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31 January 2015

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episodes 18 to 26 of Season 4.


I AM BACK...more or less.

And holyshit I forgot how much the formatting system of blogger sucks. I think one of the reasons why I stopped using blogger and making reviews here was that, once you stop using its formatting system and coding, you realize how easy other websites make it for you to write things down and edit posts. This might be a good blog to customize and everything, but the way this is set up is awful.

Anyways, I am cheating here though not really, because since I stopped writing reviews here I've managed to keep a good rhythm of reviews on The MBS Show's YouTube channel with my friends Normand Sanzo and Silver Quill. So I've decided to link those videos over here and save myself a world of trouble having to re-write my thoughts on the episodes. You can find all the remaining reviews right after the break.


Okay, so here's how this is going to work.

I will put the title of the episode first, then a screen of it, then the video, and finally I'll add a small text with the best thing about it, and the worst thing about it, for those of you who want to go straight for the opinion of it without listening to the video (quite honestly, this is your loss so you should feel bad for doing so).

Episode 18. Maud Pie.



In short: This is one of the most heart warming episodes of the entire series, capable to create uncontrollable laughter and raw heartstrings-tugging emotion. Truly one of the best examples of family and friends clashing with a great lesson that both can learn.

Best Part: Maud Pie, perfect character from the first to the last word.

Worst Part: Pinkie Pie's antics can get a bit too grating.

EPISODE 19: For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils.



In short: An all round perfect episode that hits all of my favorites. Best Pony, Best Princess, Best Cutie Mark Crusader, with a surprisingly relatable conflict and writing good enough to flesh out characters we didn't even know could have more than two dimensions. Definitely one of the best episodes, not just of the Season, but of the entire series.

Best Part: The dark future envisioned in Sweetie Belle's nightmare.

Worst Part: It ends.

EPISODE 20: Leap of Faith.



In short: From one of the strongest to the weakest, this episode is like a cat distracted by too many good premises, which then never catches or takes any further. It's a waste for the Flim Flam brothers, for the Keys of Harmony arc, and for the character of Granny Smith. Good thing that Applejack comes out unscathed.

Best Part: Applejack (and her inner turmoil).

Worst Part: Everything else.

EPISODE 21: Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3.



In Short: Like "Bart gets an F" but with ponies in it and no cynicism, the creativity and humor combine flawlessly with the heavily emotional conflict and fear Rainbow Dash's character goes through. The themes resonate heavily with me, the humor is perfectly timed, and the resolution is as satisfying as it is rewarding.

Best Part: The flight of Rainbow Dash over a bunch of mnemotechnic devices.

Worst Part: At times, it goes too deep into the 80's hole.

EPISODE 22: Trade Ya!



In Short: Part Friendship is Magic, part Legend of Zelda sidequest, and all around entertaining episode that takes a really stupid-looking concept and milks the hell out of it. It's as rich in detail as it is in enjoyment, this is one of those episodes that I would be hating but that I find myself enjoying the more times I watch it.

Best Part: The richness of the setting, its manic attention to detail.

Worst Part: The parts are better than the sum.

EPISODE 23: Inspiration Manifestation.



In Short: This episode very well complements "Secret of my Excess" as it inverts the roles and gives us one of the best performances from Rarity in the entire show. If you are the type who loves to see their favorite characters suffer, look no further because what Rarity goes through is good enough to satisfy even the pickiest sadist.

Best Part: The (very clever) nod to "Saved by the Bell".

Worst Part: Realizing that the show writers have no idea of what to do with Spike.

EPISODE 24: Equestria Games.



In Short: A very good conclusion to the Equestria Games pseudo-arc, but not in the way any of us could have predicted. The strength of this episode lies in its sincerity, it's comedy, and Spike's character. What the previous episode didn't do, this one achieves it with flying colors.

Best Part: Spike singing the anthem to Cloudsdayle.

Worst Part: The disgusting reaction from the snobbiest members of the Analyst community.

EPISODES 25 AND 26: TWILIGHT'S KINGDOM.



In Short: One of the best two parters to date, and definitely the best season finale this show has ever had. It's heart-pounding narrative pacing is only matched by its demolishing emotional potency. It's the finale we deserve and need, the one that brings the past to confront it to the present and prepare for the future.

Best Part: Its stratospheric pulse (and Discord's character arc).

Worst Part: The hideous Rainbow Power designs.

25 comments:

  1. (Sometime today)
    "Hey, I haven't checked this site in a while. I wonder if he's updated."
    (Looks at date)
    "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOAA"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi again, James (and beloved followers)!
    If you remember, I promised to write down my opinion about each episode of Season 4 a long time ago, and you know, I don't want to break my Pinkie Promise (that would lead to deathly consequences). However, I'm a bit confused about where to post these TL;DR comments now. I guess, youtube is not an appropriate place for it, so I will just post 'em here. I hope it won't do any harm.

    I've written the forthcoming thoughts immediately after watching the episodes, so they aren't supposed to be responses to your reviews. I'm so sorry and I should be ashamed of myself for not following your youtube activity, but I will catch up soon (I'm quite busy with my new job now, but as Pinkie said, when you're family, you MAKE the time). Thinking of it, I will do just the exact opposite what you did: write long comments here and write short summary comments on youtube.

    I'll be back soon. Have a nice day!

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  3. S4E18, Maud Pie (part 1)

    Oh man, I really loved this episode. This is the super-duper awesome category for me, and it makes me sedimental. Like sediments. Because they rock, woo-hoo! My rating is 5/5.

    Good points: basically the entire episode.

    When I first watched the episode, I didn't realize the strong drama behind it. It was mostly hidden behind the curtains, but when I saw Pinkie's painful expression the second time my heart broke. That moment is worth more than a thousand words. She really loves Maud and she wanted so hard her Ponyville friends and her sister to become best friends.

    The humor was gray- ahem, I mean great and round, khm... sound. There are no words to describe such a desire. Every moment of Maud was brilliant (and the others were also good, but they can't beat Maud).
    The funniest things to me: rock candy, Boulder, hide and seek game, Maud's expressions (or non-expressions to be precise) and eye-movement, mini tsunami (yeah, it makes no sense, but that just made it funnier), "I've just thrown it" explanation.
    The most epic scene award goes to the Rock Poems. seriously, they are incredibly brilliant! And damn hypnotic. That's how a new genre of modern poetry has born. Did you notice Twilight's expression during the speech. She was like a frozen operating system :D (and I too).
    Trapped Pinkie and super rock-smashing Maud Pie - she must be made of rocks (Jones from GC in MLP if you ask me). Rainbow's surprise was priceless!
    From the Mane 6, I especially liked Pinkie and Rainbow Dash. The others had their great moments as well. For example, Rarity's hat or her mumbling when Maud's unexpected answer totally confused her. The awkward apology of the Mane 5 was also a hilarious moment, as they were constantly staring at each other trying to say something that doesn't hurt Pinkie's feelings.

    The moral wasn't stated explicitly, which was a bit unusual. Maybe it goes something like this: "There are ponies, who are completely different and don't click with you, but it doesn't mean that they are not likable or they have no emotions."

    Maud is really lovable and relatable in some way. I don't know why, but she worked incredibly well in this episode. Sometimes she was creepy as hell, though.
    It is more interesting, because she reminds me of my old self from some years ago. No smile, no enthusiasm ... I know all of this stuff, so I can relate to her.

    The story was fine; the pacing was excellent.

    Every pony was really in character and had their great moments. Seriously, I loved how the different personalities played out here. For example, Dash was perfect with the well known sportspony attitude.

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  4. S4E18 Maud Pie (part 2)

    Finally, we have got to know more about Pinkie's family. I was so excited about it and it wasn't disappointing. Pinkie and Maud share a beautiful and harmonic bond, which sets up an example for all of us.
    And now, I understand why Pinkie is a psychopath sometimes. Pinkamena Diane Pie and Maud Pie would be a really incredible pair!

    Applejack is the key figure again, when it comes to telling the truth. However it should be Twilight's task as a true leader. That disharmony causes one of the funniest situations when they had a hard time telling the truth to Pinkie and just nudging each other.

    On top of that, there was a good kind of tension the whole time because of the perplexity of the Mane 6 in handling the situation, and because we almost lost Pinkie Pie in an accident! This show always proves to be much deeper than it seems to be.


    I have some issues with the ending, but I can totally forgive it in light of the points that were mentioned above. In my opinion, the moral wasn't emphasised very well, which counts as a flaw in a show for little girls.

    Inconsistencies: Why didn't Pinkie saw the accident coming with her Pinkie-sense? RD and Twilight could have helped her, but they just stood there frozen in place (exactly the same as in "Daring Don't", remember?). RD should have been way faster than a running earth pony, and she isn't that kind of pony who easily lose her composure. And Twilight could have used a teleportation/levitation spell to rescue Pinkie Pie/prevent the falling rock.

    What about Maud's supernatural abilities? Wasn't explained.
    How can Twilight and her friends arrive sooner to the rock farm than Pinkie and Maud with the train? I know it wasn't the first time a temporal anomaly appeared and it's not a big deal, just little bit irritating.

    Maud seems to be a one trick pony: she is good at rocks and stones and so on, but nothing else. She made a good impression on me this time, but this kind of one-sidedness could easily get boring in the next episode.
    Sometimes, she seems downright evil. For example, when everypony looking for Boulder and she finds him (it?) in her pocket. Well, it is a goddamn big trollness (=Maudlicious).
    When she said "Makes me happy knowing Pinkie Pie has such good friends", it sounded so ironic after what happened. It isn't a thing that I hated, just should be mentioned here as an evidence.

    On the second thought, this episode had it's emotional ups and downs, and the outcome is a really satisfying atmosphere.
    Somehow it reminds me of "Party of One", which is one of my most beloved episodes.

    If there will be more episodes like this, my opinion about Season 4 will change drastically.

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  5. S4E19, For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils (part 1)

    This episode was incredibly awesome! That's why it's worth watching My Little Pony.
    My rating is 5/5 with flying colors, though there were some parts I didn't really like. Later about them.

    Let's see why do I think it is so good.

    I must mention the moral in the first place.
    If we are thoughtless and fail to rein in our worst instincts, we may easily ruin other ponies lives. We should care about the consequences of our actions.
    I think it is a very good and relatable moral that we should follow in everyday life.
    The implementation of the nightmare is brilliant and even more brilliant with Princess Luna being there.

    The drama is the strongest point besides the moral. It starts with a loud conflict between Sweetie Belle and Rarity. We can't fully understand it as long as we don't see Sweetie Belle's nightmare and her birthday party in the past. There were so much emotions in these dream-scenes and Luna's cold appearance and hard lines were awesome. Literally, I cried and laughed in enjoyment simultaneously. It was an odd experience.
    I appreciate Luna's presence in this episode because she teaches an important lesson to one of her young subjects, and she does it really well. Sweetie Belle's apology at the end is also worth mentioning as a very heartwarming moment.
    Although the tension was present everywhere, it was almost unnoticeable for me, the fascinating atmosphere outshone it.

    Sweetie Belle's dream were just perfect. I liked the randomness in it (Rarity cloud, stairs, Milky Way, water, dolphins+dresses). However, the best thing in the entire episode was the depressing prognosis: Rarity sinking into madness. Oh man, it is the creepiest thing I've ever seen! And I'd like to see Rarity like this in the future (am I sadistic for wanting it?).

    All of the main characters shown a great development.
    Sweetie Belle continued to become more thoughtful and learnt a new lesson. Not surprisingly, she wants to be in the spotlight as in "Twilight Time" - it's probably Dave's idea in order to add more details to the character.

    The Sweetie Belle-Rarity interaction was great. I remember what happened in "Sisterhooves Social", and this episode proves that their relationship improved a lot since then.
    This time it's only Sweetie Belle's conflict. Rarity wasn't angry at her at all, and acted like the best elder sister in the world. I am glad that she finally learnt that lesson about sisterhood.

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  6. S4E19, For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils (part 2)

    Luna was my favorite character in this episode. She was gorgeous! That's the Luna I wanted to see all along. She is strong-minded and powerful, but, at the same time, teaches Sweetie Belle a good lesson.
    And we finally found out that she doesn't necessarily sleep in the daytime.

    Epic moments: the audience's reaction to the performance of the CMC, quarrel between the sisters, Luna's moments, how the CMC's getting into the studio, Luna helps SB to fix the headdress (so hearthwarming), and finally, the best: crazy future-Rarity.
    Seriously, that kind of deepness in a cartoon completely swept me off my feet. It could have never happened in a Disney cartoon, where everything have to be nice, but in MLP, a show for little girls, it is part of the show.


    I've mentioned earlier, there were some parts that annoyed me. Here they are.

    The inconsistencies:
    How does Luna know something that happened in the past and not covered by Sweetie Belle's memories (she was imprisoned to the moon)? Maybe one possible solution is that Luna saw Rarity's dreams at the same time. Though, it doesn't explain how she can show the memories from a third-person perspective.
    Gothic vertical pivot window? Why doesn't it broke into pieces? How can Apple Bloom and Scootaloo survive this action (with the falling)? That part was a little unrealistic.

    We've got just a few amounts of comedy. I guess, it's not a real problem because it wasn't the goal of the episode.
    Sweetie Belle's new personality is still a little bit strange to me. I hope I'll get used to it soon. She is still a really awful dress designer XD . That didn't change.
    More Rarity pleeeese!!! I can never get enough of her. This episode doesn't help either.


    Finally, let me share my new finding: this series is darn good in giving reason to everything that the characters think or say. That's one thing I can really appreciate.

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  7. S4E20, Leap of Faith (part 1)

    I have little to say about this episode. It is clearly not my favorite. It wasn't bad, though. I just had the feeling it gives nothing to me but the moral. So, I've decided to give it 3-/5.

    There wasn't too much comedy in it. Granny Smith's swimming production and high diving past were quite comic. The scene when Applejack and Apple Bloom were chasing Silver Shill was also funny a little bit. Granny Smith and Apple Bloom were really lovable as a duet. These two deserves more screentime together.
    OMG, Lyra with the 10 points table. She is such a universal pony.
    AJ writing at the end is so sweet! It's a catchy moment. Have we ever seen her writing a letter before? I don't remember.

    We got a little drama with respect to AJ. She simply decided not to tell the truth because she didn't want to take away the happiness from her granny. She didn't conflict with her cutie mark, which is somehow unusual to these rainbow-eyed episodes. My theory begins to fall apart now :(

    I think, the moral was all right. It is positive, relatable and has a natural connection to Applejack's personality.
    The new character is Silver Shill. I admit, I wouldn't have thought he would be a good pony at the end. He was jittery, evil, corrupt, liar then stoic and a good boy, respectively, I can't follow. Based on the character arc, he must be the evil twin brother of Coco Pommel. At least, he helped Applejack realize that lying cannot be a proper solution.

    The interactions were good. Besides AJ and Silver Shill, I liked Apple Bloom and Granny Smith as a cooperative pair. I don't really like the Flim-Flam brothers in general, but they were more tolerable than last time.

    Slice-of-life episodes are always good. I like them, even with under-average comedy and side characters.
    There were a lot of injured ponies of a great variety. We didn't see them so far, as if there weren't injuries and illnesses in Equestria. Here they are!

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  8. S4E20, Leap of Faith (part 2)

    Let's briefly see what I didn't liked.

    The pacing was a bit wobbly to me.

    The characters weren't too impressive. There were no noticeable character-development.
    The Flim-Flam brothers came back to Ponyville. Unfortunately, I hate them because the only thing they do is selling some garbage that they know is bad/useless for the others.

    Silver Shill had no background story and his decisions weren't explained. His attitude seemed a bit chaotic.

    The song sounded like a copycat version of the "Flim Flam Brothers" song. It wasn't bad, just a little bit boring (maybe except for the part depicting various diseases).

    There were some obscure points:
    Why couldn't AJ tell the truth? Her reasons are quite unclear on this matter. She had been against the tonic before she found out the truth. I can't see, why it should change anything. I mean, she hadn't cared about Granny Smith's happiness before.
    Why did she think that the Flim-Flam brothers would tell her the secret recipe?
    How could Granny Smith do such a perfect swim routine? I know that she felt better and she was more confident than ever, but damn, she is an old lady with old rusty joints.

    I think, the only episode that related to it in a natural way is "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", which is one of my least favorites. So, I can safely say I liked this episode more than that, however, I can't say I enjoyed it all the time.

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  9. S4E21, Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 (part 1)

    I found this episode enjoyable though I didn't really like the middle part.
    My rating is 3+/5.


    The good points:

    The comedy is very fascinating, however it is strong only in the first half of the episode.
    I loved Twilight and Rainbow Dash at the beginning, flying Twilight (especially the landing on the cloud - it seems that she never did it before), Twilight's learning methods, more and more bored RD, squabble between them and Fluttershy's interruption, Rarity's ridiculous clothes, Applejack's funny remarks and last, but not least, Rainbow's supernatural learning abilities.

    The tone gets darker when everypony fails in teaching the history of the Wonderbolts to Rainbow Dash. She has real concerns about the exam and starts to give up, when Twilight comes out with the winner idea. I totally love this part as it shows what friendship really means to Twilight. No way she gives up helping her friend.

    If there is something I totally loved, then it certainly is the moral. Omg, it is so true and relatable! Let me say, this episode is a moral-centric one. It reminds me of some good morals from Season 1. Not bad, not bad.
    If somebody can't learn something, it doesn't mean that they are stupid. We are all different, and need different techniques to learn effectively.

    Twilight and RD are the absolute best characters. They were cute and lovable. The interactions were excellent. With these two, an episode cannot be boring. I also liked each of the re-Mane 4 (maybe except that always problematic one).
    I think, Twilight was an interesting character in this episode, which is rare in Season 4. I can believe in her again.
    It's also nice to see Spike and the six pets together.

    Character development:
    Twilight learns an important lesson - how not to be so arrogant :) and Rainbow Dash learns how things get into her silly pony head.

    The best scene award goes to that one, where RD is swinging back and forth on the stool, while Spike is drumming and Owlowiscious is "who"-ing behind Twilight's back.

    Rainbow Dash took the next step to become a wonderbolt. Hurray! It's good because there is a little chance to see her as a real wonderbolt in Season 5, despite the slow progress. Seriously, I will cut my wrists if they mess up this beautifully prepared storyline.

    From this episode, we can learn the history of the Wonderbolts too, which fills some gaps in the history of Equestria.

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  10. S4E21, Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 (part 2)

    The weaknesses:

    The story was too linear and predictable (especially in the middle part). Though, the spots were creatively chosen and the pacing was quite good.

    The graphics was high quality, but Twilight's face was strange sometimes.

    I had a long "WTF?" moment during Pinkie's rap performance. Don't misunderstand me, I have no problems with the song itself, but it isn't really fit in. If you include a subculture that is heavily based on our world, then you should at least explain, why it is present in Equestria, what it means to the ponies, what are the roots of it. Just in order to make it a little realistic, not pulled-out of the hat. A good example is the Wonderbolts, with a believable history and well described social and cultural impact on the pony society. They could have said "FC Barcelona" instead of "Wonderbolts" from the beginning, Rainbow Dash could have been a football maniac and it would have been an equally huge mistake because it has nothing to do with ponies.
    So that's why I didn't like Pinkie's performance.

    Why did Rainbow Dash do this exam in the first place? How did she earn the opportunity? The lack of answers made me feel confused.

    When I saw Twilight in one of Rarity's old wonderbolt cloth, I can't think of anything else but johnjoseco's famous Twilightlicious art. I sense a little fan service here (in the overused sunglasses too), and it isn't good for the series (but johnjoseco is).

    There were some minor inconsistencies in the episode.
    How did everypony -except RD- know the full story of the Wonderbolts? Just for the sake of analogy: if you want to help your friend/girlfriend in taking an exam, you possibly won't learn the whole book (unless you are Twilight Sparkle, which should be quite unlikely).
    How could RD memorize the Wonderbolts' history word-by-word from that sketchy presentation of the others?
    After this, I still think this episode is no doubt a good one with amusing scenes and a relatable moral. There is a little "Reed it and Weep" feeling in it because of Rainbow Dash, and "Double Rainboom" (yes, it is a Hasbro-approved episode) from the side of Twilight.

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  11. S4E22, Trade Ya! (part 1)

    This episode felt a bit under average at some points, while super funny at some other points, so it clearly wasn't bad. My rating is, therefore, 3/5.

    Let's see the good points first:

    The comedy was pretty good and there were some memorable jokes: the unexpected popularity of Twilight;
    Rainbow's Olden-Pony-styled rusty horseshoe (lol), wingboner again (I don't know what else it is supposed to be) and fainting at the end of the trip, Fluttershy's bear call (that really surprised me), the orthros (if you've read Flesh and Blood like me, you could have been surprised what an orthrus is), Rarity vs. AJ aka. rusty pie tin vs. useless brooch. This conflict was very funny and enjoyable.

    The drama was weaker, but still good. At the end, Fluttershy made a big sacrifice for her friend, and when Rainbow Dash realized what was going on, she gave up the first edition Daring Doo book. It was heartwarming and reminded us of the importance of friendship.

    The orthros, Fluttershy and RD were so cute together! I loved them as they walked up and down in the fair. I really hoped, they would keep the silly two headed beast. I'm sad they didn't.

    AJ and Rarity were lovable as well. The dialogues were just fantastic and reflected the different personalities very well.

    The moral was quite good, though it is a repeated lesson and added nothing new to the season's message.
    'Our friendship is more important than chasing the thing we wanted so badly. Old personal stuff do have value: they remind us who we are and how we've become what we are.'

    I loved the conversation between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. I think, the characters interacted in a surprisingly genuine and natural way.
    Pinkie seemed to overact at first glance, but when I watched the episode the second time, she turned out to be quite funny with those comments on Twilight. Though, I still have some issues with her behavior.

    There were some recurring things: the place, Rainbow Falls; Daring Doo books; Power Ponies comic book. Also, good to see the crystal ponies again.

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  12. S4E22, Trade Ya! (part 2)

    In spite all of this, there aren't too many aspects of this episode I really liked. It also means that the other things weren't good enough (or weren't good at all), especially the following ones.

    The plotline was pretty chaotic to me. The storyline of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, which was the main storyline I guess, was rather overcomplicated at the end. We couldn't see what the others of the Mane 6 were doing in the meantime, just one or two quick shots.

    There were inconsistencies:
    What did RD think she could get in exchange for a rusty horseshoe?
    Pinkie terrorizes that little filly and princess Twilight does nothing? That's not exactly what you would expect from a princess.
    How could Rainbow and Fluttershy make oatburgers instantly? You know, as long as you use your own kitchen equipment, you might cook any food easily, but in a new, unknown environment, it should be more complicated. Also, the customers were so shocked from the quick service that they forgot to pay for it! :)
    Several goods have quite a relative value in Equestria. A rusty horseshoe for a crystal chalice; a discord lamp for an orthros? Seriously?

    Otherwise, these issues weren't so horrible as they couldn't prevent me from enjoying the show.

    Here, I usually mention some former episodes that made a similar impression on me. Now, the two candidates are "The Crystal Empire - Part 2" and "Rainbow Falls". While the first one provided a similar fair-atmosphere (which similarly failed to impress me), the second one focused on the same aspects of RD's personality.

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  14. S4E23, Inspiration Manifestation (part 1)

    Okay, I wanted to enjoy this episode, but I lost. Rarity was too much for me and there were no other characters I can enjoy (maybe Owlowiscious?).
    My rating is 3-/5.


    The humor was so-so. Owlicious's who-hu-hu-hu-huu-ing was really funny when Spike acquired the evil magic book;
    Rarity crying and nomming at the same time ... wait, what? Rarity is a comfort-eater? It's funny though, until Sweetie figures out that her secret ice-cream store is empty. Then EOF for all of us.
    I liked Rarity's creations: RD in a long-tailed costume, the apple cart, the bird in the bird-castle - "the other staircase" :), Pinkie's arrival to the 'ruined' party, golden roads and blinded ponies;
    Darth Rarity: "Yes ... yes ...! I can feel its magic flowing within me now!" =D
    exhausted Twilight at the end - the picture is in front of me: Celestia and Luna are laughing and chatting happily while Twilight is doing the dirty job.

    The moral was good, especially with Rarity's reaction at the end. You can be honest to a true friend without fear. (Warning: never ever ever ever ever apply it in real life!)

    Rarity and Spike's relationship was well depicted; Twilight and Spike were a good pair as well (not in the sense of the teamwork, but in the sense of amusement).

    I also caught a potential Power Ponies reference: when Spike said "in your creative radiance" to Rarity, he not just used the name of her alter-ego from the comic, but also referred to the similarity between the special powers they possesses.

    Princess Celestia and Princess Luna in Ponyville? LOL Twilight's prestige is higher than ever.
    The most epic thing for me was Twilight at the end. She was so worked-out I can't help laughing about the situation.

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  15. S4E23, Inspiration Manifestation (part 2)

    Let's see the bad points after the good ones.

    Fair, fair, everywhere ... hey, this isn't fair! Give us back the ol' peaceful Equestria with the ol' usual days!
    The story wasn't too interesting; linear and uneventful for the most part.
    Furthermore, a very small number of characters were really involved - Rarity, Spike, maybe Owlicious, and... and that's all. It's not necessarily a disadvantage; for example, it could have been compensated by awesome performances and interactions, but it's not the case now.

    I expected more drama for this kind of episode because it's about Spike's feelings and telling the truth and such things. Spike's flatness kind of bored me.

    Insane Rarity is confusing: she was totally insane sometimes while quite normal other times; controlled by the book sometimes while self-conscious other times. I didn't really liked it.

    There are inconsistencies, too.
    The most serious one is that Rarity turn a musician pony into Octavia. WTF? It would mean that she erased him from existence and made a duplicate of Octavia. It should be considered as an extremely evil action not to mention that it is an alicorn-level spell.
    Why was the evil book in the castle? Was it really sooo important to Celestia and Luna to store it for thousands of years?
    Incantation magic in Equestria - no, just no! The setting of Season 1 and 2 was fine (where magic was based on concentration). Then, there is a drastic change in the usage of magic, starting with MMC (you know, where Twilight created a new spell that didn't do anything except vaporized her into the Matrix).
    Since when is Twilight able to move ponies through solid crystal? I feel like we really missed something.
    Finally, what happened with the book? Was it destroyed?

    So, you know, first impressions are very important and I couldn't relate to this episode even after the second glance. It wasn't bad, but it lacked creative, new ideas and failed to attract me.

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  16. S4E24, Equestria Games (part 1)

    I think, this episode is a really good preparation for the season finale. It isn't super-awesome, but falls in the same category as "Games Ponies Play", so I like it and give it 3+/5.


    Let's see the good points first:

    The humor was quite good, there were a lot of jokes. For example: Spike as a national hero of the Crystal Empire; Ms. Harshwinny dealing with Spike's stage-fright; Twilight's fire spell; Spike thinks he can light fire with his mind - lol; Pinkie's medal counting hysteria; Spike is super busy with packing; Spike breaths a gigantic fire bolt that melts the no less gigantic ice-cloud thingy; VIP princess section on the grandstand - it's amazing to see all of the princesses, celebrities and mayors of Equestria together.

    The drama was amazing, too; it was well built up, with Spike's personality in the center. He wanted to grow up to the expectations, but failed miserably. However, at the end, his heart was in the right place and saved the Crystal Empire the second time. Well played Dave, well played.

    The Cutie Mark Crusaders were so cute, especially when their sisters (+ stepsister Rainbow Dash) congratulated them. RD and Scoots are so sweet together!
    I don't know how, but Sweetie Bell has slowly climbed up my favorite character chart since the "toiling". This episode wasn't an exception to this rule.
    Pinkie and Twilight were the other two characters that I loved. Pinkie Pie was just Pinkie Pie in a good sense, and it's not a surprise knowing the writer. On the other hand, Twilight was a pleasant surprise because she made the right decisions and was totally honest with Spike about it without excuses.

    The message of the episode is very positive and relatable. Never give up, not even when you fail in your task. You shouldn't feel disappointed for yourself. Greatness comes from inside.
    Spike learns the important lesson to appreciate himself. It should be counted as a character development, I guess.

    I really enjoyed the story. I would venture to say, it was the best story telling since "Daring Don't". Completely fuscinating and unexpectable (at least for me), e.g. Spike's fiasco with the torch or the appearance of the ice-cloud. And the disabling spell for unicorns plays an important role in the episode's inner logic.

    The Spike-Twilight interaction was central, but the dialogues between Spike and Ms. Harshwinny were among the best as well. Although Celestia had no lines, she kept her eyes permanently on Twilight and the others, which was funny too. As a negative point I should mention that the Mane 5 were almost invisible/forgettable in the meantime. So were the CMC.

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  17. S4E24, Equestria Games (part 2)

    Ms. Harshwinny was the best side character. When she appeared the first time in Season 3 I didn't like her so much, but Season 4 proved that there is more potential in the notorious inspector.
    By the way, this episode is full of rarely seen characters: Shining Armor, Luna, Celestia, Cadence, the Mayor Mare, Cherry Jubilee, Fancy Pants, Spitfire, Bulk Biceps, DERPYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!, yay. Good to see them all. I hoped, Derpy would compete, but she didn't unfortunately.

    The most epic things: Spike's awkward moments; Spike saves the day with a huge fire bolt; Twilight saves Spike's honor; RD pats Scootaloo on the head.

    The surroundings of The Games were breathtaking, big plus point for the graphics.

    The flags of the various countries were really interesting. We were able to see a specific event of the Games, the ice archery. Though, I was looking forward to see more of them (and Ponyville's wins as well).


    In my opinion, there weren't many bad things in this episode.
    The humor and the interactions could have been a bit stronger. Unfortunately, the Mane 5 as well as the three princesses had no important role. They were just there, racing and cheering (which is nice, of course).

    There were some moderate inconsistencies:
    Why did Spike start the Cloudsdale anthem instead of finding some cheap excuses and step down? It would have been easier.
    Why did the princesses let the disabling spell applied to them? They should be above suspicion (and, by the way, they have got an empire to protect).
    Why was that cloud there? Didn't they know it is dangerous? Safety regulations sucks ...
    How could Ponyville win the silver medal in aerial relay with Fluttershy and Bulk Biceps? I'm still skeptic about it, but at least a good point is that they didn't win the event against the Wonderbolts.
    It is very interesting for me that the middle of the season was almost free of inconsistencies, compared to the beginning. By the end of the season, these things seem to trickle back again. I would be eager to know the reasons.

    However, we have more important things to focus on: season finale coming next week, yeah! So much looking forward to it. Hasbro, do not dare to disappoint me!

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  18. S4E25-26, Twilight's Kingdom Part 1-2, (part 1)

    This double-episode season finale was awesome! I don't think that it was the best episode in Season 4, but definitely worth to see it. We have got enough action and intrigue for a whole season. I enjoyed the second part with over-powered Twilight Sparkle very much (yes, she was sparkling in real).
    My rating is : 5/5, but only for the second part, the first part was just a prelude, so it wouldn't be fair to take it into consideration (3+/5, if you really want to know).

    The humor was very good. Discord's scenes were hilarious as usual (princess Discord, book is set still on Twilight's horn, disappearance with a motorbike, "Surprise!" for Tirek); gigantic magic-energy-sphere absorbed by Twilight and Discord's WTF? moment when he senses the unimaginable magic imbalance; Twilight and the sunrise; sparkling and teleporting everywhere uncontrollably, flying speed rivaling Rainbow Dash's; Twilight's tree library was blown up... you made Twy angry, prepare yourself (and rest in peace); super powerful Twilight and fight scene - yeah, that was the best;

    Ahahaha, I've never thought I would see an MLP x Dragon Ball x Sailor Moon crossover :D
    Let me speak more about it because it was priceless! After Twilight absorbed all of the princesses' magic the episode took a totally new direction.
    Super-saiyan-princess-fusion Twilight ultimate powa, YEAH! She gains incredible power, and even more, as she becomes angry. That fighting scene in Dragon Ball style is brilliant with the spectacular magic blasts and spontaneously levitating rocks. And when we would think it can't be intensified further, mystic-level unbeatable Mane 6 appears, defeat Tirek (it was really nothing), flying through all of Equestria and teleporting to the new castle in no time. My mind was officially blown!

    Singing Luna was cute, and the rainbow-powered Mane 6 were purely awesome.
    Yay, Coco Pommel at the end! She is the best pony. AUCH, NO... Rarity, please don't hurt me, I'm just joking, I swear... UGH!

    The dramatic arc is grandiose. There are at least three dramatic threads.
    1. Twilight's storyline - she feels useless as a princess, but she finds her place and true calling by the end. She was pretty low-spirited in the first part, and the princesses didn't help with entrusting Discord (instead of Twilight) with the task to defeat Tirek. The princess' song was very interesting, but I didn't like it very much.
    2. Discord's storyline - he was suffering while his friends were hurt. He realized (thanks to Fluttershy and Twilight) that true friends are more important than a chance to rule Equestria. Crying, heartbroken Fluttershy was really intense. Oh, poor little one.
    3. Powerless princesses - they really had to make some tough decisions.

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  19. S4E25-26, Twilight's Kingdom Part 1-2, (part 2)

    The moral was quite good. There were two main messages, both for Twilight and Discord.
    Twilight - Your time will come; friendship is more powerful than all alicorn magic togather.
    Discord - Importance of friendship, with a lesson on gratitude and loyalty in addition. If you lose your friends, you lose everything.
    I loved Discord as a real 3 dimensional character. He always increases the fun-level, but now, there is a dramatic side to it as well.

    The story is close to epic, there are enjoyable twists and turns everywhere. Discord's role is unpredictable for a long time. I thought, he would play a trick on Tirek, and defeat him anyway. It would have fitted more to his famous intellect than just simply being a traitor, but happened what happened.

    The rhythm of the episode was good, but the cuts were too fast for me at times. The Mane 6 are in Canterlot, then in Ponyville, at the Tree of Harmony and in the old castle of the two sisters without transition.

    The characters and the interactions were very good centered around Twilight and Discord.
    The first part focuses on the relationships between Twilight and Spike, and Twilight and the princesses. It wasn't a bad idea, I must say. This was the first episode in which all four princesses played a significant role (and sang a song together, for that matter). Trollestia strikes again: "Twilight, you are the only one who can save the world. We give you our powers to fight with Tirek while we sip some Chinese tee from our teensy tiny cups in Tartarus. Have a good luck!"
    The Mane 5 were okay, though they didn't play independent roles. They were more like supportive characters behind Twilight.
    Discord was more interesting. He was cheated by Tirek, blinded by the "gift" he got as a sign of loyalty.
    His friendship with Fluttershy is really a big deal. I think, it was the best played-out dramatic interaction. Poor Fluttershy, I feel sorry for her, she was so heartbroken. Finally, Discord realizes what her friendship means to him.
    It was also a very positive moment when Twilight declared him a friend. And we all know where this statement led.
    On second thought, Discord saved Equestria two times: in the first part, bookmarking the important pages in the diary, and in the second part, when Twilight gets her special object from him. That was also worthy of Twilight: the gift delivered by the Spirit of Chaos himself.
    Twilight and Discord went through the greatest character development in this double-parter.

    Poor Derpy she had been sucked off. What was she doing with the Wonderbolts, anyway?
    Shining Armor had a short appearance too, though, he has been defeated quite easily, which was a little counter-intuitive.


    There were uncountable epic moments, but far the best was Twilight's fighting scene and that beam of anger and destruction. The random sparkling and teleportation were hilarious, too. I nearly fell off my chair!

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  20. S4E25-26, Twilight's Kingdom Part 1-2, (part 3)

    This double episode is the conclusion and result of the season (rainbowed power and the gifts from friends). A new development in MLP:FIM is that such a storyline arcs through the season and connects the episodes. Though, Applejack's rainbow-episode, "Leap of Faith" still seems to be out of the line (as I mentioned earlier).
    Bringing back Cerberos was a brilliant idea. Oh, I remember that time travelling episode. I would have never thought that the three-headed dog could be important beyond that.

    The best thing is that finally we've got our fight & action story. It made me really happy =D
    The songs weren't too bad, thank God there weren't too many of them. Luna's singing voice is um... interesting?


    So, the two episodes don't give much ground for complaint. Just some inevitable nit-picking follows.

    The first part was a bit weak compared to the ending, but it's okay as it supposed to be mostly an introductory phase.
    The structure (and the writer too) is very similar to that of the season opening (Twilight, Canterlot, princesses gone, goes to Ponyville, finds Discord, confronts enemy, finds friendship, wins and gets her reward but has to sacrifice something important). Lack of creativity maybe... ? though, it's creative enough in other ways.

    Tirek was mysterious and scary in Part 1, but forgettable in Part 2 as a character. He wasn't a very good choice. I expected the return of an old MLP:FIM villain, or Lord Smooze at least.

    There were some really irritating inconsistencies. Let's see them:
    In the first place, how it is possible, that Tirek knows Discord? If Discord was free at the time Tirek arrived to Equestria, he should have appeared in the story told by Celestia.
    Why was Discord fooled so easily by Tirek? I thought, he is smarter than that.
    The princesses' plan to hide their magic in Twilight and keep it a secret couldn't have worked because of Discord, and they should have known that. So, this plan is a total disaster, as it proved to be later.
    The spirit of chaos is powerless against Tirek? Why? Couldn't Discord just turn him into a pineapple or something like that?
    Tirek is a really bad blackmailer. He keeps his word and release all of Twilight's friends, before stealing her magic.
    All of Twilight's rare books are gone, and to make matters worse, we probably lost Peewee.
    I think, the new tree-castle thingy at the end is an unnecessary complication. If you watch carefully, the castle starts to grow between the houses of Ponyville, which totally disappear in the process, giving place to a large square.

    All in all, this two parter, especially the second part, was amazing, it will go on my 'favorite episodes' list. I'm satisfied with the finale of the season.

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  21. After Season 4 had been finished, I had some time to dive deeper into the secrets of statistics. Let me present the results.

    First of all, did I enjoyed Season 4? Mostly. Honestly, I prepared myself for something worse after Season 3. My fears, however, proved to be unnecessary since Season 4 was a pleasant surprise.
    There were some episodes of the best quality; but of course, there were those ones difficult for me to enjoy. But it's okay. Every season has its ups and downs.
    The interesting thing is that even the best episodes suffered by minor weaknesses.
    The season got rid of the flaws of Season 3, but new kind of problems came into existence instead. There were: numerous inconsistencies in the stories; completely inappropriate references; fanservice of the bad kind; in some episodes it felt like the writers just put together the ending in a rush; Pinkie Pie not being Pinkie Pie any more, and all the other characters were quite rhapsodic (or one could say, chaotic). Yes, I think the handling of the characters -especially the Mane 6 (except Fluttershy) and the CMC- was the main weakness of this season. Perhaps, the writers have got too much freedom in writing the characters, which resulted in this cacophony. On the other hand, a number of episodes presented a really good plotline, and these episodes weren't just being for their own sake, they interacted with one other in order to prepare the ground for the finale.

    All in all, I would place Season 4 between Season 3 and Season 2 with respect to the level of enjoyment. The aggregate values of my ratings show just the same in numbers. For simplicity, I converted them to percentages: 0% means better with an inch than other cartoons, 100% means such level of awesomeness that hasn't existed in the world yet.
    Season 1: 73%
    Season 2: 66%
    Season 3: 48%
    Season 4: 64%
    (Well, I don't think you are really interested in these numbers :).

    My top 13 episodes (or top half of the season):
    (the grouping represents my ratings)

    1. Ep. 18, "Maud Pie"
    2. Ep. 26, "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2"
    3. Ep. 9, "Pinkie Apple Pie"
    4. Ep. 19, "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils"

    5. Ep. 4, "Daring Don't"
    6. Ep. 8, "Rarity Takes Manehattan"
    7. Ep. 13, "Simple Ways"

    8. Ep. 14, "Filly Vanilli"
    9. Ep. 2, "Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 2"
    10. Ep. 3, "Castle Mania"
    11. Ep. 12, "Pinkie Pride"

    12. Ep. 21, "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3"
    13. Ep. 24, "Equestria Games"

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  22. Finally, let's see the main characters.
    Pinkie Pie and Rarity were quite rhapsodic. Especially Pinkie. She was awkward and forced sometimes, while amazing and hilarious other times.
    Twilight was just boring for me, except for a couple of episodes.
    RD was erm... not so exciting.
    AJ was pretty good as a supportive character, and not so good as a main character.
    So, I conclude that Fluttershy is the best character of the season. She was well balanced, and changed a lot in the positive direction.

    Our three cute little crusaders were really interesting. They all had their own episodes in which they showed their more mature side. At last, there is a chance, they get their cutie marks in season 5, yeah! My only issue is that the personalities were quite uniform. When you watch a former episode, you know that 'this was Sweetie Belle', 'this was Applebloom' and so on, but now I miss this feeling and I miss the different tastes of the characters. Even though, I would pick Sweetie Belle as my favorite from the three (especially as moving towards the end of the season).

    At least a dozen of new characters were introduced, mostly in the "rainbowy" episodes. I can gladly say, all of them were interesting and unique! It is too a pleasant surprise because the previous seasons were not so good in this business and produced some really flat, forgettable characters.


    My favorite song is the Bats song from Ep. 7, though, I'm aware a lot of brony hate it. It's so damn dark and catchy at the same time.

    If you're interested, you can find further toplists and statistics here:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/64242132/MLPFIM_Toplists.txt


    P.S. I realized that the more I analize an episode the less I can enjoy it. So I never ever want to do it again ( at least not during the season) just watch Season 5 and enjoy it first.

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