Pony Think Tank takes on “Celestia Advice” and “Bottled Up”

Hello all my new readers, and if they are still here, my old ones! Pony Think Tank today takes on the opening salvo of Season 7! I’ve been on a small hiatus as I work on Equestrian City, which is coming along slowly but solidly I might add, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to take a look at the premiere! This season, we aren’t dealing with a major issue that requires at least two episodes to fix, and I’m not sure if that is entirely good, but we’ll see as we dive head on into “Celestial Advice”

Our cold opening is, surprise surprise, Starlight Glimmer, who seems to be the shifting focus of the series since the writers took Sunset Shimmer’s formula and shoved it into a cookie cutter :P We quickly find that the visual gags are more present than previous seasons so far, which I personally like, with Spike turning his (hair?) into Rarity’s facsimile. We’re then given the fact that we’re not that far off time was since last season, as a party and award ceremony is being planned for the Suicide Squad like team of Discord, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie and Thorax (who if you aren’t familiar with his new appearance, seems to have eat a box of crayons and burped.)

Obviously Thorax needs more color as you can see.

After the cringe worthy intro, we are greeted with the award ceremony where all our team is given the Equestrian Pink Heart of Courage (goodness that is a mouthful). The after party has the newly reformed changeling guests (minus the Queen, thankfully) mingling with the guests, as Twilight and Celestia exchange lines akin to the student has become the master and all that lovely cliche we’ve been hearing in our own heads for a bit.

Not one to be happy about anything for too long, Twilight slowly begins to come to the realization that the lessons she has for her student no longer apply after the writing team seemingly power leveled Starlight to End Game content! Overcome with rapidly sprouting panic, she seeks out her teacher, Celestia, for advice on the matter while Discord seemingly invents a B story for himself, hyping up the announcement Twilight is going to make with gossip and clever manipulation.

Spike’s demeanor is very much attuned to mine personally, each of his lines seems to be for the fans at this moment, most with good humored sarcasm, some with biting cynicism. I approve.

“None of these have me saying more then four or five lines. SPIKE! Bring me the writers!”

As Twilight comes to the conclusion that she needs to follow in Celestia’s footsteps and send HER prize student away, all of which she does without really, any help from Celestia, we come to a chapter break!

Continuing to solve her own problem with the people she has for advice simply watching and, well not really helping per say, we’re given a new spell, this one seems to be a Holodeck spell, where Twilight starts us down the road of my favorite two words: What If?

Arriving at the first stop on what turns into a neurotic spiral into worry, Twilight’s first stop is what if she sends her to the new Changling empire! We quickly find out, based on Twilight’s totally subjective thinking, that the lessons she teaches to the newly reformed critters will be taken in stride and all will be, well, boring and forced. Much like the first and second season.

Just as all seems well, worry hits her and the scenario changes to what seems more likely with a giant hive mind that’s suddenly allowed free thought: mischief.

Snapping out of it we dive into another idea, which to me all sound like story pitches that were flat out rejected, where she’s sent to the dragons and becomes, shall we say, epic friends, with Ember. (You remember her right? We saw her once, everyone free ships with her and Spike, and then we lost her just as quick)

A quick dive into madness and lava later and Twilight is back to square one with her imagination getting the better of her. The final treat we get is what almost seems natural to me, but then again what do I know, in that we send her to the crystal Empire to “study” with Sunburst. This one holds the most interest when a spell goes wrong and they summon a black hole of sorts and everyone seemingly dies. I do enjoy the idea that the spell was to summon something lost in the past, makes one wonder.

So after all that Twilight almost has a break down, and Celestia, as well as the rest of the random I’d imagine, begins to laugh at Twilight.

After explaining she’s not laughing at her she’s laughing…well no she is kind of laughing at her, Celestia sits her former student down and relates that she too had all these years in her head, proving to us Celestia is human after all. So to speak.

“You…actually thought..you’d be the leads forever? Even I was sidelined! Thats hilarious!”

In the interlude, as Discord, in a scene that really seems to me on a subtle level is the rest of the Mane 6 asking each other why they aren’t in this episode, hyped up more around the kingdom until Twilight is greeted with a over anticipated reveal. This seems like the writers again making light of the fact “hey, we’ve really got nothing epic this time out the box.”

“You see girls, you’ve been moved into what they are calling Background Ponies”

 

The rest plays out rather quickly, but it all boils down to the lesson we learn is that, well if You Love Something, let it go. Which is landmark I might add because Celestia is the first in the series to really express the term ‘Love’ in the sense of a deeper emotion and have it mean something.

As the episode winds down, Starlight is thrilled to be graduating, but doesn’t end up leaving the show…I mean the Castle because she doesn’t want to. Thus breaking us from the formula we all thought was destined to happen.

Overall I find this episode is a 5 out of 10. Average. The Celestia section is the only saving grace, as the B story is almost an afterthought. Spike’s overhaul as the straight man is by far more evident this time and is a welcome change from being the comedic foil for the most part. It’s a good start, not a disaster, but there’s room for improvement.

We dive right into episode 2, “Bottled Up”

We’re given another episode where our favorite up and coming ship, StarTrix, opens the show. Greeted by Trixie’s inability to use proper magic, she’s given a quick tip by the one person who knows how to misuse magic, and quickly turns a salt shaker into a teacup. Why? You got me. Still, Trixie’s ability to go overboard with it makes me chuckle as we quickly end up with way way way too many teacups, including a teacup poodle! Full of herself as usual, Trixie annoys Starlight to the point she starts to manifest a dark cloud of..well…dark side energy. Set with the pieces of this episode, we are quickly thrust into the opening song many of us turn down to prevent embarrassment at work ;)

Starlight is not amused!

Coming back from commercial, Starlight and Trixie see our Mane 6 heroes, who seem to be slipping into the backseat of the entire show I might add, off to their Friendship Retreat. Whats a Friendship Retreat you ask? I know I did immediately after it was said, and just as quick, we’re given the explanation most would THINK was the proper one. We find out that’s only half right later on as our two stories divide and our adventure begin!

“Bye, Twilight! We’ll take good care of your show!”

Back at the castle, Trixie and Starlight begin her next lesson, and letting Trixie pick, we find is the worst idea so far. She immediately wants a hard spell: teleportation! Spike, who like the audience, seems to see where this is going, decides to run off before he’s used as the subject of the spell. An interesting point Starlight makes is that her magic is based on her emotions at the time, which just screams Jedi and Sith, but I think is a nice element we can exploit down the road, or later in the episode, as we’ll see.

You have Hate. You have Anger. But you do not USE THEM!

The B story, a little weak as last time, switches us to our Mane 6, who quickly find out the Twilight’s Friendship Retreat is not a Spa, but a locked room that focuses on teamwork far more brain twisting then simply doing the Trust Exercise. The narrative feels at this point, very expedited I might add.

Meanwhile back at the ranch er I mean castle, Trixie eventually goes off half cocked and ends up losing the entire Cutie Map! Thus answering the question how you lose an entire giant magic table many of us were asking after the leaks. Starlight has a minor stroke of course and panics. Quickly becoming upset with Trixie’s ho hum approach, Starlight realizes her anger is manifesting itself in the form of the red cloud. Of course the smartest thing to do is to cast a spell to bottle up her emotion (and we get the title of the episode…ta da!)

Spinning back to the Mane 6 story and the StarTrix story happens far far too quickly again, though it seems only to do so to exploit a transition device as clever as using the last line of the scene to contrast or satirize the opening line of the next. The basic overall plot reveals that Starlight is afraid of losing Trixie as a friend if she doesn’t bottle her anger up, which is why she gets weaker and weaker the more they search for the table in the places Trixie leads to to find. Each successful bottling of the emotion takes it’s toll on Starlight, much like it does in real life, thus and applicable lesson!

“Even THIS comic has better pacing!”

Of course the Mane 6 break into song after they solve their problems, and a very appropriate character tells them the consequences of having broken into song may not have been worth it. I enjoyed that line the most out of the entire episode incidentally.

Back to the StarTrix plot (heh) Trixie eventually notices the magic being bottled up and tries to find out what it’s all about. The ensuing tug of war sends the bottle flying up and down, shattering it and releasing the anger into nearby citizens, all of whom become angry at Trixie for different reasons reflectance of the moments in time Starlight was angry.

“Don’t worry girls, the writers told me next episode *I* have a major part!”

We spiral towards the end of the episode with a quick realization by Starlight that Trixie had no idea how she felt, as she bottled it up inside. Trixie as well admits that as difficult they were to hear, she needed to hear the anger to fully grasp Starlight’s feelings. Again, we use the term ‘Love’ by Trixie to Starlight which let me tell you, probably has the entire shipping world in an overdrive mode. I can hear the lemons being written as I type this. :P

“Did…did you say you Loved me?”

All in all I give this a 5 out of 10. The first thing that stuck out to me was they recycled footage DURING the song that was as even pointed out by the writers, unneeded. I find that concerning. Trixie is fun in moderation, as is Starlight Glimmer, I can only hope we aren’t entirely shifting gears to the next generation to a point we lose our footing on what made the show fun to begin with.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t be shy to make a comment! :D

 

The Death of Celestia and Luna – An Analysis of the future of MLP

 

I propose we may be losing Luna and Celestia soon, and Twilight and Cadance will assume their roles, thus completing a cycle of life that the world of Equestria has had for eons.

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How did I come to this conclusion? I’ll highlight the elements now:

 

According to all “history” we know of Equestria, Celestia and Luna are “immortal”. Through their teachings, the world molded into one based on cooperation, friendship and understanding. However, during the first few seasons of the show, Twilight is regaled with stories of previous foes Celestia and Luna defeated using the Elements of Harmony together.

 

Two sisters. Together.

Luna and Celestia Discorded

They defeated all the problems in the entire world whenever they arose, is what we’re given as fact.

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Occasionally we hear of Starswirl the Bearded, but no real evidence save the word of Celestia and Luna who are the only living witnesses of that time. For all we know, Starswirl could be an amalgamation of all those that had bit parts to do during these issues?

Stay with me now.

IF in fact previously, thousands and thousands of years worth of troubles were always handled by Celestia and Luna…

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why did that tradition change suddenly?

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Why did Celestia take on a student that she pushed, trained, and taught to be a princess, eventually turning into an alicorn and becoming the “Princess of Friendship” ? If ALL the problems of the world had previously been solved with no issue, and Luna was indeed back from her banishment, would there need to be ANY reason she’d need to have a student?

 

We hear only of one other student she took that had any real “potential” and that’s Sunset Shimmer…

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….who went rogue and ran off. She never really talks about what happened, just that she left, and was very upset with Celestia to the point she wanted to return and take the world from her.

Keep going now, this gets more interesting.

I present as the reason this is all happening is that Celestia and Luna are dying, or need to leave for some reason. She’s training her replacements in both Twilight and Cadance.

 

 

I can postulate a few ideas, but one I’ve always had since around season 3 was that Luna and Celestia are not terrestrial to the world called Equestria. Before anyone goes rolling their eyes, let’s examine this for a minute: both Luna and Celestia have powers no one else does, not even Twilight or Cadance can match these powers. Furthermore, we have never heard them speak of their past as young or growing up together prior to being the rulers.

 

In fact, the history of Equestria given to us by local lore is that there were three bands of ponies that hated each other, and only out of desperation did joining forces prove fruitful. Not once is Celestia or Luna mentioned in these lessons. For being the only two rulers in Equestria… EVER… you’d think they’d have had a footnote in the history that retold every year on Hearth Warming Eve.

 

Perhaps they are merely explorers from the stars that ended up there, trapped, and decided to make the best of it, shaping the world into a utopia the best they could with what tools they had at hand.

 

Perhaps..just perhaps…they inadvertently affected the flow of nature order there and as penance they both decided to stay and watch over the world out of guilt or honor? I put forward the basic idea of the Caretaker in the Star Trek Voyager series.

(A decent watch if you have a moment…I own all seasons)

Whatever the reason… TIME… has grown short.

 

That concept in mind I just gave, I propose the reason we’re seeing a sudden change in the way things are (Twilight, Cadance, ect) is that Luna and Celestia are not in fact, immortal. They have very long lifespans compared to others, but still, are in fact, dying. They then know that they have little time before their time in the light passes, and Celestia begins to train replacements for when the time comes they cannot serve in the capacity anymore, rather then let the world die. Perhaps they simply think it’s their duty now, after having shaped the world, that they leave it with some level of similar leadership, leadership and lessons they instill in Twilight and Cadance.

 

No doubt, somehow towards the end, Twilight and Cadance will be given longer lifespans via magic, that in turn finishes off Celestia and Luna. A symbolic, final gesture by the twin gods of the world.

 

Now, that all being said, this occurrence would be but part of the circle of life on the world. Maybe… just maybe…this is the way it’s always been, in a historical sense.Luna and Celestia…

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two “sisters” who govern the world and have long life spans could easily… easily be turned into two others that do it.

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Twilight and Cadance would in fact outlive their friends, leaving them to continue on as Luna and Celestia did. In time, as time does, history would forget things, stories would change as they are passed down, seeing as there’s no computer records, in the end, all they have is written word and storytelling.

 

The story, of two “sisters”, who are “immortal” with fantastic powers, who live up to the highest standards of friendship, and expect the world to do just that as well, through their teachings. Teachings that are no doubt bestowed on by various students they both teach. Students that, with each time they teach them, they hope to find what Celestia and Luna found in them: the right person to finally take their place, and let them rest, as did their predecessors.

 

The world would still have it’s two rulers, and all the basic texts would be true if read without question for the most part. No one tends to question the past, or makes a point to reiterate the idea that history is really only written by those that survive it.

 

So we come back to this full circle, that closes, when Princess Twilight and Princess Cadance, the two sisters, find their replacements, and bestow upon them the same gift… or curse… that was given to them.

 

Now, if you’re still with me, let’s wrap this up in a nice little bow:

 

Most, if not all “animated” movies of series are done for the primary reason to tell a story you cannot or would not be able to tell in the span of a regular episode. The 1986 Transformers movie is a good example, as is the G.I. Joe movie of the same decade… both Hasbro I might add.

 

We’ve watched as Twilight has ascended her position as the Princess of Friendship, and now, with the help of her friends, she’s fleshing out and expanding her exposure from the little town of Ponyville to both sides of the Equestrian Map. Learning the lay of the land, and learning of the different cultures, making contacts, fixing problems, exposing her presence to a population that may not entirely be aware of her, but are aware of Celestia.

 

Now that she’s done that, we come to a movie, a movie where no doubt something monumental is supposed to happen, because otherwise, it would have just been another episode.

 

Transformers had the death of Optimus Prime to bring in a new toy line.

G.I. Joe has the “death” of Duke (who was in a coma thanks to ADR after the Fallout from Optimus Prime kicked Hasbro in the marketing breadbasket)

and now…

I propose, as said originally, the My Little Pony Movie… will have the death or departure of Luna and Celestia with Twilight and Cadance taking over their positions, and Starlight and the new characters we’re meeting in this latest season, assuming the roles they had.

 

After mulling this over with various fans in a chat, I seem to have most of them interested in the idea being right, some even feared I was right and told me to stop telling them my idea.

 

Either way, I think we’re heading towards something we may not be ready for, or wanting: the end of an era in the MLP fandom. Hopefully they’ll see an ending as a beginning and give the mature fandom base a bone and make a series geared towards us with the girls, but that would make too much sense 😛

 

Thoughts? Love to hear ’em!

 

Thanks to Rivet Rose, Silver Arrow and iPone for their input and 360 degree feedback during my initial theory crafting session that led to this 🙂

MLP Season 6 Premiere “The Crystalling” – Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

Twilight_Sparkle_and_Spike_in_Star_War_by_artist-johnjoseco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Those eyes…they just seem to follow you..

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

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Sunshine sunshine ladybugs…well you know the rest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After all, we only have about ten minutes left.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Until Next time, my friends!

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

 

 

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

Equestria Girls – Friendship Games Trailer Review and Food for Thought

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

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

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

Back? Good 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Familiar
“Sci-Twi divided by Zero!”

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

-Watchfire

MLP “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.

No-like-spike
“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.

mobbed by bronies
“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.

it has handles
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.

winnieapplenevermind
“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.

newcontract
“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.

betterfans
“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

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

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

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

Discord and Tea

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

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

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

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

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

Fourth Wall Pinkie

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

-Watchfire