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10 February 2013

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Games Ponies Play" Review

((Disclaimer: Yeah, I said I was going to stop reviewing the episodes for a while, but this whole situation has set me on fire, the words were coming out better than ever, and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to get productive.))

Sometimes people think we need a reminder. It’s like they think we are not in this world at all, like we abstract ourselves into an alternate reality where laws and regulations don’t take place, where everything is a free for all and we can do whatever we want without facing consequences.

They are right.

I think there is no need to beat a dead horse (I am going to slap myself for that one) in the intro for my episode review, but I have to say I am feeling rather troubled by what our fandom has gone through during the past seven days. I myself cannot believe how many mood swings I experienced in such a short amount of time. It’s getting kind of ridiculous and I am running out of ways to express how pissed off I am, and the funniest thing is I don’t know who to be angry at. I won’t address this here, I am going to write an editorial about it as part of my weekly posting, mostly because I want to fill the gap that’s going to start when next week’s episode puts an end to a season full of mood swings, drama storms, fire, terminated projects and fan rage, but that has also seen a lot of charity work being made, new friendships forged, new conventions, a more positive portrayal of us on the media, and some of the best episodes in the series’ history. Because, in case any of you forgot (like I did) this is not just about selling toys. This is about one of the best cartoons in modern television.

On with the review!

Regarding TL; DR’s this season I have been very scarce with them. I remember when I had a billion ideas for each and every one of them, and now I am pretty much running dry. It took me five years to figure out that they stood up for “Too Long; Don’t Read”. I think. I don’t know if the “don’t” should be “didn’t”. It’s kind of confusing. You guys have a confusing language. I think the episode was pretty good, but not one of my favourites, and if you want to find out why go on ahead and read.

Animalympics is shot live in front of a studio audience.
This episode starts right in the middle of the last episode we saw “Just for Sidekicks” in the exact moment that Twilight and her friends walk out of the library leaving Spike to take care of all the other pets. Twilight bids goodbye to Spike as we see what is happening to the library from her perspective, and I have to admit this is something that I loved. It’s not often that we have two episodes with two completely different plots, written by two completely different people, weave into each other so well. This kind of episode structure reminded me heavily of “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “Flags of our fathers”, where we are told the same story from different points of view, and events of one story are complemented within the other. Just keep that in mind as it is one element of the story-telling in this episode. So Twilight leaves, or more like gets pulled away by Rainbow Dash to the train station, as we are told what we will be seeing for the next twenty two minutes. The Mane Six have been called by Princess Cadance (or Cadence to those who don’t like that spelling) to the Crystal Empire to help her convince the Equestrian Games Supervisor that her country is more than capable to host the pony equivalent of the Olympic Games. All of them seem to be excited about it, but Rainbow Dash is beyond excited, she is thrilled, nervous, and worried. We are told why in a flashback where she explains how Cloudsdayle lost to Fillydelphia for hosting the games when she was but a little filly blank-flank. We even see her father (big brother?) which made me really happy. We finally see some of Dash’s family! It was also a very smooth way to set up her motivation throughout the entire episode. She doesn’t want the Crystal Empire to suffer Cloudsdayle’s demise so she is going to try her best to get those crystal ponies what they deserve, and this sentiment transfers to the rest of the Mane Six, who are thrilled as well. I have to say, I totally sympathise with Rainbow Dash here. A few years ago in Spain we lost our nomination for the 2012 Olympic Games to London, and not long ago we also lost our nomination for 2016 to Brazil! So I can totally relate to Dash! That moment alone, which was also announced in one of the previews, made me love this episode. I was all like “Boy, have I been here before!” This show keeps doing it, how is this possible?

This re-defines completely the term head-butting people-er, ponies.
Once the Mane Six arrive to the Crystal Empire they do so while rehearsing a cheering for the Equestrian Games Supervisor, complete with cheerleader choreography and everything. They promptly discover that a moving train approaching to the station is not the best place to rehearse such things, so they are knocked down to the floor before they exit the train. It is good to be back to the Empire after we saw it in the season premiere, especially when it’s all shinning and glistening in all of its glory. I think this is one of the most visually interesting areas in all of Equestria, perhaps only topped by The Everfree Forest and Cloudsdayle itself. However, someone should keep J.J. Abrahams away from the digital effects. I know the buildings are supposed to be crystal and that they glisten and glow, but there are some shots where the lens flare makes Abrahams and Michael Bay look humble in comparison. I’m not saying that I hated it, but my retinas are still smoking. So after they manage to get past lens flare square Twilight and Co arrive at the spa where Princess Cadance is getting a massage, and she doesn’t lose one second before greeting her favourite pony with the traditional “Sunshine, Sunshine” dance that so many bronies love and hate. I personally love it, it’s so quirky, and adorable, and it makes me want to hug Cadance until she squeaks. Rarity loses herself into the many available spa treatments, as we are told what’s going on with the preparations. Apparently everything seems to be going according to plan, except for one little detail. Princess Cadance’s hairdresser caught the flu, so she can’t attend to prepare the traditional Crystal Empire hair style. Before they brush it off as a minor problem, Rainbow Dash rushes in to convince them to find someone else to do the styling, fearing they might lose the position for this small detail. Rarity, being generous and interested in the idea, decides to take on the task of preparing this overly complicated and rather elaborated ceremonial headdress. And just to add tension to it, the Supervisor is coming in less than fifteen minutes.

I believe in Freaking Out!!!
However, Twilight decides not to freak out and follow Cadance’s example. You see, here we are presented to how Cadance takes control of her empire. One would consider her a bit careless, as she spends quite a lot of time lying down in the spa getting hooficures and having massages, but then consider all the tension she’s been submitted. Taking care of an entire country and making sure it’s in the best condition to host such an important event is a big deal, so it’s understandable that she is under a lot of pressure. So paying a visit to the spa and relaxing in it actually helps transmit a certain feeling of calm to Twilight, who follows Cadance’s example as a good ruler (gee, I wonder why Twilight will follow her example, it’s not like she is going to become a Princess or anything anytime soon) and keeps a cool head as she grabs the to-do list and leaves Rarity to take care of the headdress. The remaining five ponies head towards the train station, as the only clue they are told to recognize the supervisor is that she is carrying a flower stamped bag. So of course, they pick the very first pony with a flower stamped bag that they see, and I like how she is quite rude and blunt at first, but as soon as she is told that Princess Cadance wants to see her she kind of cheers up and starts spinning in happiness. So that went well, right? Well, it would have if it wasn’t for the fact that they picked the wrong pony. I was afraid they would go with this kind of plot, but it’s “Friendship is Magic” so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. So with one plot carefully derailing towards Disaster-ville we return to check up on Rarity and Cadance, and things couldn’t be going any worse. That’s what happens when you use power tools onto a pony’s head. Wasn’t there a video on YouTube of a guy trying to curl a pony toy’s mane with a Black & Decker? If there was, Rarity has had to watch it, because Cadance’s mane looks like something out of Mary Antoinette’s nightmares.

Imagine it looked like this, but with eyes, and a lot of legs.
So the headdress is getting ruined and the Mane Six are showing the Empire to the wrong pony, what else could go wrong? Well, nothing else besides these two points, but they snowball into such a mess that it’s impossible not to enjoy it. As the tour of the Crystal palace starts we see that this pony, who’s name is Miss Peachbottom (this name makes the music from “Monty Python Flying Circus” play in my head) is not all the way there. She keeps looking up on the ceiling as it blurs and makes her sweat with agony, and she craves to go outside into the open spaces away from the enclosed rooms of the palace. This is something that the ponies never address directly, and it’s better to leave it like that because it makes it only funnier, but I wonder how many kids will figure out by themselves that her problem is that she suffers a severe case of claustrophobia, and it’s amazing. Her scenes are some of the best of the entire episode. Peachbottom at first didn’t seem to have nothing to herself, but the show-runners managed to give her one trait and exploited it before it stopped being funny. Good work on that one DHX. Despite all of this, the five ponies do their best to keep her busy and away from the Spa, as Rainbow Dash maintains the whole suspicion and “I don’t trust anypony” attitude she has had ever since the very first episode of the series. She thinks that Peachbottom’s genuine clueless attitude is all a charade to put the ponies to the test, which results on them trying their hardest to make the empire look as good as possible, and that includes singing, choreographing, and pretending to know of Crystal architecture. This last one is pretty funny when it turns out that Peachbottom knows about the subject more than the ponies themselves

They compensate their lack of knowledge with an overdose of bedroom eyes.
As the tour goes as awry as one would imagine Twilight goes to check up on Rarity and Cadance, and all she gets is some seconds of Rarity freaking out because she skipped steps in the process and the princess’ mane looks like she just got pulled out of the toy box. Seriously, what happens to her mane is what anyone would go through trying to get the goddamn toys out of the box, don’t tell me you were not thinking the same thing when you saw it. After Twilight gets kicked out of the Spa by Rarity’s thespian acting (I love her, I can’t believe how hard she steals the spotlight) she returns to her friends at the palace. After seeing how anxious Peachbottom is getting she suggests that the best idea is to get Shining Armour and see if he can help. Seeing her BBBFF again made me very happy, and even more so as we see he does more than just being Captain of the Guard and being Prince of the Empire. When we see him in the episode he’s wearing a cap, a whistle, and he is training ponies outside in a stadium that they built for the Equestrian Games. So we have to add coach and sports-pony to the list of traits he has. I’m sorry, is this show trying to sell me something besides very well written, three-dimensional characters? I honestly am baffled by how good this character is, I love Shining Armour. It doesn’t take long though before havoc arrives as Peachbottom is finally out of the palace, and the sudden rush of freedom gives her super speed and super strength as she starts running all over the course, knocking everything down and getting her head trapped inside a flower pot. Claustrophobic pony plus tiny flower pot equals rampant havoc and destruction all over the empire. So even though they didn’t stop her at first, they have to stop her now, so Rainbow Dash rushes in to try and remove the pot from her head before she hurts herself or somepony else. So after stopping her running, and after crashing onto the spa’s windows in one of the funniest, most well timed comedy moments in the show, the ponies finally find out that Miss Peachbottom isn’t actually the Equestrian Games Supervisor! But that doesn’t stop her from hitting on Shining Armour, oh no.

To be honest, Shining Armour is the David Bowie of Ponies. Everyone would hit on him.
So the ponies find out that the pony they were escorting is the wrong one, which leads them to believe that the real supervisor is waiting for them at the train station. As they get there they sourly find out that she’s nowhere to be seen, so they decide to divide the Empire into five sections and inspect every single one. That is until Pinkie Pie suggests them to not start with the Spa, because Cadance is there and if the supervisor is where Cadance is, well, in her own words that will be game over. So of course the real supervisor is at the Spa, and who else is there with her but Peachbottom herself! They share a couple of lines and soon enough Peachbottom is telling her about how amazing the Empire is and all the things she has been shown in the few hours she has been there. By the time the rest of the Mane Six arrive the Princess has yet to cross paths with the supervisor, but as soon as they step into the Spa Rarity notices them, revealing Cadance’s new look, and calling the attention of the supervisor pony. Right before everything blows in their faces, Rainbow Dash steps forward and confesses how her feverish wishes to have the Crystal Empire win clouded her better judgement. It’s partially true, but this is poor Dash taking the blame for the whole team’s screw up (with the exception of Rarity who was busy doing Cadance’s mane and being Best Pony). So after a series of rather trampled dialogue exchanges we find out that, despite how upset the supervisor is with the lack of a reception, everything else that Peachbottom has told her makes up for it, especially since the perspective that she was presented with was unbiased, unrehearsed, and not manipulated in the slightest. This grants the Crystal Empire the right to host the next Equestrian Games, as the happiness of the Crystal Ponies powers up the Crystal Heart sending ripples of positive energy all over Equestria. As the heroines jump back into the train we are linked back to the near ending of “Just for sidekicks” and with that we finish their second adventure in the Crystal Empire, oblivious to the baby dragon, the little fillies, and the six critters that are hiding under their seats.

The Chrystal Empire's arm race has reached Techno-Warfare levels.
So that was “Games Ponies Play”, and despite how many good things it has I can’t say it was my favourite episode of the season. I am well known for explaining my points carefully and in detail, but with how touchy and sensitive the fandom is right now I have to be extra careful on how I say what I think. This time I’m going to start with the things that I didn’t like, since they seem more prominent due to the amount of good stuff.

Easy joke in 3, 2, 1...
I didn’t really like the plot. I didn’t like it at all. You can joke about that sentence all you want by the way, I have it coming. Seriously though, there are many plots and storylines that I am a fan of, especially when they are averted, inverted, played with, or lamp-shaded. But this one is played straight, and I think that’s the weakness of this episode. I know they took this one from a “Faulty Towers” episode, but there’s nothing special to it. It’s the typical misunderstanding plot where the comedy comes from the fact that the characters are talking and acting that way because the character that’s the focus is not who they think they are. I think I don’t enjoy that kind of transparency. There are other ways to approach it, like for example, if not the audience nor did the characters know that this was the wrong pony. That would have been interesting, tricking both the viewer and the characters into it, and it could have made sense into the episode itself! You usually show the correct character when you are going to do something with it, but the character of the Supervisor pony (whose name is actually Harshwhinny and I never actually caught it while watching the episode) is barely in the episode but for a couple of scenes where she gets splashed with water. I think had they saved the reveal of this character for the scene where she is at the spa with Cadance and Peachbottom it would have been a stronger reveal. That’s what I would have done though, and since that never happens I think that the way the plot develops is uneventful, uninteresting and lacks of a good punch, which is kind of funny since this episode is written by Dave Polsky, who has proven is quite an expert on punch lines.

This is still one of the funniest things in this show.
What else did I dislike? I think the Crystal Empire could have had a lot more development. This place is still new to all of us, not just the fans but also the citizens of Equestria. The Mane Six themselves mention how little they know of it, so showing so little of the culture and the history of it feels a bit lacking. It’s not the point of the episode of course; the point of the episode is to entertain for twenty two minutes, not to give a history lesson. But this is one of those episodes where I wish we could have spent more time learning about the folklore and less time chasing a pony with a flower pot on her head. Seeing little snippets like how crystal ponies train, or the ceremonial headdress made me happy and satisfied my curiosity, but there were a lot of things that they could have shown or explained. Like, what different Olympic events do they have in this country? Are there Pegasus crystal ponies? How about unicorns? Why was the mail pony wearing winged horseshoes and why was it so cool? I think this episode is perfect fodder for fans to load their head canons, so I will leave it to them to come up with theories that explain each of these questions. After all, we have proven to be as creative as those running the show.

They are still better than us when it comes to cheerleading routines.
So that’s what I really didn’t like of this episode, which is not much but when you think about it not liking the story, which is the backbone of the whole narrative, is kind of a big issue. So we could say I didn’t like fifty percent of the episode, which means I really liked the other fifty percent, enough so I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the episode. Yeah I didn't like the plot, and I didn't like the lack of development, but I liked everything else.

"Even me Dahling?" Especially you, darling. "Oooh!"
First off, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Rarity are amazing in this episode. Pinkie Pie with her over the top dramatic screaming, her cinnamon buns and the way she struggles to describe a rotunda only to finally lose her mind to the pressure and try to distract Peachbottom as if she was babysitting the Cake siblings. Rainbow Dash went through the whole spectrum of emotions in this episode. She was sad and emotional when she reminisced about the time Cloudsdayle lost their candidature to host the Games; she was brass and bold when she was trying to impress the wrong pony; she was hilarious when she crashed into the spa and slid down the glass doing a squeaky noise; and she was regretful and apologetic when she admitted she acted the wrong way. This was very much an episode about herself and how her actions, though apparently shadowed did make an impact for better or for worse. The moment when she holds the little crystal filly screaming: “We did it!” was very heart warming. One can imagine Rainbow Dash doing that and thinking: “This is for that time my dad could hold me like this”. I might be reading too much into it, but that’s how I enjoy the show. And of course, the best for last, Rarity stole the spotlight in every single scene she was in, again. She’s been doing that the whole season. She might not have an episode for herself, but she doesn’t need one. Anytime she’s around she is just perfect. She is over the top, over dramatic, she hams it up to eleven, and she is just brilliantly hilarious. Her offering her services as a hairdresser and messing things up is just wonderful and it’s good to see that she too can give in under the pressure and make mistakes, especially when a Princess is involved. This reminds me of the scene that got cut from “Luna Eclipsed”, but instead of messing things with a dress she messed things with a hair style. But she pulls through, stands her ground, and ends up giving Cadance the best traditional ceremonial Crystal mane style ever, and Cadance looks great in it.

"Give me your spotlight! Thank you Dahling, bye!"
Speaking of, and I don’t get tired of saying this, I really liked Cadance in this episode. She wasn’t a lot in it, but it was good to see her the few times she was around. I know I am in a minority, I know my opinion is not the most popular one, I know that whenever I say “I actually really like Princess Cadance” everybody around me looks at me with weird eyes and says “Oh you are wrong!” followed by “and that’s now how you spell her name, it’s Cadence, not Cadance!” screams. I guess I will take a little liberty here and explain in this paragraph why do I like her so much. It feels, from what I see her do, that she does care for those around her. I know that this episode might not be the best example to show that, since the first thing we see her do is getting a massage in a spa, but like I argued earlier in this article she might be taking a break from preparing the Empire for the supervisor’s visit. Besides, she was also getting prepared for her hairdressing, and I don’t know about you but there is a lot of sacrifice involved into turning your hair into a sculpture full of crystals. I wouldn’t do it! But besides that she also shows concern for those around her, she worries for Twilight and how stressed she is, she offers Rarity to try everything in the spa, she hopes that the sick pony with the flu gets well, and overall she just acts like a really nice pony. She is nice because maybe being nice to others is good, and it feels good. That’s for this episode though, but what I saw of her in other episodes I also liked it. I liked how she was beat up and frazzled in “A Canterlot Wedding part 2”, and how all the horrors she surely had to endure (go check some fan art of her being trapped by Chrysalis if you can’t come up with anything, it’s quite interesting) were paid off when she finally had her perfect Royal wedding. She was brilliant in the Season 3 premiere, how she held up the shield protecting the Crystal Empire until her last drops of magic, and how she managed to catch Spike and the Crystal Heart just in time, saving the country and destroying King Sombra. I can understand those who hate her, I can understand those who see her as a Mary Sue Alicorn OC with no depth who just got shoved into the show because Hasbro needed to sell her toy. I can totally understand you. I just don’t share that point of view. She is the kind of character I’d love to be friends with. In a day and age full of angry, cynical people, she is transparent on how she is. There are no ulterior motives, no concealed schemes or hidden traits to her personality. She is what you see: A very nice pony with wings and horn that likes to make others happy, and worries about the needs of her people

I am a 28 year old guy, why do I like this pretty pink pony Princess so much!?
Wow, I can’t believe I wrote so much about Cadance.

I also liked her husband, Shining Armour! Yeah, let’s talk about this other character that came out of nowhere with the Season 2 finale. I too like Shining Armour, though I think I am not in a minority here, which makes things easier for me. I think that’s mostly because of how unfathomably likable the character is. I understand why it’s such a give or take with Cadance, but things seem to be more straight-forward with the BBBFF, just like his own character, and that’s a good thing! Shining Armour has being getting better and better with each time he has appeared. We have seen him as a young colt dreaming of being captain of the guard. We saw him on duty with his armour and helmet. We saw him in his wedding attire, looking all regal. We saw him with those badass glacial glasses and black scarf, as if he just stepped out of “The Empire Strikes Back”. And in this episode we see him with a trainer cap and a whistle, barking orders to ponies and training them. I assumed he was into sports too, but it’s great to see him in action as a coach. I am not sure in which character or personality are they basing Shining Armour, for all we know it could be a mix of several, but he reminded me of Prince Felipe de Borbón in this episode. Felipe de Borbón is the Prince of Spain, and he too is into sports, so of course my Spanish sensibilities railed my perspective of the character right home, and boy did I enjoy it. If we see Shining Armour riding a boat in a frigate competition I think I will die in the middle of a fangasm.

Genuinely likable fellow right there, isn't he?
Besides the solid characterization of everybody in the show, I also liked the two new ponies that we are introduced, Peachbottom and Harshwhinny. Peachbottom in particular is one character that struck me as surprising for the way they handle her claustrophobia. They never acknowledge it, nor they explain it, but they just show you what happens to her and the effects this has in her actions, which result in screwball comedy genius. I like how this show has the whole “show don’t tell” business down and properly handled. Harshwhinny was alright. Like I said, they should have shown her less and then make her reveal a bigger deal than what it really was, but she kind of left and impact, and I like how her design is somewhat different than the other mares we saw in the show. It’s probably her eyes, she looks like she is suspecting of everybody all the time. I liked the little touches of folklore, like the crystal pony wearing the winged horseshoes, or the training course in the stadium, those were very cool. And of course, I loved the comedy. I was feeling very down, very depressed, and surprisingly hostile towards anything related to recent events (and I still kind of am), but the comedy in this episode picked me up and cheered me up quite a big deal. I also have to applaud them trying something new. Alright, I didn’t really like the whole “Fault Towers Plot” but I liked how well they weaved this episode with “Just for Sidekicks” to the point that you could watch both episodes back to back and follow the storyline without a problem. For something the team tries for the very first time it certainly turned out really well, so kudos to them for trying new things and succeeding at it.

Congratulations on a job well done. Have a Little Dashie!
Overall, the plot didn’t say anything to me, but the strong characters and the masterfully timed comedy compensated for it. It was one of those episodes that I would watch just to pass the time, to have them in the background and relax while I make some drawing or play some games. It was fun, it was entertaining, and it certainly was the perfect pick-me-up after the draining drama storms that the fandom has had in the past two weeks. Sometimes we tend to forget why we are all here. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that this is all about colourful miniature magical equines. I know I forgot. I should try my best and don’t forget it again.

- Defining Moment: Rainbow Dash crashes against the spa’s windows, and then she proceeds to slide down very, very, very...very slowly. Meanwhile Rarity obliviously works on Cadance’s mane.

- Moral: Basically keep calm and don’t freak out, as everything will turn out alright if you make the right decisions and keep a cool head. Wow, best moral for the current fandom status.


  1. Whoa! Your quickest review I suppose

  2. I absolutely loved PeachBottom as you've called her. She reminded me a lot of Lottie from The Princess and the Frog. Kooky, full of energy, well-meaning and likeable. Also, claustrophobia in this series? Good on them for adding another phobia into the mix that we might not have seen if not for a new character.
    I'm glad you were able to get some kind of semblance of happiness from this episode James. I think with the amount of corporate interference and fan freakouts (Through this I've lost respect for a lot of people including CR and Don East of Anime Abomination for the comments they made towards Meghan McCarthy and MA Larson over Twitter. That pissed me off SO much!) it took the usual funny, well-meaning nature of the show to snap a few of us out of the funk until the next time. It'll be hard but being part of the Atheist 'community' on Youtube before, I know this sort of drama and 'house division' and I came out of it fine.

  3. Lovely review, as usual. ^_^ There is honestly no other person in there fandom whose opinion I care about and enjoy reading as much as you.

    But now I have to talk about something. I've been letting it be since you deleted my comment and wrote a whole post about never making such comments again (also since deleted), but you mention it multiple times in this review and I feel I have to clear this up:

    No one ever criticized you for not spelling Cadance's name "Cadence". Originally, Jordan simply noted as part of his massive corrections-post that you spelled her name Cadance, rather than his preference, Cadence. But he admitted that it was a "futile point to argue on".

    I jumped in at this point to say that, in fact, you would have to be right, because even though her name was spelled "Cadence" in the credits, Hasbro trademarked her name as "Cadance". I simply meant in that comment that you weren't at all making a mistake, and that the spelling of the name is all over the place.

    Considering that you deleted my comment, and right after wrote an angry post that appeared to me like you misunderstood what was going on, and you're still talking about it weeks later, I really wanted to clear this up. There wasn't any negativity meant at the time.

    1. Oh I am not reffering to that previous incident.

      Overall, people are nitpicky and annoying while they do so. I wrote an editorial about it that I will upload sometime after the last episode of the season is released.

      It has nothing to do with you guys.

  4. The plot was a little bit forced, but the episode itself was one of the funniest I've ever seen. Good review anyway, like always.

  5. Yay!

    Reviews are back!

  6. -I've never really been a fan of Cadence, but I have to admit that after watching this episode I can more or less support her now. I've found her to be pretty uninteresting because she doesn't seem to have as much personality as the Mane 6 and I've been waiting for an episode that can show a little more range for her. But I don' think she needs that anymore because I understand her puprose on this show now: she's sweet, gentle and hopes the best for everypony, particularly her kingdom. I pretty much agree with what you wrote about her: what you see is what you get and that's a good thing. However, it makes me question why nobody other than Twilight picked up on the fact that Cadence seemed to be the complete opposite of that during Canterlot Wedding part 1.

    -Andrew Francis continues to be naturally likeable in the role as Shining Armor, which is probably enough to salvage the character entirely. Much like Cadence he doesn't demand much complexity. Also, that one reaction shot was really funny.

    -Peachbottom was great. It's very hard to not like her.

    -I like how RD gets the Jack Sparrow role for this episode. While Twilight gets to handle the more important leader-type role, RD gets to jump around all over the episode and the result is a lot of fun.

    -I maintain that they should've aired this episode before "Sidekicks". That way, by the end of the episode we're left with a pretty great cliffhanger. That would've gotten a great reaction.

    -Ever since Too Many Pinkie Pies, I've been waiting for Dave Polsky to write another solo episode to proof he's the real deal. While this episode didn't set my world on fire. It was very pleasant and entertaining and it makes me optimistic for his output if he continues to work on this show.

  7. By this point, you certainly know how much I value your opinion and how much I enjoy your review after each episode. This one was no exception. In retrospect, I'm not a big fan of the plot either, but I'm glad they kept it coherent and did not show the games themselves. It will do nicely for a future "Equestria games" episode.

    I also wanted to wish you good luck about your personal situation, I really hope that it gets better very soon. Hell, we french tend to whine all the time about our situation, but apparently, it is nothing compared to what the spanish have to go through.


  8. Haha, I am quite fond of splat and squeeaaaak scenes as well.

    One of the things I liked the most about this episode was a scene in the beginning where a pony slides down the castle with a big squeechie.

  9. So you didn´t liked how we saw Twi behaving compared to before (Lesson zero for example) as some sort of foreshadowing chara-growth? Odd.
    Was an enjoyable episode with a weak plot but it got enough funny jokes and other stuff happening that it didn´t mattered so much (unlike Spike at your Service where it was just meh).

    On to your Twilicorn review and the finale review!

    I can´t believe i keep forgetting your website. All i remember is that it starts with an a. XD