Thursday, May 8, 2014

Picking Apart "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", Season 4 Episodes 1 & 2


WARNING!  From this point onward, the following reviews will consist of using heavy profanity.  It is advised not to proceed past this point unless you are 18 years of age or older.  Profanity will be used to express personal opinions only, so there can be no one responsible if anyone is greatly offended because you have been warned.  If you can handle profanity and you're ready to proceed, by all means do so.

Hey, guys.  Welcome back!  Now, seeing as it's been a while since I did these reviews, let's quickly go over what's happened so far during my leave of absence.

First of all, Steve Davis, the current president of Hasbro Studios, announced that the series was having a fifth season.  And to add insult to injury, the series is expected to continue for another five years.

God, just how popular did this pony stuff get?!  I mean, having just three seasons was fine.  Twilight's story is over, now that her hard work paid off and she was crowned princess.  So... what more did we need?  Apparently, it was decided that this Season 4 would explore new challenges Twilight faces as a princess and such.

But I'm here to talk about why this whole season was just completely unnecessary.  Because usually, things actually start to go downhill if the story goes on beyond the end of the story, if you know what I mean.  So, without further ado, it's time for me to brace myself and go over the premiere of Season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the first two episodes, and point out just what went wrong and why the series should have stopped at three seasons.

Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1
We begin with Twilight Sparkle... learning how to fly, being taught by Rainbow Dash.  Now already there's something wrong with this scene.
If you remember, Twilight was flying perfectly at the end of the last Season 3 episode.  I don't care if it was just for the sake of wrapping up the season.  She was actually flying.  Here, in the beginning of this episode, she's practically fumbling.
And it was pretty much the same deal in the Equestria Girls movie, which I'm not gonna review, so don't ask.
Applejack: Lookin' good up there, Princess Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: Applejack, you know you don't have to call me that.

Rarity: Why do you protest so?
What?!  What kind of a question is that?

Rarity: The least you can do is embrace your new title.


So... Rarity talks as if she would bask in the glory of being a princess.


And... she represents the Element of Generosity... because...?

Twilight Sparkle: It just doesn't feel right.


As does this whole season.  I personally think it should have ended with Twilight being crowned princess.  And now instead of stopping the series while it's ahead, we're getting a Season 5, which will probably feature Twilight and new challenges she faces as being a princess of her own kingdom.



So after the flying fiasco, we then learn that Twilight has to remain in Canterlot to tend to her royal duties in light of the upcoming Summer Sun Celebration.  And here's a little something worth pointing out.

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Not that!
Princess Celestia: I must admit that it is wonderful to actually be looking forward to the Summer Sun Celebration.
Twilight Sparkle: What do you mean?
Princess Celestia: For my subjects, it has always been a celebration of my defeat of Nightmare Moon. But for me... [sighs] It was just a terrible reminder that I'd had to banish my own sister.
So, does that mean it's actually been a whole year since all of this pony business started going down?  One year since the events of the very first episodes of the series?  Ah, screw the time period.  It never made sense to begin with.
Anyways, shortly after Celestia leaves, she and Princess Luna are both mysteriously captured by evil dark vines.
And we find out later that for some reason, the Everfree Forest itself is beginning to overtake Equestria.  Why the Everfree Forest?  Because that's where the vines are coming from.
 
So Twilight and Spike fly back to Ponyville to try and figure out the source of the problem.  Not only are there vines sprouting everywhere, but it's also day and night at the same time, the weather clouds are more turbulent, and unicorn magic for some reason is malfunctioning.  So, the Mane 6 are quick to assume that their old friend Discord is the mastermind, so they summon him with the Elements of Harmony for questioning.

Discord: Why, [chuckles] whatever are you talking about?

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Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and spoil the plot, because I can, so it is in fact Discord responsible for all the trouble.  So let's listen to him lie through his teeth.

Discord: Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love what you've done with the place, but I couldn't possibly take responsibility. I'm reformed, don't you remember?

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Discord: Such accusations. And here I thought we were friends.

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Discord: Ladies, ladies, I'm innocent.

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Discord: Would I lie to you?

Discord: Well then, it seems we've reached an impasse. I'm telling the truth, but you think I'm lying.

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Discord: What do friends like us do in a situation like this, Princess Twilight?

Discord: I suppose I could, but after all the hoof pointing and besmirching of my good name, I just don't know if I'm up to it.
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Good God.  John de Lancie is easily the most annoying voice actor to listen to in these episodes.  Can you believe Fluttershy still sticks her neck up for this idiot?

Spike: I knew you were gonna say that...


I'm just honestly convinced that Discord is just sucking up to the Mane 6, including Fluttershy, as I don't think friendship means anything to him at all.  He's not really reformed.  He's just pretending.  There's no other explanation.


But anyways, Zecora emerges from the Everfree Forest and just happens to have a potion that happens to require alicorn magic in order for it to work properly.
So Twilight drinks half of the potion and finds herself at the old Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, where Princess Luna appears, creates an eclipse, and transforms into the evil Night Mare Moon, ending the first episode then and there.

Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2
It takes Twilight a while, but she eventually figures out that she is having a vision of what happened one thousand years ago, when Luna was first banished to the moon.  Since it didn't really help and Discord ended up poking fun at her for it, this was a pretty pointless filler.
 
So Twilight tries again and then sees a vision of Celestia and Luna using the Elements of Harmony to defeat Discord.
And then she finds out about the origins of the elements.


Princess Luna: [gasp] The Tree of Harmony.

Princess Celestia: We have managed to discover the only means by which we can defeat Discord and free the citizens of Equestria. Even without these elements, the Tree of Harmony will possess a powerful magic. As long as that magic remains, it will continue to control and contain all that grows here.

So then Twilight and her friends set off to the Everfree Forest to find out what has become of this Tree of Harmony while Discord obviously doesn't give a shit.
Twilight Sparkle: Seems like only yesterday I was foolish enough to think I should go after them on my own. I don't know what we're going to face in there. But whatever it is, I know we need to face it together.
All: [agreeing]
Riiiiiight.  See, shortly after this part, Twilight's words will end up stabbing this episode right in the ass.  Why?  I'll tell you.
Once the Mane 6 venture into the Everfree Forest, they are all attacked by a cragadile, so they decide to tie it up using the dark vines.  And after that, we are treated to THE worst scene in the episode, hell the entire Season 4 premiere.  And all of it contrary to what Twilight said earlier.
Applejack: You know, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea for Twilight to go back to Ponyville and let us look for the Tree of Harmony without her.

Twilight Sparkle: What? Why?

Applejack: For starters, you just about got eaten by a cragadilly.

Twilight Sparkle: We all did. He wasn't after just me.

Applejack: Sure, but... well, the rest of us aren't princesses.

Oh for God's sake, now those angry brony comments are CANON?!  What the hell's going on here?!

Twilight Sparkle: What's that got to do with anything?


Applejack: Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are gone. If something happened to you, I-I just don't think Equestria can risk losing another princess.

Princess, shmincess.  Aren't they friends?  And aren't they supposed to stick together?

Rarity: Applejack does make a valid point.


What?!  What point?!

Rarity: Even if we manage to save the Tree of Harmony, it won't necessarily mean Princess Celestia and Princess Luna will return.

WHAT?!  WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THAT?!

Twilight Sparkle: But the Tree of Harmony! I'm the only one who has seen it and knows what it looks like.
Rainbow Dash: Huge tree, cutie marks on the trunk, probably being attacked by something hideously awful? Yeah, I'm pretty sure we'll know it when we see it.

Are you SERIOUS?!  Are you frickin' SERIOUS?!

Twilight Sparkle: All of you feel this way? Feel like I shouldn't be here?

Fluttershy: It is probably for the best.

... ... ... ...

GODDAMMIT, MANE 6!!!!  YOU FUCKING BITCHES!  GOD! FUCKING! DAMMIT!!!!


You know, I could list a thousand things wrong with that scene alone, but for the sake of time, let's just grab a friendship scene from another totally random movie and play the two scenes back to back.  So, if you still believe the friendships of the Mane 6 are stronger than ever, let's take a look at these two scenes and compare them.


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That's right.  Twilight's friends just pretty much told her off for a THIRD TIME in this series.  A THIRD TIME.


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First there was "Lesson Zero", then was "A Canterlot Wedding", and now this!  All because Twilight's a "namby-pamby princess" and shouldn't be sticking her neck in where it's not safe.  Isn't that like one of the lamest excuses boys make to protect their girlfriends from possible danger?  Like Edward from The Twilight Saga and Peter Parker from Spiderman and Spider-Man 2?

It's STUPID!  It's fucking STUPID!  YOU MANE 6 ARE DEAD TO ME!!  YOU HEAR ME?!?!  You're FUCKING DEAD TO ME!!!!  I AM SO...


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So as I just proved, Yugi and his friends have a much more powerful friendship bond than that idiotic Mane 6.
And there's more where that came from!  Let's go further into the episode and see just how dumb Twilight's friends were.

First of all, Twilight returns to Ponyville, only to find that Discord is still hanging around and... surprise, surprise... he's acting like a bad guy.  So Twilight decides she just can't stand him and returns to the Everfree Forest to catch up to her so-called friends who gave her the slip earlier.
But they've already found the Tree of Harmony and... guess what?  They don't have a clue what to do next!

Fluttershy: I know who would know what to do. But we sent her home.
Rainbow Dash: It was your idea, Applejack!
Applejack: We all agreed it was the best thing, Rainbow Dash! We were tryin' to protect her.
Now, look!  They're blaming and yelling... that is, until Spike finds them and leads them back to where Twilight is nearly killed by some kind of toxic gas emitting from Discord's plants.
Luckily, her friends save her.  And here's the ultimate irony.
Applejack: I sure am glad you came looking for us.
Twilight Sparkle: Not as glad as I am that you found me.
Rarity: The truth of it is, Twilight, we're simply lost without you.
Rainbow Dash: Yeah. Equestria may need its princess...
Fluttershy: ... But we need our friend.


Okay, let's go over this whole mess one more time and see just how much of it makes sense and how much makes you want to just punch Twilight's friends in the face.


Applejack: You know, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea for Twilight to go back to Ponyville and let us look for the Tree of Harmony without her.
Rarity: Applejack does make a valid point.
Twilight Sparkle: All of you feel this way? Feel like I shouldn't be here?

Fluttershy: It is probably for the best.
 

Rarity: The truth of it is, Twilight, we're simply lost without you.
Rainbow Dash: Yeah. Equestria may need its princess...
Fluttershy: ... But we need our friend.

... This is bull crap!  This is just fucking bull crap!  Seriously, I don't care if Twilight's friends regretted their previous actions, which they actually didn't in "A Canterlot Wedding", I should add.  The Mane 6 are terrible friends, hands down, no questions asked!
SHAME ON YOU, MEGHAN MCCARTHY!!  SHAME!  ON!  YOU!!


Anyways, the Mane 6 return to the Tree of Harmony and discover that they have to return the Elements of Harmony back to where they belong in order to end Discord's new reign of terror.  And get a load of this dialogue that's supposed to make every bad thing right again.

Twilight Sparkle: You're right about one thing, Applejack. The Elements of Harmony did bring us together. But it isn't the Elements that will keep us connected. It's our friendship. And it's more important and more powerful than any magic. My new role in Equestria may mean I have to take on new responsibilities, and our friendships may be tested, but it will never, ever be broken.


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Yep.  What do you think happened to their friendships in "A Canterlot Wedding"?  How is that not broken?!  Oh, and not to mention possibly what happened a few moments ago!
It's bullshit!  It's fucking bullshit!


So Twilight sacrifices the elements and is nearly strangulated by the vines in the process, but the vines are all destroyed, the royal sisters return alive, and for their endeavors, they are rewarded with... a mystery box.
Twilight Sparkle: What's inside it? How am I supposed to open it?

Princess Luna: Six locks, six keys.
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But of course, we have to wait till the end of this bizarre season to find out what's inside.  No surprise, really.


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And that's when Discord lets slip that he was responsible for everything, which we all could have guessed.  Twilight takes one last drink from Zecora's potion and discovers that Discord planted plunder seeds beneath the Tree of Harmony a thousand years ago and planned everything up till now in his conquest to capture the Princesses and, you guessed it, take over Equestria.


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So as you might expect, Discord is gleeful that the Elements of Harmony are gone forever, but Fluttershy uses her friendship with Discord to keep him in line, which I'm convinced is just not going to work for long.

As far as I'm concerned, Discord is still a bad guy, and Twilight and her friends did the stupidest thing ever in this episode.  They let him go for his crimes against Equestria.

Remember Ransik, the ex-villain from Power Rangers Time Force that I brought up in my review on the episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On"?  Well, here's another comparison between him and Discord.
Ransik stumbled upon three Org relics, which copied his mutant DNA and were somehow sent back to the present day era and when Ransik has a change of heart from the end of the Time Force series, admits his terrible mistake about creating the Mut-Orgs and even agrees to fight alongside the Rangers.  And what did Discord do during the plunder seed incident?  He sat back and enjoyed the show!  He didn't do jack shit!  No matter how mischievous and a prankster someone is, that person should at least have heart!  And that's something that Discord doesn't have.  He delights in chaos and enjoys watching others suffer for his own twisted amusement.  Reformed, my ass.

Discord: And rob you of a valuable lesson about being princess?

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Discord: What kind of friend do you think I am?


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And finally, the episode ends with the Summer Sun Celebration and Twilight performing her own Sonic Rainboom.

Ugh...  What a horrible way to start Season 4!  Those episodes were AWFUL!  I know, it's probably not fair for me to say that Twilight being told off ruined everything about the premiere, but think about it.  What good really came out of it?  It was just another pointless filler complete with an excuse to have Discord make our ears bleed!  And you know what's an even bigger shame?  The animation is still awesome!  But all of it is just being wasted on a pointless story that should have ended when Season 3 did.  Twilight being a princess shouldn't have had to open the doors to new challenges because now, based on the start of this season, things are just gonna get worse!  So you know what?  There's only one logical reason as to why this series is still going strong.  In that, there's one word that sums it all up.  Pony.  That's right.  Bronies and other fans just want to see more pony.  They don't care about the contents of each episode or what they're about!  They don't give a shit what happens to anyone or anything!  They just want to see their precious ponies being animated!  That's it!  It's the only logical explanation as to why the series is still going on, as in getting a Season 5 and going on for a good five more years!  Pony.  Just pony.  That's it.

Discord: Oh, poo.



But really, it's not a good time to be a brony.  Trust me.  This is The Thunder, signing off, and remember.  I suffer to review this series so you don't have to!

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2 comments:

  1. Looking back, when I think that "The Crystal Empire" was a better season premiere than this, it's obvious something went wrong.

    And personally, I don't like season-long arcs very much. Doctor Who made me grow sick of them, because every season premiere had some great mystery that would only be solved in the finale. I mean, when I first saw the sight of the Mystery Box, I just knew that it's only going to be opened in the finale when all other hope is lost or something like that. I hope this show doesn't end up doing it every single season from now on.

    Oh, and this episode is the only one where Twilight really has any trouble flying. In all the rest she's pretty much mastered it. Is it any wonder she was nowhere to be seen in "Flight to the Finish?"

    This season, while still having some good episodes, was weaker than even season three overall, And the two-part finale is tomorrow (of which the ending has been spoiled by the first few seconds of one of the teaser clips).

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    1. Regarding the Season 4 finale, I actually found out most of it by stumbling upon an article written by James Zahn, The Rock Father, who somehow saw the episodes already twice with his two young daughters. That actually got me thinking that perhaps the original demographic would be able to sit through the episodes without wetting themselves.

      What I see for Season 5 is just pretty much the same kind of episodes that we've seen in the previous four seasons. Plot, conflict, friendships possibly threatened, solution, lesson learned. I figure nothing is going to really change.

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