Dark Qiviut

S7, Episodes 1 & 2: Celestial Advice, All Bottled Up

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Celestial Advice marks the season 7 premiere for FIM. All Bottled Up immediately follows it.

If you haven't seen it, HD upload on Daily Motion (not mine).

Please leave your comments on the episodes below.

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I'm not going to repost my comment about the episode here. I'll keep to what I think are the most important points.

As a fan of the show, both episodes were very good at what they were attempting to do. As a Celestia fan, I think that Celestial Advice did as much good for Celestia as Sleepless in Ponyille did for Luna. Though Luna never really was in a position where she desperately needed an episode about her. But I think the episodes are analogous. Twilight and Celestia shared this episode wonderfully and every character was used in a very nice and endearing way.

Technically, I have no problem with either episodes if not for the fact that the part about Twilight and friends in All Bottled Up felt like filler until I realized that it was a nice counterpoint to what was going on between Trixie and Starlight Glimmer, specially since we've seen the six friends exactly where Trixie and Starlight Glimmer are now. I thought it was an excellent way to tell the story and to emphasize what great friends they are, even when they want to kill each other every now and then. I think this is a lovely sentiment to inspire in kids. Other than that, Trixie is amazing with Starlight Glimmer.

By the way... Bottling up.. I really liked that allusion and I think it's very relevant.

I laughed so much during Twilight's simulations in the previous episode. But what really sold me that episode was everything after that. And that is when my "Celestia fan" heart soared. Though I would've preferred to see Celestia and Twilight studying alone, in a more personal way, their dialogue convinced me that they were very close and that Twilight was a special student, indeed, for Celestia. But the lack of that was remedied by Celestia, closely, personally, teaching one lesson to Twilight, as we were watching the episode. Wonderful.

Beside that, I think that the show shouldn't be done with Celestia yet. I think there's more to show about her: Celestia the Ruler. Celestia the Sister. Celestia the Protector of Equestria. But I can't complain much more.

These episodes are the sort of thing that keep me coming back for more pony.

Edited by Metemponychosis
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The one thing I wish I had known prior to watching these is that they weren't going to be a two-parter. Throughout most of Celestial Advice, I never really focused on the episode itself because my brain was looking for the moment in which a conflict aroused that would be resolved in the second episode, only for it to never come. Because of that, it took me a little while to get over that and start appreciating the first episode for what it was meant to be (when it had ended already, may I add). The "shock" from not getting the typical adventurous two-parter also transferred somewhat to All Bottled Up, and while I enjoyed that one more because I already knew I wasn't getting that kind of episode, it still took me a little while to get over it and actually appreciate the good things about it.

They aren't perfect, though. I think Celestial Advice would have fared much better if the whole thing of Starlight not feeling ready to go after Twilight's announcement had lasted longer. Portray her emotions as going through a slower progression where she finally decides to tell Twilight she doesn't want to go, instead of how quickly it happened. All Bottled Up could have used making Trixie feel a little more realistic about being unaware of Starlight's feelings, instead of her being so blatantly oblivious to anything. But overall, I still feel they were pretty decent episodes. I definitely need to rewatch them some time later and see how I feel about them when I know full well what to expect of them ahead of time.

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51 minutes ago, Vinkill said:

All Bottled Up could have used making Trixie feel a little more realistic about being unaware of Starlight's feelings, instead of her being so blatantly oblivious to anything.

Yeah, Trixie was a bit of a jerk. Thank goodness she wasn't aware of the importance of the table, because if she did and continued to act like that, this would already be in the running for the worst episode this season. Also, where was this episode when Season 6 was still airing? It would have been a good way to put Starlight's character back on her feet after "Every Little Thing She Does".

Other than that, good episodes. Celestia had her first decent moment in the show in some time and I like the idea of Starlight having an anger problem.

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The most consistent thought I had throughout both episodes was: "It's weird seeing Trixie as a regular character."

 

I almost teared up with Celestia's flashbacks and Twilight's reactions.

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Two mini-reviews:

Celestial Advice:

Strength:

  1. Excellent characterization of Spike, Twilight, and especially Celestia. All of them are within their characters, but like I wrote in the past, "in character" isn't enough. They need to be likable and relatable. Here, you can understand where they're coming from.

    Twilight acted like any sensible teacher, mentor, or caring friend would. She really worried about Starlight's well-being and fretted about what could happen.

    Spike understands Starlight's intellect. She knows how smart and resourceful she is and is more than capable of doing the right thing.

    Celestia can relate to Twilight's predicament, and I'm sure many of us do, too. During a series where Celly had really, REALLY awful performances (notably TCE, Keep Calm, No Second Prances, ACW, and To Where), to have her most positive appearance since The Return of Harmony is a major breath of fresh air.

    On top of that, excellent callback to season two where ponies were using Celestia's name in vain like we do with God.

Negatives:

  1. The pacing at the end is some of the worst in the entire show. Everything built up and then suddenly, the status quo is hammered in in the final 90 seconds. It's way too rushed.
  2. Speaking of pacing, Starlight's progress and development happened way too fast and confined to exposition. Like I wrote in my To Where review, Starlight was a major change to the status quo. As such, more time needed to be put in to really develop her. But DHX's bad habits along with writing terrible characterization of her really hurt her credibility. Here, she just graduates, and then she doesn't. Sure, she did a really good thing by completing changing the Changeling Kingdom, but it'd be much better if the audience can SEE this development progress throughout season six. Why? Because you give the ceremony a sense of earning. Her ceremony doesn't feel earned at all. In short, the characterization and pacing flaws from last season affected the writing here.
  3. Discord. He was a completely unlikable jerk. He may not be the completely likable dude, but at least show a little character growth to suggest that he does care for Fluttershy's friends. Every joke surrounding him doesn't land because of his lousy characterization.

While it's a major improvement compared to To Where (the show's worst finale), it's still a step down from The Crystalling.

———

All Bottled Up.

This was much better watching it a second time.

Strengths:

  1. Starlight. She needed a really strong performance after poor outings in Every Little Thing and To Where. ABU is her best outing since The Crystalling. She was strong when she needed to, angry when he needed to, tired when she needed to, and sad when she needed to. Her characterization was a row of colors (and, no, not just red). She felt like a character that people can empathize to.

    While past episodes sometimes told us she grew, we get to SEE it very clearly. If you recall Every Little Thing She Does, she controlled her friends against their will as the first resort; in what was trying to replicate Lesson Zero's success, that didn't work. Here, she literally bottled up her anger as a last resort. Every time Trixie did something that made her angry, her anger became more and more uncontrollable. Starlight knows this, but feared getting mad at her would fracture their bond. Considering what happened in the past (both with each other in NSP and herself in ELTSD), it's understandable. She couldn't risk that.

    Even though it was wrong for her to bottle up her anger, you can see where she's coming from, and there are actual consequence to hr choice. Every time she got mad, her expression, personality, and facial expression changed. Her hair frayed and wilted. Her eyes drooped. Overall, there was no life into her personality. To keep her temper under control emotionally and physically drained her. In other words, her character growth from ELTSD was used to the Sister Writers' advantage, not ignored.

    She and Celestia were the best characterized in these two episodes, but I'm more impressed by Starlight's for the reasons above. And Starlight's hairdo wilting at the jewelry store is my favorite moment of both eps.
  2. The pacing here is much more improved over CA, too. With one exception midway, everything flowed from one point to the next much better. The ending didn't feel rushed, cramped, slow, or nonsensical. Everything, including the Friendship Retreat, mattered.
  3. The Friendship Retreat broke away from the moody A-plot. Yeah, the B-plot had some humor, but it was also quite serious and heavy. Sometimes when you have a plot this heavy, you need something to occasionally break away to relax the plot a bit. The B-plot is very relaxed and tenseless.
  4. On top of that, fantastic moral. Sometimes when you bottle up your anger, that anger can manifest itself into making you do things that'll you'll regret. A big strength in maintaining a healthy friendship is the ability to be honest, yet constructive with those you care for.

Weaknesses:

  1. The B-plot, while counterbalancing the A-plot, is contrived. Twilight's mildly flanderized here, and you have a stereotypical-looking and sounding stallion who acted like he couldn't care less about his job. Secondly, it kept interrupting the A-plot, which slowed the pace and put it at a standstill. You can maybe relax the tension in the A-plot without stopping it to complete the B-plot.
  2. Trixie becomes flanderized. After she accidentally teleported the Cutie Map, she stopped caring about that, was so oblivious to Starlight's anxiety until late in Act 2, and cared more about other things immediately. Her change in personality feels too sudden and implausible. If there was a conflict between trying to find the map and slowly becoming too mesmerized on extracurricular things, then it could work a little better. Like an improved Cart Before the Ponies.

Nevertheless, a really great episode that I grew to appreciate more the second time. Originally, I thought Celestial Advice was better. Now I believe the opposite.

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38 minutes ago, Dark Qiviut said:

Speaking of pacing, Starlight's progress and development happened way too fast and confined to exposition. Like I wrote in my To Where review, Starlight was a major change to the status quo. As such, more time needed to be put in to really develop her. But DHX's bad habits along with writing terrible characterization of her really hurt her credibility. Here, she just graduates, and then she doesn't. Sure, she did a really good thing by completing changing the Changeling Kingdom, but it'd be much better if the audience can SEE this development progress throughout season six. Why? Because you give the ceremony a sense of earning. Her ceremony doesn't feel earned at all. In short, the characterization and pacing flaws from last season affected the writing here.

This is a very good point. The pacing in the episode didn't bother me, but SG's progression did. I feel like All Bottled Up should've aired in the previous season; because it shows that SG is changing.

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(Finally, posting works again.)

 

Celestial Advice - I thought it was alright. I still think Starlight's progress is being rushed, though I'm glad there was a reason this time. I got a kick out of seeing Celestia laugh like that.

All Bottled Up - I liked this one better. I really liked Trixie in this episode, and I like how they joked about the song.

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Celestia finally gets some character background. She and Twilight actually interact with each other! Everything and everypony else is irrelevant to me in this episode. Already 10/10

Cutest Celestia moment: Her sitting down with a thud before telling Twilight a story. 

 

1388189__safe_edit_edited+screencap_scre

Savages ;D 

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First of all, huzzah! It's good to have an opener that isn't OMG EPIK KATASTROFEE MAYJUR CRYSUS for a change! Kind of like Best Night Ever being the finale to Season 1!

Celestial Advice: Going in, I was worried this was going to be a clip show. Turns out they swerved and made it an anti-clip show by showing things that not only didn't happen in the past, but also didn't happen in the future!

All Bottled Up: Starlight's first episode as a Friendship Post-doc! Trixie mocked the Mane 6's habit of bursting into song, and then later they burst into the cheesiest song yet. Perfect! Trixie is really good at being a foil for the Mane 6 and having good hair.

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S7E1:

I would suggest not reading this because it's likely your not going to like it. Because, as always, they're controversial. Which means you probably shouldn't read them. In fact, don't. But if you do... don't be an opinion hating jerk. There's your 'viewer discretion' warning.

Yes. This makes total sense. Give medals to the HORRID NOT REDEEMED characters because they TOTALLY deserve it. OH WAIT THEY DON'T. Good job idiots. :applebelch:

The Luna/Thorax part was funny though. :mlp_DERPE:

HOW MANY TIMES IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN BEFORE THIS JERK ASS IS FINALLY PUT IN HIS PLACE AND TURNED BACK TO STONE FOR GOOD?! DISCORD ONCE AGAIN PROVING HE'S AN ASS AND CAUSING THE PROBLEM. :mad:

Why is Twilight freaking out cute? For some reason it just is.

Twilight's 'fantasies'. The only one I liked was the one where Glimmer FELL INTO A BLACK HOLE. YES. SEND HER THERE NOW. :approve:

*sighs* Crap... :(

THAT CELESTIA LAUGH. OH. MY. GOD. :ajlol:

You know what actually liked though? AT LONG LAST WE GOT CELESTIA CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. TOOK LONG ENOUGH. :applebelch:

Not much else to really say here. The Twilight/Celestia relationship is still strong as ever and I like that. The HORRID NOT REDEEMED character NOT leaving? Not so much.

I actually kind of liked this episode. Mostly due to Twilight freaking out and the Celestia development.
 
However...

Current Status:

Stay: 30%
Leave: 70%

Reason: Continued expectation to like HORRID NOT REDEEMED characters.

S7E2:

WHY. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THESE TWO. :mad:

WOW. YOU KNOW WHAT THIS EPISODE PROVED? THAT NOT ONLY IS TRIXIE A MANIACAL, EGOTISTICAL, MIGHTIER-THAN-THOU *squee!* BUT NOW WE ALSO KNOW SHE'S A COMPLETE DUMBASS. So thanks for that confirmation I guess. :newspaper:

Starlight LOST HER FREAKING COMMON SENSE AGAIN. But you know what? As much as it pains me to admit this... there's actually a least a bit of an excuse this time. IT WAS ALL DUE TO THE COMPLETE DUMASS. IF DUMBASS WASN'T SUCH A DUMBASS it's possible Glimmer wouldn't have lost her common sense for the umpteenth time. :doublefacehoof:

Yes, I was hoping the anger possessed ponies were going to ALL OUT ATTACK the COMPLETE DUMBASS and kill her. To bad... :flattered:

I have nothing else to say about this one. All it was, was pretty much Glimmer LOSING HER COMMON SENSE AGAIN and THE COMPLETE DUMBASS BEING A COMPLETE DUMBASS. :angrytwi:

About the only thing I really liked in this episode was the Mane 6 in the Puzzle Room and the Mane 6 song in this episode.

Current Status:

Stay: 10%
Leave: 90%

Reason: EVEN MORE expectation to like HORRID NOT REDEEMED characters.

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Good heavens. You really think they're actually going to kill off a character that's not an unrepentant monster? Trixie and Starlight have issues, but they are not pure evil. Trixie's brush with villainy was spurred on by a cursed magical artifact. Starlight is doing her best to put her villain days behind her. And if Discord was the monster you seem to think, he would not have cared to get Fluttershy back. He would have left them all prisoners  of Chrysalis and went off to do his own thing.

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The second episode of season 7 featuring Celestia has aired in the U.S. Wow, “second episode” and “featuring Celestia” in the same sentence? Am I really watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? It seems like it, so at least I know I’m not delusional. This season can’t possibly have the same people from previous seasons working on this one. I’ve always wanted to see that alicorn be useful in some way to the show, but my chance of satisfaction has sailed since season 4, and I’m surprised I kept watching the show after that. But now I’m going on a tangent. I haven’t seen much of season 7, but these Celestia episodes intrigue me because I want to see if past (stupid) mistakes can be fixed. If they can’t, then I want to see how badly they screw up. In any case, I can’t skip the first of these episodes.

“Celestial Advice” has Twilight asking Celestia for… advice about teaching Starlight Glimmer. I’m unsurprisingly much less interested in Starlight, so I’ll get the stuff about her out of the way first. Starlight is marked as ready to graduate because she was able to deal with Chrysalis, and friendship lessons aren’t fit for a pony of such a feat. I’ll ignore that Starlight’s sparse appearances in season 6 don’t make her seem eligible for graduation anyways. Apparently, no one was thinking because a pony being able to confront some evil overlord doesn’t mean that pony knows how to make or deal with other regular ponies. Twilight along with her friends has dealt with Nightmare Moon (which started Twilight’s own friendship lessons, btw), Discord, and the Crystal Empire, and she didn’t “graduate” after any of those events. I don’t know why Twilight thinks Starlight is finished just because of a nudge from Discord.

Also, Discord mentioned a “grand master plan” for Starlight and tries to compare her position to Twilight eventually becoming a princess. I’ll also ignore that we never got to see Celestia’s POV and why she felt the need to make Twilight an alicorn. Anyways, the “grand master plan” for a student should whatever seems appropriate for the student because the teacher has her own techniques, preferences, and ideas. This makes Twilight’s decision to send Starlight away seem so arbitrary. Celestia did this to Twilight because the latter could take care of Nightmare Moon. What will relocating Starlight achieve? Twilight only comes to this conclusion because her own mentor took this route, so the episode makes it look like Twilight can’t make her own choices or come to her own conclusion. If she had a plan she thought would work better for Starlight, that would’ve been the next step for Starlight. And that next step seemed to be the “friendship lessons for the next three years.” Maybe Twilight had an ultimate goal, maybe not. But she wanted Starlight to continue learning friendship, so that’s already a “grand master plan” for the unicorn. This situation also doesn’t reflect well on Celestia because she simply agrees with Twilight that Starlight must go somewhere else. Celestia sent Twilight to Ponyville to achieve a certain goal, so the former should’ve asked the latter why Starlight had to move. These are two different sets of teachers and students, so Celestia should have told Twilight to make use of her own judgments.

Starlight then declared at the end that she isn’t ready to move on, which makes Twilight’s dilemma pointless. It still was a good move on Starlight’s part as she hasn’t really done that much even back in season 6, so another season or two can actually make her graduation feel earned.

Now for the stuff that interests me more, which is Princess Celestia, though I did talk a bit about her earlier. Anyways, after 6 fucking seasons, she finally gets some genuine attention. No, not just appearing for exposition or to unload some lame problem for Twilight and her friends to solve. The episode actually shows this alicorn in a different situation. She may be very old, but she’s still capable of feeling uncertainty and strong attachment to a pony. She even laughs for the first time in the show, but I feel that she should’ve also been laughing at Twilight. I’m not saying that Celestia couldn’t be amused about herself having the same problem previously, but laughing at Twilight as well could do more for her character because Celestia could also remark that Twilight’s troubles were ridiculous. Maybe that would look insensitive, so other attempts to characterize her outside of some nice, royal pony would be welcome. Also, Celestia paced back and forth while showing huge concern about Twilight’s future in another scene. I’ll give credit to the voice actress for that performance.

Huh, I’m surprised at myself because I don’t actually have much to say about Princess Celestia in here, and I know why. Not much of the episode actually gets into her. At first, she was just on the side being an observer over Twilight’s hypothetical situations. Then she busts into laughter and relays her own experience, but the flashback only goes for less than 2 minutes. I’m not kidding. It doesn’t even show the two ponies together doing anything, so the episode ultimately says very little about their relationship. Twilight still wants her old mentor’s help, and the episode tries to imply that they might see each other more often. So far, that doesn’t seem to be true. And it’s not like the show has ever tried to put the two together in the first place, so the episode was trying to develop a relationship that clearly never existed. Celestia being strongly attached to Twilight and still wanting to be important to her are fine on paper, but 2 minutes isn’t enough to elaborate on those feelings.

As for Celestia fearing that she was unneeded, she has no idea how true that fear is. After the flashback, Twilight admitted that she still needs Celestia. BULL. SHIT. This episode shows the very first time Twilight has intentionally asked for Celestia’s help. Within the other seasons, it has always Celestia needing Twilight with “The Cutie Re-Mark” undoubtedly confirming this. Princess Celestia needed to be rescued in some episodes, and others (even the same ones) had her asking Twilight to beat some villain. At least Celestia sent letters to Twilight in “The Return of Harmony”, but that’s the only time the alicorn was a little helpful, and I find myself cynical of that situation as well.

And at the very least, this is an actual and genuine effort to feature Princess Celestia. I don’t know why it was so hard for the crew to do this in previous seasons, but I’ll give credit where credit is due. It’s still a failure, but at least I didn’t feel murderous after watching this episode. I’m sure I would’ve liked this episode better if it came sooner. Starlight would need to be excluded, but I wouldn’t have minded as an episode featuring Celestia and Twilight was more than long overdue. So yeah, I hate this episode because it came too late and does little with Celestia, but it’s far from my least favorite in the show, nor do I think the episode was terrible. And, again, it was far too late for me to be happy since I can’t ignore 6 seasons of stupidity, so whatever my hate means is still up in the air.

Oh, and Celestia acknowledged Twilight as an “overachieving student”. Thanks for reminding me of the incompetence with and revolving around Celestia, assholes.

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The endings of every of these episodes felt kind of meaningless to me.

Celestial Advice:

Twilight wants to let Starlight go...only for her to say she doesn't want to. So what was the point?

All Bottled Up:

Quote
Trixie: We'll meet you there! [to Starlight] Quick! Do you have a spell that will make the spa ponies forget that the map table was there?
Starlight Glimmer: Haven't you learned anything about using magic to solve your problems?
Trixie: No. If we learned that lesson, how will we ever have fun?

Ummmm...so what is the point of the story?

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