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My Little: Pony's Justice - Official MLP Thread v2

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3 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

Considering most of the crises were pretty big, not very much at all.

Wasn't that generally her thing, though?

Well in the case of the Movie, they weren't even there for some reason.

Still, she did have a good point.

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I just remembered another detail about the recent episode that I'll add to my post..

2 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Well in the case of the Movie, they weren't even there for some reason.

I really don't get that. The Friendship of Festival was in Canterlot, wasn't it?

Especially giving Cadence was there and therefore so should Shining.

2 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Still, she did have a good point.

I guess.

There mainly the use of magic thing she brought up that never really comes up again.

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So this week’s episode is The Point of No Return or what I like to call Finding Dusty Pages: The Montage. Seriously, nearly over half the episode was basically this.

It was rather meh for me. Definitely down from last week’s.

I did like the flashback leading up to the first episode of the series, some of the world building, and the jock pony that had Dusty’s mail.

The plot didn’t appeal to me and rather predictable even the contrivance of the overdue book’s title. Twilight freaking out and overreacting to minimal things has become less of an endearing trait and more of a tiresome running gag over time. Moondancer being a mere cameo, not engaging in the plot more was kinda disappointing. Again, much of the runtime was dedicated to the montages which for the most part wasn’t that interesting and just mere padding.

A so-so episode for me.

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Don't have a whole lot to say about this week's episode. I liked Spike and Twilight's dynamic here (they keep improving with Spike which is also great to finally see) and a few of the jokes made with them did get a chuckle out of me. I also enjoyed the flashbacks to the first episode. Though, I do think the biggest pro of the episode was the overall moral in that perfection isn't really obtainable and that you can drive yourself crazy in the pursuit of it. Nice to know that even in season 9, this show is still popping out some quality lessons.

Although, one big downside I had with this was the overall structure. It's basically a long tale of hide and seek in trying to find the old librarian. It made the entire episode feel lengthy and predictable. It's like they had part of an idea for the episode but then couldn't think of anything else; resorting to extending that half for an entire 22 minute piece.

So yeah, an overall decent but uneventful episode.

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This week’s episode Common Ground features Patton Oswald’s return as Quibble Pants.

It was just alright, I guess. A bit on the meh side maybe.

I liked much of the stuff that didn’t center on the main plot oddly enough such as Snips and Snails, some of the locations, and the film reel at the beginning (though it feels like wasted potential and disappointing if we don’t get an episode focusing on the making of films/film industry as a whole).

The plot and lesson of the episode felt too basic and barebones, boiling it down to just being honest and being yourself, which done in previous eps beforehand. The number of sport clichés i.e. training montage and scoring in the wrong goal, which that felt awkward and cringe-inducing at times esp. with some of the humor and Dash’s awful planning. Not a fan of Wind Sprint’s design either which felt like a discolored filly Twilight rather distracting. Also, I preferred Quibble’s characterization from Strange Then Fan Fiction than here.

An episode than leans toward just average on a whole.

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This was a weird one for me. The message and overall narrative was... surprisingly on the mature side all things considered. Find it pretty interesting how the message here was less for kids, but more for the adults watching it. While the actual structure of the message has been said a number of times in the series, it's overall coating here was pretty new. Made the overall episode a lot more fascinating that it would've been otherwise.

I will say that I do like Quibble as a character here. He's a full on nerd, but one that's also realistic and trying to simply do right in life. He sort of plays counter to Rainbow and the rest of the other cast. His want to impress his new love's daughter was, while predictable, a nice story to see play out.

As for the daughter herself... well I will say that she was probably the low point for me with this episode. While her actions are completely understandable, that doesn't really excuse her screen time often being meet with a bit of cringe from me. I feel as though her character could've been reworked to both not be, for lack of a better term, a brat while still getting across that she really isn't comfortable with Quibble yet.

Going a bit into Rainbow's portrayal, I have to say I was quite surprised with it. I'll be honest here, Rainbow has sunk pretty low in my pony tier list as of late but this episode really did help move her up a bit imo. Her genuine want to aid a friend was nice to see, even if a bit misguided at points. It was actually pretty well done now that I'm thinking about it. She's doing her best to help out in any way that she can but... she's Rainbow Dash. Her methods reflect her character and not Quibble's so they realistically backfire because of that. Pretty smart writing imo.

One thing I just have to stop and point out here is how amazingly this show is now able to pull in past points from previous episodes so smoothly. I remember (years back at this point) that continuity was something the show really had issues with but now it does it so smoothly that it's hard to even notice. Like, this one episode had multiple converging factors from episodes spanning across multiple seasons. Hell, they even brought Snips and Snails back (literally can't remember the last time those two got to do anything). Simply put, this really isn't something a lot of cartoons do and it's worth pointing out.

So yeah, overall a neat little episode. While it does have some downsides, it was pretty well put together and entertaining for me.

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This weeks episode was Common Ground.

I normally don't go out of my way to review the more super sidey episodes unless it features a character or other element that I like or feel the need to talk about--this is definitely the latter. I was legitimately impressed that they brought back a special guest character, in such a major fashion, much less in a down to earth breaching through, for lack of a better word, mature way. And from a perspective the show generally trivializes as well. I almost wanna wonder what a certain person thinks of this episode in particular. 

Now yes, the episode did get a tad weird to watch after a point upon figuring out what it's doing, but it was told in such a bright way that I ultimately didn't mind. Although if I could poke anything as being a bit of an issue, it would be Wind Sprint. It definitely felt like she was being a little, well, jockish towards Quibble(who was actually very modest and considerate) and I felt her side of the story was sorta rushed/underwritten. You could tell right away that she was being voiced by some special kid, but what I was somewhat pleased to learn is that she was voiced by Patton Oswalt's own daughter. The same goes for Clear Sky, who is Mr. Oswalt's Meredith Salenger.

Also, bonus points for bringing back Snips as well as Snails. I talked about this a while back, it did kinda bother me how the show (and it's spinoff especially) seemed to consider them major recurring characters, yet very seldom actually had them even appear. Mind you, they don't really get to do much, but its still sorta nice to see them.

Boy, they really are doing what they can to make this final season special, namely with all these deep cut references, utilization of characters that were previously more accessories, and stories that err more into slice of life while still being noteworthy.  Makes me wonder what they're gonna do when they actually get to Starlight.

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She’s All Yak is this week’s episode, focusing on the Student 6 and basically the pony equivalent of prom night.

Just meh overall for me.

I did like Angel Bunny, parts with Pinkie and DJ Spike.

Not a fan of the song. Some jokes fall flat. The biggest problem was like the previous episode where the plot and lesson were too basic and bare bones. Falling into the trope where someone learns proper etiquette and mannerisms for an event and all things learned were tossed out the friggin’ window for a cliché “Be Yourself” moral that the show practically done dozens of times beforehand. Why couldn’t Yona just keep the things learned and just ditch the dress? Besides none of the other characters barely dressed up for the occasion in the first place, making it moot point. Also, was it just me or did some of the expressions felt uncanny/off-putting at times?

Yeah, pretty much a So-so ep.

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4 hours ago, AdventChild said:

Why couldn’t Yona just keep the things learned and just ditch the dress? Besides none of the other characters barely dressed up for the occasion in the first place, making it moot point. Also, was it just me or did some of the expressions felt uncanny/off-putting at times?

Yeah, pretty much a So-so ep.

I guess to make her problem more obvious. 

And yes, they seemed a bit over expressive at timed. 

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Don't have a whole lot to say on this one.

It was cute for the most part though I didn't really like how none of the mane six realized how... backwards their efforts were till at the very end. Seemed pretty out of character for all of them. Also thought the morale was super basic. It's like, from the first scene, I knew exactly how this whole ep was going to play-out... almost down to certain lines. Haven't had an episode that predictable in quite a bite imo.

Though, one or two positive things of note is that I'm continuing to enjoy the student six as a whole (I know that's a pretty controversial topic around the fandom atm) and I am overall enjoying the different facial animations that have been popping up this season. Adds a bit more range to what the old flash models can actual express which is always a good thing... even if things can get a bit too meme(y) in certain frames (at least when a joke expression wasn't really called for).

So yeah, an overall lackluster episode with a few good bits here and there.

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Frenemies is this week’s episode following the Equestrian Legion of Doom.

I find it to be okay.

I do like some of the interactions between villains, mainly Tirek and Chrysalis, Chrysalis transforming and the lone stallion that lives on the mountain.

Grogar, as powerful as he is, still doesn’t do it for me, not as interesting as the other villains. Still not a fan of Cozy Glow nor her personality. The song felt…eh, probably because of how it felt drawn out for having everyone get a singing part. Also, the ending which possibly hints at a redemption arc of sorts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Grogar caught on their mutiny, takes the bell and turns on everyone in the finale, forcing the villains to accept the help of the heroes. Or that they, the three, commence their attack on the ponies only to fail because their working together falls apart due to inflated egos and other things. Then, Grogar one ups the competition having the bell and just throw everyone under the bus, again making the villains and heroes team up.

A fine episode.

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Damn, well that was certainly an intriguing episode. Can't remember the last one we've had where the mane six weren't really involved at all. Gave the villains some real time to shine.

Gotta say, I love the angle they're taking with Chrysalis, Cozy, and Tirek. They remind me a lot of Team Rocket with their antics and seeing them play off one another was fun to watch. Especially for characters like Chrysalis and Tirek who really haven't had all that much time to grow even with them being a thing in the show for... a long ass time now. Though, as a bit of a side note, am I the only one that finds it slightly creepy that Chrysalis seems to still be holding on to that twig that was one of the Mean Six?

As for that little plan they started at the end of the episode, I'm very interested to see where it leads. There are a lot of routes they could take with it.

Though, one flaw I do have with this (and any other episode really that uses it going forward) is that bell. I've never been a fan of the magical MacGuffin plot and I'm kind of sad to see it return for this final season. Especially with it's backstory revolving around a character we haven't even seen (or heard of from my knowledge). It's all kinds of left field and I kind of hope that it doesn't play that big of a role going forward.

But yeah, an overall nice episode that adds a lot to this season's arc. Both in great and to somewhat more questionable extents. Can't wait to see more of the villains in general though.

 

Also, a bit of heads up, apparently a channel in Italy is premiering the rest of the first half of this season over the next week or so. So be on the look out for spoilers and what not. Actually, I think a number of them are already out there (including today's). Personally, I'm going to check out ep 13 (for obvious reasons) but won't talk about it until it airs here.

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This week's episode was Frenemies and it was a villain's episode through and through. 

 

This was quite a lot of fun. I'll admit that this season was a tad bit coasty at times for me, probably since it's common knowledge that this really is the last one and as such much of it felt like leisurely checking off a list or doing something vaguely off in the last two. But this one stood out partly because of a trifecta of being something completely different, part of the main plot, and more directly because of the chemistry that these three had. It manages to really think about who these characters were on their own and it'd influence how they'd carry themselves here, whether it be Chrysalis being pent up with eagerness to launch a coordinated attack, Tirek realizing he can't climb the mountain and waiting to use what the others learn, and even Cozy confessing to being frustrated when she get someone to act as her talent dictates. 

I must say that I've been pretty iffy about Tirek being treated more comedically in his return. Especially given that compared to the vain Chrysalis or Cozy Glow's 30s talk, he was supposed to be more sinister and to the point. However, they managed to reach something of a balance here in that he's more trying to deal with the others antics and concerned about straightforward efficiency, but his goofy moments kinda air on the barely expressive side. Though he's apparently much lighter than he looks, as his little lawn chair and the rope shows.

On another note, it's kinda funny to see just how broken he and especially Chrysalis are. Maybe its because of the ninja theory and some villain decay, but one can forget that they had a legitimate claim on conquering Equestria. The latter alone got super close to reaching the barrier on her first try; you think back to the Mean Six and realize she could've put up a fight at the end if she really felt it. Theoretically, she might be able to gradually fuel herself to the point of returning Tirek to full power with plenty interest for herself, depending on how much he takes. Though thinking about it, why didn't Tirek drain Rusty Buckets and maybe that bullsnake thing on the way? 

I like how Chrysalis was the one to put a halt to their growing friendship. When I saw the synopsis for this episode, I couldn't help but think it would feel rather flat and maybe a bit dumb. But it makes sense that she would have developed a pathological hatred for it that would cause her to reject it. And it's not like Cozy or Tirek feel the same way--they clearly like the feeling, but simply concur on how antithetical it'd feel. 

Heresr hoping we get more out of Grogar himself next time. I will say that he looked better here than in his introduction, but he still looks like a blue fish thing from the front. Never noticed his horns being the focus of his magic usage. 

I also noticed one flub of logic at the end

Spoiler

Won't Grogar be able to sense the bell? I mean yeah, he wouldn't notice at first due to them saying they failed. But if he took forever to find it due to a block on his ability to sense it, won't it being there trigger something or at least lead to him to notice its gone? 

 

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This week's episode was Sweet and Smoky.

It was surprisingly alright for what I know some might find a tainted premise per recent seasons.

I figured Smolder's brother would turn out to be Garble considering the timing and red technically being not that far from orange, but since i could've sworn she described him as a younger brother, I just thought he'd just be one of her brothers. But predictably, he's the one she said was feeling down ever since she left and this episode delves a little into why that & Garble in general is. In lieu of talking about redemptions, I'll alternate to say this episode handle this idea better than Father Knows Beast.

I think the thing that balanced this episode out from waving too far into the, for lack of a better word, forced territory is how natural, but reasonable the progression was. It wasn't about amending things between Spike and Garble, but rather giving the latter a little extra dimension. He's still kind of a jerk, he still objectively sees Spike as being diminutive for a dragon, but now there's a little more to him than just "that guy who gives Spike and Ponies a hard time." Which is honestly not only realistic, but fits in line with how Ember and Smolder carry themselves: despite having friendship as something that motivates them, they still maintain their natural pride and abrasiveness. 

Also gotta give props to the surprisingly meaningful name: this show had a tendency to name non-pony characters based on a certain theme, as seen with the Griffins and Changelings. Given how most of the dragon characters had names relating to spikes, scales, fire, and lava(well, except for Sludge), it occurred to me here that Garble's name was out of place. So I did a definition search on it and lo n behold it means reproducing a sound in a confused and distorted way--which can definitely apply now to both sides of Garble's character after this episode.

As for what might as well be the B plot despite being more important, the hatching of dragon eggs was something that I'm sure was neat in universe. With the reveal that overseeing this process is the job of the Dragon Lord, I can help but wonder how Torch used to handle it. Am I the only one who questioned where the heck any of the parents were, though? Like, family units are clearly a thing based on Ember&Torch and now Garble&Smolder, so what gives?

Also, did Fluttershy ever Garble before? I don't remember her ever coming to the Dragon Lands, so any familiarity with Garble here seems like it should be on a word of mouth basis. Oh and the names of Garble's friends(the ones who do the talkin, anyway) are Clump and Fume.

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Sweet and Smoky is this week’s episode, featuring Smolder’sbrother, Garble! Dun dun dun! What a twist!

So did this episode made me like him more? Eh, not really. Pretty weak episode, not nearly as strong as last week’s ep.

I was more into the whole egg hatching portion with Ember which probably could’ve held the episode more if it was the main plot. Though nice to see the dragon lands again and with the hatchlings.

Much of the episode had Spike abuse that got old quick. Smolder felt more of a vehicle to drive the plot forward with Garble as her brother and didn’t do much compared to the others. The bullies basically being one dimensional, even Garble still felt like that despite the character development. Speaking of which, the whole poetry and bongo thing felt too random. Also, it lacked Spike and Garble interacting and making amends or even growing closer at the end too, dropping that plot point completely. When you get down to it, the lesson is basically another friggin’ Be Yourself type of ordeal. This is what? The 3rd or 4th time they did this crap already this season?

Still rather average episode.

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This was quite the odd episode for me.

Flutters and Spike are some of my favorite characters in the show (coming after Luna obviously) so to see them pair up was great in itself. They were also both surprisingly in great form as characters. Spike continuing to be the level headed guy that he is while with Flutters herself showing some serious growth. Simply could not imagine S1 Flutters willingly doing... well, any of this. Loved that part of the episode.

Though, things took a bit of a turn when I saw who Smolder's brother really was; fucking Garble. To be honest, at first I was somewhat ok with this. I mean, trying to redeem a jerk character like that does seem interesting and sort of overdue in hindsight (he was introduced all the way back in season 2 like damn). Though with that past, the episode had a mighty large order placed on itself. Garble... is a massive dick. It's going to take a bit of work to redeem him at this point; arguably more than any other villain honestly. That's... not really what happened here though.

At the end of the episode, I just felt confused honestly. It set out to try and teach a boat load of morals but I don't really think it successfully executed on any of them. No where do Spike and Garble make amends. Most of the dragons still find Garble and is hobby to be a joke. And honestly, dragons as a whole are still seen as massive dicks outside of Smolder, Spike, and Ember.

The resolution itself felt as deep as a puddle and didn't really solve any of the underlining issues beyond the eggs. Ember just tells the other dragons to shut up, that's it. No one probably thinks differently of Garble and I doubt Garble feels differently about Spike. The only people that kept Spike in the game at all were Flutters and Smolder. Smolder really only playing as a referee in the episode and Flutters, while showing some true character growth in her assertiveness, gives a speech that seemed to only blanket one the issues.

If this had been a friendship map episode, I doubt anyone's cutie marks/ scales would've gone off by the end of this thing.

Though, I guess to throw off one more small positive, Flutters looked gd adorable trying to get the eggs to hatch lol. Plus the poetry, as an idea, was good fun too I guess.

So yeah, an overall mediocre episode with some good ideas in the mix. Flutters and Spike, as characters, shinned but everything else just didn't seem all that thought out.

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Funnily enough, that is kinda why I just shrugged and rolled with it by the end. Dragons are established to be vice laden jerks by nature, with Spike being the outlier due to being raised by ponies. Ember and Smolder were set up to look like exceptions in the long run, but even they are kinda like that before and after being influenced; Spike himself also has his moments here and there. And yes, given Garble and his friends are just dickish, I wouldn't really want them to overly change in this episode regardless. Honestly, that kinda what happens in the end: it's less Garble deciding to be good so much as just kinda roll with the fact that his gang of bullies get a kick out of messing with each other anyway and they all wanted to help the eggs hatch once they realized they legit messed up.

 

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Going to Seed is this week’s ep featuring the Apple Family and the return of Golden Delicious.

It was very so-so.

The only things I liked were Big Mac and the flashback featuring the Apple parents.

The idea of AJ dismissing a mythical creature such as the Great Pump-er Seedling feels farfetched considering how much of a fantasy world the setting is where dragons and hippogriffs exist. It’s like the writer is too afraid to push the fantasy element for some reason. Removing the flashback with the parents, this episode feels more in place with the earlier seasons such as 1-4 than it is here with some of the characterizations with AJ and Apple Bloom. IMO, the plot wasn’t doing much for me and the entirety of it felt uneventful. Also, a bit of emotional/mood whiplash near the end when the sisters were excited to capturing the Great Seedling one minute to pure terror when they think that it was hunting them the next. Was this even necessary?

Pretty meh overall.

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That was... eh, an episode I guess?

Gonna be honest here, wasn't really feeling this one. I was incredibly confused about the message it was trying to give off.

Was it to never loose your child-like wonder? Ok, well AJ takes it too far half way through and it doesn't amount to anything.

Was it to work hard to play hard? Well alright, but Big Mac just ends up doing everything and never gets any rest so yeah...

Could if have simply been to let kids be kids or something? Well Apple Bloom starts telling her sister how she's acting a bit crazy half way through so that's out of the question now too.

I don't say this often with the show as it's, at the very least, always at least competent with this aspect but the morale in this one was just badly done... if there even was one at all. And that sloppy nature translated into the rest of the episode where none of the elements in it lined up to be either entertaining nor well done. They could've, at the very least, brought in a more interesting Apple family member to help out.

The only two things I liked about it were seeing the parents again in the flashbacks and Big Mac just continuing to be an MVP (even though he was just stepped over the entire episode for gags).

So yeah, overall this is probably one of the weakest episodes of the season so far. It literally did nothing.

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On 6/1/2019 at 5:47 PM, AdventChild said:

Going to Seed is this week’s ep featuring the Apple Family and the return of Golden Delicious.

It was very so-so.

The only things I liked were Big Mac and the flashback featuring the Apple parents.

The idea of AJ dismissing a mythical creature such as the Great Pump-er Seedling feels farfetched considering how much of a fantasy world the setting is where dragons and hippogriffs exist. It’s like the writer is too afraid to push the fantasy element for some reason. Removing the flashback with the parents, this episode feels more in place with the earlier seasons such as 1-4 than it is here with some of the characterizations with AJ and Apple Bloom. IMO, the plot wasn’t doing much for me and the entirety of it felt uneventful. Also, a bit of emotional/mood whiplash near the end when the sisters were excited to capturing the Great Seedling one minute to pure terror when they think that it was hunting them the next. Was this even necessary?

Pretty meh overall.

 

9 hours ago, Strickerx5 said:

That was... eh, an episode I guess?

Gonna be honest here, wasn't really feeling this one. I was incredibly confused about the message it was trying to give off.

Was it to never loose your child-like wonder? Ok, well AJ takes it too far half way through and it doesn't amount to anything.

Was it to work hard to play hard? Well alright, but Big Mac just ends up doing everything and never gets any rest so yeah...

Could if have simply been to let kids be kids or something? Well Apple Bloom starts telling her sister how she's acting a bit crazy half way through so that's out of the question now too.

I don't say this often with the show as it's, at the very least, always at least competent with this aspect but the morale in this one was just badly done... if there even was one at all. And that sloppy nature translated into the rest of the episode where none of the elements in it lined up to be either entertaining nor well done. They could've, at the very least, brought in a more interesting Apple family member to help out.

The only two things I liked about it were seeing the parents again in the flashbacks and Big Mac just continuing to be an MVP (even though he was just stepped over the entire episode for gags).

So yeah, overall this is probably one of the weakest episodes of the season so far. It literally did nothing.

Yeah, i couldn't help but wonder what was the point by the end.

I almost thought for sure even early on that they were just gonna have the Seed Bringer or whatever be some branch(ha) of real, given it's resemblance to other Deer characters. Not to mention, you know, things like the Pony of Shadows being real in some way.

They seemed to wanna pull a subversive red herring partway through where Big Macintosh being tired truly had nothing to do with the arrangements, given the extended scene of him working before realizing something is wrong. Granted, I figured the apples had to be coming from somewhere anyway and they never said the Seed Bringer materialized apples.'

I also slowly started to wonder if Granny Smith and Goldie Delicious were the ones doing it around the same time after automatically discounting them due to their old age and Goldie's own trouble bucking the trees. It would sorta make sense given Goldie seemed to wanna encourage it to begin with and Granny even suggested the cats may have been responsible at one point. 

I guess that's an Applejack episode for ya. Minimalist cast, too.

 

Also, two minor questions: What's up with Big Mac's apparent popularity, if ya don't mind me askin? And that flashback seemed to have a baby Applebloom present--what?

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21 hours ago, DabigRG said:

Also, two minor questions: What's up with Big Mac's apparent popularity, if ya don't mind me askin? And that flashback seemed to have a baby Applebloom present--what?

Can't speak for everyone but for me at least, he's had some of the most solid, consistent, and longest appearance streak in the show. Like, 98% of the time, he's a complete G and only ever wants to help out for the most part. Add in that he's often played up as more of the straight man (much like Starlight and season 1-3 Twi actually) and he's just always a joy to watch for me honestly.

And as for that flashback... eh idk? I didn't really think much of it as the parents had to have had her before they... well, leave or whatever but I will admit that I don't know if her being there goes against any sort of timeline the show has established at this point... or if there even is one at this point.

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51 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

Can't speak for everyone but for me at least, he's had some of the most solid, consistent, and longest appearance streak in the show. Like, 98% of the time, he's a complete G and only ever wants to help out for the most part. Add in that he's often played up as more of the straight man (much like Starlight and season 1-3 Twi actually) and he's just always a joy to watch for me honestly.

 

Gotcha.

I really don't mean anything by it, it's just one of those things that apparently is and always has been that I'm not privy to. It doesn't help that my "connection" with the fanbase is primarily through TVTropes and whatever Mr. Enter & later Lily Peet/Orchard observed.

53 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

 

And as for that flashback... eh idk? I didn't really think much of it as the parents had to have had her before they... well, leave or whatever but I will admit that I don't know if her being there goes against any sort of timeline the show has established at this point... or if there even is one at this point.

Yeah, it's like, "Weren't these two teenagers when/before Applebloom was a thing?"

Guess we got another Spike & the Sparkles on our hands.

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This week’s episode is Student Council, an episode about Starlight and the school. Yay.

And it didn’t do much for me. Meh.

Probably the only thing to like were some of Maud’s quips but that’s about it.

One of the major gripes about the school aspect is how completely understaffed it is and how having more teachers/substitutes would fix the problem at hand. Don’t understand why Twilight couldn’t hire more. Heck, maybe having Dr Whooves and some pony professors with interesting personas would’ve made me interested in this gimmick if they done so earlier, but doubt in last season.

Much of the jokes didn't do it for me. Mudbriar was tolerable but only by a slight margin. Trixie had some annoying moments too. Unfortunately, much of the annoyance had come from Silverstream for spurring the plot with her constant barrage of questions and how this plot could’ve been resolved by her giving word to her family of where she was and what she was doing than letting her brother and friends go on a wild goose chase and risk turning to stone by Cockatrices. Speaking of which, the whole tonal/mood whiplash of the first half in Ponyville to the second in the Everfree Forest felt jarring and forced. Hay, the action set piece felt unnecessary too, considering how Silverstream wasn’t in any trouble.

A So-so episode.

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Not really sure where to pin this episode honestly. There were some elements I liked about it and others that I question quite a bit.

To start with the negative bits (as I swear it's about to take me a bit here to really process them), I'm really not sure how I feel about the cast of characters we had for this one. Alone I find most of them great but mixed together like this... something was off. The main two I took real issue with were Silver Stream and Starlight as their actions directly influence the others and plot. The first seemed uncharacteristically needy (and flat out dumb at points). I get her entire character seems to be part of the "air-head" archetype but they really leaned in on it here. If she had been written even a tiny bit smarter, like she usually is, this entire episode wouldn't have happened.

Starlight on the other hand seems to have continued down her path of becoming a Twilight 2.0 and was only written to stress over her job her. One could argue that she was even a bit out of character. Real talk, I don't think Starlight would've ever stressed this hard about helping out the students. She'd give it her best go while on the clock but I feel as though she would've kept to a schedule for it a looong time ago. She's uncharacteristically tied to this ordeal as she's always been shown as the "I care but let's be real about this" type of person. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Starlight usually wouldn't have spent more than a minute with Silver's tangent on defining everything before telling her to get out. She gets there eventually, but only with Trixie's "help".

As for the rest of the characters, well, they were on character for lack of a better term. Though, with the main two characters out of sync like this, it only served to collapse the entire story and highlight each of the other character's less savory traits. Trixie's whole move to get Starlight away from her job is the crux of the entire episode yet her actions weren't really written as entirely unwarranted either. It's one of those moments that's suppose to be "wrong" but yet it still was "the right move" in a number of ways, making the entire action messy.

Maud and her boyfriend (don't remember his name and don't really feel like searching it up atm) fall to the wayside and only serve as comedic relief. That in itself wouldn't have been a problem if the entire situation wasn't so high stakes (a freaking child is messing and might actually be in danger). Honestly, Sunburst and Silver Stream's brother are the only ones that come out fine from this. The later only because, well, I can't even remember his episode all that well so I can't really say if he was actually on character here or not.

Also, let's talk a bit about that plot because it literally just hinged on Silver not telling ANYONE that she was going out to the Everfree forest (though, as a positive, is actually threatening this time around again) which is an incredibly shaky foundation for an episode like this. Once you also add in the fact that Starlight actually knew about the new tree house thing and this entire situation (or episode) seemed incredibly manufactured.

Now, after saying all this, I do have to stress that there were elements that I actually enjoyed with this episode. While the characters themselves felt off, each of them had a few moments that I loved. I like seeing Starlight and Trixie interact as it's always hilarious. Sunburst's nerdy nature continues to shine. Maud and her boyfriend's relationship is so weird that I can't help but chuckle a bit at nearly every one of their lines (no matter how out of place they are in the given situation). And the pure continuity on display here is simply magnificent. Hell, this episode also had quite a number of funny moments.

Plus, the background work on this is truly something to note. I've stated a multitude of times that the general quality of the art work and animation on the show is more of an "it's always good so it always goes without saying as a positive" situation but something about some of the background art here really caught my eye. I mean, just look at this!

Spoiler

screen-shot-1.png

This piece is only on screen for like 4 seconds too!

But yeah, overall... idk. This episode certainly has its strong points, but the way it twisted the characters just to get to them is pretty bad. It's not the worst episode of the season (I think that award still goes to last week's) or even the second worst imo, but it certainly isn't the strongest either. A solid "ok" at best from me really.

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This week’s episode is The Last Crusade featuring the CMC and likely to be their final central episode of the series.

Since I’m not much a fan of the three, I barely have any emotional attachment to them, caring not whether they break up the group or not. It still felt like a dull one for me.

Probably the only thing I like were the parents’ introduction during the classroom scene with the cragidile.

I guess I do like seeing Scoot’s parents, though with her having parents (even aunts) it does feel it undermines Parental Glideance in a way compared to her being an orphan. The plot was very predictable from the synopsis, a To Move or Not to Move ordeal, and her living with her aunts could be seen over a mile away just by their introduction. Not to mention the ways they try to keep Scootaloo in town were as predictable and weak writing wise along with the humor IMO.

A pretty bland episode for me.

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