Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 65: The Saddle Row Review

Introduction / Navigation

< Part 64 | Part 65 | Part 66 >

Season 6, Episode 9

This episode was originally going to share a post with Applejack’s “Day” Off, but the review turned out long enough that I changed my mind. I’ll do more paired-up posts until I reach an even-numbered episode that’s worth giving its own post—my current candidate is The Times They Are a Changeling.


Season 6 Episode 9: The Saddle Row Review

In five words: Mockumentary tells boutique’s clumsy beginnings.

Premise: Rarity has finally opened her boutique in Manehattan, called Rarity for You, and it gets off to an incredibly bumpy start because her friends all are too concerned with the question: “What would Rarity want?”

Detailed run-through (aka The Saddle Row Review Review):

“The Saddle Row Review Review” is a joke I came up with before I even started this post series.

This episode starts with five of the Mane 6 running in panic, hoping they can stop Rarity from reading the review of her new boutique. Given the highly anachronic order this episode is told in, this is quite amusing. Even after successfully setting up Rarity’s boutique and admitting they screwed things up along the way, they still feel a desire to maintain a perfect image to her friend. Normally, Rarity is the one obsessed with keeping a perfect image, but this time, the rest of her friends take this role while Rarity happily embraces her friends’ quirks.

Rarity looks angered when her friends arrive, but it turns out she was merely exhausted from waiting. Then she squeals in adorable excitement because she wanted them to read the review together.

Rainbow Dash: Um… I have an idea. How about we don’t read it?
Twilight Sparkle: What she means is, before you read it, we should probably tell you about—
Rarity: No, no, darling. Please, no spoilers.

I’ve previously talked about a pattern in Rarity episodes where the rest of her friends are clumsy but well-meaning, always trying a little too hard to make Rarity satisfied. Though I consider it a Rarity episode, this episode plays with the pattern by focusing on the rest of the Mane 6 and what they think of Rarity, rather than on Rarity herself. This episode is all about playing with patterns and unusual storytelling styles, and I enjoy it very much.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 64: Newbie Dash + A Hearth’s Warming Tail

Introduction / Navigation

< Part 63 | Part 64 | Part 65 >

Season 6, Episodes 7-8


Season 6 Episode 7: Newbie Dash

In five words: Nickname ruins Rainbow Dash’s dreams.

Premise: Rainbow Dash has finally gotten into the Wonderbolts, but at the cost of regaining her old embarrassing nickname: Rainbow Crash. She is not happy about it.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts with Rainbow Dash flying over Ponyville, with everyone’s favorite middle-finger-shaped castle in the background. The shape of the castle is clearly meant to indicate how Rainbow Dash will feel when she gets her new nickname, making this one of the cleverest pieces of obviously completely intentional foreshadowing the show has yet done.

Rainbow Dash has a little chat with Scootaloo about her supposedly small role in the Wonderbolts’ next performance, but then three of the Wonderbolts come in so that Spitfire can drop the news: Rainbow Dash isn’t just a reserve, but now will be flying with the Wonderbolts full-time. Scootaloo’s reaction is how Rainbow Dash would have reacted to this news back in season 1, while Rainbow Dash has the face of someone who was just told that something they have waited years for has finally happened.

Then Rainbow Dash’s face turns into that of someone who has processed that something they have waited years for has finally happened. Surely nothing will go drastically wrong on her first day, right?

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 63: No Second Prances

Introduction / Navigation

< Part 62 | Part 63 | Part 64 >

Season 6, Episode 6

My first MLP post written inside my new house that I own is a MASSIVE doozy. Are you prepared for lots of words about a love/hate triangle between three magically oriented mares? You better be.


Season 6 Episode 6: No Second Prances

In five words: Twilight Sparkle demonstrates double standards.

Premise: Twilight Sparkle wants Starlight Glimmer to make a new friend, and she’s shocked and infuriated when that new friend turns out to be Trixie, even though she’s forgiven Starlight Glimmer for much worse actions than anything Trixie ever did.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts with a low-stakes slice of life scene between Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer, which is possibly my favorite way to begin Starlight’s episodes. I should clarify here that I’m not just OK with Starlight Glimmer being reformed, or tolerant of how much screen time she gets in this season. I massively enjoy her as a character, both before and after reformation, and she’s one of my favorite characters in the entire show. She’s a character whose name I’d eagerly put between the phrases “I love” and “so much”. Or put more concisely: I love Starlight Glimmer so much.

Twilight Sparkle: First lesson of the day: we very carefully set the table without using magic. So that—YIKES!
Twilight Sparkle: Did you— how— when— WHAT?!
Starlight Glimmer: What?
Twilight Sparkle: I said, no magic. You were supposed to do it by hoof so I could work in a friendship lesson.
Starlight Glimmer: Oh. I heard “set the table” and just kind of went for it.

Part of making a good reformed villain is to make them frequently miss the point when someone tries to teach them a friendship lesson, and no character does this better than Starlight Glimmer. She might be even more impulsive after reformation, because she wants to impress her mentor at all costs. Sounds like another purple unicorn well-versed in magic, doesn’t it?

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 62: Gauntlet of Fire

Introduction / Navigation

< Part 61 | Part 62 | Part 63 >

Season 6, Episode 5

Fun fact: this will be the last MLP post I write before moving out of my parents’ house. I get the keys today, and I’ll spend the weekend moving all my stuff. Exciting, right?


Season 6 Episode 5: Gauntlet of Fire

In five words: Spike’s second chance befriending dragons.

Premise: Spike goes to the dragon kingdom for the second time in his life, this time by force. He’s sent to participate in a competition to inherit the throne from Dragon Lord Torch. He’s reluctant at first, but eventually he gains a supportive ally.

Detailed run-through:

Knowing this episode’s premise, it’s interesting and fitting that it starts with Spike in his comfort zone: exploring a cave with a girl he likes to help her find gems.

Rarity: The last time I was here, I woke them and ended up with a mane full of bats. (sigh) Thanks for being my basket holder, Spike.
Spike: Basket holder? I thought I was your bodyguard.
Rarity: What? Oh, haha. Yes, yes, that of course, too.

I should say right off the bat that I see nothing creepy about Spike’s crush on Rarity. It’s a totally believable thing for a pre-teenage boy to do, and passages like this show that while Rarity has some special affection for Spike, she clearly views him as a kid. There are some episodes where one of them goes far enough to raise an eyebrow, but this isn’t one of them, and the crush in itself isn’t weird to me.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 59: The Crystalling, Part 1 + 2

Introduction / Navigation

< Part 58 | Part 59 | Part 60 >

Season 6, Episodes 1-2

How did this blog post come to be, you may ask? Oh, you know… the classic tale of me getting bored out of my mind one evening and thus deciding to bring a personal project out of hiatus.

Until mid-January, my MLP posting schedule may be a little sporadic because I’m preparing to move into a new house. After that, things will ramp up! As with season 5, this season will be a mix of one-episode posts and two-episode posts, probably with an increased portion of one-episode posts.


Season 6 Episode 1: The Crystalling, Part 1

In five words: Baby brings everyone’s lives chaos.

Premise: The Crystal Empire is hosting its the ever crystalling of a baby alicorn princess named Flurry Heart, and Twilight Sparkle uses this visit as an opportunity to teach Starlight Glimmer her first friendship lesson: reconciling with Sunburst.

Detailed run-through:

Every season since the fourth, I’ve REALLY taken my sweet time analyzing the first few minutes of the first episode.

Since I so strongly associate this season with Starlight Glimmer, it’s no surprise that season 6 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic begins with her exploring Twilight’s castle. Starlight tries to find the library in this enormous building and snarks that the castle looked a lot smaller from the outside. Right away, this remark makes it clear what Starlight’s new role in the show will be. She’s going to fill the niche that Twilight Sparkle had in the first few seasons—a snarky student well-versed in magic but inexperienced with friendship who reports to a princess. This role matches very nicely with the middle and late seasons’ theme of passing the torch.

Wait… you expected me to go off about how surprised I am that I’ve already made it to season 6, right? While it’s certainly a nice milestone, I knew from the moment I conceived of this post series* that I’d easily have it in me to make it this far, so it doesn’t feel that huge to me. Perhaps this sounds like I’m bragging about myself, but I am really just putting into perspective how hopelessly obsessed I am with this show instead of normal people things that normal people like. I tried suppressing the fact that I love My Little Pony for six years, and you can see how well that turned out. Eventually, the lid burst, and now I have no choice but to own up to this painfully dorky obsession.

Honestly, the real exciting milestone of season 6 is not the premiere, but rather its sixth episode: No Second Prances. Imagine me popping off Pinkie Pie style about how excited I am to analyze that episode; that’s how much I am looking forward to it.

* I conceived of a video series reviewing every episode back in 2014, but when the idea came back to me in 2021, I decided a blog post series would be more fun.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 58: The Cutie Re-Mark, Part 1 + 2

Introduction

< Part 57 | Part 58 | Part 59 >

Season 5, Episodes 25-26

We’ve finally made it to the season 5 finale! As excited as I am to analyze it, I am going to need a sizable break afterwards to focus both on other projects and real life stuff. My journey through the second half of season 5 has already been rather slow for both these reasons, which is why I want to begin analyzing season 6 with a refreshed mindset. I just figured I’d let you know.


Season 5 Episode 25: The Cutie Re-Mark, Part 1

In five words: Starlight Glimmer rampages across time.

Premise: Thirsty for revenge, Starlight Glimmer sends Twilight Sparkle and Spike on a chase through alternate timelines where villains took over Equestria—all by interfering with the day the Mane 6 got their cutie marks.

Detailed run-through:

This dramatic two-part episode starts off as innocuous as any season finale would: with Twilight Sparkle rehearsing a speech to Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, while Spike jabs at her for perfectionism. As you should already know, this is all part of the setup.

The speech itself starts off as a recap of cutie mark lore, attended by a bunch of familiar faces, and… wait just a minute, Twilight Sparkle. That is not how Venn diagrams work! The intersections between two circles show common traits between whichever entities the circles represent. If you are to read this diagram logically, it tells us that Sweetie Belle has both her own cutie mark and Scootaloo’s, Scootaloo has hers and Apple Bloom’s, and Apple Bloom has hers and Sweetie Belle’s. The only correct part of this diagram is the tricolored shield in the center, which is something that all three Cutie Mark Crusaders’ marks share.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 57: The Hooffields and McColts + The Mane Attraction

Introduction

< Part 56 | Part 57 | Part 58 >

Season 5, Episodes 23-24

This is it, guys. I’m at the second last post of season 5, and after I finish this season, I am definitely taking a break. Between this blog post series and a fanfic I am working on, I’ve been grinding out pony-related content left and right. As much as this show means to me, I will need a breather once I reach a stopping point, perhaps to focus on other projects or real-life matters.

Also, you should know in advance my review of The Mane Attraction is one of my longest in season 5. I had way more to say about that episode than I expected!


Season 5 Episode 23: The Hooffields and McColts

In five words: Ancient village rivalry gets resolved.

Premise: The Cutie Map sends Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy to the Smokey Mountains, where they must settle a generations-long conflict between two rivalrous families: the Hooffields and the McColts.

Detailed run-through:

This episode begins with Fluttershy hosting a book club meeting with her animals, which is cut short when her cutie mark starts flashing and she has to leave. Despite this, her animals continue discussing the book on their own. This scene cleverly reminds us of something that will become important later in the episode: animals in this show are highly sentient, but they can’t communicate with most ponies.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 56: Scare Master + What About Discord?

Introduction

< Part 55 | Part 56 | Part 57 >

Season 5, Episodes 21-22

Don’t let the two-week gap between this post and the last one fool you. My reviews of these episodes took only two days to write each. I just took sizable breaks in between to work on other projects.


Season 5 Episode 21: Scare Master

In five words: Fluttershy attempts leaving comfort zone.

Premise: Upon encouragement from her friends, Fluttershy participates in Nightmare Night for once instead of secluding herself at home.

Detailed run-through:

In prior reviews, especially in this season, I’ve gone off endlessly about how wonderful of a character Rarity is. I’ve reminisced on how Twilight Sparkle was easy to connect to from the start and is the main pony who got me hooked on the show, and about how incredibly striking Rainbow Dash’s episodes can be if done right. But now, it’s time to give Fluttershy some love and talk about what makes her special. While there have been plenty of good Fluttershy episodes before, this one consists entirely of Fluttershy at her finest, and I’m excited to pick it apart.

First off, I’d like to talk about the title of this episode. It’s almost the same as Stare Master from season 1, but with one letter changed. I like this title because it suggests that Fluttershy is once again going to prove her worth after a bunch of fumbling and do something cool, making the ending a surprising subversion of expectations.

Now let’s get started with the episode itself!

At the start of this episode, Fluttershy commands her animals to close all her windows and alert her if anything scary happens on Nightmare Night. This scene reminds us right up front that there’s more to her than just being shy. She has a lot of inner bravery that comes out when the time is right, and she can do some awesome things by commanding her loyal crew of animals.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 55: The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows + Hearthbreakers

Introduction

< Part 54 | Part 55 | Part 56 >

Season 5, Episodes 19-20

Sorry this post took so long! My next few MLP posts may also be a little slow, partly because my weekly queue has caught up with me, and partly because I am working on quite a few other projects. Rest assured, I plan on finishing season 5 no later than early November.


Season 5 Episode 19: The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows

In five words: Pinkie Pie keeps baby secret.

Premise: Pinkie Pie learns that Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are going to have a baby. She must keep it a secret from her friends, and yet temptation lurks around every corner.

Detailed run-through:

I love how Pound Cake is riding on top of Gummy.

This episode starts with Pinkie Pie somehow counting 568 cupcakes without needing any paper to keep track of things or prevent miscounts. This reminds us of what makes her different from the rest of the Mane 6: her brain operates on cartoon logic rather than normal logic, which makes the moments where she’s genuinely panicked and insecure greatly stick out.

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Cookie Fonster Reviews Every MLP Episode Part 50: Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? + Canterlot Boutique

Introduction

< Part 49 | Part 50 | Part 51 >

Season 5, Episodes 13-14

Just like with my Homestuck posts, 50 is a fun number to reach because I’m halfway to 100 posts. It’s also a nice point to reflect on how much bigger this project became than I first envisioned, because of a little something called Cookiefonster’s Law: It always becomes more ambitious than you expect, even when you take into account Cookiefonster’s Law.

(Yeah, this law is just a riff on Hofstadter’s Law. Still, it heavily applies to every creative project I ever do.)


Season 5 Episode 13: Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?

In five words: Luna’s self-blame infects dreams.

Premise: The Mane 6 have to help fight a monster who has been haunting Luna’s dreams called the Tantabus. Callbacks and dream shenanigans ensue.

Detailed run-through:

This episode starts off right away with anime battle shenanigans that turn out to be one of Luna’s dreams. A blob of grayish darkness called the Tantabus turns Luna into Nightmare Moon, the Mane 6 defeat her with magic rainbow beams, and Luna wakes up in a panic.

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