M.L.P Review – S4ep1&2 – Princess Twilight Sparkle

Posted: November 24, 2013 in My Little Pony- Reviews

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Hello and welcome to season 4 everyone! I’m thrilled to be here and doing these reviews of a show I’ve come to enjoy over the past few months. But, I don’t plan to keep the introduction long, let’s jump right into the review!

Season 4 starts with a hectic two parter that does more good than bad, in fact, I don’t have TO much to say about this episode that isn’t generally praising it for its robust and continues quality. Everything was sleek and animated wonderfully, voice acted believably, and was delightfully light-hearted in some areas, and grim in others.

The episode starts out with Twilight (seemingly both forgetting and remembering how to fly simultaneously) “learning” how to fly from her friend Rainbow Dash. It doesn’t take long for her to air her complaints about being Princess and how difficult it must be. Although the entire “we can’t spend time with you because we must help ponyville” excuse the other five friends tell Twilight is decently believable, I can’t help but groan at the forced lesson I’m sure to be treated to by the end of the episode.

The highlight of the first episode comes shortly after, however, when Celestia visits Twilight in her room and describes that the summer sun celebration is somewhat of a fresh slate for Celestia. How she wants to remember this ceremony as the return of her sister, and not the banishment of nightmare moon. The entirety of this scene was surprisingly heartwarming and felt natural. This is of course until a letter from Twilight’s friends arrives and Twilight (stupidly) ignores it for whatever reason.

Queue chaos! The everfree forest begins invading Ponyville and we soon find out that it won’t stop until the entirety of Equestria is under its leafy tentacle-ey grasp! The five other ponies try to help but it’s pretty useless, and after Twilight finds out from the hilariously voice-acted Canterlot guards that the other two princesses are missing, she fail-tastically flies over to her friends in Ponyville.

They of course bring in the seasonal guest star “Discord”, whom is brilliantly voice acted by John Delancie, and from then on the hilarity ensues. We see Zecora bring some random (seemingly out of no where) potion that conveniently needs an Alicorn to activate. Twilight drinks it, and then we get my favorite bits of the episode in sequential order.

We get a whole dollop of Princess and Equestrian lore that I just ate up. Needless to say, I loved every moment of it. We saw Luna’s transformation into nightmare moon (animated to perfection), the stunning battle between her and Celestia (surprisingly intense for a show like this), and then we saw discord stealing Celestia’s tail.

Twilight finds the special tree of harmony from where the elements came, and we get on a less-than-epic mini adventure. Here is where I can pick a serious gripe with the show. The five characters all tell Twilight to bugger off back to Ponyville, while they find the tree. And when she unwillingly accepts, they find that they are quite literally screwed without her. The five ponies are literally hopeless without their “savior” Princess Twilight Sparkle. Something I find absurd and silly as she was just as easily cornered by those perfume-spewing plants.

However, I suppose one could argue that without each other they are less-than-capable on such an adventure… but there could have been much better ways of showing that. Then the gang re-unites, and they easily stop the infestation of the black-scary-plant-tentacles.

As I said in my reaction, I believe that the third act is where the episode began slipping down and down, and it ended up with a hackneyed and downright dumb ending. The defeat of the infestation was underwhelming at best, and the entire idea of Discord “teaching her a lesson” was forced and stupid. Of course unless he has some ulterior motives, which should be interesting. May I just add that I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed his presence as sort of the “Anti-hero” of the show, it’s refreshing and fun.

We did get left off on what seemed to be a “seasonal arc” involving some random tulip-like flower sprouting from the ground and blooming in front of the ponies (and rescued princesses). A chest appears with six keys, and an obvious mystery pops up. In my opinion, we’ll be seeing an episode of each pony from where they gain one of these keys, and for the season finale we will have them open it and I’m sure something big will occur (Hopefully all of them DON’T turn into alicorns).

Overall, this episode succeeded in where it needed to. It needed to be an entertaining forty minutes of light-hearted pony goodness. It succeeded in providing the (unexpected) intensity and drama with flying colors. And the only honest missteps involve the third act being downright lazy compared to the rest. This is most definitely a good start to the season, one that I was very worried about. And I was pleasantly surprised to see the entire gang get enough screen time, and not having Twilight completely dominate the show. Make sure you stick around for more reviews to come, everyone, because if this is any indication for the rest of the season, we are still in the same good and comfortable hands that we were in previously!

 

Pros:

–          Princess Sparkle wasn’t as infuriatingly boring as I thought it was.

–          Discord makes a welcome return as the lovable anti-hero we see him as now.

–          Pinkie pie is present… that should be enough to warrant a “pro”

–          Each one of the characters got a decent amount of screentime.

–          An interesting concept for a villain in the episode.

–          Awesome princess/Equestrian lore

–          Great intensity and even sadness mixed in with decent humor

Cons:

–          Too much backtracking

–          The pacing was decent at best.

–          Unnecessary scenes that did more harm than good

–          The gang being useless without Twilight

–          The third act fumbled too much to be considered a success

–          Sonic Twi-boom? What the…?

 

Grade:

Episode 1: B+

Episode 2: B+

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Comments
  1. Dietz says:

    Discord was perfectly portayed. He’s no longer a villain, but he’s still an awesome master-troll/manipulative anti-hero. He could have stop all of this right when he first appears, but he finally helped save the day in his own twisted way.
    And I just love backstories, even if I’m not sure if those ones were indispensable (unlike in The Cutie Mark Chronicles).
    For a two-parter, it was really simple. It wasn’t funny as The Return of Harmony, emotional as A Canterlot Wedding, epic as The Crystal Empire, but it was still really good.
    Let’s see how Twilight’s relation with the Mane 6 will continue in the serie (the title-introduction still shows Twilight and her friends in Ponyville, sending her photo to Celestia (and Luna, nice add) so we can expect it didn’t really changed)

  2. Leapingriver says:

    rewatching the sonic twi-boom part (I had a similar reaction) I noticed that her horn glows right before she starts flapping, so maybe it’s just a little holographic thing she created, cuz I don’t think there was a ‘boom’ sound. other than that, I agree on most points. Discord was awesome, but even he couldn’t save it from the slippery slope of disaster (ok it wasn’t that bad) that was the final act. I was actually groaning at some of their lines, but it was a decent season premiere. I really hope we get to see more Luna (not in a crazy fan way, but a natural kinda getting to know her better way) and, after hearing Discord sing winter wrap up and seeing him in Fluttershy’s cottage in the theme song, I want to see Discord help “the earth pony way” to clean up winter. it doesn’t even need to be the main focus, just, I want to see that.

  3. YourFriendlyNeighborhoodDerpy says:

    Also, the whole twi-boom thing at the end, I have an explanation for it. Think about what role she plays now that she is a princess. Also take a look at her name. I think, like the princesses, she cant influence, and, I guess, control twilight.

    • We never actually saw her discover this new ability, therefore i’m sort of upset at that moment.

      • YourFriendlyNeighborhoodDerpy says:

        well, they never did tell us anything about what her ‘role’ for the summer sunset celebration is, besides the fact that in someway it was important. Also, I came to this conclusion from where the sun and moon where positioned when she did said twi-boom.

  4. IMO it would have been better if they needed her organization or leadership abilities not simply the we’re lost without you. Thanks to your video review I saw it uninterrupted this time (livestream as laggy as hell for me)

  5. kylethepale says:

    The third act really confused me. Discord making her learn a lesson though, I thought that was pretty clever. It actually shows he can be used for good, even if it is very mischievous. The Sonic Twi-boom thing, I didn’t really see a problem with it. She obviously wasn’t flying nearly fast enough to do it, so I just assumed she used her magic. I think it was a neat little trick, even if out of place. I was really hoping she would crash to the ground at the end, just for some more hilarity. I’d give the episode an 8.5/10. Great, but with noticeable flaws about it.

  6. mynamesnotkim says:

    One of the things I found super interesting from this episode was Twilight using Dark Magic on Zecora’s potion. Zecora said it needed Alicorn Magic to work but Twilight ends up using magic similar to King Sombra’s own. Maybe this means that perhaps Twilight’s magic isn’t at an Alicorn’s level yet, hence why she has to use another form of powerful magic on the potion.
    Another thing I found interesting is Twilight and the rest of the Mane 6 giving up the Elements of Harmony. This means, at least to me, that Equestria’s last line of defence are the Princesses and due to this episode we saw that even Celestia and Luna are not as all powerful as we used to think. Without the EoH this could mean that Equestria’s new greatest defence could be Discord since only his magic was on par with the Tree of Harmony. 

    • Yeah, should be pretty interesting to see where it goes from here.

    • narrator007 says:

      Actually, Discord’s magic was NOT on par with the Tree of Harmony, since his seeds were blocked from sprouting by it for thousands of years, even while it was missing its elements. And since the elements from that tree were able to entrap him, this leaves open the possibility for problems greater than even he can solve showing up. (Pinkie, what are you laughing at? …leaves? Really?)

  7. narrator007 says:

    I don’t know if you want any help with proofreading, but here’s my two cents:

    2nd paragraph: ” its robust and continues quality.” I think you meant continuous.

    5th paragraph: “Queue chaos!” It should be ‘Cue’, unless you meant chaos was being put in a line and made to wait its turn.

    6th: “whom is brilliantly voice acted by John Delancie” For shame! I am shocked and appalled that you would get the great John de Lancie’s name wrong, good sir. Also, I think “who” should be used instead of “whom”, although I admit I’m not 100% certain.

    “(seemingly out of no where)” Nowhere should be one word. Also, I don’t think the words alicorn and princess should be capitalized, despite some people thinking of them as a type of deity.

    8th: “and we get on a less-than-epic mini adventure.” get on —> go on

    9th: Reunites does not need to be hyphenated.

    Regarding the review itself: I’m surprised you didn’t point out the suggestiveness of Discord holding Celestia’s tail and saying he wanted to play “pin the tail on the pony”.

  8. I was not expecting Discord, when they started using the elements, I thought it would introduce a new villain, but than we saw him, and I literary screamed out YESSSS!

  9. AnnaRose says:

    I noticed that you didn’t mentioned the mane six giving up the e!

  10. The shadow Brony says:

    Hi!
    First off all, nice reviews all over! Thankyou! I Enjoyed your commentary of all seasons and value your effort to answer questions and comments on your youtube videos, even if you posted them month ago (before you had to replace the lot….what a pitty. Besides, did you reupload all of them?).
    One observation: Your, lets say “suggestive” remarks have changed vom subtle in the first season to…. well, a little too obvious in the last season. It’s ok, and nice but you don’t have to stick it in peoples faces (u see what i mean)^^. Just a personal oppinion, feel free to ignore if you think differently.

    Finally: Just to be sure, you DID realize that in your youtube S4E1+2 review you missed about 3 minutes of the episode, didn’t you? At 39:05? (That might be why the ending felt so short.)

    All in all nice work, ceep it up!
    Brohove from Germany

    • The Shadow Brony says:

      Oh, and feel free to delete my post after reading, it’s more of a personal message.

    • I won’t delete your post! Hah, why would i do that?!

      I love reading comments/posts so i appreciate anything i can get! Yes i was aware i missed a scene, but i rewatched the episode (with the scene) for this written review, do not fear.

      • Jeffrey Ottersbach says:

        Dear AwkwardReviewer,
        What is ur email address? Because I don’t post my fanfics, I email them out 3 chapters at a time…

        Sincerely,
        Jeffrey Ottersbach (Jeffreyottersbach@yahoo.com)

  11. Oak says:

    I cannot watch your review of this episode on youtube as it’s coming up saying “This video is Private”. That doesn’t happen for any other episode, and i’ve enjoyed watching them all so far. Was just wondering why this happens

    • narrator007 says:

      I have all of Awkward’s commentaries backed up, so if he does not respond or isn’t able to make this one public again, just message me on YouTube and I will send you a link for it.
      (My name on YouTube is the same as it is here)

  12. Moi says:

    Does anyone know when raimbow rocks comes out?

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