MLP, Season 5, Episode 8 Editorial & Thought Exercise

The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone

So welcome back my few but growing watchers and clickers, it’s time for the next episode of our latest season! Now I warn you this week it MIGHT be a bit heavy for some of you or dare I say offensive to some in terms of religion. I want to preface this by saying no one is right and no one is wrong for being any religion, each person has the right to choose and follow their own desires, devotion and path. I make no judgment as such. Two very close friends told me when I was at ends about posting my thoughts this week that there is far too much censorship already in terms of “possibly” offending someone and to go ahead. They also, for various reasons, wish not to be thanked by name 😛

We start out with everyone’s favorite party girl, Pinkie Pie, where she’s about to bake a rather large cake based on the recipe she riffles off to her alligator. Before she can really get started, the new Bat-Phones that each of the Mane 6 (or does Sunset count yet?) have in their booty now. It beeps and flashes and reminds us of the Phone to the Mayor’s office in Powerpuff Girls (Wouldn’t be too unheard of, as the show’s creative force is the wife of the creator of the three protectors of Townsville and the art style is similar) and away she goes to find out what’s wrong in Gotham this week!

Arriving at the castle of friendship (That still sounds silly :P) we see that the Map that’s been sending our girls all over the place is now sending them to the Throat of the World er I mean Griffonstone. It seems that the mission only requires Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash since, for whatever reason, the holographic magic display only hovers their marks over the destination.

 

See I told you it looked like the throat of the world last time didn't I? :P
See I told you it looked like the throat of the world last time didn’t I? :Well it’s still tall. >.>

Those of us who are long time fans know that the only Griffon we’ve seen for the most part (save the Equestria Games) is Gilda! You remember Gilda?

I've got hands, I can't possibly lose
I’ve got hands, I can’t possibly lose

She was in season one’s episode about how sometimes our friends just won’t get along no matter what we do. She was also the first and only griffon Pinkie Pie ate according to the infamous fanfiction “Cupcakes”.

I wouldn’t go reading it unless you’re into psychological thrillers, it explores the idea that Pinkie Pie actually has a very serious mental condition. We see elements that supports this in “Party of One” season 1 where when left alone and isolated for even a small amount of time, her minds begins to shatter and objects talk to her, despite the fact we see SHE is the one moving their mouths, ect. Though if you can stomach a bit of deeper character development and are a fan of psycho-thriller-killer novels and movies, it’s worth a read. Just go in knowing THATS what your getting. I also recommend Rainbow Factory but that s another day and another review. I can only assume the writers finally came to use Gilda again since they can then say for a fact Cupcakes didn’t happen, I personally disapprove but that’s me.

Now, after a few more scenes that are meant to remind us that Twilight’s still in charge, and to inform us of Gtiffonstone’s back-story, our two friends venture towards Griffonstone!

Apparently Griffonstone was an awful place of coveting thy neighbors…everything before a king united them via a golden idol! (Wait, I get back to that later :P) and isn’t very social, so an updated report on the culture is not available, so the last real book on the matter informs they are flourishing under the idol. Predictably, the place is…a dump.

Even Pinkie thinks it's a dump!
Even Pinkie thinks it’s a dump!

Gilda and Dash run into each other and she quickly delivers the final part of history. Apparently the king lost the idol during a battle and it fell into a chasm nearby, hence without it, the society, with nothing to idolize and stand behind, collapsed into disarray. As we find out that the griffons are basically all grumpy and for whatever reason, all named with a name starting with “G”, we also discover that Pinkie and Dash have two distinctive ways of solving this mission problem.

Rainbow Dash declares that they need to find the idol and that will fix things, to which Gilda immediately mentions that her idea is “Typical Pony Hero Complex” which tells me that ponies seem to be viewed as a giant superpower that shall be remain nameless. One who tends to try and solve the problems of the entire world? There’s something to think on isn’t it? 🙂

"Typical Pony Hero Complex!"
“Typical Pony Hero Complex!”

Pinkie decides that there’s a problem to be solved via the Library (Twilight’s idea) so she heads over to the destroyed library and runs into Gilda again, who we find is baking scones to raise money to just plain leave the area. The two arguably never had any real time to get to know each other last time mainly due to Gilda’s personality and the need for the writers to make her one dimensional at the time (Hey, they didn’t know we would go nuts over the show then :P) so the following interactions let us see “Why the grumpy griffon is so grumpy” through a series of half forced exposition where we find out breaking out into song is forbidden (The one idea I agree with so far 🙂 ), there’s no party store, and not even a bakery! Pinkie’s stumped and loses several teeth on Gilda’s less then properly baked scones!

NOSINGING!
No Songs Allowed! :< Anti Disney Bill 😛

Rainbow Dash’s side of the story shows a more adventure / Daring Do / Indiana Jones like adventure, for the kids who are getting bored by this point of the show. It deals with her repealing down to the chasm where she intends to bring back the idol that’s down there.

Pinkie Pie has the same realization that the audience does when Gilda mentioned no one’s friends in the town and she DID have a friend once (Dash) and it didn’t turn out so well in the end. The two collide after Rainbow Dash breaks her leg (Remember Horse Hospitals? :P) and is stuck, unable to fly or escape. Pinkie Pie decides to help her by throwing her a rope, and I think we all know where that gag was going before she threw it. 😉

Should have seen that coming...
Should have seen that coming…

The story elements combine when Pinkie runs to get Gilda and tells her Dash needs help and reminds her that she was once her friend. Naturally since impending doom is present, we go to a flashback where we see the most adorable itty bitty griffon befriending lil Dashie back in the day. Those of you from the beginning remember the motto they chant at the end of the flashback, it’s like a small Easter egg. My favorite element occurs when Pinkie Pie talks to us, shattering the fourth wall again and re-affirming my suspicions of her actual nature.

Don't tell Dash, but *I* got the spin off series. It'll be our secret!
Don’t tell Dash, but *I* got the spin off series. It’ll be our secret!

The climax of the film should make Indiana Jones fans go “Oh I see what you did there” when Dash, Pinkie and Gilda all end up tied to each other on a ledge that’s apparently made of rock candy since it’s unable to hold weight for more then a minute. The only thing missing was someone yelling “Throw me the whip; throw me the idol!” and Gilda going “I can almost..reach it…Dash..” as she grabs at the idol that turns out to be real.

"I can...almost...reach it...Indy..."
“I can…almost…reach it…Indy…”

Naturally instead of letting them fall, Gilda learns her lesson suddenly and pulls them both up, letting the idol fall and confessing her friendship for them both!

Now here’s where I’m going to get to the point that I was afraid of mentioning. Lets now do a thought experiment in terms of what we’ve seen in this episode and apply it to previous episode lore.

The main “practice” (I use that world loosely in this case) of Ponies is the concept of “friendship” and how it can essentially fix everything, right? We see this time and time again. This mighty thing called friendship has beaten back Discord’s attacks, Sunset Shimmer, the Sirens, and every other B-Card villain between finales and movies. It seems infallible, conquers all, and it’s apparently the most dominant idea as ponies seem to be the majority.

Stay with me here.

So this magical map that’s telling the mane 6 to go places and “fix” things for lack of a better term came to them after friendship helped them beat a seemingly unbeatable foe. It’s now semi sentient, and sending them to a town that, according to legend, prospered after the culture (Griffons) began “worshiping” a golden idol. The moment the idol was gone, they turned on each other.

They had nothing to “believe” in if you will. So this map sends them to a land of “non believers” and has them show the town that everything associated with the idol they worshiped leads to nothing but trouble. After all that trouble it recently caused is solved by one of the griffons turning to “friendship” the town seems back on track.

Now take a step back and think with me: the main deity responsible for “friendship” being accepted so much with ponies is Celestia, and her little sister. Celestia then painstakingly creates an civilization based on her ideas and it spreads. Maybe not far enough, so she wants to expand to other cultures to embrace her ideas, but doing so by force would not be viable in this case as it’s counter productive. So being immortal, she waits and finds the perfect “student” to send out with her own band of friends. After testing their resolve, she finds them acceptable and gives them more power and abilities over time, not too fast or it’ll show her cards to them. Finally they best an awful powerful foe and show that given absolute power, the student will return said power to her teachers. The perfect apostle, per say.

Now, with more resources at their disposal, they begin to spread the lessons taught to them about “friendship” and slowly, the way of life spreads.

I ask you now, as a deity, wouldn’t that be easier to do if you had immortality and the time to sink into it. Much easier then dominating the land via force and risking a rebellion?

PRAISE THE SUN @_@
PRAISE THE SUN @_@

Anyway, it’s food for thought. I don’t think one way or another in this matter, I’m here to present ideas, concepts and ways of thinking. I simply ask if you go somewhere with it, give me proper respect in the matter 😛

All in all, I give this episode a 7 out of 10. I enjoyed seeing more parts of Equestria and thus, new cultures, new ideas. It was nice to see Gilda again despite the fact my head canon keeps Pinkie’s psychological state is unstable.

 

Until next time,

-Watchfire

MLP, Season 5, Episode 7, “Make New Friends, But Keep Discord” Editorial

Welcome again to another Editorial by me, Watchfire! This week’s episode (after a week hiatus thanks to some other show!) is called and so let me just say, it involves Discord!

You recall Discord yes? He’s the “Q” like entity that is voiced by none other then John de Lancie, the same actor who portrayed “Q” on Star Trek! Mannerisms and “magic” is remarkably similar to “Q” in this incarnation as well, but we’ll go into that later! Discord, having been reformed by our very own Fluttershy, is now trying his best to be less chaotic and “good” for lack of a better term the last few seasons.

Discord and Tea

This episode focuses on Jealousy and Envy, both Deadly sins (one in fact by name) to be sure, so I’m starting to see a pattern with our storyarcs so far, as are most of you no doubt. We find ourselves in the middle of one of Fluttershy and Discords weekly tea parties, where she chats away in the almost carefree way she’s best known for with the reformed Lord of Chaos. The situation turns awkwardly serious as Discord learns of a new friend Fluttershy has made by the name of (get ready for this) Treehugger.

Immediately I had to chuckle, but I quickly understood why later that day I was seeing weed references with Fluttershy and her new friend were flooding the boards I keep an eye on. I stayed the course however, as we all did no doubt, as I was more interested on the seething amount of Jealousy that was dripping off of Discord as he listened politely to his closest, and best to my recollection, only, friend and her exploits with this new acquaintance. By the time we reach the intro, it’s more then apparent this week’s lesson is about Jealousy and Envy! We also find out the Grand Galloping Gala (that song’s still stuck in my head, make it stop!) has finally, after four seasons, returned and not only that, Fluttershy has asked Treehugger to the Gala (though we never really hear the term “date”, it’s by far the nearest we’ve gotten to any reference to courting, save Hearts and Hooves day)

As Discord deals with the slowly boiling pot of envy and jealousy that’s sure to come to a boil within 22 minutes, we run into Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash at Carousel Boutique along with their sibling counterparts…and Scootaloo (as adoption is never really canonized yet, despite all the cute pictures we see on the internet) and they are all getting ready to take the Cutie Mark Crusaders to their first Gala. Well Rarity is, Dash and AJ are, big surprise, competing by playing what appears to be 5 card stud. (again, we run into the issue of how they are holding the cards :P).

Poker PoniesDiscord makes a “Q” like entrance and scares the dickens out of everyone, and never really gets a chance to properly ask if any of them would take HIM to the Gala, as he doesn’t seem to have a ticket or a way in since Fluttershy has asked her new friend to the dance, instead of him.

My favorite scene of the episode then occurs when Discord and Pinkie Pie share the screen. An obvious Metal Gear Solid reference plays out as Pinkie is, as usual, unphased by an object that doesn’t belong in the background is revealed to be Discord. He fumbles again, never really asking directly, and sidetracks, asking her for every cake in the place! As she grabs the actual camera that’s filming the scene and shakes it with joy, shattering the fourth wall in a way only Q and Pinkie could do, he notices Fluttershy and Treehugger, which causes him to beeline, much to Pinkie’s dismay.

Fourth Wall Pinkie

Finally, the elusive, must talked about Treehugger is seen, and Discord is far then impressed by this would-be rival. Treehugger’s personality is obviously a play on both the beatnik crowd, the hippies, and she’s green so I’m going out on a limb and saying Greenpeace since she’s named Treehugger. Discord tries to nice them both to death by letting them know how much her going to the Gala with her and not him is not bothering him as the pot continues to boil inside him.

A transport later, Discord is in what I can assume is his home, where Chaos rules, and nothing makes any real sense. My favorite element is the bunnies in the form of dust, and the fact when he washes the dishes, they become dirty. Muttering and upset, he reaches another checkpoint on the road of jealousy, determining how to “get back” at the one who “wronged” him. (Boba Fett had it right kids, Revenge doesn’t pay 😉 )

DusbunniesMuch to his surprise, a ticket arrives for the Gala and his plans are set in motion, letting us wonder for but a moment before we transition to the lovely Princess Celestia and Twilight Sparkle, who has taken on some of the duties of the Gala this time. It’s always lovely to hear Celestia, no matter what she’s saying, so I enjoyed this. What also catches my attention is that AJ, RD and her merry crew of fillies are still in several shots and have enough lines to make us notice them for just a moment, then they disappear again. This is reminiscent of the split episode they had with Spike and the girl’s pets and the girls going to Canterlot, each ALMOST running into each other in both episodes. I can only assume the way it’s highlighted as main characters and not background ponies, that we may see the “B” side to this episode, with the CMCs doing something remarkably cute, yet obviously a bad idea.

Discord’s arrival with a gelatinous blob named Smooze is but the beginning of issues at the Gala. We quickly learn that the ooze Q has..er..that Discord has summoned is sentient, and very hungry. It appears to eat valuable gems and metals.

Our Chaos Lord, Discord (hey that rhymes..) immediately tries everything, including bumping into Fluttershy and Treehugger physically, to make them notice him and his “friend’ in a vain attempt to instill the same feelings of hurt and jealousy he’s feeling into Fluttershy. Of course, this doesn’t work since this is Equestria and not a Soap Opera (though that might be a show I’d watch..) and he keeps trying to step up his game, eventually forgetting his rather hungry companion, who after it eats Rarity’s gems, he places inside a closet of edible crowns with gems. (The real highlight of the scene is after Discord vacuums Rarity’s outfit off her, she seems to feel VERY exposed and behaves as if suddenly nude in front of people, despite the fact she’s not usually wearing clothing)

You would not believe how detailed the OTHER picture I saw of this was :P
You would not believe how detailed the OTHER picture I saw of this was 😛

 

A lovely Night at the Improv moment occurs as Discord tries to do stand up to get attention, the older fans will know Jerry Seinfeld and Rodney Dangerfield impressions when they see them. We even get a cameo from Maud Pie, the stoic yet oddly intellectually stimulating sister of Pinkie Pie (Who we had previously called “Inky” thanks to a Pac Man joke that went too far, though I still prefer that name). Before the Smooze bursts free and has eaten the entire closet, flooding the room with..well..himself!

Before I go on, I’d like to mention that this episode’s background is far more active then I’ve seen before. Instead of background ponies, we see very specific ones talking with our main cast. The RD and AJ thing mentioned earlier, and during several scenes with Discord talking, we notice Pinkie Pie talking to someone else also. I can’t help but hope there’s different elements of this episode that come back and “haunt” us if you will, much like How I Met Your Mother did through out it’s run!

Now, as the third act rounds itself into our eager waiting minds, we notice that Sparkle nor Celestia can undo the flood of Smooze, their magic USELESS against it. This raises several questions regarding magic and realms, limiting factors, ect. But before most of us can go “hey wait..” TreeHugger saves the day with projected meditation, much to Discord’s hatred, and that is the proverbial last straw for him. FINALLY we see him just grab Treehugger and RIP a tear in space and time (this supports my theory about him being “Q” and Pinkie is actually one too but doesn’t know it, but more on that later) threatening to throw her in.

Like a Q
This opens up a whole new canon of his knowledge of other dimensions and realities, you realize? 🙂

Finally Twilight Sparkle and the girls step in to stop him and save the day, an attempt that is easily stopped by Discord sending Smooze after them, and out goes the “Captain Planet” moment (That moment where the main cast saves the day as usual), save Fluttershy. She finally gets up in his face and demands an explanation, and Discord finally gives her one by telling her his feelings. (Which, if we don’t know the structure by now, is how he should have handled it in the first place :P). She makes him see that just because she has a new friend, it doesn’t make him less of one, and admittedly he pleads that Friendship is a new concept to him, which IS true.

As time runs short in the episode, we quickly wrap up the problem and everything’s fine and dandy again as the party kicks off with Pinkie’s help. Twilight Sparkle apologizes to the Princess thinking she’s failed (there’s another element we need to mix up, that apology with the same overture playing while she does it) in her duties at the Gala. Of course, being immortal and terribly bored no matter what, Celestia reveals she’s had a wonderful time, and she was in fact the one to invite Discord to begin with! (Apparently most formal functions aren’t fun without scandal or some crazy fellow with a lampshade on his head is a lesson you learn while your sister is away for 1,000 years?)

All in all, I rate this one a 6 out of 10, as it’s above average, the references are well worth the rewind of the episode, and Discord is always fun, no matter if he’s bumbling with Fluttershy, or mocking Picard on the Enterprise. The Jealousy was a bit apparent but I do like how we’re visiting more base elements of human behavior and slowly teaching how they operate.

As far as my theory on Discord, Pinkie and the Q, I’ll post that if there’s interest, or if I find free time 🙂

Until next time,

-Watchfire

MLP, Season 5, Episode 6 “Appleloosa’s Most Wanted”

Hey Pony fans, it’s time for a new episode! Lets get going! 🙂

As we coast along from the emotional outbursts and deep look at death our last episode showed us, we find ourselves from the fluffy clouds of Cloudsdale, to Dusty rodeo of Appleloosa in a fluff episode. (You remember Appleloosa? It’s where we went in Over a Barrel in season one!) and back to the loving embrace of that Western charm that Applejack tends to give us.

There we find through quick exposition and deduction that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are both there to (GASP) try and get a cutie mark in the guise of enjoying a rodeo AND have apparently been deemed this half of the Season’s device to drive forward the narrative. (I can’t help but think we’re exposed to them so much as a method to make them more present for a giant reveal that at least one of them gets their mark by the end of the season along with whatever problem the real cast has :P)

There, my favorite southern pony, Applejack, is shown bucking (heh) her way to making a cute tetris style stack of hay because her distant relative Braeburn (You remember him right? He was introduced to give us a subconscious link to a one trick town in the episode I mentioned previous, along there we found out the Native American culture was represented by buffalo for the most part) has broken his front leg

Brauburn-Horse-doctor
“Ya’ll know we can’t ACT on the impulses, even if most of the Internet is shipping us right?”

(which if memory served meant death for a horse?)

Horse-Hospitals

The joy of this reunion is shattered as the haystacks collapses and we learn about this week’s boogie man, Troubleshoes! He’s apparently a whole heap a’ trouble for the folks around the area, causing all sorts of problems we quickly list off and just as swiftly forget about.

We also learn that criminology is present in at least Western regions of Equestria as our town law enforcement mentions he examined the hoofmark and matched it with little more then half a day. If this means he’s that good, or he’s guessing, thats up for debate honestly (one of the reasons I made this was for healthy debate, tell me your thoughts). Naturally with all the issues, Applejack sends her sister and her friends home, and considers leaving herself since she’s never really been faced with something as awful as a saboteur (never having faced down a bumbling unicorn or a magic eating demon or anything) when Braeburn shoves her off screen and tells her to resume her duties basically and he’ll keep a constant watch over the other three.

Of course in classic Act 2 fashion, the guard falls asleep and the three make it out the window and search for Troubleshoes so they can bring him to justice for the safety of everyone I mean so they can get their cuties mark (There’s one lesson kids, as long as YOU gain from it, it’s fine to do whatever :P) Comedy ensues as the three quickly and predictably get lost, and suffer a mudslide that ends up reminding me of a picture that Smudgeproof drew once (don’t go looking, it’s not pleasant 😉 I do it for research purposes!)

Smudgeproof
Smudge would be proud of this episode.

We finally meet Troubleshoes and we find out that not only does he seem to be a relative of Eeyore but he’s clumsy as all git’out (this country talk must be catching on) as he falls down in a manner that would make Dick Van Dyke proud. Quickly we move to find out that our newest friend is not meaning any ill will to anyone but is just prone to accidents, thanks to bad luck, his upside down horseshoe of a cutie mark. He’s convinced that there’s nothing more to do about that either, as he recounts a tale of trying out for the rodeo in his youth only to be laughed at from the accidents he caused.

Trouble-donkey
” Oh hello, have any of you seen mah’ tail?” Troubleshoes, a distant relative of Eeyore :)=

This sets a dangerous precedent that tied back to Applebloom’s dream an episode or two ago. This and the previous generation seem to be entirely convinced that the cutie mark defines the pony. Translating this over it would be the same as if enough people tell you that your meant to be a plumber you HAVE to be one even if you don’t want to be. I think that’s what the more overall arc will be willing to tell us later is that YOU as a person are in charge of your own destiny, not a cutie mark or what others THINK you should be. Maybe the breaking of that society norm is where the writing team is heading? All it takes is one generation fed up with something (I point to Woodstock, and more recently, the riots across the US as proof) to trigger a change. What do you all think? Comment below 🙂

So after his back story is spilled Troubleshoes is caught by the posse that seems to believe he kidnapped the three girls and take him to jail. What I also find equally disturbing is that the law enforcement quickly assumes the ill intent and DO NOT listen to the alleged victims, they quickly pass sentence and incarcerate our big ol’ unlucky guest star. This may be a subtle commentary on how the internet and social media quickly convict anyone of something without the facts, like we’ve seen so recently in other cases online. Thoughts?

Trp[ju
“Hey ya’ll, a buncha Fanboys gave this to me for Strongest Female in a Supporting Role Wearing Only a Hat”

Finally Act 3 kicks in and the girls realize that Troubleshoes isn’t looking at himself or his special talent the proper way and decide that if he ENJOYS the rodeo, he should entertain by being a clown in it! So as the time ticks down before the credits they break him out of jail (what? :P) and dress him up as a clown for the rodeo, and like a natural, he entertains everyone. In true “The Power is Yours!” fashion, the truth of who he is really shocks the audience and they all turn on him, almost to the point of a riot, but the CMC comes in and saves the day!

Clown
I think the lesson here is, when life hands you lemons…

The only thing they forgot to mention was they never were really kidnapped, which lands them the job of cleaning up the rodeo after it’s done. (and gives another display of ponies using everyday items as Applebloom uses a broom with her hooves instead of her teeth? Thank goodness, ponies using their mouths for everything was getting odd)

Broom
Faster my minions! Use that broom proper!

Overall, this episode gets a 3 from me. It feels rushed at the end, and honestly, it feels like it was phoned in. Nothing really awful happens, but the same, nothing moving happens like in previous ones this season. I think what this might be is a preparing story on one or ALL the girls getting their marks sometime soon. It exposes the audience to more of the CMC who previously had very little but fluff pieces themselves and only one or two before. I can’t wait to see if I’m right 🙂

Take care!

-Watchfire