FrogFinest MLP Review – S4E1&2

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Other Peoples - MLP Reviews

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Well it’s about time Season 4 arrived.  I will be doing these reviews along side Awkward on this site, but instead of using his system I will be using a 5 star rating system.  So let’s begin.

The premiere of Season 4 is acting as the first impression for the fan base and everybody else viewing, so the importance of this episode being good goes without saying.  And the reality is, it actually is pretty good, but it goes on an up-and-down roller coaster of quality throughout each act, making plenty of room for improvement.

The episode starts off rather lighthearted, as usual, this time with Rainbow Dash giving Twilight flying lessons.  I’m not even going to state the inconsistency with the Season 3 finale since it’s probably been played down to death. That scene pretty much declared that the tone of the show would remain the same through season 4, which I’m rather glad for.

The first portion of the episode, mostly deals with Twilight addressing her newfound responsibilities as a princess and dealing with them, mostly through an expression of stress (glad to see she hasn’t changed yet).  This makes for a rather touching scene with Celestia later where they recap on the Summer Sun Celebration and it’s definition, establishing a relatable connection with Celestia and Luna.  It was a rather fantastic part of the episode for now the two main princesses are actually being built up, and in a good way if I might add.

However, random chaos eventually ensues when thick black vines each with a sense of consciousness kidnap Celestia and Luna and wreak havoc throughout Equestria.  Of course these vines originate from the Everfree Forest, and the reasoning why is addressed later on in the show.  This leads to the Main 6 trying to solve the problem to no avail, as the vines continue to command and conquer.  The main 6 then claim Discord to be the problem and try to get him to fix everything.

Now Discord is reintroduced again, and throughout the episode he is actually executed rather well to atone for the pathetic attempt the writers made at reforming him in Keep Calm and Flutter On.  Throughout the episode he is still as free-spirited and taunt-full as ever, while still retaining some control over what he can and especially cannot do in Equestria.  He is practically the prime source of humor throughout the episode and the animation for him is still as imaginative and funny as always.  He was overall a fantastic addition to the episode.

Zecora then comes in with a potion that, when combined with alicorn magic looks like milk or some other white liquid that certainly won’t be taken out of context, and allows Twilight to see into the past to find a solution to their problem.  This leads Twilight to witness the battle between Celestia and Luna during Luna’s corruption as princess a thousand years ago, and ultimately in the most intense action sequence this show has had.  This revealed nothing useful for Twilight, so she takes another swig of the substance and is shown the confrontation between the princesses and Discord that also took place a thousand years ago.  After that, Twilight is zoomed out into another event of the past where Luna and Celestia approach the “Tree of Harmony” that brings forth the origin of the elements and suggests several things about the nature of the elements and what they overall represent. Overall, a huge plus to this episode was the world building aspects it brought up, elaborating on past events that were only talked about but never shown.

However, beyond this point is when the episode begins falling on it’s face.  Twilight is convinced the Tree of Harmony has something to do with it, so the Mane 6 begin their quest through the Everfree.  Here the pacing is insanely poor where every attempt at creating emotional and sentimental moments with the Mane 6 is rendered weak and useless.  Not only that but that lead to pointless backtracking that lead to wasted time that could have been used to develop the sentimental moments properly rather than throwing them at us, expecting us to bite.  Basically the biggest problem with these scenes was that they wasted a huge amount of time doing hardly doing anything eventful and failing at whatever they tried to do.

From there, Twilight and Spike begin searching for the others (they got separated in the mix of the backtracking) and in the end of the search Spike ends up finding the rest of the Mane 6, but renders Twilight vulnerable to a set of giant facehugger-like plants.  These plants emitted a blue gaseous substance that KO’d Twilight, leading Spike to get the others to rescue her.  In a disappointing fight sequence the others manage to deal with the facehuggers to save Twilight before said facehuggers could eat her.

I’m going to shorten the rest of the events beyond this to save space on here because frankly I see that this review is getting a bit big.  They reach the tree, another weak attempt at a sentimental bonding  occurs between the Mane Six, Twilight saves the day by sacrificing the elements of harmony to kill the vine monsters and save the princesses, the Mane 6 receive a box with 6 locks that nobody knows how to open, and the Summer Sun Celebration occurs with Twilight miraculously and randomly performing her own version of a Sonic Rainboom.  These scenes did both good and bad, where yet again potentially fantastic moments were rendered unimpressive, while on the other hand the rest of the season has a new story arc to work on.

So overall, this episode was pretty good for a premiere.  Much like the one from the first season, it set up the rest of the season in a lot of different ways, acting like a true premiere unlike the previous two.  It had a decent first act and a fantastic second act, but it’s third act was simply pathetic, hurting this shows grade dramatically.  The unnerving amount of plot holes and inconsistencies this episode were more than present, but the majority are certainly overlookable by the quality of the acts they were presented in.  In general, this episode did a lot of good and a lot of bad, but overall a lot of the bars this episode had are rather forgivable.

Overall Grade:3.5stars ~FrogFinest

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Comments
  1. Topher Osborne says:

    ‘Sup! Totally gonna be the first one to comment here! So I assume you are going to post a blind reaction eventually? Guess I get to practice patience…
    In regard to the backtracking, the point was obvious (if you put yourself in the writer’s perspective). Separating Twilight from the main group so that…yeah, the “why” isn’t very strong here. It is unfortunately because of the time constraints. I personally think that the “backtracking” could have served a purpose if executed properly. (My ideal setup would involve Twilight arguing with Discord, revealing more of Twilight’s psyche and allowing us to learn more about her character.) The other part of it, involving the other five of course, needed more time to build the tension the writer alluded to. Without a proper “rising action”, the construction of tension is out of place. Rainbow Dash and Apple Jack’s bickering could have worked if only the writer had more time to create the tense atmosphere.
    This next part is theory on the overarching story. Read it if you think you’d be interested.

    I am probably over-analyzing the episode, but I suspect foul play regarding the tree’s magic. It is possible the tree simply ran out after all this time, but I am entertaining the thought that somebody tampered with it causing the plants to overtake it. There exists no strong evidence to support this…but I don’t think it can currently be refuted either. Let me list all 3 possibilities I can think of.
    1. The tree ran out of magic. The writer’s intention is to remove the Elements of Harmony for the sake of Discord’s role in a future episode.
    2. Discord altered the tree, causing it to lose its magic. This would establish that Discord is either evil or at least attempting to secure a guaranteed freedom (for a future episode).
    3. An unidentified being altered the magic of the tree for an unknown purpose. Perhaps this individual can harness the magic in a way for a self benefiting end. This would lead to the unintentional attack from Discord’s seeds.
    The first choice is the most probable, but I will have my fun at forming conjecture early on in hopes I can figure something out before everyone else. 😀

    • You definitely noted the most gaping problem this show has had. The writers have an ambition where they want to add everything they think they can to make the episode better, but in the end they just end up adding too much in. It’s fine to be ambitious, as long as you balance it out with time constraints and make time to build up what you desire to fit in. I feel like I have said that their ambition is a problem way too many times in my commentaries, so I refrained from mentioning it in the review. I can appreciate it, sure, but for God’s sake I thought they would have learned by now. ~FrogFinest

  2. Topher Osborne says:

    I left a reply earlier, but it is no longer present…

  3. tvmovieguy says:

    What plot holes were there?

    • Twilight suddenly being able to perform a Rainboom of her own and Discord’s character inconsistency during the flashback wish the princesses. The latter is up to interpretation though. Those two were the ones that come to mind at the top of my head, though I recall seeing plenty more. ~FrogFinest

      • tvmovieguy says:

        Well, Twilight was using magic, and Discord’s character in the flashback seemed consistent to me.

      • Topher Osborne says:

        Actually, I didn’t notice any inconsistency with Discord’s character…I guess we have different perspectives on it. Are you referring to his clearly thought out plan against the royal sisters to combat the Elements of Harmony while when facing Twilight he didn’t concern himself with a similar one? I suppose that could be considered inconsistent, but if I were to try to explain it away, I would say he took the threat of Celestia and Luna seriously because they clearly could defeat him, while the threat of Main 6 appeared trivial to him.
        (**Sidenote: Celestia and Luna were alicorns before they found the Elements of Harmony, which if you are into figuring out the pony-lore, makes you think they were born Alicorns, and not created like Twilight or Cadence, since the only ascension we have seen required the elements.)
        And for Twilight’s “Sonic Sparkboom” (–Megan McCarthy) (Though I think Twiboom will become the term of choice), she did indeed use magic for an effect as tvmovieguy says. I assume Celestia just wanted to add a bit of flare to the event…you never know what motivates Celestia…
        The one that caught my eye the most was during the flashback involving the sister’s fight (Twilight will now gain her instinctive flight abilities all unicorns carry in emergency situations), but the flashback would have been quite a bit less interesting if Twilight couldn’t follow them, and I really wanted to see, so I just turned a blind eye.

      • Well “magic” is honestly a seriously lousy excuse for a character to go from one extreme to another in terms of flight ability. Magic can do a lot and give a lot of leeway, but a person can only stretch their suspense of disbelief so far. And as for Discord’s inconsistency (matter of interpretation here) he used the plants thinking that they would hatch soon and capture the princesses. However nothing about this seems like anything Discord would ever do. I mean, he has the powers of a God and has a million different other ways he could capture them that are both funny and effective, and it seems completely out of character of him to go with a method that does not resolve in anything humorous once so ever. Depending on the perspective, that’s a character inconsistency. ~FrogFinest

  4. KyletThePale says:

    Very interesting. I can’t wait to see more from both you and Awkward. I do have to disagree with the two plot holes you said in the comments. There were other ones that were more obvious, like how the main six are useless without Twilight, and that Twilight learned how to fly by the end of the episode, when Fluttershy at times does good to stay airborne when going anything above 20 mph and locks up when falling. I’m not counting how Scootaloo still can’t though, because obviously the writers plan on explaining that one, or at least touching on the subject. Discord’s character throughout the whole thing seemed forced, but it was still enjoyable and had great humor. That maid outfit at the end though, I still can’t stop laughing at that.

    • As I said, I caught PLENTY on, those two were the ones that came off on the top of my head. Though a lot of Discord’s behavior seemed rather off in this episode. So I will agree with you there. ~FrogFinest

  5. KyletThePale says:

    Also, not to be mean, but you guys may want to have someone do grammar and spelling fixes. I know Narrator did proofreading on another review, so you may want to see if he can do it.
    Site, not sight in the first paragraph.
    Put a comma after However in the fifth paragraph.
    Arc not arch in the second to last paragraph.
    Two not too in the last paragraph.
    Plot holes not potholes in the last paragraph.
    And I think that should be it. Sorry if I sound like an ass.

  6. Draxeid says:

    Hey Awkwardreviews i wanted to ask you where is MLP s4-e1-2 ? they are not on your YT channel can ya help me? i realy want to see your reaction to it 🙂

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