Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 29: Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1 + 2

Introduction

< Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 >

Season 4, Episodes 1-2

Time to begin analyzing season 4 of MLP:FiM! As I’ve said before, this is the only season that I followed live as it was happening, making it distinct from all the others in my mind. My reviews of these episodes therefore may read a little differently from the rest, with more commentary on how it felt watching them for the first time.

If you’re wondering how season 4 will be divided into posts, my tentative plan is to keep things simple and do two episodes per post all the way through, making part 41 the end of season 4. But it’s entirely possible that I’ll have enough to say about a certain episode that I’ll give it a post to itself, and in that case, I would also have to pick another episode to dedicate an entire post to, because there’s no way I’m squeezing three episodes into one post again. My episode reviews have become too detailed and thorough for that to be viable.


Season 4 Episode 1: Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1

This review discusses events up to early season 6—modest as far as spoilers go, but spoilers no less.

In five words: Twilight Sparkle adapts to change.

Premise: Now that the dust has settled, Twilight Sparkle must learn all the responsibilities that come with being a princess as a new threat closes in on Equestria.

Detailed run-through:

Season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic immediately kicks off with showing a ramification of Twilight Sparkle becoming an alicorn princess that’s far less peachy and perfect than what we saw in the last few minutes of Magical Mystery Cure. Specifically, Twilight Sparkle clumsily practices flying with Rainbow Dash serving as her coach. This scene sets the tone for season 4’s overarching arc: the challenges Twilight Sparkle faces in her newfound princess role. It’s an arc whose handling thoroughly exceeded my expectations as I watched through season 4’s episodes week by week. I was so worried that the Twilight Sparkle we know and love would be overwritten with merch-driven princess shenanigans, but this opening scene already shows us this won’t be the case. Magical Mystery Cure is done and squared, so now we can go back to regular old MLP:FiM. And let me tell you, few things bring me more consistent joy and delight than regular old MLP:FiM.

To hammer in that this is still going to be the same show that bronies love so much, we get a silly little slapstick sequence where Twilight Sparkle flaps her wings too hard, loses control, and lands on a tree branch with googly eyes. This sequence serves a similar purpose to doors slamming Spike in the face shortly after the expository scene that opens the first episode: it tells viewers that this show will be far more than girly ponies doing girly pony things, and it’ll be filled with tons of slapstick and other such humor. In this case, the scene reinforces that the regular lighthearted tone of this show isn’t going anywhere, which was very reassuring to a random 14-year-old boy who was excitedly watching the premiere of the show’s fourth season and would later become the person who is writing the words you’re reading. And now here I am, not far off from turning 23 years old, analyzing the impact of this scene in far more depth than is probably necessary, all because this show is extremely super special and important to me.

But I probably shouldn’t waste too much time reflecting on memories that feel like a lifetime ago and then some. I probably sound like I’m clouded by childhood nostalgia here, but believe me, I love this show just as much as an adult as I did when I was a young teenager.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 28: Magical Mystery Cure

Introduction

< Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 >

Season 3, Episode 13

NOTE: This post was supposed to be released about an hour ago, but it looks like I forgot to schedule it. Sorry about that!

We’ve made it to the season 3 finale now! It’s a huge turning point for the series, as you probably know. Like season 1, this season’s finale is a single one-part episode. But this time, I’m giving the finale a post all to itself, making for my first MLP post that goes through only one episode. It turns out that was a good decision, since Magical Mystery Cure broke the record of my longest MLP episode review to date, surpassing The Best Night Ever by quite a lot! (Yes, I did a word count, not including words quoted from the show.)


Season 3 Episode 13: Magical Mystery Cure

In five words: Twilight gains wings; fans scream.

Premise: In an episode abound with musical numbers, Twilight Sparkle wakes up to find that all her friends’ cutie marks have been swapped. Only she can fix this, using, well you know, the power of friendship.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts with a joyful, triumphant musical number called “Morning in Ponyville”, where Twilight Sparkle wakes up and sings about how this is a perfect morning where nothing can ever go wrong. The fact that this episode immediately starts with this song already tells us that it’s going to be a little different from other episodes of this show; an episode where most things are told through music.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 26: Spike at Your Service + Keep Calm and Flutter On

Introduction

< Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 >

Season 3, Episodes 9-10


Season 3 Episode 9: Spike at Your Service

In five words: Spike contradicts all previous logic.

Premise: After Applejack saves his life, Spike insists on acting as Applejack’s servant as payback and constantly messes things up in the process for some reason.

Detailed run-through, I guess:

*sigh*

I’m sorry for sounding so reluctant here. It’s just that this is the least excited I’ve ever been to analyze a MLP episode, because this episode… well, it’s one of very few episodes of the show that I outright dislike. So bear with me here, OK? I’ll try to get back to the good stuff as soon as I can.

No, I am not going to skip this episode, as tempting as it may be.

To start this episode, Twilight Sparkle gives Spike a day off because she has a huge set of books Celestia wanted her to read over the weekend. Spike excitedly goes outside and goes through a long list of things he’s wanted to do… except it’s a very short list of simple tasks like smelling his feet, which he gets through quickly. At this point, Spike probably feels lacking in identity other than being “Twilight Sparkle’s sidekick”, and while plenty of episodes explore this aspect of his character in earnest depth, this one uses it to lead up to a storm of annoying contrivances.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 22: The Crystal Empire, Part 1 + 2

Introduction

< Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 >

Season 3, Episodes 1-2

NOTE: I published this post about an hour early so that I could get it out and update the previous MLP post and introduction post before going off to do convention things.

How appropriate for my first MLP post of 2022 to be number 22. Well, I actually wrote this post in 2021, but I held off publishing it until 2022 to give my posting schedule some breathing room. 2022 is a complete open book for me; aside from me attending MAGFest at the start (as of this post’s publication, I’m at the convention right now), only time will tell what experiences I will go through as the year progresses.

Also, here’s how season 3 will be divided up. Season 3 consists of 13 episodes, so each post will take up two episodes, except for Magical Mystery Cure, which will get a post all to itself. Not because I expect my review of that episode to be extremely lengthy, but simply because the season has an odd number of episodes and I had said I wasn’t going to do posts covering three episodes anymore. Because of this, one episode of season 3 has to get a post all to itself, so I went with the obvious choice. On the other hand, when I go through later seasons, there will probably be plenty of times where I decide to give an episode a post to itself solely because I expect its review to be lengthy, like Slice of Life or Amending Fences.

But as much as I adore both of those season 5 episodes, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Instead, it’s time to start season 3!!!


Season 3 Episode 1: The Crystal Empire, Part 1

This review has spoilers for up to the season 4 finale!

In five words: Twilight Sparkle begins unexpected test.

Premise: Celestia puts Twilight Sparkle and her friends to the task of protecting the Crystal Empire, which has returned after a thousand years, from the wrath of King Sombra, who has also returned after a thousand years.

Detailed run-through:

Who is this nerdy-looking unicorn girl and what’s her deal?
(I wouldn’t be surprised if fans have a common consensus on what her deal is.)

Season 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic begins with a short scene where a royal guard informs Celestia that “it” has returned. This scene is quite a strange way to begin the third season, but it serves a clear purpose: loosely hinting at a new villain, matching the pattern of every two-part episode so far introducing a new villain. First Nightmare Moon, then Discord, then Queen Chrysalis, and now… it. (I’m talking about King Sombra, of course.)

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 21: A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1 + 2

Introduction

< Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 >

Season 2, Episodes 25-26

Here’s my final MLP season 2 post, as well as my final MLP post of 2021! As I said at the start of the last post, I’ll take a break of indeterminate length before I start season 3 in early 2022. And I’m warning you now: my review of A Canterlot Wedding will be extremely lengthy and detailed. I figured, why not end season 2 with a bang? To be fair, season 2 of MLP already ends with a bang.


Season 2 Episode 25: A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1

In five words: Something is amiss at wedding.

Premise: The Mane 6 and Spike head over to prepare for the wedding of Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, Twilight Sparkle’s brother and childhood babysitter respectively. However, Twilight Sparkle can tell there is something very different about Cadance today.

Detailed run-through:

A Canterlot Wedding opens up with a scene as mundane as can be: the Mane 6 having a calm picnic, surrounded by butterflies and lush trees, with Rarity even sporting a fanciful hat for the sake of it. There is something important to be taken from the mundaneness (mundanity?) of this scene. When an episode starts with something as innocuous and peaceful as the ponies having a picnic, you’ll easily know through contrast that the rest of this episode is going to be an absolute wild ride. The opening scene gives viewers plenty of time to absorb the peaceful atmosphere, even as it’s interspersed with Spike dramatically running to give an announcement.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 12: Lesson Zero + Luna Eclipsed

Introduction

< Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 >

Season 2, Episodes 3-4


Season 2 Episode 3: Lesson Zero

In five words: Twilight undergoes hilarious mental breakdown.

Premise: Twilight Sparkle realizes the deadline for her weekly letter to Celestia is imminent and causes havoc (and hilarity) trying to find, then make a friendship problem.

Detailed run-through:

Spike probably hears the word “checklist” so often that it sometimes doesn’t even seem like a word anymore.

This episode starts with Twilight Sparkle reminding us about her comical obsession with checklists by reviewing her checklist for items needed to create a checklist, then starting her checklist of things she has to get done today with making a checklist of things she has to get done today, which is confusingly recursive. This obsession reminder leads to a groan from Spike and sets the stage for this episode’s focus: Twilight Sparkle’s obsession with order and detail going complete bonkers.

Derpy Hooves is here!!!!!

This episode is where the show’s theme song is updated for the first time, both visually and musically. The instrumentation has been adjusted to be a little more punchy (especially in the intro), and the vocals have been re-recorded. As for the visuals, only the scene above has changed, most notably adding a train with a certain fan favorite background pony inside the roof and replacing the random background stallion with Big Macintosh—a heartwarming testament to the fans and a logical, obvious replacement respectively. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are briefly seen together in the back of the train, which is again a logical addition.

Worth noting that this episode is the first one where unicorns’ magic has a consistent look, with a different color for each unicorn.
Between magic colors and the updated theme song, this episode is the first one that FEELS like season 2.

Twilight Sparkle’s signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder increase as she goes to Sugarcube Corner and picks up a box of twelve cupcakes from Mrs. Cake, except it turns out to be thirteen, and the frosting isn’t spread 100% evenly. You could argue it’s weird that Twilight’s character is exaggerated just for the sake of this episode, but I couldn’t care less in this case because this episode is so hilarious. She resolves the situation by leaving an equally tiny bit of frosting on each cupcake. Most of the frosting ended up on Spike, who comically washes himself using his tongue with a sort of tornado formation, which is perfectly in line with this episode’s sense of humor.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 10: Party of One + The Best Night Ever

Introduction

< Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 >

Season 1, Episodes 25-26

I’m warning you right now: my review of The Best Night Ever is gigantic. It’s my longest episode review yet! My review of Party of One, on the other hand, is fairly short.


Season 1 Episode 25: Party of One

In five words: Pinkie undergoes infamous mental breakdown.

Premise: The day after a birthday celebration for her pet alligator Gummy, Pinkie Pie notices something fishy about her friends and suspects that they don’t like her parties anymore. She doesn’t take this well, to say the least.

Detailed run-through:

This musical sequence is the first time we see Rainbow Dash’s residence, but it’s only the outside.

This episode begins with a musical number where Pinkie Pie visits each of her friends’ houses, giving a singing telegram about Gummy’s upcoming birthday. I love everything about this musical number—Pinkie Pie’s increasingly ridiculous outfits, the scene transitions with Gummy in various poses, her friends’ confused reactions, the song gradually slowing as Pinkie gets tired, and the hot air balloon she rides to visit Rainbow Dash’s place. Not to mention the implication that she sang the song in its entirety to each of her friends individually, leading each of them to have the exact same reaction. The whole thing is so fun and silly, so Pinkie Pie.

After the theme song, Gummy’s birthday party is held with the right amount of humor to be typical for this show while still making it clear that the ponies are all grateful to have Pinkie Pie as a friend.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 9: A Bird in the Hoof + The Cutie Mark Chronicles + Owl’s Well That Ends Well

Introduction

< Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 >

Season 1, Episodes 22-24

NOTE: I accidentally published an unfinished version of this post on April 21. Sorry about that!


Season 1 Episode 22: A Bird in the Hoof

In five words: Fluttershy babysits bird without permission.

Premise: After a party in Ponyville where Princess Celestia came over, Fluttershy notices that Celestia’s pet bird Philomena looks ill and thus attempts to resuscitate her. Frustration ensues, as does the daunting realization that she didn’t even ask for permission.

Detailed run-through:

Oh look, it’s the dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala!
(That’s the only reason why I’m including this image.)

This episode starts with Fluttershy at home tending to her animals, until Angel reminds her of an imminently upcoming brunch party at Sugarcube Corner, where Celestia has come to visit. After Fluttershy leaves in a hurry, Angel locks himself inside the house, finally ready for some peace and quiet. Angel is one mischievous bunny—his name is far more indicative of Fluttershy’s personality than his own. Not because Fluttershy is an angel (even though she is), rather because she thinks of every single animal she knows as an angel.

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