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.

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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)

 

 

Reviews, Commentary & Editorials

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They are coming as soon as I can find a way to capture screens. My main source is not consistant anymore so im working on finding a dependable video source.

Up on deck weve got Rarity Returns: The Phantom Storyarc also known as “Rarity Investigates”. A stunning look at crime and the exsistance of it in even the most happy of pony worlds. Not to mention a wonderful nod to noir.

After that a third Rarity episode with my favorite earth pony Applejack! We learn that shakesphere in the park is not dead in “Made in Manehatten” We also get to reunite with Coco (the only pony ive seen several people believe is a transgendered pony..which if they were would be landmark)

Rounding out the reviews will be “Equestria Girls: Friendship Games” which despite how happy happy go lucky the title sounds is a rather deep look at how the pursuit of knowledge can be dangerous and a quint way to lay pipe for a spin off series!

Ive already got notes for the episodes and after watching the movie again ill be working on it as well. Though it should be interesting as I have not done a full fledged movie review yet!

Stay tuned!
-Think Tank

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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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“*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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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!

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“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…

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

-Watchfire

MLP “Princess Spike” Review and Food for Thought

This week’s episode is called “Princess Spike” and despite the rather implied idea in it’s title, is not about Spike being Rule 63’d. (Though most of you will know there’s no absence of it in the fandom, from Spike and Princess Twilight shipped as female/female to Spike and male Rainbow Dash in a questionable relationship)

Last week’s episode was one of the best of the season so it would be hard to follow up something of that caliber, and thankfully they didn’t try to shoot for the moon. This week’s episode is what I’d like to call a ‘fluff piece’, just enough information to sooth us die hard curious fans and more then enough to keep the ‘target’ audience happy.

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“Why is it I keep getting the short end of the stick with these episodes?” “You and me both, Spike”

We open with a lovely view of Canterlot Castle and it appears that we have many ponies and even a griffon all gathered for a meeting. Quickly we find out that there are fifty (50) of these delegates and they are here to help our princesses understand more about the land of Equestria. I find it strange that there’s 50 states her in North America and oddly, there’s the same number represented here. I find it rather comforting and familiar, which is why I think they did that. (Though my state’s represented rather…unusually..more on that later)

Then we meet Spike, whose more then happy to serve any of the needs of the delegates! If this were a fanfiction we’d be in for quite a display of semi erotic encounters..but it’s not and we quickly find out as Spike does that everyone there is far far more interested in talking with Twilight directly.

Spike begins what I assume he does when he’s not in a scene which is clean Twilight’s room. Quickly bursting in, Cadance, no doubt thrilled to have more then three seconds of cameo time since A Canterlot Wedding or that lovely Discord episode, informs Spike that Twilight has worked herself into a state of near complete exhaustion. Twilight wanders in looking like she’s just been through a Brony Convention and promptly goes to bed.

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“So many bronies….mobbed…got my 8×10’s…scattered…”

What I loved so far was if you watch the Griffon in the opening scene, it claps it’s hands, which implies that hands, or the concept of, is not entirely missing. (Which contradicts Rainbow Dash’s question at the end of the first movie) and I’ve always had a soft spot for Cadance, she’s got such a different style of leading, though all the Princesses do, and it’s refreshing to see her for once without her being set dressing.

So predictably Spike begins his job and over corrects by chasing a bird from outside INTO the room. We find out though that Twilight is OUT like a light, the bird’s song doesn’t even wake her thankfully. No doubt dreaming that she’s a blond super heroine in Townsville. Each new problem that pops up is comically and progressively severe. He even stops a construction pony working on a water main.

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Why do you suppose in a world where hands aren’t used alot..this thing was designed with hand holds? 😛

This gives us a distinctly unique view of Canterlot that I began this blog for. The very FACT that Canterlot has such an advanced water delivery system is a point of debate. I’ve often said that Celestia may be intentionally holding back different technology that she’s privy to in order to keep the civilization she’s molding on whatever particular track she wants.

Stay with me on this, I have thought about this. We know that Twilight Sparkle went through the portal to a human world that was by far more advanced and on par with our own with technology. She returns at the end of the movie and everyone is still fine, no absurd amount of time has passed. We can assume from this that time there and time in Pony World Prime is identical. So for the most part both worlds if no interference was made, should be on the same track within reason. Thoughts?

Anyway, Spike starts to use Twilight’s name to stop the various noisy conditions which as any one can clearly see aren’t random and will eventually pile up. As things start to spin slowly but inevitably out of control, Spike is confronted with delegates (Mainly ponies) who want to get her opinion on everything from important issues to completely mundane fashion issues.

This raises a rather fascinating thought in regards to the freedom of thought or capability there of the overall world has. It seems they turn to the nearest princess to fix the major issues of the world, not just monsters but down to what color their bow should be. Seems handy to keep your world dependent on you if you were trying to keep them subjugated..no?

Spike turns to making decisions himself and claiming that it came from the princess who, to his credit, he DID try to wake up and ask things, but she was very loopy and couldn’t be counted on. This brings us to my state, the lovely northstar state, and how we seem to be represented. A New York pony and a Minnesota Pony are one of the first collisions Spike has to deal with. I can honestly say I wasn’t entirely put off by the Fargo-esque hat and accent (We don’t have accents I don’t understand how people thing we do don’tcha know?) but it was a cringe worthy moment.

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“Don’tcha know you ain’t de’ only ones who use woodchippers for problems..”

So as Spike falls into a pit of self indulgence, it’s quite interesting to see what he chooses as his perks, from a massage to many other little things that do indeed help us get a better idea of his character. In the end thats all this episode really is, it’s to show insight into Spike and establish some economic and political layout to the more hardcore bronies.

Despite Cadance trying to reason with Spike, the dam finally breaks, and so does the water main, flooding the main meeting room and destroying the statue made up of 50 gems (each from one city) and angering the combined force of all the ponies that Spike had been giving advice to under the guise of Twilight. They storm her tower in an angry mob scene that resembles the villagers attacking the Beast’s castle and finally, Twilight, properly rested, wakes up.

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“Just signed on for two more seasons, and three more movies…I’m feeling GOOOOD”

It’s interesting how calm and collected she is to the delegates, a true testament to her character’s growth. The timid bookworm we first saw in season one now can handle a crowd of upset ponies and one griffon. Spike, despite trying to make a run for it, confesses himself to Twilight and she quickly finds out all the issues that he’s made. Not angry, she tells Spike what he needs to learn from this, and he promptly gives us a heart felt speech, and begins to rebuild the statue, one stone at a time.

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“This is why my fans are smarter then the few you have, Spike.”

Moved by his speech, the delegates help him and we quickly find out that if you do something bad, it’s entirely alright if you’re sorry. Well maybe not entirely the lesson, but still, it feels like it falls a bit short of showing any real lesson and feels more like..as I said..a fluff piece 🙂

Summed up, I give it a 3 out of 10. It was cute for what it was, and I like the looks into how some technology works and has been settled into pony society. The glance at the fifty cities was a wonderful nod to how BIG the world is supposed to be (imagine naming them all, I’d hate to be in the writer’s room since each has a horse theme) and a taboo sin inside me likes when Cadance gets more then three lines and a booty bump from Twilight in a flashback. Next week should be interesting to see!

Again, TWEET me, spread my blog, and don’t hesitate to comment and ask questions, I build this for a reason. Maybe one day I’ll write for an actual Brony Page 😉

-Watchfire