Sunday, February 10, 2013

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 3 Episode 12

I know, I know.  There's definite signs of a Season 4 in the works, which I can't imagine why because based on what happens in the Season 3 finale, you think there wouldn't need to be any more episodes.  But humor me, will ya?  We're drawing nearer to the end of Season 3 with two episodes to go.  And this one, as expected, coincides with the previous episode, similar to how a few Phineas and Ferb episodes tie in with each other using recycled footage and such.

"Okay, enough of this!  Let the games begin!"

Games Ponies Play
It looks as though the ruckus coming from the pets while Spike was accidentally knocked out by Tank is overheard by Twilight, but there's not much she can do seeing as the train for the Crystal Empire is about to leave, but not before Rainbow Dash reminisces on a time in which one particular year, the Equestria Games didn't choose Cloudsdale to host them.

Also, we see Rainbow's dad for the first time, which reminds me that in an early draft for the episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", one of the original stories for how Rainbow Dash acquired her cutie mark involved her loving and supportive parents.  Since that version didn't exactly make it into the final cut, it's kinda nice that we at least get to see that Rainbow Dash had at least one parent.  And of course, this is where she got her rainbow-colored mane from.  Like father, like daughter.

Now apparently, due to the sheer disappointment Rainbow remembers, she pretty much says in a nutshell that there's no way in hell she's allowing the Crystal Ponies to miss out on the annual Equestria Games, even more so after being gone for a thousand years.  Now, I'm a bit perplexed as to how the Crystal Ponies remembered that they missed out on so much for being gone for a whole millennium.  After all, if I remember correctly, one of the Crystal Ponies stated that it felt like things just happened overnight, almost as if they were frozen in time.  So, what have they really lost besides one thousand years?

Yeah, I think my head's gonna hurt from this, so I'd better just move on.  It's probably irrelevant anyway.

Now we hear from Twilight that this Games Inspector, named Ms. Harshwhinny, is apparently known for being strict, uptight, and very expectant of things, so she insists that she and her friends are at the top of their game (no pun intended) as the welcoming committee Princess Cadance asked for.

Oh, look at this.  Really, now.  I know animation errors are common and this series is known to me for being better than plot and drama, but this is just lazy.  Fluttershy has Twilight's cutie mark on both sides of her butt.  Please don't tell me the animators are losing their hold on this series because it's one of the few things that's keeping it alive.

So they arrive and Twilight and Cadance do their stupid little chant, which after all those years never got old.
And that's when they receive word that the mane stylist is out sick with the flu and no one else seems to be remotely capable of giving Cadance her ceremonial headdress.  So Rarity steps forward to give it a try, but then they also receive word that Ms. Harshwhinny is arriving early, leaving little to no time to get things done.  I smell disaster.  See, here's the cue.

Twilight Sparkle: Everypony, just be on the look out for the pony with the flower print luggage.

As helpful as this sounds, this actually costs the Mane 6.  See, they greet the first pony they see with flower print luggage whom we learn a moment or two later is not Ms. Harshwhinny, but rather a claustrophobic with a Texan accent named Ms. Peachbottom.  Now, am I to assume that fans picked out this name for her as well?  Cause I didn't exactly catch it in any dialogue in the episode's transcript.

All right, all right.  I'll move on.

Anyways, Twilight and her friends minus Rarity focus all of her practice on Ms. Peachbottom, not knowing that she's just a simple tourist.
Meanwhile, the real inspector arrives and no one's there to greet her.  Not good.

By the way, does anyone else notice that Pinkie Pie's behavior is starting to become like that creepy gay Spongebob?  Quite honestly, it's beginning to scare me and if this keeps up, Pinkie may sadly end up unlikeable in my eyes.

So while Ms. Peachbottom gets all the attention, and apparently suffers from bouts of claustrophobia while inside the castle, Ms. Harshwhinny ends up running into a series of unfortunate events.
To top it off, Rarity ends up struggling with Cadance's mane style and just can't seem to get it right.  So Twilight decides to ask her brother for advice.  Ho boy...  Shining Armor, the unworthy brother.
Well, at least he only makes a cameo appearance as a coach for young athletes and not just some jerk who hogs a lot more air time than he deserves.  Don't give me that look because I still know exactly what he did to Twilight that I think should have set him up to be the bastard that I still call him to this very day.

Why's that?  Well, get this.  How many of you users have read the fan fiction story "A Canterlot Wedding: Aftermath", written by my old colleague Black Kyurem?  It's currently one of his more popular pieces of writing on and has recently received comments from the user Pokemon Pioneer that make some of the strongest points so far.

I know this isn't the right episode, but given the circumstances, I don't really care.  So here's what Pokemon Pioneer wrote.

"I would also personally agree with the stance Cadance takes in both chapters 2 and 3. As tactless as Twilight was at the wedding rehearsal, you NEVER disown family over what is apparently a misunderstanding, ESPECIALLY without even giving them so much as a chance to apologize. Additionally, you NEVER condone such actions either."

Kinda makes me think things should have gone like this:

Applejack: Sorry, Twi. We should've listened to you.

Also, Pokemon Pioneer graciously followed up with another comment, written as follows:

"Judging from the interaction we actually see between Shining Armor and his parents in this chapter, I'd say he was rather fortunate, or in my opinion at least. If situation the story covers ever occured in MY family, I don't know what would have happened. Among my relatives, I'd like to think there is a relatively high emphasis on the extended family (and thus a high emphasis on familial bonds in general), so Shining Armor's actions at the wedding rehearsal would have been considered unthinkable. However, I could think of a few scenarios:

1) There WOULD have been a punishment regardless of the person's age, if not a subtle that had scarcely begun!

2) Someone would have been smacked across the face before being reprimanded in a manner that was at least 20% more severe and drawn out.

3) Or there would have just been more severe reprimanding.

Fortunately though, I've never had to seriously worry about such scenarios since my siblings, my cousins, and myself have long since learned the fine arts of patience, holding your tongue, and THINKING before acting! While we have had disagreements, I'd like to think that those experiences taught us to how to deal with them.  Perhaps the fact that Twilight and her brother had a near lack of disagreements before the wedding could explain what happened between them. Unless Twilight was looking at her relationship with Shining Armor with rose-colored glasses, the two siblings would have never learned beforehand how to deal with a disagreement without letting things getting out of hand, or hoof for that matter.

On another note, you'll be pleased to know that as I write this, all the images in the story are still working. The  bad news though (at least for me) is that the images include the one in chapter 6. For some reason, I've never been able to look at the expression of that vector's face, it just gets to me somehow (which considering my love for documentaries involving predatory animals IS saying something). On the brightside though, it means that modern pop culture has not left me completely desensitized."

And of course, by "expression of that vector's face", the user means this one.  How did anyone just let this whole thing slide without so much as a followup?  What Meghan McCarthy wrote in those God-awful episodes was complete shit and a waste of time because it defies everything in the show from the ground up and there's no denying it.  Because Twilight Sparkle, the central character of the whole damn series, in a nutshell gets shot out of the saddle by all the people she loved and cared for.  Her best friends, Spike, her brother, and her mentor.

Well, now I've expressed why I'm still not crazy about Shining Armor from the umpteenth time, because what he started up just isn't something that's supposed to go away overnight, it's time to get back to the episode.

After Ms. Peachbottom has the run of the Crystal Empire and flirts with Prince Shining Armor, it's finally revealed that she isn't the inspector they've been looking for.
Rainbow Dash: We got the wrong pony?!
Well, it's about time they noticed!  Then again, that's easy to say because only the viewers knew that.  Maybe the writers tossed that in for extra humor, I dunno.  Anyways, Rainbow and the others find both Harshwhinny and Peachbottom at the spa getting a pedicure.
And that's when Rarity has somehow fixed up Cadance and has finished her ceremonial headdress.
However, Ms. Harshwhinny proceeds to inform Cadance about the absence of her so-called welcome committee, so Rainbow Dash comes clean and admits the mistake that she and the others made.  Bam, there's her honesty.

Rainbow Dash: When I was a little filly, I wanted so badly for Cloudsdale to win the Equestria Games. But, it didn't happen. So I thought I could make up for that disappointment by helping the Crystal Empire win the chance to host the Games. But it looks like I ruined your chances instead.

Wait... wait just a minute.  I'm confused.  What does Dashie's back story have to do with all this?  And why is she trying to take the rap?  The ponies just made a simple and honest mistake, so simple even that it could have happened to anyone.  And it certainly doesn't begin to compare to the awful grave mistake made in the sorry-excuse-for-the-Season-2-finale, so what gives?  I swear, as long as I live, I'll never understand this series.

But never mind that.  Here comes the surprise I didn't expect.  Apparently, Ms. Peachbottom was able to vouch for Ms. Harshwhinny that her arrival at the Crystal Empire was met with such a lively reception, adding on that the welcome committee were not residents of the Crystal Empire (duh, they don't have crystal coats), that she decides to have the Equestria Games take place at the empire anyway.  Guess it pays to brighten up tourism.
And the episode ends with a semi-cliffhanger that gets resolved in the previous episode "Just For Sidekicks".

You know, what are the chances that even if the ponies hadn't screwed up, things wouldn't have gone that well anyway?  I mean, they don't even know their way around the castle for crying out loud.  But if anything, Rainbow Dash certainly proves her loyalty in the form of selflessness in this episode.  It's actuality more or less like Seto Kaiba from the first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, who had quite the nasty upbringing as a child due to his evil stepfather's tyranny.  And because of that, he didn't want any child to go through what he did, which was his motivation to build Kaiba Land amusement parks all over the world.  Well, it's been twelve episodes and since we all know what the last one is about, apparently due to the shortage of episodes this season, we haven't had one that revolved around Rarity.

...Well, not that she really needed one after the events of the episode "Sweet and Elite" anyway.  Besides, Rarity does get her moment to shine by somehow managing to get the ceremonial headdress down for Cadance, so that's gotta count for something.  And now we know that Rainbow has a dad, leaving only Fluttershy's parents to be revealed, what with Applejack's parents being officially deceased.  I guess this episode revolved more about Rainbow Dash.

Okay, ladies and bronies, this is it!  Just one more episode to go and Season 3 is finito!  And should all you bronies fail to embrace what's coming, may you all writhe and suffer for your melodrama and outbursts.  Fare thee well!  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

"At last, the time has almost arrived.  When the three princesses of the sun, moon, and stars gather, the Crimson Dragon shall appear!  And I will feel its power once more!  It is time to begin the preparations for the opening ritual and fulfill what shall come to pass!"


  1. Eh, another filler episode basically. The whole problem could have been avoided just by one of them (there were five there!) at the train station asking that mare her name. But everything worked out anyway.

    I'd actually be interested in seeing an episode about the Equestria Games. But since there's only the finale left (and only 13 episodes versus 26), that isn't going to happen. Nice to see "Dash is an orphan" seems to have been put to rest too. All that's needed now is Fluttershy's (like you said) and Scootaloo's parents to turn up, especially the latter.

    Season Four, in addition to going back to the 26 episode length, seems to be hinting at being *very* different than the first three. I don't know what's going to happen, but the end of Season Three seems to wrap things up nicely (like the show as supposed to end here) by Twilight finding her destiny. One theory that I have is that there will be a big time-skip and that the show will start focusing on different characters (like the now-adult CMCs) and Princess Twilight will become the main mentor figure that they write letters to.

    I hope not. But regardless, the show can't stay the same after what is about to happen. And that really scares some people.

    1. It's interesting to note how things could have been avoided, but I guess the writers don't do that for the sake of plot and drama.

      Season 4 would have plenty of time to feature an Equestria Games episode, but it depends on how much the show changes after the Season 3 finale. For all we know, it could be as smoothly as it is now and Twilight could have an aesthetic change. But then again, Meghan McCarthy did drop hints at this Season 4 by saying that Twilight would be introduced to new challenges as a princess.

      It's kind of like Sonic X, in which I thought 52 episodes was fine and the ending of Episode 52 wrapped things up nicely. But then they bring along 26 more episodes and things just ended on a cliffhanger.

      You know, I'm gonna be brutally honest here. If this show scares away the bronies forever with whatever changes, then I don't really care what happens to the show. And I say good riddance to the bronies. I'm sure the little kids who watch the show won't be scared. I honestly thought that the Season 2 finale devastated it enough as is, so in the big scheme of things, it really can't get much worse than that.