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 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 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 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)

 

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

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

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

Like a Q

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

-Watchfire

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

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

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

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

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

Brauburn-Horse-doctor

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

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

Horse-Hospitals

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

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

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

Smudgeproof

Smudge would be proud of this episode.

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

Trouble-donkey

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

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

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

Trp[ju

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

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

Clown

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

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

Broom

Faster my minions! Use that broom proper!

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

Take care!

-Watchfire