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20 January 2013

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Fluttershy's Home for Reformed Draconequi" Review

Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to go. Things happen, they change, plans get trunked, and ideas that seemed good in the first place turn out to be very bad ones. I have been far away from this blog, and pretty much all my other internet places, for far too long, and I have nothing else to blame but the holiday season and its terrible hang over. I usually recover fast, but this year has been an exception. I was going to make a full on review of 2012 and most specifically about this fandom, but as it turns out I didn’t have the time to finish it before the newest episode was released. It’s a shame though, but I might end up finishing it and posting it here for all of you to read. It will be a bit odd and it might break the flow, but until that we can talk about the newest episode and see how it was. Spoiler alert, I very much enjoyed it. On to the review!

Shortest TL; DR ever. Did I like the episode? Yes. Is it my favourite episode of Season 3? Not really. If you want to find out more please, keep reading.

So the episode starts with four sixths of the Mane Six and Spike waiting for the arrival of Princess Celestia, who announced she’s going to bring up a very important guest to Ponyville. We have a small excerpt with Pinkie Pie who has polished her hooves just like Rarity for the occasion, and she has polished them so hard they are as shiny as a mirror. The fawning doesn’t last too long as Celestia arrives and we discover who is the guest she mentioned in her letter. If you were a wise brony and decided to stay away from all sorts of spoilers then you will be genuinely surprised when you see it’s actually Discord, returning to the show after he got trapped in stone at the beginning of Season 2. If you were an impatient brony, like me and so many others, this will come as no surprise and the genius way they have to reveal who it is Celestia is bringing is then completely ruined. It’s still cool though, I can put my mindset so that I watch this like I knew nothing of the episode. Celestia explains to a freaked out Twilight how she thinks Discord can be reformed, since his magic will come in handy for her in the future. I will go into detail about the many magic powers Celestia is hoarding over the past few episodes later on. However, she demands specifically for Fluttershy to help out with the reformation, as she thinks she’ll be the perfect pony for the job. Turns out Fluttershy and Applejack, the two absent ponies, were dealing with a situation at Sweet Apple Acres, where a pack of beavers have built a dam and partially flooded AJ’s orchard. Once the situation is restored, AJ and Fluttershy return to Ponyville, where Celestia tells the later that she has full confidence in her to bring Discord to the good side. However, Celestia is not completely sure of how well this will turn out, so she gives them the Elements of Harmony conveniently protected by a spell so Discord won’t hide them again. After she leaves, Twilight gives the element necklaces to each of her friends, instructing them to never take them off, and then proceed to free Discord from his stone prison.

In the most colourfully badass way possible.
So the stone prison breaks, and Discord is finally released, and it doesn’t take him too long before he starts to snap his fingers and changing animals into adorable monstrous versions of themselves. One might wonder why doesn’t he go as over the top as he did last time, and my explanation for that is that one or two years of contained chaos is nothing compared to one thousand years, if we can take the show’s continuity into account. After a few very well written rapid dialogue exchanges between characters, Discord finally agrees to undo his spells and start his reformation, but not without enchanting a group of beavers to turn them evil. Keep an eye in the background and you will see these beavers will be building a new dam during the whole episode. In this scene we are also given quite a disturbing factoid. When Discord says that being turned to stone doesn’t mean he can’t hear, that means he has always been awake inside his stone prison, or at least conscious enough to hear his surroundings. That is messed up. The trope “I have no mouth and I must scream” comes to mind when I heard this, what a terrifying realization. Just imagine how he must feel. Suddenly his reckless ways don’t seem all that evil, don’t you think? But then, he seems to be in a good mood to be finally back, so he undoes his spells and moves in with Fluttershy, who seems rather eager to start reforming him. She sets up the house, makes everything comfortable, she even gives him Angel’s favourite spot on the couch for him to sit on. What a nice host Fluttershy is, isn’t she? Discord’s apparent harmless behaviour doesn’t convince the rest of the Mane six though, especially Rainbow Dash who keeps saying how Discord is just trying to turn Fluttershy against them so she won’t use her element against him. Once everypony is leaving, Twilight turns around and discusses with Fluttershy what the best way to approach this reformation is. Fluttershy doesn’t hesitate to say that the best way is to befriend him, and that using the power of friendship is definitely worth a try. I appreciate her peaceful approach, although Twilight really doesn’t. We can’t blame her. Hell, we can’t blame any of them! Discord turned them against each other and almost took over Ponyville, it’s more than understandable that they won’t want to give him a chance. But Fluttershy is not like them and so she is willing to try a different route. However, Twilight is not convinced, so she decides to go to her library and set up an emergency plan if everything fails.

Get out of line once and I will trap you into "Breaking Dawn".
Not really, her plan consists in casting a reformation spell, which in hindsight is actually more evil than trapping him in one terrible novel. I don’t know how far a reformation spell goes, or how complicated it can get, or even worse, why would unicorn magic cover an area for reformation spells! Maybe the pony equivalent of Anne Nicole Smith needed one every five days. Such a spell would have to involve some sort of brain washing concept, and if this is the case, isn’t brain washing wrong? Aren’t there rules against that? It kind of makes me glad that Twilight finds out that all the pages referring to reformation spells are gone from her books, as we then find out that Discord has fazed them out of them and eaten them. It’s weird for me to say this, but go Discord! I would have done the same, such a spell should not exist. When Twilight arrives at Fluttershy’s house to learn about the missing pages she finds it turned into the corridor from “Inception”. I don’t know about you guys, but the way Discord took Fluttershy’s house and started to turn it and twist and make it roll, I was getting dizzy! I seriously had to stop looking at the screen since the background moving was giving me a migraine. It did its job though, that whole thing was absolutely confusing. I have no idea how Fluttershy could put up with something like this, it’s actually quite impressive of her. Despite Twilight worrying over the whole situation with Discord, Fluttershy thinks there is progress being made, and the next best step is to invite them all to a dinner party with him. This is received in such a predictable way I can’t believe they didn’t use the whole “Dun, dun, dun!” music cue right there. Later on that day, and not at night so it’s not a dinner part it’s a lunch party (I have dinner at 9 pm where I live and that's night for me). I’m over analyzing, sorry, the Mane Six attend the...meal party at Fluttershy’s house, which Discord has turned into the Mad Hatter’s work room in Alice in Wonderland. Despite the chaotic decoration, the meal goes as well as one would expect. This being Discord he turns the candles and the gravy boat alive, and the fish tureen spews sauce all over the guests. While this is as annoying as one would expect, it’s something minor compared to what Discord did in the past, and so Fluttershy doesn’t seem the see the malice behind his intentions, despite all her friends telling her that he is acting like a jerk. As true as this is, Fluttershy doesn’t give in and stands her ground, figuratively, between her friends and Discord, saying that she is willing to give him a chance because that’s what friends do. And this is where the episode turns, for lack of a better word, intriguing. You know how this show is all about friendship and how awesome it is to have friends and all that? Well, if you take a moment to count how many times the word “friendship” has been said during this third season, you will be surprised. It’s not said that often, it’s barely said at all, because the stories that we follow involve a group of friends and so we don’t need to be reminded that these six are very close to each other. And then we have Discord, the Master of Chaos, one hell of a Powerful being, capable of turning your house upside down and changing your body into something completely different, and loneliest than the number one. The moment when Fluttershy says that that’s what friends do, he has two seconds during which he doesn’t know what to say. He just falls silent and stares into the nothingness as if he is trying to digest what he just heard. That was brilliant. And to my surprise, it won’t be the last time we see this happen. But that’s for later, Angel Bunny has a party to crash.

He was late to the party crashing thing though, the gravy float beat him to it.
Thanks to his pantomime, Angel tells us that Sweet Apple Acres is flooded so badly that almost the complete orchard is deep down under water, to the point that Big Mac and the rest are floating on pales trying to catch all the apples. This is because the evil beavers that Discord enchanted before have been building a dam so big that it has caused the river to grow and consequently flood. You see how those beavers turned out to be relevant in the end? Sometimes I can’t believe how good this show keeps its continuity and consistency within the episode, it’s amazing. The Mane Six don’t need to be told that Discord is behind this mess, not even Fluttershy who is promptly told by her friends that she is kind of gullible and naive. Discord doesn’t seem to give a bother, as he water skies over the orchard having the time of his life. Thankfully, no sharks were jumped, yet. Fluttershy tells Discord to undo his chaos, and he agrees but only if she promises to never use her element against him. After she removes the necklace, Discord snaps his fingers and turns the flood into an ice ring, as he starts ice skating not caring for whatever this may cause. Fluttershy starts losing her patience as she is being pushed and pulled by both sides. Her friends tell her to put on her element and attack Discord, and Discord tells her to put on some ice skating shoes and go ice skating with him. In true Fluttershy fashion, she doesn’t take either and just walks away. No really, she literally throws the shoes and ignores the necklace, and just walks away. No Flutter-rage, no Flutter-Bully, no excess of anger, she just leaves. She is so frustrated she can’t even work up the energy to get angry, or even sad. Discord sees this and goes on a rant about how he doesn’t care about losing the only friend he has ever had, until he realizes he is going to lose the only friend he has ever had. Crushed by the sudden realization that there are more important things in life than turning rain into chocolate, Discord undoes his spell and returns everything back to normal. By the end of the episode Celestia returns to Ponyville and Discord offers his magic to be used for good instead of evil. However, the Princess tells Twilight to keep the elements close just in case he decides to go reckless again. Everyone is happy, Discord drops the series’ subtitle making me have a laughter attack for three minutes straight, and the episode ends.

But the Discord-Shy shipping is just starting.
So that was “Keep calm and Flutter on”, and I think I enjoyed this episode way more than I am willing to admit. This is season is sure packing a lot of surprises with episodes this big and this anticipated, but mostly how surprising they all have been. This episode is a toughie to tackle though, because it has a lot going for it. I guess the best way I can go around is to talk about the focus of the episode, and that is both Fluttershy and Discord. I can already feel those who know me well groaning and kind of grumbling because, to be honest with you guys, I am not such a big fan of either character, even after watching this episode. I can understand why people like them, but they just don’t say anything to me.


Oh boy, here we go. Let me roll my eyes.
I will go with Fluttershy first. Fluttershy is my least favourite of the Mane Six. I don’t think she is a bad pony, I don’t think she is the best pony, I just think she is a character and she has her personality, that’s about it. She is cute and all that, she does have a very cool design, and I like how often I forget that she is a pegasus, especially when the other pegasus around is Rainbow Dash. I like how the show runners use her, and in the right hands she can be a very compelling and relatable character. To this day I consider “Hurricane Fluttershy” to be one of the strongest, most engaging and thrilling episodes of this series, if not of every series that I have ever watched. So when I say that to me Fluttershy is too frequently used as a two dimensional character I don’t mean to spite her fans, or to insult her. We have had too many episodes where Fluttershy’s mood is either calm, quiet and meek, or angry, vindictive and loathsome. “Putting your hoof down” comes to mind, which is an episode that those who don’t like Fluttershy use to defend why they hate her, but I am using it to prove how badly you can write her. She is a lot deeper than what some writers make her to be. She is not these two character traits, she has many, it’s just that they not explored. She can be frustrated and still nice, and she can be gentle and yet disappointed. She doesn’t need to go for either extreme; a middle term is always welcome. This middle term is what we are given in “Keep calm and Flutter on”. For future writers of this show, I say watch this episode and “Hurricane Fluttershy” if you want to know how to write Fluttershy right. She wasn’t a two-dimensional, meek of a weak lady that couldn’t hold her ground. She was nice, she was direct, she was gentle, she was strong, she stood her ground without losing her mind, she didn’t broke into any fit of rage, and her words carried a lot of punch just for the mere fact that what she said felt genuine. I am amazed that I am typing this about her, when I have gone in endless rants about how much she needed some character flexed into her, and these twenty two minutes are all she needed to stop being such a Ned Flanders of a character. Can you imagine what Fluttershy would have done if this episode had happened in Season 2? By the time Discord and the Mane Six are pushing her left and right about going to ice skating Fluttershy would have gone either all rage mode with insults and attacks, or she would’ve ran away crying her eyes out. When she simply threw the skates and just walked away, I was genuinely surprised. I was like: “Wow, she’s so angry she doesn’t even get mad. Man, have I been there so many times before”. And that’s beauty of it. How relatable it is. We all have been there. But it’s not only that. During the dinner part, when everyone is attacking Discord, Fluttershy just doesn’t cater to what her friends are saying, because she sees there is good in him. As clichéd as this is, it’s the way they what makes me like it, by simply saying that one can oversee someone else’s faults because they are friends. Cue me saying “Boy, have I been there before, again!” How many times have we been there, all of us? How many of you have that one friend of which you are not entirely proud of but that you want to hang out with as much as possible because of how much fun he is? We all do. I do. I think every single living being in the planet does. I am impressed by this. However, it is hard for me to feel any sympathy towards Fluttershy, despite how much I liked her here, mostly because of how much I didn’t like her in the vast majority of the episodes. Like I said, this is personal opinion, but I think she still needs a lot more to be redeemed in my book. Or I could just watch “Sonic Rainboom”, “Hurricane Fluttershy” and this episode in a constant loop until I forget the existence of all the others. Which I think is never going to happen.

Discord is seriously unfamiliar with the term "Personal Space".
Now it’s Discord’s turn and boy where do I begin? Well, let’s get this out of the way right away, or else it’s going to bother me during the whole paragraph. John de Lancie is amazing. I know, I’m wearing my Captain Obvious hat right now when writing this, but seriously, this man is incredible. There are actors who, when voicing a character, they don’t feel totally there, or they don’t feel completely like they are the character. Sometimes you can feel the actor standing in front of the microphone doing the voice, like the performances don’t really match. With Discord however, this never happens. This is the kind of role John de Lancie loses himself into. He is not doing the voice of Discord, he is being Discord. He is there, he is causing havoc, creating chaos, turning things upside down, twisting the reality and substituting it for his own, and he is loving it. This is not just his merit though, as a lot has to be given to the storyboard artists and animators that brought him to life. All the animated stuff with Discord is just delightfully brilliant, from taking his eyes out and shaking them into two holes in the ground, to turn his tongue into a carpet, and all the dancing candles, living gravy boats, spewing fish tureens, evil beavers, and rotating houses. So right away the combination between voice and animation is pretty much flawless. But how is he character wise? You can have great animation and great voice acting but screw it up in the character department. Well, that didn’t happen here. I heard some people voicing their discomfort with Discord’s attitude throughout the entire episode, and how the makers have ruined his evil personality, but when you think about it Discord has never been evil. Chaotic, yes, of course he is chaotic, but not evil. See this my way. During the Season 2 two parter premiere we were shown how Discord twisted around the six elements of harmony and turned them all against each other. He did this so they couldn’t use the elements to stop him again. He didn’t want to destroy them, or kill them, or imprison them. He just wanted to get rid of them so he could have fun. If you make a rundown of all the villains we have had in this show, Discord is the most harmless one. Nightmare Moon wanted to put the world into an eternal night. Queen Chrysalis wanted to devour everypony of their love energy and take over Equestria with her army of Changelings. King Sombra kept an entire empire under his hoof with his evil dark crystals. When you compare eternal night, hostile take-over and Tyranny Empire with chocolate rain and marshmallow clouds, you notice that the degrees of evil are mismatched here. What I’m saying is that, next to Princess Luna, Discord is the one villain who deserved another chance. And, what do you know, Celestia’s hunch was right and that other chance didn’t go to waste. Not only there is some good in Discord, but that good that’s in him is quite powerful. I did mention the moment when Fluttershy calls him her friend, how you can see the inner workings of his mind trying to figure out what he just heard. It’s like he is experiencing a new kind of emotion and he is trying to figure out how to react to it. He doesn’t know what it is; it’s so strange and alien. This is solidified later on when Fluttershy throws the ice skates away and Discord realizes he might be losing the only friend he has ever had. That slow-pan from the skates to that heartbroken Discord makes my eyes swell a little. Well alright, it makes them swell a lot. You have to see it from his perspective. He has been imprisoned in stone for one thousand years. When he got free in Return of Harmony he could only have a few days of fun before he was trapped again. All he has ever known is imprisonment. To him, friendship is unfamiliar. He doesn’t know what it is, but as soon as it’s given to him he very well likes it, and he doesn’t want to give it away. So to have something given to you, especially when it’s something so good, only for it to be taken away is kind of heartbreaking. That’s why his turn towards the end is so believable. He doesn’t want to lose it. So even though it happens a tad too quick, I have no problem in how they handled his redemption, especially when it leads to one of the funniest moments this cartoon has ever had. Few times this show has made me laugh so hard that I couldn’t hear what the characters were saying next. The best examples that come to mind actually have Fluttershy as the protagonist, with Luna trying to speak softly in “Luna Eclipsed”, or when Fluttershy turns into Flutterguy in “Bridle Gossip”. But the moment when Discord blatantly drops the subtitle of the showmade me laugh for more than three minutes. It made me laugh until I couldn’t even think. I cried with laughter. It is hilarious. His delivery is just priceless. I will never forget that moment. I will never ever forget it, that’s how good it was.

This was pretty much me for three minutes.
Now it comes the time to talk about the writing, and since I briefly mentioned it already lets talk about the big red glowing point it has: The conclusion. I will agree with those who say that Discord’s redemption happens so fast that you can blink and miss it. This episode suffers from what I came to call “M.A. Larson syndrome”. It’s a very big episode with a lot of interesting things going on and a very powerful climax, but when it comes to the resolution is feels rushed and a bit clunky. If this means I have to sacrifice a lengthy resolution for one hell of a ride, I’ll take it. The writing in this episode surprised me, and I will be charitable here, it’s all because of who wrote it. First of let me bring up the name of Teddy Antonio. Teddy Antonio is the one who came up with the story for this episode. Who is Teddy Antonio you may ask? Well, good ol’ Teddy Antonio lives in LA and he submitted several episode premises to DHXmedia. He comes from a family of story editors, as his parents worked in showslike “The Smurfs” and “Timon and Pumbaa”. He wrote the premiseof the episode, but when they started to pressure him with deadlines Meghan McCarthygave him a hand and finished it. And you know what’s the best part of all this? He was fifteen years old when he sent this premise, and (this goes without saying but I might as well point it out) he is a brony. That is impressive. For such a simple premise as to have Discord and Fluttershy being roommates they did manage to flex a good moral about how you can’t always have things to be your way, especially when you have friends, since you have to take them into consideration. Besides the premise, and the moral, the rest of the writing felt really good. I know I said that the conclusion feels rushed, but everything else flowed rather smoothly. The dialogue felt natural, the character interactions were fluid, and overall it was all a very well oiled and very well constructed script from beginning to end. I have to admit, Dave Polsky is proving to be one of the best writers of the show. His years of experience working for South Park are showing up, and he definitely has a very good grasp on the characters, let alone on writing Discord so well. Which makes me wonder, if he can write this good, what with this episode and “Too Many Pinkie Pies”, what happened with “Over a Barrel”? I would like to find out, because the more I think about it the less sense it makes to me.

Sense has no place in this world, sweetheart.
You may have noticed I have yet to bring what I didn’t like about this episode, and that’s because it’s very hard for me to come up with things I didn’t like. This is probably the most fun I have had watching a new episode since “Sleepless in Ponyville”. I already mentioned the three things that I loved, as they thankfully are the most important ones: Discord, Fluttershy and the writing. But I liked many other things too. Needless to say, I loved Rarity in what little parts she was in, screaming when the fish tureen spits sauce all over her fancy dress. I loved how distrustful Rainbow Dash is all over the episode, which makes sense because she has always been the suspicious one when it comes to danger, ever since the very first episode. I loved Applejack, but that’s because AJ is awesome. I loved how Twilight was willing to give Discord the benefit of the doubt but then she ran out of patience and decided to do things her way, again, like she always does. I liked how Spike was barely in the episode, but what little he was in he was somewhat compelling. Celestia was good, though her role felt a bit useless. You could have put anyone else, even just a letter, and it would’ve served the same purpose. It was good to see her though; I’ve personally missed her this season. Pinkie Pie was surprisingly absent, especially for a Dave Polsky scripted episode, but her few scenes were conveniently over the top, and after what Discord did to her it would make sense that she’d want to keep the distance with him.

"I wrote my name on your Big Crown Thingy. I hope you like it."
Overall, it was another classic, solid; very well executed Friendship is Magic episode. It was fun, it was hilarious, it was strong where it needed to be strong, it was serious where it needed to be and it delivered a moral that everyone can apply in real life. That’s the best part of episodes like this one, the fact that you can apply what you learnt in them to your daily life. How many other shows can do that? For an episode about six colourful ponies trying to bring some humility the Master of Chaos, it turned out a more human story than what I would’ve expected. Despite its rushed resolution, this episode proves there is no storyline too big that this show can’t tackle in twenty two minutes or less.

- Defining Moment: Fluttershy standing next to Discord, hugging him, and calling him a friend. You can freeze frame the second when his heart grows three sizes too big.

- Moral: You can’t always have things your way, especially when you have friends. You have to take them into consideration or else you risk losing them.


  1. Great review, James! And I agree with almost all of your points!

    This was definitely one of the best episodes of the season, along with Too Many Pinkie Pies, Magic Duel, Sleepless in Ponyville and Wonderbolts Academy.

  2. Excellent review.

    I like to think that Discord become more Q, now he will help the main characters sometimes (hopefully) while still having fun in his way.

  3. I agree with this review. One of the best episodes in this season. I've always knew that Polsky was a great writer, he just had need to take some time to order his mind.

    Oh and congratulations even to Teddy Antonio.

  4. I've got a few things to say. But first of all I will say that after this episode, I had to step away and recover from the ride. Because that's what if felt like watching this. One big rollercoaster of images, emotions and hilarity. Once I was convinced I wouldn't become dizzy, I thought about it and decided that this was one heck of an episode.

    Yeah, I loved it. I got that out there. That doesn't mean it doesn't have flaws or that I agree with all your thoughts. Just most of them.

    This season seems to have the theme, "Loose Ends." All the characters introduced from previous seasons are getting their resolution and so far I've been okay with that. One problem of that though is that the 22 minute running time is really becoming apparent with these bigger themed episodes. If only the show runners had a little more time to wrap things up a little better, this could be the most amazing show that has ever aired. Unfortunately, that darn 30 minute block strikes like a ton of bricks and robs the writers of some much needed fleshing out. Oh, well. They do a spectacular job given the constraints.

    One thing I do disagree with is your take on Discord's "evilness" and your justification of his actions. If he was as playfully chaotic as you claim, why did he put the ponies through so much when he first got out? He could have simply touched each of the element bearers and be done with it. Instead, he drags out their deconstruction, torturing them until they break and enjoying it the entire time. Yeah, it was a means to secure his win, but the clincher is that once he won, he LAUGHED in their faces. He was delighted to have beaten them and didn't show a shred of remorse that he reduced Twilight to a sack of tears. So, what I'm saying is that it was a tall order to change such a sadistic monster to something borderline sociable. However, I do agree with you in that this episode showed how it could be done. I know this is getting nitpicky but I loved my evil Discord and am a little sad to see him have "Villain Decay" as it were.

    Now, having said all that, I am very interested in what the show runners have planned for Discord from now on. I can't imagine they'd go to the trouble of reviving this character and then not use him. It seems he's going to be playing a role later on and I'm giddy with anticipation.

    Very solid review! I love your views on Fluttershy and I hope to see that quiet assertiveness continue down the road. Other than that, see you next review!

  5. Oye, ¿no ibas a hablar sobre los poderes mágicos que Celestia está acumulando?

    1. A este punto le voy a dedicar todo un artículo aparte.

    2. ¡Hurra por la especulación y las predicciones!

  6. I really don't have much to say except I loved the episode too. It was a lot of fun. I just loved how Discord fixed that lamp to portray himself... in a freaking tutu.

    I also notice how each big villain in the show tends to reappear next season - this kind of makes me weirdly hopeful in season three we'll be seeing a return of Chrysalis come season 4. I don't think we'll be seeing King Sombre though... seeing as he's well... dead and all lol.

    Anyways, I don't have much to really say here or add, though I do have a minor suggestion. You tend to have really, reallllly large paragraphs - like so large they fill my computer screen lol. It's really easy to get lost in walls of text, or at least for me it is, and I thought maybe it wouldn't hurt to mention to try spacing your paragraphs more?

  7. Now i really want some brony to make a Discord lamp :D

  8. Pretty much agreed with every point you made. What else is there to say? Oh yes: Great review!

  9. Great review! The animation error with totally messed up statue when he arrives at Ponyville killed the whole climate of the scene for me. Those who are responsible for this should be fired. He has his head at wrong direction, and all body parts symmetrically swapped.

  10. -The weeks leading up to this episode have been, for me, a time of reflection. When I heard that Flutter On would be written by Polsky, I began to dread the outcome of this episode, given how the premise made this episode sound like such a good story and it was being handed to the guy who's better at jokes than story. Thankfully, I was wrong. Very very wrong.
    -Ever since Too Many Pinkie Pies, I've been waiting for Polsky to prove that he can write another great episode. However, since then we've gotten two episodes where he's working with another writer. I guess I've been expecting Polsky to write another great episode by himself, but after this, I can safely say that this episode has officially moved him to the "good list".
    -It's a little hard at first to take Discord seriously when he begins to have a change of heart, what with the whole Master of Chaos thing, and I agree that with a little more time to explore how the gears in his head begin to turn, the ending wouldn't feel so rushed.
    -The only real casualty of Discord being a good guy now is that between him and Trixie, the number of good returning villains is starting to dwindle, which is made even more explicit when this season's offerings in the villain department haven't been exactly stellar. Then again, the episode makes it very clear that Celestia and the girls don't trust him 100% yet. Also, Discord wouldn't be the master of chaos if he didn't have the possibility to flip back to "bad guy" at any moment. However, I will reserve this judgment until Discord shows up again in the future (admit it, there's always a very good chance that John DeLancie will say "yes")
    -I will admit I feel a bit sour given how my favorite villain got to turn into a good guy, but the reason why Discord has always been my favorite is because he's the most fun while at the same time being seriously twisted (seriously, Return of Harmony is some dark stuff, for this show anyway). I don't think much has changed about his personality even though he's changed his allegiance.
    -There are many good reasons to not like the new direction for Discord, but "because he's the bad guy and he should always be the bad guy" is not one of them. I mean, a secondary character stayinh in status quo for the sake of status quo? That's kinda boring. Besides, Discord himself makes it VERY clear what this show as a whole is all about ;)
    -With this episode, you can forget all doubt that Fluttershy is a badass. In the face of what may be the greatest adversity she's ever faced, she sticks to her guns like a pro. She knows she runs the risk of dooming all of Equestria to Discord's control, and worse, losing her friends, but she is unblinkingly determined that she can succeed in her task through sheer kindness. Even when she feels like packing it in towards the end, she's already done enough for Discord to go past the point of no return. Andrea Libman should be very proud of this episode.

  11. I really hope Discord's friendship with Fluttershy pays off in the future.

  12. Good review. I agree with a lot of what you say.

  13. I'm not sure if Teddy Antonio's role in this will become a major discussion within the comminity and beyond, but I think it's worth bringing to mind:
    given how he's only 15 years old and had only sent premises to DHXMedia, it's going to be very easy for some people to write this episode off as fanfiction. I don't think I buy into that idea.
    When people think of fanfiction, they usually think of stories in which X character gets to do something weird or unexpected or put in scenarios with other characters that are usually classified as things only certain fans care about or want to happen on the show, and they're generally thought to be very poorly written or thought out. I'm fairly certain that there's been plenty of long-running tv shows (The Simpsons, for example) that have often hired new writers that have claimed to be fans of the show they're now working on. I'm sure that these people came up with their own stories about the show before they got paid to write them for TV. This is why I like to think that fanfiction is only fanfiction until it actually shows up on the actual show, series, etc.

    1. On the subject of long running tv shows, it's definitely way too early to call FiM that, but I think Antonio's role in this has less to do with longevity and more with the show coming about in the digital age, where it's much easier to have your voice heard towards a show's creators regarding their work, for good or ill.

  14. There's something about this episode that just kickstarts something in my mind. I can't tell what it is, but it fires up my imagination and makes me have all sorts of fun watching this episode as I playfully riff on it MST3K style.

  15. This episode had been worth waiting for since the spring.

    The episode reminds me of Moomins Trial of the Groke.

  16. The biggest problem with this episode is not the quick resolution but teaching that letting someone walk all over you will lead to friendship.

    " He comes from a family of story editors, as his parents worked in showslike “The Smurfs” and “Timon and Pumbaa”. He wrote the premiseof the episode, but when they started to pressure him with deadlines Meghan McCarthygave him a hand and finished it."

    In other words he used his parents connections so he could get his story made into an episode. The story certainly felt like bad fan fiction, now I know why.

  17. "Which makes me wonder, if he can write this good, what with this episode and “Too Many Pinkie Pies”, what happened with “Over a Barrel”? I would like to find out, because the more I think about it the less sense it makes to me."

    Well James, the best answer to this question may be "we all make mistakes in our lives at least once".

  18. > one thousand years of contained chaos is nothing compared to just one year or two
    I think you got that backwards.

    > Later on that day, and not at night so it’s not a dinner part it’s a lunch party
    When do you eat dinner? I tend to eat it in the afternoon, not at night.

    > However, it is hard for me to feel any animosity towards Fluttershy, despite how much I liked her here, mostly because of how much I didn’t like her in the vast majority of the episodes.
    I don't think "animosity" is the word you're looking for here.

    1. I fixed the errors ;D

      Thanks for pointing them out buddy.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. I kind of dislike the ending, truth be told. The expression on Discord's face as he hears the Mane Six will keep their elements "just in case", the amount of disgust on everybody's face when Fluttershy says that he can be a 'real sweetie'. . . . it broke my heart. I guess it hit too close to home- after all, i was the person nobody trusted even though I had good intentions and certainly wasn't as chaotic as Discord, so I really felt for the guy. It kind of seems nobody is REALLY willing to give him a chance, even at the end, and how terrible is it to have so much stacked against you, even though you vowed to try to do better in the future?
    I love the episode, but the ending is just too heartbreaking for me. :(

    (Edit: I accidently set this up as a 'reply' instead of a 'comment' Whoops!)