Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 15: Secret of My Excess + Hearth’s Warming Eve + Family Appreciation Day

Introduction

< Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 >

Season 2, Episodes 10-12

I didn’t get this post done in time a week ago, so I decided to push it back a week (plus a few hours), making this the first time my MLP posts skipped a week. This may happen sometimes as I prioritize finishing my Homestuck posts (only twelve left!) over making my MLP posts. The good news is, once I finish my Homestuck post series, I never have to think about Homestuck again!!!

Posts about a different work of media aside, we’re now at the first of several points where the episode numbering of my MLP review posts might get a little confusing, because the release order differs from the production order. In this case, Hearth’s Warming Eve was moved ahead a few slots to be released around Christmas. I’ve decided to do these posts in release order, because that’s what most unofficial mirrors of the show do, and I must admit I’ve been using those to watch the show. An advantage of this order is that the season 3 episodes “Just for Sidekicks” and “Games Ponies Play”, which take place at the same time, are side by side.

With those little clarifications out of the way, let’s begin!


Season 2 Episode 10: Secret of My Excess

In five words: Spike’s dragon greed causes havoc.

Premise: As he gets lots of birthday presents, Spike gets carried away with greed and turns into a ferocious, gigantic dragon. (Er, not to imply he wasn’t previously a dragon.)

Detailed run-through:

As previously promised, I’m going to compare Spike’s and Rainbow Dash’s episodes before I start this run-through. Both these characters have personality traits in common, specifically high self-image and tendency to embarrass themselves. Rainbow Dash’s episodes are a frequent source of second-hand embarrassment for me, but when Spike gets up to antics with questionable morality, I more often think, “come on, you’re better than this”. I’m not sure where that difference comes from; both characters in their episodes tend to have personality traits exaggerated or contrived. Maybe it’s because Spike’s personality isn’t portrayed quite as consistently as Rainbow Dash’s? It takes quite a long time—until season 6, I’d say—for the show to start being kinder to Spike, making his episodes before then a bit of a mess. This is easily one of the more tolerable ones, but then you have “uh, what?” episodes like Spike at Your Service. Although I’m generally defendant of Spike’s character, I won’t deny that his episodes tend to be weird.

This beginning of this episode tells us that this is going to be another one of those episodes focused on Spike’s self-admiration. Spike walks in on Twilight Sparkle reshelving her books and holds a fire ruby gem that is supposedly his birthday present to himself. Spike’s self-image is either endearing or obnoxious depending on the circumstances, and in this episode it’s the pivot of the friendship lesson, so it’s naturally going to be a little obnoxious.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 13: Sisterhooves Social + The Cutie Pox + May the Best Pet Win!

Introduction

< Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 >

Season 2, Episodes 5-7


Season 2 Episode 5: Sisterhooves Social

In five words: Sibling frustration reaches breaking point.

Premise: When Sweetie Belle asks Rarity to go with her to the [insert episode’s title here], Rarity refuses and Sweetie Belle decides she wants to be Applejack’s sister instead.

Detailed run-through:

This episode begins with a scene that perfectly demonstrates the premise of its first half: Sweetie Belle clumsily attempting to do nice things for her big sister. To start off, Rarity waves up from pleasant food dreams to the smell of smoke, which leads her to see Sweetie Belle about to prepare breakfast in bed for her. Sweetie Belle starts this show as well-meaning but clumsy and not very good at anything; among the three Cutie Mark Crusaders, I’d say she has the strongest character development as the show progresses. But then again, she’s my favorite of the Crusaders in general.

Rarity’s parents make their first (and only voiced) appearance in this episode, and all I can think about is how unlike every other member of the Mane 6, Rarity didn’t get an episode going in depth on her relationship with her parents. We just know them as parents who embarrass their elder daughter regularly and have far lower standards for food than her, while seeming to get along perfectly well with their younger daughter. They’re supposed to be Sweetie Belle’s regular caretakers until Rarity basically supersedes that role, meaning we don’t even get more scenes of Sweetie Belle interacting with their parents. Rarity’s parents just say they’re going on vacation for a week, leaving Sweetie Belle to stay with Rarity, and that’s all we hear from them.

Rarity having a “parent episode” so to speak would have been GLORIOUS! And yet, she just… didn’t get one, I guess. Ah well, not everything is perfect. The blueprint for a potential Rarity parent episode is there though, with an uptight elder daughter and ridiculously laid-back parents. I’m sure fans have written decent stories of their own about Rarity’s relationship with her parents. Or Sweetie Belle’s relationship with her parents, for that matter.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 7: Sonic Rainboom + Stare Master + The Show Stoppers

Introduction

< Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 >

Season 1, Episodes 16-18

NOTE: I am very busy with final exams right now! I just happen to have this post (and the next one) queued from a few weeks ago.


Season 1 Episode 16: Sonic Rainboom

In five words: Rainbow Dash triumphantly demonstrates loyalty.

Premise: Rainbow Dash hopes to perform a [insert episode’s title here] at the Best Young Flyers’ Competition and is more nervous than she lets on, so her friends try to provide her moral support; mishaps occur on both ends.

Detailed run-through:

yay

This episode begins with a memorable scene where Fluttershy practices cheering for Rainbow Dash. She understands the instructions conceptually, but because she’s Fluttershy, her concept of a good cheer is a soft-spoken “yay”, even as Rainbow Dash continually asks her to say it louder. Fluttershy’s final “yay” is longer but hardly louder than the previous ones; she ends the scene by asking “too loud?”

This scene is by far the most memorable part of this episode, and I don’t know whether that means this scene is extremely memorable or the rest of the episode is extremely forgettable. Either way, I hope we can all agree that Fluttershy’s soft-spoken expressions of joy and cheer are hilarious, as is her severe overestimation of how loud she is.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 5: Call of the Cutie + Fall Weather Friends

Introduction

< Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 >

Season 1, Episodes 12-13


Season 1 Episode 12: Call of the Cutie

This review will contain spoilers for up to season 8! The reason why is because this episode introduces the Cutie Mark Crusaders and thus makes for a good one to analyze in light of what they do in later seasons.

In five words: Cutie Mark Crusaders’ introductory episode.

Premise: Apple Bloom goes on the first of many quests to earn her cutie mark and meets two new friends who also don’t have their cutie marks at the end. Those three dub themselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

Detailed run-through (and by detailed, I mean DETAILED):

This shot near the very beginning of the episode has quite a bit to unpack—one silly thing and one less silly thing.

The silly thing is that two of the ponies in the front row are just recolored versions of Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, which is lazy even by season 1 standards. Well, the Scootaloo recolor does lack wings, but that arguably makes it even lazier. While the pony in the middle of the front row is a minor character named Twist, the other two are total enigmas—almost as enigmatic as the three sitting in the back, who all look about the same aside from coloring and don’t have names as far as I know. Early installment weirdness is clearly at play here.

The less silly thing is that Apple Bloom is seated in the middle row between Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, and I can take a guess at why that is. Cheerilee probably noticed those two were giggling to each other in class constantly and thus decided to put Apple Bloom between them as a buffer of sorts. To Cheerilee, Apple Bloom is probably the “oh yeah, that one” of the class, since she hasn’t met her two best friends in the world yet and thus is kind of lonely, not helped one bit by the two classmates she has to sit in between always picking on her for not having her cutie mark.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 4: Bridle Gossip + Swarm of the Century + Winter Wrap Up

Introduction

< Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Season 1, Episodes 9-11


Season 1 Episode 9: Bridle Gossip

In five words: Basically just Zecora’s introductory episode.

Premise: The Mane 6 get inflicted with various curses and get to the bottom of the mystery by confronting an irrationally feared zebra named Zecora.

Detailed run-through:

Oh look, it’s an accurate depiction of the world in March through May 2020!

This episode begins with Twilight Sparkle and Spike taking a walk through Ponyville on a pleasant, sunny day… except everyone has secluded themselves in their homes. Twilight remarks it’s odd to do that on such a nice day, which is an early hint that the town’s residents have a strange misconception about a certain zebra. Spike brings up the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, which seems laughable at this point, but just you wait until the various two-part episodes where the entirety of Ponyville is brainwashed and essentially becomes zombies. But that’s off-topic and teetering into spoiler territory.

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