MLP Season 5 Analysis

Hello my followers, all four of you! 😛

I’ve been silent for a bit as I work on Equestrian City and The Clopping Dead, but I’m not dead, nor am I going anywhere.

I’ve decided to change format a bit after a rather insightful fan told me I’m less of a reviewer and more of… an analyst. So that’s where we’ll be going from now on in terms of titles. Pony Analyst! 🙂 No name changes or anything, just the article headers will change slightly.

In the meantime, as the clock ticks down to the season premiere of our 6th round of pony goodness and we eagerly (well I do) wait for EqG 4, I’ve decided to give a small update and a few passing notes about our last season.

A HUGE thank you to my newest pony friend, Kestrel, for their thoughts and editing expertise! I hope to continue to work with them as I move forward!

The last season gave us some wonderful things, it had a proper villain for once (Starlight Glimmer) and for the most part our episodes were not cringe-worthy in terms of spoon fed lessons and too many musical numbers. The one thing that set it apart is unfortunately the one thing that broke the pace a bit for me as a viewer and I’ll go into that briefly.

Those of you who read me know that I’ve done a rundown of the villains of the series and have noted the growth writing wise each antagonist we get goes through. Discord is not equal to Nightmare Moon nor is Sunset Shimmer equal to Starlight Glimmer. Each was a step, or version, of improvement.

So first and foremost let’s get Starlight out of the way. I said at the beginning I was rather impressed with her as a character. For once we had a villain, a true card carrying villain that was NOT above trying to kill our protagonists. She tries several times but fails, and in true fashion, runs to fight another day.

Sunset was a prototype it seems, with The Dazzlings being the basic character improvement before the final mold that gave us Starlight Glimmer. She was near perfect in her construction as an antagonist it was making me delightfully giddy that we would have a real showdown at the end of the season.

BEST VILLAIN
See? Completely in the zone and very determined she is in the right. AWESOME villain.

Reasons? Here’s a few:

  • She’s got motivation, real 3 dimensional motivation that unlike previous baddies she doesn’t spill immediately so we can just fix her. A real villain doesn’t sit and tell you why they are they way they are because…THEY DON’T THINK THEY ARE WRONG! They shouldn’t have to explain themselves… and she doesn’t.
  • Secondly, she’s the one offended in the exchange, at least from her point of view. She’s the one, from her perspective who’s been wronged and is merely trying to make things even again and punish those responsible.

These things made her a wonderful arch nemesis for Twilight, whose increasingly passive aggressive assault during the seasons as grating on my nerves personally, and let’s be honest, it was becoming far too formulaic.

Then came the final episode, and immediately before the end of the first part I literally felt like Marty McFly when I sat up and said “She stole my idea!” and laughed out loud.

Starlight’s final point is that she actually had a long term plan as opposed to one that could be destroyed in 22 minutes like some unnamed villains. The most effective idea to destroy someone as powerfully connected magically, politically and friendship-ily… as Twilight would not be a frontal assault like Discord or Clancy Brown tried. It would be to go back in the past and stop her from even becoming friends with her Power Ranger-like cadre of ponies in the first place!

As simple as this is, I’m surprised it took them this long to pop this idea into the storylines.

As the episode plays on, we find out that no matter what Twilight tries, she ends up in a endless circle of a time loop (at which point those of us who watched Friendship Games go “Ohhhh! “ and slap our heads) and she and Starlight seem to be destined to dance the tango of eternity.

However, after a lot of fanservice via the possible futures we see, one or two I personally like, we come to the meat of a villain: WHY? Why are you so grumpy?

It’s at this point I became entirely entranced at the story Starlight told us, like Mr. Freeze telling us his reasons, I felt entirely taken in by her short, but effective, flashback. Those of you who haven’t seen it… first, why are you reading this and two, long story short: the only friend she had as a child got his cutie mark but she didn’t, and it drove a wedge between the two of them. Naturally, logic suggested to her in her state of emotional distress that isolation was the immediate solution, so never to be hurt again.

Cutie Mark Reason
A super villain is born!

After a while, she came to the conclusion it wasn’t entire possible to stay alone, so she formed a brilliant plan: a world where everyone is equal. No bad feelings. No one has to leave, no one ever hurts you again, or anyone else, due to cutie marks.

Ever.

Let’s stop for a moment. I want to make a point about what this episode says on a deeper level. The point we don’t entirely see because of the happy ending we’re forced with at the conclusion is one I’ve made several times. Cutie marks can be just as much of a blight as a blessing. They skimmed and dodged with that cheat in The Cutie Mark Crusaders’ episode so none of the girls would have to turn on each other, but this is the clear cut issue that happens a lot more than we’re observing in the world I’m willing to bet.

The cutie mark is shown to us to be what every pony yearns for, what everyone wants and what makes them special. We are never, until this moment, subjected to the darker and more grim reality of the mark: who it leaves behind. The parents that take Starlight’s friend from her took into no consideration how it would affect others (if you can trust the narrator) and just shipped him off to Canterlot.

I for one applaud this rather blunt and breakthrough episode that shows us not everything is happy-happy-joy-joy in this land.

Remember, the brighter the picture, the darker the negative.

Now, as we close to the end of the season’s last episode, we have the epic showdown between Starlight and Twilight (and her companion HumDrum… er… Spike). There’s a long winded lesson in reality BOTH parties present to each other.  Both, honestly, make sense and make for great back and forth… great conflict is sure to come for years between these two!

Then, the writing team takes out a lighter and sets the entire concept on fire, turning it to ash in front of our very eyes. Starlight has a sudden change of heart, one that makes this analyst turn his head up and literally plant their head on their desk in frustration. A perfectly good, possible LONG TERM villain, and we go and destroy it ALL. ALL of it.

and we puss out
After an entire season of build-up, they end up holding hands and hugging! *Facedesk*

That is why I say that overall, Starlight Glimmer was both a success… and a failure. She succeeded in being the latest version of a villain that our characters fight and provides a REAL genuine threat. She, however, fails not as much to her fault more than likely a need to pull a punch by the writing team or Hasbro, as she stumbles and falls into the hole that is “All Villains Can Be Reformed” cliché Purgatory.

 

As a series, we HAVE been growing, but the show honestly needs to grow up a bit faster. I can hear all sorts of reasons, and in fact have on Twitter, why we can’t.

Oh, it’s a kids show”

Well partially it is, but Hasbro has shown and acknowledged the more mature of us as being part of their income. Lets not forget the Y Rating has been removed as well, another step towards progress.

Oh, they can’t do that, what would the children think?”

Honestly, I think our latest generation of children COULD do with a nice dose of reality in the early years. Not ALL the time, but to shield them from negativity altogether? The idea that everyone’s nice on the inside, you just have to try? That’s dangerous to preach. Why? BECAUSE THEY AREN’T! History is full of examples to back that up.

All in all, the last episode I give a 8 out of 10.

Points lost for the cop-out at the end and the fact there’s very little of the other girls in it, save bit parts.All in all, the overall product is an improvement on previous. Just watch Season 2 and compare it to five and you’ll see evolution in maturity and the way the characters are written. I for one do hope the writers keep going forward with complexity and depth with their newest season! We’ll just have to see 😉

 

MLP – Crusaders of the Lost Mark – Editorial & Food for Thought

So here we are with another episode and this time its a heck of a ride. As I’ve watched the series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”through the years I’ve been witness to its evolution from edutainment to the massive power house that its turned into.

Episodes went from having a lesson to being far far deeper in their addressing issues. From the episode that addresses death (Tanks for the Memories) to hidden gems that address deep psychological issues our mane characters may have (Party of One, Lesson Zero) to the episodes that let us observe elements of the lore we would never see evolve in a normal show (Luna Eclipsed, Slice of Life).

This weeks review is about an episode that is the latter. Its called “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”!

(Those of you reading my previous posts all five of you…will notice I’ve skipped “Brotherhooves Social” This is intentional as I address somewhat touchy subjects and want a read through from a few trusted folks first to ensure I don’t seem offensive. Better safe then sorry! )

We start out with what appears to be a rather deceptive story line involving Pip (you know Pip he’s from Trottingham…and no one else is) wanting the Cutie Mark Crusaders help as his campaign manager. Turns out Pip is running for class president against the only bad apple we know of…Diamond Tiara. At this point we’ve already had a song so the long time viewer will know we’re in for many many more since singing randomly is what we all did just before high school.

Twist-of-Death
“THIS is my episode, shove off!”

This of course also makes one wonder the usefulness of having any democratic process if Equestria already has a monarchy system in place. I don’t recall the peasants voting on anything in what little history I remember of the 1700s.

Quickly we find ourselves moving along at a fast pace…why you ask? Because this 22 minute episode seems to be rushed. It may have been better to make it two parts and ill explain why:

We jump from the class president aspect to how Diamond Tiara is the monster of the week..then we have a curve ball thrown at us when Silver Spoon, Tiaras only “friend” finally has enough of being her Procter and ditches her in front of everyone. Personally I saw this coming a while back…that’s why I’ve got her and rarity in charge of conglomerates in Equestrian City. Its always seemed to me this was destined to start with if you look at Silver Spoons characterization. Though keep in mind the original character sheets were made when Hasbro had no clue how big this show would get or how many cerebral viewers they’d get.

tilf
YOU…are a first class $@#^%!, Diamond Tiara. I say that as an impartial teacher of course..”

Of course Tiara loses by one vote..and all doubt is cast aside on who it was when Silver Spoon admits it was her.

After that little gem we watch as what a great number of us already had figured out unravels in front of us. Diamond Tiara is chastised by her mother in front of others (much like she had been doing to Silver Spoon..see? See how that works? :p) and of course breaks into song to tell us about it. It turns out that Tiara is in fact like so many villains..a product of circumstance. The home environment she was raised in shaped her into hurting others the way she was. I dig that personally.

bitch pony
So..in a world of friendship and understanding conquers all…there’s some sort of upper and lower class system?

After what feels like one song too many finishes the CMC invite Diamond Tiara to their clubhouse. Most of us internally went “whaaaaat?” Me included. The girls show her how many different ways of finding a cutie mark have failed…and for a moment..we see tiara become a person…a decent person…but then..as ANY good villain would she reverts quickly and denies reality for fear of change.

pip
“Why am *I* the only one with a proper British Accent of note…also…isn’t Rarity typically the one with a cow pattern?”

Pip interrupts the flow and reveals there’s no money in the budget for what he platformed on: playground equipment! Now lets stop for a moment:

I’ve touched a couple times on inconsistencies in how the economy seems to work in Equestria. For a society based on sharing, caring, and friendship…we seem to hit this blockade of “payment please” too often. Most Utopian societies have overcome this issue, best example being Star Trek. I believe it was best summed up in Star Trek: First Contact.

The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. They work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity…

Now you’d think this would some how translate in this ideal world where friendship and the lot prevail every 22 minutes wouldn’t you?

Now…back to the episode.

As soon as Tiara hears this of course she goes stone cold again and rushes back to basically tattle tale on Pip in hopes of ejecting him from office and taking his place.

The girls chase her of course and we break into an inevitable song about how what shes doing is wrong and Tiara responds with her own twisted reasoning until they finally make it to the school!

Cliche like a boss
I believe I speak for most when I say “OH COME ON!” this is a little spoon fed isn’t it?

There we watch as..and oddly enough its a surprise even to me…that Tiara does the right thing! She volunteers to have her father donate money (again where is this money? ) to get the playground up and help Pip instead of being adversarial to him.

This of course drops everyone’s jaw and we watch Tiara transform from antagonist to supporting our protagonists after..you guessed it…another song.

After a rather quick but meaningful moment where she stands up to her mother, tiara takes a back seat in the spotlight when she uses the CMC and their purpose as example of the superior decision shes made.

Just as everything clicks into place for Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and most of our viewers he the most substantial moment so far this season occurs.

As the CMC decide that it was far more enjoyable to help others figure out their purpose a sudden and startling transformation occurs: a brilliant flash of light and several dramatic camera angles reveals to us…wait for it…..

GOD LIGHT
CAN IT BE? No..it … it can’t be!

…all three of the CMC bow have their cutie marks!

marks
Five Seasons it took us. Not bad though, not bad at all. Though the colors confuse me.

Yes after five seasons of stagnation the inevitable occurred finally! Having found purpose in life now all three of them embrace and of course break into song with a montage of just how many misadventures they had to get to this point plays.

So everything turns out fine for everyone and we end on a high note! (And possibly a new intro card)

SMILE

I myself find this to be wonderful and maybe not for the reasons most do. From a deeper point I find this near landmark for the series in a whole. Why you may ask?

When these characters were invented by Princess Faust so long ago, they were for..well lets call them a different..demographic and style of show. Now as time went on and Hasbro noticed the more mature fans they seemed to go from laughing behind our backs, to utter confusion to final acceptance with a long term plan of revenue return.

At the beginning these characters,much like all cartoon characters of the genre, had no intention of being changed. Why? Because if you change characters too much you lose your audience in this particular demographic. Children do not like change..hell most adults don’t. The very fact we had a major set of characters basic personal journey advance in a show like this is incredible. It shows great advancement in terms of how we as viewers are being treated. You’d never see this with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the 90s. Never. Why? IT was for kids.

This show has evolved closer to being an adult show that kids watch with this step and one more I’ll note in a moment. I find that very hopeful as we reach the six season mark of death that typically hits shows. I’ll be honest the fact that they are slowly closing up story points left open for so long makes me nervous. Most shows do that in the last stretch before cancellation when they KNOW they are being canceled.

The one other element occurs during the wrap up scene with Applebloom and Applejack talking. Applejack finally makes mention of her dead parents and how they would be so proud if they were here. Why is that significant?

Many of you will recall the creator of this generation when she disclosed that Applejack’s parents are dead and furthermore she mentioned that Hasbro would NEVER allow that to be mentioned. No doubt fearing parents having to explain death to the kids (though…you will have to eventually you know? )

The mention of the parents though fate unknown is another step in the right direction. We can hopefully look forward to more progress in terms of maturity in the show. We already had subtle commentary on transgender-ism…but that’s another review.

All in all I’ll give this episode an 8. Losing points only for too many micro songs and wimping out on just coming out and saying the parents are dead. On a personal note destroying an antagonist like Tiara is dangerous..one can only hope that means they have new ones to introduce.

Now onto my next Editorial,

-Think Tank

I would LOVE TO HEAR ANY and ALL comments regarding my thoughts and conclusions, please, by all means sign in or comment 🙂

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.

raven
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…

beds
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…

sonicetobethepet
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..

batmanbitch
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 🙂

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 Episode #100 – Slice of Life – Review and Commentary

It’s that time, the time we’ve all been waiting for: Episode 100! Slice of Life! The episode teased a nice look at what happens while our Mane 6 is out saving friendship as we know it. Let me just say, the writers don’t fail to deliver in this case! I’m going to keep this one as short as possible since this episode needs to be seen for yourself and words alone cannot do it justice 🙂

Muffin is my name now
“I’m now named Muffin :]”

We start out with a teaser intro where we establish Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda are finally getting married. You remember them? They were the secondary characters in an episode where Pinky had arguably the most iconic song of her career as a pony “Smile” 🙂 Check it out it still makes me smile when it hits my car’s speakers. Moving on, we quickly find out that thanks to Cranky’s thrifty side, the discount invitation maker (what kinda cutie mark is that you think?) he went to misprinted the date and now, they have to move the wedding up to that day!

“It means this damn thing doesn’t work at all!” Fans should know that she’s wearing what Dr. Brown is wearing in Back to the Future 

Humorous as it is, there’s two distinct things I like about this intro and I’ll tell you the first. We use the word “elope” I applaud them for being brave, I recall not that long ago shows were very hesitant to use a grown up word like that. I hope it’s a step forward, though I doubt we’ll hear “Damn” anytime soon.

Secondly, the moment I personally was waiting for, Derpy speaks officially this time! Now before you jump too high, you’ll notice her name in the credits is “muffin” or “muffins” I don’t honestly care, as I’ll be referring to her as Derpy, the name we knew her best as. The entire fiasco about a minor percentage of folks possibly being upset over the name Derpy is simply silly in my opinion. The name is meant to imply clumsiness not in a negative way but a positive light. ANY other implication is the fault of the so called “wounded” faction that called for the name change. Her name was meant to make you smile not feel bad, and if you watch her, she IS a bit Derpy…HOWEVER, it does NOT mean she’s stupid, even IF she has Wall-eyes. Niether the name nor the condition she has means she’s stupid, or a lesser person in any way, shape or form, JUST like anyone in the real world isn’t any less for the same reason.

I have a different voice this time dr whooves
“You know I act like the 10th doctor but sound like the 6th and yet am supposed to be the 11th..this IS confusing..still..not a ginger..”

So then we go to our first act, which is a Dr. Whooves and Derpy act it seems. We’re treated to so many Dr Who and in jokes it’s near impossible for me to go into them without dragging on. Lets just say you won’t be disappointed at all. One thing that does catch my ear is when Dr. Whooves describes how long he’s devoted his life to science, he says decades then corrects himself to centuries. Quite an interesting thought as the only long lived ponies known to us are the Princesses.

Does scoots have lines I forget
“Does Scoots even get any lines or do I speak next?”

We flawlessly move to a scene that normally we’d be focusing on the Mane 6 but instead we’re treated to a crowd shot and one of my favorite lines from the show so far from Sweetie Belle. It refers to how most of the problems are dealt with in 30 minutes or so and it’s a diamond. We also see that maybe Big Mac and Cheerilee ARE dating, but it’s never dealt with more as the jokes and lines fire non-stop from the fact that there’s a giant BugBear attacking the town to the uncanny fact that since Twilight came to town a certain pony hasn’t had much work in doing weddings.

they ship us you know
“I’ve been reading and everyone seems to agree, we’re a couple..”

Another memorable moment occurs soon after when Lyra and Bon Bon have their own scene, one that shouldn’t be missed. The closeness of the two has got most of the internet foaming at the mouth in regards to the fact they are..more then friends. We’ll leave that up to you to determine, though it seems plausible.

totally shipped
This whole “they’re just friends thing” DOES seem to lose it’s bottom if you watch this enough o.0

Most of the episode spirals too fast to break down into anything other then fan-gasm moment, though I can’t help but be entirely amused at Steven Magnet (you know him, he’s that sea serpent Rarity helped in the very first episode! Na..I didn’t remember him either..) and his..fabulous way of speaking. I swear the spa ponies have new voices … again!

the moment some have waited for
Ahhh the Odd-Couple 🙂
shippiung
“They think we are WHAT?”

Finally act 3 begins it’s final approach as the fan-gasmic explosions continue, this time fueled by Vinyl Scratch and Octavia! We learn that canon-wise they do live together, and yet, those darn fans are now assuming they are more then that. Regardless of their relationship to each other, the music that happens next is awesome! The way they mix quickly shows in fact they have been friends for a while, and the ensuring chase scene on Scratch’s mobile thump-machine is the final kick start the finale needs.

I thought you were
“You know the more we train this girl the more likely she is to just run away with the show…”

As our favorite DJ scoops up ponies left and right, we’re treated to the finale real awesome moment where Gummi, Pinkie’s seemingly stoic pet, has an internal monologue that’s rather deep, and oddly enough, a very good question in terms of what the point of life is.

i have no lines
“It’s ok..he always cries when he doesn’t have any lines….say aren’t you a playable character in Left 4 Dead 2?”

The wedding occurs inside town hall, and everyone else you could possibly think of is present. It’s incredible how many cameos we see in just a small scene but it’s enough to make you smile as a fan. The highlight in my opinion is two fold. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna bickering back and fourth in a very candid manner makes you remember that even immortal sisters have their moments. The Mayor (who I personally just love, she doesn’t get enough face time in my opinion) gives the most incredible of speeches during the wedding that is meant for both the in character moment and quite clearly a message to the loyal fans who have made the series as successful as it is. I couldn’t help but crack a wide smile as it finished.

I give this episode a 9 out of 10, the only thing I would have liked was Zecora having a talking role, and Vinyl with a speaking voice. Though I understand personally that if Scratch had a voice, it would almost break the magic she holds over a lot of the fans. Maybe one day we’ll get her one. The entire BugBear attack would be an awesome B story (or in this case, A story) for an entirely new episode, much ,like Spikes adventure in season 3 was mirrored by the Mane 6’s.

Until next time,

-Watchfire

PS, I leave you with Lyra sitting provocativly 😉

sitting is best pony
“I..I swear I didn’t even know there was a character named Hellboy…” or Lyra Sitting is Best Pony! 🙂

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