bit, and Applejack snarks. Oh, just make out you two! :D They're at the campsite, and Dash engages in EPIC SETTING-UP! Scootaloo tries to play it cool... and ends up tripping on a log, spinning out of control across the stream, bouncing off a tree and crashing to the dirt. Tents are set up, Rarity going for the ultra-deluxe model. Scootaloo goes for some firewood, and we cut to dusk. Dash is about to tell the best story they've ever heard... but Scootaloo reminds her about the Sonic Rainboom episode, so second-best. It's a scary story. *Sigh* I'm not fond of scary stories. Dash channels Twilight from season-one, and we cut to the end of the story. An old lady looking for a rusty horseshoe, apparently. Scootaloo is a bit spooked, to say the least! Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom are reassured by their older sisters, but Scootaloo's unfortunately got Dash.

Scootaloo's imagination begins running away with her, as tree branches become gnarled limbs. She goes inside her tent, but then goes back outside... into a nightmare. The Olden pony wanders by, looking for her rusty horseshoe. My god, it's G1 Mimic gone senile!

Suddenly shot of Princess Luna omai ohhai Princess of the Night!

Scootaloo gets back to the tent, but we've secretly replaced Rainbow Dash with the Olden pony. And she wakes up. The next morning, Scootaloo can't sleep. The clowns will eat her. They're back on the trail, Sweetie Belle an honorary Sweathog. Scootaloo hears they might not make it to the next campsite by dark, so she races ahead... and falls asleep while riding her scooter. She races along the edge of a cliff, onto the head of a crocodile, steals a fish from Harry the Bear or Harry's animation model, goes through a hollowed-out log and lands next to the others.

Scootaloo is jumpy and everything is setting her off. She also ends up pulling the wagon. That night, Applejack says they'll spend the night in some cave. Wouldn't it be prudent to check for anything living in that cave? Scootaloo's sent to get firewood again... Dash, Applejack picked up on Scootaloo's nervousness. Come on, okay? Scootaloo tries Persuasion on Branches. It's Super-Pathetic! She manages to get some branches, then Dash starts up another scary story. Scootaloo volunteers to tell a story... and tells G3, apparently. Dash says it's not a real campfire story unless somepony's shaking. I protest vigorously to that.

Dash tells the story of the Headless Horse. Clever, clever. Some nice shadow-play, too. "If it doesn't have a head, then how in tarnation does this pony know where it's going'?" Ooh, logic for the win! :D "It's headless, nor brainless." Surprisingly... Transformers in G1 Animated had auxiliary memory circuits in their chest cavity. It came up in several episodes. I wonder... "So, where's its brain?" Applejack, you're awesome. :D At the end, Sweetie Belle are scared, but cheer and hug their sisters. Scootaloo has no such safe haven. She stalls with a suggestion for campfire songs. Sweetie Belle is ALL over that. Buckets of oats instead of bottles of beer. Surprised it's not glasses of cider or something.

Sweetie Belle's voice is cracking worse than glass being struck by a sledgehammer. At the end, she falls fast asleep. Scootaloo is desperate not to sleep. Applejack asks her if anything's wrong, but Scootaloo denies anything wrong. They all go to sleep, with Scootaloo following. And it's the Land of Nod. She's back in the forest, and some damned creepy camera angles. The Headless Horse shows up... but LUNA OUTTA NOWHERE! Well, out of the moon. ;) Scootaloo is damned relieved. :D Luna explains as the Princess of the Night, it's her duty to come into other's dreams. Kinda creepy when you lay it out like that. :P Luna says even after Scootaloo awakes, what she's frightened of will still exist. Turns out it's that Dash will learn she's not as tough as she thinks she is. Aww. *Hugs the Scoots*

Luna tells Scootaloo her fears must be faced, and Scootaloo wakes up. Scootaloo freaks out and leaves the cave... and has her scooter back, despite losing it earlier. Continuity error, but minor one. She crashes and almost ends up at the bottom of a ravine and raging river, but grabs a Convenient Branch. It snaps and she goes down the rapids, then a waterfall... but Dash for the epic save! Dash asks her what she was doing. We get Callback from Luna and shot of the Moon, and Scootaloo apologizes and confesses about the stories scaring her. It's a good scene.

And Dash... admits she was scared when she first heard those stories. She brags a bit, natch. :P And she says she'd totally be Scootaloo's big sister. Aww, okay, good scene there.

The next morning, at Winsome Falls... it's a gorgeous location! The falls are rainbow-colored and multi-tiered. Rarity tries to hide her glee, but it's for naught. Dash flies Scootaloo along, and we end with Scootaloo dreaming again. The woods are a lot briughter, though. The Olden Pony wants her rusty horseshoe, and Dash gives it to her. And Olden Pony is surprisingly polite about it! I wish all ghostly abominations were as nice as her. :D Dash hugs Scootaloo, Luna watches, winks, and end credits.

Thoughts

Another winner! Great characterization/character development by everyone there. Some awesome effects and camera work. I love Luna in this. Dash was... pretty cool all-around. Great lesson, too. I loved the idea of those stories.

Now, I've seen people asking, "What did ponies do about their nightmares when Luna was banished into the moon?" Eh... deal with them like we do? I have nightmares all the time, usually the same damned thing. And it's not like the nightmares were magical, like the Tantabus.

Anyway, I'm gonna start another review. Next up is 'Wonderbolts Academy', where I ask... "What the hell does it accomplish to make the Wonderbolts look incompetent/corrupt?"

Answer? Nothing!

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So... time to go to the Danger Zone? IS Dash's muzzle gonna write checks her body can't cash? Is it obvious I haven't watched Top Gun in a decade or so? ;) Well, get set. Get ready to be tested as we attend...

Wonderbolts Academy

 

Originally posted [url=http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/623824/mlp-episode-review-wonderbolt-academy]here[/url] on April 26th, 2016.

 

We open with a shot of Dash's cloud-house, then a pan down to her mailbox and the Mane Six. It's a picnic, and Pinkie is bouncing around like she's on a sugar-high. So normally, then. :P We get quick exposition that they're waiting for Dash to see if she'll get into the titular Wonderbolt Academy. Applejack says she should, since she's the best flier in Ponyville. Dash brags and goes off she's probably the best flier in all of Equestria. No, no ego problem with this one! *Rolls eyes* She even thinks they'll make her a Wonderbolt on the first day.

the mailman arrives, and Dash does a fakeout about not getting in. Eh... kinda funny, but still a dick move. Pinkie's happy, and nearly collapses Dash's lungs with a hug. Squeeze tighter, Pinkie... She flies off. Applejack wishes her luck. "Don't need it!" Ugh. Pinkie pulls out a megaphone the size of a tractor and shouts out to not forget to write. "Think she heard me?" Okay, funny. :)

After the opening, there's a nice little martial theme as Dash flies to the peak of some mountain. Dash flies by and we see exercises, training maneuvers, marching, all that sort of stuff. Dash flies into the camera and we get a nice fade into the next scene-the new recruits lining up for first inspection by Spitfire. We have Bulk Biceps, Raindrops, Thunderlane and others I can't ID off the top of my head. Spitfire is... not that intimidating. :P Lightning Dust snarks back to Spitfire, who... gives them five-hundred laps, but otherwise doesn't really chew her head off. Dash and Lightning Dust speak for the first time, too. They get along fine.

Back to Pinkie in Ponyville and the mailbox. Applejack leads her away, or tries to. Pinkie's mind goes on a chain of disaster dominoes if she's not there to get the letter right away. Pinkie... heart's in the right place.

Back at the Academy, we see the recruits in their new uniforms. High collars are the first thing noticed. In order to learn how torecover from spin-outs, they're gonna go on the dizzitron. I think I rode something like that once at the Rochester Fair. :P Dash and Dust volunteer, but first is some pink mare. 15 seconds. Dash is next, and to her credit recovers damned fast. "Six seconds, new record." And we have Spitfire's new catchphrase! Dust asks for max speed. On the meter we go from turtle to rabbit to skull and wingbones. 6.5 seconds. Dash has a new special somepony!

Spitfire tells them they'll be paired into lead and wing ponies tomorrow. In the mess hall, Dash learns she's... wing pony to Lightning Dust. Hah! :D We cut to Spitfire... stamping autographs. Dash walks in and asks why she was made wingpony. Spitfire says they'll be unstoppable, so what's the problem? Dash wants to be lead pony, but Spitfire thinks Dust pushes herself harder. She goes back to stamping autographs.

Outside, they get divvied up for a flag hunt. It's red versus blue, and I can't make the HALO joke since I've never seen an episode of that web series. :P The pink mare says it's gonna be fun, and Spitfire chews her out. The pairs can't split apart, or they'll be disqualified. Dash and Dust rock and roll. Dash spots a flag, in a narrow hole. They go in, but Dash clips a wing. Dust... ignores her injury. Not cool! Back at Ponyville, Pinkie is... Pinkie. I'm gonna go inject her with tranquilizer. She freaks out and thinks Dash has forgotten them. Twilight suggests Pinkie send her a letter, then Pinkie decides a care package. Then Pinkie goes off on another tangent that someone else will get it, remember them and become their friend. Applejack even asks the audience if anyone else is following this. Applejack, I am so with you on that.

Pinkie decides to deliver the package in person, so they'll all go! Wait, can they get clearance for that?

Back at the Academy, they're gonna run an obstacle course. Spitfire says it's not a race. Remember that. Dash and Dust get stuck behind two slower ponies. Dust is impatient, but Dash says they can show off their moves. They finally speed past, blowing everyone else away. And record time, natch. Spitfire goes to bail the others out while Dash and Dust... hit the mess hall. Dash suggests next time they not cut the others like that, but Dust blows her off. Okay, it's legit weird for me to see Dash being the voice of reason, here. Dust reminds her about the dizzitron and they should be able to recover from it. Dash isn't sure, though. Nice facial expressions.

After commercials, it's more training. Looks like cloud-busting. Damn, how the hell is that scorekeeper keeping up?! Dust wants to do better, evn though she and Dash are insanely ahead. Dash has an audio flashback and goes in. So Dust... whips up a fucking tornado. And loses control. Dumbass.

And guess what? In an amazing coinkidink, the Ponyville Balloon breaches the cloud cover. "It's a twister!" Did they give Applejack that line for the Wizard of Oz reference? The ballon gets sucked in and the cables holding the basket snap. Dash flies in, whips together a super-dense cloud which bounces them up. The other trainees fly in and grab them. Rarity hugs Thunderlane, and a 'ship sails! Flitter saves Fluttershy... who embarrassingly flies off. Okay, to be fair just about anyone would be knocked about by that series of events. And Bulk saves the care package! YEAH!

Okay, Dash? You ROCK! Trainees, you also ROCK! Nice job. Pinkie's ecstatic Dash remembers them. Okay, I'm moved. Dust is... nonchalant. The fuck? She's more concerned about the clouds than her almost killing five ponies. Dash chews her out, rightfully. Dust is writing checks her body can't cash.

Dash goes to Spitfire, who is unaware of what was going on. "That's an Academy-" WE GET IT! Dash tells Spitfire about the tornado, but Spitfire says it was fine. The hell? Dash chews her out, and throws her badge down. She walks off, has a moment of, "Holy shit what did I DO?!", but sticks to her guns. The Mane Six support her, and it's legit nice. Spitfire catches up and chews her out for not letting her respond. And yeah, she says Dash is right. Dust is stripped of her rank, I think, and possibly ejected from the Wonderbolts. Dash is made lead pony and has a fangasm. Dash flies up, and the other recruits salute her. It's one of the sloppiest series of saluts I've seen. They fly off into the sunset in a legit awesome moment... which is ruined by Pinkie going on about the damned care package. Way to ruin the mood, Pie!

Thoughts

Overall... I liked it. really nice to see Dash stepping up like this. Odd, but nice. :P

Lightning Dust is an interesting contrast to Dash. As the trope page for this episode says, she's Trixie with little/no conscience. Seeing her against Dash was very interesting.

Some insane action and effects here.

However... I gotta say. I really don't like what this and subsequent episodes do to the Wonderbolts. Making them out to be incompetent, mismanaged and plain corrupt does not sit well with me. Spitfire letting Dust go on like that and basically feeding her ego was not cool. I honestly don't see what it accomplishes. It's like the Royal Guard and them being a bunch of buffoons. What's the point? Why?! There's no point I can see. At all. If it's to make Dash realize she doesn't need the Wonderbolts... that does her and the team a MASSIVE disservice. And it's quite frankly stupid.

"So my idols are really incompetent morons and I'm totally better than them? Score one for me!" Yeah, Dash really needs that ego fed. :P

Okay, tomorrow and Thursday, six episodes to go for season three. Then No Second Prances... and we'll see if I continue with the reviews... or I say, "Fuck you!" to the show and stop watching.

NOTE: Not leave the fandom. Just stop watching the show. If the New Jedi Order series didn't drive me away from Star Wars, despite being worse than the Holiday Special, this won't push me away from MLP overall.

 



 

 

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My Silverbolt was buried near the back of my Generations/Classics shelves, and i have no Lightning Dust figure. I'm not even sure she's gotten anything, actually.

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@RK_Striker_JK_5 Oh boy, Rainbow Dash.

Dash is the third in that trifecta I mentioned (the others being Pinkie Pie and Discord) about characters that are a pain to write well. For example, I think Season 6 was extremely erratic with the character, one moment making her pathetic ("Newbie Dash")* or annoying ("28 Pranks Later"), the next making her funny ("Flutter Brutter"), a likeable jackass ("Top Bolt") or someone who actually lives up to her boasting ("Stranger Than Fanfiction"). And the same could be said with other seasons.

I kind of liken her to a pony counterpart to Reggie Mantle from the Archie comics, where she's supposed to be a jackass with an over-inflated ego, but, at the same time, likeable. Unfortunately, they kind of forget about the likable part a lot of times.

*Yes, I already said to the effect that I don't hate "Newbie Dash", but I can see where that hatred comes from.

 

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On 1/13/2017 at 7:45 PM, WaterPulse said:

@RK_Striker_JK_5 Oh boy, Rainbow Dash.

Dash is the third in that trifecta I mentioned (the others being Pinkie Pie and Discord) about characters that are a pain to write well. For example, I think Season 6 was extremely erratic with the character, one moment making her pathetic ("Newbie Dash")* or annoying ("28 Pranks Later"), the next making her funny ("Flutter Brutter"), a likeable jackass ("Top Bolt") or someone who actually lives up to her boasting ("Stranger Than Fanfiction"). And the same could be said with other seasons.

I kind of liken her to a pony counterpart to Reggie Mantle from the Archie comics, where she's supposed to be a jackass with an over-inflated ego, but, at the same time, likeable. Unfortunately, they kind of forget about the likable part a lot of times.

*Yes, I already said to the effect that I don't hate "Newbie Dash", but I can see where that hatred comes from.

 

Yeah. 'Likeable' gets left out a lot with Dash. She has some good moments, but they're really few and far between.

 

Okay, due to the somewhat wonky nature the episodes are on my DVD boxed set, and that I wanna have time to rip apart 'Keep Calm and Flutter On' and 'Magical Mystery Cure', I'm gonna do four today and the other two tomorrow.

So... swing your partners round and round, but only how Applejack tells you to. It's a do-si-do or do-si-don't as we prepare for the...

Apple Family Reunion.

Originally posted here on April 27th, 2016.

 

 

Okay, due to the somewhat wonky nature the episodes are on my DVD boxed set, and that I wanna have time to rip apart 'Keep Calm and Flutter On' and 'Magical Mystery Cure', I'm gonna do four today and the other two tomorrow.

So... swing your partners round and round, but only how Applejack tells you to. It's a do-si-do or do-si-don't as we prepare for the...

Apple Family Reunion.

We open in a barn. Applejack's gotten a box of goodies down from a loft in it, and Granny Smith exposits how it's been '100 moons' since the last family reunion. Okay, quick note. I do NOT like the replacement of 'month' with 'moon' for timekeeping. Granny asks Apple Bloom about RSVPs, and it turns out EVERYONE is coming. "I think we're gonna need a bigger cider trough." And a bigger boat.

After the credits, it's evening. Big Mac is pushing in a wheelbarrow's worth of invites. Granny's worried about getting it all organized. The others offer to help, which is awesome of them, and Granny, being smart, accepts. She then pulls on her face and become Sexy Smith for a moment. It's weird. Applejack offers to take over, almost gets a whuppin' due to a faux pas, but extracts her hoof from her mouth when she says for Granny to enjoy herself.

We cut to Granny showing Applejack and Apple Bloom a photo album of previous reunions, and we learn Sweet Apple Acres has hosted these shindigs every hundred moons. Again, not liking the 'moon' bit. We get some nice flashbacks to reunions past, such as the family quilt. Applejack also begins planning. And a diabeetus-inducing baby Applejack who loved apple fritters. :D And Granny's favorite cousin, Apple Rose. They entered the seven-legged race every time.

For the record, I'm just smiling watching this so far. :D

Granny wonders if everyone will be able to make the next reunion like this time, and Symbolic Comets of Applejack's/Apple Bloom's/Big Mac's dead parents shoot by. Or if you believe a piece of fanart I've seen, them whizzing by on jetpacks. :D Applejack vows this will be the most memorable reunion of them all!

Later that night, Applejack's pacing, and Apple Bloom wanders in. Applejack's nervous about the reunion. Natch. We even see her with a chart. She tucks Apple Bloom in and it's legit heartwarming. The next morning, we see EPIC PLANNING MONTAGE! Rarity donates some bolts of fabric. Pinkie gives honey straight from a hive... and glitter. Is that the same for Rarity's edible boots? Dash fills buckets with water. Spike plays zippo lighter and ignites some firewood to heat up some cauldrons.

they finish and it's a legit impressive spread. Just in time as an avalanche of Apples come on down! Some of them are even in an airship. Awesome! Granny meets up with Apple Rose. Aww. :) We even see a shot of Braeburn. Applejack welcomes them and announces the obstacle course and quilting. Apple Bloom meets up with Babs, and we learn Babs is in a new school. We even get a 'fugged about it!" from her. God, she is a Sweathog! Welcome back...

Applejack pushes them over to the obstacle course, which is friggin' nuts. Apple Bloom is... not impressed. We cut to Granny and the not-so-youngings, as Applejack calls them. :P They bicker and banter a bit, and we learn Granny and Apple Rose did something to Applesauce's parasol six reunions ago. Ah, breaking open a pinata, and they laugh. Applejack comes by, and reveals sewing machines so they can finally finish the quilt. Applejack... the point is not to finish a family quilt. And we get a nice gag of Applesauce's false teeth floating out of her muzzle. The old mares can't hear a thing over the friggin engines of the sweing machines.

Back to the obstacle course, Apple Bloom and Babs are going right round, right round, but not on a record, baby. We then cut to Big Mac scarfing down a fritter, and being caught by Applejack. Hah! Applejack assembly-lines the fritter-making, maybe having flashbacks to the Flimflam Brothers. :P We earn Babs has formed a Manehattan branch of the Crusaders, and their tongues go Uncomfortably Numb. We have some quick shots of the Apples, all worn out. Applejack tries to take some pictures... and decides to kick it up a notch. BAM! Apple Bloom and Babs try to sneak away, but no-go.

Applejack rounds everyone up for a hayride around Sweet Apple Acres. They go off like it's the Indy 500, and Applesauce's dentures take a bit out of Big Mac's muzzle. Turns out they're heading for the West Orchard. Granny exposits they haven't tended there since the trees got filled up with... with what?

Applejack's along the trail. She kicks a tree, and 'fruit bats' fly our, in perfect rainbow formation. Taste the rainbow! Unfortunately, a red one, possibly one of Atrocitus' new recruist, spots Applesauce's hat and the bat makes a beeline for the fruit in it. The rest follow and we get some Stuka noises! They bail out of the hayride, and the cart crashes into the barn, destroying both. Ouch...

After commercial, Applejack's beating herself up over things, about how it wasn't perfect. Granny reminds her it's not about the doin', it's about spending time with your family. Applejack has a brainstorm for a barn-raising and square dance all in one! To the tune 'f 'Raise this Barn', or 'Racist Barn' if you hear it a bit oddly. :P I love it. :D The barn's raised, they all make some great memories and it's just fun. Ohai, Fiddlesticks! And finally, the barn is raised. The picture is taken, and we even see Aunt and Uncle Orange, which is awesome. :D

We pan from the pic, and the Apple clan says their goodbyes. Apple Bloom tells Babs they have to get together before the next reunion... and i think beyond a cameo, this is the last time we see her. Harsher in hindsight, that's for sure. Granny winks at the camera, and Applejack writes a letter to Celestia as we see her leafing through the photo album. It's not about the what, it's about the who. We go outside, see the symbolic comets one more, and end episode.

Thoughts

You know, not every episode has to be mega-super-duper-important. This episode shows that slice of life works well, sometimes better than the big ones. At least for me. It's low-key, but does it well. Good lesson about family, too. I love Applejack, probably my favorite of the Mane Six. So for me, this episode hits all the right notes overall.

Time for lunch, and when I return, two episodes for the price of one post. 'Just for Sidekicks' and 'Games Ponies Play', or 'Screw Spike!'

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2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

 

Thoughts

You know, not every episode has to be mega-super-duper-important. This episode shows that slice of life works well, sometimes better than the big ones. At least for me. It's low-key, but does it well. Good lesson about family, too. I love Applejack, probably my favorite of the Mane Six. So for me, this episode hits all the right notes overall.

Time for lunch, and when I return, two episodes for the price of one post. 'Just for Sidekicks' and 'Games Ponies Play', or 'Screw Spike!'

20160427_094059_zpssrobsnto.jpg

 

On the contrary, this episode is actually important to Applejack's character considering how this was her getting the chance to handle managing the Apple Family Reunion which would highlight her growth to become the next matriarch for the Apple family like Grannie Smith before her in my opinion. Apple Family Reuinion also revealed the fate of her parents as Sibsy on Twitter confirmed that the two shooting stars you see in the episode were to mark the passing of her parents aka they're dead.

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On 1/18/2017 at 5:25 PM, Nuke87654 said:

 

On the contrary, this episode is actually important to Applejack's character considering how this was her getting the chance to handle managing the Apple Family Reunion which would highlight her growth to become the next matriarch for the Apple family like Grannie Smith before her in my opinion. Apple Family Reuinion also revealed the fate of her parents as Sibsy on Twitter confirmed that the two shooting stars you see in the episode were to mark the passing of her parents aka they're dead.

Hmm, good points. Never seen it like that.

 

Okay, two linked episodes that... basically exist to screw Spike over. First off...

Just for Sidekicks

 

Originally posted here  on April 27th, 2016.

 

We start with... a pan over some pics of Spike and Peewee. And we learn what happened to the little phoenix. He gets give back to his parents. I... kinda like it, but don't. If they had no intention of having Peewee around, why have that big scene with him at the end of Dragon Quest? This just feels mean to Spike. Anyway, he's making a jewel cake. However, as he makes it, he begins eating the jewels, showing none of the self-control we've seen him have. You have got to be kidding me. Owly flies over with a spoon, shows Spike his reflection and he realizes he did it. Good fucking lord...

After the credits, Spike is serenading himself his sorrow at his OOC scene before. Fluttershy comes in with Angel, and we learn that she's going to the Crystal Empire to help welcome the head of the Equestria games... and Spike wasn't invited along. He's upset about it, and I am right there with him. It's rote bullshit he wasn't going along. There's no real excuse other than, "Dump on Spike and make him the butt monkey." Oh, and Fluttershy rubs salt in the wound as she's about to ask him to pet-sit Angel. In exchange for a large jewel. She guilt-trips him, and I'm seeing red. Fluttershy, you asshole! Why not invite him to the Crystal Empire with you?!

Spike gets an idea to pet-sit for everyone else. Dash says Tank can take care of himself... as he knocks into an awning and into a wall. Tank, like owner, like pet. Rarity has a long list of comical specializations for Opal. Opel nuzzles Tank, showing she's a jerk with heart of gold. Rarity gives him a tiny jewel that's probably worth half of Canterlot. That night, he gets Pinkie in on it. Well, after some 'comical' misunderstandings. "Spike time is the best!" Then take him with you.

The next morning, all the pets are brought in. Spike is... not taking this as seriously as he should. We get some good goodbyes, including memetic Dash/Tank nuzzling. Angels's being a little asshole, and Spike manages to get Twilight to have him watch Owly. she's doubtful about this, natch. Spike turns... and chaos erupts.

After commercials, he's down for the count, but wakes up. The pets have gone nuts. Spike calls them front-and-center, but Angel runs off. We cut to him with all the pets on a search for Angel. Winona tracks him to the clubhouse, where he's got the Crusaders under his paw. Spike tries to pawn him off the Crusaders, but they're getting their 'skydiving' cutie marks... and suddenly they've got parachutes and goggles on. Okay.

Spike smooth-talks them into it using their cutie marks weakness. Spike then pawns off all the pets onto them. Okay, Spike, not cool. The Crusaders realize they'll need toys and treats for the pets, and they take a jewel from Spike. The smallest one, which is probably the most valuable.

We fade to Spike with supplies for his new jewel cake. But as he walks by the clubhouse, "Has anyone seen Tank's head? Where's his head?" Oh, shit! He races off, but Scootaloo forgot he could pull it in. The clubhouse is a disaster area, so Spike takes them back. He asks for the jewel back, but nope. They used it to buy an industrial-sized hair-drier. We see outside and Winona as a doggy pancake under the damned thing. We fade to Spike bringing them through town again, but he gets wrapped around a tree by their leashes. Zecora shows up and says she can help him out, but she'll need some of his booty.

...

There's that, "Start of a smutfic" setup again. Anyway, she takes a jewel... and takes it to a Filly Scout, because of his 'dragon greed'. Zecora, it's not greedy to expect to get PAID FOR SERVICES RENDERED! Okay, he wasn't doing his best, but come on! This is just cruel bullshit. The pets get into a ball of crazy, and Spike pushes them along... right by Granny Smith, who has to be bribed to not say anything. Owly turns Spike's head around... and he sees Angel on the Friendship Express. He needs chaperones to get onto the train. Spike hears laughter, and we see the Crusaders about to skydive off a bridge that I could touch by standing in the water! They and another jewel get him on.

Spike grabs Angel, but it's too late. They're off to the Crystal Empire. We cut to them in the Arctic. Suddenly the pets get loose... and Spike's gotta bribe another pony as they make a mess. The Crusaders wanna sight-see, and use tickle-torture to get past Spike. Angel also skedaddles. Outside, the Mane Six are spotted. Angel makes a beeline for Fluttershy, and Spike gives chase. He tosses his last jewel at a buckle holding baggage together on a cart, and it forms a barrier for the bunny. They get onto the train, but the Mane Six head right for their car, of course. Applejack comments her dogs are baking... just as Winona yelps. Okay, clever. Angel is about to kick the bottom of a seat... and Spike apologizes for his own behavior. Angel decides to give him some pity, and even retrieves Spike's green jewel so his rumbly tummy doesn't give them away. Okay, that was good on both parts.

Back at Ponyville, Spike and the others manage to get out before the Mane Six do and Spike BSes they were gonna meet them at the train station. Sweetie Belle asks about the snow globes at the train station... oi. All the pets reunite with their owners. We go back to Golden Oaks, where Spike... eats the last fucking jewel.

Thoughts

This was mean. No two ways about it. Spike got screwed here.

1. Spike is suddenly unable to control his appetite for jewels... despite multiple episodes showing him that he could. This is out-of-character for the sake of he plot, no two ways about it.

2. He's not invited to the Crystal Empire, despite being the one who saved it. Again, no good reason. He's a kid? So, what? He can't control himself around jewels and crystals? Aside from this episode, he can! Hell, he showed more self-control than Rarity while there. She was about to start dry-humping the architecture!

Yeah, he didn't take the pet-sitting seriously... a job he shouldn't have had to take, because he's shown the self-control denied him here, and he should've been on the train to the Crystal Empire. This one overall just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Okay, that's one side. Here's the other, as we get out the bats and balls to prepare for...

Games Ponies Play

We start with the scene of the Mane Six leaving their pets in Spike's care. Okay, clever. The library starts shaking, but Twilight's pulled away. At the station, Dash infodumps the Crystal Empire's up for the Equestria Games, which seem to be their equivalent of the Olympics. Rarity asks if Cloudsdale hosted the games one year, but nope. How they'd manage that I have no idea. Mass casting of the cloud-walking spell, maybe. we get a flashback to filly-Dash on some stallions' head and that is her father and no one can tell me otherwise. :D Some official announces that year they go to Fillydelphia. Have we seen Fillydelphia at all? I'd love to go there. In the present, Dash vows the crystal ponies have had enough rotten things happen to them, and won't let them miss out on the Equestria Games. Okay, Dash? That is legit awesome of you.

Twilight says they're going there to onvince the inspector to choose the Crystal Empire... a job that would be more suited for the citizens themselves, methinks. But eh, minor thing overall. Pinkie drops to her knees and gives out a big, "NO!" "What? I was just answering Twilight's question." Okay, nice.

After the commercials, they're practicing a chant. Twilight wants it to be perfect, so they're gonna practice it and 'the steps'... on a moving train car. Brilliant. They form a pyramid, but just then the brakes kick in and they go tumbling and Twilight that was really stupid of you.

Twenty

At the Empire, they're cleaning it up. Twilight speculates that's why they're there to handle the welcoming committee. Okay, clever. A couple of foals run by and Dash... freaks one of them out by recounting her disappointment at not being selected that one year. Twilight TKs her away and gives the foal her flag back while I smack Dash upside the head with a train engine.

At a hair salon, they meet Cadance. And she and Twilight do the Unicorn Shake. This time, no world-ending threats. Rarity is... Rarity again. Good lord, calm yourself! Cadance shows them a mud bath, and Pinkie does a Tarzan into the muck. It's like jello... Cadance shows Twilight some breathing technique... which would be step one of the help Twilight ultimately needs. We get some infodumping/foreshadowing concerning the ceremonial headdress.

An aide rushes in and has two pieces of news. Her stylist has the flu and can't come. Cadance is concerned about her, and none of the others know how to do it. And I laughed at Twilight mimicking Cadance, there. :D Dash overreacts, natch. Come here, Dash. I got a nice padded room for you... Rarity volunteers to try. And she's given a long and large set of instructions. Fortunately, the inspector won't be there for several hours.

And on cue, the next bit of news? The inspector, Miss Harshwhinny, will be arriving... on the next train. Cue mass panic.

Twilight asks Rarity how long this is gonna take, and Rarity says she can find some shortcuts. Ah, no. Bad idea, Rarity. Measure twice, cut once. Twilight and the others to go and look for... the pony with the flower-print luggage.

Wait, what? That's it? You need more than that! Name? ID? Cutie mark?! My mother has flower-print luggage! Twilight says they'll bring the games inspector back to the castle, put on a show... and pinkie goes on a tangent about pudding. "I'll just ignore that." Dash, right there with you. Dash goes into conspiracy theory mode about the inspector arriving early, and psyches the others up.

At the station, they spot... I'll call her Chicky, based on her cutie mark. And spoilers, it's not Harshwhinny. There's a bit of faux-tension as the Mane Five introduce themselves... but Chicky's enthused, and channeling Foghorn Leghorn. And holy cow, my auto-correct doesn't see those as wrong. They walk to the castle... and back at the train station, the real Harshwhinny gets off.

At the salon, Rarity is realizing cutting out some steps was kinda dumb. Cadance looks like a punk rocker straight outta the 80's! Dash is still on high-alert, though. Chicky is showing signs of claustrophobia, though. Dash thinks she was testing them to see if they'd remain in control of a complex situation. They do the pyramid and chant thingie. Nice choreography, but Pinkie's party cannon nearly kills them. Chicky loves it, but runs outside to a balcony. Dash misinterprets and offers a tour of the castle. Twilight points out they barely know their way around.

Twilight goes to see Cadance, and passes Harshwhinny, who is not happy. She also gets drenched by a convenient puddle and cart-puller who can't be bothered to steer two feet to his right. At the salon, Rarity has gone into full-on panic/diva/oh my god I have no idea mode, and needs time!

Back at the palace, Pinkie is BSing her way through the tour. Chicky knows what it is... and is nervous as all hell. She also shows aptitude for architecture. Pinkie then makes some stupid faces. Chicky needs to get out of there, too. Good lord, pick up on some things! Dash leads her to the gym. Well, she tries. Outside at a stadium, Twilight goes to see Shining Armor. He offers to help while barking instructions. And for once, Twilight appears to be calm. A shame he couldn't be that good with the Royal Guard. :P The doors open and Chicky gallops in. She barrels around the track, and Dash says to let her be. Shining Armor, being the voice of reason, asks why she'd do that.

"I have no idea, but that's why she's in charge of choosing who gets the games and we're not." And this is why I laugh you off, Dashie. Chicky knocks over a pot, which naturally lands on her head, and she blows through a door. Now even Dash sees she's gotta be stopped before she pulls a Sombra 2.0.

Chicky gallops past Harshwhinny, who gets splashed again. Dash manages to yank the pot off Chicky's head... but goes flying and smacks into the transparent ceiling of the salon. Chicky is enthusiastic... and we get confirmation Shining Armor is a prince. She's never met a prince before, which surprises Shining Armor. "Just an ordinary mustang from Mustangia here to enjoy a little vay cay." And we see the others begin to suspect something. She even flirts with Shining Armor, who is... less than enthused, judging by her facial expression. :D

Twilight asks is she is, indeed, Miss Harshwhinny. "Inspector what now?" And cue mass "Oh, CRAP!" And the technique... begins to fail. Back at the train station, they barrel inside and begin searching. Dash and Fluttershy suggest they split the Empire into five sectors and each one chooses a sector. Okay, smart and logical. Pinkie pipes up that they should skip the spa. Since Cadance is there, and if Harshwhinny is there, then game over, man. Game over! And they all realize due to narrative contrivance, that's where Harshwhinny is.

Sure enough... she's thee with Chicky. Harshwhinny is complaining about all the phony crap she's gotta put up with on her inspection tours. Chicky says she's been having a swell time and is thinking of staying longer. A shame her reception wasn't meant for her, though. She gushes to Harshwhinny about her stay. Just then, the Mane Five arrive. The good news is, Rarity is finally done. And to her credit, Cadance looks divine.

Harshwhinny sits up as she realizes Cadance is there. She says this was the worst welcome she's had, and Cadance is kinda pissed. Dash, to her credit, steps forward and give out a full explanation. Dash then further says she did this so the Crystal Empire wouldn't feel the disappointment she felt as a filly. Dash is about to throw in the towel... but Harshwhinny says she's spent some time listening to Chicky exude about her welcome.

It's the first unvarnished appraisal of a potential host she's ever had.

Wait.. oh, for the love of mike. We cut to Cadance announcing the Crystal Empire gets to host the Equestria Games. We cut to the train station and them going home, and the jewel sails forth and they get to the train car. We see Spike and the others hiding beneath them, and end episode.

Thoughts

This one... eh. It's an idiot plot, basically. They picked the inspector based on her luggage. No asking name, no confirmation, no nothing. As I've said before, the excuse, "It's for kids!" does not apply here. This is something kids should know. It's just galling to me that it happened to begin with.

And how they got the games... I think I'll let the recap page from TV Tropes sum this up for me...

 

Broken Aesop: Ms. Harshwhinny eventually decides to host the games in the Crystal Empire, saying that every other place she visited tried to put on airs, while she got the story of how great the empire was from a normal pony. The problem is the only reason the tourist has such a glowing opinion of the empire is because she experienced all of the things that they were doing to specifically impress Ms. Harshwhinny, while Harshwhinny herself only got grief and frustration from the Crystal Empire citizens. So if the moral was meant to be "People will be more impressed by sincerity than by fake attempts to seem great", or "Sometimes it takes an honest opinion from a fellow tourist to make up for what you've missed, whether or not you'd want to see it for yourself", then it undermined its own message.

 

Based on what happened, the Crystal Empire should not have gotten the Equestria Games.

Oh, and now that I think about it? Rarity cutting corners? Out-of-character for her. From everything we've seen of her, she wouldn't do that.

Are there some good things, here? Dash stepped up. She went a bit overboard, but good intentions. And her taking the blame at the end was good, too. Some good moments, but overall, this episode doesn't do anything for me.

Overall thoughts

Both these episodes are less than the sum of their parts. The first one is a huge insult and dump on Spike. The second one is predicated on the Mane Six not thinking things through, or even really thinking.

Okay, supper, then Spike at Your Service!

...

Poor, poor Spike. :(

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Okay, one more for tonight. And... it's another Spike one. Oh, joy. If you can't have Alfred or Jarvis, then maybe you can have...

Spike at Your Service

 

Originally posted here April 27th, 2016.

 

We open at Golden Oaks. Spike is channeling a bit of Sesame Street as he counts books. Twilight is gonna read twelve books over the weekend. Okay, I'm a bibliophile, but that's a bit much for me. Turns out Celestia assigned these to her. Pony what?! Twilight gives him the day off, and luckily, he's got a list of things to do! It's a list of... really dumb stuff. Playing his stomach like bongos, for example. It';s also only three things on a long scroll. Hah, hah?

After the commercials, he's wandering a bit. Suddenly, he spots the town's balloon and decides on a balloon ride! I've never been on a balloon ride, myself. :) He runs over, but knocks into a post and a tether gets undone. He chases after it, ending up in Big Mac's cart. It rolls along, but Granny's in the way! He pulls an Indiana Jones from the mine cart chase in Temple of Doom, except using his hands. Fortunately, his scales are tough. The harness goes down and the cart turns into a catapult. He grabs the rope and manages to pull it down! Yay!

Deep in the Everfree Forest. Yikes...

He quickly realizes where he is. There's creepy yellow eyes all around. He smells something, and then we see them... timberwolves. They're wolves made of wood. Interesting and clever... except the CGI used isn't too good. It stands out quite a bit. They corner him, but a rock outta nowhere hits one... and knocks bits of it loose.

Yeah, another bad thing about these things? Fragile as all hell.

It's Applejack to the rescue! There's a very nice chase scene, with Applejack being all kinds of badass. Spike's impressed. So am I. Spike suddenly... goes gaga. He also asks why she was out there. Turns out she was chasing the balloonm and with a sly look, figured Spike was doing the same. Nice. Applejack lassos the balloon's rope around her barrel and they walk off, but not before an Ominous Shot of Reassembling Wood.

Still not scary. :P

Applejack thanks Spike for walking her home, but says she's got chores to do. Spike suddenly offers to do them for her. It's the least he can do. And he picks up a bucket of apples... and spills half of them in about five seconds. Here we go... Applejack says no, because that's what friends do. Spike is very insistent, so she sends him over to help Apple Bloom give Piggington a bath. Piglet, too?

Over with Apple Bloom, Spike picks up a brush... and knocks the soap bucket over. Yes, we're going this route. We cut to them presenting a really clean Piggington to Applejack. Okay, nice. Apple Bloom needs to get going, though. She and the other Crusaders are getting fitted for... water skis.

Man, the crazy shit the Crusaders got up to...

Applejack rightly feels they're even-steven, but no. Spike is... really insistent. spike grabs her leg... and Applejack has also grown a bit, since Spike's now shorter than one of her legs. Oh, wait. Hasbro property. Scale's a non-facotr most of the time. :P Oh, and Piggington is rolling in the mud again. :P Applejack decides he'll help with...

"Pies, PIES! I'm helping Applejack make some PIES!" Spike drops a bolw of eggs, knocks over the bucket of soapy water to clean it up, rips open a bag of flour with the broom... and gets the broom stuck to the ceiling.

Writers, how much do you hate Spike, again?

Applejack tries to send him home, but he burps up some card with writing scrawled in crayon, his 'Spike the Dragon Code' says he must serve her. Okay... the hell did this come from?! It's obviously just something Spike made up, but why? Granny tries to deflect him back to Twilight, so he runs off to tell her the news. At Golden Oaks, he tells Twilight. Twilight... ignores her completely. Twilight, get your fucking nose out of the book. NOW. Spike's heart is broken in two.

Back at Sweet Apple Acres, Spike walks into a room... and messes it up in about two seconds. Applejack tells him it doesn't feel right. "My dragon code is a part of me." Since when?! "If you won't let me do this, then I won't be a noble dragon anymore." Did Dragon Quest not happen?!

Applejack looks around at various chores, probably scenarios of doom running through her head. Finally, she hands the horribly-baked pie he baked to him and tells Spike to give it to Rarity. There, Rarity takes a bite of the abomination. Spike goes gaga over her. Applejack gets him out of the room and Rarity asks what the hell's going on. Applejack explains, but Rarity would love it! Applejack says it doesn't feel right, and he makes some big messes. On cue, there's a crash, and we see Spike and a small mountain of bubbles coming from the kitchen.

And suddenly Dash shows up and gets the explanation. She too thinks it's awesome and wonders what Applejack has him doing. Including an unfinished novel? By Applejack's expression... I don't think that was a joke! Oh, and Dash is writing a *COUGHFANFICCOUGH* novel, too. A self-insert from what she describes. :P

"How ever did you come up with that ingeniously-woven intricate plot line?"

"Just came to me." Okay, that was good. :D

Dash suggests having him do something really hard. Applejack doesn't want him to get hurt. Spike walks up... with a pipe in his hands. What? Dash says she's gonna smash through rocks today, and Applejack was gonna help with that. "Trust me. This is gonna work like a charm."

And... we fade to Spike finishing up the tower of rocks. Okay, nice. :D Fluttershy wanders by and said she would've pretended not to have anything for him to do. Ooh. And finally, at the top of Isengard, Spike's done. Dash manages to smash it... but it takes a lot out of her. She's definitely got a concussion. Applejack says he's done... and Spike has a panic attack. He wonders if she needs help remembering stuff she needs help with... and ends it with inflating her with a bellows.

Spike's gone nuts.

At Golden Oaks, Applejack goes to see Twilight, who is still reading. Applejack does an "I know.." to her, and yeah. She didn't listen to a word he said. How nice... Applejack asks if she can talk some sense into him... but Twilight says this is 'dragon code' we're talking about. Surely she knows how important that is.

Since WHEN?!

Twilight comes up with a plan, and we cut to Spike... counting blades of grass. Inside the barn, Applejack recruits the others. Pinkie is... you know. Nope, Applejack's gonna be attacked by a timberwolf! We cut to outside the everfree and Applejack going over the plan. Basically they fake an attack and have Spike save her. And no, no mustache for Pinkie.

rarity asks Applejack to show us their best 'damsel in distress'. It's bad. Spike comes a calling. Applejack asks for help sweeping up leaves, and we learn there are 24,567,837 blades of grass at Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack winks and Dash does a damned good timberwolf impression. So convincing, it frightens Fluttershy and actually calls other timebrwolves to the area!

Rarity and Pinkie race out. Rarity is so hamtastic she makes composite "I AM THE MASTER AND YOU WILL OBEY ME!" look subtle and understated, while Pinkie can't stop grinning. And twilight TK's some bad marionettes over. Applejack sticks her hoof into some rocks and places her head into the marionette's mouth. This is... damned funny. Spike cottons on pretty quickly. As soon as he mentions the breath, though... the real stink comes up.

Everyone flees, for some reason. Folks, Applejack kicked the asses of multiple timberwolves. Seriously! And here they come. Applejack leaps up onto the rock pile remnants, pushes a rock off and... smashes all three at once. And she saves Spike's life. Again. But the rock she's on collapses and she slides down. At the bottom, a rock lands on her foreleg and Applejack's trapped for real this time. And now the timberwolves assemble themselves into a combiner. Timbertron?

Applejack tells him to go, but no. Spike tosses a rock at the gestalt, and it lodges in its throat. And it... chokes to death and falls apart.

Ladies and gentlemen, a worse villain than present-Sombra.

Spike frees Applejack, and her life was saved. She apologizes for staging the fake attack, and confesses she wants to follow her own code of, "that's what friends do." Spike comes up with a better code-trying not to get into situations like this in the first place. They bumpos hooves and hands. Back at Golden Oaks, Spike holds up a lantern for Twilight... who should've had adequate lighting in the first place. And we end.

Thoughts

There are... some good things here. Quite a bit. Great action... hell, all the way up until Apple Bloom and Spike finishing cleaning Pigginton there wasn't anything really wrong. Good ending, too. Some good stuff in the middle. Nice lesson, too. However...

Spike's characterization/skills were tossed under a bus for the sake of the episode. We have seen him be a lot more competent than this before! The whole 'dragon code' came out of thin air! If this was another character, a new one, then... it'd be better. But as it stands, with who's in it, I don't like that bit. And it's a shame, because other than that, it's not too bad.

So, tomorrow... Keep Calm and Flutter On and Magical Mystery Cure.

It's not gonna be pretty, folks. But for me? it's gonna be damned cathartic!

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Okay, folks. First review of two. Are you ready?

I got nothing really pithy to say for setup. Let's just get to it.

Keep Calm and Flutter On OR: Striker's Rants of Ranty Ranting

 

First posted here on April 28th, 2016.

 

We open in Ponyville. Pinkie, Rarity, Dash, Twilight and Spike are there, and Celestia's coming! Pinkie even polished her hooves. We learn Fluttershy is helping Applejack with a 'mishap' as Sweet Apple Acres. Celestia's late, but it turns out she's got an important visitor. Spike suddenly spots who the visitor is. It's Discord!

Oh, prepare for pain.

After commercials, "With all due respect, Princess Celestia, how could you bring Discord here?!" Okay, Twilight. ALL my love and respect, there. Yes, what the fuckity-fuck are you thinking? Celestia is aware the last time, Discord caused 'serious havoc'. Gee, understatement of the fucking millennium. Dash, Rarity and Pinkie all call her on that. Good, grow thicker spines. Although Pinkie's is no whipped cream to go with the chocolate milk rain clouds. Eh, thought's there.

Celestia says she understands. No, you don't. If you did, you wouldn't have thought of this plan and decided to entrust his victims to it. "But I have use for Discord's magic if it can be reformed to serve good instead of evil."

...

The part of Princess Celestia today will be played by Doctor Doom/Red Skull/Lex Luthor/Darkseid/Mongul/Magneto/holy shit that's a pretty skeevy reason. No, seriously. Not out of the goodness of your heart? Not out of pity or compassion? Because you'd have need for it? Also, what need? Speak up, NOW! For some insane reason she wants the Mane Six to do that. Spike has a perfectly natural freakout about this, but Celestia has the Elements of Harmony for them. She's even cast a spell so Discord can't take them and hide them again. Yeah, because that worked out so well last time. Celestia asks where Fluttershy is, because she apparently might be the best to reform him. Dash is skeptical as all get-out. And asks, "Really?" Celestia gives no answer. No, give her an answer! RIGHT NOW!

SO AM I!

With that segue, we cut to Sweet Apple Acres. Turns out some beavers have built a dam and there's flooding of the orchards. Fluttershy is negotiating its removal. Fluttershy takes the beaver's side in Applejack apologizing for calling him a 'nuisance'. Why... Dash zooms in and tells them to get to Ponyville. There, Celestia says she's confident Fluttershy can, "get him to use magic obediently, of his own free will." Wait, what? How the fuck... I've gone cross-eyed. And she... goes off to a Summit. No, no, you do not drop this off on them with no warning, then go fly off to some fucking meeting Luna could probably run! Get your ass back there!

No, she flies off. And... they decide to release him. Wow, guess that whole, "Learn when to question Celestia's orders," lesson really didn't take. Twilight tells them to keep their Elements on at all times. And... they release the bastard. The evil bastard. And not five seconds in and he's already causing shit. He mocks them putting their faith in Fluttershy. We also learn he had his sense while being frozen.

If you think I have any sympathy for him after the atrocities he's caused, no. I don't.

Twilight threatens him with petrification. I say zap the bastard and toss him into Tartarus. Fluttershy tries the Stare on him... despite earlier it wasn't something she could control. In one of the only good moments of this episode, Discord no-sells it. Twilight says she can convince Celestia turning him back into stone would be for a good reason. Twilight, that's why she left them with you in the first place. Great continuity! Discord turns the animals back to normal... and then mind-fucks with the beavers from before.

He goes to stay with Fluttershy. "Oh, dear," she says while looking right into the camera. Yeah, and water is wet. After commercial, we're at Fluttershy's cottage. She's getting things ready. Discord lounges about and says he wishes the others would be more considerate. Yes, because the ones you also mind-raped and violated should definitely be considerate of you. Dash says he's trying to drive a wedge between them, "Like he always does." What, that one time in season two? There are some... amusing visual gags, and Discord does abuse Angel, but other than that... he's a lying asshole. The others leave her alone with Discord. No, don't leave her alone with him! That's the wedge! Fkluttershy thinks the best way is to be kind to him. In the background, chaos erupts. Because, you know, Discord.

Outside, there's natural doubts to the effectiveness of this. Dash thinks they need a backup plan. Dash has the smartness ball this episode. Inside, Discord is... eating paper. Fluttershy, for some insane reason, is heading out and leaving him alone. I wish I had words for how stupid that is. We also see a foreground shot of EVIL BEAVERS running about. And inside, yes, Discord reveals the blindingly obvious. He's playing Fluttershy.

At Golden Oaks, we learn the paper Discord was eating were the pages of 'reforming spells' Twilight had.

Wait, 'reforming spell'? What the fuck is that? What does that do? Why do you have them/know about them and god this explains why you love Cadance's love spells so much and...

Twenty-one

There's a reason 'Imperio' is an Unforgivable Curse! Back at the cottage, anyone who gets vertigo should not watch it as Discord has begun spinning it around in midair. And everything inside is crashing about. "You said to make myself at home while you were gone." Oh, for the love of Mike. Fluttershy devolves into Doormatshy and says to feel free. He does some more wedge-driving, because of course he is. Twilight calls to Fluttershy from outside, and she rescues Angel and flies outside to a naturally-concerned Twilight. Fluttershy says they're making great progress, by giving him a little space to be himself.

Fluttershy, how thick are those blinders you got on? Spike tells her about the reforming spells, and she's... pretty nonchalant about it, and even says he's considering being reformed. she says she has to give him the benefit of the doubt. Why? He's shown how untrustworthy and sadistic he is! She invites them over a dinner party that evening. She bets her manners will have improved by then. Fluttershy, I have this bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you. And she'll even have him put the cottage back on the ground! Oh, goody! There's probably nothing left inside that's intact!

Later that day, they go to the cottage. Inside, Discord tries to swipe Twilight's crown. Later on at dinner, Discord animates several serving dishes. Dash gets gravy dumped onto her lap and probably need burn treatment. Then candles attack her. "There's something fishy going on." And a fish-shaped serving container spits soup into Twilight's face. Applejack says it's only doing what Discord is making it do. "Now let's not jump to any conclusions." Three guesses on who said that and the first two don't count. Spoilers, it's Fluttershy. I now need to hit her with a cruise liner and escalate.

Fluttershy... says Discord's far from perfect, but none of the are giving him a chance. And this is where I see red. Not that I wasn't seeing red before. Discord has shown himself to be an absolutely vile creature, fully-aware of the evil he's doing but not giving one wit. Fluttershy, you don't give a 'chance' to someone like that, especially considering his past atrocities, and his current actions! Dash asks what the hell's going on, and Fluttershy says... that's what friends do. Wait, you're friends?! Since when?

And Discord says he's never had a friend before. Gee, I don't know why you wouldn't! You're only a mind-raping, environment-destroying, manipulative, remorseless, egocentric piece of shit who uses sapient beings like toys to get your jollies. You only treat everything and everyone like your own personal playthings. You turned friends against each other and then reveled in Twilight's breaking. I'm so shocked you never had a friend before. No, I don't feel one damned lick of sorrow/sympathy for him!

Angel comes in and pantomines trouble at Sweet Apple Acres. After commercials we go there, and it's a mess to say the least. Dash confronts her, and Fluttershy snaps. "Do you all think I'm a silly, gullible fool?" Yes, yes I do. Hell, the others can't even really say no. Discord rides by on water skis, and now I wish I was listening to the Go-Goes. Fluttershy calls him out on his behavior, and tells him to fix it. He says sure... if she promises to never use her Element of Harmony against him. Fluttershy... agrees.

Wow. That action was so stupid I'm not sure there are words invented to describe it. She tosses it, and Spike catches it. Spike's kind! He's the new Kindness and Element of Common Fucking Sense! So Discord, naturally, breaks his word and turns it into an ice rink. Fluttershy loses it, but says she still will not use her Element against him.

Great, you jackass. Discord's won. You're an idiot with zero common sense, and I hate you here. She snaps and says she's not her friend. He does some gloating and manages to talk himself into realizing he's lost her as a friend... and we get another asspull here. Despite not really caring and simply using her and even fucking admitting he was using her, he says he'll lose the one friend he ever had. So he caves like a house of cards in a twister.

Bullshit.

Our final scene is Discord pledging to use his magic for good instead of evil. Most of the time. Spoilers, he never really did.

Thoughts/rant

Okay, before I start, let me establish a few things.

1. Discord is NOT Q. He is based off of Q, they share the same actor, they are NOT the same character. I hate that fanon.

2. Celestia, in the show, and that's what counts, cannot see the future. In the premiere she 'saw the signs' of Nightmare Moon's return, which were four big-ass stars moving to the moon. And we have NO connection between her and the prophecy. As for Twilight's Kingdom, she had a vision of the present, which she mistook for a dream and had to have Luna tell her otherwise. So that's functionally useless, too. And hell, if her plan in those episodes was the best she could come up with with foresight? Zap Brannigan's got a thing or three thousand to teach her.

3. Discord's actions were of his own choice, his own free will. And quite frankly, even if they weren't, the sheer amount of damage he causes necessitates him getting locked up.

4. With the exception of the very end of Twilight's Kingdom and Make New Friends but Keep Discord, no. He's never really shown any inclinations towards 'reformation'.

5. Don't blame his victims for not wanting to associate with him. I had to leave my house whenever my ex-stepfather came by to get stuff after he left.

So,  this episode is... yeah. You can probably figure how much I loathe it. It's stupid in just about every single way. Celestia's actions make no goddamned sense. She doesn't explain a damned thing to the Mane Six, doesn't elaborate on this so-called 'use'. And by the way, that is just so... supervillain of her. Not out of compassion or kindness or second/third/fourth chance, but she has a 'use' for his magic. Wow. And of course freeing Discord brings almost nothing but misery, chaos, destruction and almost the complete subjugation of Equestria under Tirek.

Strike Two

Fluttershy might actually come off worse, here. She acts rather like an abuse victim, which is actually sensible considering she is an abuse victim where Discord's concerned. But at the end, where she said she wouldn't use the Element of Kindness against him? After he broke his word? Fluttershy, that IS when you use it! He broke his word, first! It's like Megatron and Optimus at the end of Dark of the Moon! Optimus was NOT in the wrong killing Megatron when Megatron showed his word meant nothing by betraying Sentinel!

As for him and not having any friends before now? Gee, I wonder why. [/sarcasm_on_full] Could it be he's a willfully evil piece of crap who treats everyone and everything around him like toys? That he thinks only of himself? UGH!

The end was a complete asspull. Just an asspull.

 

And before anyone says I'm against redemption or reformation, lemme lay some facts on you:

My third-favorite Avatar: the Last Airbender character, behind Suki and Iroh? Zuko.

Two of my favorite characters in the Transformers franchise? Dinobot from Beast Wars and Blitzwing from Transformers G1 Animated.

My favorite character in Stargate: SG1? Teal'c!

I will go with redemption and reformation, if it's done well. Discord, with the exception of the tail-end of Twilight's Kingdom, was NOT done well.

Now, I could go on. Lord know I could go on. I have mental rants about him not being all that 'chaotic', and how he gets passes for his acts while the Canterlot populace gets excoriated. Instead, I'll cut this off and leave this with you. Instead of my usual picture with my toys, I leave you with this unaltered screen-capture...

Keep%20Calm%20image_zpsezguhlmg.png

This was a deliberate choice by the people behind the scenes. It says it all.

Next up, Magical Mystery Cure.

 

EDIT:

 

I suppose I should clear this up/ With the exception of the very end of Twilight's Kingdom, and Make New Friends but Keep Discord? No. They fucked up his 'redemption' but GOOD!

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2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

1. Discord is NOT Q. He is based off of Q, they share the same actor, they are NOT the same character. I hate that fanon.

Yes! Q clearly had an agenda and his thing is more "order" than "chaos".

2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

2. Celestia, in the show, and that's what counts, cannot see the future. In the premiere she 'saw the signs' of Nightmare Moon's return, which were four big-ass stars moving to the moon. And we have NO connection between her and the prophecy. As for Twilight's Kingdom, she had a vision of the present, which she mistook for a dream and had to have Luna tell her otherwise. So that's functionally useless, too. And hell, if her plan in those episodes was the best she could come up with with foresight? Zap Brannigan's got a thing or three thousand to teach her.

Celestia is the worst thing in the whole franchise for me. I'm not going to expand on that because even I am getting bored of it by now, every time they use her it's a waste of a character that had a lot of potential so they can service a plot that would make no sense if Celestia had any common sense. in this episode, she's downright despicable. "I have uses for his magic."

2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

3. Discord's actions were of his own choice, his own free will. And quite frankly, even if they weren't, the sheer amount of damage he causes necessitates him getting locked up.

Some people said that Luna should be turned to stone ASAP after her shenanigans in that episode with the long name. To me, it's clear that the show's production want the audience to look at characters like Discord and Starlight Glimmer as "good now", despite the fact that they just didn't change. Because if they did, people would lose interest in the characters. This is one of the show's many... Dissonances. Especially when...

2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

4. With the exception of the very end of Twilight's Kingdom and Make New Friends but Keep Discord, no. He's never really shown any inclinations towards 'reformation'.

Discord is one selfish fucker. He din't want to not hurt Fluttershy. He didn't want to hurt himself through the loss of his newfound friendship.

2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

5. Don't blame his victims for not wanting to associate with him. I had to leave my house whenever my ex-stepfather came by to get stuff after he left.

The cartoon caters heavily to the "misunderstood". It resonates with the "poor me, the world hates me and I'm too perfect for mankind" crowd, as evidenced by Luna's giant fanbase.

2 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Celestia's actions make no goddamned sense. She doesn't explain a damned thing to the Mane Six, doesn't elaborate on this so-called 'use'. And by the way, that is just so... supervillain of her. Not out of compassion or kindness or second/third/fourth chance, but she has a 'use' for his magic. Wow. And of course freeing Discord brings almost nothing but misery, chaos, destruction and almost the complete subjugation of Equestria under Tirek.

When has Celestia ever made sense?

 

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