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Season 8, Episode 15: The Hearth’s Warming Club

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Title: The Hearth’s Warming Club

 

Synopsis: A prank gone wrong ruins Hearth's Warming Eve preparations. When Twilight Sparkle tries to figure out which of her students is behind it, the students bond over shared memories of home.

 

Airs: Today at noon on Discovery Family

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We finally got a character confirmed to be an orphan on show (not comics or other tie-ins) and it isn't Scootaloo. I felt really bad for Gallus having no family or positive traditions. So I was really happy his friends chose to stay with him and cheer him up rather than go back home for the holidays. I really liked how Twilight handled the prank: firm, but kind. I liked how she initially had everyone close their eyes so the guilty student would not feel judged by his/her classmates and could confess in anonymity. It didn't work, but what did work was even better. Gallus felt bad on his own when he saw how suspicion was dividing his friends. He never wanted anyone to yell or accuse one another, he was just a lonely kid who wanted to spend a little more time with his friends.

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This was cute and sweet. More like the charm of early MLP than the neuroses of The Breakfast Club, if I'm remembering the latter right, but that charm is very much welcome; my main apprehension is that dragons and yaks seem a little too one-note. Otherwise, I found this very pleasant, and then the twist at the end won me over even more. I don't have that much to say here, but point by point:

  •  I think it's cute that changelings are learning about and adapting pony holidays. Their culture to this point was defined so much by obedience to Chrysalis before, but now they're finding their own identity. And that story was appealingly silly. Shout out to Twilight giving them a heckin' Christmas instruction manual. 
  • Sandbar cannot sing. 
  • Sandbar's story was funny but kinda underwhelming. He's probably the least interesting of the student six to me right now. 
  • Silverstream has grown on me, but I still find her enthusiasm annoying at times. She's sweet and that's a likable trait, but it's still a bit too much. 
  • I wish the yaks had more to their culture than just destroying things. I feel like the show has missed an opportunity to flesh them out a bit. Also, does Yona just not remember the yak song? Surely those aren't the actual words. 
  •  We've seen a nice griffon, so I'd like to see more friendly individuals from the dragon culture. Spike doesn't count, because he was raised as a pony. Given Smolder's story, nice dragons must exist, but we've never seen any. 
  • The dragon story was unexpected. I was expecting something sweet, but nope, it's just cruelty. It’s funny, though.
  • What I like most about Gallus's story is that they didn't shy away from the fact that he's an orphan. Even more than "The Perfect Pear," this makes it very clear that his family is gone, and at least in this case it makes sense that we don't know if they're alive or dead, because maybe Gallus doesn't know either. I still think more specificity would make this even more powerful, but I feel the implication here is that he was abandoned. Unlike the Apples, there's no other family to take care of him. I didn't see any of that coming, and it's really nice that this show can still catch me completely off guard. 
  • If we take Princess Cadance's backstory from that one book as canon, the show's orphan count is now at 5, counting the Apples separately.

 Score:
Entertainment: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Themes: 10/10
Story: 7/10
Overall: 83/100

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I loved this episode. Seeing the different traditions and stories behind the cultures was cool. I loved that Smolder wasn't ashamed or bowed to pressure concerning her story. She's proud of it and I love her more for it!

 

And god yes I love Ocellus more and more. :D

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I liked this one. I think it's the best one with the students. I just don't have much to say about it other than it was the cute story I expected. At most, I would've liked to see some more creativity in the stories they told.

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1) I like that the Changeling traditions are straight up imitations of the pony ones. Very fitting.

2) I loved Smolder's story, as it really set her apart from all the others. Plus it was hilarious.

3) Are we going to see a search-and-replace of the old fanon that ScootalooGallus lives in a cardboard box under Rainbow Dash's house?

4) Second episode featuring Gallus yelling to stop an argument. I hope this turns into a running gag!

6) I can't count to five.

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Great story. It's amazing how the Student 6 are wonderful characters in their own right (The writers and va's really knocked it out of the park with them). Ocellus puts serious competition with Fluttershy as the most adorable character on the show and Yona is awesome (or "best!") in every scene she's in. Gallus was a great as the outsider from a winner-take-all society like the griffons.

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I liked this one a lot! :D

At first I was getting serious Orient Express vibes from this story, until it turned out that the culprit was only one. And considering the outcome, I thought it would be all 6.

- Gallus...felt so much for that guy!

- Changedlings understanding HWE rules was hilarious!

That Streamy! Can't get enough of her /)>w<(\

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