RK_Striker_JK_5

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

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So, I've been doing reviews of Friendship is Magic on my fimfic blog and rpg.net. I've gotten up to the end of season three, so I figure I'd share them here, which will hopefully jump-start me doing Equestria Girls and the rest of the series.

 

A few words of warning, though!

 

1. These reviews were started in 2014. Some of this might be a bit dated with new episodes and whatnot. I may add new stuff at the end with new views, I may not do that.

2. As it says in the title, abandon the usual majority view, because I don't operate that way. There's episodes/character/actions the fandom loves, but I hate. I'm not gonna toe the line.

3. I am primarily what's known as a Doylist. This means that most of the time, I go for out-of-universe answers. It's a script error. It's a continuity error. It's a mistake. The people are human and make those.

4. I don't read the comics. And quite frankly, what I've heard, I'm probably never going to.

5. I loathe protagonist-centered morality, and will call it out when I see it.

6. If you wanna see good episode reviews, go to Nuke's episode review thread here.

NEW ONE! 7. I am going to put links and the original dates I did these below the title, for reference.

 

So... here we go!

 

Friendship is Magic Part One

Originally posted here on May 12, 2014.

We open with... a book opening. Okay, clever. We zoom in on Equestria and hear what I believe to be Celestia's voice saying that the eldest of two sisters uses her unicorn powers to raise the sun, and the youngest raised the moon. I love the visuals and old-timey imagery. As for Celestia's pink mane, it's faded ink or just simply authorial interpretation. And Luna gets jealous as the ponies... live life in an agrarian society. You know, going to bed at night for protection against predators. So she kept the moon up one night. Celestia tried to reason with her... but Luna was now Nightmare Moon. She'd gone to the Dark Side of the Force. Oh, yeah. Celestia tried to reason with her before she turned into Nightmare Moon, for the record.

We get our first shot of the Elements of Harmony, and she's banished into the moon. Celestia now works a double-shift, hopefully getting overtime. The voiceover changes to our primary protagonist, Twilight Sparkle, sitting on the grass and reading the book. And she wonders where she's heard of those Elements before.

Cue season one intro!

Twilight is... not galloping. Hmm, I remember her galloping. Ah, well. She runs across three ponies who invite her to a party by Moondancer. She turns them down and they're miffed with her. I can see both sides. Twilight looks snobbish, but for me in RL, after a couple of hours in any social environment I have to leave or I start getting... antsy. And now she's galloping away. She passes Sparkler and Lyra, who wave but are rebuffed. She goes into what I think is either her apartment in the Royal School for Gifted Unicorns or her home. And she opens the door... and knocks Spike away.

Ah, Spike getting abused and treated like crap starts from his first scene! Yeah, not happy. She calls for him, ignores him being on the floor and runs for a book. She notices his destroyed gift for Moondancer and... I'm not liking her attitude to him. Very abrasive here. And not in any way amusing for me. She looks for the book with her TK, but Spike finds it for her... and it TKed to the floor. Not even a 'thank you'. She finds the myth of the Mare in the Moon while Spike tries to reshelve the books. And she finally says 'please' for him to write a note to Celestia. She warns her about Nightmare Moon while Spike stumbles over some words. Cringing a bit here. We get that cool shot of a statue head turning into Nightmare Moon's head. Cool. Spike sends it by using his fire breath to burn it and the ash flies off. We also learn the Summer Sun Celebration is coming up and more Spike abuse! She's also pretty damned smug about Celestia listening to her.

He burps up a response. Celestia... tells her to stop reading dusty old books, go to Ponyville, supervise the prep for the Celebration and make some friends. We cut to them flying along and landing in our primary locale. Twilight still doesn't care about friends and says she'll obey the letter of the command, if not the spirit. Shot of Big Mac! "But the fate of Equestria does not rest on me making friends." Famous last words... They land, she is actually polite and... here comes Pinkie Pie.

Yeah, not gonna lie. There are times I love Pinkie, there are times I hate Pinkie. This is... not a time I hate her? Twilight says hi. She jumps up, gasps and runs off. Twilight snarks and they walk off to find Sweet Apple Acres and Applejack, bucking a tree and kicking the apples down. Twilight says hi and Applejack nearly shakes her leg off. Spike laughs and I laugh with him. Applejack rings up the family and we get a rather good intro of everyone there. The last three are Big Mac, Applebloom and Granny Smith, the regulars. Twilight spits out the apple, tries to move on but Applebloom flashes puppy-dog eyes. Twilight tries, but eventually relents. Heh.

We cut to her walking along with a stuffed belly. They look up and see the sky still cloudy, because rainbow Dash, the next to be introed, hasn't been doing her job. She swoops in and crashes into Twilight, sending them into a mud puddle. She laughs, but at least tries to help Twilight out. She's a jerk, but with a heart of gold. Ego the size of a small planet, mind. ;) Dash expodumps about her dream to join the Wonderbolts. Twilight turns that against her and... Dash states she can clear the sky in ten seconds flat. She then clears the sky in ten seconds flat, subverting the magic clock.

For the record, I was the first to add that to the MLP trope page. :D  Twilight is left in suitable awe. "I'd never leave Ponyville hanging." Dash says she wants to hang out while Spike laughs at Twilight. They go to Town Hall and Twilight is impressed with the decor. Spike, however, is impressed with Rarity. It's love at first sight.

Okay, the whole 'Sparity' ship? I dunno. He's a kid and she's this world's equivalent of an adult. There's draconic aging and... it's just a bit odd for me.

Anyway. Rarity sees Twilight and is aghast with Twilight's mane. She grabs her, hauls her off to Carousel Boutique and... Fashion! turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right! Twilight says she's from Canterlot and Rarity fangirls about it. She's a diva, but a good diva. :D Twilight is freaked, and while Rarity runs off for rubies she hauls flank. And finally...

Fluttershy and her bird chorus. It is adorable. Twilight startles her and they fly off while Fluttershy goes into shutdown mode. Twilight is... awkwardly adorable, too. That final squeak by Fluttershy at the end is quite cute and makes me wanna hug her. Twilight turns to leave, but Fluttershy sees Spike and goes all 'cool!' Spike gets some much-needed respect and Fluttershy is adorable. Twilight tries to run off, but Fluttershy follows and Spike tells her his life story. He says he started as a purple egg, and then continues. Twilight finally reaches Golden Oaks Library and tries to get rid of Fluttershy, knocking Spike about. Fluttershy tries to help him, but Twilight shoves her aside, turns the light on...

And PARTY! Nice brick joke with Pinkie Pie. Twilight is... not pleased. To be fair, neither would I. But Pinkie's heart is in the right place, and she's not causing property damage. Nor is Twilight actually saying to her to get out. We also get our first shot of Ditzy/Derpy/Bright eyes/Bubble Butt/Muffin Head/Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV.

...

Now I wonder if there are Cowboy Bebop ponies. Ah, well!

So, yeah. Twilight is not pleased because she needs to do research. Pinkie is... Pinkie, a motor mouth. Again, heart in right place. Twilight tries to get drunk while Pinkie gathers the Mane Six together. But it's hot sauce. Pinkie likes it on cupcakes! Hmm, there was this guy at a restaurant I worked at who used to take Tabasco sauce, mix it with rice pilaf, put it in those little coleslaw cups and basically do Tabasco sauce/rice shots with them.

We cut to Twilight and it's night. Spike comes in, lampshade on head. Twilight's pissed. I do love her 'meemeemee' in the background when Spike leaves. :D She sees the moon, repeats the prophecy and the stars begin moving. Spike invites her to Town Hall and we go there for the Summer Sun Celebration. The bird chorus sings, Mayor Mare introduces Princess Celestia and... we see the head-shaped shadow on the moon disappear. And Celestia... no shows.

Uh, oh.

"This can't be good."

Pinkie Pie tries to... keep ponies calm while Rarity announces she's gone. Hmm, forgot she was up there. A dark cloud rises up and... Nightmare Moon appears. We have a brief CMC foreshadowing while Nightmare Moon does an evil villain monologue, Dash tries a frontal attack, Pinkie Pie does a name-guessing game and Applejack, caught in the middle, tries to decide which one to kill. ;) She finally stuffs an apple into her mouth. Good call. Nightmare Moon is creepy to Fluttershy and Rarity, while down below Twilight confronts her. The ponies gasp and Nightmare Moon says that, yup, this day was their last. "The Night! Will last! Forever!" And cue thunder and lightning. And 'to be continued'.

Thoughts

Okay... it's a good sign when the worst I really can say is, 'it's a little rough due to it being the pilot'. No, seriously. This holds up quite well. Twilight is a bit of a jerk... which makes sense, since this is before friendship. I will admit I'm not fond of Spike's treatment, but that's probably because of how the next four seasons treat him. It's not something that sits well with me. Good worldbuilding already, nice, fleshed-out characters, yeah. This is still pretty damned good.

I can't promise new pics every new episode, but...

IMG_20140512_103616_zpsfbd7a74e.jpg?t=1399905651

Edited by RK_Striker_JK_5
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Looking forward to your thoughts on the next episode.

18 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Okay, the whole 'Sparity' ship? I dunno. He's a kid and she's this world's equivalent of an adult. There's draconic aging and... it's just a bit odd for me.

Shipping is an invention of the fandoms. The poor people making the cartoon couldn't have seen it coming. I think that the point was that Rarity is exceptionally beautiful, with a bit of humor about childish crushes. Though I'm way too guilt of Sparity to say that and not mention that fic writers have done good with the idea.

 

In fact, the thought occurs to me that this episode does a very good job of presenting the traditional "troupes" or even cliched characters in a good light. But that is why people like the cartoon, after all: the amazing use of it's "main characters" most of the time.

Edited by Metemponychosis
Missed a word... Duh...

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On 11/1/2016 at 7:38 PM, MasterSaruwatari said:

LOL I should get to work on mine. You guys making it tough on me. Also epic pic dude. Also I don't mess with headcanons and theories.

No need to rush. The episodes are still there. ;) Besides, I haven't even gone past season three yet. And thanks. The pictures are a little something I wanted to do to add a little extra. There's some episodes that don't have them, mind.

On 11/2/2016 at 11:32 AM, Metemponychosis said:

Looking forward to your thoughts on the next episode.

Shipping is an invention of the fandoms. The poor people making the cartoon couldn't have seen it coming. I think that the point was that Rarity is exceptionally beautiful, with a bit of humor about childish crushes. Though I'm way too guilt of Sparity to say that and not mention that fic writers have done good with the idea.

 

In fact, the thought occurs to me that this episode does a very good job of presenting the traditional "troupes" or even cliched characters in a good light. But that is why people like the cartoon, after all: the amazing use of it's "main characters" most of the time.

I'm gonna try to post a review once a day. As for 'shipping, yeah. I've seen the wars, the insanity. Thing is, if Spike was a little older/not referred to as a baby dragon all the time, I think overall I'd have little/no problem with it.

 

Anyway...

 

Friendship is Magic Part 2

Originally posted here on May 15, 2014.

After the 'previously on'... I completely forgot about the closed captions. *Turns on* Ah, much better. :)  Oh, and the intro's a separate chapter on the DVD. The things you learn! Nightmare Moon cackles while Mayor Mare sends in the redshirts Royal Guard. "Stand back, you foals!" HAH! She blasts them off, then turns to mist and flies off. Dash follows but Nightmare Moon's too fast, which kinda pleases me. ;) She spots Twilight making for the library, then cut to Twilight putting an exhausted Spike to bed and showing the little guy some compassion. Aww. She then goes for the books, but Dash butts in and accuses her of being a spy. Applejack is the voice of reason, asking how she knew what was going on. Twilight spills about the prediction and the Elements, but she's got no info about that.

And... cue Pinkie Pie looking under 'E' and finding it. Okay, score one for Pinkie Pie. "It was under E-e-E!" She reads about the Elements, listing off the known five as we pan across each pony that represents said Element. A bit too heavy-handed for me. The last known location? The Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters in...

Wipe to the Everfree Forest and the five Ponyville natives stuttering it out. Okay, not too bad. And rather good pan across to it. Pinkie Pie's all set to go in, but Twilight says no. She wants to do it on her own. Which is... pretty dumb, since she knows nothing of the Forest. Applejack once more sees reason and they all go inside. Pinkie Pie... wants caramel apples in there. Twilight's... not pleased. Inside we learn no one's been in there. According to Applejack, it's not 'natural' and things don't work the same. As she speaks, we see some familiar black smoke slipping into cracks in the cliff face they're creeping across. And Dash... is a jerk, frightening Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie with talk about how no one who's gone in has ever come out.

*Slaps Dash across the back of the head*

Then the rock face breaks and the pegasi save Pinkie Pie and Rarity. Okay, points to them. Applejack snags a root with her mouth but Twilight is about to suffer the fate of about 80% of all cars in a chase scene in a movie. Applejack lets go of the root and slides down, grabbing her by the... hooves.

Okay, remember when I said I'm about 80% a Doylist? This is one of those instances. It's artistic license and a shortcut. That's what I'm going with, here. :P

Anyway, she says to let go and to trust her. Twilight is... not enthused. Applejack reassure her and she lets go. She screams and... Dash and Fluttershy grab her! YAY! Then they almost drop her. Not yay? Turns out at this time, Fluttershy's a pretty weak pony. Don't worry. She'll get stronger. :) Applejack hops down while the smoke goes and... possesses some beast. Dash does some bragging while Twilight does not look impressed. God, I'm half-tempted to start a pre-'Boast Busted' counter for her bragging. Twilight tries being diplomatic, but suddenly, a wild manticore appears!

I think I did that right.

So... MORTAL KOMBAT! Rarity shows why she's awesome by kicking him in the face, but her manestyle is ruined! Fluttershy tries to stop them with a voice Data from Star Trek would have trouble hearing. Applejack tries riding him, but gets bucked off. And god that sounds dirty. :P Dash is... completely ineffective. She spins around him, but one carefully-placed tail sends her flying into the ground. Miss Sparkle leads a charge of the Twilight Brigade, but Fluttershy finally gets them to stop. By the by, love them pawing the ground and snorting. And we get a retelling of Androcles' Lion, thorn in paw and all. She pulls it out and he... licks her face. It's cute. :D

Okay, mild tangent and something that kinda irks me. Admittedly I haven't seen it in a bit, but... a lot of times I see manticores portrayed as evil, ravenous beasts. Except the only version we have, named Manny Roar by his mini-figure, is rather not evil or ravenous. Also, my headcanon has it that zebra use manticores as domesticated beasts, for labor and war. You are now imagining Zecora riding an armored Manny, while her enchantments enable him to breathe fire and shoot laser beams from his tail.

Oh, she didn't know about the thorn. We cut to the thorn turning into the smoke, and the darkness enveloping them while the smoke goes ahead. We get a poop joke from Applejack-seriously, we do-and then Fluttershy screams. OH, NO! All the trees have scary faces! and they're growling, too! I... forgot about that bit. Five of them are scared, but one laughs in the face of danger! She also laughs in the face of comedians. I think she laughs at tofu, too. But yeah, Pinkie Pie laughs at them and we get out first song, 'Giggle at the Ghosties'. It's a good song, with helpful 'Tell me she's not," by Twilight which made me bust a legit gut when I first heard that. She sings, gets the others to laugh and the faces disappear. For the record, it's a good song. Makes me smile.

My headcanon, Surprise, her direct ancestor, taught her that. ;)

They reach a roaring river. Pinkie wonders how they're gonna cross it. Okay, some people think that's dumb of her... but it's not. You have two fliers, one of which can't even reliably lift Twilight even with help. One slip and that's it into roaring water. Pinkie Pie, good on you. And it's...

STEVEN MAGNET THE MAGNIFICENT!!!! Gaze upon his wonder, and try not to go blind from his fabulousity! No, seriously. I love this guy. :D He's thrashing about because... some cloud of smoke came up and tore off half his mustache! *Gasp* That fiend! Forget about Eternal night! THIS is the true crime of Nightmare Moon! But, neither Dash nor Applejack are impressed? Those monsters! Rarity, though, sees his pain. She comforts him, removes a scale and...

*SLICE*

Rarity, you fiend?! How dare you... oh, she cut off her own tail to use as a makeshift mustache. Thank goodness, Equestria could not go without Steven's awesomeness. Twilight's sad because Rarity sacrificed her tail, but short tails are in! And it'll grow back. Dash butts in. "So would the mustache." Pah, you have no sense of true priorities, philistine! In gratitude, Steven lets them hop across his body to get across.

They reach the Castle, but Twilight nearly goes off a canyon edge. Again. Dash is... a bit jerky, but still funny. This time Dash flies across to repair a bridge and... sorry, but for me this is the worst trap Nightmare Moon sets up. It's the Shadowbolts. Yes, Dash. In the middle of the Everfree Forest some ponies in villain costumes want to recruit you. Sorry, sorry. this is a special 'breaks my SOD' case. Fortunately, Dash rejects them. They do an attempt at buttering her up, and Dash almost goes for it. And this is me trying to keep 'target audience' in mind. She goes for the rope, and they pull an 'it's THEM or US' routine. She says no, thank god!

Onto the Castle! Inside they rather quickly find the Elements. They get them and put them in front of Twilight. She wants to try something, and the others step back. Big mistake! The smoke pours in and swipes the Elements, but Twilight jumps into the tornado! Rarity spots weird lights from another part of the castle. We cut to the cloud, Twilight and the Elements. Nightmare Moon laughs and I think Twilight gets pissed. She snorts and paws the ground. "You're kidding, right?" Twilight charges and Nightmare Moon does the same, almost looking bored. And Twilight... tries teleport! It was super effective!

Okay, there are some video game things even I know about. ;)

She gets to the Elements, Dazed and Confused. She tries the Elements, but Nightmare Moon flies back, TKs Twilight away and the Elements... have faulty spark plugs? Nightmare Moon smashes them and Twilight dies a little inside. Suddenly, she hears the voices of her friends and inside her eyes... a spark. She figures out what the Elements really are. The shards glow and fly up as Twilight exposits about the previous scenes. Nightmare Moon says they have no sixth Element, but they do! It's the Element of... Friendship! Or magic. And they all get their necklaces and crown thingie. And we get a double Rainbow of Light! What does it mean?!

It means Nightmare Moon gets engulfed by it and then Twilight's eyes go white. They all pass out from the G1ness of it, and we see Rarity's tail has grown back! And they see their necklaces are their cutie marks. And cue the sun and Celestia! They all bow, but Twilight runs up for a neck-hug-thingie. Celestia is impressed and... we get her plan. She told Twilight to make some friends. She saw the signs of Nightmare Moon's return, and she knew Twilight could only use the Elements if she had true friendship. So off to Ponyville.

Okay, for the record, nowadays I sorta hate and loathe chessmasters and the 'Xanatos gambit' as it's known. Here... I don't mind it. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because you can't be forced to make friends. It was risky, but here I don't see much alternative. So... not too bad.

Don't worry, though. I'll be just a bit harsher later on. *Evil grin*

Anyway, she trots up to... Woona. It's Woona here. Her armor's smoking and she's scared as Celestia looms over her. And she asks if she'll accept her friendship. We also learn they're sisters... which is something we already knew and the others should've figured out. Woona accepts and we get a tearful reunion. it's heartwarming. :D And Pinkie Pie...

throws a party! It's super effective!

Ponyville's decked out, the Royal Sisters fly in on a chariot, Spike is reunited with Twilight and Woona gets white and red rose bouquets from chibi-pegasi. We see her begin to tear up, then slide over to Twilight.

Yeah... I'll be coming back to this scene for a certain season-two episode. *Evil grin again* Celestia goes to Twilight, who looks sad. Celestia... has a foreleg in the air and it looks really weird. She asks why so sad? And it turns out Twilight doesn't wanna go, now that she actually has friends!

Besides Shining Armor and Cadance, of course. :P So Celestia gives her a new assignment. Stay in Ponyville and learn all about friendship. And report her findings. No mention of any time limits, by the by. And we iris out... until Pinkie Pie says she's really excited, almost beats it and then... end credits!

Thoughts

What more can I say? This, again holds up really well. Great interaction, good action, suspense and all that. Yeah, Dash's Element Trial was weak for me, but other than that... this was awesome.

IMG_20140513_185350_zpsa4dffa92.jpg?t=1400021718

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The Ticket Master

Originally posted here on May 15th, 2014.

We open on sweet Apple Acres and twilight helping out Applejack. Aww. :) Spike is... sorting. Let's go with that. Turns out Applejack bet Big Mac she could get all the apples picked by lunch. If she wins, he wears a girdle down Stirrup Street. Wait... where is Stirrup Street?! I've never heard any speculation on that! Twilight's glad, since she's hungry. that'll be a running thread though this episode. Spike missed snack time, even! And he burps up a scroll! Okay...

"Here ye, here ye! Her grand royal highness, Princess Celestia of Equestria, is pleased to announce the Grand Galloping Gala, held in the magnificent capital city of Canterlot, on the 21st day of..." "cordially extends an invitation to Twilight Sparkle plus one guest." Okay, remember this. I'll be getting back to it. Both Applejack and Twilight are excited.

Cue opening!

Yeah, they're hopping, Spike's not impressed, but he then burps up two golden tickets. I've got... two tickets to paradise! Twilight's never been, natch. Neither has Spike. He doesn't want any girly nonsense. Applejack begins fantasizing and we get out first imagine spot. Basically, it's the planet's largest county fair. She wants to go there and sell apples. For a new plow, new barn, new hip for Granny Smith. Twilight is about to give it when Dash suddenly drops in. Literally. She crashes into Twilight.

Applejack asks where she's been and she's been... "I was busy... napping." Heh. We even see a blanket and pillow in a tree. Nice. She hears about the ticket and now she wants to to go to impress the Wonderbolts. Her imagine spot is an air show and her interrupting their performance, which even in Equestria would get you tossed out on your flank. It's a pretty... for lack of a better word, childish fantasy. She impresses them so much they ask her to join. To be fair some of her stunts are kinda cool... but that's also not how it works, as we see later on. Applejack and Dash begin arguing about it and get to hoof-wrestling contest. Twilight reminds them they're her tickets and she'll decide. They give their reasons, but she uses her hunger to get away. To be fair, neither could I.

She goes into town and is conflicted. And Pinkie Pie barrels into her for some reason. Yeah, I have no idea why either. The tickets land on her and she thinks they're bats, running around and making me genuinely laugh. God, I miss season-one Pinkie Pie. Which is kinda odd since I also like season-three Pinkie, most of season-four barring one episode and even some of season-two Pinkie. Anyway, she thinks they're specifically for her and we get her imagine spot. Which is... basically a huge amusement park/party. And she launches into 'At the Grand Galloping Gala'. Which again, is a good song. She also pins the tail on herself. It's an imagine spot. Go with it.

And then... Rarity spies the tickets. And it turns out she already designs ensembles for the Gala! Huh. Another thing I forgot. She's already got the proverbial hoof in the door, doesn't she. And her imagine spot is actually the closest to reality. As in a fancy ball. But all eyes on her, because it's her spot. And we see our first kinda glimpse of Blueblood. And my god this is straight out of a romance novel, which she probably has enough to make Twilight go, "That's too many books!" ;) And Blueblood is Celestia's nephew. Interpret that as you will. I might share my own fanon on that. "Twilight, how could you..."

And then Angel runs in and snatches the tickets. This is his 'jerk with heart of gold' phase, IIRC. And he takes them to Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie and Rarity are shunning each other in their own way, too. And then Fluttershy asks, in her own adorable way, to go. But it turns out it's not for the Gala. It's to go to the garden around the dance. And her imagine spot... naturally has nothing to do with the Gala itself. And apparently a buzzard there needs a tune-up. ;) She goes all Disney Princess with the animals, except a lot cooler. And now Dash and Applejack show up and it devolves into a huge clusterbuck. And poor Twilight is caught in the middle, literally. And I legit feel bad for her.

We come back from commercial with a Brady Bunch-styled frame of the four and Twilight yells quiet. And we get the famous, "Oatmeal, are you crazy?!" line. Yeah, no idea either. She reminds them it's her decision and she shoos them off. She'll figure it out... somehow. *Hugs Twilight* We cut to a restaurant and Twilight conflicted. she picks flower petals, then eats them. Hehe. She orders a daffodil and daisy sandwich, while Spike orders hay fries, extra crispy. But he wanted gems. Twilight's got no real clue what to do... which makes perfect sense. She's pretty damned new to this friendship thing. She even thinks to give away her ticket, but that leaves three disappointed ones. And we see the ones disappointed are... Dash, Pinkie and Rarity. Interesting.

The waiter comes back with their orders, but everyone suddenly stampedes off. We pan out and we see a rainstorm, except where Twilight's sitting. And here's where the favors come in. Dash has opened a hole in the clouds, but Twilight is not pleased.  Ad we see Dash is a bit of a hypocrite, too. "I'd' do this for anypony..." As we see who I believe to be Berry Punch running off. So Dash... zips the clouds back up.  That's a great sound effect. :D The rain falls and the sandwich and mane is ruined. Rarity sees Twilight and drags her to Carousel Boutique. She does a massive makeover, complete with power tool sound effects. And Spike is... turned into a pageboy or something? I have no idea. But not even Rarity doing it can convince him to go to the Gala! Twilight's legit impressed, but Rarity lets slip it's about the Gala. Her outfits are... not as impressive as later on, but this is the third episode of the series. Twilight chews her out and takes off the outfit. She goes to once more to get lunch and Applejack hauls her out for some grub. Yee-haw!

It's a wagon of foodstuffs. And Twilight is so tempted. But no, and this makes the decision harder. Which indicates she was leaning to Applejack. "So, that's a maybe?" Probably not, Applejack.

Twilight goes to the library and Fluttershy is really rocking the Disney Princess vibe. She's cleaning with animals and humming the theme song. She's spring cleaning... in summer. And we see Angel making a salad. Damn, two-pronged attack! Twilight says no, goes to the door and... Pinkie Pie grabs her and has a bunch of ponies tossing her into the air while singing. Or about as subtle as a Base Delta Zero. Twilight gets really pissed, but the others there overhear about the tickets and... oh, one of them says she'll paint Twilight's condo, at least according to the closed captions.

Benny Hill theme/chase for the win! Yeah, this is great. :D But they get cornered, Twilight stresses and 'ports her and Spike to the library. he's slightly singed and she didn't know she'd do that. Hmm... no. Not yet. She says to close and lock everything and... it's night? I'm calling animation/continuity error on this one. But... the others are there and she freaks. They all, to their credit, look contrite. Applejack apologizes and turns down the ticket, followed by Fluttershy, Pinkie and then Rarity. Good on them! Dash... crows and claims the ticket, which is jerky, awesome and a great little moment for her. After death glares from Fluttershy, Applejack and Spike, she backtracks. They all apologize and Twilight decides to give back the tickets. Aww. *Hugs Twilight again*

Spike sends it off, but really quickly gets a letter back. She's got tickets for everyone! And asks why she didn't say so in the first place. I will... be getting back to this in about a minute. They take Twilight to dinner, who must be starving. Spike's sad he has no ticket, but Celestia sends him one! YAY!!!! And pan up to Canterlot.

Thoughts

This is a very good episode that holds up well. Again. This has great character moments and interaction. Again. It's a stock plot, the Golden Apple. But it's pulled off really well. Twilight's indecision was... sad, because she's got no real idea what to do. As noted, half the time you just wanna hug her here.

Now then... the letter. Some people think this is some secret test for Twilight. I... no not. Let me copy/past what I transcribed:

 

"Here ye, here ye! Her grand royal highness, Princess Celestia of Equestria, is pleased to announce the Grand Galloping Gala, held in the magnificent capital city of Canterlot, on the 21st day of..." "cordially extends an invitation to Twilight Sparkle plus one guest."

 

Yeah, if this isn't a form letter I'll eat my hat. My view? Some official for the Gala has a huge stack of letter like this, got one ready for Twilight along with tickets and asked Celestia to send it. That's it. Hell, I may be misremembering, but pretty much every single invitation I've ever really received to some party or something was for me and a guest. And once Celestia got Twilight's letter she corrected the understandable oversight.

Again, there is nothing sinister here. There is, IMHO, no test or challenge. There was nothing sinister, nothing bad or anything like that. That's how I see it.

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We wants the Precious, because we loves and hates the precious!

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Applebuck Season

Originally posted here on May 15th, 2014.

We pan across Sweet Apple Acres, all the trees dotted with little dots that represent apples in the flash program. ;) Applejack and Big Mac are surveying it, but Big Mac is injured! oh, noes! He tells Applejack to get help, but she says no. He insists she's the loyalest and most dependable of ponies! ... Which doesn't actually mean much when it comes to applebucking, and she's still one pony. But that math's too fancy! Applejack... she swears to get all the apples, all by herself. We then see her swallow and perhaps have second thoughts?

Cue credits! Cue me hitting the 'skip scene' button!

Applejack gets ready, saying the apples won't fall off by themselves. And... one does. Okay, that was perfect timing. :D The ground shakes... wait, Godzilla comes out Friday! Oh, dear god in heaven Equestria is... nope. We cut to Ponyville and Dash in the air. It's a stampede of cows! I... don't think I have any toys of cows or Transformers that turn into cows! Oh, well. Everyone panics except... Pinkie Pie. She's bouncing along and okay, I laughed. :DThis makes my voice sound silly..." Dammit, season-one Pinkie Pie! Why must you be so awesome?! Twilight tells her to run while Mayor Mare... makes a speech.

Yeah, not gonna lie. I'm not a big fan of Mayor Mare. But Dash points out Applejack and the first appearance of Winona! they begin herding the cows away. Also, Pinkie Pie has popcorn. Twilight makes a face and I laugh. Again. They maneuver the herd away in a legit cool sequence. And the cows talk. With a Minnesotan accent, doncha know. Oh, and Pinkie Pie has an apple banner. Because. Turns out Mooriella, at least according to the closed captions, saw a snake. Applejack understands, but tells them to steer clear of Ponyville.

Applejack does a pose on a hill with sunlit background... even though it doesn't make sense for it to be like that. Celestia, that you? Pinkie Pie does a buck or two. And Mayor Mare and the rest decide to have a party to thank Applejack for saving the town. We do a time-skip to a week later, with the party all set up. There's even a nice banner. But on one's seen her all week. Twilight readies a speech with a lot of small index cards. I think there's a sentence each. Dash interrupts her and scatters the cards. We learn Applejack will help her with a new trick. Twilight tries again, but Pinkie interrupts with news Applejack will be helping her with running Sugarcube Corner for the first time. This... calls into question what she does there, but I'll let it slide. And it turns out... she had to think about what it had to do with Applejack. Free samples! Twilight tries again, but third time is not the charm as Fluttershy interrupts and tells everyone that Applejack will be helping with the bunny census. The official census, mind. Twilight tries one. More. Time. But then Mayor Mare interrupts, Twilight loses it, flings the cards everywhere and Mayor Mare just lost two votes.

Well, she never had mine.

We see the 'Prized Pony of Ponyville' Award. Mayor Mare introduces Applejack but... nothing. Spike goes on a tad too long. And then Applejack shows up, stumbling a bit and... damn. She is so sleep-deprived. She and Pinkie Pie look into the trophy and the abyss stares back. Twilight presents it and Applejack is out on her hooves. She drags it off and dead silence descends. She is "Tired", "dizzy" and "mess", according to Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity. Pinkie Pie says she seems fine. Twilight's worried.

We cut to Applejack and her bucking the trees. And yeah. She starts missing. Twilight spots her, and by the by, Applejack whinnying while snoring shouldn't be this cute. Yet, it is. Twilight 'ports over and asks what's going on. Applejack exposits that this is harvesting time, and that Big Mac is injured. And...

Twilight asks about the relatives she saw when she first came to Ponyville, but they were just here for the reunion. They've got their own work. So that means...

WE HAVE A CLOSED PLOT HOLE, PEOPLE! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! *Goes and hides under the laundry hamper* Save yourself!!!!!

Okay, seriously? That's awesome. They didn't have to explain that, but they did. Show, kudos. You earned them.

Anyway, Applejack tries to tell twilight to go away, but Twilight notes how insanely overtired she is. She's now missing the trees. Twilight offers help, but Applejack refuses and is now punch drunk. We fade to Dash standing on top of a fence post. Applejack comes over to help with the trick. We see a seesaw and a diving tower next to it. Dash is gonna stand on one end of it, and Applejack will dive off of the tower to launch Dash into the air for added speed. She'll do all sorts of flips and spins, with helpful John Madden drawings over the sky.

Ah, remember the days she needed this sort of help?

Applejack points out the danger, but to Dash's credit she reminds her she can fly. Applejack gets up there. And we have a montage of her missing. Dash is miffed, and Applejack presses down on her end. She lets go, but Dash wasn't aware and gets knocked for a mild loop. Applejack climbs up, Dash isn't ready and...

Godspeed, John Glenn!

We cut to Twilight sitting in the most adorable manner and using the tip of her nose to turn the page. The cutes, they kill! Dash crashes there and Twilight figures it's Applejack. Back at Sweet Apple Acres and Applejack gives herself a mild concussion from hitting a branch. As someone who's hit his head a not-small number of times, she has my sympathy and hugs. Her hearing gets all shot. Apparently bees might be able to squawk, she also grows beans and celery, and there's a zoo nearby. God, this is funny, but due to RL experience a bit wince-inducing. Oh, and she doesn't like seaweed. But she knows what kelp is. And she knocks herself even sillier than G1 Applejack.

She refuses Twilight's help and we see the Cakes'! Their names are Carrot and Cup Cake, for the record. And Carrot Cake has a lantern jaw of extreme justice! They're a bit nervous about leaving Pinkie Pie in charge. Oh, come on. What's the worst that can happen? *Evil smile* Pinkie Pie points out she's got Applejack for help. They head for the kitchen and it's time for the infamous Baked Bads. Man, Pinkie Pie through Applejack-vision is even weirder than normal. So, we have potato chips, soda pop, lemons, and... earthworms. Pinkie Pie, don't pull a Twilight Sparkle. look to your right, for Megan's sake! Ugh...

So they're giving out the muffins. Ditzy's there and says her famous 'muffins!' line. And my stomach is churning at the moment. Did I mention I have a Bachelor's in Culinary Arts? Because ye gods. *Shudder* Twilight shows up to an emergency tent with Nurse Redheart and we see a bunch of sick ponies. Redhearts says it was a mishap. "No, not baked goods. Baked bads." And methinks Equestrian equines can vomit. Spike picks one up, eats it and my headcanon is he has no taste buds/a carbon neutronium-lined stomach.

Do you guys wanna hear my headcanon with stuff?[/legit]

Twilight realizes it's Applejack and she gets stuck, and falls asleep. Twilight confronts her and Applejack is... dear god it's pathetic. she tries bucking another empty tree. Applejack is just plain hardheaded. And she's as stubborn as a mule. No offense. None taken! We go to the final task, the bunny census. Fluttershy asks for the bunnies to be treated gently, but Applejack and Winona go all psycho on them. They get all corralled into the center, get scared and then burst free. We get a repeat of the cows, except bunnies. And no Applejack to stop them. It's the cutest Night of the Lupus ever! Lily faints. I think. May be another of the Flower Trio. Twilight and Spike arrive and we see all three of them. "The horror, the horror!" Twilight doesn't get it. Don't worry. Neither do I. Well, okay. their gardens and flowers were all eaten. And we see the bunnies and poor Fluttershy trying to stop them. Twilight is pissed.

Back to Sweet Apple Acres. Twilight confronts her with some impressive alliteration. But Applejack is finished! She's bucked the entire crop. Except... Big Mac points out approximately half of the trees not even touched. Applejack loses it and faints. And she sees reason, saying she'll accept help. Twilight is relieved. And so am I.

A-Team montage of the harvesting! Fluttershy stares up at the trees and the apples fall by themselves. Stare .5 Beta version? Applejack gives them juice and her thanks. She apologizes, and it's nice. And Spike has the Baked Bads. He fished them out of the trash. Ugh!

Thoughts

Well, our first focus episode! And it's on Applejack. It's very interesting that they show her strengths, but also how they can be her weaknesses. She's loyal and dependable, but has trouble asking for help. I like them explaining about the family seen in the pilot. They didn't have to do that, but they did. Good on them. A number of laughs, some cringing in the right places, too. Not much more I think I can say on this.

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First off, a little mood music...

 

 

EXCELLENT!!!! *Flashes devil horns*

Griffin the Brush-Off

 

First posted here on May 18th, 2014.

We open with Pinkie... having a spazz attack. No, she's describing some stunt Dash did.Twilight is ignoring her, reading a book. Smart, Twilight. Some people think this describes the events of 'Sonic Rainboom. I do not because for me, unless there's firm evidence, I take episodes in order as aired. And she falls back. And I laugh. She spots Dash and gives chase, much to Twilight's relief. Dash spots her and is most perturbed. She flies off, but Pinkie gives chase. Dash... I'm right there with you. And she flies into a mountain. Which is what Pinkie Pie was trying to warn her about. Cue sad trombone!

Then cue opening credits, then cue the 'skip' button! Wait, where'd the mountain come from?! Back to thew show and Pinkie's bouncing along. Dash is napping, and stuffs clouds into her ears. As someone who has problems with wax buildup so I have to go get them literally hosed out every three months, this makes me cringe a bit. She now burrows into the cloud. Twilight points her out and Dash zooms off while Pinkie Pie is pewtastic. It's a sight gag here, folks. Funny, though. Wash, rinse and repeat for a bit. Fortunately they cut it out before it gets old. Dash gives up and it turns out Pinkie needs a favor. It'll be fun!

We cut to Pinkie Pie directing Dash to move a cloud in front of City Hall . How do you move it leftish while staying righty? The world will never know. Now up and down. Dash loses it, and Pinkie gets the hint. Oh, Pinkie Pie. Why couldn't you get the hint more often in later seasons? Inside we see Spike getting scrolls and humming the theme. Pinkie signals, Dash kicks the cloud, Spike gets scared and begins hiccuping! Both mares laugh and... I gotta chuckle, too. Spike takes it in good humor, and then begins belching green flame. They ask if he's hurt, but he's not. So they laugh some more while he sends scrolls to Celestia. She gets buried and I laugh. Dash kicks the cloud and now Pinkie gets hiccups. She takes it in good stride and the two bond over pranking.

We also learn Dash thought Pinkie was annoying, which drives my headcanon that before Twilight, some of the Mane Six might've been friends, but not all of them. Hell, it's my opinion that Applejack and Rarity outright detested each other. They hang out as the hiccups propel Pinkie. We have a brief montage of them doing pranks. A bouquet of flowers for rarity, laced with sneezing powder. Backfires on Pinkie, though. Invisible ink on Twilight! And... somehow she heard them way outdoors through a closed window. I must remember that for the next episode... Over to Sweet Apple Acres and it's Zap Apple season! No, it's apples painted with water-soluble paint. And then...

To Fluttershy, and a squirting turtle. Except Pinkie says no. She's too sensitive. And Dash gets it. Remember this for next season, folks! It's gonna hurt like hell. ANyway, Dash thinks they need a new victim. Pinkie's got one in mind as Dash gets the old 'soot around the eye' gag. We also see Fluttershy playing with the toy and just being all, "Huh?"

You know, normally I'm not too fond of pranks, but these ones aren't too bad. They're pretty much harmless, and when they backfire the prankers can laugh at themselves. Good show! And good, show.

The next morning Pinkie is all pranked-out. Weird glasses, arrow-through-skull cap and a noisemaker. She goes to Dash's house, and I think this is the first we see of her palatial estate. Seriously, thing looks awesome! But...

Gilda rears her head as we get a guitar string.

DUUUUUUDEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! like totally gnarly, man! Dash introduces her, and Gilda is a bit standoffish already. Pinkie asks what a griffin is, and it's the classic eagle/lion mixture. And she's 'all awesome'. Oh, this is so 90's Toad the Wet Sprocket's gonna reform. Or maybe Frog the Dry Widget? They do a hoof/claw bump and we learn they met in Junior Speedster Flight Camp. Dash talks her into doing the speedsters chant, and it's a legit cute moment. Gilda thinks it's lame, but, "Only for you, Dash." Gilda's a bit... not too enthused.

Pinkie somehow gets her gear, which had fallen off, back on by hitting it with her head. Okay... Gilda likes pranks, but she said Dash promised her a flight and they fly off, leaving Pinkie in the dust. It's... kinda sad for her, but at the same time old childhood friend who, as of now, hasn't shown any of her future nastiness. We cut to the pair zooming around and having fun. And then... Pinkie's on a trampoline, flying up into the cloudbank they're on. She's so random! Gilda goads Dash into a race away from Pinkie. But she's got balloons! And she floats over. And we all float on okay, and we all float on anyway! Gilda's getting steamed. And honestly... I'm kinda on her side.

Not because it's Pinkie, but seeing an old friend after a long time and no real clue when she'll see her again? Then again she could 'share' Dash, for lack of a better term and let Pinkie hang out. I dunno. But, "Last one to that cloud up there is a gnarly dragon egg." Oh, Nineties Kid! She's the one for you! She lets Dash fly off and then... pops the balloons! Okay, Gilda? NOT COOL! A simple talk would've sufficed. And then Pinkie... has a gyrocopter. I own the toy this is based off of, actually. Well, sort of based off of. And no, I don't think Pinkie has one 'because she's Pinkie Pie'. :P Gilda asks Dash if she's got any new moves in her 'tricktionary' or if she's '100% old school'. And dear lord I must now put on a baseball hat backwards and cross my arms while leaning back. And no, I can't take a picture of it at the moment. Dash takes off and Gilda finally chews Pinkie out. But it's pretty damned harsh. It's not, "This is an old friend and I wanna hang with her!" It's, "You're a loser and I'm infinitely cooler than you!" She sends the copter into a spin and I am booing. More guitar riffs.

At Golden Oaks, Twilight is doubtful. We also learn Pinkie's never met a griffin... yet is a lot more accepting of her than Zecora. Not adding up, folks. Twilight thinks Pinkie's jealous. "Pink with envy", according to Spike. Twilight says that Pinkie might have to improve her attitude and... mark this down, I think she's wrong and Pinkie, while butting in a bit too much, wasn't acting too much in the wrong. Admittedly I have my omniscient-viewer's thing going on, so mileage varies. But Pinkie... storms off. She walks off, but actually reflects and thinks that she might be in the wrong!

Good lord, Pinkie Pie! You're being mature, thoughtful of others and reflective! I just... where did you go?

At main Street, or I think of it as Main Street, the two fly in. Dash has some work to do and tells Gilda to hang out. And we get this semi-infamous scene. Gilda decides to chow down. And she... uses her tail to prank Granny Smith into thinking it's a rattler. Pinkie Pie gets that this sort of joke wasn't funny. She tries to handwave it, though. Then Gilda commits what I believe to be petty larceny by stealing an apple. Hmm, not sure if it's a misdemeanor or felony. Pinkie Pie... tries to pass it off as she'll give it back. After eating it. Head. meet desk. And now...

We see Fluttershy escorting a duck family through the street. Gilda, seeing the group in full view walks right into her. Oh, fuck you, Gilda. Fuck. You. And Fluttershy runs off, crying. And I am pissed. Pinkie decides Gilda needs extreme measure, Pinkie Pie Style!

So she... throws a party for her. Twilight asks Fluttershy what Gilda's like, and Fluttershy's repressed rage gets more repressed. She asks Pinkie if it's a good idea, and we learn that Fluttershy's a year older than her. Gilda arrives and Pinkie hope she'll feel welcome. And we get a joy buzzer gag. I have... never actually been subject to one of those, thank goodness. Gilda's about to snap, but Dash thinks it's a riot, so Gilda joins in. Gilda threatens Pinkie, but Pinkie... doesn't get it too well. They cheer Gilda on and...

Lemon drops, except they're spicy enough to roast marshmallows on. So punch... except it's a dribble glass that gets all over her feathers. Gilda's not too pleased. Dash points out presents and it's snakes in a can! I am sick of these motherbucking snakes in this motherbucking can!

You knew I was going there. You. Knew. :D

Gilda blames Pinkie, but it wasn't. Now for the cake. Gilda tries blowing out the candles, but they're trick candles. This one I have had played on me. Pinkie is... really playing it up and being so fake oblivious it kinda hurts. Spike has also tunneled his way through the cake. Dash, methinks, sees that Gilda's a bit upset. And Gilda pulls Pinkie through the cake and is semi-strangling her. She says she's watching her like a hawk. "Can't you watch me like a griffin?" And Applejack has 'pin the tail on the pony' game. She's blindfolded, spun around and Pinkie tries to help her. But Gilda says no way, walks in the opposite direction, slips on some cake and slides into a door.

Okay, I'm not fond of Gilda, and she's a pretty big jerk, but this is getting ridiculous.

Pinkie says she pinned the tail on the wrong end and Gilda loses it. She roars and chews everyone out. They're all lame and losers, with weak pranks. Except Dash. She tells Dash they're leaving, but it turns out it was Dash who set up all the pranks. Ooh, not good. Gilda trys backtracking and Dash isn't pleased. And it turns out Pinkie set up the party to improve her attitude. Dash gives her the riot act and I am... feeling kinda sorry for Gilda. Dash didn't think this was how her old friend would treat her new friends. She says Gilda should go find some new friends, and Gilda bails. She says for Dash to give her a call. Existence of phones!

Dash apologizes. She didn't know she'd be so rude, and apologizes to Pinkie Pie. Then they both shake and buzz each other. We get the moral and even Twilight apologizes. They continue the party while Twilight does a Captain's Log with her friendship lesson, and it turns out someone slipped Celestia some disappearing ink. Hah! :D Or... maybe that's from Celestia's private prank pile? :P

Thoughts

Ah, Gilda. It's weird. On the one hand, with little prodding, she's a Grade-Z asshole. Witness her in Main Street, or with Pinkie earlier. Now... here's the thing. Yes, Pinkie was being a bit pushy, but Gilda, instead of explaining herself, insulted Pinkie and tried to cause grievous bodily harm. The way Pinkie was acting, if Gilda had said, "I understand you're her friend, but I don't know when I'll be by this way again. Could you please give us some space?" I think Pinkie would've left her alone. I really, really do.

But the party... *Sigh* Gilda gets five pranks in a row and then slides into a door. She's humiliated at this party and I honestly can't blame her too much for lashing out. But then she blows off her lifelong friend and it's just very uneasy.

In the end I actually feel a bit sorry for Gilda. Yes, she's a massive jerkass who commits petty crimes, but in the end because of a misunderstanding she loses a lifelong friend.

Gilda is a griffin. We later learn that she's not an asshole because she's a griffin, but she's an asshole because she's Gilda. My own headcanon concerning griffins is formed by the Hasbroverse, my own extremely tiny corner of the fandom. ;) In it, there's a sizeable griffin population living in Equestria, but a larger Griffin Empire to the north. This was formed before any maps, mind. ;)

Also, I believe Rainbow Dash eats jerky and gained a liking of it through Gilda. And none of her friends are weirded out by it.

Tomorrow is the first really 'controversial' episode of the show, Boast Busters. For the record, I've seen this episode about 30 times or so. Spoilers-I side with Trixie and would love to shout, "Down in front!" to those rude jerks. And I don't think anything's changing my mind on that.

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*Readies bomb shelter* This one isn't gonna be pretty...

Okay, it's time to make the music, it's time to light the light. It's time to raise the curtain on the Trixie Show tonight!

But one thing first...

WARNING!

I've seen Boast Busters close to thirty times or so. My view on things... really isn't gonna change, and will probably be solidified by this review. If you see it differently, that's fine. I shall agree to disagree with you if you do. But pretty much barring an act of Primus, there's little anyone's gonna say to change my mind. So please keep this in mind, alright?

Here we go!

*****

 

Originally posted here on May 19th, 2014.

Spike is cheering Twilight on! She tries a spell and... mustache. Or growing magic, her twenty-fifth trick. She looks a bit embarrassed. Aww. Spike thinks it's the best. And he begins fantasizing about Rarity. Natch. Twilight takes it away and name-drops Romeo! Oh, and captions, it's Romeo. So it's either proof of human contact... or something the writers threw in because kids would be familiar with it. YOU make the call!

Skip past the credits, my darling!

We're back, and outside. Spike is... bragging about Twilight's tricks. Hmm. We also learn that unicorns normally have only a little magic that matches their special talent. So Twilight's an outlier. And if it's for singing or math, that makes sense. But Twilight's special talent is actually magic. Twilight brushes off Spike's praise, but he's insistent. And... the Thompson Twits run by. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Snips and Snails. They'll be screwing up big-time later on and earning my ire. Snails gets partially redeemed for being Raindrops' younger sister in the Lunaverse, but Snips can dunk his head into a bath of acid. They grab Spike and run off. There's a new unicorn in town! And 'they' say she's got more magical power than anyone in Equestria. Wait, who the hell is 'they'? Twilight comes up short and asks them really? Hmm, jealous, Twilight? Spike sticks up for Twilight and they run off.

Okay...

Timestamp 2:18. We're in the town square. Trixie's voice comes over. "Come one, come all! Come and witness the amazing magic of the Great and Powerful Trixie!"

Timestamp 2:28 she appears and the crowd oohs. The Main characters, I will note, are all in front. And I mean about two-three feet from the stage.

Timestamp 2:32 "Watch in awe as the Great and Powerful Trixie performs the most spectacular feats of magic ever witnessed by pony eyes!" Fireworks go off. She ends her speech about 2:42. And at 2:44...

Rarity. "My, my, my, what boasting."

What? That... really wasn't boasting. Advertising for a show, perhaps. You want boasting? Try PT Barnum and Bailey's. "Greatest show on Earth!" or... almost every action movie or concert or wrestling show I've ever seen being advertised. Spike begins to stick up for Twilight, but remembers he doesn't have his mustache. Romance for another day!

Twilight asks if there's nothing wrong with being talented. Applejack says no, except when someone's showing it off like a school filly with fancy ribbons. You know, like rodeos, Iron Pony competitions, Running of the Leaves... Oh, and by the by? Over Applejack's shoulder we see Trixie performing a magic trick. So she's got a show. Rarity chimes in that having a lot of magical ability doesn't make one better than the rest of them. What the hell this has to do with the show I have no friggin' clue. And Dash chimes in that they've already got her being better than the rest of them. One glare from Applejack and then...

3:18. "Magic, shmagic, boo!'

So... One minute since Trixie's first voice over, and about thirty-six seconds since her show began. And she's being heckled. And those three were being loud right in front of her stage for the entirety of her act so far.

Trixie's a bit miffed. So am I! "Well, well, well. It seems we have some neigh-sayers in the audience!" Yeah, she heard them before Dash's outright heckling. She asks who's so ignorant to challenge the most magical pony in all of Equestria? Okay, even taking into account the stage that's a little bit much. Rarity asks who she thinks she is. Spike pipes up, but Twilight hushes him up and shoves him away. He asks what the problem is. Twilight points out how they reacted to Trixie. She doesn't want anyone to think she's a showoff. Twilight, considering how Trixie's treated later on, you have a point...

Fireworks go off. And Dash flies right up in Trixie's face. if I was Trixie I'd be calling for the police by this point! And no, I do not care if they're the Elements of Harmony. And Dash asks what makes her so awesome. And Trixie... does the Ursa lie. She says she banished an Ursa Major! And we get a neat light-and-sound show of her 'vanquishing' an Ursa Minor. She drove it from Hoofington and banished back to the Everfree Forest.

Okay, this bit I go back and forth on. A lot of people do. If Trixie couched as a tall tale or something, then fine. But saying she did it has me leaning a bit more to 'not too cool'. It's an iffy. snips and Snails pipe up that she's the most powerful of all Equestria. Spike tries again, but Twilight 'ports a zipper onto her and shuts him up. As the front row glares at her Trixie lays out her challenge. "Anything you can do I can do better." The crowd is silent... and I'll get back to the 'challenge', because for me there's more than meets the eye. Spike begs Twilight... because she's unbearable.

Spike, if you don't like the show... WALK AWAY FROM IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, it's an open-air venue! I don't recall seeing anyone pay for admission! So... walk away! Good friggin' lord, man! Same with the rest of the Mane... Three. Twilight turns him down, but then Trixie directly challenges Twilight. "How about... YOU!"

FOUL! That is not cool, at all. Trixie, you did wrong there. I do not like Trixie challenging Twilight like that. I'll defend a lot of her other actions, but this? Twilight didn't do anything to you, Trixie. That's on your pretty, cute head, here.

But then she turns to Applejack. "What about you, little hayseed?" hmm, one of the ones badmouthing her. Applejack takes up the challenge, which I think was planned. She hops on stage and does some impressive rope tricks, lassoing an apple and eating it. Trixie does something with the rope to hypnotize Applejack, ties her up and stuff an apple into her mouth. The crowd cheers for Trixie. And you know what? So do I. And I don't think I'm supposed to cheer for her. Dash flies up to her. There's no need to go strutting around. That's Dash's job!

*Slams down manual for the position of 'Ponyville Weather Manager'* Show me. It's not there? Thought so. She flies off, turns a windmill, flies through a row of clouds, poses in front of the sun for dramatic backlighting, then flies through the clouds again, gathering water, flies around the windmill again and lands on the stage. "They don't call me Rainbow and Dash for nothing." No, they call you that because it's your name. They cheer for her, then Trixie... manipulates the rainbow itself to spin Dash around and drop her onto the ground.

Okay... that's damned impressive, seeing this isn't some weather factory rainbow! Holy shit! She then summons a friggin' thundercloud and zaps Dash with lightning. Okay... barring Rarity's use of weather magic in 'Magical Mystery Cure', anyone else see any unicorns doing weather magic?[/legit] That's damned awesome! And again, the crowd cheers Trixie on. And again I cheer her on.

Spike tries to give massive hints to Twilight to step up. Dash and Applejack agree they need a unicorn to give Trixie a good whatfor. Twilight hesitates... and Rarity, the one who pretty much started this whole fiasco, butts in. She... takes their hint, but 'Rarity' is above such nonsense. Okay, interesting choice of words, there. She conducts herself with beauty and grace. Again, right in front of the stage.

Trixie taunts her and calls her mane a 'rat's nest'. Not too cool, but Rarity gets on stage and... rips down one of Trixie's curtains and turns it into a dress! That would be, what, vandalism, destruction of private property? Again. Call the police! So when Trixie turns her hair green and makes rat tails in it... I am again cheering Trixie on as Rarity pulls a Jack Nicholson as the Joker. She runs off, past Carrot Top with green hair. Only time, too.

By now Spike's constant "Show her what you're made of!" is getting a bit irritating. Trixie picks up on their conversation and again foul for the Great One. Twilight runs off, and it's pretty embarrassing for her. She thinks she hears her laundry calling. Trixie crows, and the thing is... I am again mostly on her side. The crowd disperses.

Okay, getting back to 'anything you can do, I can do better.' Did she do them 'better'? No. Did she drive them off, wowing the audience? Yeah. Seems to me that the goal was to drive off the hecklers. And it also worked.

We cut to Trixie at her trailer, all closed up. Snips and Snails arrive with a smoothie, extra hay. Trixie sips it, then sends them off, rather rudely. Yeah, she's a bit of a jerk. No denying that. They walk off and run into Spike. He asks how they can fall for her 'lameness'. Gilda, is that you?! "She's just a showoff, unlike Twilight-"Spike, okay. We get it. Snips butts in about the Ursa Major, and...

"The proof is in the pudding!"

Snails thinks of pudding... and now I'm a bit peckish. Darn you, show!

"Look, unless an Ursa Major comes waltzing up the street for Trixie to vanquish, I am not gonna believe a word she says, and neither should you." So Snips... gets the idea to get an Ursa Major. Thanks, Spike! But before that...

"Snails, you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Why is it they call it a flea market when they don't really sell fleas?"

I miss you, Pinkie and the Brain.

So they go off and we fade to Spike in Golden Oaks with Twilight. Spike prods her some more and Twilight refuses. Wash, rinse and repeat. "I run the risk of losing them as friends." Considering how they treated Trixie... I get her fears. Spike says she'd be using her magic to stick up for her friends... who started the whole thing in the first place. She says no. Again. And she makes a door in front of Spike, who walks through it. Okay, good gag. :D Spike finally gets part of a hint and closes the door... then opens it and walks off.

In the Everfree, Tweedledumb and Tweedle-no synapse function are walking through. And a cockatrice jumps out and freezes them! Wait, 'Stare Master'? Dammit! They enter a cave and it gets dark. Snails tries to light his horn, with a rather funny engine noise. No comments about technology, please. This review's gonna be controversial enough. :P He lights it up and we see... it, a bear made of sky and stars. It growls and they high-tail it outta there!

Back from commercial and Spike is kicking a rock along with rather somber music playing. Snips and Snails run past. "Can't talk now!" "Got a Major problem!" "Ursa Major to be exact!" And the thing roars and Spike runs for Twilight. The two morons run to Trixie's trailer and wake her up. And then...

She sees the Ursa, gets scared, runs off and her trailer is crushed by a foreleg the approximate size of it. That... I don't give a damn. She did NOT deserve that. Spike finds Twilight, who by now is as irked as I am. Spike tries to tell ehr, but the audible roar lets her know horse apples are about to get real!

We cut to Trixie, Snips and Snails. The two idiots tell her they brought it here and for her to vanquish it. And...

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For the record, alley to her left and break in the alley behind her. Yes, she can escape and leave these two to her fate. But no. And this is where she becomes my favorite character. She fights it. She doesn't have to. She can escape, or lay down and cry,or run around and panic or a dozen other things, but she gives it an honest go. First the ropes, but only around the bear's fingers. She then tries for the lightning, which leaves a fairly sizable scorch mark on its back.

"Well, that was a dud." Fuck you, Snails. Just... fuck you.

Snips asks where the cool explosions and smoke is, and the bear roars. They run off through his legs and the entire town wakes up. Finally! Ponies stand around in terror as the bear takes a chunk out of a roof. A crowd runs away while Twilight with Spike on back run to it. They find The doubledumb twins who gleefully admit to bringing the bear to town. I have to kill these two in the Hasbroverse. I just... god. And Trixie... hangs her head and admits she can't vanquish it. She made the whole thing up to make her look better.

The thing towers over a building and we get Dash's, Rarity's and Applejack's sole contribution to the fight...

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*Sigh* I told myself I wouldn't do image captures this time around!

So Twilight steps up and we get her being badass. She stirs up wind that blows through reeds for soothing music, to calm the beast. It's number sixteen, apparently. Her horn goes Super Saiyan and the water tower's tank floats up and empties itself. It flies into a barn and she milks a bunch of cows for milk. That's a new one, apparently. She brings it to the bear, who almost tumbles onto Trixie, but thankfully Twilight saves her. The ground beneath Twilight is cratering, by the by. She lifts it up, floats the MacGyvered milk bottle over to it and sends it home. We see the other ponies seeing her doing it.

Twilight powers down and is cheered. They sing her praises, but she asks them to not hate her. Aww. *Hugs* She points out how much they hated Trixie's bragging and...

"Magic's got nothing to do with it. Trixie's just a loudmouth."

"Most unpleasant."

"All hat, no cattle."

Twilight asks if they don't mind her magic tricks, and Applejack points out that magic's a part of who you are. And they like who she is.

And I call you three hypocritical assholes. Magic's a part of who Trixie is. Not to mention you three did NOTHING against the Ursa Major. Trixie at least gave it an honest effort when she could've skipped out and left the town to possibly die! So the stranger in town one day does more than the granddaughter of the town's founder, another lifelong resident and the Element of Loyalty. Screw. You.

They continuing sucking up-I mean, singing her praises. ;) I kid, I kid! Spike asks how she knew what to do with the Ursa Major. She was studying up on it, and it turns out that... was an Ursa Minor. And it wasn't rampaging, but cranky because two idiots woke it up. They get glared at, even by Ditzy. Bad morons, bad! Spike asks what an Ursa Major is and Twilight says you don't wanna know. We cut to the cave and...

Holy crap, it's a kaiju!

Trixie tries to save a bit of face by saying Twilight may have vanquished an Ursa Minor, but she won't ever have the amazing show-stopping ability of the Great and Powerful Trixie! And... red card on Trixie, sorta. Rude to Twilight, yeah. She drops a smoke bomb and runs off. And I want to take her in and give her a place to live at this point. Dash chases after her, but Twilight calls her off. "Maybe some day she'll learn her lesson." Wait, what? What lesson, don't put on a show in Ponyville? If ponies talk loudly, rudely and heckle you during your show just let them do it? Let the giant bear eat you?! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snips and Snails try sneaking off, but Twilight stops them. They apologize and say they wanted to see some awesome magic. They start sucking up to Twilight. Asses. ANd Twilight says... they can 'clean up this mess'. Oh, Twilight! That was Trixie's home, for god's sake! Up until now you were pretty much the only one who hadn't done anything really wrong! But this, and the comment about learning a lesson... ugh. Let's put this to bed.

She gives them mustaches as 'punishment' for bringing in a mini-kaiju and almost getting the town destroyed. Spike gets one, too. Hah, hah? Except they like it so it's not a punishment. She writes to Celestia that it's okay to show off your talents and be proud of who you are. She also admits that she's the most talented unicorn in Ponyville. "But it's nothing to brag about." Also turns out Rarity didn't go for the mustache. She suggests to be yourself. Spike wants a beard! A Fu Manchu! And.. credits.

Thoughts.

Okay, I gotta admit. I was this close to simply deleting this entire thing and saying 'buck it'. I can already hear the baying for my blood with this review. Which is actually a familiar sound for me in RL. But... no. So, what are my thoughts?

Boast Busters is the first really 'controversial' episode, and looking above, you can see why. Oh, this one pings back and forth for me. On the one hand, it introduces my favorite character of the show, Trixie. Hell, she's third overall for the entire franchise, behind Wind Whistler and Megan from G1. On the other... it introduces Trixie, who is a goddamned minefield in and of herself in the fandom.

My thoughts are not that complex, but hard for me to put into words. I'm not too good at being succinct with this, sorry. As brief as I can be? Well... I take her side the vast majority of the episode. Is she flawless? No, god no. Her direct challenging of Twilight twice were big no-nos for me. She was also a bit of a jerk to Snips and Snails when they brought her the smoothie. And running off instead of thanking Twilight also doesn't sit right for me. The Ursa lie, I lean to 'no' for that. Yes, an entertainer's supposed to tell stories... but making it about herself nudges it into 'wrong' for me.

But... here's the thing for me and a lot of her fans. She got screwed here. She really did. The wrongs she did are pretty small compared to how she was initially treated and how she ended up. Yeah, she's a jerk. Every member of the Mane Six and Spike as well have been jerks! Seriously, if you didn't like the opening minute of her show, walk away!!! Do not badmouth her, then openly heckle her, you jerks. The big thing is those three are pretty big hypocrites when it comes to 'bragging'. Applejack brags about her apples and athletic prowess. Rarity puts on a massive fashion show in a few episodes and talks big about her fashion. And Dash... is Dash. If it was Fluttershy and/or Pinkie Pie, then maybe they could've gotten away with it. But no. Pot, this is kettle. You're black! And at the end, when they did nothing against the Ursa but mocked Trixie gets my blood boiling every time. She made an honest effort, while they did nothing but shake in their horseshoes. Bad form!

 

The challenges? No, she didn't do them better. But she did show up three rude ponies and entertain the crowd, which cheered her on. I think that was her goal. I also think the rest of the crowd was a lot smarter than the Mane... Three?

Spike is... I can see his side, but as a viewer his constant one-note trying to get Twilight to challenge Trixie got old and tiring. Yes, we get it! I should note it was his suggestion that got those two idiots to get the damned Ursa! I would have Trixie be... third-hand at worst for that.

Seriously, if someone says, "I feel strong enough to wrestle a bear!" and someone gets a bear for them to wrestle, I'm putting my blame on the one who got the bear.

And now we come to Snips and Snails. All I can say is... they suck. They're morons and I really don't like them.

To put it in Trope terms, this episode is a near textbook case of Protagonist-centered morality, with heaping side orders of Disproportionate Retribution and Designated Antagonist.

And... I think that's it. And wow this thing is a lot longer than I thought. And I can already hear people either saying I wasn't hard enough on Trixie, or too hard on her. My final thoughts on the episode... I like her, and with one partial exception I didn't like the main characters here. And that's not really good writing IMHO.

Now, then. As you all sharpen your knives and ready to point out massive flaws in everything I just wrote, I am going to simply say this. I respect your opinion here. If you like Trixie, fine. If you don't like Trixie, fine. These are my thoughts on this episode. It's kinda late here in NH and I have had a long work week. Tomorrow is Dragonshy and I have to decide if I want a pic of Fluttershy staring down my Transmetal II Beast Wars Megatron or her leading a small army of Grimlock toys.

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Hmm, I feel like I'm talking to myself... :(

 

Are you ready for da cutest widdle dragonslayer evah?! Well, sit tight, because...

Dragonshy

 

Originally posted here on May 20th, 2014.

We open with Fluttershy feeding her animals. First thing is she tosses dead fish to ferrets under the bridge. And some people somehow think she'd be horrified by human diets. Right... Oh, and worms to baby birds. Angel is a jerk and refuses to eat his carrot. *Slaps Angel upside the head* He runs off, and then kicks the carrot away. But then he begins a pantomine routine. Fluttershy spots a huge trail of smoke in the sky, and Angel tosses the carrot at her head. I toss a book at his body. And hit him.

Skip the credits, then skip a rock over a lake.

In Ponyville Fluttershy asks for help in a very soft voice. Dash dashes by, startling her as she attempts the ball-bouncing record. Pinkie Pie plans a party for the record and begins counting. And we see Lyra and a meme is launched. She messes up the tally and Fluttershy is not getting through to anyone. Then Twilight shouts and they all pay attention to her. Turns out the smoke is over all of Equestria! And now they notice. I believe the term is 'fail a spot check'. Twilight got a letter from Princess Celestia. It's not from a fire, which is good! It's coming from a dragon, which is bad.

We cut to Golden Oaks and Applejack asking what a dragon's doing in Equestria. He is... taking a nap. I'll get him a pillow and blankie. Rarity asks what they're meant to do about it, which is a question I ask  as well. There is the Royal Guard. At this point sending Twilight and her friends is pretty damned risky in a BAD way. At this point they went into a Forest, encountered some... semi-tame obstacles and beat Nightmare Moon with the power of friendship. Anyway, Dash says they'll give him the boot, setting up her characterization for the episode. She almost kicks over one of those horse head statues, almost flies into it and crashes against a wall. Ah, so this is why I don't take her seriously! Twilight tells her they need to 'encourage' him to go nap somewhere else. Celestia's given us the mission. Again why them? And 'they're the main characters' doesn't cut it too well with me. We also get an early hint of Twilight's need for Celestia's approval. And Dash salutes in the background.

Twilight tells them to go gather supplies. Dash pumps them up. They go off to get ready all set to a tune very similar to the A-Team's theme.

"In 972 a crack friendship unit was sent to Tartarus by a royal court for a crime they didn't commit. These mares promptly escaped from a maximum-security stable to the Las pegasus underground. Today, still wanted by Canterlot, they survive as soldiers of friendship. If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... the Mane-Team!"

*Ahem* Sorry about that. A bit off the cuff for me, there. Dash smears rainbow gunk under her eyes. Big Mac, still suffering from his injury, heft a carton of supplies onto Applejack's back. Pinkie Pops out with party streamers. She giggles, then growls. Rarity readies an army helmet, but passes a mirror, decides against function and goes with a summer hat with a camo pattern. And Fluttershy leaves with an American football helmet, a chest pad and... what appear to be waders over her legs. She's scared witless. "Let's go!" "Let's not." And she whimpers.

Back at Ponyville Twilight gives them the plan. They have to make good pace to get up the mountain by nightfall. It'll get cold up there, but Rarity has a scarf that will do... very little for her. Fluttershy looks to the top of Mount Doomy Dooms of Doom and goes to Twilight to ask if she can stay behind. There's a bit of a gag scene of miscommunication with Twilight enthralled by her map and planning. Twilight finally twigs to Fluttershy and we learn she's counting on her way with wild animals will come in handy. Okay... bit of spoilers? I don't see the dragon as a 'wild animal'. She also assures her Spike will care for her friends. Some people take issue with Spike not going. I... do not. He's a baby dragon with no knowledge of their culture. I really don't see how he'd be too much use. And Angel is a jerk. Again. *Slaps Angel*

Dash questions Fluttershy's own usefulness. Twilight tries to reassure her, and right on cure Fluttershy... is scared of her own shadow. Ouch... Dash is NOT impressed. Twilight rallies them and they stampede right through Fluttershy, carrying her off. We cut to them on a path to the base of the mountain as the dragon snores and the world turns. And no, I have no idea why I just referenced a soap opera I've never seen. *Shrugs* Fluttershy notes how high it is and Dash is... really starting to tick me off a bit. Yes, we know. You think she's useless dead weight. She goes to fly up there but Applejack partakes in her favorite activity, grabbing her tail by the teeth. She says safety in numbers, which is pretty damned smart. We fade to them walking up the side of the mountain, like Batman and Robin without their grappling gear. Rarity's planning to see if she can swipe some of his jewels and/or gold. Pinkie... takes the piss outta her. And I think it's genuinely funny and clever. "Welcome to my cave, Rarity! Care for a diamond? ROAR!" The others laugh, too. And so do I.

Twilught breaks it up and asks for Fluttershy's opinion. And we see... she's at the bottom of the mountain. Dash is... verging or crossing into asshole territory here, but at the same time... this is the fate of Equestria we're talking about. Then again it's called tact, which she has none of. In a bad way. Pinkie Pie cheers her on, earning my praise. Fluttershy flies up, but the dragon snores and her wings lock up. Oh, no. :( Applejack decides to slide down and take Fluttershy around the mountain. The dragon snores and Fluttershy goat-faints. Complete with legit goat bleat.

We cut to the main group up on a ledge. Pinkie Pie's beaten Rarity 35 games in a row in tic-tac-toe. And Applejack finally finishes towing Fluttershy. And... barring cartoon physics her back must've lost two-three layers of skin and it's entire coat! Dash makes sure to remark she said it was gonna take forever. We cut to them coming across a huge chasm! Everyone gets across but Fluttershy. And Pinkie Pie... encourages her through a nice little song that has both me and Fluttershy smiling.

God, season-one Pinkie Pie. Where did you go?! This is like... a 180 from Filli Vanilli! I am liking you in these early episodes a lot. Twilight says they don't have time ofr this and Pinkie speeds up the album. :D Fluttershy tries it... and Twilight tells her to not look down.

...

*ROlls up newspaper and bops Twilight on the nose* That is the LAST thing you're supposed to say! But yeah, Fluttershy looks down, freaks out... and we learn the 'chasm' was only a little wider than her torso. Cue sad trombone and Dash butting into her butt. Later on they're near a cliff face and Twilight whispers to them it's an avalanche zone. Fluttershy begins to freak out but Twilight shushes her. Literally. Even Pinkie Pie is dead silent. Dash brushes against a tree limb, shakes down some leaves... and they land on Fluttershy's flank. She screams, "AVALANCHE!!!!!!!!" and it echoes. And... we get a rockslide.

It's a legit cool action sequence. Rocks fall, the ponies scatter. Dash does some fancy flying. There's even this shot of Twilight running away with the camera at an angle and low to the ground. Very nicely shot! And in the end, the pass is blocked. Rarity brought an extra scarf, but maybe not the tiara that goes with it. Priorities, motherbucker! Have you heard of them?! They climb over, with Dash looking down on Fluttershy quite literally, forelegs crossed in utter annoyance and possibly loathing as well. On the other side Fluttershy slips and slides down into everyone. Rarity apologizes and Dash... "It's not your fault," she says while glaring at Fluttershy. Ouch...

So, they finally reach the cave. Twilight lays out a plan. Dash will clear the smoke. Pinkie Pie and Rarity will create a distraction if things get hairy in there. Pinkie... waves a rubber chicken around. Rarity breaks the fourth wall with an "I don't even KNOW" look. And Applejack is ready with apples in case he decides to attack. She kicks them against a tree and they do nothing. But Twilight believes between her and Fluttershy, they can convince him to go. Oh, this is gonna be painful for all involved!

Twilight goes in... not knowing Fluttershy is still frozen outside. She goes back and bites Fluttershy's wings while Flutters does an ostrich impression. Apparently every second he snores, an acre of land is covered. Dang, that's some heavy snoozing! All five of them form a chain of pushing and she finally just flat-out says she can't go in the cave. She's scared of dragons. They try to reason with her, even bringing up Spike. Good one, show! She doesn't mind him because he's a baby dragon, not a full-size dragon.

The dragon snores are well-timed, too.

Twilight asks why she didn't say something before. "I was afraid to." Hello, facepalm! Applejack says all of them are scared. Dash says she's not. I guess her phobia is Ursa Majors, then. She's also pretty stupid. Applejack tries a pep talk and... it doesn't work. Twilight goes in alone. she bumps into his snout and he is enormous. Ohhai Smaug Junior! Yeah, bed of gold. Classic dragon stuff. she tries talking and he wakes up. Sorta. His eyes are open but he's still probably at least half-asleep. I know that feeling. He turns over, scratches and yawns with breath that could kill the undead. Or something. Twilight valiantly continues to try reasoning with him. and he rises up, stretches, scratches himself and drops back asleep.

I'm not even sure he heard a word she said or was even conscious during her little speech, to be honest.

Rarity goes in and this time he's awake. And she begins buttering him up. She also begins snatching some of his jewels. For a time it begins working... but then she goes over the line by saying she'd be happy to 'keep an eye' on his jewels while he's gone. As we learned earlier in 'Ticket Master' dragons eat gems. This is is food supply. Bad form, Rarity. He slides them over with a single swipe. And Pinkie Pie is... wearing a present, with goofy glasses, balloons and flippers on her hooves. The thing is the only thing I question are the flippers. Even Rarity says she looks ridiculous. All part of her plan! She goes in, there's some crashing and she waddles out. Dragon, I am so with you on that. Dash loses it. "We've tried persuasion, charm, whatever it is Pinkie Pie does..." And she flies in and kicks the dragon in the face.

Okay, remember in the first post I said there'd be stuff I was gonna call out if I saw it as wrong, even if everyone else thought it was awesome? This... I see as rock-dropping STUPID! Dash, you can stand up in his beak, you moron! Not to mention overall he's been remarkably reasonable for how he could be. I'm still convinced he was mostly asleep when Twilight was talking to him. Dash, you lose. He sneezes and he gets pissed. And I... really can't blame him with her. He roars. She flies out from the sonic scream and scores a strike! The dragon emerges and shoots smoke at them. Honestly, they're all damned lucky it wasn't fire!

A rock breaks from their impact, revealing Fluttershy. She sees them, sees the dragon and her spine grows three sizes in this instant! And here it is, the Stare, beta version. She flies right up to him and delivers the browbeating of a lifetime! She walks along his beak right up to his eye, and THIS is awesome. He shrinks down a bit, but points out Dash kicking him. Dash grins at that and I must rein in my need to throttle her for her stupidity. And for her general attitude during this entire episode, too. Fluttershy apologizes for that, but points out he's bigger and should know better, and he should know better than to take a nap where his smoke can become a health hazard.

And... he breaks down and cries. We get a shot of the others, with Rarity fussing over her mane and Pinkie Pie with an umbrella hat. She comforts him. He's not a bad dragon. He made a bad decision. Aww! She says to pack his things and find a new place to sleep. The others cheer her on while the dragon flies off to scout out a new spot for his hoard. And I double-checked the spelling on that. That is the proper spelling, right? I always get those mixed up. :(

Back in Ponyville the pegasi are clearing the smoke away. Angel is being an ass, but Spike's grabbed him by the foot. I hope Angel gets a broken leg! Twilight asks Spike to take a letter. She reports the dragon has left, and delivers the lesson about faith in her friends, and how friendship can help overcome even your greatest fears. It's a good lesson, and unlike last time, fits the episode. utside, Dash is about to break the ball-bouncing record when Pinkie roars and breaks her concentration. She goat-faints and I laugh. At her. She tells Pinkie she scared her, but tries to cover it up. Fluttershy comforts her, but a leaf falls on her butt and she goat-faints. hah, hah?

Thoughts

This... is a really cool episode. Some people think this i where the show got good. And I can see why. Epic quest, great action, great climax with the dragon. And it wasn't a kick to the face, but good talking-to and understanding that saved the day!

Now as for Dash. Good lord! On one hand, yeah. She was right in Fluttershy being more hindrance than help up until the end. On about a dozen other hands her naked contempt and utter loathing was so palpable as to be a solid object! And no, I do not find her kicking the dragon to be 'badass'. I found it to be stupid. Then again considering how she was acting the whole episode kinda par for the course. Hmm, also she has a bear phobia, but not a dragon one. *Evil smile*

As for the dragon... I liked him. Not the nicest being but a hell of a lot more reasonable then he had to be or was even expected. He's sort of the basis for my headcanon concerning dragons in the Hasbroverse. There, dragons are organized into thirteen clans and live to the west of Equestria in the Dragon Clans. They're allies with the Equestrians and led by King Spykoran the Old, or G1 Spike. ;) This dragon got a stern lecture about napping in Equestrian territory when he returned to his clan. Naughty, naughty!

And Fluttershy stepped up big-time! Badflank, she was! Her fears were... pretty reasonable. It's a huge dragon! But the Stare and lecture kicked butt. The semi-first appearance of the Stare... I gotta admit, some of the fandoms, "she can out-stare Sauron!" get on my nerves, joke or not. But it's not on her.

Tune in tomorrow where I ask the question... why is it most YouTube reviewers don't like 'Look Before You Sleep'? Seriously, I love this episode. But, for tomorrow!

Also, I erred. I asked if it should be either Fluttershy leading an army of Grimlocks or her Staring down Beast Wars transmetal II Megatron. But... why not both? :D

 

 

 

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On 11/8/2016 at 5:01 PM, Metemponychosis said:

No, you're not. 

Thank you for this. :)

 

Okay, time for an episode I find baffling. Well, not the episode itself, but why it seems to generate such... indifference? Dislike? Bah. Before I leap, it's time to...

Look Before you Sleep

Originally posted here on May 21st, 2014.

 

We open on a sunny day in Ponyville, except it's not sunny for long! Pegasi are pushing clouds all into the sky, while down below branches are being pulled off, one by Ditzy. Rarity... floats a branch back up, reattaches it and turns the leaves into topiary. Which seems counterproductive to what everyone else was doing, mind. Then Applejack just lassos the branch and yanks it down. She chews her out and asks if she cares about anything other than 'prettifying'. Rarity bites back that someone has to. The town square's a mess! We look around and Applejack points out that unless the loose branches are pulled down, they'll be likely to hit someone in the head when the storm hits. We learn the Pegasi missed a scheduled sprinkle last week, so they need a bigger storm to make up for it. Hmm, makes sense. 'Dragonshy' was last week. ;) And heck, even not taking that into account, bureaucratic SNAFUs happen anywhere. And right on cue there goes the sun and here comes the rain!

Rarity's in a tizzy because of her mane. Applejack says she should've hurried up and finished the job. I'm... with Applejack, here. Hell, Rarity was making the job harder by putting that branch back up! She tries to outrun the rain, and Applejack points out a table to hide under. But there's mud there! They begin arguing, devolving mentally into five-year olds. At best. They decide to walk away before one of them says something they'll regret, but not before arguing again. But lighting flashes and they run into each other as the wind whips up.

After the credits we see Applejack under the table, hunkering down best she can. We suddenly hear Twilight's voice echoing, calling them. NO! Don't go into the light! Oh, wait, it's just her at Golden Oaks. They run to it, but Applejack asks if being inside a tree is the best place during a lightning storm? And twilight says they have a magical lightning rod. Okay, that is good. They go in, but Rarity tells Applejack to wash her hooves off. Applejack's angry and threatens violence, but to be honest I side with Rarity on this one. Not even an attempt to scrape them off at the doormat. Rarity says they might not be able to get home, so Twilight offers them to stay. Spike's in Canterlot on royal business. Always did wonder what that was... So Twilight suggests they have a slumber party! She always wanted one of those... and we come to what I kinda find the only thing I don't like about this episode.

Twilight didn't really have 'friends' barring Shining Armor and Cadance before the series premiere. She didn't seem like one to want a slumber party. I'll let it slide, though. Maybe she wanted one before she gave up on friendship? Odd, but not episode-breaking. Rarity tries to weasel out of it, while Twilight gets a book on slumber parties. because of course she has a book on it. Rarity's uncomfortable, but can't back out of it. We cut to Applejack trying to use a hose to clean her hooves off outside, which wouldn't seem like it should work, but meh. She comes inside, hooves all sparkling. And she finds them in mud masks. She asks why it's okay for them to have mud on their faces when she had to go wash the mud off her hooves. Because... it wasn't tracking through the floor, for one? Rarity tells her what it is while Twilight squees about the makeover.

Applejack is horrified and tries to leave, but convenient lightning flashes and she decides to stay. Rarity slathers mud onto her face, and then cucumbers on her eyes. Applejack asks what they're for and Rarity, with about two tons of attitude, says they're to reduce puffiness. Applejack licks them off her face. Is mud from a mud mask edible... Twilight checks the book and the two agree to try to get along. Applejack spits onto her hoof and Rarity recoils from it. And they go at it about... a second or so after agreeing not to go at it. Twilight hugs them, enthused. They go 'yay', not as enthused, then exchange death glares.

We see them in mane curlers. Twilight 'ports away the curlers and their manes... look the same. Now time for ghost stories! Applejack tells the terrifying tale of the prissy ghost who drove everyone crazy with unnecessary neatness! OoooOOooo! Rarity has a better one, the horrifying story of the messy, inconsiderate ghost who irritated everypony within a hundred miles! OooOOoooo! Applejack says she made it up. It's not a real story. "It is a ghost story. They're all made up."

Point to Rarity!

The lights go out and Twilight's got one. The Legend of the Headless Horse. She's got a lantern, no fireflies inside it. She's got them in the pad of her hoof! The lights flicker and suddenly Twilight's got a sheet over her head, waving her forelegs around and scaring the shit out of those two. It's awesome. :D And she's got a great troll face, too. U scared? HAH! Ghost stories, check. Rarity and Applejack hug in fright.

Time for s'mores! Rarity is Hook of the Constructicons, all precise and fussy. Applejack just wants to eat them. I side with Applejack, here. Except for the burp. Rarity says she could've said excuse me. Applejack was about to, but she was interrupted. "Pardon." Why am I tempted to put them into Thunderdome? Next is 'Truth or Dare'. Is there a Madonna pony out there? :P Rarity and Applejack's dares devolve into arguing. Twilight, methinks, is twigging to them. She sets them straight. Applejack dares Rarity to go outside and let her mane be ruined. So she does, then walks in looking so sad and pathetic. I kinda wanna hug her. So she dares Applejack to dress up in a frou-frou, glittery, lacy outfit! *GASP!* So she does and... dear god I'm laughing. She's a Disney Princess. Some people ask where Applejack got the outfit. I ask where Twilight got it. ;) Twilight asks if she gets a turn and they dare about rodeos, combing their manes and now I need some lightsabers. Twilight tries to move on, and now...

Pillow fight! Rarity tries to beg off, but then gets two to the face. "It. Is... ON!" And cue epic fight! And it's funny and cool. Applejack uses her lasso, Rarity uses TK. Twilight's caught in the middle and possibly gets a concussion! Twilight finally just calls it quits and says to get some sleep. And now I'm feeling sorry for her. In the bedroom Applejack and Rarity fight over the blanket. And making the bed. And Twilight finally loses it. She rightfully chews them out for ruining the slumber party and acting like foals. But then...

"Is there anything else that could possibly go wrong?"

And convenient lightning strikes a tree next door.

"Sorry I asked."

They look outside and see the top chunk of a tree about fall onto a house next door. Applejack chews Rarity out about taking all the loose branches down... except this isn't a loose branch but a chunk of the trunk. Applejack opens the window over Rarity's protests and lassos the chunk. She does a 'getting 'r' done' joke and tugs, pulling the chunk... through the window! She hangs from the rope, swinging back and forth. Trixie, where are you when we need you?! Rarity chews her out, while Applejack deflects the blame. She apologizes to Twilight, but...

"Well, it's not okay!" You're right. It's not! Thank you, show! She... goes for the book, one of the earlier 'slave to checklist' signs. Yeah, I am really not a fan of the whole damned checklist gag. It's gotten to the point in later seasons of severe irritation. Rarity tries putting books away and looks kinda pathetic. Still time for bickering, though! Applejack outright demands help from Rarity. And she finally apologizes about not listening to her about the branch. Well, less branch and more trunk. Her attention to detail would've saved them from the mess, but right now, she needs to stop being so fussy and help with the one big thing that matters. She says 'please' and Rarity turns around. She'll get icky, but Applejack says she needs help.

So, they cooperate while Twilight freaks. Rarity turns the smaller branches into topiary, all except for the main bit. Applejack's about ready to kick it into orbit, but a glance from Rarity and she tosses it out. And the day is saved! Rarity freaks about the mess, but Applejack makes a peace offering of two cucumber slices over her eyes. Aww. :) And they hug. And Twilight finally notices the bushes.

We cut to them playing twenty questions. Rarity and Twilight are in curlers, but Applejack is not. They finally decide on... "A six-legged pony with a purple polka-dotted mane and shooting stars coming out of its eyes," "who flies through the air all over the world to hide magic, sparkly eggs?" And... did they drop acid while I wasn't looking?! It's... not it. It was her telescope. it was nice to see them getting along, and she wanted to see them win together. They begin arguing... but smile and legit apologize. They begin arguing about apologizing... but laugh. The slumber party's a success! Twilight writes a letter to Celestia with a good message about embracing differences. She tries to get them together for a slumber party, and Equestria has Thursady and Saturday. Cue mass hysteria and wild guessing... or cue them using the regular days of the week so as not to confuse kids. ;)

Thoughts

So... what am I missing, again? I love this episode! No, seriously. A lot of the criticisms I see... don't make much sense to me. Here's a breakdown.

1. How did the ponies miss a storm last week? Well, two explanations spring to mind. They were cleaning up after the dragon in Dragonshy-last week's episode-or it was an oversight, which happens in RL all. The. Time! And with Dash as weather manager... I can see it happening more than once.

2. Why were Applejack and Rarity arguing all the time? Aren't they supposed to be friends? Well, friends with Twilight. With each other... Lauren Faust once said that all the ponyville residents were friends before Twilight showed up, except in 'Griffon the Brush-Off' we see Dash not really liking Pinkie, and outright saying she found her to be annoying before bonding over the pranks. With these two, I can definitely see them not getting along before this episode.

Hell, my own headcanon? Before episode one these two rarely interacted, if at all. And if/when they did it was terse, get to the point and then get away. Honestly, if they got trapped in Golden Oaks before episode one I'm about 75% ready to say they'd get to physical violence of the murdery kind before the night was over!

3. it's a stupid slumber party and boring! Eh... subjective and one I can't really argue with. If it's not your thing, then fine. But I saw it as a great character study of two ponies with opposite personalities who learned to get along and embrace their differences, which is also a great moral IMHO.  

4. Why would Twilight 'always' want to have done a slumber party? Okay... that too is a problem I have. It's a fairly small one, but still sticks out. Two things come to mind are she wanted one before deciding that friends wereen't her thing, or wanted one but Shining Armor and Cadance didn't go for it. Like I said, not a huge thing.

Other things, I love how their big view/little view personalities make so much sense considering what they do for a living! Applejack runs Sweet Apple Acres. She's got a huge picture to deal with. She can delegate the small stuff, but she's got to make sure the farm runs. All of it. Rarity, meanwhile, is a seamstress/fashion designer. For her, if the small stuff's not taken care of the outfit can fall apart. Sometimes literally. And she doesn't have anyone else to take care of the small stuff! It's brilliant!

So, is this the best episode ever? No, but it's still damned good. It's got great character interaction and development. The conflict flows naturally through two disparate personalities. And in the end we get a good moral that matches the episode, as well as both sides coming to an agreement and getting along better.

So if I missed anything as to why it's so bad, you know what? I'm glad I missed it. ;):D

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*Leans over to the closest fimfic member and whispers in their ear* What? I'm just starting some...

Bridle Gossip

 

Orignally posted here on May 22nd, 2014.

We open in Ponyville, with a gorgeous day! They surmise Dash woke up early 'for once'. :P Everyone should be out enjoying the day... except the town's deserted. We even get a tumbleweed tumbling by. *Waves to fellow poster* ;) It;s not a holiday. Spike's breath isn't any worse than usual. He wonders... zombies?

Okay... I seriously hope we never get zombies in the show. To be honest, although there's some I like, overall zombie-related media is really not my thing. I might need two hands to count the number of pieces of media I like, but there'd be fingers left over. So no zombies or else that would be a serious dent in my enjoyment. EDIT: Oh, wait. We did. God, I hate 28 Pranks Later.

Back to the show... Twilight says not likely, but Spike latches onto that. Suddenly Pinkie Pie pops out of Sugar Cube Corner and whispers REALLY loudly for them to get over there. Fortunately she doesn't pull a Scorpion. They race over and it's pitch-black inside. Until Pinkie turns on a flashlight. Spike scares her with zombie talk. Oh, thank god. It's not zombies! Twilight asks why she's alone in the dark. But she's not alone. The rest of the Mane Six and Apple Bloom's there, too. Twilight again asks what they're doing in the dark. Applejack says they're hiding... from her! We look out, see a cloaked figure pawing at the grass, bangles on her foreleg. Hmm, wants to Walk Like an Egyptian? :D Sorry, sorry. I love the Bangles. She turns, and in the darkness of her cloak she has spooky glowing eyes! Twilight is.... not amused.

After the credits Apple Bloom asks if she saw her and names her 'Zecora'. And apparently Zecora is Ponyvillian for Voldemort as Applejack tells her not to say the name. Twilight says they're flipping out for no good reason and I'm with her even before I saw the entire episode. Applejack is... definitely hitting some wrong notes, but in the right manner. The others say how weird she is, eliciting another eye roll from Twilight. Right there with you, Twi. She pulls down her cloak and... Missus T? She's got a mohawk Mister T would be proud of. Rarity insults her stripes and Twilight sets her straight. She's a zebra. Twilight tells her she was born that way and she faints, sans fainting couch. She is specifically not a pony, and from a faraway land. We also learn she lives in the... Everfree Forest! *Cue thunder* Oh, no. It's spike making a racket getting snacks. Okay, that was good. :D

The Everfree's not 'natural'. Well, it is by human definitions. The nature's not managed by the ponies. And it freaks them out. She's so evil, Pinkie wrote a song about her! And cue 'Evil Enchantress'. Not her best, but she notes it is a work in progress. Good on Dash's "Here we go!" :D Twilight asks them specifically, what have they seen her do? She comes into Ponyville once a month and lurks around the stalls, digging at the ground. Twilight is taking the piss outta them, here. VERY snarky and very funny. She says maybe she comes to visit, or to buy stuff at the stalls. Apple Bloom begins supporting Twilight's side. Applejack tells her to let the big ponies talk. The ones with small brains, apparently. Dash says the digging at the ground's weird. Dash, meet Pinkie Pie. I'll let you two work on the definition of 'weird'. Even Fluttershy wonders if she's digging for innocent creatures and oh dear god... *Headdesk*

While Pinkie sings in the background Twilight says the only way to find out is to go out, which Apple Bloom does. She goes out but gets an attack of the nerves. She sneaks over, but Zecora is already leaving. Back inside the Corner Twilight's head is butting against a brick wall of ignorance and plain stupidity as Pinkie says she eats hay. Like... Twilight does. And like Pinkie does. Oh, no. It's the evil way she eats it. Weirdly, I'm getting frustrated with Pinkie, but I know I'm supposed to be getting frustrated with her. So it's actually okay. Applejack notices Apple Bloom's gone! They race out to find her and we see her trailing Zecora into the Everfree. She hesitates at an ominous shadow line, but she ponies up and keeps on going! The camera's tight on their legs and some 'mysterious' blue flowers. And suddenly Applejack calls for Apple Bloom!

And Zecora speaks, warning them about the 'leaves of blue'. Well, better than the Hands of Blue. And yes, her dialog's all in rhyme. Orange? Door hinge. :P They all act all macho while Zecora repeats her warning, vanishing in a convenient mist. All of the Mane Six, mind, are standing fetlock deep in those blue flowers. Hint, hint. Twilight's just about had it, and even says there's no such thing as 'curses'. Dash flies over. "That's interesting to hear, coming from Miss Magic Pants herself." Dash, taking this and how you heckled in Boast Busters, do you have a thing against unicorns or something? Twilight says her magic is 'real'. She's born with it, while curses are artificial or fake magic. Yeah... Twilight? You don't know everything about magic, kid. :P Or at least I don't think she does, or ever will. Hopefully never will. She says they're old pony tales. Ah... Nightmare Moon? Even though I am on Twilight's side, that still seems pretty high-and-mighty of her. Applejack says she'll learn some pony tales really are true. She already did in the pilot!

We cut to Twilight in bed, tossing and turning. Hmm, Freddy's having a field day here. Or she had a bad hay smoothie. Either or. She wakes up with a bad case of bed mane. She brushes and... oh, noes! Her horn's gone all limp!

...

Insert your own joke there, folks! Mine is, "She thought a bit too much about Trixie last night!" :D *Dodges rotten tomatoes* Sorry, sorry. But truth be told I'm legit laughing in RL at that one.

...

Anyway, now she's wondering if she cursed her horn! She goes into research mode! A 'real' reason. Spike holds up a book entitled 'Supernaturals', but Twilight dismisses it. Spike wonders if she's wrong. So do I. Like I said, she doesn't know everything. And Pinkie Pie comes in with a swollen tongue. A purse? No, a curse! Oh, why couldn't they have saved this for later seasons when she becomes genuinely annoying?! Dash... butts heads against a window, then the outer wall, then the door. She flies in upside down and dear god her wings are upside down! Holy shit that's some body horror, there. And... Rarity's trying out for Hair? And we have a toy-sized Applejack. But Fluttershy is... fine? Well, she's not speaking. Well, there's a bit of charades until Applejack tells her to say it. And...

We have Barry White as a pony, basically. Spike and I lose it at this point and he comes up with nicknames. Hairity, Rainbow Crash-who has her head stuck between the rungs of a ladder-, Spitty Pie, Apple Teeny, Flutter guy and... nothing for Twilight, who looks like she could kill him. You know, I'm legit surprised he mocked Rarity. She tells him to look for more books, but he's more focused on her horn flopping about. Dear god the jokes write themselves here. Dash thinks they'll find the answer at Zecora's. They begin arguing, while Apple Bloom blames herself. She goes out to fix it, but Applejack spots her and hops into her tail.

They argue some more about going, but notice Applejack missing. They wonder if anyone stepped on her or sat on her. Ohhai Sir Mixalot! Pinkie checks Rarity and Rarity is aghast. "Ever hear of personal space?" Pinkie's answer... "NO!" You know, that could be taken one of two ways, only one of which is good. ;) They notice Apple Bloom is gone and go after her. Spike stays behind to look for a cure. But,no. He finally gets a good name. "Twilight Flopple!"

At the Everfree we see Apple Bloom racing to Zecora's. Applejack pipes up and orders her home, but Apple Bloom says no. She even puts Applejack onto a tree branch. "I'm the big sister, now!" Ooh, BURN! Applejack will tell Big Macintosh on you! The other five race in, but Rarity trips on her own coat and Dash is... Crash. She crashes into a tree and Applejack ends up inside her mouth. Okay... that's a bit weird. Applejack somehow rigs up a riding harness in about two seconds. Hmm, jump cut and/or time saving in animation. And she... mounts Dash with it. Not gonna go here, folks. Not this time. Dash is... still not flying too well.

At Zecora's hut and it's got tribal masks, candles and the whole nine yards. Zecora comes in and chants over a boiling cauldron. Pinkie accuses her of... stealing her song. Yeah, to this day I'm still not sure if that's what she said or if the others misheard it. So she begs Flutterguy to sing and...

Excuse me. I have to walk away while it plays I'll be laughing so hard. :D It's pure genius. Rarity confronts Twilight about all the things inside and even Twilight is beginning to be a bit doubtful. Ot, maybe it's soup? But then Zecora says it's the perfect temperature for ponies and wonders where Apple Bloom is. Oh, god... They all scream just as Dash and Applejack fly in. Well, dive in. She crashes in and wrecks the place while Zecora loses it. The others barge inside while Applejack... wrangles Zecora's ear. Just as much sense in context, folks! The cauldron's knocked over, and Twilight accuses her of cursing them.

Zecora turns it on them of crashing into their home, and she's getting pissed. Zecora and Twilight even begin butting heads. Literally, too. They demand to know where Apple Bloom is, and here she is! Twilight joins the angry peasants, and I'm kinda surprised the animators don't have any of them wielding torches and/or pitchforks! But Zecora and Apple Bloom merely laugh. Twilight say she can't stand there and say it isn't a curse. Apple Bloom... well, she walks and says it isn't a curse. So half-point to each team?

Zecora reminds them about the leaves of blue. It's poison joke. The plant basically plays a practical joke on them, by inciting body horrors apparently. Applejack has no idea what she's saying, but Twilight figures it out. They ask about the cauldron, chanting and other stuff. They're from her native land, the words were a nursery rhyme, and the cauldron held a cure for the poison joke. Twilight asks which book has this remedy and it turns out to be the one she dismissed earlier. "Supernaturals, Natural Remedies and Cure-Alls that are Simply Super'. Oh, that's a good one. Good job, show. Twilight apologizes for them all. And we get the 'don't judge a book by its cover' Aesop. It fits.

Twilight asks if she can mix up another batch, but she needs an herb in Ponyville. However, whenever she goes all the shops are 'mysteriously' closed. Twilight thinks they can help. We fade back to Ponyville and the Flower Trio spots the group heading back. They panic and everyone bolts. Twilight knocks on Daisy's door and says they need to talk. We fade to our first shot of the spa. They're in a hot tub, and we see one of the Spa Twins. Holy cow, she speaks! I had completely forgotten that! She asks for the recipe, and we have one more scare about crushing Applejack beforewe see her kinda... sitting on top of a bucket, not tiny anymore.

Thoughts

The episode's about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but as the Trope Page says, some anvils need to be dropped. Yes, racism and judging people solely by looks is not a good thing. You can look pretty damned stupid. And I think this episode did a good job here. EDIT: As @Nuke87654 pointed out in his review here, having the entire town be massively racist to the mostly-pony Zecora, while accepting Gilda, is pretty SOD-breaking. And he's right that it paints the town in a very bad light.

I did find Twilight's whole 'no such thing as curses' to be a bit... I dunno. I don't think she's right in that. Like I said, I don't believe she knows everything about magic, or ever will know everything about magic.

I like Zecora. I don't like writing her, but I like her. ;) I have rhymezone.com bookmarked so the few times she comes up in my fics I'm ready. ;) We see the beginnings of Apple Bloom's relationship with her, which is nice. One of the Spa Twins speaks, the blue one.

 

For the pic, the characters here all have a spiritual bit to them.

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3 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Okay... I seriously hope we never get zombies in the show. To be honest, although there's some I like, overall zombie-related media is really not my thing. I might need two hands to count the number of pieces of media I like, but there'd be fingers left over. So no zombies or else that would be a serious dent in my enjoyment. EDIT: Oh, wait. We did. God, I hate 28 Pranks Later.

I need to laugh for a few seconds. :ajlol:

Maybe it's my different background, and while I certainly can understand why someone would point at this episode and think of racism (Zebra... Racism...), it's almost too obvious not to see. But what I saw the first time was "fear of the unknown". Of course, Zecora's behavior didn't really help, but that's MLP being obnoxious. I think that it reduces a bit the cringe factor of a whole town of racists. The point remains that the problem with this episode is this dumb plot device of the whole universe being stupid except for one character that turns out was wrong in the end. I'm glad MLP doesn't do much of this. Anyway, I also love Zecora and her speaking mannerism and at the same time I dreaded putting her in a RPG I used to DM for.

I want that Sailor Mars!

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On 11/10/2016 at 6:26 PM, Metemponychosis said:

I need to laugh for a few seconds. :ajlol:

Maybe it's my different background, and while I certainly can understand why someone would point at this episode and think of racism (Zebra... Racism...), it's almost too obvious not to see. But what I saw the first time was "fear of the unknown". Of course, Zecora's behavior didn't really help, but that's MLP being obnoxious. I think that it reduces a bit the cringe factor of a whole town of racists. The point remains that the problem with this episode is this dumb plot device of the whole universe being stupid except for one character that turns out was wrong in the end. I'm glad MLP doesn't do much of this. Anyway, I also love Zecora and her speaking mannerism and at the same time I dreaded putting her in a RPG I used to DM for.

I want that Sailor Mars!

I still hate most zombie-centric media.

 

As for the episode, yeah, there's definitely fear of the unknown, but for me it seems really couched in racism.

 

Yeah, she's a pretty cool figure. :)

 

Swarm of the Century

 

Originally posted here on May 25th, 2014.

 

Any relation to Sale of the Century? Old game show. :P

We open with Fluttershy... good lord, she's about 85% Disney Princess in these episodes so far. Has she sung an 'I Want' Song yet? I kid for the most part. ;) She's gathering flowers while humming. A squirrel comes up with a dandelion and she exposits these are for Celestia. A convenient wind comes up and blows it away. Aww. I kinda feel bad for him, now. She goes up to a barrel of apples and a rock... trills? It sends her panicking, natch. And from behind the rock emerges a little bal of blue, with wings, stick-legs and huge eyes. It's a parasprite! And it's so... I don't think I found it cute when I first saw this episode, actually. Fluttershy is smitten and crushes an apple for it to eat. And it consumes the entire barrel. "I guess you were hungry!" Oh, god. *Headdesk* It nestles into her hair. She walks off while we get ominous stinger and close-up of the empty barrel.

After the credits we see Twilight freaking out. She chews out Spike for not cleaning up her mess fast enough. Twilight, use your head and the horn attached to it! Celestia's visiting tomorrow. Spike wonders about all this since it's an unofficial casual visit. "There's nothing casual about a visit from royalty!" Twilight, it's called decaf or tranquilizers. Use one or the other. NOW! Spike is actually working while Twilight chews him out. Again, she's starting to tick me off here. It's her mess and for me this isn't too funny. Again, four season's worth of this, but it's still irritating. He suggests one person clean, so she leaves him to it. She'll go and supervise. Spike, I share your pain/urge to kill.

Out in Ponyville we see everyone getting ready. A banner is raised. "Welcome Princess Celest." Okay, this time I'm on Twilight's side here. Berry Punch, Carrot Top, that really is bad form. Bonbon's watering flowers. She goes to Sugar Cube Corner and finds the cakes' making a banquet. They're hard at work and Pinkie is... eating half of it. Bad form, Pinkie! BAD FORM! she tries to justify it as 'taste-testing', but she's simply gorging herself. No excuse, here.

Fluttershy interrupts before Twilight can let Pinkie have it. She shows them the parasprite. S. There's two more. She doesn't know where they came from. The first one... gave birth in her mane. By spitting the other two out. How in the-never mind. Twilight's smitten, but tries to pass it off as more for Spike so he doesn't bother her while studying. Fluttershy asks if Pinkie wants one, but she's disgusted. She names them, too. Parasprite. Fluttershy and Twilight act out-of-character concerning her attitude to them.

What? they do! They really, really do! The second Pinkie showed such behavior Flutter 'red tooth and claw' and Twilight 'need more information' Sparkle should've corralled her and asked her the 411! And I know some of you are gonna say, 'then we wouldn't have an episode', but it's still wrong. It's still out-of-character for the both of them.

Anyway, Pinkie goes in search of a trombone and we have our first-second maybe-miscommunication. "Typical Pinkie." Ah... no? She knows their NAME! She shows utter disgust at them. That's not typical Pinkie!

We cut to carousel Boutique and Rarity putting Dash into an absolutely hideous outfit. Seriously, it really  looks like something out of 17th or 18th century court life. Dash finds it to be so boring. I find it to be so eyesoring! They hear the parasprite's trill and it's reproduced. Again. Twilight's stumped, while Rarity and Dash take one each. Good lord Twilight, Pinkie's got info on them! And just in time Pinkie comes by for an accordion. She's going on a date with Cheese Sandwich, methinks. They're ignoring her, and runs off. Why am I siding with Pinkie Pie here...

Back at Golden Oaks it's sparkling. Literally. Twilight worries a bit, then sees Spike napping with... Buggy, I guess, and seals their doom. ""What's there to worry about?" Oh, ho. Don't worry, Twilight. The list is coming! *Evil grin* She turns in, and we fade to morning. And she wakes up to see a small swarm of the buggers. Spike wakes up, briefly thinking he's blind. Twilight wonders where they came from, and he says he gave them a snack in the night. And they begins trashing the library. Twilight attacks them with feather duster! It's so pathetic I don't even have words! :D We pan over to Spike, who has a pile of them in a basket. Okay, that's a good gag. :D Spike takes her line away and we cut to Dash's house/mansion.

She wakes up and the parasprites all emerge, latching onto her. She flies off, but they follow. First lining the underside of her arms, then on top of her head, then a bikini, and I laugh. :D Then they form a mighty beard! Or one long booger. :P We cut to Carousel Boutique and Rarity has charmed them into being her little helpers! She scritches one under its... body? Kinda/sorta chin? But it scrunches up, and hocks up another one, right into her eye! Okay, that's pretty gross. Funny, but gross. And it turns into another parasprite. And more begin hocking up. Outside, Pinkie's got a harmonica from Applejack. She notes the saddlebags stuffed with the buggers and Rarity tells her she's busy. Pinkie is, too. She needs instruments! She tries to recruit Rarity for her little quest, but she pushes her off. She's got a real problem! Pinkie's response? "And a banjo is the only answer!"

Twilight is galloping along, her own saddlebags stuffed with the living hoover vacuums. She encounters Rarity along the way, and Dash flies by. Twilight says they should go see Fluttershy, since she knows everything about animals. No... she doesn't. She didn't know what their names were, Twilight! Pinkie Pie does, though! They go to her cottage but we're entering biblical plague territory merely inside. She's tried everything she knows, begging, pleading beseeching and even asking politely! And then Twilight has an imagine spot of Celestia flying in on her chariot and a swarm carrying her way.

I... am kinda speechless, there. It's funny, but shows Twilight has some... issues. Applejack rolls into the episode with a wagon of apples for Fluttershy. By request! The parasprites make quick work of them, and Twilight has an idea! Applejack's the best herder of them all! She'll need help, though. They all work together, and it's a great scene. They all work together to a great little country tune, forming them into a big ball that's rolled right into the Everfree. But Pinkie shows up, asking for help getting maracas. Twilight is a bit shocked, since Pinkie's ignoring the giant ball of bugs. And Pinkie realizes they need a tuba! She runs off, then runs back backwards. Dash flies down for an epic, "You are SO random" burn, but Pinkie says they're stubborn! Anyway, Applejack pulls a Gil Favor from Rawhide and they get them there!

The five go back to clean up the mess. They open Fluttershy's door and another swarm flies out. Fluttershy... kept one. They give her death glares. I give her a death glare. That's just... dumb. And ignoring what was happening five minutes ago! "They're just so cute." I... have no words. Dash flies down with goggles and 'takes out the adorable trash.' she flies around, forming a small tornado that sucks them all up. But Pinkie comes along with a pair of cymbals tied around her neck. They snap off the tether and nearly slice Dash to ribbons! She's flung out of the tornado and the parasprites fly to Ponyville. Twilight chews out Pinkie, but I... gotta stick up for her, this time. She didn't do anything on purpose. It was an accident the cymbals flew off. The two argue about trying to save Ponyville and it's just... TALK TO EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They run off to Ponyville as the adorable plague of locusts descend and begin eating all the food in sight. Twilight decides to... cast a spell to make them stop eating the food. She casts a hastily-devised spell on a creature she has NO knowledge of with little/no preparation. In the background, Pinkie gets frustrated and runs off. The bugs stop eating the food, but instead eat everything else!

TWO!

Dash turns the sarcasm to twelve and I feel like slapping Twilight upside the head with an Oldsmobile. Rarity runs for her store and we see it's a disaster. She tries, but quickly hops onto a stool and begins crying. Poor dear. But Pinkie Pie comes in, backlit and with a heroic theme! She runs over and gets a flute. And Rarity screams.

We cut to Sweet Apple Acres and they're ready for action! The swarm flies right by them and... eats the barn. "Didn't see that coming." At the library Spike is cowering while the bugs are... eating the words of the books. Or the ink. Twilight runs to Zecora's hut and interrupts her... balancing head-first on a pole. Methinks Zecora needs locks for her hut. Zecora IDs it immediately and tells Twilight they eat up crops. If they're in Ponyville, they're doomed. Twilight rushes out and spots Celestia on her chariot, descending. It's an utter disaster in Ponyville. There's a snapping sound effect and Twilight loses it. She tells Rainbow Dash to distract them, which she does by flying for her life! "We need to build an exact copy of Ponyville right over there. We've got less than a minute!"

They're doomed. But suddenly we hear the Parasprite theme and see Pinkie doing her best Piped Piper of Hamlin, leading the buggers away. It's a good scene. The others follow her as Celestia lands. Twilight and the others race ahead to try and... make small talk, but Pinkie and her parade prance by. Celestia's single eye follows the action while Twilight asks if she hit much traffic. *Snort* Okay, good one. A bug lands on her wing and Celestia apparently has never seen one before. She calls it 'adorable', and Dash disagrees. Celestia's 'honored' that a parade was organized, much to Twilight's shock. But an 'emergency' has sprung up in Fillydelphia. There's been some sort of infestation.

Okay, my take on this? Celestia's trying to help Twilight save face. Body language and tone of voice, here. There's no infestation in Fillydelphia. She's just trying to not have Twilight be embarrassed. Legit good on her, here. Before she goes, she asks for a friendship lesson. It's about listening to others, natch. Eh... it kinda works. Not fully,but kinda. I'll get to it. And she rides off while Pinkie finishes.

Applejack figures out that Pinkie knew what they were, and yup. So did the audience when she named them! She tried to tell them... but she didn't really. Twilight apologizes and the others chime in. They don't always understand her. But she doesn't always understand herself. But hey, she saved Ponyville! Or what's left of it as we survey the disaster. And we end on a sad trombone, the first instrument she asked for! Hah...

Thoughts

I know. I didn't get it. This is supposed to be a wacky, zany episode full of insane stuff and a Trouble with Tribbles/Gremlins homage/parody/satire/insert appropriate word here. And... I laughed. I did find it zany, with good buildup and insanity and all that. But... I just have problems with it.

Pinkie names the damned things right in front of Fluttershy and Twilight. Their response is confusion and dismissal. The confusion, alright. But 'typical Pinkie'? No. It really wasn't. At the same time, Pinkie going around getting the musical instruments, while funny, still just leaves me a bit cold. "It's just Pinkie Pie" barely flies for me, here. And I mean barely. Her not saying anything really useful was starting to bug me towards the end.

And there was no infestation in Fillydelphia. It was Celestia trying to spare Twilight embarrassment.

So... while I like this one, it's not by much. Good scenes, but it just doesn't hold together hugely well for me.

By the by, those are tribbles around Twilight. They're the closest parasprite analogue I've got before breaking out my Insecticon hordes.

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Okay. *Doffs hat and gloves, tosses snow shovels into the gabage* No, seriously. After this winter all four of my family's shovels were damaged. But it's time to sing and dance because

Winter Wrap Up

has arrived!

 

Originally posted here on May 26th, 2014.

We open with Twilight and Spike sleeping. She then wakes up without an alarm clock. God I wish I could do that. And exposits it's Winter Wrap-Up Day. Spike wakes up and asks if it's his Mommy. "You're not my mommy." Some people read into this. I see a dragon not even fully conscious yet. Spring is tomorrow, so everyone in Ponyville has to clean up winter. God, I so wish I could clean up winter in one day! Spike grouses about cleaning up winter. Apparently in Canterlot they use 'magic' to change the seasons. I'm down for that even more! Twilight says Ponyville was founded by earth ponies, so they don't use magic to clean up winter. I am... not down with that. At all. Twilight meanwhile has gotten on cute booties and a fur-lined saddle. Without her magic. Spike says it's ridiculous. Again, agreeing with the dragon here. She checks off everything, goes out and... it's still night.

After the credits and a time-skip we see her galloping to City Hall and everyone gathered outside. We see them all wearing vests denoting their teams. Blue for weather, green for plant and tan for animals. She wonders what vest she'll get. Spike wants blue, same color as his blanky. Hah! Mayor Mare makes a speech, which is about all she's good for. Twilight does adorkable jumps. Lyra jumps up too with a slasher smile. But everyone splits up and Twilight doesn't know where to go.

And... we get our first mass song. 'Winter Wrap-Up'. it is... my favorite song of the series, bar none. Maybe it's part of where I live, maybe it's first installment wins. I don't know, nor care. I love it. We get our first glance of Doctor Whooves, Dinky Doo... it's just a great feel-good song for me. Not much more I can say. But at the end, Twilight's conflicted. Still no clue what to do or go! She doesn't know what to do without her magic. Yeah, that bit irks me. Not from the song, but overall. More thoughts later...

She tries the weather team. Dash is the leader. She's sent flight crews to retrieve the birds that flew south for the winter. There's also clearing out the clouds. Twilight asks if she can help, but Dash... uses tact and flaps her wings with a sheepish expression. Dang, too bad you chased Trixie outta town. She could've helped with the clouds! :P Dash flies off, and Spike decides to take a nap. Twilight is determined to do her part!... Somehow.

We come back from commercial and see Rarity making nests for the birds coming back. Without magic. They're gorgeous! Twilight tries and... WAIT! Rarity uses telekinesis to move the basket! Lock her in chains!!!!!! She instructs Twilight on how to make a nest, which happens offscreen. Complete with odd sound effects. Rarity's voice becomes a bit frantic as we pan over and see Twilight's bird's nest, which looks more like a 'real' nest than Rarity's nest/basket. Spike mocks her, and for once I'm not on his side. He even calls it an outhouse! Bad, Spike! Bad! Rarity shoves Twilight aside as her OCD kicks in. And Twilight is embarrassed and needs a hug. *Hugs* And she goes nuts. Twilight hangs her head and walks off. :(

She finds Pinkie doing her best Nancy Kerrigan. She's ice-skating over the frozen lake, which will make it easier for the weather team to break the ice and get to know one another. ;) And she's got some legit skills, too. Twilight tries to help, but we get the typical ice-skating fail. It's kinda stock, but expected. Spike pushes her and she goes nuts. And he's still a jerk, too. Boo! Pinkie tries to spare Twilight's feelings, but when pushed admits she was nowhere near as bad her first time around. She suggests Fluttershy.

Twilight goes to find Fluttershy waking up all the animals. It is as adorable as it sounds. It's her favorite task. And we get a bit of clumsy educational content about hibernation. Porcupines come out, hug and sting themselves. Okay, that's good. But she's stressed at all the work she's got! Twilight volunteers to help. This one can't go wrong! But it does. First she wakes up snakes! Then she backs up into a cave and wakes up bats, maybe some robins too. :P She flails over and knocks down a bee's nest, inciting Nicholas Cage and Amazons Attack jokes. And finally, skunks. Ugh!

Back at Golden Oaks she's bathed in tomato juice. Spike says to use magic. I agree with Spike! But no, TRADITION! Which is bullshit! Twilight says they've never needed magic to wrap up winter. I'll get back to that little lie later on. He keeps on saying to use magic, and she says no.

We cut to Applejack sorta managing the clearing of the fields. It's... haphazard at best. Twilight comes along and Applejack does some exposition about them clearing the fields for planting. First they clear the fields, then plant and water. Twilight asks to help, and Applejack is doubtful at best. Twilight tries one of the plows, but she can't even make it budge. It's just so... pathetic. She remembers Spike's words and decides to use a come-to-life spell on the plow. It begins and at first works, much to Applejack's shock. Spike spots the horn's glow and cheers her on. But the plow begins getting away from her. And as much as I don't want to...

Two.

She speeds by a group of plows headed for the exact same point, splatters Blues Noteworthy, then runs right into Applejack and Spike. Applejack accuses her of magic and then it hits a hill. A huge snowbank comes loose and covers half the field. Applejack is pissed. Apparently more about the magic than the extra work they'll have to do! "That's not how we do it around here, Twilight. And especially not on my farm!"

Oh, really?! Then next time you need help during Applebucking Season don't ask Twilight for help, you jackass! Don't ask Rarity for help, either!

Spike turns on Twilight and I am legit hating on him. Spike, I defend you a lot. Here, I toss you in front of Darkseid. Twilight tears up and gallops off. I feel like punching Applejack and Spike at this point.

Twilight's in a bush while Spike tries to save himself from my wrath by sucking up. Spike, I have a Darkseid toy. And more than one toy of yours, too. He says she has a lot of skills, but makes her feel worse. We overhear Applejack telling Dash to melt the snow. She's on it! But Fluttershay says to wait. The animals' homes will be flooded! Melt! Stay! Melt! Stay! Dash tells them to make up their minds, and Mayor Mare comes in and says this is why they were late last year, and the years before that! She was hoping her speech would've inspired them, but now they'll be later than ever. We see the ice chunks are too big, Rarity's gone insane on fixing Twilight's nest. There are also clouds in the skies, icicles in trees. Big Mac comes along and says Caramel lost the grass seeds. Ditzy went north to get the southern birds. Last year she went west as a large argument breaks out. Mayor Mare says they'll be late again. And wishes they were more organized!

And Twilight SPRINGS into action! She sends Spike to get her clipboard and checklist. STAT! She... squeezes a bird to get their attention. She says they need organization! So we get a montage of her directing everyone to get stuff done. And it's a lot better than before. And it's set to a great instrumental of 'Winter Wrap-Up'! It ends with the birds flying in. And Spring has sprung! The ponies gather to sing Twilight's well-deserved praises. Mayor Mare is shocked and I am about to impeach her. Twilight says it's a team effort, and she gets a special vest. All three colors. "All-team organizer"! Yay!

And we see Spike asleep on the last chunk of ice in the middle of the lake. I laugh at him and his ensuing cold. He falls alseep.

Thoughts

I am... of two minds with this episode. It's funny. It's heartwarming to see Twilight struggle and then come out in triumph. It's a good lesson. There's a role for us all, and we all can help. It's great worldbuilding. It's great teamwork. But, well, lemme quote InserAuthorHere from his own review of the episode:

 

Winter Wrap Up is a racist holiday built around a stupid tradition.

 

In other towns, at least Canterlot, Winter Wrap-Up is done with magic. With Ponyville it's a bit... simpler. No magic. Well, no unicorn magic. It's a tradition dating back to the old times! Except this isn't the old times anymore! Unicorns are there. And one day a year they're told, "You can't use your natural talents to make this task a hell of a lot easier." Of course the pegasi can use their wings and magic and earth ponies can too. Okay, shoo off all the pegasi and get some ladders and scissor lifts.

And here's the thing, the 'traditional' way doesn't work! They've been late who knows how long. Right then and there that tells me to stop with the TRADITION! and try something new.

So at first glance, and second or third this is a great episode. But there are some bad implications lying underneath.

EDIT: let me clarify. Mayor Mare's inept leadership alone guarantees it doesn't get done on time, but there's no way unicorn magic wouldn't help even a little.

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*Phone rings. Striker picks it up* Oh, hello. What's that? Worst characters in show are introduced this episode? Okay. *Hangs up* oh, sorry. I just got the...

Call of the Cutie

 

Originally posted here on May 27th, 2014.

 

We open on the Ponyville schoolhouse. Or possibly elementary school. I am NOT going to try and tackle the Equestrian educational system. I could barely make heads or tail of my own back when I attended school, for Primus' sake! Oh, those were some bad memories. So, the school bell rings. Inside we see the students, hay on the floor. Some think that's in case of 'accidents' and you know what? I can kinda see that logic. We have a semi-disturbing tracking shot of the foals' rumps and their cutie marks, shooting up to the introduction of Cheerilee, the teacher. Today is the lesson on cutie marks! She slides a piece of paper off an easel, revealing several. One... student says it's boring. Apple Bloom, though, is studiously taking notes, using her mouth to manipulate the pencil. And I have just died of diabeetus from that. :P

We get some info on their cutie marks. Ponies aren't born with them. "my flank was blank." And an insult... no. Not yet, Striker. Rein it in for later. A filly with glasses says she's precious, lisping. This is Twist. She likes to shout. ;) Cheerilee shows us an image of her from the Equestrian equivalent of the 1980's, with cutie mark. Like far out, man! Now let's go to the Orange Julius and listen to Tiffany at the mall! Apparently that's how they were all wearing their mane back then. Apparently she decided to become a teacher, and the flowers symbolized hope that she could help her students bloom. The smiles represented the cheer she wanted to bring. In other words, cutie marks can be really interpretative. And their 'special talents' are not always inline with them. Nor do, IMHO, special talents 'dominate' like how some people I've seen think about them. If so, well, Rarity would be in a mine. Twilight would be at a fireworks company. Pinkie Pie would be in the air even more than usual. So on and so forth.

Sorry. Little bug of mine. *Ahem*

Cheerilee asks when ponies get their cutie mark, and Twist... twists her head while saying it happens when a pony discovers a certain something that makes her special. Am I in the Exorcist all of a sudden? It's a certain 'something' that makes them different from every other pony. And while Cheerilee is trying to impart an Aesop for a later episode, a filly with a tiara on her head but nothing between those ears is pssting at Apple Bloom. Doing it rather loudly, too. Hey, Cheerilee! Walk like an Egyptian over there and stop that! The filly hands Apple Bloom a note while a remote drone in the shape of another filly motions for her to pass it over. Apple Bloom does and FINALLY Cheerilee notices it. Head, meet desk at supersonic speeds. But the note, has nothing on it. And the tiara-wearing bitch laughs about it.

*Cracks knuckles* Almost time...

After the credits school is let out. Twist hops along while Apple Bloom is sad. I want to hug her and wave a lightsaber around. Twist tries cheering her up while...

Okay, I gotta say this. Some people think, with good reason, that I completely hate Pinkie Pie and think she's worst pony. And that I hate Discord. Well... actually? With Pinkie Pie, yes. There will be moments I want to throttle her. There will and have been moments she made me genuinely laugh, be surprised by her sensitivity and maturity, and cross the fourth wall to give her a hug.

Discord is... yeah. I hate him, but in the best way possible. To me, he's like Ted DiBiase or Roddy Piper. Yeah, I'm gonna pay to see him get beat. But I'm gonna PAY to see him get beat. However...

We are now properly introduced to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Folks, I've said this before, but it needs repeating. Factoring in screentime, we have the flattest, least-developed characters in the whole damned show. I am dead serious when I say this. They flank Twist and Apple Bloom, talking about what a 'waste' of a lecture that was. They've all got their cutie marks. Well, 'almost' all of them. God I wanna punch them with the boat sword. *Checks* Ah, damn! I don't have a Gypsy Danger, only a Cherno Alpha! They rub it in, and say they're invited to the cute-cenera. And they do this insanely dumb butt-bumping thing. And they coin the 'blank flank' insult. Yeah, urge to kill rising! Urge to hug also rising.

At Sweet Apple Acres Apple Bloom is venting while Applejack tries to reassure her. She says she was the last to get her mark. She rubs her rump and it sparkles. Yeah, to quote Spike, that's creepy. Granny Smith and Big Mac were last in their classes, too. I know she legit means well... and Apple Bloom outright says that. Then she gets an idea. "Runs in the family!" No, no. The Running of the Leaves is the next episode. She gets the idea that her talent has to do with apples. She jumps for joy and crashes into a barrel.

We cut to Applejack hawking apples. *COUGHBOASTBUSTERSCOUGH* Sorry, something in my throat, there. Apple Bloom tries channeling an informercial, but it's not too effective. She uses a tennis racket to volley one and apparently almost hits someone offscreen. She fires off another one at a canvas, splattering it and the pony next to it. She even breaks the fourth wall a bit. She tries up Doctor Whooves, but it's no go until she gets creepy assertive. He buys it and runs off, home to Ditzy, Dinky and Sparkler. Applejack's not too pleased, natch. she does the 'you touch it, you buy it' routine on Berry Punch, and apparently there's credit in Equestria. Then she dumps apples into Bonbon's bag and tries to charge her for it. Bonbons' voice, btw, isn't too pleasing to the ear, IMHO. Four bits for a lot of apples. Applejack gives some, no charge. Bonbon makes out pretty nicely, and Apple Bloom's sent home. Applejack asks if others have their cutie marks, and Apple Bloom's reminded of Twist. Safety in numbers, after all.

Apple Bloom goes to Twist's house and asks about the party. And it turns out Twist has a cutie mark! It's a pair of candy canes crossed. It's 'pretty sweet'. And Apple Bloom's kinda crushed. Diamond Tiara and her shadow conveniently wander by to be grade-Z assholes. Apple Bloom makes that face. You know the one. We come back from commercial and see her sitting next to a well. Dash pops down and says someone's got a dark cloud hanging over their head. So she pushes it aside. Okay, that's a good visual pun. :D Dash asks what the matter is and Apple Bloom spills about everything in one long gulp of air. Dash says she can get her one like that, even snapping her tail like we'd snap our fingers. Okay, that's a good effect. Apple Bloom says that Applejack says it takes time, and Dash rebuts by saying she should make it happen. We also learn Dash was the first in her class to get her cutie mark. It was during her first race she discovered her need for speed. That's... a line of video games? And another butt-shot.

Montage time! Cue up either the A-Team theme or something from Survivor! The band, not the show. Never seen the show. Eye of the Tiger, perhaps. Dash is rocking a serious mullet and I'm afraid she'll tell my achey-breaky heart. Her plan is try as many things as possible. It's... not too bad a sounding plan. But since I don't even have any RL tattoos I can't comment fully. Juggling.... ends with stock balls hitting head. Hang-gliding... ends with her tripping and tumbling head-over-hooves. Karate, and we see Dash with a Black Belt?

Okay, little bit of headcanon from the Hasbroverse. Dash's teacher is named Iron Butterfly. He is basically Bruce Lee as a pony. He also becomes Apple Bloom's teacher in Lánjié tí fāngshì -Way of the Intercepting Hoof.

Back to the much more interesting show, Apple Bloom kicks a sand bag and breaks her leg. Kite-flying... ends about as bad as Charlie Brown's attempts, with the kite disintegrating as it lands. Roller derby... ends with her causing a four-foal pileup! We cut to Dash doing her best Twilight Sparkle impression as the two... TOS violations walk by. Apple Bloom hides while they still manage to be condescending pieces of slag. I wish to throttle them. Wash, rinse and repeat. Diamond Tiara is also balancing a rather large package on her back. Bigger than she is! Apple Bloom laments, and Pinkie Pie appears outta nowhere! She'd be good at eating cupcakes! Well, I'm good at eating cupcakes! Apple Bloom ditches her mentor for the sweets.

At Sugar Cube Corner, Apple Bloom cheers on a cupcake-eating cutie mark. I ponder that, then I realize I'm hungry. She searches for the cupcakes, but doesn't find any. Pinkie Pie plops a chef's hat onto her. She would like some help making cupcakes. No, Pinkie Pie! Remember the Baked Bads with Applejack! And we get the 'Cupcakes' song. It's, pardon the pun, a sweet little ditty. Nothing special about it but nothing too bad. We fade to Apple Bloom's 'attempts' at baking. She pulls out some charcoal from the oven, her best attempt yet! Pinkie eats some and we get some interesting shades of Maud here... foreshadowing this early? Nah. Maybe. ;) Apple Bloom's crushed. We get a mild hope spot of something on her flank, but it's flour. Pinkie... now's not the time for guessing games.

Twilight comes in... for some reason. She declines the briquettes. Apple Bloom asks for Twilight to magic up a cutie mark. Twilight says that it's something a pony must discover for herself. Apple Bloom begs and Twilight reluctantly tries, and fails. For the record, I really hope she never gains the ability to do that. she's also exhausted at the end. Apple Bloom decides not to go to the party... and wanders out into the party.

We see a pony eating frosting-covered charcoal, and Apple Bloom hides. She berates herself for forgetting while Pinkie... puts a party hat on her. Not helping, Pie. Not. Helping. Apple Bloom does a Solid Snake to get to the door. Berry Punch gains the 'alcoholic' meme. Apple Bloom almost makes it... and bumps into Applejack, who pretty much shoves her back into the room and is about as oblivious as you can get. I am facepalming here and not in a good way. It's just so obvious and badly-written. So the Doublemint jerks stalk their prey. Apple Bloom MacGyvers a dress out of a tablecloth and tries to bluff it hiding an amazing cutie mark. We learn Diamond Tiara needs to be the center of attention. Natch. Apple Bloom almost makes it, but trips again. She knocks into the record player. It skips and they zero in for the kill.

Did I mention how much I loathe these two? I really, really do.

They restart being assholes. But Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to the rescue! Also, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo for the proper introductions! They emerge from under a table. Literally. Wiat, what were they doing under there?! Silver Spoon drops about half a dozen 'likes' and not in the good Facebook way. She's so Valley Girl she's hit rock bottom. Sweetie Belle says she's full of potential. Scootaloo says she could be anything and mocks Silver Spoon's 'like' overuse, which I sincerely love. All but two listen and take it to heart. And we see two shots of them being blank flanks. Twilight says she's still got the joy of discovering who she is. And Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are upstaged in their own party. Silver Spoon tries the rump thing, but it fails. And I laugh at them.

There's formal introductions, and we cut to everyone rocking out, save two. And the Cutie Mark Crusaders is formed! The tree sap shall flow! And we get one more rump shot. Because we have to.

Thoughts

Okay... I love this episode. Cutie marks are explored. We get some cool worldbuilding/cultural stuff. Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Cheerilee, Twist and two/one others is introduced. Some good comedy, a heartwarming ending. Points are deducted for Applejack, Cheerilee and Pinkie being pretty oblivious. The show should be better than that! The CMC is formed. Sir Mixalot looked on with pride. But...

Like I've been saying throughout this episode. I loathe Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. They are generic alpha bitch bullying assholes. Over the next four seasons they'll display, what one decent moment apiece? And they're so small as to be almost nonexistent. I took great pleasure in writing out Megan's OC daughters, Danielle and Michelle, chewing them out. Between the two of them, they might form enough of a personality to be one fully-realized character.

 

EDIT: Okay, Spoiled Rich. She feels way too much like a scapegoat or hate sink. She's pretty much tailor-made to try and take the heat off of Diamond Tiara. I'm not buying it. 

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I did enjoyed Call of the Cutie as it does a lasting job at starting Appleblooms friendships with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo who let us be frank, those two are better characters than Applebloom overall. A bit for you to know, originally Faust wanted Applebloom to find her own cutie mark on her own but Hasbro correctly thought it weird that in a show of bonding with friends that AB wouldn't have a small group to aid her in that quest and so helped developed Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to come along too.

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Winter Wrap Up is one of my favorite episodes. I just think that the problem with them isn't the lack of magic, but their lack of vision over the larger picture. Lack of coordenation between the teams. Even if they had magic, they'd fail. And I think that is the message.

 

About Call of the Cutie... Another of my favorites. MLP does the best children in cartoons. Most of them tend to feel (by me) like crazy adults. MLP does it right.

 

And I wanted to murder Diamond Tiara.

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23 hours ago, Nuke87654 said:

I did enjoyed Call of the Cutie as it does a lasting job at starting Appleblooms friendships with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo who let us be frank, those two are better characters than Applebloom overall. A bit for you to know, originally Faust wanted Applebloom to find her own cutie mark on her own but Hasbro correctly thought it weird that in a show of bonding with friends that AB wouldn't have a small group to aid her in that quest and so helped developed Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo to come along too.

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

22 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Winter Wrap Up is one of my favorite episodes. I just think that the problem with them isn't the lack of magic, but their lack of vision over the larger picture. Lack of coordenation between the teams. Even if they had magic, they'd fail. And I think that is the message.

 

About Call of the Cutie... Another of my favorites. MLP does the best children in cartoons. Most of them tend to feel (by me) like crazy adults. MLP does it right.

 

And I wanted to murder Diamond Tiara.

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

 

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

 

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

Fall Weather Friends

 

Originally posted here on May 29th, 2014.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For last. Hah, hah! :D

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

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

Thoughts

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

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

IMG_20140529_092908_zps0ab397e8.jpg

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

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On 11/15/2016 at 3:44 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:
...
 

EDIT: Okay, Spoiled Rich. She feels way too much like a scapegoat or hate sink. She's pretty much tailor-made to try and take the heat off of Diamond Tiara. I'm not buying it.

 

So, to you, Spoiled Rich being a crappy mother is to Diamond Tiara being a prick as Sunburst moving away was to Starlight Glimmer's motivation for forming Our Town, albeit not quite as ridiculous.

Judging by how you descried Call Of The Cutie, I could probably buy if they a) built up Spoiled Rich throughout Diamond's arc or b) did something with Diamond and Silver's character after Crusaders Of The Lost mark. For the former, it's far too late by now, and the latter, I could see it work, but, given their track record with Starlight, I'm not holding my breath.

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7 hours ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Thoughts

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

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

Outside what you already said, I liked this episode for a very personal and completely biased reason: it gave Celestia an air of overseer. Like she was aware that something was wrong and showed up to see what was going on and fix it with a few simple words, helping the ponies realize that something was amiss. I don't know if this was intentional. Probably not with the intention of making it look like she was taking care of Equestria, but I loved it at the time.

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12 hours ago, WaterPulse said:

 

So, to you, Spoiled Rich being a crappy mother is to Diamond Tiara being a prick as Sunburst moving away was to Starlight Glimmer's motivation for forming Our Town, albeit not quite as ridiculous.

Judging by how you descried Call Of The Cutie, I could probably buy if they a) built up Spoiled Rich throughout Diamond's arc or b) did something with Diamond and Silver's character after Crusaders Of The Lost mark. For the former, it's far too late by now, and the latter, I could see it work, but, given their track record with Starlight, I'm not holding my breath.

Essentially, yeah. It's not quite as bad as Starlight, but still pretty out of left field with NO build-up or really any foreshadowing whatsoever. No mentions of her, no, "Oh, Mom's not gonna be happy about this!" or anything like that.

 

12 hours ago, Metemponychosis said:

Outside what you already said, I liked this episode for a very personal and completely biased reason: it gave Celestia an air of overseer. Like she was aware that something was wrong and showed up to see what was going on and fix it with a few simple words, helping the ponies realize that something was amiss. I don't know if this was intentional. Probably not with the intention of making it look like she was taking care of Equestria, but I loved it at the time.

Yeah, that was a good scene. :)

 

FASHION! Turn to the left! FASHION! Turn to the right! FASHION! Because since every girl's crazy about a sharp. Dressed. Man! It's time to get...

Suited for Success

God, those intros are lame. :P

 

Originally posted here on June 1st, 2014.

 

We open on Carousel Boutique. Rarity is fantasizing about the Gala and going there in a new dress. She pulls a scarf off of a ponykin, sending Opal for a tumble. She... does not land on her feet, rather her belly. Myth... BUSTED! Rarity also talks to her and does a duck face to the camera. Opal paws at a length of cloth, which is yanked out from under her paws and I have to laugh, then wonder why Angel doesn't get more treatment like that. Rarity... kinda sorta abuses Opal while working. Her using her hooves to work the sewing machine is insanely adorable, as are the glasses. Opal's got a pincushion in her mouth and is now doing an act to get on the Ed Sullivan show with spools, glue and scissors. Opal rolls her eyes, hisses and thinks, "Tomorrow, I go in your closet!"

Back from commercial, Applejack and Rarity knock and enter, whispering rather loudly behind her back while trying not to disturb her concentration. Rarity wonders if she's fast enough to stab them with scissors before pulling her temper in and asking what they need. Twilight pulls out a plain red dress and asks for a button to be fixed. It's her Gala dress and Rarity nearly dies from shock. QUICKLY! Get Steven Magnet on the scene, STAT! She tells Twilight she needs a new dress for the Gala,. and she'll make it for her! Element of Generosity, indeed! Twilight tries to turn her down, but Rarity insists! Twilight thanks her, and we have a genuine feel-good moment here. :)

Rarity suddenly looks to Applejack down her muzzle and asks if she wanted a new dress or not. She was gonna wear her work clothes. I will admit... when it comes to formal wear, I'm mostly with Applejack there. And to her it's gonna be work-related anyway. Rarity nearly has a stroke from that. She offers to spruce up her 'duds', and Applejack accepts. "Just don't make 'em too frou-frouey." Exact from the closed captions. :D

And Dash drops in. Literally. As in through the roof. Insurance, claims, paying for that damage, Dashie?! She bounces and knocks over a display. "Sorry, new trick. Didn't quite work." Gee, you think?! Rarity gets the "i-dea!" meme. She'll make an outfit for Dash, too! Dash is confused. Or concussed. Both, possibly. Rarity will make dresses for everyone! All shall be fashionable and despair! Then they'll put on a fashion show... and I love this show. I really, really do. You know why? It's not a fashion show for being a show, but being a show for a boost for her business! YES!!!! She's already got a bolt of fabric out and has begun. Applejack has doubts about Rarity able to do this. Reasonable of her. Rarity's response?

"Oh, Applejack. You make it sound as if it's going to be hard!" Ooh, that's a bit... boastful. :P

We get the song 'Art of the dress', which is magnificent. There's almost nothing more i can say about it. It's putting it Together from Sunday in the Park with George. It's like a musical number from a big-budget Hollywood musical. Also shows Rarity really knows the others. Excellent use of equine anatomical terms, fashion terms. They're not thrown in, but used correctly. Just... wonderful.

We do get the mention of 'tank'. In the Hasbroverse, the Equestrian Armed Forces has a Royal Tank Corps, using tanks with the outer appearance/function of WW I designs. Big Mac was a former member before the death of his parents forced him to take a hardship discharge.

We cut to Rarity leading the others into her workroom, blindfolded. The dresses are revealed and... they're stunning. Even Opal approves! I know I do! Each one fits their personality perfectly. The others are speechless. From delight? Sadly, no. The dresses are... something. Something spectacular? Amazing? Incredible. Dash is blunt, saying it's not as cool as she imagined. Head, meet desk. According to Twilight, they're not what they had in mind. What did you have in mind? Rarity is crushed and I wanna hug her, but she's determined to make them better! Fluttershy says she doesn't have to do that, and I agree! They're incredibly awesome as-is! They're not perfect, but perfection doesn't exist in this reality. They're damned close, though! Also to be technical, the animation where Fluttershy says they're fine isn't too good.

Applejack says they don't want to impose while Rarity's spirit is dying before their eyes. They thank her again and walk off, leaving her with sinking hope. "What have I gotten myself into?" More like what have they gotten you into. We come back from commercial. Rarity's mane is frazzled as Fluttershy walks in. Rarity has her new-new gown ready. She... 'loves' it. And shows about as much enthusiasm as I do for... most zombie-related media. Rarity catches her BS. Rarity pushes her, pushes her... and we get Fluttershy's freaky technical knowledge of clothing. Note she has 'technical' knowledge. As we'll see later, she doesn't have much practical knowledge of the craft. Oh, and she mentions 'French' because the kids would get that. And she does this ultra-snobby little 'muzzle in air and foreleg crossed' thing at the end. Rarity's agog.

We get a reprise of Art of the Dress, Rarity a lot more frazzled. They're throwing insane demands at her that make no sense. We get the '20% cooler' meme. You can practically hear the people behind this concerning executive meddling. Each pony's demands reflect that. Twilight's wants technical accuracy above all. Pinkie Pie wants random shit. Applejack wants insane stuff for things that she probably doesn't need them for. Dash gives little input other than '20% cooler' and Fluttershy knows enough about dressmaking to sound impressive, but not really know enough to make it good.

At the end, in the mess that was once Carousel Boutique, Rarity laments these are the ugliest dresses she's ever made. Ho, boy. She's not just whistling Dixie, folks. We cut to her presenting the dresses. They're impressed while Opal wants to shred them. I say, let the kitty win. Rarity tries to be diplomatic about how much she loathes them. Suddenly, a wild Spike appears! He maybe kinda sorta mentioned the fashion show to Hoity Toity, a bigwig in the fashion industry in Canterlot. Okay, Spike? Normally, legit props to you. This time with those abominations... still legit good on you. Excuse me, five of the Mane Six. I must swat you with Sunday editions of the New York Times!!!! Applejack and the others think her business will boom! Rarity nearly has a stroke.

We cut to night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! Oh, no. Wait, Megan from Earth hasn't come back yet. False alarm, folks! They're all getting ready. And I gotta wonder how big this stage is compared to Trixie's wagon. :P And I know, but I'm still doing it. :D Hoity walks in and gets a pillow laid down. I'll admit, I actually really like the guy. Rarity tries to calm down. It works about as well as you'd expect. We get a brief shot of Vinyl Scratch and her turntable. The lights go on and Spike announces. It's a good setup, a shame what they came to see is so horrid. :(

The five strut their... stuff. Mares on film! This is the first time we see their outfits in all their hideous, gory glory. Ditzy's so shocked she's seeing straight! They all pout and do those runway looks and turns. I am still amazed at how bad these look. Dash's is the best, but that's like calling Moe the smart Stooge. Ponies in the crowd are literally sticking their tongues out at these outfits. Applejack wonders why they're looking at them so oddly, and Twilight realizes how badly they fucked up. Hoity rips into them, and he's got every right in the universe to. Rarity herself said how bad they were. He says it's a mishmash of everything but the kitchen sink! And Rarity... kicks a sink back. Okay, that's a bit too far for a joke. Hoity rips further and Rariy wants to hide... but Spike calls her out. And she does a Walk of Shame, head hung low. The others are left on that turntable at the front of the walkway, basking in humiliation.

We cut to Rarity... pulling a Susan Lucci, perhaps? Full-on drama queen mode, not that she doesn't deserve to. It's a nervous breakdown in a pink, frilly robe. Twilight tries to reassure her while Dash is an asshole. I have to punch Dash, now. *Punches Dash* Ah, much better! Rarity's so around the bend she doesn't even know what she's supposed to wallow in! Fluttershy thinks they should panic and Dash again makes me wanna smack her. God, at this point in the series I'm liking Pinkie Pie more than Dash!!!!! Pinkie says she'll become a crazy cat lady! "She only has one cat!" "Give her time..."

Twilight peeks in through the keyhole and spies Rarity's unfinished design. We cut to Rarity contemplating exile and pondering the intricacies of such an endeavor. She suddenly hears Opal, opens a window and spies the cat in a tree, clinging to a branch for dear life! Rarity shows what a good person she is and goes to rescue her. And she sees Dash there, who put her up there. Okay, good intentions... but still pretty rotten. We pan down to see the others around Rarity's finished dress! Rarity goes into mild shock. She gives it a critical eye. And no, she doesn't like it. After the wringer they put her through, she's earned this. And yeah, she loves it. Even got really freaky eyes and expression. No, Rarity! Put down the thread and needle, I'm sorry I bought your EQG doll!

The others admit the dresses she made were perfect. They apologize and admit their 'suggestions' were bad. Good on them! She forgives them, but her career's still RUINED! But maybe not... as Hoity stands there. We cut to inside Carousel Boutique. "Take two!" And Rarity's horn lights up and... it's the best fashion show I've ever seen! Literally, too. We see the dresses and Hoity's amazed. The dresses fit the ponies perfectly, not much more to say. It's a great sequence all around. I will say my favorite part of the background song is the clapping done at the beginning of Fluttershy's part. Hoity claps and wants to see the designer. Rarity takes center-stage and drinks in the praise, rightfully so.

We cut to the after-party and Twilight's very appropriate letter and Aesop. Don't be overly critical, and don't try to please everybody. Because that's pretty much impossible. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, which for me implies nothing more than something for the audience to latch onto. ;) Hoity congratulates Rarity and asks if he can feature her couture in his boutique in Canterlot? He'll need a dozen of each dress by next Tuesday. Ohhai Captain Harriman! :D Rarity gets a twitchy eye and we go to black.

Thoughts

What can I say? This episode earned its rep as awesome. It's a great song, great moments, great lesson that fits the episode. You've heard it a dozen times over from people far more articulate than I am.

I mean... we have the character that screams 'prima donna' putting on a fashion show with her friends, other Technicolor horses. It should be so saccharine as to cause tooth decay, but it's pulled off wonderfully. Rarity shows her eye for detail, and that she knows her friends. The unsubtle message about meddling is great, too.

As for Hoity, I love the guy. He's pretty danged reasonable, all things considered. He came to Ponyville on Spke's invitation, saw abominations of fashion but still gave Rarity a second chance. Did he rip into the ones at the first fashion show? Yes. So did Rarity and everyone else. He praised the good ones and I just love him, and his design. Although one wonders how the heck SPike got him to go in the first place. The mind wonders, and ponders!

So, again, awesome episode. Now this time, no new picture since... I really can't take something 'new' with my toys that could be better than what I've got here. I don't have anything for my pony toys to wear, you see. ;)

Tune in tomorrow when, *Checks DVD list* Ho, boy. From a peak to a valley. Tomorrow, we're Feeling Pinkie Keen.

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Rarity has a tendency of owning her episodes like a boss, but this one, in my opinion, is stellar.

25 minutes ago, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

Tune in tomorrow when, *Checks DVD list* Ho, boy. From a peak to a valley. Tomorrow, we're Feeling Pinkie Keen.

Hold on. Let me get my helmet...

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Suited for Success is one of my favorite episodes in the series for good reason. It's part of my top ten best MLP episodes list usually :)

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On 11/17/2016 at 0:51 PM, Metemponychosis said:

Rarity has a tendency of owning her episodes like a boss, but this one, in my opinion, is stellar.

Hold on. Let me get my helmet...

Stellar is very apt. As for a helmet? No... you'll be needing full-body armor. :ajlol:

On 11/17/2016 at 1:07 PM, Nuke87654 said:

Suited for Success is one of my favorite episodes in the series for good reason. It's part of my top ten best MLP episodes list usually :)

One of these days I might rank the episodes... except I don't even have a top-ten songs I like. Just a top-three. But yeah, awesome episode all-around.

 

Okay, I'm tired, I've had a long day at work. I don't feel good, so I guess that means I'm in the best mood to be...

Feeling Pinkie Keen

 

Originally posted here on June 2, 2014.

 

Strap in, folks. We have a nice pan over City Hall before fading to Twilight and Spike. Spike has a stick, something green around his neck and a rock balanced on his head. Twilight, for some reason, is struggling to turn these into a top hat and tails with swaggerific cane. ZZ Top, take it away! And for some reason it seems that both of them need to concentrate on this, even though that's never been needed before. Pinkie Pie lets out a squeak and the top hat becomes a rock once more. Spike gets a concussion and... it's not really that funny. Twilight chews out Spike while he needs medical attention. Hey, Twilight?! Bite me! And again this sort of magic needs their full attention. When did it need Spike's attention before?! I am not even a half-minute in!!! And for this...

Four.

Spike points out Pinkie acting randomly. She's scooting about with an umbrella hat on. Twilight dismisses her, thank goodness! But for some reason Twilight goes over to ask her what's up. I... don't know why. She just dismissed it as her being Pinkie Pie. There's a Wide World of Sports reference. And... the tail is twitching, which means her Pinkie Sense is telling her stuff's gonna fall. Duck and cover! *Hides under desk* Wait, this isn't the 1950's in TV Land! Twilight says it's not gonna rain when a frog smacks into her face. Hello, my baby! Okay, that was good timing on the joke. And Pinkie Pie can talk Frog. Because why not?

Back from commercial and it's the same scene. Hmm, that doesn't happen too often. We pan up and we see Fluttershy with a cart of frogs. Because why not? Okay, the pond is getting over-populated, so she's moving some of them to Froggy Bottom Bog. Okay, that makes sense. Fluttershy mutters a muffled 'bye-bye' and it's actually pretty cute. Pinkie points out the frog and Twilight gets rather condescending. "Did your Pinkie Sense tell you that, too?" Okay, back off, Sparkle. The frog jumps off, Pinkie flits off and Spike hops onto Twilight's back, singing the praises of the Sense. Twilight's dismissive of it. And at this point, so would I. Then for some reason Pinkie speeds over from wherever the hell she was and says something else is gonna fall. Twilight is dismissive... and falls into a ditch that there's no real way she'd miss. Stars are spinning and this one isn't funny either. Spike says the blaringly obvious and actually asks if it's safe to help her. It is but he doesn't actually help her. Instead it's more praise for the Pinkie Sense. By now... I'd be a bit less skeptical. And then Applejack shows up with a cart of produce and asks why Twilight is hanging out in a ditch. Instead of helping her. Okay, Spike? Applejack? HELP HER OUT OF THE DITCH!!!!!!!

Twilight is still pretty dismissive, but one mention of the tail and Applejack gasps. She dives under her produce wagon, and it turns out she believes in it, too. Those who have lived in Ponyville a while, so I guess it's been observed over a period of time. And Pinkie pops up yet again with floppy ears. But they're not hanging low. What does it mean? She'll start a bath. Flat what. Twilight is dismissive, and suddenly a cart rumbles by and splashes her with mud.

Okay, this is becoming overly cruel. It's not funny, stop it!

For me, by now I'd be asking about the Sense.

We cut to Twilight in a bath. Pinkie walks in with a bottle and explains she gets these feelings, and each one means a different thing is gonna happen. Her shoulder's achey, so there's an alligator in the tub. Wait, alligator?! She reaches in and yanks out Gummy! Twilight is understandably freaked. She chews out Pinkie, and I'm on her side here. But Pinkie rolls her eyes because he's got no teeth. And he begins trying to gum her to death. It's... kinda funny?

Later Twilight and Pinkie are leaving. Twilight doesn't believe it and calls it mumbo jumbo. Twilight, at this point you've had several instances of the Pinkie Sense working. You live in a country with quantifiable, identifiable magic. Pinkie... says what I just said. "You do magic. What's the difference?" And Twilight stares at her, open-mouthed. And next she... I still can't believe it. She gets onto a literal soapbox. Apparently magic's something you study and practice. It's conscious and direct and dear god I am about to punch her with a Buick. Twilight, right now you are an elitist asshole. Get off your damned soapbox and realize that not everything fits into your little checklists.

Pinkie Pie gets angry, too. But she, being Pinkie Pie, says it's a bunch of random hings happening. Pinkie Pie calls them combos and now I'm hungry. Dammit, I just ate supper! She gets a combo and Twilight gets literally flattened against the door to Golden Oaks  by Spike, complete with an audible backing-up beep. Not. FUNNY! This combo means look out for opening doors. Okay, show? Although Twilight is acting pretty high and mighty, the injuries are starting to make me sympathize with her. We are running into Boast Busters syndrome, here. And that's not a good thing!

Twilight says she doesn't believe this, and Pinkie buts in because she doesn't understand. Pinkie, she was referring to the injuries, methinks. We cut to the basement and some machine hooked up to Pinkie. I literally have no idea what it's supposed to be doing. Apparently when she gets a twitch, there'll be all sorts of 'scientific information'. Pony what?! It's a colander with all sorts of Christmas lights attached to it. No twitches after about... 20 seconds or so? Twilight's getting impatient. Still nothing and now Twilight's getting mad. Pinkie can't control them, though. It makes no sense! Wait, how? They've been pretty random all day, not to mention Pinkie said they were random earlier! And we get this...

"I will not believe in anything I cannot explain." That's a pretty loaded statement. Pinkie feels something. Her tummy growls, which usually means she's hungry. Hah, hah? Twilight yanks out the cables with her teeth and declares she doesn't need to understand it or care! Pinkie slips out of her hoof cuffs and bounces off. But at the top of the stairs she gets a combo and Twilight gets flattened by the door. Again. "Pinkie, have you seen Twilight?" "Uh, huh." And Pinkie bounces off. Okay, NOT funny! Spike notices and asks what Twilight's doing back there. UGH! Twilight asks if they planned this, and Spike is as confused as I am. Twilight says it makes no sense and says she has to figure it out!

We have a brief shot of Flutterhsy flying with her frogs before cutting back to Pinkie hopping about. Well, that was a pointless scene! We see a bush moving and it's Twilight, complete with binoculars, pith helmet and pencil in mouth. She begins scribbling while Spike wanders by and asks what's going on. Twilight pulls him in and chews him out for sneaking up on ponies. Spike asks if isn't that what she's doing. No, it's scientific research. Tomato, tomahto. But unfortunately, we can't call this off. She's observing Pinkie and comes up with some pseudo-Latin name for her, which actually seems vaguely insulting. The bush is bigger on the inside, mind. She's getting to the bottom of the Sense! We cut to Pinkie rolling around in the school's playground. Okay, creepy, much? Twilight observes an itchy nose and Pinkie diving for cover, which makes no sense. Because it's a twitchy tail that means something's gonna fall. And a bee swarm out of nowhere and heads straight for Twilight. She is now covered in band-aids, and observing Pinkie near/at Sweet Apple Acres. She notices the combo for opening doors. Spike dives for cover while Twilight is patronizing. She leans against the barn door and nothing happens. She trots off and falls into a door that opens in the fucking ground. It's Applejack's new apple cellar.

We come back to Twilight in casts, with a pulley system and wheelchair. NOT FUNNY! Spike ratchets her forelegs up. Twitchy tail and Twilight's forelegs are slammed into the armrest. Suddenly, flower pot, anvil, wagon of bales of hay, and finally piano. We pan up to see Ditzy and Raindrops and a moving van in the sky manned by pegasi. THIS makes no sense! And it's just damned cruel to Twilight! We cut to Applejack passing by, taking some apples to her new cellar. Pinkie reveals she knows Twilight is following her. Twilight, angry, asks why she didn't tell her. It would spoil the 'secret'. Twilight is about to stroke out at this point, and her injuries are NOT amusing. Pinkie suddenly shakes all over. "It's a doozy!" It's gonna happen at Froggy Bottom Bog! Applejack gasps out that that's where Fluttershy is! Applejack says they better go make sure she's okay. good call, Applejack! Twilight says for everyone to remain calm. Pinkie's got a case of the shivers. Everyone else has already galloped off. Twilight follows because she wants to basically rub it in Pinkie's face when nothing goes wrong.

We cut to Fluttershy letting the frogs out. We suddenly get a beast from below rising up while ominous music plays. The rest enter to rustic country twanging... for some reason. The swamp? Applejack's in the group? Why the country twanging?! Pinkie suddenly gets another doozy. Twilight is snarky. Spike asks what Applejack thinks happened. Applejack's trying not to think about it. Spike can't help it... which makes sense. Quick, don't think about your locker combo! We get the 'exploded twice' meme. Applejack rightly dismisses their insane rambling, as does Twilight. They spot the bog and go looking for Fluttershy, quickly finding her but not before Pinkie gets a faceful of mud. Eh... kinda not funny, but compared to earlier crap kinda passable. They're all relieved, and Twilight loses a ton of sympathy points by saying it's not nice to gloat, and then gloating. Twilight... ugh.

Ominous smoke rolls in while Twilight continues to gloat. The hydra rears up, one of the heads in front of Twilight, who continues to ignore it. Head, meet desk. At about mach 987! Spike points it out to her. She sees it, but doesn't believe it! The heads roar, one a bit too slow. Most run, except for Pinkie. Twilight runs back to save her. Some have mentioned the Stare, but in this case we can forgive Fluttershy for being too scared to use it. Fluttershy apologizes to a frog as she runs off, because! The hydra gives chase, but Spike gets stuck. Twilight runs back and snags him. And I gotta call her out for no use of teleporting. Unlike Fluttershy, we've seen that she can keep a much more level head. Twilight thinks they'll make it, but Pinkie's still shuddering. Oh, too much coffee. *Gives her decaf*

They come across a chasm, with several stone columns lining a path across. Twilight says to hop across, one at a time. Fluttershy, she can fly. Telekinesis, teleporting?! Spike asks if she can turn the hydra into a squirrel or something else. Nope! We get a callback to Dragonshy. God I wish I was watching that now. Twilight says she'll distract it while Applejack grabs pinkie by the tail and hops across. Twilight, the damned thing's pretty far away. Go with the others! she asks what a 'brave' pony like Dash would do, and charges. The hydra heads all got for her, but miss and follow. Under its belly. It flips itself over, one head being crushed.

Back at the other side of the chasm, Pinkie's shuddering. The hydra recovers and ambles after her, one head smashing one of the columns! All but the farthest two are demolished. Okay, teleport??!??!! Pinkie says to jump, which Twilight balks at. Pinkie says she'll be fine. "You have to take a leap of faith!" Oh, good effin' LORD! So Twilight backs up, jumps, comes up just short... and lands on some gas bubble. It pops, sends her bouncing along the last two columns, because we need more amusing injuries, and she slams into a rock wall, giving a squeaky smile of triumph. Yay!

Twilight doesn't know how it happened, but admits we had a doozy with a hydra. But... that's not the doozy! Pinkie's still shuddering! Twilight loses it and evolves into Rapidash. I half-expect her to start the killing. But no. She calms down and gives up. She doesn't understand the Pinkie Sense, but admits it's real. She believes in it. And THAT is the doozy, that she believes in the Pinkie Sense. What that's flatter than Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's characterization! Pinkie trots off humming to herself and I need a drink. Well, I wish I drank alcohol so I could need a drink, but whatever. Let's wrap this one up STAT.

We cut to Twilight sending Celestia a letter. We see Twilight at an odd angle, head not visible. Gee, I wonder what that could mean. We cut to her wearing an umbrella hat. Hah, hah? Not really, actually. Pinkie's tail is twitching. The moral is that there are things that lack explanation, but they're not any less true. Ugh. And as the two ponies trot off, Spike goes to the top window to send the scroll, even though he's never had to do that before. And Celestia out of nowhere. The end, thank god!

Thoughts

Oh, this one was painful. The 'comedy' bit alone were wince-inducing. I do like physical, Loony Toons comedy... in Loony Toons or the Three Stooges. NOT in this show! It felt very out of place and just painful after the first few times. It was wince-inducing.

Twilight pings back and forth. She's a straw/physicist/scientist/atheist/insert appropriate word here, coming off as incredibly arrogant and dismissive, but the harm she was getting was making me sympathize with her. Then she has to open her mouth. The moral is misspoke, for lack of a better term.

There are things in the world that's not understood. But that's not the end of the journey, only the beginning. Twilight was being punished for trying to understand... and came off as an asshole while trying to understand it. She trashed the scientific method. the Pinkie Sense was observed in action, after all. Also, leap of faith? Really? Really?!

So, yeah. This episode was bad. Sun_Tzu didn't review it. And you know what? He was right not to. Now, for this pic, it's not a hydra, but the toy I do own that turns into one, Robots in Disguise Megatron, is a bit too complex for me to get it transformed in time for this to be done. Also, it's more effort than the episode deserves!

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