Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 3 Episode 13

My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic, Season 3, Episode 13.  And despite the episode's ultimate plot, with every single previous episode leading up to it, of all the episodes I've come to despise, this one started out being despised not by me, but by the brony fandom itself!  What does this mean?  Does that mean that this episode is so bad, that even the so-called loyal bronies with their now infamous policy of "love and tolerate" would turn their backs on the whole goddamn series because of it?  I saw the episode myself, and was it terrible?  No, it actually wasn't.  It was actually a very good episode.  So what could have possibly caused all these bronies to lash out at Hasbro much less the staff?  I mean, besides me not being a brony.  What could have possibly happened?

Oh.  That.  Wait... what?!  This?!  What... the... crap?!  How in the hell could this have changed everything?!  Why didn't the bronies parade in the streets instead of throwing riots?!  The question is... why?!  Why did so many bronies go berserk over this?!  Well, that leads me to the discussion of this episode, so I'm going to divvy it up into two parts.  First and foremost, I will go over how the prospect of this one episode changed the ways the bronies saw this series, now and possibly forevermore.  After all that, then I'll discuss the episode itself.

Okay, here's part one of this very loooooong critique.  Brave yourself, readers.  This is gonna be big, I promise you.
Let's go over Season 3 as a whole so far.  As I've said before, it was meant to revolve around Twilight, there have been fewer songs, and of course Ditzy Doo has seldom appeared, first in the episode "Magic Duel" and again in this episode, both barely visible to a viewer's eye.  Well, the first two can be covered up in this episode alone, but the issue with Ditzy Doo is still up in the air.

But seriously, here's why the bronies should not have freaked out to begin with.  First of all, let's go over the signs.  We knew, or should have known, that this was coming for a long time, longer than you may think.  This particular overseas image pretty much dropped the ball at first and it tied in with hints dropped during the first two episodes of Season 3.

Then, some time after, we got this piece of information from the website reddit.  Some guy believed to be an Internet troll, maybe even pretending to be a staff member from the series, gave bronies quite a good scare by divulging facts straight from Hasbro, leading them to believe that Hasbro was gaining more control of the show.  This was actually more or less a bad sign regarding the bronies instead of where the show was going because apparently, the bronies were not too thrilled with Hasbro taking over.  Uh, hello?  The whole My Little Pony franchise is owned by Hasbro, FYI.  How is that bad?  Well, it seems that bronies have tried to be good at heart by insisting that corporate greed should not have to be the way things are with Hasbro.  But this is something that cannot be avoided.  When it comes down to companies, making money is always the highest priority, mainly because it keeps companies alive.  It may sound sad, but that's the way the world works.  It practically all but runs on money.  And if bronies can't grasp that, then they need to get jobs and get the feel of how things work.

Now it's also believed that Hasbro intended to make Twilight Sparkle an alicorn simply for the purpose of selling more toys.  Now how is that irregular in any way?  In case these dim-witted equine lovers forgot, Hasbro is a toy company.  Of course they're gonna make new toys and branch stuff out to make more money.  That's the way a company works for Christ's sake!  They make money!  They have to!  But if bronies think that the only reason Hasbro people like what they do because they make bronies suffer, then I say by all means.  Because if you were to ask me, I'd say the bronies have yet to face reality.  The show is not about them.  The original demographic was intended for young girls.  And by making Twilight Sparkle a princess, something that is a traditional dream and inspiration for stereotypical young girls, Hasbro has kept the original demographic alive.  The idea to make Twilight Sparkle a princess was set up by Hasbro not just to sell more toys, but to inspire their original demographic of the franchise by transforming the central character, with originally no relation to royalty, through means of hard work and dedication, like an art school student should be towards homework.  So it's actually unfair to say that Hasbro is completely motivated by corporate greed.  Because as much as making money is important, it's how they do it as well.  As for scrapping Ditzy Doo altogether in Season 4, that's still relatively unclear for the time being.  She started out as a simple background pony with an animation error.  But if Derpy toys are popular, regardless of who buys them, I don't think Ditzy Doo will be gone for good, seeing as Hasbro will likely continue to make them if it helps make more money.

Still, signs were apparently not too visible, what with Meghan McCarthy trying to pass up the message from reddit as a troll, but not really covering up alicorn Twilight, until one day, along came a commercial that started it all.

Obviously the words "Princess Coronation" was what tipped off the bronies to begin with, leading them to believe with little to no doubt that Twilight Sparkle was definitely gonna become an alicorn.  Some tried to pass this fact off as a temporary transformation, which of course was absolutely ridiculous.

And then, on January 29th, 2013, the ultimate "bombshell" was dropped when Entertainment Weekly decided to go ahead and confirm that Twilight Sparkle would definitely become a princess, with royal wings to boot.  That day, the whole Internet practically erupted, mostly in fury.  Bronies rampaged all over fan sites, such as Equestria Daily, which got over 2,500 comments alone, and they might have even made threats against Hasbro.  But the fact was that these insane bronies let loose with the backlash two weeks before the episode even aired.  It was so bad, it made an Internet article two days later on Entertainment Weekly, the same site that revealed Princess Twilight Sparkle to begin with.  Also, Tara Strong, who voices Twilight Sparkle, couldn't resist trolling the bronies by jokingly saying that her role would be taken over by Morgan Freeman because of his portrayal as God in the comedic films Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty.  Obviously no one fell for that, but the gist of it was to tease the bronies because they believed Twilight would become a demigod of sorts.
For some reason, they disliked alicorn Twilight.  Now how could that be?  And why?  Well, before I get to that, I've got one more thing to point out.  And that's this.  The earliest possible signs hinting towards alicorn Twilight actually go all the way back to the very beginning of the series.  To be more precise, it's the episode "Friendship is Magic, Part 2".  And here it is.

Take a look at the Element of Magic.  It's a crown.  A tiara.  All the other elements were necklaces.  And this meant more than just being the most powerful element.  It was symbolism.  A sign.  And not just that of Twilight's leadership.  In fact, the writers even clearly stated that they were setting Twilight up for becoming a princess right from the very beginning, even back when Lauren Faust was still on the team.  Sure, it wasn't her original intention to have alicorn Twilight, but it doesn't concern her because she's no longer working on the show.  And she hasn't been for at least a year now.  Anyways, the Element of Magic itself was the earliest possible sign and quite frankly, a lot of us didn't see it coming then.

 Now let's discuss why the bronies started despising the concept of alicorn Twilight.  In their eyes, what did it mean?  Well, for starters, the bronies completely failed to see how alicorn Twilight will truly affect this series from this point onward.

Think about the Disney princesses.  Remember how they started out?  They were practically poor, simple peasants, or represented them for that matter, who dreamed of new lifestyles.  And in the end, each of them found their prince charming in their lives and were able to live the dreams they always wanted.  Twilight Sparkle is practically no different.  She started out as Princess Celestia's personal student and now in this episode, her hard work and diligence to her mentor finally pays off.  So let's go over the many ways that bronies believed how alicorn Twilight in their eyes would potentially ruin the series.

- Many bronies believe that alicorn Twilight has godlike powers and an immortal lifespan.

"Lousy scrubs!"

Now, hold on just a minute!  The series never stated that alicorns were immortal and godlike beings.  The only reason this belief exists is because both Celestia and Luna have lived for thousands of years, but in all perspectives, not a single pony's lifespan has ever been revealed in this series so far.  Sure, fan fiction stories have been made with these factors in mind, but overall, this belief has only stemmed from the imagination of the bronies, nothing else.  We don't know how long Celestia and Luna have lived and Cadance was actually seen younger in flashback scenes with Twilight as a filly.  So this petty excuse is overruled.

- Bronies also worried about Twilight's friendship with the others coming to an end by having to stay in Canterlot.

"Lousy scrubs!"

Okay, I admit that I called Celestia a witch for what she did to Twilight in the Season 2 finale and for trusting only Fluttershy to reform Discord, but despite that, she still doesn't strike me as the kind of character who would do something like that to Twilight.  She knows how much her friends mean to her and she even allowed Twilight to stay in Ponyville with her friends to learn about the magic of friendship to begin with.  Of course, the true reason for this was to surpass Star Swirl the Bearded and fulfill her destiny by creating this new magic and becoming a princess, but really?  Would Celestia really do that?  Besides, even if Twilight stayed in Canterlot, her friendships would still not be over just because of that.  I mean, what would be stopping Twilight's Ponyville friends from coming to visit?  The Mane 6 are all true friends, despite that I continue to rave that the Season 2 finale should have torn them apart or at least change their friendships forever, and they're never truly saying goodbye to each other, especially not on a kids' show.  This isn't The Lord of the Rings.  So I think this is one of the lousiest excuses that these bronies came up with.

- And of course, bronies are thinking that alicorn Twilight will overall ruin the series.

"Lousy scrubs!"

Boy, you said it, the Chazz.  I did say in my personal opinion the series was already ruined because of the Season 2 finale, but after this episode, I have to admit that I'm one step closer to saying that all bets are off on that.  But the reason I think the series can't get any worse than that is because what ultimately happens is that Twilight's so-called best friends practically trade her for someone they hardly know.  And she's a total fake.  Not to mention, she even says that Twilight was in the right the whole time and that her friends were too jazzed up about the wedding to even comprehend any danger, despite clearly knowing that a huge shield was being projected over Canterlot.  I'm sorry, but the more I think about it, the more likely it is that I'm not getting over it.  Why else did my old colleague Black Kyurem write that fan fiction, "A Canterlot Wedding:  Aftermath"?  He was pissed off too.  That should have been the thing to ruin their friendship, not alicorn Twilight.  And this incident still hasn't been brought up, so that's why the series is already ruined in my eyes.  Any brony that came up with this excuse obviously just stupidly let the whole thing slide as if it was a minor setback, which of course it wasn't.  And Twilight was entirely too forgiving.  But all in all, with Twilight being a princess, it actually opens the door for several new possibilities and challenges for her to face.  The head writer, Meghan McCarthy, expressed this, which hints at an upcoming Season 4 of this series.

- The balance is gone, meaning that instead of two each of unicorns, Pegasus, and earth ponies, we have one unicorn and one alicorn.

"Lousy scrubs!" 

I'm not gonna bother arguing with this because it's too stupid.  What's with these God-awful bronies anyway?

- And finally, bronies have even stupidly said that alicorn Twilight leaves her other friends at unfair disadvantages simply because she's an alicorn and they're not.

WHAT?!?  OH MY GOD, THAT IS THE STUPIDEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD COMING FROM THESE WOULD-BE FANS!  Okay, the Mane 6 form the core of this series, yes, but the absolute central character is Twilight Sparkle and the show has been about her and her journey through finding the magic of friendship, no questions asked.  I remember arguing with a YouTube user who stupidly said that the Mane 6 are all equally main characters, which possibly implied bronies to think that if Twilight becomes an alicorn, then so should her friends.  I'm sorry, but that is just totally retarded.  Consider that Twilight was already powerful enough as a unicorn, so why didn't anyone think she wasn't on equal footing with her friends before she transformed?  That's like saying that Hasbro just slapped some wings on Twilight and bronies cause the biggest uproar in their fandom yet.

Put plainly and simply, it's clear to me that the true colors of the bronies have been revealed.  If there's but one thing that does not go the way they want, they threaten Hasbro over it.  This whole ordeal turned out to be ten times worse than the infamous Derpy controversy a year ago and that alone was pretty bad.  In short, it seems that these bronies have been trying to secretly take control of the show and run it their way, not Hasbro's.  Well, need I remind you that the community is what brought upon these bronies and not the show itself.  This series did not intend to create the brony fan base to begin with.  The bronies came to be because they ended up loving the show and thus chose to form their community.  So if bronies want to take over the show, that's just like saying they want to usurp the staff and Hasbro in order to make their fan fiction stories a reality.  Considering that's where alicorn Twilight existed at first, that just makes them practically hypocrites unto themselves in addition to all this shit.

So if the bronies can't accept Princess Twilight Sparkle, then they should just leave the fandom and dissolve their own community because maybe they're not really true fans of the series, but rather a group of pretenders and naysayers who want to run the show for themselves.  Good riddance.

However, there has been one true brony who accepted this change and was interviewed for Entertainment Weekly to discuss why he believes the bronies have overreacted...
...Shaun Scotellaro, the founder of Equestria Daily, where he is known as Sethisto.  While so many bronies ran amok, Sethisto gracefully accepted Twilight's change and continues to be one of the few true bronies who remain unfazed by alicorn Twilight, stating that it's generally natural for fans to overreact to something new.  I personally call him the one true brony.  Mind you, I can't say what's become of the brony fandom now that the episode has come and gone.  Has it disbanded completely?  Or are the bronies banding back together and actually celebrating?  I don't know.

Well, that's about all I have to say about the now dwindling brony fan base.  So now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to discuss the episode itself.

For one, it's notably different than the others, as much like a classic Phineas and Ferb episode, it's a musical, with a total of seven songs, completely smashing the record held by the Season 2 episode "A Friend in Deed".
So maybe this is why M.A. Larson wrote the script for the episode, because he's also a lyricist for the show and helped with some of the songs, while Daniel Ingram composed them all.  No surprise there.  Okay, enough of me stalling.  Let's get to this.

Magical Mystery Cure
Because the episode is a musical, similar to the episode "Party of One" it starts with a song, the first of seven, "Morning in Ponyville".
[Twilight Sparkle]
Morning in Ponyville shimmers
Morning in Ponyville shines
And I know for absolute certain
That everything is certainly fine
Hm, not bad, not bad.  I kinda thought it was almost like Twilight's version of Pinkie's "Smile Song".  However, Twilight gets cut off by a dousing of water.  She initially believes Rainbow Dash is pulling a prank on her again, but to her surprise, it was Rarity who soaked her.
And that's when we see that Rarity somehow has Rainbow Dash's cutie mark and is trying to control the weather with her magic, but still being a fashionista at heart.  Now what gives?  Or more importantly, how can cutie marks 'control' ponies like this?

Let's go back to the Season 1 episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".  We learned that cutie marks only appear when a pony discovers their hidden talents and their destiny.  But I don't recall a cutie mark ever telling a pony what to do.  Doesn't this new puzzle throw the episode's continuity out of whack?  Eh, the continuity's been busted since the Season 2 finale, so why should I care?  But back to the episode.  So if Rarity's now on weather patrol, where's Rainbow Dash?
In Fluttershy's cottage, trying to tend to her animals.  Okay, what the hell is going on here?  Well, that's where the second song comes in, "What My Cutie Mark Is Telling Me".
[Rainbow Dash]
These animals don't listen, no, not one little bit
They run around out of control and throw their hissy fits
It's up to me to stop them, 'cause plainly you can see
It's got to be my destiny, and it's what my cutie mark is telling me
So here's how things are running.  Rarity has Rainbow Dash's cutie mark, Rainbow Dash has Fluttershy's, Fluttershy has Pinkie Pie's, Pinkie has Applejack's, and Applejack has Rarity's.
And because of that, they're all stuck doing different jobs that they're obviously no good at.  Pretty screwy.  Note that Pinkie's mane and tail are flattened, which we haven't seen since the episode "The Best Night Ever".
Also, for some reason, during Fluttershy's part, we see Vinyl Scratch making a cameo appearance.  So why doesn't she just crank things up to eleven?

"After seventeen years, the destinies... are changing.  That means the preparations are almost ready.  The Door to the Underworld is about to open.  Now is the time...  I have been waiting for this day..."

That's when Twilight suddenly realizes what's happened.  The other night, she received an order from Princess Celestia, which is in fact that mysterious black book we saw at the end of the episode "The Crystal Empire, Part 2".  It turns out, it is the book of Star Swirl the Bearded and contains all of the spells he ever wrote, except that the last one was unfinished.
So Celestia has now charged Twilight with the task of finishing the spell and when she gives it a try to make sense of it, unbeknownst to her, the Elements of Harmony she had for safekeeping somehow get affected by the incomplete spell and decide to play a little switcheroo.
When Twilight checks on them, it turns out that their colors got swapped.  And because the Mane 6 have had ties to the elements for the duration of the series so far, they also got affected.  Oh, now I see.  The different cutie marks aren't controlling them at all.  It's their connections to the Elements of Bonkers that are causing them to behave this way, despite knowing that they are no good at whatever the hell it is they're trying to do.  Note that the Element of Magic wasn't affected because Twilight was the one who activated the spell to begin with and it was the Element of Magic itself that made the others go AWOL.

Well, at this point, Twilight feels like calling it quits, seeing that she thinks there's no way to fix things as they are, yet she laments that needs to give it a try anyway.  So here's the third song, "I've Got to Find a Way".
[Twilight Sparkle]
I have to find a way
To make this all okay
I can't believe this small mistake
Could've caused so much heartache
And we see in this now dystopian Ponyville, the denizens are in a pretty bad mood.  They're fuming at Rarity for making it rain and snow at the same time and without Pinkie Pie, their smiles have ceased to exist.
But leave to Spike not to give up that easily.  He simply reminds Twilight that despite having different cutie marks they are still her friends, so Twilight resolves to fix things.
She then realizes that her friends still have each other and decides to use this power of friendship to set things right.

So she catches up to Fluttershy moments before she decides to return to Cloudsdale and asks her to help out Rainbow Dash.
Apparently, the animals have become so furious with their new caretaker, they've decided to act like cannibals and are now threatening to serve up some Rainbow stew, or rather a Pega-stew.
As usual, Fluttershy has the answer by talking some sense into the animals and making vegetarians out of them.
And by donning her Element of Kindness, its original color returns and Fluttershy remembers her original destiny.  Apparently, Rainbow Dash wasn't smart enough to figure out that the animals were going nuts because their feeding time was long overdue and she never even thought to feed them once.  Okay, one down, four to go.  And the rest of it happens during the fourth musical number, "A True, True Friend".  Now watch these ponies work!
[Twilight Sparkle]
A true, true friend helps a friend in need
A friend will be there to help them see
[Twilight and Fluttershy]
A true, true friend helps a friend in need
To see the light that shines from a true, true friend
So Rainbow then helps Rarity by clearing the skies, Rarity helps Applejack make dresses, Applejack helps Pinkie restore Sweet Apple Acres, and finally, Pinkie Pie cheers up every single denizen in Ponyville and it looks like things are back to normal.  Another day in Ponyville, another crisis averted.

"Ha!  It is too late!  The Door to the Underworld has been opened!  And soon, the King of the Underworld shall appear!  It is now time to welcome him with the ceremonial ritual as planned!"
"Now... take a look at this!"

"The King of the Underworld is here!  And now for the final union!  I have now replaced my left arm in exchange for that of my brother's, the one with the mark of the Dragon's Head!  Now I have the powers of a Signer and a Dark Signer!  And as the battle between the Crimson Dragon and the Wicked Gods comes to a close, I shall be changing destinies myself!  For too long, the bronies have clashed with each other on forums everywhere over the tiniest of incidents.  They must be stopped!  With the power of light and darkness, I have become a god myself!  I will destroy the bronies and their community with the King of the Underworld's power and then rebuild with that of the Crimson Dragon!  The bronies will then be forced to love and tolerate!  And the first thing they will love and tolerate will be me as their god!  I have become the almighty himself!"
"Your marks!  Give them to me!"

That's when Twilight has an epiphany and knows just how to fix Star Swirl the Bearded's unfinished spell.  It turns out, contrary to the episode's synopsis, Twilight doesn't actually create magic to reverse the curse from the first half of the episode because her friends did that on their own by helping each other out.  The magic she creates is in fact rewriting the incomplete spell as her own.
Twilight Sparkle: From all of us together, together we are friends, with the marks of our destinies made one, there is magic without end!

"Yes!  At last!  The Crimson Dragon has appeared!"

"The Crimson Dragon has turned me down?!  This cannot be!  I was to be the chosen one!"

And once the final spell is completed, the Elements of Harmony activate and use all their power to... send Twilight packing.  Note that the charred blast mark is in the shape of her cutie mark.  Symbolism.


Twilight now finds herself in some kind of ethereal star-filled expanse where Princess Celestia appears to her for a Harry and Dumbledore moment.  Since she then explains to Twilight what will happen next in the fifth musical number, "Celestia's Ballad", that means for the first time ever in the whole series, Celestia herself sings... and it's a solo.
[Princess Celestia]
You've come such a long, long way
And I've watched you from that very first day
To see how you might grow
To see what you might do
To see what you've been through
And all the ways you've made me proud of you
You know, I once told myself if Celestia actually partook in a song that it would begin to make up for what happened during the Season 2 finale.  Well, there's no way I'm eating my words, even with salt, so maybe this series isn't gonna stay at rock bottom after all.

"Well... hehe... it seems we took the long way to get here, didn't we?  Thanks to all of you, I realized something I had forgotten...  Destiny cannot be changed by force, but we can stand against it through the bonds of friendship.  Thank you.  May your friendships help you in your future endeavors."
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some catching up to do... through the bond we share as brothers."

Anyways, as a result of all that singing, Twilight is enveloped within the light of her heart, or some other mysterious force, and begins to transform, almost like something right out of a Disney flick.  Sweet animation, as always!
Since Twilight reappears and descends down to earth, maybe her meeting with Celestia was just happening inside her head, but who's to say it wasn't real?

But once Twilight makes a touchdown, her extra body muscles kick in and reveals to her friends that she's sprouted wings.  Cool!  Now obviously, these aren't just any wings.  They're royal wings, which means Twilight has now become a princess.
That's not all, though.  She's also gained a bit of a growth spurt by a couple of inches and her horn is slightly longer.
But yeah, Twilight's a princess, so now even Celestia bows to her.  Wow!  That's like when the Emperor of China bowed to Mulan.  So Twilight has actually become an alicorn, obviously through means of dedication and hard work, but what the other three princesses?  Did they become alicorns at some point in their lives as well?  Or were they just naturally born alicorns?

Well, I guess we'll never know... not that it's important anyway, unless you're a brony.

Twilight Sparkle: But... what do I do now? Is there a book about being a princess I should read?

There's your proof, all you paranoid bronies.  Twilight Sparkle hasn't changed a bit.  She's still the same bookworm and worrywart you'll always know and love, even as a princess.

As well you bronies should.  So in the next scene, a ceremonial coronation is held in Canterlot where Twilight is crowned as the fourth princess of Equestria.  That is to say, it is done through another song, "Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle".
The Princess Twilight cometh
Behold, behold
A Princess here before us
Behold, behold, behold

Behold, behold (behold, behold)
The Princess Twilight cometh
Behold, behold (behold, behold)
The Princess is
The Princess is here
Huh, a church choir...  Interesting.  Fine by me, seeing as I'm slightly religious myself as a person.
So Twilight's coronation is overseen by Celestia, Luna, and Cadance (with her royal headdress from the previous episode) and as expected, Twilight's family and friends are present - Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Spike, and of course her very proud parents.  And here's her coronation speech.

Twilight Sparkle: A little while ago, my teacher and mentor Princess Celestia sent me to live in Ponyville.
She sent me to study friendship, which is something I didn't really care much about.
But now, on a day like today, I can honestly say I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for the friendships I've made with all of you.
Each one of you taught me something about friendship, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Today, I consider myself the luckiest pony in Equestria. Thank you, friends. Thank you, everypony!

Wait... someone's missing...

Oh!  There's Shining Armor!  You know, I gotta say (God help me) I was actually glad to see him there.  I honestly though he was gonna be excluded for a minute.  So this means that everyone in Twilight's circle of family and friends attended after all.

Twilight Sparkle: Are you crying?
Shining Armor: Of course not, it's... it's liquid pride. Totally different thing.
Liquid pride?  Really?  Why do I have an inkling that's gonna be passed along through the fandom?  Or maybe, what's left of the fandom, I dunno.  I don't even think bronies are gonna use it properly.  But that's like saying Major Monogram is sweating through his eyes.  Although, personally, I'd take sweating through the eyes over 'liquid pride' any day.  I mean, really.  Does 'liquid pride' even sound right to you?  I thought Liquid Schwartz was funny enough.  Anyways, here comes a long overdue line of dialogue.
Fluttershy: We love you, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: I love you too, girls!
And the episode ends with one final musical number, which is a reprise of the first song, only this time, the lyrics are slightly altered and the song is now called "Life in Equestria".

[Twilight Sparkle]
Life in Equestria shimmers
Life in Equestria shines
And with that, Season 3 comes to a close with Twilight taking flight for the first time in her life, paving the way for Season 4.
Also for the very first time, the songs are listed in the credits with the fourth one playing in the background, proving that without a doubt, this was the first true musical episode of the series.

Wow, I can honestly say that this episode was better than all the others so far.  It may have felt like it was rushed because so much was put into a single 22-minute episode, but there are two more parts to this saga to follow, so I hardly think being rushed is much of an issue.  Besides, I think anyone who saw this episode might have been able to keep up at least.  Having Twilight earn her wings and become a princess was a good decision on Hasbro's part, seeing that the staff of the show decided to incorporate it as a means to inspire the original demographic of young girls who obsess with princesses.  But as for many of the bronies, I think if there's anything that they celebrated about this episode, it was likely the return of Ditzy Doo in several scenes.

Check this out!  Just a split second before the scene changes, there she is for the final time in the episode, and her AWOL eyes are back!  Either this was an unintentional animation error or the writers believed they could get away with this and think that the original demographic would not be clever enough to spot her.  Or they might have been encouraging bronies to play "Spot the Derpy".  But I gotta tell you, I had a pretty keen eye when I was a kid.

Anyways, it looks like we're done with Season 3.  And it wasn't as bad or mediocre as the last two seasons (save the episode "One Bad Apple" cause it hellishly sucked), the animation was astounding as always, and even though it was devoid of a Rarity episode, I think things turned out fine, considering all those unexpected surprises.
Well, I guess this is it for now.  This is The Thunder, signing off once more.  See you all for the next season!

Twilight Sparkle: Yes! Everything’s going to be just fine!

"Wh-what?!  Season 4?!?  Does this stupid series need one?!  Ugh, I don't know how much more of this I can take!  I quit!!!"




'Liquid pride'?