Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 18: A Friend in Deed + Putting Your Hoof Down

Introduction

< Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 >

Season 2, Episodes 18-19

I didn’t get this post done last Friday, so I decided to push it back a week. Given how busy I have been with work, don’t expect this to be an uncommon occurrence.


Season 2 Episode 18: A Friend in Deed

In five words: Pinkie luckily resolves romantic tragedy.

Premise: On her mission to be friends with everyone in Ponyville, Pinkie Pie hits a brick wall in the form of Cranky Doodle Donkey.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts with an 80’s exercise montage with 80’s sounding synth music—you know, the kind of music that seemed to only exist in the 80’s and vanished into thin air the moment that decade ended. The montage features Pinkie Pie, as you can see above, and it shows her getting the hang of taking care of the Cakes’ babies, a refreshing contrast against her struggles in Baby Cakes. Somehow, the very existence of this scene was erased from my head before I wrote this post! While I definitely don’t know every MLP episode like the back of my hand, you’d think I would remember the intro scene of this memorable episode, but nope, apparently I forgot its entire existence.

I guess talking farm animals in this show are phased out more gradually than I had thought.

That said, me forgetting about this episode’s intro scene may have something to do with how it’s unrelated to the rest of the episode, especially with the part following the theme song where Pinkie Pie greets numerous inhabitants of Ponyville and shows how universally beloved she is. This scene doesn’t come off as unbearably sugary, at least not to me because Pinkie Pie is such a laugh riot.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 17: Read It and Weep + Hearts and Hooves Day

Introduction

< Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 >

Season 2, Episodes 16-17


Season 2 Episode 16: Read It and Weep

This review contains spoilers for season 4, but only in the overall thoughts section. Still coloring the title red to signify as much.

In five words: Allegory for becoming a brony.

Premise: At the hospital, Rainbow Dash finds herself captivated in a book that she had aggressively waved off, but she refuses to admit it to any of her friends. Does this sound familiar???

Detailed run-through:

Warning you now: this review will be more than a little self-indulgent because the entire episode reminds me of how I became a brony. It’ll be one of my reviews where the detailed run-through is extra super detailed.

Imagine what it’s like watching this episode for the first time, unaware of what it’s about. Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity watch Rainbow Dash perform stunts in the sky, until she gets out of control and injures herself. We don’t see the injury, but rather hear sound effects and reactions from the ponies shown above, loosely indicating that it’s not something good. This cleverly leads up to the dire circumstances that cause Rainbow Dash to become the in-universe equivalent of a brony.

For a pony as action-oriented as Rainbow Dash, a hospital may as well be a prison. She’s forced to stay there for a few days, and she is incredibly unhappy about it. Rainbow Dash’s imminent obsession with Daring Do comes about through circumstances that would be dire and grueling specifically for her—circumstances that cause her to reach the absolute peak of boredom. This episode is much like a story that takes place in prison, except more kid-friendly. Then again, people often use “prison” as a figure of speech anyway.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 16: Baby Cakes + The Last Roundup + The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000

Introduction

< Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 >

Season 2, Episodes 13-15

Now that my Homestuck blog post series has been finished (final post, if you’re curious) for almost a month as of this writing, I figured now’s a great time to resume my MLP blog post series after a four-month break! I’m continuing once again with the schedule of posts every Friday at 9:00 AM EST, and I hope to do a steady stream of MLP posts in the downtime as my first full-time job progresses. This is probably going to be my main therapeutic hobby project for the rest of the year, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is a much less intensive and head-screwing thing to do than writing progressively longer-winded blog posts analyzing a webcomic written by an insane person.

Alright, now let’s get this running again!


Season 2 Episode 13: Baby Cakes

In five words: Pinkie Pie struggles with babysitting.

Premise: Pinkie Pie babysits Mr. and Mrs. Cake’s newborn twins, and they turn out much more of a handful, er, hoofful, than she had anticipated.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts with the Mane 6 in a hospital, in awe at Mr. and Mrs. Cake’s newborn twins: Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake. Naturally enough, Pinkie Pie gets extremely excited about the birth of the babies, and she almost blows her party horn extra loudly until the nurse pony tells her to quiet down. This scene already sets the premise of the episode quite well, showing that Pinkie Pie has no idea how to properly deal with babies.

It turns out Pound Cake is a pegasus, and Pumpkin Cake is a unicorn, which is very anomalous for babies birthed by two earth ponies. Mr. Cake explains that he and his wife have absurdly distant relatives who were a unicorn and a pegasus respectively, which raises some interesting implications about the Cake family line. Were these ponies really that stuck up on being purely a group of earth ponies? Maybe it’s fair to assume that in Equestria, only in recent times have ponies of different races been more open to marrying, considering the married couples we see in later seasons.

… What, don’t give me that look!!! If you can’t handle me analyzing one-off comedic lines in far more detail than anyone asked for, then maybe you should read someone else’s reviews of every single MLP episode.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete

Introduction

< Part 139 | Part 140 (the end!)

Act 7 + Credits + Closing Thoughts

Pages 8127-8130

This is it, folks. This is the end of my Homestuck post series.

Are you ready for the grand finale of my Homestuck blog post series? After six long years going in and out of working on my Homestuck posts, I have finally reached the finish line. I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get started on my final Homestuck post. It feels far more amazing than I could have ever imagined to actually be at the final point, not just imagining when I might reach that point.

There’s many ambitious projects that I’ve started over the years—since I was a child, in fact—but most of them fizzled very early on. A fair portion of those projects I got quite a good way through, but a much smaller portion of those did I successfully finish. On the day this post is published, I can proudly say my Homestuck blog post series has joined the elite club of personal projects that I have finished. The post series spent almost two straight years being a project that I thought I would abandon forever, but eventually I somehow had it in me to resume it after all, and from then on, it was an on-and-off climb to the finish line, which is where I am now.

After one year and seven months working on this post series, one year and ten months putting this post series on pause, and two years and nine months working on and off in months-long bursts, I proudly present to you Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 140: The Circle of Stupidity Is (Not) Complete. What better way to name my last Homestuck post than with a reference to an anime that I haven’t seen? I sure can’t think of any.

(By the way: happy sixth anniversary to my first Homestuck post! A fitting day to release the last one, if I say so myself.)


Alright, now let’s begin this post with Act 7!

Act 7, as you should already know, is a nine-minute animation that concludes Homestuck, released on the comic’s seventh anniversary. You should also already know that it is a very divisive ending that is often argued to leave a lot unresolved, and that it is animated in a style heavily inspired by anime, giving closure to the long-running misconception that Homestuck is an anime. Before writing any of the text from this paragraph onwards, I rewatched Act 7 in its entirety, and one thing is immediately clear: I had somehow never appreciated before how stunning the animation is. This may have something to do with the fact that when the flash came out in 2016, I knew nothing about any anime, and was expecting Act 7 to be… please don’t laugh at me for this… a gigantic walkaround with every character interaction possible. In retrospect, I think my dissatisfaction with Homestuck’s ending came mostly from the unresolved character interactions!

Now of course, my more positive reaction to Act 7 today no doubt relates to how the epilogues resolved the threads it left open in a way that brutally deconstructs the concept of plot resolutions. The epilogues allowed me to appreciate Act 7 much more for what it is: a beautiful animation that mostly shows things we already knew would happen, but in a fashion that’s stunning enough to be a worthwhile ending flash. But even putting aside the epilogues, I think I’ve outgrown all those childish complaints that I once had about Homestuck’s ending content. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 22 years old, huh? You realize that some things really aren’t worth getting hung up about.

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Homestuck post series update (for the last time)

I’ve finished writing my final Homestuck post!!! It’s all on track to release on September 20, the sixth anniversary of the first post.

Over the next few days, I’ll reread my Homestuck post series in order and go along the way fixing mistakes one last time, and perhaps trimming down on the retroactive edits as I’ve already said. I’ll be busy with an upcoming full-time job, but if I have some time to spare, rereading those posts sounds like a nice thing to do as I take a week-long break from Internet presence.

Did I mention I’ll take a week-long break from Internet presence? It’s because of my upcoming job, which I feel it’s only right to prioritize. The break won’t start today; it will be from September 13 to 19. And then on the 20th, my final Homestuck post will be released, and all will be well. I’ll see you then!!!

(Holy shit, I’m really excited to be done with my Homestuck posts.)

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 139: Six Battles to End Six Acts

Introduction

< Part 138 | Part 139 | Part 140 >

Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 + the following pages that aren’t technically part of any act

Pages 8087-8126

Also to end six act acts, and six act act act acts. The post’s title is even six words!
(Oh, who am I kidding, no one cares about that.)

I have only two Homestuck posts left!!!!!! Oh my god, this is so exciting, do you even know how excited I am? I’m so close to the end, and it’s going to match SO perfectly with the next phase of my real life starting, having a full-time job and saving up for my own house and car and stuff while having properly sent off my relationship with Homestuck. I can’t believe I’m almost done! And to think that for most of 2017 and 2018, I thought I would NEVER finish this post series… boy am I glad I was wrong. Let’s fucking GO!!!

This is what Collide looks like in the Homestuck Collection.
A lot cleaner than using YouTube’s interface, don’t you think?

Act 6 Act 6 Act 6 of Homestuck consists entirely of Act 6’s ending flash: [S] Collide. Collide isn’t technically a flash—it’s actually an 18-minute YouTube video, which is understandable because in 2016, I believe Flash was already announced to be discontinuing in a few years. And because the last time Homestuck had a flash over ten minutes long, the Internet basically broke.

The loading percentage hits 33% at the start of Act 6, and 66% at the start of Act 6 Act 6.

Even though it’s not technically a flash, Collide still starts with a fun little “loading screen” just like Cascade did. Collide’s loading screen charmingly shows how much Act 6’s size has expanded beyond its original intent, divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions, the last act of which is itself divided into a series of acts interspersed by intermissions. Collide, the last of those act act acts, is represented by black; Act 7 is represented by white. This makes for some fun color duality going full circle to Homestuck’s early acts.

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A few updates! (two Homestuck posts left, reformatting complete)

So… I’ve finally done it. I’ve fixed formatting on every single post from before the move from Blogger to WordPress, and it only took me just shy of two years!! Now that that’s done, I’m ready to do the last two posts in my Homestuck blog post series, and boy is it an appropriate time to wrap this project up. The next phase of my life is really shaping up now—I have a new job starting in two weeks and will spend quite some time preparing for the job (or rather, the online training it starts with), but when I’m not preparing for it, a good thing to do would definitely be to wrap up this project that I started when I was a measly little high school student.

It’s truly mind-boggling that I have only two Homestuck posts left—138 posts complete, two yet to be done, and after that I’m finished for good. Here are my plans for the last two posts.

Homestuck post number 139: This one will cover all 18 minutes of [S] Collide and the visual panels that follow. I’m going to start working on it after I publish this post, and I estimate it will take a week to get done. Expect it to come out around September 6, give or take a few days. Collide is a flash that I don’t imagine I will analyze in too much depth relative to its length, at least not compared to [S] GAME OVER. And while there’s not a lot going on in the visual panels that follow, this post will likely end up pretty long anyway.

Homestuck post number 140: This one will cover all 9 minutes of Act 7, all 6 minutes of the Snapchat credits, and end with some closing words about how Homestuck has impacted my life and how it feels to be finished with this project. I will release it on September 20, the sixth anniversary of my first Homestuck post. Hussie took seven years to complete Homestuck; I will have taken six years to complete my Homestuck post series if things go as planned. I have a lot in mind for the post series’ closing words, and I hope it comes off as heartfelt instead of just plain rambly.

One more thing unrelated to Homestuck: You may know of my work in large numbers, specifically the site Pointless Large Number Stuff. You may also know that Google Sites as we know it is going away in two days—I could simply “upgrade” to the new Google Sites, but I know a lot of formatting and images would break, and a lot of features would be unsupported. Later this year, I plan on figuring out how and where to port the content over with new revisions and updates, plus some general cleaning up. I wish I could do this updating now, but it’s difficult to dip my feet back into a field I’ve long moved past, so porting the site’s content will instead serve as a nice little side thing to do when my job is progressing and my Homestuck posts are finished. But I have some good news about the large number site: you can consume its content exactly as originally intended through the Wayback Machine! And it looks like the same will hold true for the many other sites on large numbers hosted on Google Sites, given others’ archiving efforts. I’ve made HTML backups of all the site’s pages regardless, and those will no doubt come in handy for whenever I decide to move the content somewhere new. I’ll figure all this out eventually, but for now I have a Homestuck post series to finish!!

One more thing related to Homestuck: My rewritten posts are canceled because I’m really not motivated to do them anymore. Here’s what I finished of the latest one. At least I got through some of Act 4… right?

Cookie Fonster Re-Critiques Homestuck Part 16: The Dawn of the Eggy Looking Thing (unfinished)

Introduction

< Part 15 | Part 16 | (cancelled)

Pages 1455-1577

Act 4, Part 2 of 6 (if I had not cancelled these posts)

Link to old version

I’m just going to say it: My rewritten Homestuck posts are cancelled. I just don’t have the motivation to do them anymore, especially since I’m very close to the end of my non-rewritten posts—all that’s left is [S] Collide through the credits. This is what I had started of the sixteenth rewritten post; I had written it early in March and sat on it for five months.

Speaking of which, later today I will post an announcement of the very little that’s left with my Homestuck posts! Stay tuned.

Once a dutiful lawyer, always a dutiful lawyer.

What have we here? An illegally parked vehicle.

You sure hope this guy’s got a swollen porkhollow. He just landed himself in citation city.

Here’s our first look into the Aimless Renegade’s past, back when he was the Authority Regulator. His carapacian perception of the law humorously clashes against humans’ priorities, when his first thought upon noticing the wrecked car is not that it’s wrecked, but that it’s parked illegally.

> AR?: Surround the scene with caution tape.

Gonna be real here, it’s always felt a little confusing that the exiles’ past selves are noted using question marks. That confused me greatly during my first read of Homestuck, where I thought the mystery was, “is this guy AR or is he not?” I’m not sure of a better way to denote exiles’ past selves than a question mark—other punctuation characters would be much less fitting—so I guess this is the best that could be done. Maybe following alternate self acronyms with question marks is akin to something text-based adventure games tend to do and I just don’t know it because I don’t know anything about adventure games? Whatever, this is kind of a pointless tangent.

This looks much more orderly. Public safety has been assured. Your sworn duty as an AUTHORITY REGULATOR has been upheld.

To carapacians, this sort of judgement as to what is and isn’t legal is probably perfectly normal. Maybe that makes sense, because it’s a simplified version of the concept of law and exiles are meant to repopulate planets with simple ideologies.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 138: Emotional Memories and Fight Preparations

Introduction

< Part 137 | Part 138 | Part 139 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 12 of 12

Pages 7939-8086

I’m so close to the finish line… SO CLOSE.

My eyes aren’t deceiving me, are they? Will the next Homestuck post after this one really be the second last, as the text “Part 139” above so indicates??? If this is true and I’m not hallucinating, then all I can say is god DAMN. This has been one hell of a wild ride—a ride with numerous excessively long bathroom breaks, but a wild ride no less. I think it’s fair to say we’re now in the home stretch’s home stretch!

Finishing up the pages I had wanted to cover last post, it’s time to go through Terezi’s monologue to Vriska, which together with the following flash was the last Homestuck update before the Omegapause began.

gallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG]

GC: H3Y
GC: YOU TH3R3?

I love the choice of making this monologue a pesterlog instead of a dialoglog, and not just for nostalgia reasons. The dialogue format is a great way to remind us of the turbulent relationship Terezi and Vriska have had since the trolls’ arc and how far back their dynamic goes… OK, fine, it’s also nostalgic.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 137: You’re Welcome for Me Existing

Introduction

< Part 136 | Part 137 | Part 138 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 11 of 12

Pages 7881-7938

I finally made it to the greatest moment in Homestuck history!
That’ll be towards the end of the longest post in my Homestuck post series’ history.

I’m, um. Wow. All I can think right now as I start this post is wow. I’m really doing the final post covering pre-Omegapause Homestuck—the last part with the art drawn by Hussie, the last part before Homestuck’s true ultimate final stretch. I’m already in my Homestuck posts’ true ultimate final stretch though, since this is my fourth last post. After this post which I expect to become insanely long, I’ll only have three posts left before the finish line!! (SMALL CHANGE OF PLANS: This post won’t cover all the rest of pre-Omegapause Homestuck; Terezi’s monologue to Vriska and the flash that follows will be in the next post.)

I’ll likely finish writing my final post (number 140) quite some time before September 20, which is when I plan to release it. Before that date, I’ll do one final read through all the posts start to finish, comparing them to the old versions on my Blogger site (up to number 96). I’ll be fixing errors, editing maybe a few passages for clarity, adding back passages I needlessly removed, and probably trimming down some of the retroactive edits. While a few years ago I had wanted to rewrite my old Homestuck posts and keep them the best commentary on Homestuck I could possibly do, now I view the posts more as a chronicle of sorts detailing how my thoughts on Homestuck (and the entire concept of analyzing Homestuck) evolved from 2015 to 2021. And plus, I frankly want to move on from Homestuck for good after finishing these posts. As such, once I’m done with the final round of edits (and with my final Homestuck post), I think I’d like to keep my Homestuck posts as is.

To start this post off, we have a little scene with Calliope entering Jade’s house, which looks quite barren—everything’s been probably collecting dust during post-retcon Jade’s lonely battleship journey.

I can tell Calliope is fascinated seeing the portrait of dream Jade on the Prospit/Derse themed fireplace.

CALLIOPE: oh, hello, sir.
CALLIOPE: i’m looking for a man they call… “the mayor”.
CALLIOPE: is that yoU?

So distracted that she didn’t notice the Mayor’s sash, plainly showing who he is.

CALLIOPE: oh, silly me.
CALLIOPE: of coUrse yoU are!
CALLIOPE: it says so right there on yoUr handsome sash.
CALLIOPE: how nice it is to meet yoU!

Here, we get a cute little live example of the Mayor communicating with voiced characters using hand gestures—something we don’t get a lot of in Act 6. It’s nice to see him doing so firsthand, even if it’s for something as simple as indicating he is the Mayor.

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