MLP Season 6 Premiere “The Crystalling” – Analysis

Well it seems season 6 isn’t as bad as I’d anticipated,  and thank Celestia for that! Welcome to episode 1 and 2 analysis!

Another shout out and thank you to Kestrel for a once over and some input on my article! 🙂

As we proceed into our teaser opening, we are greeting with a bewildered Starlight Glimmer, who as many of us guessed, has become this world’s Sunset Shimmer (aka the reformed villain trope) and now appears to be part of the show.

Normally I’d be against this, but in this case I approve. Why, you may ask? At this juncture we have been at this for 6 odd years and need to have an “everyman”, a Winston to our show. Someone to help new and returning viewers understand what’s going on without having to just spoon feed you by telling characters about something. Honestly they should know just so you can know. (Like why Spike has that statue for instance) it’s also nice that she’s not just suddenly forced on us like something one new recruit of some sort JUST to be that hat device. She was a lovely villain previous season and we do hate to waste good material. 😉

Lost in a giant castle that no doubt stands for her lost wandering in this new world of friendship, Starlight is of course Twilight’s pupil who she will now pass on her knowledge of friendship to and then become one with the force. Or something like that.

Twilight_Sparkle_and_Spike_in_Star_War_by_artist-johnjoseco

This is of course much better than the alternative which is banishment or getting locked in the dungeon at the mercy of those guard ponies. Those of you from rule 34 know what picture I refer to..those of you who don’t let’s move on 😉d147ec6d9f814526cf8b3dfe03dcfbb4

Last season I made a bullet point concerning how well designed Starlight was in terms of motivation as a villain and how they carry on with this in a subtle way. We find out the friend she lost is for whatever reason is now in the Crystal Empire. By now we all know where this is heading as most of us (not I) watched that teaser trailer about 6000 times so we know the B story is going to be about the new baby (they had sex!) in the same setting.

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As the a and b stories collide, we end up finding out that there’s a special ceremony that needs to be performed for the new baby, who we haven’t named yet. As the entire main cast rides via train to the Crystal Empire, we see Starlight is unsurprisingly apprehensive at meeting Sunburst. She has of course built him up in her mind to be a great and powerful wizard ever without any real rational or logical data to base this on. That should be fun when we meet him.

Before we reach that epic moment that will make you want to call it MLP90210, we are greeted with Shining Armor no doubt happy to be back to work after a long break. He is exhausted as expected as any new parent will tell you happens with a new baby!

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(Lovely gem brought to you by MarsMiner! Click for more!)

Sadly, we missed the birth but there’s always next time. A few more parenting jokes later, we find out the two story elements are splitting off. Spike, who has apparently been promoted from Humdrum to semi-important-sidekick takes Starlight to go find Sunburst. Given a precise list by Twilight that’s as long and detailed in only a way our OCD princess could make and sent on their way.

As thought Starlight is in shock as Spike has a statue and is quite frankly the Davy Crockett of the kingdom. Starlight uses this to delay the meeting as well as give us another small pipe laying moment for new viewers. Might also be a way for the writing to to say “no we don’t pick on Spike that bad… just look what we had him do” and to a degree…I’d agree. 🙂

 

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Those eyes…they just seem to follow you..

Back to the main cast, we meet the baby and it’s just cute…and… an alicorn! Apparently that’s an anomaly since alicorns are made not born (which seems to promote the idea that you’re not special until you make yourself special? ) after a pony does something of high caliber princess-like achievers  (say… completing an old spell). This does beg to ask what did Cadence do? She’s already an alicorn in the season 2 flashback when she’s twilight’s babysitter. Did they tighten up guidelines after Cadance?

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Sunshine sunshine ladybugs…well you know the rest.

Pinkie also seems to have a clause in her contract that lets her off with light work this premiere as we see her only with the baby and then only for comedic brief effect. 🙂

Flopping back to Starlight we see the inevitable meeting between two lost friends. Its as awkward as telling your co-workers you’re writing a mlp review. He seems to be socially awkward and a shut-in much like Twilight was. This began to send my gears spinning with this:

Let’s stop a moment and take a considerably chilling moment to think about things.

Are all the new characters a precursor for a new line of toys? Will Celestia die and pass on the Alicorn matrix of leadership to Twilight Alicorn and let Starlight and the new generation of toys take the show over? Those of you transformer fans know what I mean.

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The few lines we get with the two also seem to make me think that her rejection she felt was possibly misplaced love the way things start to go and Starlight turns into Ally McPony.

We dance around the two of them for a minute more and then just as quickly, we end up back with the main cast for the next issue at hand. The Crystalling (Which sounds remarkably like a Stephen King novel or a M.Night Movie) needs to get underway, and sleep deprived Shining Armor is having all sorts of issues with rational decisions. The help of the girls makes it easier as he’s about to have a nervous breakdown and he picks his honor guard and the crystal for the ceremony.

Pinkie and Twilight are in a losing battle with the baby, who is flying and firing random magic bolts with no real sense of responsibility. Even Pinkie can’t hold onto the little critter and she’s practically a Q. Joining Shining Armor, all the cast brings the child to begin the ceremony at the Crystal Heart, when suddenly the overcharged infant unleashes a random magic sound wave that shatters the Heart into thousands of pieces, bringing the shield down that’s holding the never ending storm outside at bay.

OH NO
Now I thought it would have been nice to see Sombra return somehow 🙂

A brief credit sequence later with what sounds like music from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and we’re back with a quick recap.

As Rainbow Dash offers to fix the weather, which most of us immediately thought of, Celestia, in a remarkable show of participation in the episode, stops her. It turns out the weather in that area has a will of it’s own, in other words it’s normal, and you can’t fight nature. As Twilight and the rest go to find a spell to fix what the baby broke, we finally get to see Celestia and Luna hold off the snow storm as long as they can. I for one loved to finally hear more than one statement from them for an entire episode, and we even get to see them using their magic other than in terms of an alarm clock. (Though that does make me wonder, who’s raising the moon and sun while they are up here? )

The rapid onset of snow and freezing winds ramps up the urgency to find something in the library in the Crystal Empire. The baby again becomes the main issue as Shining and Pinkie chase it around as Cadance and Twilight with Rarity search frantically for a quick fix.

After all, we only have about ten minutes left.

Suddenly, the Princesses find the PLOT device, or rather, the book that will help them rebuild the Heart. No doubt it involves hugging and saying something about friendship, right? Before we can really consider that, a deflected baby blast burrows a big ol’ hole into the book! Having only a quick moment to read it previously, Twilight isn’t entirely sure she can cast it from memory. Though when Sunburst is mentioned, we get another clue about him when Cadance remarks she doesn’t know the name, but decides it’s best to bring him as well as Starlight has been talking him up to everyone there.

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Yes this is our unlikely hero! Really? Yup. Really 😛

Off Starlight goes as the timer ticks down to fix this before that darn Petshop show with Rainbow Dash starts! She confronts and discusses with Sunburst the situation at hoof, practically begging him to return with her, and still, he’s hesitant. In fact, he seems to WANT to help, but doesn’t seem to be ABLE to, going so far as to say so.

Finally, there’s a revelation after she presses him again: he declares he’s not even a wizard. We’re treated with few answers, but it seems he didn’t quite make it in Magic Camp, and 1became more of a researcher and achiever than a full fledged wizard. Sunburst practically resents STARLIGHT and that hits her in the emotional breadbasket, and she snaps! She blurts out what happened to HER because of HIM. A brief pause and comedic beat occurs and she finds out as do we, that he’s far more interested that she traveled in time then made a small socialist state in the middle of nowhere.

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Regardless, he suddenly has his moment and realizes that he DOES know what to do, and grabs a hoofful of books to verify it before running to tell the princesses. Meanwhile, Luna and Celestia are overcome by the forces of nature and retreat, as does Rainbow Dash who, in a nice twist, loses the ability to fly for a time when ice covers her wings. As they all turn tail and run to the train, Starlight, Spike and Sunburst meet them and tells them he has the solution!

A quick assessment of the situation at the shattered heart reveals that since the relic is so old it needs more than a run of the mill spell, it needs a combination of spells all combined at once. Much like one does to summon Captain Planet I assume. The entire procedure works, the heart is restored and the shield restored! The most epic thing I can think at the moment was we didn’t have to hug, sing a song and then say Friendship is Magic in order to fix the main issue! Hurrah!

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After a celebratory scene, we finally see Mom and Dad Sparkle! (Tara does her mother’s voice too 😉 ) and we finally find out what we’re going to call the baby: Flurry Heart! (You know, to remember the occasion?)

As the episode winds down, Starlight and Sunburst say goodbye and lay the pipe for all the shipping and erotica you can shake a stick at! No doubt we’ll see more of them! Twilight and Spike have a heart to heart about her teaching ability, Spike has the insight that she’s doing exactly what Celestia did for her, not holding her hoof through it all, but trusting in her to make the decisions proper. (Or else you become Sunset Shimmer).

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What needs to happen now, is that she IS rejected. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Though it probably will.

 

Finally, we leave the Crystal Empire via train, and for whatever reason, foreshadowing or just a silly moment, we see a Changeling flying towards the Empire in the background. Can’t wait to see where that’s going. 😉

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The Truth is Out There! Or..turns out this whole time we have had the wrong Cadance! There’s a good twist!

 

All in all I give this episode a 7 out of 10. It proudly presents itself in a way that’s not overly cliché but still reminds you why you fell in love with every character in the first place. It loses points for how jammed the storyline feels as we have at least 2 more ponies to try and give a problem to and have them fix it. It gains a bit more back by having the more organic and real feel then most previous episodes as well, so we’ll have to see. I just hope I’m wrong about the phasing out of the last generation to make way for the new one….you know a kid actually locked himself in his room and refused to eat or come out once they killed Optimus Prime? Be mindful, Hasbro.

 

Until Next time, my friends!

-Malcontent (one day I’ll pick a name :P)

 

 

MLP Season 5, Episode 14 – Canterlot Boutique Editorial and Commentary

Welcome back fellow pony folk, and welcome to the second half of Season 5 of MLP:FIM! As we countdown to the Equestria Girl’s 3rd movie, lets distract ourselves with a Rarity episode!

Rarity-Contract
“To Rarity … contract…buzz buzz….your very own episode this week!”

We start out at Rarity’s boutique of course, she’s obviously very anxious to get something, as focus isn’t her strong point at the moment. Much like a kid waiting for Santa to arrive, our fashion savvy pony is eager to get something in the mail, but soon receives not the item she wants, but a visit from our very own fourth wall breaking pink pony of potent persuasion and pickled…nevermind, there’s enough of those tongue twisters in the episode, trust me. Pinkie Pie shows up with a gift of both the letter Rarity seeks and an odd new flavor of cupcake: Strawberry-Cinnamon-Cilantro, If you haven’t tried it..don’t as ..I think Pinkie’s the only one in the town that seems to stomach them.

Quickly and with little pace, we force our way to the plot point of the episode, not only is it just a Rarity episode, it’s also taking place in Canterlot! It appears that Rarity has purchased a plot (heh) there and is going to open a sister shop, Canterlot Boutique! It’s at that point we enter the theme song and we all know how that goes. That moment where some of you are looking around making sure no one is seeing what your watching, while some of you are turning it up and proud as punch! Either way, neither one is wrong per say, and we stroll forward into the meat of Act I!

Twilight and the rest of the gang travel to Canterlot, no doubt happy that they have ANY part in this episode, as we are bombarded with information from Twilight on the source of Rarity’s ability to purchase this place. Now, that brings me to a point that’s still in contention as far as I know: WHAT is the basis of currency in this world? We hear the term “Bits” and while it’s a play on several horse themes, we never go into the basics of it. For instance, WHAT is the standard? Is every bit represented by gold or jewels in some way? Hardly possible as Spike and other dragons openly and with little complaint from anyone, eat jewels at regular intervals. Perhaps the currency is based on a more 14th century idea and it’s worth is the same as it represents (I.E. gold coins, silver coins, ect). But, no one really explores that, and I hope someone whose reading this will eventually find out for me 😛

As the crew walks into one of their few group scenes, Rarity is elated at the shop, which does in fact look quick fancy. She goes on to toot her own horn a moment, well deserved, but then she mentions she couldn’t do it without the help of this week’s Monster of the Week her new business partner, Sassy Saddles..who looks like she eats about twice a year. Coupled with her attitude and tone, she’s a walking troupe, which I find sad based on previous installments of the show, we seemed to be moving forward in a direction that made complex ideas and stories possible.

Thats right kids I'm the villain this week
You suppose the horns on unicorns are the same as breasts? Each person’s is different in size? 🙂 Sassy Saddles has this huuuuge horn!

Here, we’re just phoning it in. We’re not even TRYING to hide our antagonist this episode it seems, almost like they really didn’t have a writer do a second read on it.

A quick run-down of Sassy lets us know that she will eventually be what Rarity becomes if she loses sight of what she loved about her craft and worried only about success. Though most of us know this, it takes our heroine most of the episode and a structured song to figure that out. For the most part, despite being told and praised for being a savvy business pony, Rarity has AWFUL judgment for the most part. Back when she “took Manehatten” her generosity nearly cost her the key she was meant to use to open the Plot Device in the final episode that season (You remember, when Lex Luthor..er..Clancy Brown..appeared on My Little Pony? Of for you older fans, the Kurgan 😉 )) and now it seems she’s got the same problem here, though her special talent, and her element, seem to work against her. Honestly, if anyone would be trustworthy, it would have been Coco from that same episode, you’d think she would have jumped at a chance to work in Canterlot? Still..I guess we need new villains?

Rarity quickly starts to fall into the shadow of her new partner, much to the distress of her friends. Pushed out of the way at the grand opening and even during her unveiling of her main line for Canterlot, Rarity shows us that generosity…can sometimes screw you over. BUT…something interesting occurs at the unveiling.

The first three dresses are obvious in their inspiration, and the final one is said to be about Twilight. Casual observation yields similarities of course. The name of the outfit makes me think deeper though. She calls it…The Reign in Stain. The stain referring to the Stain Glass windows that appear randomly after we have a season ending event in the Royal Palace, this one inspired by Twilight turning into a Alicorn (and making us buy a new version of her) and “The Reign” of course is in reference to her current occupation. But…and stay with me on this…

The Rain in Spain is part of a verbal exercise in “My Fair Lady”, when Rex Harrison’s character tries to tell Elisa how to speak proper and lose her horrid accent. The entire point is that Rex’s character has bet he could take anyone and turn them into something they were not, in that case a “Proper” lady from a commoner. So we take from that the basic lesson, and apply it here two fold: The story of how Twilight, a pony who had no place really in Ponyville or making friends at the start of the show, turns into the most unlikely heroine, a princess, an Alicorn, and in some cases, a sorta goofy protagonist. The second application of it could be used to reinforce the overall lesson in this episode, which is don’t try to force a round peg into a square hole, you end up ruining the peg and the hole and then what do you have? Nothing. Course..I could be looking far too deeply into this, though..that IS what I pride myself on doing, finding the deeper meanings. Your thoughts in the comments below are welcome!

Say what
Rarity comes to the horrific realization that Sassy may not be a complicated antagonist at all. She’s just a lesson episode after all!

After her friends leave, since they no doubt have to film re-takes of The Friendship Games, Rarity finds herself swamped with orders, far more then she considered she’d be making. By herself, she starts making hundreds of the same dress, as Sassy Saddles has all but done away with ever other dresses, making the Princess dress (What a catchy name..) the only thing the store seems to sell. Of course, the …shall we call them upper crust..ponies all want it since it’s the latest thing being raved about in..(wait for it..) CosMare magazine.

WTF
Here’s another one of those faces that would be SCARY AS HELL for cookies on Halloween…

After she works her hooves to the bone and fills all the orders, she starts to sing, because, why not? Though this time I’m rather taken by the song structure. Three parts with breaks in it as she realizes the problem and solution to the episode’s rather transparent issues. It’s nice to see progression in terms of characters, even in small doses like that.

On a side note, small doses reminds me, Pinkie’s participation feels completely forced in this episode, I’m not entirely sure how else to put it. Like they needed to fill a minute of time or something?

As Rarity fixes up the dresses all the same, she finds them bland, and counter-Rarity entirely. Sprucing them up with gems and her special form of inspiration, she presents it to the next customer. To her dismay, well both of them really, this pony doesn’t really want alterations, she wants the dress exactly like she ordered it, like the one in ..CosMare. I don’t blame her though, for one thing she, for whatever reason, has a cutie mark that appears to be a pair of Hot Peppers on her ass, and the other is that the customer is of course, always right.

Peppers
See? It looks like peppers! WHAT possible special talent could that be? Mexican cooking?!

The harsh reality of the situation finally settles in on Rarity and hopefully the last of our slower viewers as everyone er everypony in Canterlot is seen in the same dress. Every. Single. Pony, and of course, just like the old saying goes “If everyone’s unique…no one is.”

this sucks
This was a simple episode about being true to one’s own self after all. I’ll never get “Rarity and the City” produced ;_;

So, despite all that, Rarity becomes successful, on the cover of magazines, and every dress in eyesight is her design..and she is absolutely miserable. Be careful what you wish for, kids. Thankfully our lovely marshmallow of a fashion designer knows trouble when she see’s it, and quickly shuts down Sassy Saddles apparent over-zealous attitude, and we quickly notice Sassy is clearly in this for herself, quickly turning a 180 on Rarity when she mentions closing. Pleading with her not to close, the only reason she can come up with is that she can’t be part of another failed store….which of course we don’t get to go into because we seem to be running long in the episode (Maybe if we’d have cut Pinkie? 😉 )

As the going out of business sale begins, we’re greeted with Rarity cleaning out the closets of the store and putting all the other dresses she had made on sale. Unsurprisingly the customers (which includes a pony who suspiciously sounds like Raven from the Teen Titans, who is voiced by Tara Strong by the way, hut in this case is voiced by Pinkie’s actress 🙂 )) horde the store and love what they find in terms of variety, while Rarity is rejuvenated by making everypony unique in their appearance instead of the same hum-drum like they had previous.

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The only thing that was missing was Starfire and or Beast Boy annoying this pony! 🙂

As we wind down for the credits, Rarity decides not to shut down the shop, but confesses she never intended to move to Canterlot and meant for Ponyville to be her Headquarters. She leaves Sassy Saddles in charge (despite the fact she tried to basically tried to railroad her at every turn) showing us that Generosity really does pay off, and Rarity can have an exciting…episode.

Overall, I give this a 3. It’s cute and it’s nice to hear Rarity for more then a few background lines, though it feels again like an afterthought from the writing staff. I don’t see where the epic nature of our last episodes went, nor why after a hiatus mid season we’d lead off with this. Hopefully we’ll pick up steam next time!

With that, I leave you with well wishes and best regards,

-Watchfire

P.S.  FAT PONY IS FAT!

fat pony!
Seriously did she eat another pony? This has to be Bicep’s mother?

MLP S5E12, Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? Review and Food for Thought

Hello my few but well informed friends! I hope you’ve been all spreading the word about me, I know I have been trying the best I can to expose myself (wait..) to every Pony site that will take me, though if you know one that I could try, tell me! 🙂

This week we’ve got quite a treat, it’s an episode called “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?” and it’s title is a play on a novel by Phillip K. Dick, and also served to the best of my recollection, as the basis for the classic movie “Blade Runner” staring Harrison Ford! Alas, Mr. Ford isn’t in this show, though I’m sure we all wish he was!

The teaser made me laugh, as it feels like a very abridged version of every season finale in the show. We come in at the end of a classic setting for the show, where a villain is about to face down our girls, but this time, has a new super evil form to make a last stand with! This time it’s Princess Luna and she’s turning into … Nightmare Moon! Again.

So we watch the transformation only this time she makes reference to something new, as if IT were powering her transformation. As she morphs into the classic version of Moon, our girls are prepared, as they should be because this is like the third time they’ve had to deal with this. No doubt they need to utter a lesson about self love or friendship of loving your friends self or something like that and then it’s over.

Oddly enough the scene takes a turn, in a couple of ways. Never a type to shy away from promotion, Hasbro takes this moment to show off the Mane 6 powering up into their..well lets call it their super-duper friendship outfits, no doubt a new line of toys, as I can’t see why we’d need to change our outfits, and pose for a moment. The scene is epic as always but rather quick, before Stan Bush can kick in and play them an intro, the scenario turns on it’s head.

Luna, or Nightmare Moon in this case, loses her support from the new entity, and it leaves the realm, letting her get hit by the happy-glow cannon the girls all come equipped with now. Of course without fail, this fixes everything proving that if you want to help someone you need to use force…er well nevermind that, we quickly find out that this is all a dream of Princess Luna, who wakes up in distress as it is supposed to be impossible for her to have a good dream.

OMG
“Thou hath given Us an episode of thine own!?”

After the intro, we end up re-focusing on the Mane 6, who all relate to the fact that none of them had a good sleep. All of them suddenly find out that there was a blue smoke monster of some sort in all their dreams. Not certified to work on dreams, Twilight writes to Luna, who is there in an absurdly short amount of time.

Quickly Luna questions all of them and finds it even more distressing that ALL of them are seeing the monster. She informs them that this creature is meant to plague only her dreams, like a parasite that feeds from her dreams. It’s learned of the other girls from the fact Luna has dreamt of them, finally made the connection and spread like some sort of Dream Infection. Worse still, she goes on to inform them that it’s power is proportional to the number of dreams it’s in, it’s now at least 6 times stronger, and if given enough power, will escape into the real world!

So of course, the girls come up with a plan with Luna, who is no doubt thrilled to have more then three lines in the episode, and set up all of the Mane 6 in one room to sleep. As they all quickly drift off, we reach the meat of the episode. Much like Nightmare of Elm Street, any Dream episode’s real awesome story comes when we go to the dream land and see jus thow screwed up the dreams of our heroes are. If I remember correctly, Ray from Ghostbusters dreamed he was being eaten BY a pizza. But anyway, we see Luna mentally probe into all of them and we start with…

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There seems to be a slight disproportion in the size of the beds..so much for equality! 😛

Rarity! Whose dream is, filled with floating dresses reminiscent of a Mary Poppins homage. Quickly she finds it less them pleasing as the entity infects a dress and they all attempt to give Rarity her final fitting! Firing back, we finally see Rarity has the ability to magically defend herself. (Twilight’s quick to blast, Rarity is quick to shield, it’s odd that way..). Luna intervenes and ends up having to chase the entity through the ..er…dream walls into that of ,,,

MONSTER Dress
“Ahh! Killer Dress x_x”

Pinkie Pie! Whose extreme ADHD ensures her dreams landscape switches faster then a impatient parent with a remote control. As Luna hops in, Pinkie finds a moment to center on ..cake! Though we quickly see the entity infect her dream and the cakes start to try and eat her! (Anyone seeing a pattern? I know I did! 😉 ) Luna AoE’s the dream and hops off into a much happier place…

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I can’t believe she said that without a censor raising a single eyebrow 😛

Fluttershy’s dream! Now, lets stop for a moment and remember, most of these episodes have hidden meanings in them. No doubt they push the limit much like Animaniacs did.

So, we see Fluttershy shying happily as something brushes her, and we see it’s Angel, and he’s just HUGE. Implications aside, she tops it off by saying quite clearly “It’s so nice to be the pet for once”. Now most of you will know what this may imply, so I’m not going to go into any deep discussion about it. Though I must say, I chuckled internally as I imagined the implications. Though if my memory serves most authors tend to make Rarity the Dominatrix.

notreally
“This is all I get..another Apple Joke and then it’s on to the next scene??”

Anyway! One mutant bunny later, Luna lands inside Applejack’s dream, which oddly enough, is just about her having a huge apple. I found this disappointing, as I imagined AJ having a much wilder side she suppresses. Having her parents die early in her life, I’d assume she missed out quite a bit on fun of all manners when she was forced to grow up fast. Luna blossoms from a tree and continues the chase, this time nearly catching it as it eats the apple and flies into..

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Totally a Batman Homage. I love it!

Rainbow Dash’s realm, which resembles that of a Klingon training program. She’s got her hooves full fighting off Changlings left and right with a series of Batman like moves that make me glad I made her human counterpart a natural hand to hand fighter. Luna lands and makes mention that she may be too late, but Dashie informs her that this is just a normal dream for her, when suddenly…the world morphs into a happy..sunshine filled realm with singing flowers that resemble Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls! THIS of course is her nightmare and she screams. The Princess of the Knight Night dives out and we are glad for that, as we’ve reached our final destination..

organized dream
“Huh..says here that ponies gestate for..12 months? That can’t be right…”

Twilight’s dream! No surprise here, her dream is very organized. In fact it’s a library, where she seems quite happy to study while she dreams. As the entity infects her, the world warps slightly and suddenly, you guessed it, KILLER BOOKS! They attempt to corner and … well I don’t quite know what they could do..maybe flap her to death? Regardless, Luna finally gets the upper hand and captures the entity, only to have it escape and wake everyone up!

Getting over their traumatizing moments, quickly Luna informs them that as long as no one dreams of other ponies aside from them, the entity is trapped among them. Pinkie then informs that her last dream as Luna left was sharing ice cream with..well everyone! Luna’s self loathing not withstanding, Twilight quickly formulates that Princess Luna should use her dream-linking powers to bind every pony to one giant dream (Because, that couldn’t possibly go wrong :P)

hentai

The new plan begins and Luna brings…everypony…to one central dream, including the main cast. The combined dreams every extra, supporting pony and background pony are quick a sight to be seen. Some of the highlights include a HUGE Derpy Muffins oh nevermind she’s always Derpy to me. This large Derpy is no doubt a homage to the Skyrim mod that allows ridable ponies. Derpy is just plain silly in size there too! Lyra and BonBon linked together like a reboot of Cat&Dog, and some sort of version of Big Mac that..I’m still trying to figure out…Alicorn Big Mag?!

WTF did i just see
What is this…I don’t even.. o_o

Turns out Luna can’t defeat the creature AND hold all the dreams together, so, against her pride, she finally breaks down and asks for help from her friends (Golly that sounds like a plot point) to which they respond a resounding “Sure!” (Cuz..Friendship is..well you know the rest..)

As the entity grows more powerful from the exposure to more, it starts to open a tear in sub space the dreamworld to head out and turn the reality of Equestria into a living nightmare! Much like the adventuring kids in Nightmare of Elmstreet (Pick one) the rest of the cast finds out that since it IS a dream, everyone can do what they want! This includes Filthy Rich becoming, a sorta Scrooge McDuck Super hero, Scootaloo growing bigger … wings.. and Big Mac..well I’m still trying to figure that one out.

newcatanddog
Okay this is frightening O_O

The two highlights for me is when Dashie and AJ turn into their Power Ponies personas.( Say that three times fast!). Lets face it, those personas are awesome, and were one of the main driving forces for me to write Equestrian City.

zapp
Hail Zapp!

As everything they throw at it just makes it angry, and Luna starting to wallow in self pity, the baby dragon figures out that it gets stronger when Luna goes a bit emo every now and then. Suddenly she reveals SHE made the entity to punish herself for hurting Equestria all those years ago as Nightmare Moon. She made it to ensure she never forgot, even in slumber, what she did.

aj hero
I love she kept the hat…

The lesson of the story comes barreling at us like a cannonball and Twilight and her friends all reinforce the fact that beating herself up over the past does nothing but keep the wounds sore. The only way to defeat this manifested guilt she’s fighting is to let it go, and try to move on with her life.

guilt is power
Beating yourself up over something seldom solves anything. It just makes your problem..bigger.

This is a very important lesson, I’ll admit. Not many people know how to do this, so it’s important to take a moment and take it all in. That being said, Luna suddenly learns the true meaning of Xmas er..understands what Twilight means and the entity weakens and joins back with Luna, ensuring all the chaos and evil do not make it to reality.

As everyone wakes up, everypony notices Luna asleep, and we get a glimpse into her world, where she is dreaming of..well..being asleep in a wonderful nighttime scene that must be observed for oneself.

sleepy
So once again, the dream is saved thanks to…Friendship?

Overall I give this 7 out of 10. Any episode with Luna being more then set dressing gets a boost automatically, and I grew up with Nightmare on Elmstreet so the dream setting was nice to be back in, this time not one of the CMC learning a lesson we guessed at the start of the show. Bonus points for Dashie and AJ as super heroes, and Derpy was fun too! The overall lesson was NOT shoved down your throat like some so that was pleasant, at least both demographics watching get something out of this all, and that’s all you can hope for.

Let me know what you think about this and all my other posts, I’m still trying to gain more exposure in the pony social circles so don’t forget to facebook and tweet me! Until next time, I leave you with Rainbow Dash, who upon seeing Pinkie showing off her flank, decided to show you all what a real flank was?

rump
Thats not a flank..THATS a flank!

-Watchfire 🙂

Equestria Girls – Friendship Games Trailer Review and Food for Thought

Title
“Friendship is Competition! Wait …. what?”

So here we are followers…the first glimpse of “The Friendship Games”. The name is cute but it also makes me wonder if there’s a possibility of a Hunger Games fiction out there. I after all made The Clopping Dead and Equestrian City. One can only assume somewhere it’ll pop up or may have already.

That being said if you haven’t watched the trailer id suggest you check it out as its helpful in context to my comments.

Back? Good 🙂

So first we notice that our setting is thankfully in the high school again and Celestia is talking about a competition (because that turned out so good last movie) with crystal prep who we can all but assume is their version of the Crystal Empire. The looks on the faces of the student body shows us that no one is quite thrilled about it. Given the last year I don’t blame them. A succubus and a set of sirens tends to drain a lot out of you in terms of any school spirit.

Not Thrilled
“Oh good..another movie we don’t get much of a part in..”

The trailer fires quick and simple which one is bound to expect from a teaser we see lovely familiar faces like sunset shimmer who has thankfully to my best assumption has been given the lead in this series. Among new faces we see a whole set of new antagonists. Though unlike our last two adventures they don’t appear to be magical..just better at everything.

Sci-Twi
“I’m thrilled to be working with you all again..do you suppose Vinyl will get to talk this time?”

The main highlight we come to is that this universe’s Twilight is in it. The only reference we’ve had so far is Pinkie Pies passing comment in the first movie and the lovely book end after the credits in the second movie. Affectionately called “Sci-Twi” this one is presented as a shy nerd of sorts who seems to be going to the prep school mentioned before.

Myshow
“After all those years of singing for you…I finally get my own show..and..here you are..AGAIN!”

This hopefully will show us where the parents are and more geographical information of this world. Little is given to us previous in fact the world stops just short of Canterlot high and Sugarcube Corners. I’m especially interested to learn about the social and civil system. The fact we had an explosion and a magical dance number and no real police came has me wondering indeed.

There’s a few hints about magic leaking into the world somehow and I assume that’s going to be a major point. There’s several new sets of antagonists and toylines are seen in the trailer, several have been vectored already which is impressive.

Sunset Shimmer being the main leader it seems is a plus for me personally, though I’d love to see if Lightning Dust is an exiled member of a team Rainbow Dash was on. Gilda being a thug would be nice too. They have so many places to go and I hope they ride this out as long as they can. This could be what Mass Effect was to those that didn’t like Dragon Age. Science vs. Fantasy. Ditching the Princess themes for a more modern approach is a surefire way to actually keep this franchise running.

On a personal note those of you who have read my teaser for Equestrian City may notice I used the portal as a catalyst for the massive injection of meta powers. I am now worried I’ll be accused of copying whatever the following screenshot is showing us 😛 Maybe I should re-work things?

Familiar
“Sci-Twi divided by Zero!”

Now, stay tuned for Episode 103’s review in a few days! Remember I love hearing from all of you so leave a comment to let me know you’re there! My stats say I get alot of hits, don’t be shy! 🙂

-Watchfire

MLP, “Party Pooped” Review and Food for Thought

Hello my few but growing viewers! It’s that time again, time for another MLP Review and Food for Thought! This week we’ve got “Part Pooped” Episode 102, and let me tell you, it’s quite a treat for a couple of really dark reasons, but we’ll get to that.

First we open on our main cast, and we see that Twilight as grown as she is is still nervous when it comes to things like making new friends. This is odd since over the past two years she’s beaten down Clancy Brown, an omnipotent princess whose name sounded like a thrown away idea for her character in the writers room, and a set of three sirens using dark magic. ALL with the “power of friendship”, you’d think by now she’d be very chilled.

YOUgotaspinoff
“I can’t believe YOU get this episode’s lead…YOU!”

We meet this week’s Monster of the week, er I mean delegates from YakYakistan (Really, that’s the name!) and they are apparently a distant culture that hasn’t had contact or relations with the Pony Empire for sometime. A gesture of making them feel at home instantly makes them upset as it’s not PERFECT down to the last detail and through what I assume is a custom in their land, they proceed to break everything.

Our intro plays and we return to the girls fixing things that are broken, the use of tools has increased by about 300% this season and I’m quite happy about that as it shows a level of reality we missed before. The one really interesting moment of the entire scene is Rarity using….wait for it…Glue! Remember where we get glue from? Sure we don’t do that much anymore with chemistry and synthetics, but this world has shown us chemistry isn’t as advanced as our world. Makes ya wonder.

We find out through subtle exposition that each of the girls is going to be trying their best to make the delegates feel at home and that the big C (Thats Celestia) doesn’t know that they are here, or is even around (Where does she go?). As Pinkie Pie was the only one who bothered reading the script, she’ll be supervising the attempts. Starting with my favorite, AJ, she brings them to the farm to show them a good night’s rest on hay-beds. Of course, it’s not the right kind of hay and they proceed to smash things again.

Following up on these rather rude guests is Fluttershy’s attempt, and we see the cutest little animals with yak horns on them. Of course, they aren’t real horns and they soon realize it, they start to smash the animals, though thankfully since we’re on early enough, the animals are saved thanks to our rating 😛

As we start to see a pattern with our Yaks, Rainbow Dash brings them snow, and…you guessed it..it isn’t the RIGHT kind of snow and they proceed to smash and throw a fit. Even Pinkie Pie seems to give up as they have a meeting and Twilight piles more tension on Pinkie, making her believe the party she’s planning for them will make or break the relations. Pinkie Pie has a minor break down during the meeting and that brings me to my first point.

ohcomeon
“Oh COME ON!”

You may remember back I referenced a notorious fanfiction named Cupcakes that was oh so recently debunked thanks to Gilda being alive. Well, this brings new life to my fire to the idea that Cupcakes still holds some truth. I’ll gather my thoughts a bit further on down in the review and present them.

NOTNUTS
You thought that other cookie cutter image was disturbing? Imagine a trayfull of these staring back atcha!

So, Pinkie gets inspired to go to YakYakistan to get something the delegates will love for the party, but, it’s a long trip. By train our Pink pony begins to narrate her own adventure, OUT LOUD, and we meet a few cameo stars who are no doubt thrilled to get work again! First we find out that the train is stopped by a herd of sheep and Pinkie runs into Ms. Cherry Jubilee (Who oddly enough, is coming out of an outhouse, one of the few references we have to the fact there are toilets in this world, and based on the size of it, it’s rather cramped unless everyone sits like Lyra) who gives her a ride to the Crystal Kingdom because apparently they need cherries there. Alot of them, some 400,000 by my count.

bathroom
“*I* Know what you were doing in there!”

As we start running out of time, the scene quickly snaps to the girls in Ponyville who Pinkie forgot to tell where she was going. They are in her room looking for her while the delegates get ready to try some cake from Mrs. Cake (who no doubt is happy to have a scene and some lines). A series of events occurs and the girls end up hitting a switch hidden in the room and it drops them into a basement.

Now as I said, since we were running out of time we decided to cut away from Pinkie, who as she narrates the rest of her journey that’s happened off screen to save us time and presumably budget on the episode. There’s quite a few in jokes in the quick rapid fire shots we see, ranging from the fact Manehatten has a version of “Cats” playing to the fact Pinkie joined a band similar to the Beatles and may have actually been the Yoko of that group. CLEARY the only ones meant to get these jokes, are the more mature of the fan-base.

Cats
“Cats” is apparently still playing there…huh.

Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Crystal Kingdom, and another favorite of mine, Cadance has more lines! Woot! Though not many, apparently when someone needs to go to the border, the Princess must escort them alone. Who knew? Quickly we see YakYakistan and Pinkie makes it to the doors only, to make a mistake that sends her flying backwards!

Now, back at the ranch (FEW of you will know that reference) we see the others now in Pinkie’s Batcave, where all her props, canons, lollipops and party favors seem to come from. Not only that, the girls notice that she’s got files on EVERYONE in Ponyville, their likes, dislikes and such, for the purpose of planning parties. This may seem nice on the surface, but lets take a serious look at this and lay it on top of Cupcakes.

killme
“Yeah yeah, she may have that, but I get Rainbow Factory..which is 20% way cooler then some ol’ cupcakes story..”

Stay with me here…this makes sense I promise.

So, Google and several other sources cite the following for Split Personality Disorder:

  • Psychological: anxiety, flashback, depression, or altered consciousness
  • Behavioral: impulsivity, self-destructive behavior, or self-harm
  • Mood: mood swings or feeling detached from self
  • Also common: amnesia or blackout

Now, take that and compare that to Pinkie’s behavior in Party of One, which was no doubt the springboard for Cupcakes. Pinkie’s lack of interaction and isolation quickly begins a cataclysmic mental breakdown where items begin to talk to her, depression and anxiety set in. Much like what happens at the midway point in this episode.

The gist of what happens in Cupcakes is that Pinkie seems to have had, or always has had, a severe psychological issue, to the point she’s been killing ponies and taking their cutie marks, horns, wings and making a coat of many colors. The way she speaks to Rainbow Dash in that episode is delightfully detached at how awful the things she’s doing is.

So we now find out Pinkie’s got the ability and resources to create a database of Obsessive Compulsive levels, not to mention the fact she’s apparently been HIDING this room from..well everyone she’s close to. All of these things add up to the idea that Pinkie still has the ability to be what I hope she really is. Deeply disturbed and deeply troubled at times, and hiding that behind her projections of laughter and happy-go-lucky. The reason I like Cupcakes and other fictions like it is not due to the gore thats there, but the underlying implications, in it and in ones like Rainbow Factory. The reality of this world we all love may not always be the flawless gem we’re fed each Saturday.

batcave
“How did..she build all this?”

Now, back to reality, or as close to we can get at the moment. Pinkie comes flying through the door, apparently on the largest amount of momentum known to ponykind, and finds out they’ve discovered not only that Twilight is afraid of Mexican food (what? o.0) but more importantly, she discovers the morale of the episode in a sudden flash of brilliance!

Instead of making the delegates at home with their culture, she decides to show them why this culture is so much fun as well! Quickly the lesson sinks in and our next scene we find that everything turned out OK in the end!

war
“Maybe I shouldn’t leave you unsupervised so much, Twilight..”

An interesting side note to this: during one of the delegates scenes, they give up and declare War on the ponies, vowing to come back with more forces. This is the first real mention of conflict on a massive scale, and the concept is not new to Twilight, which means that somewhere in history, the ponies have had to go to all out war. Food for thought.

So, overall I give this a 5 out of 10, it’s nice for deeper tones and overall exploration of the world again. It could be that we’re hitting our mid-stride and the episodes when sorted in the writer’s room that were weaker were put here. I wouldn’t call this awful, but I do hope we hit some more epic levels like we did at the beginning of the season!

Until next time, here’s Pinkie Pie letting the more mature of the fans know she’s aware why we’re watching…

thisiswhyyouwatch
“THIS! Is this what you wanted to see? HMM?”

-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

Season 5, Episode 5, “Tanks for the Memories” Editorial

Tanks for the Memories

Welcome back and here’s the latest installment in the 5th season of MLP. As many of you know our writing team seems to be understanding (or at least being let off the leash) deeper storylines. This one is so far my favorite! It’s Rainbow Dash, who is as usual more action then brains, and her pet, Tank! (You remember Tank right? He came along after someone in the writer’s room realized Dashie didn’t have one sometime after the first season 😉 )

CloudsDale
Where do you suppose those spilling rainbows are coming from..or why they terminate so early?

Opening remarks show us Winter is on the way, and an interesting point Dash makes is that Cloudsdale moving closer to Ponyville is indicative of the changing of seasons. This seems to re-inforce the idea that Cloudsdale isn’t entirely stationary all the itme, though we haven’t honestly had any elaboration on it’s flight patterns (Is it like the Floating island on Mobius with a constant path or is it similar to the traveling weather platform?) After we establish this is a Rainbow Dash/Tank episode we find out the main theme of this show is Tank having to go and hibernate. This opens the portal for the writers to tell viewers a great deal about denial, and personally, I see this episode being about Death.

Yes, I’m hearing ALOT of backlash from that idea so far, but, I think it’s on a fundamental level about death and I’ll tell you why as I go! Stay with me I didn’t pull it outta my rear.

Fluttervet
Correct me it I’m wrong, but didn’t Spike see a Vet? Shouldn’t Dashie be using the vet? 😛

After the intro, we have Fluttershy telling Dashie that point in fact, Tank needs to take a loooong nap. Hibernate until spring. Bury himself underground. This seems to TERRIFY Rainbow Dash but she quickly throws up an emotional barrier of non-acceptance, seeking a second opinion, which she also casts aside. This begins Dashie’s descent into the first stage of grief / loss:

Denial-1
You obviously don’t know a THING about animals. I’m going to get a second opinion, then ignore it also!

DENIAL!

She moves forward from this one rather quickly and steps right into a deep puddle of stage 2, one we all know as:

ANGER!

Anger 2-a
“They didn’t green-light my spinoff? I have to be with the REST of them in Equestria Academy?!”

She starts snapping at everyone who dares bring up the idea of Tank leaving at all or the concept of them being seperated. The very MENTION of the word ‘hibernate’ sends her into a spin. Interestingly still is that she cannot bring herself to even SAY the word.

Rainbow Dash then gives us a look into the deeper interworkings of her mind, or lack thereof. It seems that without proximity to her friends, her rational thinking always tends to lose out to baser mental thoughts. She enters the more dangerous of the stages:

BARGAINING!

Where we will do ANYTHING to keep our loved ones alive, bring them back, or keep them from leaving. The last one applies here of course. Dash comes to the final conclusion that if Tank hibernates in the winter, then she just needs to stop winter. Totally reasonable! Right?

Crazy Barin
“Don’t you see?! If I stop the world from turning, winter won’t come and Tank won’t ever leave me! EVER EVER EVER! It’s the only way!”

So, Rainbow Dash and the ever more sleepy each scene Tank head to Cloudsdale, the headquarters of all weather, and head to the winter section of the factories. Several moments in the new set make me want to know where the Rainbows are made. Those of you who read “Cupcakes” and “Rainbow Factory” will chuckle at that idea of Dashie running smack into the heart of the dreaded Rainbow Wing.

Rainbowdactoryanyone
“Scootaloo, did I ever tell you exactly HOW rainbows are made?”

A set of almost Acme / Warner Bros chaos ensues and Dashie overloads the factory inadvertently creating one GIANT dose of…well…winter! In the form of a giant snowball it fires forth from Cloudsdale and hits Ponyville and gives new meaning to the term “Nuclear Winter”.

nukemebaby

After facing the fact she now can’t stop winter, and in the end, accelerated the process, our dear Dashie is not the same one we saw just last week. She’s dressed in sleepwear and so is Tank, both in the bedroom of the house many of the fans fantasize about being asked into! Then, her friends, ALL of them, come in and try to both cheer her up and make her face reality. (No one really makes an attempt to explain why the Earth Ponies are able to walk onto a cloud house. A decent theory lends itself back to my question about furniture in Cloudsdale. Mainly it requiring a spell or just the fact a Pegasuses set it down on the cloud, it maintains it’s ability to support any and all types of ponies. That leads to a while new road of question I may address later.)

Dashie finally comes spiral down the grief and loss pit and hits…

DEPRESSION!

booties
I love how the outfits each have compliment each other xD But honestly, I think Dashie was suffering from Depression WAAAY before, look at the room. NO decorations o.0

She bawls at the final realization that Tank is going to die and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. I mean that Tank is going to leave for a while and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. It’s very humanizing to see this finally hit one of our characters, personally I find them much more real when faced with situations that humble them from this world of Happy Happy. This really was a tear jerky for some on Twitter from what I read, some folks were very upset the writers hurt Dashie.

Depression
The voice actress even took me by surprise on the oddly realistic portrayal of a pony having to say goodbye to her friend for months. Well done!

Finally, after this long 30 odd minute train of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression…we hit the final stage. The one we hit when we finally realize our Uncle or Cousin or Mother or Best Friend just isn’t going to come back.

Acceptance.

final stage
Acceptance is magic. Incidentally, I love Rarity’s hat in this episode, she looks so Russian 😛

Dead is dead. You need to let go and despite the fact Dashie is as Awesome as She Wants to be she’s still emotionally driven like most of us. She gets through the stages quicker then most of us who are awesome 😉 (Heck, Darth Vader takes WAY longer then Dashie). She brings the very sleepy Tank to a place near a pond, where he bids her farewell and she sits with him until he goes to sleep.

So, sure one could say this episode is about Acceptance, and I wouldn’t really argue against that, but personally I see this entire episode about what we go through with Death. Rainbow Dash’s reactions are very close to those of a near-psychotic break but despite that, her friends are there to help her, playing into the entire overall arc of Friendship being point in fact, Magic.

The song was nice too, I enjoy the harmonic style that’s present, not sure what it is, despite it being a solo piece, she’s singing with herself several different layers of her voice if I hear it correctly.

Overall I give this a 8 out of 10. I was pleased with the message, consider which you think it is, and I was happy the song wasn’t entirely forced on us like it was a union rule. Character wise I learned ALOT more about Dash and her mental state and sadly, I can see Rainbow Factory being more possible 🙂

Stay tuned, I’ll be doing these faster and faster! Like Me, Post me, Hit me with your thoughts on anything and more!

-Watchfire