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Season 9, Episodes 1 & 2: The Beginning of the End - Parts 1 & 2

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Title: The Beginning of the End

Part 1 Synopsis: When Celestia and Luna decide to retire and hand off the ruling of Equestria to Twilight and her friends, it sends Twilight into a tailspin of self-doubt. Meanwhile, the ancient villain Grogar bands together a legion of nefarious characters to conquer all of Equestria, but a restored King Sombra has conquering ideas of his own.

Part 2 Synopsis: As Twilight and the rest of the Mane Six struggle to come to terms with the destruction of the Tree and Elements of Harmony, King Sombra sets his sights on conquering all of Equestria.

Airs: Today at 11:30 A.M. on Discovery Family

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*deep breath*

 

1. Tia und Luna: Even if they DO one day retire, they still have to live somewhere. Their old castle is in no shape to serve as their retirement home, so why did anyone exoect twily to move to canterlot?

   - plus, twily already HAS a castle, there does not appear to be any need for the rulers of Equestria to reside in Canterlot

2. The Grogar Gang (tm): Those remaining three do not seem very into it yet. I highly suspect at least one of them (mo money is on cozy) to turn their back and work with the mane six at some point, maybe even all thre of them

   - at least Tirekt should know Grogar is merely using he three just to ditch them once in power, he did the exact same thing with Discord

3. RIP tree: Why does it seem like everyone forgot about all those roots the tree has sprouted all the way below the school? And how it had become so powerful it created anvatar for itself and provided the student six with power...The physical tree might be gone, but the...entity (?) is still there and I am sure we will meet it in some way later on

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That was so disappointing. The whole retirement thing went nowhere and wasn't needed, that scene about the forest growing was pointless and only served to expose even further the problem with the main plot: that Celestia spent the overwhelming majority of the series doing nothing and they still haven't managed to giver her some notion of being a ruler.

Both times King Sombra appeared the whole thing was rushed, things fell apart so fast (Cadance and Shining Armor bit the dust so hard and fast the baby was the only one that put up a fight) and got resolved even faster.

The whole thing about losing the elements made no sense because they had lost it before. And the writers can't seem to understand that these characters already have motivations and things that they do.

And up to this point, Grogar is just pointless fan service. I just hope that when Chrysalis and the others get to move against the ponies the episode doesn't have a dumbass plot getting in the way of her plans.

I posted a longer version of this on MLP Forums and I really don't have the energy to do this again in here. It's weird for me to not like a season opener.

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No bigger in depth reviews here yet?

 

Well, then i might have the honor to be the first one. Well, as far as my reviews count as "In depth".

 

Let's jump in, semi sick but hyped through the roof.

 

Episode 1.

 

"Equestria is currently enjoying it's longest period of harmony in recent years"

 

Okay. Except for all the villains that roll around every season premiere or finale. And if every season shows events throughout one entire year in the show and the next season depicts events throughout the whole next year and so on, as i think it does, then they should have had 1 years of peace by now. 2 if you don't count Cozy Glow for some reason. What is even your definition of peace? 

 

"Because of you there has been less and less for us to do"

 

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Ni**a what? What da beep are you talking about Luna? Can you even do less? What big or important things have you two done over the last few seasons? Beaten any villains? Discovered any shady conspiracy? Accomplished anything significant?

 

Beep off. Just. No.

 

"Does that mean we get all of your powers?"

 

Yeah Rainbow Dash. We let you take care of the sun. AS A PEGASUS. Good luck flying up there and pushing the sun around like a cloud.

 

I know Twilights hyperventilating is not a good thing but it looks kinda adorable.

 

"There hasn't been a single villain that we couldn't defeat". Except for Chrysalis and the changelings, where you couldn't reach your elements of harmony and Cadence and Armor saved the day by oneshotting them with love.

 

Speaking of Chrysalis. YEAHHHHH SHE'S BACK! 

 

But dang, she has gone crazy.

 

AHHHHHH so Chrysalis knows Tirek? INTERESTING. And Sombra too? Damn my ni**a this is getting really interesting.

 

Grogars voice is spot on. Sombras voice on the other hand, is not. They should have kept his S3 voice. But maybe talking in that really deep, hard to hear voice and listening to it for to long could have gotten a bit exhausting after a while. Just a thought.

 

His lair looks a bit cliched though. Yeah, he's the big final villain who knows everything, and he has a lair that looks like his head. And it's probably in some secret, never before mentioned region of the world and probably surrounded by a barrier. Of course. Why not?

 

If Sombra knows about Grogar that makes you wonder how old he actually is. Or how much time passed between the defeats of each villain Celestia and Luna got rid of.

 

"I spent millennia gathering power, biding my time, waiting for the perfect oppurtunity to cease control over equestria"

 

Great. I would have written something similar. I'm proud of the writers. No joke. I really like that.

 

"I've seen each of your humilliating defeats in the hoofs of 6 puny ponies"

 

Except Chrysalis got beaten by Cadence and Armor the first time. And then the second time Starlight and her group beat her. So no win for the mane 6 there, mate.

 

Why do the ponies always win? "Because they're annoyingly lucky" Tirek got a point there. The Rainbow powers were an overpowered asspull and they were never used or somewhat brought up again.

 

Seriously. Sombra sounds borderline gay. Couldn't they have gotten a voice that sounds at least a little deeper?

 

Grogar just making fun of Sombra and sending him to the Crystal empire is just dope.

 

Dang, Sombra was quick though. He should have done it that way in S3 after the barrier fell.

 

Boop. xD

 

2004475.gif

 

But why the f*** did he say "Long live the king"? That was a bit of a bizzare dialogue choice. And he likes fruit now? Yeah just take over, and the first thing after that is "bring me dat fruit servants!". Bruh.

 

Sombra got defeated so quickly and anticlimatic? Bruh.

 

"You mighy have won the battle but i shall win the war!"

 

Twilight: Nah mate!

 

Ohhh the elements got shattered. So got the crystal heart. Just some glue and it will be fine again.

 

Alright. Looks like the leaks weren't so fake after all even though the pictures probably were.

 

Grogar, Sombra, Chrysalis. Check.

 

Stuff happening. Check.

 

Overall great episode. 8,5/10

 

I hope they adress some of the questions created in this episode later this season. But if not then, fuck why not? There are so many plotholes by now that i kinda must look past them to enjoy the show.

 

Episode 2 review coming soon.

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I like the individual parts of the episode, but I think the mix could have been a bit better.

A shame Sombra didn't stay, though he probably wouldn't have come to his senses, even if Grogar did decide to bring him back after that failure.

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Overall i give the ep a 4.5/5. This was honestly one of the eps where discords humor was forced and sombra was still a pretty shitty villain but other than that i loved it.

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So, I finally watched the premiere too. here are my 1st viewing immediate thoughts:

 

 

Pinka > a bowling ball! :HappyPinkie:

THAT BOOK COVER :haha:

SWEET CELESTIA, TWILIE! CALM DOWN!!!

 

Twilighting? TWILIGHTING?! PINKA, YOU MAGNIFICENT GENUIS! :haha::haha:

How much I can relate to Twilie.

 

Chryssie? Tirek? Cozy?! S-s-s-s...SOOOOOOOOMBREROOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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Wait, what?

Oh hey, that's the guy from G1. You are...ah yes, Grogar?

What is this!? Avengers but with villains? :gasp:

 

Oh, so he is a big shot, eh?

 

Puny Ponies?! BASTARD!

 

 'pfffft' Why Sombrero's voice cracks me up?

 

 

Starlight, please get LOADS OF ICE!!! We need...oh colt. She got it too...oh, get it...or we STILL NEED ICE!

 

Oh no! MIND CONTROL HELMETS!

 

 

...well that was quick. :gasp:

 

THAT "PWEEEASE" TWILIE :happy_twi:

 

What is up with that check?

 

 

...is it just me or the pace is a bit...fast?

 

Huh?

 

TREE!

 

 SOMBRA YOU'LL SUFFER FOR THIS!

AND WHAT IS UP WITH YOUR VOICE?!

 

...not even Pinka can cheer us up now...oh...

...BUT HER DRRRILL IS BACK, EVERYPONY! :D

 

Sh...SHOW ME THE MUDDY?! Rrrarrrity, you ssspicy lady :onigirirarity:

 

NOT SPIKE AND STARLY TOO!

 

That's some aggressive gardening I'm seeing here.

 

Well what do you know, those two came to help! Oh, and Starswirl!

 

Welcome to my world, Mane 6. How do you think I feel about hurting you in a situation like this?

 

You don't know, Twilie...except teleporting into the castle. It's okay, sweety. I also say inaccurate things about my next actions when under pressure.

 

DISCORD! COULD HAVE HELPED, YOU KNOW!

...oh.

 

[ + that pony sure does love dark crystals ]

 

Did...did Discord just say MVP? Most Valuable Player?! :haha:

 

So much for MVP :P

 

A.

C.

T.

O.

R.

 

"You should be"

What are you, Yoda now?

 

Like I said, ACTOOOR :P

 

So those baddies are saving it until next time...

 

 

Overall...I dunno, guys. Must be my drink when I was watching, but I did get a feeling that the premiere felt a bit...rushed. As in, a story crammed into a frame smaller than it requires. I felt like it tried to tell us the story as quick as it could so it could make it into the 40 minute limit.

And with that sign off I will.

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A few additional thoughts about episode 1 before i post my episode 2 review.

 

Ähm, Discord can you shut the fuck up? "UsInG tHe ElEmEnTs iSn'T dOiNg It By YoUrSeLf" That makes no fucking sense. They've EARNED the elements in S1. Without the mane 6 the elements would be useless. When i write an exam and get a good grade for it i get it, not the fucking pen i used to write it.

 

If Grogar was waiting for "The perfect oppurtunity" to seize control over Equestria why didn't he just attack during the 1000 years Nightmare Moon was banished? There was no Luna, no Cadence, no Twilight, no Stars Swirl. Only Celestia WITHOUT THE ELEMENTS because she left them in the castle of the two sisters for SoMe ReAsOn instead of taking them with her and having them at her disposal when she needed them. It would have been a quick win for him. Stupid Grogar.

 

You don't think to yourself that at this point in the show, Twilights worst fear should be losing her friends instead of still disappointing Celestia and Luna? I get it in S3 when the Crystal Empire was hyped up as this big "test" to her. We even had two songs about it. But now, ähhhhhhhhh at least it should be equal to disappointing Celestia.

 

Maybe she can have one vision where her friends turn against her or give her the boot and after that you can have a second vision where Celestia and Luna give her the boot. Would seem much more logically imo.

 

Oh, have i already mentioned how stupid and inconsistent Sombras new voice and personality are?

 

Well that about wraps up my thoughts on episode 1. Still great episode though. Just my usual nerdy nitpicky Cinemasins rip off type of reviews.

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Alright. Episode 2. Yeet!

 

Why is Sombras coat waving like it's stormy weather, inside of the cave? Yes, the entrance is really big and right in front of him but is it the wind really so strong and far reaching that his coat waves like that? Especially considering the manes and tails of the mane 6 don't wave at all.

 

"Then we just have to beat him the old fashioned way" And what is that my dear Rainbow Dash? Running over to him and beating him up or some shit? xD

 

So the Everfree Forest is a living organism too just like the tree of harmony? Wtf did i miss? When was that first mentioned? I remember the seeds in S4 but not the forest itself. Weird.

 

So Twilights spell that should still be pretty powerful, considering she is a princess, can't free the mindcontrolled ponies but when she was put under an illusion in S3 by Sombras door Spike could brake her out of it by just telling at her? I mean, maybe it's more powerfull when it comes from Sombra directly? Maybe Grogars summoning gave him an amp (AnD a PeRsOnAlItY mAkEoVeR tOo)? Just say it and i buy it much easier than theorizing about it!

 

What the f*** is this greenish blackish crystal evil cake the cakes carried around?

 

Gardening Tools? Okay. :/

 

Tricking the pegasus guards into headbutting each other? Okay. :/

 

Wow. I think i clapped and yelled YES, when Sombra hit Discord with that beam.

 

"Now. How should i eliminate all this clutter in my throne room?" Another piece of dialogue that sounds a bit silly and should be cut out imo.

 

Why? Wtf, why is his coat still waving INSIDE THE CASTLE?

 

Sooo magic is powered by willpower now? Sounds retconny. Remember when Twilight couldn't teleport over the cliff when the hydra chased the mane 6 in S1? Was she lacking willpower at that moment? I doubt that.

 

And their willpower defeats Sombra and cleanses the entire kingdom? Ohhh my god. Is writing that hard?

 

Did Discord just confirm himself that his powers are stupid and broken?

 

Evil laugh compilation = to be continiued.

 

Well. Sombras dialogue was much better in this episode. Almost no goofy lines like "Long live the King". Ähhh, asspull villain defeat, Celestia and Luna go back on their big statement.

 

Plain and simple, 7/10.

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@Metemponychosis As somebody who likes and agrees with a lot of your opinions i would like to ask you,

 

What would you have liked to see as S9 premiere if all of this was so disappointing to you?

 

Admittedly, it had lots of problems that dragged it down a bit, but at least my worst fears about the season premiere didn't come true. Which were Chysalis getting forgotten about and not introducing Grogar until Episode 25 and then getting rid of him one episode later. That would have sucked a lot.

 

Also i would like to see a 3 part finale. To go out with a big bang.

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1 hour ago, leonbrony17 said:

What would you have liked to see as S9 premiere if all of this was so disappointing to you?

 

Admittedly, it had lots of problems that dragged it down a bit, but at least my worst fears about the season premiere didn't come true. Which were Chysalis getting forgotten about and not introducing Grogar until Episode 25 and then getting rid of him one episode later. That would have sucked a lot.

 

Also i would like to see a 3 part finale. To go out with a big bang.

Well, for starters, I think that the writers needed a change of paradigm in regards to how they see the Elements. Instead of seeing them as instruments that are related to the Tree, they should see them as part of the Mane Six and their importance for Equestria. The problem is that the students get in the way since they decided that the Tree will talk to them all the time instead of to the Mane Six. Honestly, this idea is gone and instead of wasting time with the whole affair of the Tree and the Elements, they should've ignored it and left on the side.

 

About Celestia and Luna, I think that they should have died, or been completely incapacitated for the whole season. This way, instead of that lame teasing that they were gone, but not really, Twilight would be forced to deal with their absence. I feel that as the season progresses, Twilight is going to end up proving that she's ready, but at the same time, Celestia is still there and there never really was much of a threat. Had they been killed, or 'soft-killed', Twilight would REALLY prove herself. But the season is progressing and Twilight was worried about a late book.

 

I should care about what they're going to do with Chrysalis, Cozy glow and Tyrek, but... Honestly, the only one that should feel like a threat is Chrysalis... Cozy Glow... Eh... It's a kid. Tyrek... He's been defeated twice now and the girls didn't even need the Elements. Grogar seems threatening, but still has done nothing other than recruiting the others. I expected Chrysalis to become something of a great returning villain, but instead of coming up on top, maybe starting a new swarm or something, she was just sulking there. Honestly, I don't really know what to do with them other than making an episode or two with them getting beaten, but ultimately doing whatever Grogar wanted them to do. Changing them in the premiere? I don't know... I don't think I'd even have included them.

 

I think that the most glaring problem that I have with the whole idea, Twilight becoming the new ruler, is that the cartoon doubled down on the princesses being useless. I can't understand what the hell is it that Twilight was worried about. I don't think I've ever seen Celestia doing anything Twilight couldn't do with ease. Instead of pretending that Twilight needs Celestia to protect Equestria, the cartoon should've opened a new avenue in Celestia's character and paint her as a particularly efficient ruler. Then Twilight would have something to worry about replacing Celestia.

 

I don't have a clue why is it that Luna wants to retire too (neither Celestia, but whatever). The only reason to do this is thematic, so I would rather kill the princesses.

 

Finally, King Sombra's... Victory followed by defeat, and then another victory followed by a defeat within... I don't know... Hours? That whole thing should've been reworked. Maybe conquering the Crystal Empire and then using what he got there to take Canterlot, to finally be defeated. I would've ditched that whole plot about the Elements and the tree. Maybe, having the girls defeat him but with the sacrifice of the Elements, a Pyrrhic victory, because I feel like Twilight already won. Whatever they do with Grogar and others is going to feel like just another victory.

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I've been having a few more thoughts recently.

 

It's funny how Chrysalis is going like "I will have my revenge on Twilight", even though Twilight never did anything to her. The first time Chrysalis showed up she got beaten by Cadence and Shining Armor. And the second time she showed up she got beaten by Starlight and Thorax.

 

It's actually never made clear IF Grogar brought Sombra back a second time or if he survived getting hit by the elements. He just comes back out of the earth after he got smoked out by the mane 6. The whole "If you fail you will submit to me" line doesn't go anywhere. I expected when Sombra came back after he got defeated in the first episode he would be put under some kind of mindcontrol by Grogar or something like that. But nope, he just came back, freely roamed around and did how he pleased a second time 

 

Oh, and Celestia and Luna talking about "splitting the powers" confuses me a bit. Are they gonna split their powers over all of the mane 6 or just into the two unicorns of the group? Wouldn't if all of them get the powers, not create a weird problem with "who's gonna do the sun, who's gonna do the moon and dream walking stuff? Why are you gonna get that and not me?" similar to S1 episode 3 when the stuff with "who's the best friend and get's the ticket" happened? Are they all gonna get turned into alicorns? Will Starlight be jealous or sad because she was left out like she was in the S7 finale?

 

Oh and, wouldn't that somehow invalide the stuff with "cutie marks are your talent or destiny" by just "giving" the mane 6 the powers to move the sun and moon? Would Celestias and Lunas cutue mark just disappear or appear on the mane 6s asses? Oh yeah, REMEMBER CUTIE MARKS? HA, ME NEITHER!

 

@Metemponychosis You have some really nice ideas.

 

I never liked the idea of the tree of harmony beeing a living organism thing to begin with.

 

I agree with "Sombra should have taken over the Crystal Empire and continiued from there on" thing.

 

Maybe they could have drawn a bit inspiration from the alternative timeline where Sombra had taken over the Crystal Empire and was at war with Celestia. Maybe he could have started an invasion, then Celestia Luna and Stars Swirl could have gone like "We hold off his army while you go save Cadence and Shining Armor" giving the mane 6 the task to face Sombra and save his "prisoners". And at the end of episode 2 Celestia and Luna would have been wounded and, as you suggested, be unable to do anything "useful" for the rest of the season, giving Twilight a reason to learn how to be a ruler.

 

It's really sad to see Celestia, such a phenomenal concept beeing wasted like that.

 

The whole retirement thing coming completly out of nowhere is really fucking funny to me as well. To make that moment at least a little bit earned, in the S4 finale after the mane 6 "defeated" Tirek, got a new castle and saved the day, Celestia should have gone like "Hmmmm. Twilight and her friends are doing a really great job of protecting the kingdom. They've earned the elements of harmony. They are beating villains left and right. I made Twilight the princess of friendship. We gave Twilight all of our magic when Tirek was coming. Shouldn't we, you know, START CONSIDERING passing the torch to them?" And then Luna could have gone like "Maybe. But not just yet". That acting as a bit of a tease for a possible passing the torch in the future.

 

Ahh, i just loved this season premiere despite it's flaws. It had almost everything i had on my wishlist and there's just so much to talk about.

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1 hour ago, leonbrony17 said:

I never liked the idea of the tree of harmony beeing a living organism thing to begin with.

Yeah, it ended up being weird and arbitrary. To me, the thing was fine until they decided to explain its origin the way they did. Now, I have not a clue why the thing has the sun and the moon in it. Most of the problems with MLP comes from having a lot of writers with different styles and, I suppose, changes in direction. Not to mention the way it constantly tries to one up itself and constantly having to cover its tracks.

1 hour ago, leonbrony17 said:

Maybe they could have drawn a bit inspiration from the alternative timeline where Sombra had taken over the Crystal Empire and was at war with Celestia. Maybe he could have started an invasion, then Celestia Luna and Stars Swirl could have gone like "We hold off his army while you go save Cadence and Shining Armor" giving the mane 6 the task to face Sombra and save his "prisoners". And at the end of episode 2 Celestia and Luna would have been wounded and, as you suggested, be unable to do anything "useful" for the rest of the season, giving Twilight a reason to learn how to be a ruler.

The cartoon has avoided so hard giving Celestia any weight as 'ruler' that the notion should never be introduced in the last season. It should simply be about defending Equestria. Of course, that would have to be a thing since the beginning and Celestia would actually have to be reasonable as Equestria's defender instead of this weird parody she ended up being. TO me, it's just dead on the water and waiting for the finale to finally put it out of its misery. The only reason this cartoon still shines is because it completely ignores its 'story' as much as it can with some 70% of every season.

And this applies to the retirement angle. So, Celestia and Luna are going to retire? Who cares? Equestria doesn't have a political system that depends on them. They are not doing anything that others can't do. Twilight's been dealing with shit since the first episode. What is anyone going to miss if they retire? And I don't even mean it in the sense that they'd be easily replaceable, but in the sense that they are already pointless. A caveat about Luna's dreamwalking, but transferring magic in the cartoon is so ungodly easy that it makes no difference.

Seriously, I don't have a clue what they're going to do. Is Twilight going to start taking care of the sun? Is it going back to unicorns? Who's taking care of the night? Starlight Glimmer?!?! Or are the sisters going to keep messing with the sun and moon? I'd bet money that the finale is simply going to forget about these because whatever they do is going to be stupid.

And I understand. I would''ve liked the premiere too if it didn't have this whole retirement thing.

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