Hello, Spongey here.
As reviewer, it’s really hard not to piss people off by covering a certain subject too many times. It seems like every reviewer will get bashed for covering a subject too many times.
Thankfully, no one has bitched at me for talking about Adam Sandler or Phineas and Ferb too much. Even if I do.
My point is that -yeah the punchline is ponies. It’s no secret that some people are hated for talking about ponies if they don’t do it as their bread and butter. I mean, when a reviewer discusses ponies in any capacity, you’ll see at least one comment bitching about that “gay pony shit”.
Well, at least that’s the case for Youtube. You know they suck when even the series itself poked fun at Youtube Comments in Equestria Girls. My point is that if you dislike the series, than don’t watch any videos focused on it. If you are bitching about a reference in another video…well, you don’t bitch about a reference to any other overexposed show. What makes ponies different?
Now, why am I saying all this? Cuz this is like the 4th time I’ve talked about Ponies on here. There was that short list of best songs, the Equestria Girls general review, and of course, the Mare do well review. I still don’t hate it
This will not be the last time I discuss ponies on here. I have another list coming up for it, a remake of the song list, and I will be reviewing Rainbow Rocks when that comes out. So don’t bitch about me talking about it too much.
The odd thing is, I’m not exactly into it as much as some other shows. Yet I plan to discuss a lot in depth. Why is that? I don’t know. I don’t love it the way some others do, yet when I talk about it, I sound as into it as others.
It’s weird. But either way, the show is pretty solid for the great flash animation, likable characters, and solid writing. And today, we’ll be looking at the 4th Season. This past Season sure has been a blast with two story arcs, our first Rarity episode since Season 2, and one hell of a finale.
With the ….feedback from Season 3, you think everypony-…i mean everyone would hate this Season. But nope, it seem to be well liked. Hell, people like Mr Enter say it’s the best Season yet!
Granted, the usual band of people hate it…as well as “professional” analyst (Not gonna name names…), but it mostly well received. And for good reasons. After Season 3, it was nice to get another 20 something episode Season, and like Season 2, it had a lot of variety. On top of that,. They did a good job dealing with Twilight’s princess…ness and Discord’s reformation but I’ll get to that in due time.
We had a ton of new writers, and the old writers were as good as ever. But which episodes from this past year were the best? Which had the best humor, the best writing, and the best stories?
Since it’s not like everyone else has agreed on the best episodes, I’ll be looking at the very best this season had to offer.
This, is the Top 10 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 Episodes
Why Top 10? Cuz shut up.
Just be warned, this is a boring list for all you pony fans. My top 10 is the same as Everyone else..with only two curve balls. And even those are in the top 10 of a reviewer that I may or may not have mentioned before.
Also, each section has SPOILERS!
HONARABLE MENTION: Princess Twilight Sparkle
Writer: Meghan McCarthy
I REALLY wanted to put this in the top 10. Hell, it probably deserves a few eps that made it in. But I also really wanted certain episodes on here, and I didn’t feel like sacrificing them for this one. I won’t go in depth on this one like I will the others, being the runner up at all.
Yes, I could have just made this up a top 11….but I didn’t have a lot to say about this one, so I took it out.
This was a pretty excellent Season opener. I’m not sure if it’s as good as The Return of Harmony, but it’s at least on par. It picks up not too long after Magical Mystery Cure, as Twilight is getting used to her new status.
Then Ponyville is attacked by evil plants and the other Princesses vanish. Adventure ensues. This Season opener was interesting, as it was the first one not to have a real villain. The conflict comes up through magic stuff and not an actual being. Though the plants do have as much as personality as Sombra.
(NOTE: I like Sombra but the joke was too easy)
It was nice to have an Adventure without a villain and it worked very well. It also addressed all of our concerns from Season 3. They address Twilight’s new role and how it affects her life and they address Discord’s role as a good guy. Like everyone else, I felt that “Keep Calm and Flutter on” (Worst title ever, or best title ever?) was kind of rushed when it comes to Discord’s whole deal.
But here, they are sure to tell us that he’s still the same Discord, and he’s well written here. On top of that, we get to see the moment where Luna became Nightmare Moon and it’s really awesome.
There’s some solid World Building, as we find out about the “Tree of Harmony” and where the Elements came from. There’ also good comedy and all the usual things two parters give us. Like all the two parters, we get a big scale adventure where everything is done well.
Then there’s the cliffhanger. Remember how I said there were two Story arcs? This is the big one. At the end, the tree of Harmony sprouts a flower containing a chest with six keyholes. We don’t find out where the keys are or what is in the box…..but we figure it out as the Season goes along.
See, each of the Mane Six have an episode to themselves as their Element is tested. At the end of their episode, they get an object that glows. Fans suspected that that object was a key that would open the box. Yes, there is a reason that random objects open the box.
The fans were right. I have to say, that this was a very well done arc. A great way to show off each characters strength and unlike the other arc, it didn’t piss off anyone with the conclusion!
As for the key episodes themselves….Only two are on the list, but others were good. Well, except for Rainbow Falls but I still kind of liked that one, if only for Bulk Biceps.
“P IS FOR RAINBOW DASH!”
There isn’t too much else to say here. While I feel this is better than Crystal Empire (which is still awesome) and the pilot, those give me more to discuss. For some reason, the contents of this ep keep slipping my mind, and I watched this recently for this very list!
It must be my memory, but since I remember more of the weaker eps, this is odd. But hey, I still remember how good it is, so that’s a plus. Like every two parters, it’s epic and reminds me of why I enjoy this series.
It’s quite good.
Are there any other runners up? Well, two others almost made it on the list. “Filli Vanilli” for the amazing title, and mature handling of the ending with how Fluttershy doesn’t quite get over her stage Fright. But it also had….Pinkie Pie. Yeah, everyone bitches about her actions (I won’t spoil it cuz I don’t feel like talking about it here) and I sort of agree. She was still…kind of funny and she didn’t hurt the episode, but the fact that she never feels remorse for what she says, really brings it down.
The other is “Bats” for the amazing song, and how both sides are valid. Also, Merriwether Williams wrote a critically praised episode for once, it’s one of the better Applejack episodes, and FLUTTERBAT. Why isn’t it on the list? I don’t know.
It deserves it more than a certain entry we’ll get to, yet I don’t have the….enthusiasm for it that I I have for the ones on the list. I don’t know. It’s still great though, so there you go.
Now for the actual list.
10. Daring Don’t
Writer: Dave Polsky
Now for the first curve ball! This is one of those really divisive episodes. And in a show where every episode seems to be divisive, that’s saying something. You either love it (Mr Enter) or hate it (Every other analyst),
I’m on Enter’s side, if you can’t tell.
Rainbow Dash is eagerly awaiting the release of the next Daring Doo book. But when it’s delayed two by two months, she and the others head to the author, AK Yearling’s (GETIT) house to find out what the hold up.
When they get there, they find out that …AK Yearling IS Daring Do, and she’s trying to stop her nemesis, au-…auti…George, from doing evil stuff.
How much you like this episode will depend on how you much to can buy Daring Do being real. If you can buy it, you like the episode. If you can’t, you won’t. For me, it doesn’t matter if I can buy it. It just depends on how good the story is.
The story is good.
Now, can I buy it? Eh, sure. After all the shows and movies I’ve seen, I can buy anything as long as it’s entertaining. There was no evidence that Daring Do ISN’T real, so I can buy that she’s really. Really, my issue was that they didn’t really explain very well. They find out AK is Daring and…that’s it. They don’t ask questions and they move on to RD fangirling over Daring.
The explanations I’ve heard make sense: Daring pretends to be AK and writes about Daring to keep her exploits a secret and make everything she’s fake. Also, extra money.
But I would like these explanations to be in the actual episode. They just kind of force us to accept it. Maybe if they explained it better, this episode wouldn’t be divisive. But that’s honestly a nitpick for me, since everything else is awesome.
For one, it shows how good the continuity in this show is. It all started in “Read it and Weep” where Rainbow gets into reading through Daring do, and learns that reading is magic. Since then, Daring do has been subtly reference every once in awhile.
And now we have an entire episode about her obsession. It’s cool. Daring do is essentially Indiana Jones as a pony, and that’s why the DD segments in RIAW were the best parts. As a casual IJ fan, I really dug that aspect of this episode.
We get some action set pieces, and it’s a lot of fun. Granted, some bits are convoluted but that’s part of the fun. George isn’t the best villain but much like Mane-iac in Power Ponies, he’s not meant to be a real villain in the way that Discord or Tierk is. (Well, was, in Discord’s case).
Also, this line:
“Now, Ahuizotl, you know I love you, but I can’t give you the ring ’til I’ve properly proposed. “
BEST LINE EVER.
But most of all, I actually like the lesson. Being a big fan of Daring, she puts her on such a high pedestal, that she doesn’t see her own worth anymore.
“I got so wrapped up in how awesome she was, I almost forgot about how awesome I was. “
That is a surprisingly solid message. As a fan of people, I can certainly relate to it. It’s a nice thingy for Dashy to learn, and on top of that, Daring learns that something to have to let someone help you sometimes.
Granted the “TEAMWORK IZ KEY” thing has been done, but it’s a nice add on to the main message. Without it, I wouldn’t like this episode as much as I do. Sure, the adventure stuff is fun but it’s not quite enough to make for a great FiM episode.
Thankfully, they put in a message that actually fits with the story. It’s nice and it works. I also like the conversations between RD and Twilight, as they are both fans of Darting, which means it’s full of nerdy talk.
Though it does make think me think Dave Polsky has been on a few message boards. It’s uncanny. Anyway…what else can I say?
We have a fun adventure story with cool action and a solid villain, Rd fangirling, and a great message. What else is there to discuss? I think the reason I’m not going in depth, is cuz I’m going deep into the plot, like I do in my Haunting hour blogs and even that P&F Season 3 list. I’m not going over George’s plan or anything, cuz it’s not really important.
It feels weird. Ah well, I think I explained why I like this episode so much. If you want a more detailed response to the critics against this episode, check out Mr enter’s video on it. Man, for someone I have issues with it, I sure do mention him a lot. Well, he is pretty cool for the most part.
Overall, this was fun episode with a sweet message. Sure, they didn’t explain things well, but it doesn’t matter since this episode is awesome. And really, that’s all I need to say.
Daring Don’t…..insert pun here.
9. Testing Testing, 1, 2 3.
Writer: Amy Keating Rogers
Here’s an episode that wins the award for most relatable episode ever. What do I mean? Well…
Twilight worries that Rainbow Dash is underprepared for a test on the history of the Wonderbolts as part of her entrance exam to join the Wonderbolts Reserves. She tries to tutor Rainbow using standard academic methods, but Rainbow proves too bored and restless to pay any attention. Their friends offer to help Rainbow study through other unique means, only for Rainbow to become overwhelmed by their clashing methods and arguing on whose method is best.
Have you ever had any trouble studying thanks to the broken school system which forces you to use Twilight’s way? Well, here you go. Amy Keating Rogers said this is her favorite episode she has written, and that’s a big part of why.
While RD is a tad bit Flanderized for the plot to work, it’s fine cuz the plot is so good. I’ve had trouble studying (Though not to this extent) in the past, so I’m one of the many people who can relate to this episode.
Most of it it features fun character interactions, and it works pretty well. RD, while a bit too dumb at some points, has some funny lines during the first “act”. At one point, she goes through every “Impatient kid in class” line in the book, and it’s awesome.
Then there’s the methods the others try. Fluttershy ,being a visual learner, tries out a play on the history of the Wonderbolts. Rarity is also a visual learner, and she tries out clothes based on old Wonderbolts fashion. Applejack, being….Applejack learns through experience. And Pinkie….learns through-
…Yeah. More specifically,, she uses a rap. ….Yes, really. There’s a rap in My little Pony. And it’s AWESOME. Yes, really. Mostly because the song itself is a spot on parody of 80’s rap videos, instead of just being a typical lazy rap.
Which method is closer to mine? Pinkie’s.
Anyway, the various methods are pretty cool and we get some amusing bits from RD during all this. I don’t know what I can say about this episode before we get to the ending. It’s just an amusing episode with cool character interactions.
Anyway, since she fails to grasp all of these methods, Dashy just wants to give up. While on a flight with Twilight, the others figure out what RD’s method of studying is. See, Dashy says that while she’s flying, she has super sight or something, which means she keeps a really good eye on what is below her and memorizes all of what she says, even while she’s talking to Twilight.
As you would guess, Twilight has the other ponies in Ponyville help do History of Wonderbolts around town during her next flight, so RD ends up remembering it all. So she aces the test, and it’s a happy ending. The End.
As you can tell, the reason this episode works is the moral. As I said before, The public school is rather…broken, forcing you to use Twilight’s method of studying, and if you fail, you must be some kind of idiot.
This episode says “Screw it” and tells us that everyone has a different method of learning. And that lesson is pulled off very well. A lot of people related to the episode for that reason, and I can see why. It’s the show at it’s best.
See Lizzie McGuire, that’s how you do that moral. Seriously, even HANNAH MONTANA got it right!
….This is a good episode. And in this test, that gets a …B+. Hey, an A is a truly great episode.
Not much else to say except it’s a good episode with a good moral. Let’s move on.
8. Pinkie Apple Pie
Writer: Natasha Levinger
We had a ton of new writers did this Season. Most of them were fine, with the ones with the strongest starts, not being that amazing afterward. Natasha is no different, as she penned the Breezies episode after this. But she’s one of the stronger new writers of the Season.
This was a good debut. Not the best new writer debut (we’ll to that one later) but it’s still good.
Through the power of some thing I won’t get into, Pinkie finds out that she’s related to Applejack. She’s very happy to be part of a family, but Applejack isn’t sure how true this is. So they head off on a road trip to visit an family member they know that is an expert on this kind of thing.
People were mixed on Pinkie in this season. I for one thought she was perfectly fine for most of it. Her actions in the premiere, Castle-Mania and Three’s a Crowd were freaking hilarious. I don’t see why people had issue with her in those.
Then there’s Fily Vanili but I already mentioned that. Either, those people were still happy with her solo episodes, this being a prime example. Okay, this is actually a Pinkie/Applejack ep, but you get my point.
I actually like this one for Applejack more than Pinkie. Pinkie is certainly awesome in this, but she mostly takes a backseat to the Apple family. Applejack wants Pinkie to feel at home with the family, so she they all pretend to be nice to each other, even they get pissed.
And with Big Mac over packing their mode of transportation, Applebloom losing the map, and Granny’s poor navigation skills, that ends up being hard. It’s a lot of fun to see all this go on, as things get worse and worse as the trip goes on.
I especially love this bit when Applebloom thinks she has the map:
“To the M-A- to the, that’s right, P,I’m Apple-”
….If you get that joke, then you were as happy/shocked as I was, seeing that.
I also like how they play with Big Mac’s …limited vocabulary. Eeyup. Pinkie is mostly a bystander in all this, but she’s pretty amusing when gets some time to shine, For the most part, this is just a fun episode without much to analyze. That is until the message, and ending.
At the end, with the help of Pinkie, Applejack learns that being a good family isn’t about being perfect and never arguing. It’s about getting through the hard times, and looking past each other flaws. They didn’t need to put on a nice act for Pinkie, cuz their need to be nice lead to Granny taking them through
“Bein’ a good family isn’t about bein’ perfect as much as it about bein’ able to get through the patches together. About bein’ able to forgive each other for mistakes”
Once this again, this is a great message. There are plenty of shows that have nice family moment, but usually they favor the fighting because Comedy. While this does end with them arguing a bit, it’s still funny and the message is excellent.
It’s refreshing and sweet to see, and it’s a nice message to cap off the episode. This is another simple episode where you can’t say that much.
It’s a fun little adventure has good comedy and a solid message. But there is a bit more to say about the whole Pinke/Applejack thing. At the end, they never find out if they are related or not. It’s left ambiguous.
That sounds bad, but it’s done well. Saying “No” would be too obvious, and “Yes” would open too many questions. And that’s not really the point. Pinkie is accepted into the family anyway, for being so awesome. In the end, it doesn’t matter cuz either way, she’s an Apple to the core.
…Oh yeah, there’s also an awesome song called Apples to the Core.
The ending was well done, and I really like the Apple family in general. This episode was a good showcase for them, with a solid story, a good song, a good message, and a well handled ambiguous ending.
There’s also the issue of Pinkie. She knows so much about how families are supposed to operate, yet she doesn’t talk about her family all that much. Some people say something happened in her back story that is…rather interesting. And the episode coming up doesn’t address that. I personally think she had a bad experience with the family, and when she learned how a family should be, she got obsessed with it to avoid that happening ever again.
Just my two bits.
So yeah, this episode has a lot offer. It has a good story, a good song, good character writing, and of course, a good message.
That’s really I can ask for. I don’t like Apples but I do like Apples! ….As in, I like the famly, not the fruit.
…Pinkie Apple Pie is a good episode…with a great title.
7. Rarity Takes Manehattan
Writer: Dave Polsky
There seems to be a belief that the 7th episode of each Season is cursed. :Let’s see how true that is.
SEASON 1: Look before you sleep. It has a mixed reception, with some liking it (me) and others (Enter) hating it. It’s nothing great but it’s fun and okay.
SEASON 3: Apple Family Reunion., The reaction was mostly “Meh”, so it’s a step up. It was okay. Nothing wrong with it. Also, the song is great.
SEASON 2: The Mysterious Mare do Well. …Okay, maybe there is truth to this.
There’s another trend: Rarity episode are always good. She hasn’t had a bad solo episode yet. So they decided to make a Rarity episode the 7th episode to see if they could break the “curse”.
They did, as this was a beloved episode. And it’s more than deserving of a spot on this list.
Rarity and the gang head to Manehattan so Rarity can enter her Designs in Fashion thingy #4554. She lets let this one chick borrow a bit of out her line, and she ends up stealing it as her own. So now Rarity must have her friends make a new line, even if it means they can’t do the fun stuff they wanted to do.
First off, I must mention the best line in the whole series, which comes RIGHT before Rairty start a a song. Applejack says Dashy doesn’t like musical.
“I know. Ponies just bursting into song at random places at the drop of a hat. Who does that?”
With that out of the way, let’s go over the episode. Dave Polsky was pretty interesting this season. Before now, he was known as a Comedy write. He was good with Comedy, and not so good with everyone else. I thought the stories in his episodes were okay enough (Except for one episode, but that’s a topic for another day). But there’s no doubt that he was better at Comedy.
Until now. For whatever reason, all of his episodes in Season 4 were focused on Story rather than humor. Even Daring Don’t had more of an Adventure feel. This, and some other eps further down the list, had great stories, and they didn’t focus too much on Comedy.
I have no idea what happened to him, but I’m glad he’s switching things up. And this was a good one for him. This one was odd for me.
This usually isn’t the kind of episode I don’t crazy for on my first viewing. Usually praised episodes such as this, take a few viewings to do a lot for me. But for some reason, I really liked this one when I first saw it.
In the first half, I was just liking it, but in the 2nd half I got really into it, like everyone else did. I mostly like the direction it goes in. You think it would be about Rarity trying to get back at Suri (I think that was the name) for taking her designs.
But nope, it’s more about her trying to make her friends create new dresses. She works her friends a bit too much, and forces them to miss out on this musical they wanted to see. So it ends up being a story about not letting people take advantage of your generosity, and not taking advantage of your friends and all that.
I certainly didn’t expect that from how the plot it set up, but it works. It’s hard to really sum up here, but it’s a sort of nice Rarity story. Most of her episodes are about her being very un- generous. Which makes sense, as she needs to show off he flaws to be a well rounded character. But seeing as the others regularly show off their element to begin with, its nice to see her be generous to start with.
I’ve heard people complain about the fact that Rarity is randomly generous here, when she usually isn’t. It doesn’t help that she has a whole song about it.
But here’s the thing. The song starts with this line:
“Oh Manehattan, what you do to me”
Her love for Manehattan is bringing out her generous side. It’s kind of obvious. Plus ,did you consider that maybe this is the result of her development? Now she’s learned to be generous to start with. That is also kind of obvious.
Anyway, it’s nice to see her learn a lesson that doesn’t boil down to “Be Generous” or something. The two main things that Rarity sort of learns were done very well, and they hit many emotional chords.
Eventually, the others make Rarity’s dresses and she presents them at the thing. However, they don’t show up, making Rarity think they ditched her due to what she did. Spoilers, they just woke up late or something.
But given what she put them through, you see why she thinks this. This leads to a really depressing reprise of the song, which is depressing. It’s a really cool emotional moment. Did I mentioned that Rairty lost the fashion week thingy?
Yeah, that’s part of the emotional thing too. Also, Rairty doesn’t thank her friends for their help. Wow, this ep more to it than I remember. Using the MLP wiki for Research is really helpful sometimes!
Anyway, this is all done very well. This is all started out because Rarity just gave away her fabric willy nily, and someone took advantage of her generosity. So yeah, it’s a nice moral that gives us development for Rarity.
“I learned that while there are ponies who will take advantage of your generosity, you should never ever let that cause you to abandon your generous spirit. Nothing feels worse than taking advantage of the giving nature of your friends.
But wait, I have to mention Coco Pomel. Rairty actually leaves before she can find out if she won or not, and Suri tells the other manes that Rarity loss. She doesn’t care because friendship. Suri lied cuz if Rarity doesn’t claim her trophy, it counts as a forfeit, and boom Suri wins.
Huh, she’s one of the smarter villains on the show and she wasn’t even that much of a villain.
Coco went with the ruse until she the generosity shown between Rairty and her friends. So she quite her job and she’s off to do other stuff. Also, she gives Rarity a spool of thread and yes, this is the first Key episode.
The point of the key episodes, is I said before, is too show how each pony learned more about their element, and used it to help another pony find the way. Like how Fluttershy learned that being stern is part of being nice in the Breezy episode. I mention that one cuz it’s not on the list.
(But I did like it, even though people dislike it ala Daring don’t).
It’s a complex, and interesting idea and this episode did it it the best, at least on a critical level. Even if another certain key ep was better. No guesses as to what it is.
Anyway, the thing with Coco adds more cool stuff to this episode. She’s become a somewhat popular character (Though in a fandom where a background pony can become popular, I wouldn’t take this seriously) and I see why. She isn’t the most interesting character, but she’s adorable and serves the story well.
Before I wrap this, I’ll say that the song is pretty good. Not one of my favorites, but it’s pretty catchy and I like it. Not much else to say there.
As a whole this episode works pretty well. They pack in a lot of things to help make this an interesting Rarity episode that goes into her character very well. Whenever I see a good Rarity episode, I am reminded of how good a character she is. Admit, it took you awhile to warm up to her when you started the series.
If the writers failed, she could have sucked but thanks to episodes like this, she’s kind of awesome. There are a lot of cool elements to this one, and it even has good world building, since it shows off Manehattan and all.
It’s easy to see why this was a popular one. It’s well written, it gives us a good message, and it uses the key arc to great effect. It also cemented Dave Polsky one of my favorite FiM writers.
Also, I should bring up one thing that was a big deal at the time. In one scene, Twilight tries to hail a cab and fails. Since she’s a freaking princess, people were confused by this. Actually, throughout the Season, (until “Twilight Time”), people were bitching about the fact that Twilight’s role as a princesses didn’t change much,.
Let me get this straight: People were hating on Twialicorn cuz they thought it would change everything about her. Then people bitch about her not being changed by this.
….I don’t get it.
Anyway, I think this not only makes sense, but it also sends an okay message to kids. For one, this is the pony version of New york we’re talking about. Of course everyone’s gonna be an asshole, regardless of your status.
2nd, this arguably teaches kids that sometimes you can’t get what you want, even if you are a freaking princess. Maybe I’m reaching, but there you go. Either way, it’s no big. And trust me, we’ll discuss this topic later.
Anyway, there isn’t too much else to say. It’s a very good episode with a well written story, a nice message, and wonderful development for Rarity.
It’s pretty good, but it would have been better if Rarity found out that the Muppets and Jason beat her to taking Manhattan. ….Come on, I had to make that joke!
….Good episode, let’s move on.
6. Equestria Games
Writer: Dave Polsky
Oh hey, another choice that will get me crucified. I suppose now is a good time to discuss the Equestria Games arc. It…was not that good. Mostly because they shot themselves in the foot with Rainbow Falls.
See, they built up the Equstria Games thing since “Games Ponies Play” which was a decent episode, by the way. (Also by Dave Polsky, oddly enough). In Season 4, more episodes came along to hype up the games.
A lot of people were looking forward to the big Equestria Games episode. But as it turns out…it’s a Spike episode. Let me explain.
Spike is chosen as the torch lighter for the Equestria Games in recognition of his role in saving the Crystal Empire. But At the opening ceremony, Spike succumbs to performance anxiety and is unable to ignite his fire breath.
As some of you may know by now, people were…not happy to see that this was a Spike episode. People expected it to be about the games, cuz it;s in the title. So an episode focused on Spke was shocking to see.
Some people still liked it, while others hated it. Before I explain why I like it, I’ll defend it a bit. Now, Rainbow Falls is why this episode had to be the way it is.
That episode had Fluttershy and Bulk Biceps trying out to represent Ponyville in the Ariel relay in the games. That episode hand waved the fact that those 2 had to be there, by saying ponies can only be in one event, and all the other pegasi picked a different event for some reason.
That lead to a lot of issues with the episode, the biggest one being the …choices for the event, among other things. While that episode is flawed, I don’t find it really awful, and it has some saving graces. Like Bulk Biceps.
“P IS FOR RAINBOW DASH!”
But everyone hated the episode anyway. Mr Enter feared that this episode wold suck as that one dropped the ball. Thus, this one would either reinforce the one’s issues, or rehash stuff from other episodes.
The writers must have realized this, and thus they made it a Spike episode, focusing on the pressure he feels at the games, as the Crystal Empire kind of worships him. This was pretty much the only way to go, as making it about the games would open up problems.
Now, if Rainbow Falls either didn’t exist, or had no issues, it would be about the games. But no, it did suck (for some) and this was the only way to go. Sorry guys, but it was the only option they had.
Would you rather have an episode about the games that had the issues you bitched about before, or an episode using it a backdrop that has a good story? …The former? Ugh, I hate the fandom sometimes.
But whatever, let’s ignore that. Spike episodes have a reputation for being…not good. I like some of them, but I will admit they tend to be rather average. Not to mention that Spike is rarely treated with dignity.
The previous episode, Inspiration Manifestation, happened to be a Spike episode (the best up to that point, no less), which didn’t help matters. So yeah, two episodes written by Cory Powell doomed this episode. Yay.
Anyway, this episode is a pretty good one. It’s very simple in terms of plot, but it doesn’t matter because it has a great moral. When Spike fails to light the torch, Twilight does it for him using magic.
So thus, he thinks he can light things on fire with his mind. Because ponies. This leads to good Comedy, but eventually he learns the truth. It makes that bit pointless but at least it’s funny.
Most of the episode has antics with episode, most notably him having to sing the Cloudsale Anthem…even though he doesn’t know it. So he improvises. It’s hilarious. And yes, the actual VA made it up just like Spike did. The stunned reaction makes it even funnier. Also..
PINKIE: Nailed it!
In the climax, an accident happens and this big ice thing descends on the stadium. The Unicorns can’t help because thing thingy took their magic so they wouldn’t help the competitors cheat and stuff. Spike sees this and uses his fire breathe to melt the ice, saving the day.
Yeah, Spike is awesome. But he doesn’t think so, as he feels no real pride.
“I just saw what needed to be done and reacted. Just so happens I can breathe fire and… if any of you could do that, you’d have done the same. “
Yeah, even after that, Spike isn’t over his problems. Thankfully, Twilight gives him a speech and Spike lights fireworks at the closing ceremony, while giving us our moral:
“You know, it’s kinda weird. No matter how many times others tell you you’re great, all the praise in the world means nothing if you don’t feel it inside. Sometimes to feel good about yourself, you gotta let go of the past. That way, when the time comes to let your greatness fly, you’ll be able to light up the whole sky. “
Yeah….that’s kind of one of the best morals the show has ever taught. The people that loved this episode say they needed it badly, and I see why. In most shows, they just get over their problems, or they just “suck it up”, roll credits.
But this episode tells us that no matter how much people praise you, it doesn’t really matter unless YOU like you. That’s actually a very good message, that you don’t see often.
And honestly, I’m glad Spike learned that lesson, as it gave the character even more depth. A lot of people ignored that cuz OMG WE DON’T THE GAMES WORST EPISODE EVER.
Yeah, no. This is not an example of a disappointing bad episode. Call me when a character drives another to suicide, a dog gives a baby herpes, or our heroes do gross thing to get someone to barf.
All of those are real episodes of real shows.
I understand some may not like that it doesn’t focus on the games, but just take in what is there. As I said, this is the only way they could write the episode so it doesn’t suck. Personally, I prefer this over what we could have gotten.
Spike is treated with dignity, he goes through good development, and of course, he learns a great moral. Besides, the games are important to the plot, so the title doesn’t lie.
So yeah, this was a really good episode. I’m not sure it deserve to be placed above Rarity Takes Manehatten, but this is my list, and I liked how it treated Spike. So there.
Overall, it’s a good episode for Spike with a moral we can relate that. That’s a pretty good thing to me.
5. Maud Pie
Writer: Noel Benvenuti
Pinkie Pie is eager for her friends to meet her visiting older sister Maud, whom she says has much in common with each of them. When Maud arrives, however, Pinkie’s friends find her to be a dull pony with an unusual interest in rocks, and fail to find any common interest with her despite their best efforts.
This episode was somewhat of a sleeper hit with the fans. Suddenly, everyone was calling it one of the best Season. And yes, it is. Why is so popular? The titular Maud. Man, was she popular.
Why was she popular? Well, you see, Her dull nature means she gives the show a chance to try out dry humor. Something you don’t really expect in this show.
“What is that delightful frock you’re wearing now saying?”
“It doesn’t talk. It’s a dress”
That’s funny on it’s own, but imagine it being said in the driest voice possible. Also, there’s no music when she speaks. All of this creates a very funny and popular character. This may very well be the funniest episode of the Season.
Everything Maud says is funny, and it’s made even funnier by the voice acting. Both her dry nature and rock obsession make for good Comedy. She even has a pet named Boulder. But it’s not a boulder.
SPONGEBOB: It’s a rock!
By the way, Maud puts a sandwich next to Boulder, and the next time we cut to them, the Sandwhich is gone.
There are a lot of funny pats outside of that, as she bugs the others with her Rock obsessed. As a said before, they don’t see to eye and this leads to a lot of funny moments. My favorite is when Rainbow is talking about Maud:
“That pony is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an igneous.”
Don’t you mean “inside an enigma”?
“Nope. I mean igneous. It’s a kind of rock.”
….I’ll save the obvious joke for later.
Anyway, is there more to this episode than humor? Oh yes. If it weren’t for the sweet moments, this would be lower on the list. You would think the conflict would be about Pinkie accepting her sister’s lifestyle.
…That came out wrong. Anyway, that’s not it. Infact, Pinkie is pretty okay it. She’s pretty much oblivious to the fact that they are complete opposites. They never have conflict have each other. That’s pretty impressive, really. They actually have a ….rock solid relationship.
I deserved that.
This show seems to get sibling stuff down perfectly. Well, except Somepony to watch over me but I digress. For the most part, the sibling stuff in the show has been realistic. Well, as realistic as you can get with magical pastel ponies.
This is a good example of that. On the Maud side, we see that she really does love Pinkie despite their differences. At one point, Maud uses super hum-er pony strength to save Pinkie from this obstacle course thing. Don’t ask.
Maud is awesome in more way than one it seems. I can’t stress how well written their relationship is in this episode. Pinkie really wants the others to bond with Maud, but it is just isn’t going to happen.
Okay, so they find something they all agree on, and they bond, right? Actually, no. By the end of the episode, the rest of the Mane 6, and Maud, don’t 100 percent see eye to eye on everything. However, they do learn that it doesn’t really matter, as they have one thing in c common:
They love Pinkie Pie. And that’s good enough.
While that is still cliché (learning to accept each others difference), this did episode did throw me for a loop in some small parts. But wait, I was talking about Maud herself. Time to spoil the episode to make a point!
See, Pinkie has been making Rock candy Necklaces the whole episode, and she’s been making for Maud for awhile. At the end, it turns out Maud hasn’t eaten any of them.
“I don’t really like candy. But I do love Pinkie Pie.”
Pretty much everything about Maud herself works. She’s funny and she gives us 2 important morals.
1. Two people who are completely different can get along but..
2. Sometimes two people just won’t be able to connect because they’re worlds apart, no matter how much they want to, but sharing a common friend can be enough to be friends.
Both of these are important lessons, and they are pulled off very well. I don’t think anyone expected this episode to be so dry, but I don’t think anyone expected it be so sweet with such a good lesson.
And by coating in some great humor, it makes it easier to watch than the more dramatic episode. It’s easy to see why people loved this episode so much.
Pinkie is her usual admirable self, the humor is hilarious, and the lead pony is awesome, giving us some great morals.
It’s just another episode that shows that this series can do things no one expected. It can also dabble in different types of humor, and I respect shows that can change things up.
This episode had a lot to offer, and I bought all of it. It’s pretty good, is what I’m saying. All in all, Maud Pie….rocks.
I’m so sorry.
4. For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils
Writer: Dave Polsky
Sweetie Belle is best CMC. I’m just gonna throw that one out there. While Scootlaoo almost gave her a run for her money, Sweetie Belle is my favorite. Mostly because of the relationship between her and Rarity as shown in Sisterhooves Social, and now this.
Sweetie Belle asks Rarity to help with her costumes for a stage play she put together herself. After the play, Sweetie Belle finds that Rarity’s dresses garnered more praise than the play itself, and accuses Rarity of upstaging her on purpose. Angry, The night before Rarity is to deliver outfits to singer Sapphire Shores in Canterlot, Sweetie Belle spitefully sabotages one of the pieces. …Stuff ensues.
I’ll hopefully get into this another time, but I really like the way Sweetie and Rarity relationship is written. It’s shockingly realistic with a lot of aspects to it. Sister hooves Social looked at Rarity’s side, with her at fault. This time, it’s Sweetie at fault.
Rairty’s dresses upstage her…rather lackluster play, and she’s not happy. Yeah, Sweetie, I love you but you are not an actor, writer or director. Sorry. She admits this at the end, by the way.
A lot of people with an older sibling have felt this sometime in their life. When they feel they are overshadowed by their older sibling. I don’t feel this that often as the stuff my brother does isn’t all that interesting to me. So, I guess I didn’t’ need to learn the lesson ,unless I feel that deep inside and I’m not admitting it. …Nah, I mean what I’m saying.
While Sweetie sabotaging the dresses is a bit sudden, it’s understandable. See, this how you make a character do something bad to learn a lesson. You make their actions understandable, and you make them actually likable. And if you must them flat out jerks, make sure they learn their lesson instead of ruining it with a dumb joke.
…I’m still bitter about No Rhyme or Treason.
The point is, Sweetie is well written in this episode. By the way, I don’t know why, but I love this line, where Sweeite asks a guy what his fave part of her play was:
“…i like those lines you said!”
I’m gonna use that someday. Anyway, after doing the dirty deed, Sweetie has a bad dream. Then she is visited in her dreams by Princess Luna. Yep, Luna’s whole Dream thing is back . It’s a bit confusing, but it was used to great effect in Sleepless in Ponyville and that’s still true here.
By the way, Luna says she sympathizes with Sweetie because her own sister, Celestia upstages her as well …Yeah, they don’t go into it…but that’s interesting. Mostly cuz, as you know, Luna kept her feelings bottled up and kind of turned evil or something.
Luna takes Sweetie Belle to the past to give us a flashback. During Sweetie’s 5th Birthday party, her awesome-ish dress got upstaged by Rarity’s as the kids liked Rarity’s party favors more than Sweetie. Yeah, that’s part of why Sweetie got so mad at Rarity. She’s always been upstaging her.
But then Luna shows her the truth. Sweetie was taking so long that the guests got bored, and wanted to leave. To make sure they stayed, Rarity pulled out the party favors. The rest is history. Yep, Rairty wasn’t upstaging her all along, and the whole was kind of Sweetie’s fault.
Whoops. She is taken to the present, (well, earlier that day, actually) as she sees that Rarity was genuinely working hard on those dresses. I should mention that she had to skip out on the play because she stayed up all night working on both Sweetie’s dresses, and the stuff for Saphire Shores.
So yeah, in this case, Rarity is working hard to please Sweetie, and she’s being kind of a bitch in return. I kind of like the angle, and Sweetie’s further development was well handled. And then Luna shows Sweetie what will happen if Sweetie doesn’t fix her mess with the whole sabotaging thing.
The scene we get then is …pretty damn awesome. Rarity is embarrassed, and she goes insane, checking and re-checking the dress to see where things wrong. She becomes a laughing stock and she refuses to make dresses for anypony.
…Yeah, it’s scary, depressing, and awesome. It’s a really cool, and somewhat scary scene, showing how bad that thing Sweetie did was. It gives her a wake up call (literally) and she goes to fix things. You can fill in the rest of the plot.
Though I do wonder how exactly Luna has the power to show past events she was not present for. I know it’s a dream, but does that mean she time travel? …Yeah, I smell the fanfics from here.
This episode does a really good job with it’s message and stuff. It basically shows that if you’re sibling is upstaging you, you should, you know, talk about it. Or make sure it’s not all in your head.
Also, sometimes one can get so emotionally invested in their own work that they might fail to see its flaws and shortcomings. A lot of writers could learn from THAT lesson.
I like that they made most of the scenario’s Sweetie’s fault in some way. It’s harsh but in a good way. It’s nice story for Sweetie Belle with some interesting development. Plus, I loved the whole dream angle.
…Wait, someone shows a character their past, present, and future, to teach them a lesson about their ways. ..Sounds familiar….Eh, I’m sure it’s nothing.
Either way, this episode is very good. It’s interchangeable with Maud Pie, as I hard time deciding which one was better. I put this one above it cuz…people like it more. And it deserves all of it’s praise.
I gotta hand it to Dave Polsky, he did a great job this season, and this is his best work to date. If he keeps this up next season, he may replace MA Larson as best “Normal” Writer.
Not much else to say here. It’s a good episode with a solid story, great morals, and nice development for best CMC. What more could you ask for?
Also, I love the title.
And now we reach the top 3. Every list I’ve seen has the same Top 3…and this is no different. While the rest the list may have thrown you for a few loops, this will not. The only question is, which order will they be in? Let’s see…
3. Flight to the Finish
Writer: Ed Valentine
Speaking of the CMC, here’s another great CMC episode! This episode is insanely popular for two reasons. For one, it’s about Scootaloo. The other reason? Well…
The fillies and colts in Ponyville compete under Rainbow Dash’s coaching to be the town’s flag carrier for the upcoming Equestria Games. The Cutie Mark Crusaders put together an impressive routine that showcases how all three races of pony live harmoniously in Ponyville.
Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who are also vying, attempt to sabotage the event by pointing out Scootaloo’s inability to fly at her age. Their plan works, and Scootaloo’s inability to fly bugs her, big time.
I’ll be honest. When this episode came out…I didn’t LOVE it. I liked it but I was confused to see that I wasn’t falling in love for it like everyone else. But after watching/reading reviews of it, and re-watching it…twice, I’m on the train. This episode is freaking awesome.
So why is so lauded? The subject matter. I’m just gonna say it: This episode is about disabilities. Scootaloo’s inability to fly, due to her wings, is very much a disability. Needless to say, this is a very mature subject to discuss in a kid’s show, much less one in the My Little Pony franchise.
And thankfully, they pulled it off perfectly. The tbig hing people like to mention is Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon’s …attitude. They aren’t simply confused by her disabilty. No, they single her out for it. They want to bring the CmC down, but they had no other way to do it.
“We already called them Blank Flanks!”
And so they picked on her disability, just to make her feel bad. I’m not usually on the Diamond Tiara/Silver Spoon hate train, for reasons I’ve gone into before, but here…they were eviler than Tierk ever was.
I mean, he took the magic of the Unicorns, and Pegsai, but he never mocked them for it! …Anyway, as you can imagine, this gets to Scootaloo, and this leads to a very emotional story.
When I re-watched this episode for this list, (and then watched it again cuz it was just that good), I actually had not seen the Season 1-3 episodes in awhile. At least, not a lot since they first aired. So this was the first time in awhile I completely invested in the story here, on an emotional level.
Then I re-watched most of the others on here and the rest is history. Scootaloo’s disabilty gets to her, and she has the routine changed so it will give her a chance to try her hand at flying. She tries really hard to fly with her tiny wings, but it just doesn’t work.
She forces her friends to work really hard to get the routine changed, and this really has a negative effect on the new version. They get tired due to this, and they call Scootaloo out. Long story short, they fight.
This whole episode is just insanely emotional. You feel so damn bad for Scootaloo was she tries to get over her disability but just can’t. It’s a classic case of someone’s Semi-Jerk-y ness being understandable, while the others are still likable. It just gets more interesting as it goes on, leading to a very emotional climax.
And of course, we have our moral.
“Listen, Scootaloo. Maybe you’ll fly someday, or maybe you won’t. You’re all kinds of awesome anyway”.
Yeah, the lesson is that disabilities aren’t really a big deal unless you make it a big deal. In Scootaloo’s case, she’s perfectly capable of being awesome without flying. Yeah, that’s kind of an amazing lesson.
I like that they left her ability to fly ambiguous. Will she ever fly? We don’t know, and this episode says it doesn’t matter either way. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most mature stories the show has done to date.
The only problem is that it takes halfway through the episode to get to this…but I don’t mind. Mostly because they had to set up the concept of them doing this whole routine based on the different type of ponies in Ponyville. So the whole no flying thing will hit even harder, and it gives the villains a bigger reason to do this outside of…the Evulz.
So while you could say they spent too much time setting up the Equestria Games, I say it’s just to rightfully set up the conflict of the episode. Besides, the stuff leading up to is still enjoyable.
Oh, and it has a great song. I won’t say too much, cuz I may have a chance to discuss it again (hint hint) but I will say that right after the song is my favorite joke in this season: At the end of the song, they jump in the air, and it pauses.
…Then there’s a close up shot where the CmC fall, realizing there’s nothing supporting them. That was hilarious.
You really have to applaud the writers for tacklng a mature subject in a kid;s show. But I must also applaud them for making it work within the story. This easily could have been A Very Special Episode, but instead it’s a very sweet story with Scoots that happens to tackle a mature subject.
THAT’S how you do it, writers.
There’s really not much else to say that hasn’t already been said. Why isn’t this ep higher despite being objectively the best? Eh, I just ENJOY the next 2 more. This is technically better than the next one, but the rather heavy subject, and minor filler, make it less enjoyable for others.
But despite that, this episode was fantastic, with emotional moments, mature writing and solid development. Plus, a great song.
….I like it. What else do you want out of me?!
2. Pinkie Pride
Writer: Amy Keating Rogers and Jayson Thiessen (Story)
Yeah, obvious choice is obvious. I don’t think I’ve seen so much love for an episode since…ever. Everyone,and I mean everyone, says this is the one best episodes ever. Even the most harsh critics of the Season say it was good. That’s how good it is.
I’ve gone through various stages on my thoughts, from loving it so thinking it has flaws making it weaker than Flight to the Finish. But in the end, I put it here for a few reasons…
A party planner named Cheese Sandwich arrives in Ponyville on the same day Pinkie Pie is planning a party celebrating Rainbow Dash’s birthday and anniversary of her move to Ponyville. The townsfolk, including Pinkie’s friends, are entranced by Cheese’s partying and allow him to plan the festivities instead, leaving Pinkie dejected. Refusing to be outdone, Pinkie challenges Cheese to a “goof-off” to determine who will headline the party.
Okay, let’s just get the obvious thing out of the way: Cheese Sandwhich is voiced by Weird Al. That’s…amazing. How did we go from..
“She’s our Sweetie Burp”
Weird Al has appeared on plenty of cartoons (Johnny Bravo, Lilo and Stitch, Wordgirl, …annoying orange?) so it isn’t too shocking he would be in this show. But it’s still…weird.
I may as well talk about his performance first. Normal Celebrity appearances suffer from having the Celeb be either boring, shoehorned in, or both,.
Weird Al isn’t a normal celebrity. So he.was awesome. This is mostly because the writers actually give Cheese a character outside of Weird Al as a Pony. He’s kind of like that, but it works. He’s not just “Goofy Weird Al” all the time.
As the episode opens, we see him observing a town in Clint Eastwood garb, with a rubber chicken on his back, talking about his next party. This sets the tone perfectly. Al manages to very serious despite having silly dialogue, and stuff like that,
This means he gets to act instead of just spouting dumb jokes. That makes his performance awesome, thus not falling into the usual traps. His character is fun and so is he, but we’ll talk more about him later.
Let’s talk about the story itself. At first glance, it seems rather cliché. New guy shows up, upstaging our hero at their own game and becomes more loved. Didn’t they already do with in “Owl’s Well that Ends well”?
However, they manage to put an interesting spin on it. For one, both sides learn an important lesson. They don’t just say Cheese is the best thing. It’s just that that …anyone would follow Weird Al if he popped up, let’s be honest. Also, Rainbow is used to a Pinkie Pie party and she just liked a change of pace. She even tells Pinkie ”no offense” when she says she wants Cheese as her new party planner.
While it may seem like it, they don’t just prefer the new guy out of nowhere. However, they do ditch Pinkie a bit too quickly, and they apologize for that. However, it’s Pinkie who learns the more important lesson. In these stories the moral is “Don’t be jelly” but this has a few others along with it.
After Cheese takes her audience, Pinkie starts questioning her own worth. And after a couple minute, she sings a sad song and decides to give up. …Yeah, that’s the only flaw. Pinkie gives up WAY too quickly. However, it still works because the song is so damn good. We’ll get to that in a minute.
So Pinkie decides to upstage Cheese by challenge him to a Goof Off at high Noon…er 3:10. As in, a contest where they just goof off, and Rainbow decides who gets to plan her party. As stated in the Goof off Rulebook..
“She has a rule book for just about everything”
Long story short, no one wins because Pinkie’s antics put Rainbow in danger. Pinkie then realizes that SHE was in the wrong the whole time. She let her pride get in the way of actually making Rainbow happy with a party.
“No. I’m sorry I let my pride get in the way of you having the best birth-iversary ever. Cheese Sandwich really is a super duper party planner, and he’ll be a terrific headliner. I should’ve been a big enough pony to admit that and let you have your day. “
Usually when this type of story says our hero is in the wrong, it falls flat. But it works here…because it’s kind of true. All Cheese did was show his stuff, and she let her pride get the better of her. But the odd thing is, you root for her because you feel bad for her. Cheese is so seemingly better that she thinks she shouldn’t be a party planner anymore.
And thanks to that sad song, we are on her side. But seeing her almost hurt Rainbow makes us realize that she was in the wrong for trying to upstage Cheese. That’s pretty impressive, really. I bet someone had found ways to say this story sucks but for me, it was way better than expected with these cliches.
Of course, they assure Pinkie that while Cheese is a great party pony, Pinkie is their best friend, and Ponyville’s real party pony.
“Nopony could ever take your place, and we could never have a party without you.”
“ Rainbow Dash is right. I never meant to take your place in Ponyville. “
That leads us to the twist. Spoilers, but at this point, you’ve turned away to write angry comments, if you care about spoilers.
As it turns out, Cheese became the party pony he is today, because of a party he saw in Ponyville…being thrown by Pinkie Pie.
“So I was the pony that threw the awesomely spectacular party that inspired you to become an awesome spectacular party thrower?’
Now that’s a great twist. It makes Cheese very interesting, as he was only doing this to impress his idol, in a way. His back story is interesting and this adds depth to a character I didn’t think would have any.
And so we have our happy ending, and oh look it’s a key episode. Cue polka filled credits. So yeah, this episode was awesome.
Not only is it very funny, with a great performance by Weird Al, with good songs, but it has a surprisingly good story that twists some old cliches. No one is the bad guy here, and they make you root for Pinkie while still making her in the wrong.
And oh yeah, it’s a musical episode. Not quite as big Magical Musical Cure, and while the songs in that one were better-.
…Anyone else hear an explosion?
-this was still great. The songs move the story along fine, and they are all good. Yes, Weird Al gets the best ones, and oddly enough, he didn’t wrong them. Yet he sounds like he did, which is impressive. My favorites are “Super Duper Party Pony,”, Cheese’s true intro, and “Pinkie’s Lament” the sad one. Though I also like “The Goof Off” for two reasons:
1. It has the best gag in anything ever. I won’t even spoil it.
2. Cheese sings the Smile Song.
“That’s my song!”
‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’/
I want a Weird al pony medley. Thanks MA Larson! …I mean Meghan McCarthy. I mean Amy Keating Rogers! Bah.
It didn’t need to be a musical, even more so than MMC, but you got Weird Al, so you may as well use him. By the way ,as a side rant to the makers of the most recent itunes Soundtrack:
You had several songs, many of them sung by Weird Al. And which one made it on the soundtrack? The Auto Tuned pop song at the end no one remembers. It’s good in it’s own right but…seriously?
But Overall, this episode is just as great as everyone says it is. It’s funny, it’s catchy, it has a good story, and it has Weird Al. It’s just awesome.
Though to be honest, I almost put FTTF above it, for being more emotional. When it ended, I was still thinking about awesome it is. With PP, that happened, but it was more of “Well that was awesome” feeling than anything.
So why is this higher? It’s easier to enjoy, I suppose. But why, it’s awesome no matter how you slice it. It takes an old story and makes it work, by adding good writing and Weird Al.
Not much else to say. When the Brony fandom unanimously likes something, it’s a big deal. Glad it went to an episode that deserved it.
So what the hell could top that? Well, the Pony savvy guys reading this may notice there’s only one notably good episode left. So yeah, you already know.
My Number one MLP Fim Season 4 episode is….
1. Twilight’s Kingdom
Writer: Meghan McCarthy
MR ENTER: zomg, Ten out of ten, best episode ever!
…Not sure if I would go that far but HOLYSHITTHATWASAWESOME!
…Yeah, let’s talk about it.
Twilight Sparkle laments her fulfilling duties as a princess, but Celestia, Luna, and Cadance affirm that she will have a duty to serve. News arrives that Tirek, a powerful centaurian foe from Equestria’s past, has escaped from Tartarus and is draining magic from ponies to grow stronger. They send Discord to take care of him but….well, a lot of shit ensues.
I’ll be honest. For once, I don’t know where to begin. There’s so much awesome-ness to talk about it, guys. So I apologize if this section is more cluttered than the others, which is saying a lot.
I suppose I might as well narrow it down by the three main Elements that make it worth.
This show has had a reputation for hit r miss villains. Nightmare Moon was arguably the most interesting due to whole Luna thing, but she wasn’t the most badass thing ever. Discord is amazing but he turned good so he doesn’t count. Queen Chrysalis is pretty awesome but some say her plan made no sense. Sombra is said to be boring, Sunset Shimmer is just an Alpha-Bitch, and Mane-iac wasn’t meant to be taken seriously so she doesn’t count.
People have noticed that the 2 big villains people hate (Sombra and Sunset Shimmer) were penned by Mrs McCarthy herself, so thus, it’s said that making her villains is her weakness. Yet she seems good at using villains others have created (See: Discord in Princess Twilight Sparkle, Three’s a Crowd, and this).
So she figured she may as well dig something out of the depths of G1, and we have the best villain the show has had to date. But sense he’s taken from the best Non-G4 villain, that’s not shocking.
Since I’ve kind of reviewed Triac’s debut, I may as well compare the two. They so are different, that Tirek may as well be an original villain. Tirac was mostly about scaring the crap out of people and capturing people with a rainbow of darkness, and turning them into dragons for no reason.
Tirek is more about manipulation, and getting shit down himself. Sure, Tirac did stuff but he mostly had his weird dragon monster things do to work for him, and when he went out to take over, he tasted the rainbow, going down fairly easy.
Tirek was able to get a former villain to join his side, and while he had help from him, he was still able to suck out the power from all the ponies by himself. Tirac is pretty badass, but mostly compared to what I expected.
Tirek is just badass in general. He’s an awesome presence, that can be manipulative and super powerful. I honestly saw him as a real threat, and I was on the edge of my seat as he got even more powerful, He’s just so amazing.
Sure, he aint’ got a complex back story, but a good villain just needs to be semi-interesting and BADASS to be worth my time. Besides, he kind of has a backstory. He and his brother Scropan came to Equestria to take it over, but Scoropan fell in love with the ponies (Okay, that’s directly from G1) and turned on him. So Tierk was banished into Tartus.
How did he escape? Well, in the Season 2 Episode “It’s About Time”, Cerbus left his post. Yes, that episode said that a version of HELL exists in this world. This is still for little girl’s, right?
Anyway, Tierk was able to escape due to that. Yes, a minor little thing from one episode that people forgot about, had a huge impact on the plot. Damn. Hey wait a minute. Discord was the only one who could defeat Tierk, and Twilight being an epic Alicorn was the only backup plan.
…That means Celestia had them reform Discord, and gave Twilight a test to become an Alicorn, cuz she knew about Tierk and made sure they could stop him if he gets powerful.
Anyway, the short version is that Tierk is a badass. And now onto my 2nd thing.
2. Twilight (and the Key Arc)
Twilight certainly got some development in Princess Twilight Sparkle, as they established that she would still be the same after growing wings. But here she got some of her best development to date.
As I said, her role as a Princess isn’t adding up to all that much. Wait, didn’t fans bitch about that, as I discussed way earlier? Whoa, it was on purpose! THESE WRITERS ARE INSANE GENIUSES!
….The princess assure her, through an amazing song that she is important, but Twi still isn’t sure. Then they discover the whole key thing, and Twi realizes that she hasn’t gotten hers yet.
This is where the keys thing comes in. Everyone has had their key (Rarity’s is a spool of thread, Rainbow’s is a Wonderbolts medal thing, Applejack’s is one bit, and Pinkie’s is Cheese’s Rubber chicken, boneless) in those episodes, and here they tell us that. We were the ones that figure it out, the show hadn’t said that yet.
I put the Key Arc up there, as I didn’t want to mention it anywhere else. This episode resolves it in a very nice way. While the other members of the Mane 6 don’t do a lot in this episode, they do a lot in the other episodes that affects this one. They did something involving their elements, and they got something that will help open the box. So they pretty much did their share of the work, so get off your lazy ass, Miss Sparkle!
…So yeah, the key thing was cool here. Before has a chance to think twice about the keys, Tierk shows up and starts taking all the magic. And loooong story short, the princesses give Twilight their magic, so she hide it from Tierk. Too bad they forgot that there is a little picture of Twilight right in that big ass room. Good thing he missed it until the plot told him too.
Despite that nitpick, doing this made sense for reasons Enter went into. As a side note, which his review if you have questions I skip over. That, and it’s one of the best reviews of anything ever.
Twilight hides but eventually Tierk finds him thanks to that pictu”re, and…he blows up her tree/library.
A FEW EPISODE EARLIER:
“None of those ponies had anything valuable enough to trade for my books. Not because these books belong to a princess, but because they helped make me who I am…..I may not ever need to read these again, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value.”
Holy shit, this was awesome. That thing was the center of a lot of adventures for her, and it’s just…gone! I thought that this was an awesome move on their part.
…Yes, I know about the petition. Don’t remind me.
So Twilight gets mad? How Mad? She runs at him AND BLASTS HIM WITH A FUCKING BADASS Beam. And then it leads to an epic DBZ fight scenes that ruins the landscape, and has them blasting each other left and right!
….Sorry. But let’s think about this for a minute. This show has had fight scenes before, but this scene has been compare to Anime, like Dragonball Z. DRAGONBAL Z! MY LITTLE PONY CAN BE TRUTHULLY COMPARED TO DBZ!
That is amazing. It’s the best fight scene in MLP. And I love that I can say “Fight scene” and “MLP” in the same sentence!
…Anyway , long story shorty, stuff with Discord happens, and they get the key to open the box. And it contains a badass rainbow power which they use to blast Tierk into hell for good. This is almost as awesome, though I will agree that the rainbow powers look kind of dumb.
In the end, Twilight finally realizes that she has a role in Equestria: Princess of Friendship. Meaning, she has the power to unite people as friends. So she went from Bookworm who knew nothing about friendship into an Alicorn Princesses who can harnesses enough power to fight an epic villain, and unite ponies as friends.
Her development in this episode was really good. It was on its own, addresses something that bugged fans, but it really capped off everything she had learned in the past 4 Seasons. It has wonderful and it showed just why Twilight is best pony.
…But Fluttershy is still my favorite.
And last, but certainty not least.
Speaking of development, holy crap. Any complaints I had about KCAFO are gone, cuz this did the same arc 1000000 times better.
Tierk uses the old trick of telling the reformed villain that is weaker now, and that he should be a bad guy again. Discord had shown to faithful now, at least to Fluttershy (see, he’s on my side) so why does he change sides like that?
Well the rest of the episode makes that clear. Discord had a nice friendship going on, but he didn’t have the true power he did before. Tierk offers some power AND friendship, so Discord gives in and becomes evil.
Now, people have been arguing over whether Discord had a plan or not. What do I think? I think he’s Discord, and he was doing whatever Discord wants. I think at first he planned to betray Tierk latter, but got sucked into his promises of friendship But he payed the price later.
But before that, he captured and mane 6 ,and we had this moment:
“Surely you must have seen this coming”
FLUTTERSHY: I didn’t. I really didn’t.
God. Damn. It. It may seem small, but it lines up with the most emotional moments in the whole series. Applejack holds Fluttershy as she cries during this, and the look on her face say DISCORD YOU WILL DIE.
As expected, Tierk turns on him, even though he gave Discord a freaking medal as a sign of their friendship. And he takes away Discord’s magic to make it worse.
APPLEJACK: Surely you saw this comin’.
“I didn’t. I truly didn’t.”
Look, there’s only so many times I can GOD FUCKING DAMNIT in one post. It’s…heartbreaking to say the least.
And then we have this bit later on, as Discord is captured along with everypony else:
“We aren’t worth it!”
“Oh, but you are, Fluttershy. You’re the pony that taught me that friendship is magic. -I had magic and friendship, and now I don’t have either.”
Yeah, this is one of the most amazing things ever. You get it. And to cap it off, after Twilight gives up her power to Tierk in exchange for her friends…
“Tirek tricked me into believing that he could offer me something more valuable than friendship. But there is nothing worth more. I see that now. He lied when he said that this medallion was given as a sign of gratitude and loyalty. But when I say that it is a sign of our true friendship, I am telling the truth.”
Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. Discord’s development is excellent here. His stuff in Keep Clam was okay but this is what it should have been. Wait, people said that KCAFO should have been a 2 parter, to flesh out his reformation.
…Meghan McCarthy, you insane genius.
Every step of the way, his development was incredible. He really did learn that nothing is worth more than friendship, and he learned it the hard way,. It has many heart breaking moments, and it’s just awesome.
Infact, this may be the best story arc we’ve seen in the shoo. Yes, really. And those are my main 3 points, and in the process I just gushed about single little thing in this episode.
Yeah, sorry this was so ….cluttered. Let’s just wrap this up. There’s another song, that’s catchy I suppose, where we see all the characters from the key episodes that lead us here. Yes, even …the Breezies, which is weird since this happening cuz a rainbow is spreading all over the land, the Breezies are kind of in another realm. Dimension traveling rainbow?
When the song ends, so does the episode. It’s a bit rushed, but it works. And it’s only a nitpick in this otherwise amazing episode.
I’ve pretty much said everything I need to say. But I need to address one more thing. A lot of people say that the two parters are a lot alike, and this episode was just checking the boxes. Silver Quill even made a Mad libs for it!
While I do agree they tend to hit the same notes, I didn’t realize it until someone pointed it oiut. And honestly, this does it better than the others. Mostly because it gave Twilight’s dilemma lot more weight, it gives us extra development with Discord, and it raises the stakes, making us care more.
And it has one of the best fight scenes ever, showing off some of the best flash animation I’ve ever seen in my life. So now, it isn’t “Calculated” at all.
And that’s part of why it’s so good. It takes the traitors of the other 2 parters and takes it up to 11. It makes it stand out, and I like that.
Well, I think I’ve gushed enough. I pretty much spoiled every little scene, as I always do. Overall, this Season Finale was fantastic. It had a great story, great development, great conclusion to a story arc, and great….everything!
From the minor Comedy moments, to the epic fight scene, it has everything I could want. While all the other episodes on this list hit my good buttons, either for Comedy or Emotion, this one had the latter in spades. It had many “big dumb smile on my face” moments, which only Flight to the Finish accomplished prior.
I’m not sure if it’s my favorite episode , I would need to re-watch some to decide, but it’s still amazing. All that and more makes this finale, the best episode of this awesome Season.
And that was my list. Hope you enjoyed me stating everything everyone else has said, and spoiling everything or those not into the show yet. Overall, it was a great Season with a lot of fantastic moments, and proof the show is only getting better.
I’m very much looking forward to Season 5, and what it has in store. I mean, it will have Episode 100! That’s gonna be awesome in the mean time, we always have Rainbow Rocks!
..I’m kind of looking forward to it.
Now, you may wondering: What are my favorite episodes of the other Season? Well..
COMING SOON: TOP 15 MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC EPISODES (SEASONS 1-3)