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 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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