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22 April 2012

My Little Succubus: Love is Magic "A Canterlot Wedding" Review

Guys, I'm scared.

No, seriously, I am literally afraid of this review and of what happens after I publish it in my blog. I think I have never approached writing something while feeling the nervous grip in my gut that I am experiencing right now. I've reviewed every single episode of Season 2 in this blog: Everyone. I've been through the hard times with you guys, and we've shared opinions in really interesting conversations down in the comments. But this is the first time I feel things aren't going to be so peachy. You know me. If you follow my blog from Equestria Daily you know how I am and how I like to explain my thoughts. You know I don't simply wave my hand and say "This sucks, lol roflcopter", I actually take the time to explain my opinion. And even with that, even with all that, I have the feeling you are not going to like what I have to say. But I beg you to read to the end so you can understand my point.

This doesn't mean you are not getting a TL;DR. Of course you are getting one. I think they are one of the signs of identity of my reviews after all. Is this a good episode? Well guys, if you are asking that at this point then why are you still here? The widespread reaction to it is just massive. Is this the best episode of the season? Again, according to the widespread reaction, it pretty much is. Do I agree? No. And if you want me to explain please keep reading.

So the episode starts with a lovely picnic in the outskirts of Ponyville. The Mane six are having a relaxing time after an entire season of hijinks and character development when suddenly Spike comes in and belches a letter into Twilight's face. That Spike, he's always such a classy guy. Twilight reads in that letter that Princess Celestia has called for them to assist for the Royal wedding attending different tasks. Fluttershy is asked to bring her birds for performing the wedding march which makes her squee in anticipation. Rainbow Dash waves her hoof in disdain until she is told if she could perform a Sonic Rainboom, to which she pretty much punches the air in approval. Pinkie Pie is asked to organise the reception which, even though I don't know what it really entails, you know it will involve pinning the tail onto something. Applejack, being the good cook that she is, will take care of the bakery, possibly while she is well rested and not sleep deprived. But by far the best reaction comes from Rarity, who's face when she is told she will be doing the dresses for the wedding can only be described as a post-climax face. Seriously, she literally explodes in bliss, I think I have never seen her so happy in any other episode. And finally Twilight will organise everything. However, she is still confused as to who is getting married, which is something that didn't appear in the letter. When Spike shows her another letter (this dragon is as reliable with the mail as AOL) she suddenly learns that the wedding is between a certain Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and her brother. I would cue a "Dun, dun, Dunn" moment here if it wasn't for that TV listing that spoiled it.

We are then introduced to Twilight Sparkle's first solo song in the entire series. Yeah I know Winter Wrap Up had some moments of her singing, but that was a massive song with several other characters all singing at unison. This song is her all alone. It's about her and her brother and about how much she loves him. It's pretty ingenious the way the makers of this show introduce us to this character we have never heard from before but that is such a big deal in Twilight's life. Applejack says it better than I could ever put it:

"Your big brother sounds like a pretty good guy"

And he does. It only takes two minutes of song to get you invested in the character, because you see it from Twilight's perspective. She's not all that thrilled however to learn this from a letter and not from her brother, so she takes on the trip to Canterlot decided to demand an explanation from him.

And towels for Rarity. Lots of towels.
We then cut to the mane cast riding a train to Canterlot. It seems like that's the main type of transportation to reach to that place. This is like the third time they've done it in this season, so we can pretty much forget about the old ways of season 1 with their pony carried horse carriages from The Best Night Ever. However things don't seem quite alright when arriving to the capital of Equestria. If you think the real Royal Wedding had security measures then you have to check out that impenetrable force field of strawberry flavoured magic surrounding the entire city. It looks impressive, to say the least. Twilight doesn't seem to care at all, as she steps down from the train and right away confronts her brother at the entrance of the castle. And, what do you know, her brother is actually a really good guy! He is happy, he is nice, and he calls her the cutest name ever uttered by anyone in the surface of the planet. I promise I am going to have a pet just so I can call it "Twilie", it's just...the levels of "dawww" are off the charts here! But even with all that, Twilight is less than thrilled and more annoyed than anything at her brother's dodgy behaviour. He briefs her that the increase of security didn't allow him to tell her about the wedding, and that the protection spells is powered by his own magic. I like how they subtly explain that both siblings can do the same kind of spell. Also, Shining Armour is powerful as buck. Twilight is super powerful and her protection spell is only able to cover her library. He is covering an entire city! I guess a little more powerful and he could defeat Princess Celestia (keep this in mind for later). Even after all the explanations, Twilight is still angry at her brother because she doesn't know who the bride is. When he tells her that the bride, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza happens to be her babysitter Cadance, Twilight bursts in glee. We are given a flashback to when Twilight used to be babysit by Cadance and we see them as being quite close. It's good to know Twilight had friends previous to moving to Ponyville, it makes her even more three dimensional than what she already is and I thought that couldn't be possible.

Like making sandwiches talk. I didn't know that of her!
So after seeing Twilight phase into her childhood again we are presented to Cadance and that's when things start getting weird for Twilight. She approaches her doing their childhood's playful salute, but Cadance just ignores her and goes straight towards Shining Armour. I will explain this further in my opinion at the end of the review, but this is when I was starting to think on that South Park succubus episode. Twilight, being the one in charge the check everything, sees Cadance behaviour every time she checks over every aspect of the wedding, growing more and more suspicious about who her brother is marrying. She sees her as a rude, obnoxious, self-centred horse who only cares only about getting married and nothing else. The way the show makers put this together is quite intelligent. They only show Cadance from Twilight's perspective, and lets face it, all brothers will always see the one who's marrying their brother or sister as a potential menace. Of course it's all unjustified fear...Until Twilight sees Cadance casting a mind controlling spell on Shining Armour. That was pretty much the point of the episode that had Twilight running around her friends, Princess Celestia and her brother announcing that Cadance is evil, evil, the root of all evil in Equestria! Run for your lives! Stay away from my brother you foal! As one would expect, Twilight's attitude does her more wrong than right. After accusing Cadance to the edge of tears, Shining Armour scolds Twilight telling her that Cadance has being healing him with magic due to the migraines he is getting from casting the shield spell. Because her outburst happened in the middle of the wedding rehearsal, all of her friends were there to see it, and so they leave her behind, including Spike. Even Princess Celestia leaves with a mortifying ice cold voice, which finally breaks Twilight. She collapses on the stairs to the altar for a long enough time to have Cadance show up again, caress her cheek, and make her disappear through the floor.

Whoops, you got me! I'm evil, teehee! I guess you win a trip to the dungeon.
After the needless "To Be Continue" we return to the show only to find Twilight has been imprisoned in some sort of glass cave full of gems. In there Princess Cadance reveals part of her evil scheme in a very vague way, and starts teasing Twilight which makes the unicorn go crazy and zap around blasts of magic energy left and right. In one of those lucky shots she destroys a wall that reveals the real Princess Cadance. And how does Twilight know that's the real Princess Cadance? Well, because she knows their special childhood salute. After a rather heartwarming and touching re-encounter, Twilight and Cadance set to find an exit from Superman's Fortress of Solitude, while the fake Cadance and the real Cadance share what I can only describe as Disney meets Repo: A Genetic Opera. Seriously, two of the least likely things to be combined meet up in My Little Pony. If this isn't an indication of the times changing I don't really know what is. The song ends with a cliffhanger as Cadance and Twilight are approached by Fake Cadance's bridesmaids, ready to stop them from escaping. Will they live or will they die? Well, this is a kids cartoon, why don't you take a guess? I give you two.

We then cut to the wedding where Fake Princess Cadance is about to marry Shinning Armour, with Celestia acting as the minstrel. Everything seems to go according to plan for Fake Cadance, until Twilight steps into the room. The rest of the Mane cast, Spike and Celestia as well, roll their eyes at Twilight's attitude, but when the real Cadance steps inside next to Twilight things turn eerie and everyone in the room gets hit by the obvious realisation: Fake Cadance is not the real Cadance (now it's a good time to use the Dun, Dun, Dunnn sound, don't you think?). Tired of keeping the charade Fake Cadance drops her disguise in the most disturbing thing in this show ever. Okay, we have had quite a few moments that went between the scary to the just creepy. Luna turning back into Nightmare Moon was creepy. Opal coming out of Angel's mouth was scary. Twilight losing her mind and going insane was pretty creepy too. The transformation of the fake Cadance into Chrysalis Queen of the Changelings is down right nightmare fuel-ish. With her true identity revealed so come her real plans. She used Shining Armour's love for the real Cadance to power her own magic and so set her keen all over Canterlot, and from there to all over Equestria. I like how the makers of the show basically shoved in a very adult kind of mythological creature into this show. You see, the way Chrysalis feeds on the love of Shining Armour to make herself more powerful, so powerful she can actually defeat Princess Celestia, is very similar to how a succubus acts! And she fed so rabidly into it that her kind and her powers are taking over Canterlot without trouble. Celestia begs Twilight and her friends to go retrieve the Elements of Plot Convenience-I mean, the Elements of Harmony, to defeat Chrysalis and put a halt to her plans. What follows is a pretty well planned action scene that's very reminiscent to Power puff Girls in style, tone and editing, down right to the shadows over brightly coloured backgrounds. After making their way through an army of changelings they arrive to the chamber of the Elements, only to find it filled to the ceiling with enemies.

 So, defeated, they are taken back to where the wedding was being celebrated. Chrysalis has changed the ceiling ornaments into a Celestia trapped inside a cocoon, and she is revelling in her victory. She revels in her victory so hard and so reveling-uhm-ly that she doesn't notice Twilight freeing Cadance and have her use her magic to bring Shining Armour back. It's useless though, because he is way too weakened after Chrysalis consumed all of his energy to perform the spell that blasts the changelings away. However the Queen of the Changelings didn't take into account that Cadance still has a reserve full of magic energy inside her in the shape of the love she has for him, which she channels into Shining Armour and together they repel the Changelings and her Queen into oblivion Team Rocket style. So yeah, she gets defeated by the Power of Love. With the menace gone the wedding can now keep moving forward and finally conclude. Shining Armour and Cadance make out in front of everypony, Rainbow Dash performs her Sonic Rainboom, Princess Luna shows up at the end wondering if she missed anything, Vinyl Scratch pops up for all the bronies, and they all live happily ever after until Season 3.

All except for that poor flower bouquet.
So that was "A Canterlot Wedding", the season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and I had a lot of trouble going through this review without spilling my personal opinion on it. I think the best way to start is to make my initial statement on it, since I am going into personal opinion now, and then talk about what I liked and what I didn't like. My initial statement is that this episode doesn't feel like a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode; it feels like an episode of MLP:FiM trying to be a Disney movie, and for the parts that work they work amazingly well, but for the parts that don't work they really don't work for me. This doesn't mean the episode is bad, it doesn't even mean the episode is weird, or out of place. It's a very epic way to end a season that has left pretty much everybody satisfied, including me. I can't begin to describe how relieved I feel knowing this season did end in a bang instead of a raspberry.

Things I didn't like from this episode.
Now, what didn't I like of this episode? Well, the turning point at the end of the first episode where everyone ditched Twilight and left her alone. I didn't like that but not for the reasons you might think. I hate that cliche. I hate that moment in every movie, every book, every TV show, where the protagonist is pointing out the evil, devious villain and everyone just ignores him or her thinking that he or she is wrong. They did that to Twilight in here and it pissed me off beyond all repair. I was thinking "These friends are terrible, why don't they trust her!?". They have been through a lot already! They have conquered everything and worked hard together. They risked their lives, their possessions, their friendships, and the bonds that connect them should be really strong by now. So I guessed at this point they would give her the benefit of the doubt. But no, she's wrong, Fake Cadance is good, but then it turns out she's not, so we have to have a scene where the characters go "You were right, we were wrong", and I hate that! I can find reasons why this is happening though. It can be that Queen Chrysalis has everypony under her spell and they are all being controlled, even the Princess. It can also be that the writers of the show wanted to go for a more Disney-esche plot development, and that's exactly how it feels, music and everything. I also didn't like how everything solved in the end. Once again, it feels a bit forced how they shoved in the whole Power of Love compels you, and how careless Chrysalis grows after she takes over Canterlot and imprisons Princess Celestia. It is straight out of the Disney movies, how the villain grows over confident right before falling (Scar in The Lion King had this, so did Jafar in Aladdin, or the Evil Queen in Snow white). Hell, even Discord had it at the start of Season 2. It's a trope, it's a cliche and some people may like it, some people may not like it. I don't like it, no matter how you approach it. I also didn't like how absent the mane six are besides Twilight. It's pretty clear that the episode is all about Twilight, as we are dealing with ponies from her surroundings, like her baby sitter, her brother, but it feels like Megan McCarthy left the others behind to give all the focus to Twilight. Fair enough I say, but it still feels weird. Okay, wow I thought I was going to write more on the stuff that I didn't like. When it comes down to it I only hated two things, but they were quite big deals for me. They are like two red, glowing, pulsating dots that didn't allow me to see the big picture. But now that they are down there and gone I can focus on the other stuff.

Things I did like from this episode.
So I ranted long enough about what I didn't like, what did I like of this episode? Well, let me jump right into what I really, really liked of it: Chrysalis Queen of the Changelings. Oh my God, why isn't she more in this episode? No, forget that, why isn't there a toy of her already in production? Until now the antagonists in Friendship is Magic have been pretty flat in terms of motivation, going from just spreading eternal night to creating chaos for laughs, and not very creepy in terms of design. But Chrysalis! She is smooth. She is confident. She is sneaky. She is beastly. She has constant bedroom eyes. She wants to conquer everything because she wants to feed her minions. She is completely and utterly evil, and nothing could stop her. Hey, guess what? That's a perfect villain! That's the kind of villain this show deserves. A villain that doesn't just look like she could hold herself without a problem in a fight, but whose motivations aren't the simple shallow search for power. But a villain is only as good as his or her entrance is, and Chrysalis' entrance in the show is just wow. I mean, just wow. Like I said, her transformation is down right horrifying. I know, I know, it's a cartoon and all that, but she is terrifying! Those glowy green eyes, and that black skin, that featureless face that only has two massive green orbs, and her holed up wings and legs, smoothly broken voice, her fangs, her everything! If there wasn't a small subconscious part of your brain yanking nerves inside you and screaming and running away then you should check your pulse because you might be dead. My mouth was dry watching that scene. That scene alone deserves its own little Emmy award, I mean that was unbelievably good. Great stuff, seriously great. What else did I like? Well, I liked Shining Armour and Cadance. It goes to show for the makers of this series how easy and fast can they make you feel for these characters in just a couple of minutes. Shining Armour being Twilight's best friend reminds us that our brothers and sisters are, in the end, our best friends and that we should care for them. Also, the story of Cadance being Twilight's baby sitter reminds me a lot about that girl who was babysit by Lauren Faust and kept all the doodles of horses and ponies she did when they were little. So it's pretty easy to feel for them when things get bad. Another thing that I liked of this episode were, surprise, surprise, the songs. Yeah, that's not surprising at all, as I join the majority when I say that the songs and the music for this episode have been top notch. The duet between Queen Chrysalis and Cadance is just brilliant. I don't think I've seen anything like it in any cartoon and it feels really refreshing. I have to point out that, even though I felt a bit toyed with, I kind of appreciate that the big bad villain is not defeated by the Elements of Harmony. The only two times this cartoon has resolved problems through the use of (cartoon) "violence" have been in the two seasons premieres. In the first one they obliterated Nightmare Moon to pull Princess Luna out, and in the second they petrified Discord. So to see Chrysalis get blasted away with the power of Love (and tolerance too maybe?) instead of pulling out the elements of harmony feels like a genuine twist. At first I didn't like this, and I noticed that some other people didn't like it either, as it renders the Mane Six useless, but come on guys, we can't have the same six ponies save Equestria over and over again. Let's give other characters the chance to fight back, shall we? Other things I liked. I liked seeing Luna again. I liked to see her change guard with Celestia, and then at the end showing up and asking if she missed something. I saw some people getting upset about her being used as a throw away joke, and I can see why they are upset, but I actually find it funny. It's okay guys, it's meant to be funny and overall, Luna's been a very funny character since Luna Eclipsed. It was cool to see Vinyl Scratch again, as well as Twilight's parents, even though the HUB's promos kind of spoiled their appearances. And overall I liked the visual aspect of the episode as a whole. It shines like something beyond a two parter. It does feel like a movie, so if we will never get an MLP:FiM Motion picture this is definitely the closest we will ever get.

I'm throwing in another shot, because she's my new favorite villain. I mean, dayum!
I guess you are now wondering why I said I didn't agree with the people saying this is the best episode of Season 2. Well, while this episode had incredible stuff it also had some big deal breakers for me. They didn't really ruin the fun for me, and after analysing the episode I think I liked it more than I liked it before doing so. However, I'm not watching this alone again. No way. This should be watched the right way, in a big screen, with a good sound system, and with your friends. But then again, I really enjoyed more other episodes of this season than this one. Objectively, it is amazing. From my perspective, I enjoyed other episodes better. Will I put it in my Top Ten? I don't think so. It's not just because of the fact that I enjoyed other episodes more. I think that would also be unfair for both this episode and the rest of the season to be in the same category. You can't compare them. They are on completely different levels. Did I enjoy it? Of course I did. What fan of this show can't enjoy this season finale? It's what we wanted to have since the start of the season. We wanted it to end with a bang. And that's exactly what happened. If the bang had been louder then the planet would've been propelled out of its trajectory.

So that's it for Season 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I can't believe I made 24 of these during several months. Now that I have no deadlines to publish new episode reviews until Season 3 starts I can focus on other projects! Like "Cluedo: Ponyville". Or making lots of Chrysalis fanart.

Seriously, she might as well be called "Fanservisalis".
- Defining Moment: Chrysalis' transformation. Need I say more?

- Moral: Learn to trust your instincts, especially in the face of doubt. Now this moral isn't just something kids can learn. There are adults who would need a good dose of this as well.


  1. Good review. I share most of your opinions on the finally, and can see where you are coming from with them. I've enjoyed following you these last few months, and I look forward to reading your work again come the fall.
    Have a good summer. :)

    1. Thank you!

      I'm happy to find more people that share my same concerns, as the initial reaction was so overwhelmingly possitive. Looks like people are cooling off now and noticing some things that made no sense.

      Keep an eye on this blog! There's stuff coming during this hiatus.

  2. Excellent review as always. While these are my two favorite episodes ever, I respect your opinion and see your point. If interested, you can also check out my review of A Canterlot Wedding here:

    1. Thanks a lot <3

      I will give a look at your review right after I get back from work.

  3. Heh, you couldn't resist getting it done on time after seeing that, huh

    1. I couldn't! This episode was too much for me to wait until monday!

  4. There's nothing wrong with saying this isn't the best thing ever, I agree there are some flaws. The resolution certainly was one of the weakest of the series (the ending was kinda also "here's the real wedding OK"), and that in part comes from perhaps Hasbro forcing in these two new characters in main roles for this ep, pushing the rest of the Mane 6 out. I'm thankful it still turned out quite good.

    As for the end of part 1... I enjoyed the scene because it showed Twilight being tactless again, just marching in and shouting EVIL EVIL EVIL everywhere. Even through 52 episodes, she still has a lot to learn. Also, remember the Mane 6 were kinda "buttered up" in promotions to bridesmaids by Chrysalis, who perhaps was sensing her credibility would be attacked. Chrysalis's behavior was chalked up to wedding stress by them, then she seems nice when giving them bigger roles. It's all the sharper a turnaround when Twilight attacks, and when Shining Armor gives a feasible explanation for everything, that kinda cements the idea that Twilight is just way wrong this time - they want the audience to get tricked as well, making the cliffhanger even more scary.

    1. The resolution was incredibly rushed, and it feels quite fanfic-y. OC Pony Princess and Twilight's long forgotten brother save the day instead of the Mane Six? Yeah, they pretty much validated all the Mary Sue fanfics out there XD

      Chrysalis made up for everything though. She's great <3 And I rarely like villains, but she was amazing.

  5. I really couldn't like these episodes no matter how I try. There's a lot of things that are good and fun in it. Cadence and Shining Armour are good characters. Luna made an actual appearance. Ponies had a brawl. What's not to like? Well, the things you didn't like about these episodes I didn't like either, but for me they really ruined it. Ignoring Twilight's worries goes straight against the lesson they learned in Lesson Zero, and given how the show has a good record of friendship-lesson continuity, that's a big let down. Especially from Celestia I don't get it. Canterlot is in a high state of defence and security, a threat is known to be out there, and she ignores a possible lead to the source?! What the hell?!

    But the biggest thing that just upset me was Celestia being defeated and imprisoned. Now, I call total, complete, utter bullshit on that. Power of love my flank! A being who's power should be somewhere around the level of Discord's (the most powerful being in the MLP universe, as far as we know) gets taken down by a random evil-queen on love-steroids?! In one hit no less?! To quote Sweetie Belle: "OH COME ON!". That was just shoddy. A sad attempt to shoehorn the power of love in at the very last moment. Yeah I know it's about Cadence and Shining armour, but please! If you're just going to tear down her dignity, then better leave Celestia out of it, Hasbro, like in Return of Harmony. This left such a bad taste in my mouth that I've been brooding in outrage about it all day, with my love for the ponies taking a nosedive. Doesn't help we'll have to wait months to have some actually *good* episodes again.

    In the past, I always felt sorry for Luna, who seemed to be ignored in favour of her big sister. But now, I realise it's actually Celestia who always gets the short end of the stick. She's good for standing there and being pretty, or for solving minor problems like a spell from her student going awry. But when it actually comes to defending her country? Sorry, immortal alicorn goddess who raises the sun can't do it, leave it six mortal ponies or a bride couple with the power of love. *headdesks* Poor Celestia. At least Luna saves her dignity by being absent.

    And don't get me started on Luna. Her appearance at the end may be funny to some, but it's a sick joke. Absent for nearly the entire season, and when she finally shows up again it's in a time of crisis. But when her sister is down and all of Canterlot is under attack, our monarch of the night is playing hide and seek again?! What the hell, Hasbro?! Then don't bother including her at all!

    What should have happened is that Celestia fought to a stalemate with Chrysalis and hold her of until the Mane Six failed to get the Elements, and then have Cadence and Shining Armour save the day. That would have worked. Or have Luna come in and distract Chrysalis so Twilight could free Cadence. That would have worked too, though Celestia being defeated is still a load of horsefeathers.

    1. I completely agree with you, and I feel like the super possitive reaction to this episode kind of comes from the fear of getting the show cancelled.

      Maybe they think that if we nitpick it we won't get more episodes done. It looks like these people never heard of "Firefly" and what happened to it.

    2. One point I'll have to disagree is about Celestia. From what I've seen Celestia's power is pretty much an informed ability (to borrow from tvtropes) as to we hear about how she raises the sun and moon and we assume she's this all mighty god but truth is we've never seen her in combat. No one states they were god/goddess so I suppose they're only immortals.

      All of Celestia past fights were when she could use the elements of harmony. When she lost them after the Nightmare Moon incident she got "taken away" by Nightmare Moon, couldn't fight back against Discord and said the elements didn't respond to her anymore.

      So to be honest, I'm pretty sure that Celestia's godlike powers had a lot to due with the elements of harmony and that while without them she's still one of the strongest magic user around, she is still not that god like powerful creature people seem to like painting her out to be.

      Though honestly, the fight could have really been better. Queen Chrys could have said some cheesy thing like "Celestia? I heard how strong you are, but without the elements of harmony I can take you on." or some shit like that. THEN it would have led to Celestia telling Twilight to go get the elements.

  6. Somebody also needs to explain to me why Shining Armour was the one who had to cast that spell. Why couldn't Celestia do it? Or Luna? They're the most powerful unicorns in all of Equestria. Why couldn't they? Shining Armour may be powerful, but immortal alicorn he is not. So, why? No other reason seems to be given than plot-convenience. And despite liking Cadence, we still don't know where the hay a third alicorn came from! I swear this episode had more holes in it than Chrysalis had in her legs. I also really don't find her that special. Her design is nice, yes, and her evil duet was a highlight for the episode. But she's no Discord. Discord was funnier, but also more scary in his vast amount of power. Discord was powerful on his own, a real threat. Chrysalis is just a parasite, only strong when feeding on love. I really don't find that impressive or threatening. It bugs me to no end that in the end she isn't dealt with permanently, whereas chances of seeing Discord again are slim. If anyone deserved to be turned to stone or dust, it's Chrysalis. Nobody should taint Celestia's dignity and get away with it.

    So that's what I felt was wrong with the finale, and why I didn't like it. They're most definately my least favourite episodes of the entire series, and it's a shame, because there are a lot of good elements in it. But the bad elements are just far, far too damaging to overlook, and the total waste of Celestia's character I can't forgive. I agree with the review, this is MLP being Disney. And in that aspect, it works. If only it didn't buck canon up the tail while doing so! I found myself wishing for something like "The Best Night Ever" instead of what we got. Just some hilarious wedding shinanigans in that fantastic pony tradition and style we all know and love. Instead we got what we got, and I sure as hay didn't like it.

    Here's hoping Season 3 comes soon to wash away this bad taste. And a Celestia-centered episode to make up for the humiliation she had to suffer in this disaster of a finale.

    1. Actually Twilight says at the beggining that the shield spell only Shining armor can cast it. I imagine is just his special talent. The power of friendship and harmony defeated Luna and Discord. So was it really that big of a shocker to see that the power of love is stronger than the power of friendship. The power of love seem to just overpower a spell nothing more. The defeat of Celestia was necessary to show that she is a real threat since she has no back-story like Discord. Also Luna attends the night and Celestia the day which is why we hardly see her since most episode are during the day.

  7. I thought that abandonment moment was done really well. We saw Twilight unsuccessfully trying to convince her friends somethings wrong with Cadence earlier, and her new evidence isn't any more compelling. Cadence's earlier actions were simple rudeness, which, as correctly pointed out by Twilight's friends and brother, can be chalked up to stress over wedding preparations. Cadence didn't do anything evil, just rude! And the "it wasn't a mind control spell it was a healing spell" explanation DOES fit the evidence. Twilight's instincts were correct, but her accusations were baseless. It was completely believable for her friends, brother, and mentor to call her out on her behavior. Her friends know she's been feeling neglected and unloved by her brother, it's not odd to think she's just jealous of the attention Cadence gets. And really? I think that's one of the reasons she was so quick to jump from "rude" to "EEEEVIIIIIL". I knew Cadence was going to be evil, because you can see where the plot's going from a mile away, but in story there's plenty of reason to doubt Twilight.

    1. Yeah, but that's a way to insult the audience's intelligence. A way. It's kind of silly to show Shining Armour resisting the mind controlling spell and then go ahead and say that Candance's attitude comes from stress. I was feeling toyed with and I didn't like that.

      Twilight's acussations lacked evidence, but if her friends knew her well then they'd trust her word. It looks like they don't know her or don't trust her enough.

  8. Just wanted to point out that after Shining Armor explained about his headaches and everything not even Twilight believed Cadence was evil anymore, so I don't see why you would blame her friends for not believing it. Although I agree with you that this kind of plot device is annoying, in this case it was entirely justified.

    Also "Trust your instincts, even in the face of doubt." is an awful moral and I really hope that isn't what anyone actually took away from this. You should always be willing to reevaluate your beliefs when presented with new evidence.

    Other than that though, I agree with you for the most part. Very good review, it was an interesting read..

    1. I think Twilight ended up accepting it because she was left alone and broken in the throne room. Anyone would accept they are wrong when they have nothing left.

      Thanks a bunch for your support <3

  9. This episode (I regard it as one, if a bit longer than usual) has me torn in two. The parts that work do work amazingly well, but we get a heck of a lot of stuff thrown at us that just comes flat out of nowhere. The team proved they could do pre-planned story arcs with all the preparations for the Gala in season 1; why was the wedding thrown at us out of nowhere, including the bride and groom? Why is there a third alicorn in Equestria? Why hasn't Twilight mentioned this amazing BBBFF in almost twenty hours of the show, or that amazing babysitter for that matter? This isn't like Rarity's parents (who had a similar out-of-nowhere appearance), who weren't central characters in the episode they were introduced. Where does this new threat come from all of a sudden? Why does nopony seem to remember the friendship lessons? (Let me sum up the one lesson you all need to learn, for crying out loud: TALK TO EACH OTHER!) For all the continuity this episode held in the relevant parts, it might as well have directly followed the series premiere.

    Also, why in the world was the ending this rushed? You had more than five minutes still to go; did we really need all that time for the ship-teasy photos (SpikeBelle, RariPants and SoarinDash fans rejoice!) and that incredibly bad "bachelor party" joke? Seriously? Spike has been working as a scribe for over two years, and has never stumbled across that word in all that time? Again, this felt like a throwback to the series premiere. Oh, and Rarity going all Discorded over the bouquet? Yeah, real classy, guys. "Let us never speak of this again", my foot.

    On the other hand, the songs were great, the villain was impressive (if a bit Villain Ball-ish at times; you feed on love, yet don't know or believe its power might be turned against you?), and at least some of the explanations made sense. And all the nods to the fans were a welcome gesture - brace yourselves, Doctor Whooves/Carrot Top fanfics are coming.

    Conclusion: This episode would have worked a hell of a lot better if they'd invested one or two episodes in its setup, à la "The Ticket Master" and "Suited for Success" for "The Best Night Ever". It's not bad as it stands, but due to the lack of setup, the payoff feels rather Deus Ex Machina-ish. Not the series' strongest showing - not by a long shot.

    1. Trust me, this episode tears me appart as well, especially when I talk about it with my friends. I want to love it, I want to love it so much, but at the same time it breaks me. I haven't felt like this since I watched the first Pokémon movie. Dear God, I hate that feeling.

    2. Ooookaaay... so how comes you´re not pissed at the changelings and their queen? They came out of nowhere too, we never heard any mention of a race which feeds on love and can change their apperance. And they were very important for those episodes too imo.
      Is it cause Chrys has sexy bedroom eyes or cause the changelings reminds some of their beloved zerglings?
      Sorry, but calling some parts of a story bad but then love/appreciates other parts though they share the same reason/background on how they came into the episodes, is pretty bad. Its like Twi(lee/lie/ly?) calling fake Cadence evil with no evidence.

      Also alot of the Doc WhoovesxDerpy fans gonna be super pissed at that one scene. XDDD

    3. I'm not pissed at Chrysalis for the following reasons:

      - She has a motivation beyond being all evil and bad, as she wants to keep her kind alive.
      - Her design and her entrance is brilliant. I can forgive a lot if the first impression is awesome.
      - Yes, she is quite an attractive villain, and it's a mix of the bedroom eyes and the voice acting. What can I do? She is just...she makes me tingle.

      I however don't like how she grows over confident and in the end that bites her in her holed up plot, which is another pet peeve of me. I appreciate 80% of her appearance, and the other 20% is just meh, like the resolution.

    4. Just in case James Rye's question was addressed to me, rather than Master Corck: The series has a standing tradition of introducing villains with little to no fanfare - in fact, I can't remember any villain who was NOT introduced like that, and yes, that is annoying in some cases (Discord and the Changelings spring to mind - and that sounds like a great name for a rock band).

      But villainous races aren't something you'd expect the main characters to talk about in the slice-of-life episodes; close family members are. I would mind just as much, if not more, if we suddenly got an episode centered around Applejack's parents, or a never-before-mentioned sister of Fluttershy.

      And just for the record: I do not find Chrysalis as shown on the series attractive in the slightest - she's creepy, not sexy, though some fanart manages to make her look rather nice -, and I hate real time strategy games, so I certainly hold no love for Zerglings (I do know what they are, but then not knowing that would be like not knowing what/who Pikachu is, even if you never watched Pokémon). Not to sound confrontational, but baseless assumptions don't exactly lend credence to your points.

  10. "Feeling Pinkie Keen" - Twilight is stubbornly, irrationally wrong about Pinkie Sense.
    "Lesson Zero" - Twilight goes into a massive panic, thinking Celestia will do some awful thing to her if she fails to file a friendship report on time.
    "It's About Time" - Twilight spends the better part of a week obsessing about something that turns out to be nothing at all.

    Twilight Sparkle's friends have seen her in this "run into the streets and pound on the carriages" mode before and she's been wrong every time. She certainly has *not* earned the benefit of the doubt, if anything, they would be more skeptical of her than of someone they *didn't* know was prone to obsessive freakouts.

    1. "Boast Busters", "Luna Eclipsed", "Secret of my Excess", "The Return of Harmony", "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", "Read it and Wheep", "Bridle Gossip", "Swarm of the Century"...

      Any other episode featuring Twilight shows her friends do support her, especially the original pilots! This lack of trust either comes from Cadance performing a spell on them, or poor writing. I am going for the first option.

    2. Or cause they were really bound by their wedding duties plus had the chance to be bridemaids of a princess (as seen by Rarity and RD (!!!) in the test run they really did liked that. Another example is the part where they wear their dresses.).
      Also they never saw Twi and her bro getting back on good terms and didn´t heard Twi´s story about Cadence being so differently as foalsitter. All they saw was a rude princess who wanted everything perfect for her wedding. And a little and kinda obssessive sister who said the wedding shouldn´t happen at all. <.<

      Though i admit, i had liked if one or two or all of her friends had stayed behind to comfort Twi. Seriously that was so heartbreaking (alone her BBBFF telling her to not show up at his wedding was a heartcrusher and then Princess Celestia), never wanted to hug a multicolored pony so hard. ;A;

    3. Yeah, I keep thinking that, but it still looks like they were enchanted by Chrysalis's disguised as Cadance.

      And that was a heartbreaking moment! I don't mind if the characters break into tears, it doesn't really upset me, but when it happens to either Rarity or Twilight I really get angry. I hate to see them suffering.

  11. I loved this episode. The animation quality hike alone really makes me want to see what they're going to do next.

    1. I am saving to watch it again when I gather up my brony friends. This can't be watched alone.

  12. Here's my 0.02:

    I actually had fun with this episode, but there is a caveat: I went into this episode with low expectations. As soon as I heard about the Princess Cadance/Shining Armor toys, my reaction was "oh gosh why?" For the longest time I was afraid that this would be a jumping the shark kind of episode. It's only because I understood that Hasbro pretty much made them make this episode that I can to terms with it, and for the rather off-putting premise, I think they did a pretty great job with it. Yeah, I agree they were going for a Disney movie feel, but honestly, if they hadn't done something so over the top, then I feel that it would have ended up putting too much focus on the aspects of this that weren't so great IMO. It still has its flaws (Celestia getting owned probably being the biggest), but the good moments were really great, and I had expected this episode to be potentially worse to begin with. So I'm happy with it, overall.

    1. I wasn't so keen on low expectations because Studio B and the writing team do know how to fill these toys with personality, and they accomplished that. Expect people to buy the toy sets in pairs so they can have a nice Cadance and an evil Cadance.

      I doubt Hasbro made them do this. I think Hasbro made them turn Cadance into an alicorn, but the whole idea came from Lauren Faust. I think the flaws don't come from what happens in the cartoon but from how they happen. I think a little more time to explain and develope wouldn't have hurt it.

  13. From your "foreword" I got the feeling you hated this episode. Imagine my surprise when you actually disliked just two things and while they affected you negatively didn't ruin it for you. In fact, you had it above the awesome marker almost all the time! So yeah, maybe a bit overdramatic?

    Anyways, a good overview of the episode, as always. The review was fair, I guess. I got Lesson Zero vibes, too, though this time Twi's friends had good reasons to not trust her. She had been against the wedding from the moment she got the letter and had been nothing but negative. Her friends all saw the good side of "Cadence" and just blamed the stress for her behaviour. Which is actually a good explanation. Then comes Twilight who has been negative all the time and says the bride-to-be is evil. Yea, no way they are going to believe that. With all that I still got the Lesson Zero vibes and made that connection as there are similarities.

    I wasn't really bothered by the fact that it was the, perhaps cliché'd, situation of the hero's friends abandoning her. It was done believably. I was hoping "Cadence" would have kept her mask on and hadn't revealed herself to Twi. She had begun to believe that she was wrong and apologized to "Cadence". And then Chrysalis was hit with stupid. I was hoping for something different but plot had to keep going on.

    I'll agree with you that this episode didn't really feel like an episode of Friendship is Magic. As I say in my write-ups, it actually felt like a movie. It's hard to judge it with the rest of the show there as they are quite different. It's not my favourite episode either. It's a good episode, borderline great. However, it's not one of the best. Maybe one thing it was missing was character interaction, which is something I love. Part 2 was all action, all the time.

    Anyways, I think I'll just drop my walls of text here, they have almost everything I have to say about the episode in case you or anyone else wants to go through them. Had to split it up so that tinypic doesn't make it too tiny to read :S And the thread is positively huge with almost 1400 posts so that's a no-no.
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

    I'll be checking here every now and then to see if you've put up anything. Cheers!

    1. When I wrote the foreword I was freaking out because I wasn't seeing the big picture. I was just focusing on the stuff I didn't like and I was planning on a very negative, very mean spirited review. But as I started writing I started to realize that the awful stuff doesn't ruin the awesome stuff. I decided to leave the foreword as it is, because I find it funny. Consider it a metaphore of how one can over-react about a kid's show.

      Chrysalis' attitude towards the end is probably what I don't like of her. But I don't really care because her design, voice and personality are great. We need toys of her like right now.

      Thanks a lot for your endless support! <3

  14. Ok, As everypony have said, the episode really tried to be like a Disney movie. The only point they get for that is that it didn't feel so forced doing that, but in the attempt of being a Disney movie, the episode not only get the strengths of it, it also got the weaknesses of a Disney movie. Flat protagonists, rushed endings to reach the happily ever after. They could simply cover that weaknesses with what MLP is made for. Don't misunderstand, I really loved Shining Armor and especially Cadance for her introduction, I could see there the hand of God (Faust), but simply it was too little too rushed, this episode really needed a three parter. There it is, a TV movie.
    With respect to the Pokemon movie, James, did you like it or not, because I really loved. Please give me your opinion.

    1. I'd say that the Prince and the Princess are better developed than the average Disney flick, but that's based on the original movies from the 60's and 70's. I mean, come on, we can get more juice out of them. I agree with you.

      As for the First Pokémon movie, the one with Mewtwo, I fucking hate it. And yeah, allow me to drop an f-bomb, because I hate that movie to no avail. I swear to God, I want to burn that movie out of existence. If I get five people to ask me on my twitter to review it for the blog, I will review it. My twitter is up there over my followers ;D

  15. About your review. I see all of your points and think your opinion is pretty rational. Since I watched the episode, it's been my personal headcanon that the behavior of the other mane 5, Shining Armor, and Celestia, was influenced by Chrysalis's mind control spell. I do feel that they should have listened to her, but I like to think they weren't in control of their actions at the time. I think that the episode's plot felt rushed, and that there was more to be done, but I think it was more to do with not having enough time. I'm personally pleased with all the shout outs and Luna especially, not to mention Chrysalis. Chrysalis! She's just...awesome! It's a credit to My Little Pony that they can have a villain who is actually genuinely scary. My only concern is what the soccer moms are going to think of her. Overall, I had a better opinion of the episode than yours, although I fully respect all of your arguments.

    Wow, I just typed a lot.

    1. I agree with your theory as it seems pretty valid. I'm pretty sure they were mesmerized by her, and that Twilight was the only one who saw reason because, well, she's not that gullible. She's always been the sarcastic one, the one who doesn't believe in things she can't see or prove.

      The plot is definitely rushed., but there's only so much you can do in forty minutes. However, they worked the same epicness in the Season 2 premiere, and it didn't feel that rushed, especially coming from M.A. Larson, who loves to do rushed conclusions (NOTE: I love M.A. Larson, he is like my favorite writer in TV ever, but when someone has a flaw I have to point it out).

      Chrysalis is great. She is just fantastic. I love her, love her, love her. There needs to be a toy of her right now! She is like a villain plucked out of the original G1 cartoon in G4 style, I mean how did they do that? That's amazing! As for the Soccer moms' opinions...If they think she is harmful, well, she's the villain. They should point to their kids and go: "If you missbehave Chrysalis will come and eat you!" The kids will scream "Nooo!" I will scream "Oh yes please, I don't mind".

  16. I agree on the Disney-esque take of the episodes. When I first saw it I was thinking: "If we were to get a MLP:FiM movie, that is the perfect setting for one." But the main problem I see is that it wasn't a movie. In my opinion the script would have gained a lot more weight if it had been designed as a 90 min (commercial free) direct to video movie than as a barely (commercials) 60 min two parter. The fight scene could have been buffed up and changeling mythos could have been included or something. But with what they had I still believe it came out really strong.

    There were a few things I didn't like also. Just like you I didn't like how the queen went super careless after she thought she had won. Seriously, if she needed to be careless it would have at least been after she finished goo-afy Twilight, her friends and Cadance. THEN it would have made more sense for her to gloat and/or go feed on some poor pony. And it wasn't really a epic Disney-esque moment all that much because if it were the queen would have tried to fire at the couple and Twilight would have stood up for them in some fashion to show more of her support and some lame "is she dead or is she not" moment would have happened at the end. But no, we didn't even get that.

    The whole power of love thing though I think shouldn't be hated that much. It's been showed already in Heartwarming Eve that the power of friendship could trigger something in unicorns that results in something powerful enough to chase enemies (Wendigos back then). So it's honestly not much of a stretch that something a step more powerful; here love would be able to chase changelings. It's not like it's something new to this show so why take it out on this episode when this show is about the power of feelings one would find on hallmark cards.

    1. For the new characters, I can say that I like them also. Shining Armor was an okay brother and the fact that he had such a huge job makes it believeable that we wouldn't hear from him. Since, like Pinkie Pie's sisters, Twilight's family doesn't get mentioned much before. Cadance is also a character I enjoy though my only pet peeved is the whole "foal sitter" deal. So Twilight had a foal sitter who was a princess? And even before she had her cutie mark? So she knew princess Celestia before that? It didn't seem like it back in Cutie mark chronicles. It would have worked if she was Twilight's foal sitter after she got her cutie mark and became Celestia's disciple. If only they had added Twilight's cutie mark on those flashback. I wouldn't be feeling a bit peeved right now. Aside from that though, Cadance doesn't feel too awkward in the show. I do enjoy the fact that she's a winged unicorn though because I had the opportunity to shovel through the canon vs fanon theories about winged unicorns. I'm pretty sure they aren't something special, just rare. No one makes a big deal out of them, the title of princess seem to impress them more than the wing/horn combo.

      I think you pretty much nailed everything I liked about this episode, especially about the elements of harmony. I'm starting to think they were the buff of Celestia's power way back then because she sure didn't defeat any of the 3 big bad that showed up. Two of them were once defeated by her when she could use the elements.

      Wow, super long reply. I'm sorry about that. On a side note, between the three 2 parters we've seen I prefer Return of Harmony simply because it was more of a 6 pony episode than a full on Twilight episode.

    2. I like long replies :D

      I do agree with you on the Return of Harmony as best two parter. It felt like a more consistent, better paced, better written two parter.

  17. So ... I've spent 5 or 6 hours reading all your reviews since the beginning and I wanted to tell you several things.

    First of all, I genuinely love them, because they are what they are, reviews !
    You aren't trying to be 'one-sided', you put good and bad points at the same level.
    Besides, you always put a lot of yourself in your work (Hurricane Fluttershy is a good case in point here) and it makes you closer to your reader.
    Also, your reviews are always witty, funny, well written and detailed enough to make us clearly understand what you mean. About your opinion on the show, we kind of have the same main ideas about each episode, and I think it's the same for the majority of all the other brony-readers here.

    I don't want to comment about every of your review and statement, I just wanted to write a general comment about your work, and let me tell you it's an amazing job, I had a very good (and loooong, since here it's 5:20AM) time reading your articles and I just wanted you to know it.
    Even though Season 2 is over now, you just won another 'regular' reader, if I may say so

    So, kudos for you, and please do forgive a french young brony for making english mistakes ;)
    Brohoof !

    1. I wouldn't have told that you were french unless you said it :3 You have better English than me.

      Thanks a bunch for reading my reviews, I really appreciate it! It means a lot to me that these little articles reach so many bronies, and I'm very happy to see that they are read all over the World <3 It makes me feel like I amount to something.

      Thanks a bunch, and I hope to see your comments often :D

    2. I must admit that you inspired me so much that I created my own review blog, but not about the episode, you do it just so perfectly xD It's about the songs ^^
      I created My Little Music Review :
      There you can really estimate my english skills xD

      By the way, I don't have the courage to comment on the reviews I already read, sorry, that's why I wrote that comment above to sum up my overall feeling =)

    3. I feel flattered! It's incredible that my words do reach out there, enough to inspire other people :D

      Also, no worries. You can comment anywhere you want here. It's 100% open to everyone, including anons.

  18. I didn't really see why you would be scared everyone would go into flip out rage mode over this review. You explained the areas you thought it lacked in in a very smart and intelligent matter, and in the end, you didn't really hate it anyway.

    Anyways I just wanted to say that I love reading your reviews. So please keep it up and stay classy.

    1. I was scared because the reaction to the finale was mindblowingly possitive, and my opinion of it is not particularly 100% super possitive. I guess I forgot what fandom I'm on ^_^;

      I'll keep it up when Season 3 comes along! Count on it ;D

  19. It's funny how the things that people are bothered by in this episode (Celestia being defeated, Luna's lack of presence, the ending seeming rushed) don't bother me, since there seemed to be an explanation for each (Celestia's powers have never been clearly defined, Luna doesn't live in Canterlot, the conflict was resolved with the defeat of the queen so giving the actual wedding too much focus would have made the ending seem overly long and draggy), while the things that DO bother me nobody seems to notice. Namely:
    -What the hell was that 'anonymous threat'? Who made it? What was the threat? If it was done by the changelings and/or Chrysalsis, what possible purpose could that serve to alert them to your imminent attack? All it seemed to do was slightly slow down the infestation of the changelings since they had to get through Armour's force field, but again, that's not a good thing for the changelings, so why would they do that? It doesn't make sense!
    -If the changelings feed off of love, why do we never actually see them doing that? They just sorta go around causing general chaos with their laser beams and stuff. In that sense, they seem more like minions of Discord than that of Chrysalis. On that same note, if they feed off of love, how is it they were defeated by the 'Power of Love'? Wouldn't that just make them stronger?
    -Why did Chrysalis have to hold the idiot ball after her reveal? I mean, it sorta made sense that Discord would be cocky and overconfident because, he sorta has a reason to be: he humiliated Celestia and her little minions and had become the new god-leader of Equestria. But Chrysalis, after all her scheming to make her day of victory 'perfect' turns into a total idiot! I mean, after her little fight with Celestia, she didn't really seem to do anything other than stand around waiting for someone to defeat her. She just lets the Mane 6 into the throne room, ungaurded, unbound and doesn't even bother to watch them! Sure, she encases Celestia in green jizz or whatever, but Cadence, she just came on her hooves and called it a day, leaving her in the same bloody room as Shining Armour, who is the only one who could stop her. What the hell. And the thing is, with Discord, he sorta had to be kinda stupid to be defeated since he's so OP, but here, there's no excuse. If it had been handled well, I think they could have resolved this without making Chrysalis seem totally idiotic.

    Oh, and unrelated, the word is 'revel', not 'rebel'.

    1. I like your points! I noticed them too, and I had a chat with my friend about them, let me tell you what we came up with.

      - Maybe alert them will make them increase the security measures and make them over worried, so much so that they will forget about the wedding and Cadance, thus giving Chrysalis enough time to infiltrate into Canterlot.

      - I think love is to them what water is to us. With enough, we survive. Too much will kill us.

      - I agree with you there, and it goes for show how much the makers wanted to emulate a Disney movie, right down to the idiot ball moment held by the villain.

      And I will get to fix the typo right away ^_^;

    2. Actually, I think I have a better answer to my first point after thinking about with 8 hours of sleep under my belt: Chrysalis did it so that Armour would be weakened by having to constantly maintain that huge shield, and thus, would be easier for her to manipulate. And with him under her control, he would be unable to reestablish it, meaning her army would be able to break through with relative ease, which they did.

    3. Yeaaah, that is implied in that why does she keep up her charade and not invade Canterlot right away.

  20. I still remember waiting for your special review of 'The Best Night Ever' last year. Its hard to believe its been a whole year already. Good review as usual. Can't wait to be following you again next fall!

    1. Wooow, I remember when I was planning that one out. It's been a wild ride that is still going 8D

      Thanks a bunch for your faithful following! <3

  21. Well, it seems to me that the adverse reactions I'm seeing here (which are, btw, the first I've seen) are mostly the source of many cries of "BULLSHIT!" at some of the "twists". But let's address those concerns shall we?

    The Mane 6 turning on Twilight - Was this really so incredulous? Has this never happened to ANY of you? It's happened to me. Perhaps not in so dire a situation, but it's certainly relate-able. And it isn't even as if they weren't building up to it the entire episode. Chrys was buttering up the mane 6 with compliments and bribes from the word go, even as she snubbed their efforts. The entire first episode we see them turning from Twilight. It happened gradually and made perfect sense in the context of the episode. Cliche or no cliche.

    The Introduction of Mary-Sue OCs - Okay this is legitimate, but not unforgivable. I give a lot of credit to the team that they were able to make me care for both Armor and Cadance within moments of meeting them. Seeing both of them through Twili's eyes for the first time was a masterstroke. She adored them, and so did I. It was as if they'd been there the whole time and Chrys's bitchiness hurt all the more because of it. And then there's the ending...

    The Power of Love Ending - I maintain that it was *not* the power of love that won the day. Everypony is saying how Chrysalis ignored the very power that she drew from herself but that's just ridiculous (Just like she said). Pony magic isn't fueled by love. Changeling magic is.

    Think about what Cadance's power actually DOES. We all saw the sparks from her horn. My theory is that her magic is actually some kind of energizing ability which includes a kind of euphoric after-effect. Shining Armor wasn't using the power of "love", he was just using the power of being able to create an awesome shield. We already knew he could do that. Twilight's plan was just to have Cadance re-energize him so he could do what he does best.

    The Villain Lets Her Guard Down - Okay, this one is cliche. Would I have preferred a 3-part episode? Naturally. I wanted a 3rd episode for Discord 22 episodes ago. Was the ending rushed? Yes, as it has been in pretty much every episode of MLP with a proper villain. Think of the big battle as being PART of the final struggle rather than the prelude and I think you'll be more inclined to like the ending. The mane 6 was "brought in in-chains" so to speak. They were beaten, broken, ALL of them. Cadance and Armor included. Would a truly sinister villain stop to gloat? Probably not. But do all villains feed on raw emotion? No, they do not. Think it less a gloating, and more like savoring a good meal.

    1. Wow, so many points. Let me go one by one.

      - I always defended the existence of clichés because they do happen. However, I never had this happening to me. I always trusted in my friends, and they always trusted my opinion! Maybe because I never cried wolf on them, and they always took my worries seriously, even if they were small ones.

      - I don't mind the OC's, plus they are not OC's per se. They are in the canon of the show, and they prove that there are many other things that keep Equestria safe besides the Mane Six. Now we need the Princesses, Shining Armour and the Elements of Harmony join forces and vanquish everything. Now that'll be an awesome episode.

      - I agree with your theory on the Changeling Magic being powered by love. We all know that the Equestrian Magic is powered by Friendship. But then, isn't Friendship also a type of love?

      - It is kind of an improvised plan, but it works. If Chrysalis noticed it though, they would've been screwed.

      Overall, I like your opinion. It's really interesting.

  22. You shouldn't be scared your opinion is actually pretty spot on at least to me - I even agree with you. The whole 'everyone just up and leaves Twilight' thing bothered me too. It felt, more than anything, forced (though I will argue it was a plot convenience due to time constraints, but it makes me feel like the finale probably would of been better as three episodes instead of two). Same problem with Crysalis meeting her doom to her own confidence, though it DOES seem to be a huge part to her personality too. She never DOUBTED she could succeed so over-confidence does seem like a flaw of hers, but she was also insanely powerful so it seems a bit off she just.. fell like that.

    I also would of liked more inclusion of Twilight and Armor's parents! It's an important day for their first born but all they get is to be background ponies? No pep talks about the wedding to their son and 'evil daughter to be?' Hell if my son was being threatened by some evil enchantress that does evil... bedroom eyes, I would be trying to kick her hide no matter how strong she is! It was disappointing they just got kicked aside and shown in cameos.

    Same with Luna - if for anything, to be protecting the people of Canterlot - if only for ONE semi-scene. Though, when her appearance FIRST occurred, we saw her flying in from out of Canterlot into the barrier when night fell - which raises the question, where was she? Does she possibly leave Canterlot during the day to go somewhere else? Is that why we never see her in Canterlot no matter how many times the ponies visit? It raises a lot of curious questions but that subtle entrance might yield some pacification at least to Luna lovers. It could also answer why she was still very uneducated about the new social ways of Ponies... if she doesn't live in Canterlot at all and since she 'guards the night' no one is really UP to teach her, not even her sister who has the whole kingdom to run during the day.
    Yeah okay being to analytic.

    But despite those flaws, this finale actually is in some of my top favorites now. It also gave me my favorite song - This Day Aria. I ADORED it - and moreso, it had me crying at one point. Curiously, this song sounded somewhat familiar to May the Best Pet Win song. It had a similar sounding tone at some point to the point where RD is singing about 'How the bat would be awesome, but I'm digging the wasp too... what to do, what to do'. Or at least it sounded like it to me?

    The voice actors, again, impressed me not only in singing but just all around.

    I also loved Celestia when she went against Crysalis - even if she lost in like two seconds. It was just, I dunno, inspiring to see her trying to protect canterlot and acting all tough and awesome.
    And then the fight scene for the mane six was awesome too - Fluttershy and Pinkie were a crack up, and then rest was just awesome (we saw a return of the party cannon!) - though we didn't really see Rarity do anything 'special' I don't think which was a little bummerish.

    (sorry gonna have to split this in two)

    1. I loved Crysalis too. Her design is just beautiful. You made me go back and watch her transformation too and your right it's pretty terrifying xD

      Spike I loved too - him playing with a 'doll at it's wedding' was kind of a nice shout-out to boys that 'girly' things can be fun too. It was also just hilarious here his high squeaked 'I DO.'

      And, most of all, I loved the beginning of this episode. I NEVER watch promos, so everything is always a shock for me. I dunno if it was revealing the minute Twilight said 'And my brother?!?' I was literally screaming 'WHAT?! BROTHER? WHAAAAT?!' And then I had to pause it and roll around on my bed, screaming 'Whaaaaat?!?' for another half a minute because I was so in shock. I was not, in all my life, expecting that.

      Random comment, but I loved how you split up your things you liked and didn't like with pictures! That was awesome haha
      Anyways, like always, an awesome read! See you in season 3!


    2. I read all your comment(s).

      O_O Oh wow, I love when I see comments like these.

      Man, get an account on blogger please, because I want to see a regular commenter like you getting his name on the top of the post instead of being named anonymous. That'll be cool.

    3. Hmm, I do have a livejournal, I wonder if this will work?

      Anyways, glad you like the comments xD And here I am worrying I talk TOO much haha

  23. I happen to have your same likes and dislikes. I really dislike the deus ex machina 'power of love' ending and the overdone cliche weakness of arrogance (the villain could have won if she wanted to). This episode did not show what the power of love really is either. It just used magic and called it love. It would be better to see something along the examples of the key virtues in the pilot episodes.

    For instance, the queen could have tested their love not expecting them to have the strength of conviction to win. Another good route would have been to have them try to defeat the Queen by starving her of love, but their love prevents them from not expressing it for long, and Shining Armor and Cadance have overfeed the Chrysalis to defeat her.

    Thanks for the review and nice new profile pic.

    1. You're right on that. The way this episode showed love is similar to the way "Moulin Rouge" showed love. They talked about it a lot, but they never explained it.

      Another good way to show it would've been to have Cadance and Chrysalis fight, and Cadance ending really injured, almost like she's half dead at the end. Then, when she's about to collapse, she starts crawling towards Shining Armour, because if she dies she wants to die next to him. Then, beam of pink light, and we go for the ending we got. That would've been stronger, but this is a kid's show. You might have never had that. Even though I don't really like their choice I agree with them, and I would defend them as something the target demographic would enjoy.

      And in the end, that's what matters.

  24. First off, as always, great review and I agree with almost all of it.

    Chrysalis so easily beating down Celestia was a bit annoying. It does make a certain sense; Chrysalis seems to be a changeling alicorn, so it could be argued that she would have a similar power level. But it still feels off. Perhaps it is that, having seen her undertake such elaborate underhanded schemes of deception, it seems strange that she can come out and so easily win an honest fight.

    I am not sure what would have been a better alternative. As with the use of the Elements of Harmony, having Celestia mysteriously absent was a solution they used in the first two season premiers and it would have felt strange seeing it a third time. They could have had her declare that she needed to hold off the changeling hordes outside and fly off, but that would have seemed like a weak excuse when the changeling queen was right in front of her. Perhaps the best solution would have been to have Chrysalis take her down, not in an open fight, but with some type of sucker punch. It would have fit with Chrysalis' deceptive nature, though it would also be something of a cliche in its own right.

    As another commenter noted, Twilight herself is convinced that she was wrong at the end of the first part. I feel this serves as a bit of a twist on the cliche of everyone ignoring her warnings. It is still a worn cliche, but I found it a bit more bearable than it would have been otherwise.

    I concur that the Power of Love saving the day was a nice alternative to another iteration of the Mane Six using the EoH, especially since the episode wasn't very focused on them. It also fit with the episode's wedding theme. I found it satisfying.

    I agree that parts of the episode don't feel quite MLP. But my personal perspective is that, once a series has put out enough good episodes, I am happy to give them some leeway in experimenting. Even if some things don't quite work out, it doesn't detract from the quality of previous episodes. For example, I would have been disappointed if the first two season premiers weren't focused around the main characters. At this point, at the end of season two, I am ok with them taking it a different direction. I am glad to see them occasionally throw random stuff at the wall to see what sticks. And in my mind, if any series has earned that right, Friendship is Magic has.

    I also like how Applejack repeatedly tries to put on her hat whenever Rarity is distracted.

  25. Speaking as someone whose favorite pony is Luna, and whose second favorite is Celestia, I honestly didn't have a problem with Celestia being beaten in the finale.

    Two reasons why:

    1) When Celestia and Chrysalis are locked together with their magic beams going, the look on Celestia's face suggests that she was not putting a lot of effort into the magic she was unleashing. It was a stern look, but she did not look like she was struggling. Chrysalis, on the other hand (hoof), looked like she was legitimately struggling to hold Celestia at bay until she finally overcame her.

    2) When Chrysalis defeats Celestia, her attitude about it is not one of "I'm the best I knew I could beat you". She has a shocked look on her face after Celestia goes down, meaning that she did not expect to win that fight.

    This means that Celestia has a reputation of being extremely powerful, and not somepony to mess with. I also like how it makes Celestia seem like a more believable character, and not some Mary Sue who is so powerful that nothing can touch her. Leaders make mistakes, that is the reality. Celestia made a mistake by underestimating Chrysalis, and she paid for it.

    As to Luna not being present, I am of the belief that she was either in Canterlot off screen fighting the minions, or was on her way back to Canterlot from wherever she was, which is why she asked "Did I miss anything?". Maybe she ran into Chrysalis on the way back, seeing as how they were launched from Canterlot pretty forcefully.

    1. I have to admit, I love that Chrysalis puts Celestia into a...well, chrysalis. That was a great creepy moment we wouldn't have had if she hadn't been defeated. Celestia isn't the most powerful being in Equestria, and we know that since the begining of Season 2.

      Also, did you realize this show has a tendency to go for the pacifist approach? Everytime they go for the fighting, violent, physical action happy approach, they fail terribly at it. It's not until the power of love and tolerance that things get solved XD

  26. Um, James, I think you should see this. This has nothing to do with the season finale, but about The Mysterious Mare Do Well, an episode you think was awesome. The reason why I'm posting here is so that I can get your attention because if I post this on the MMDW review, I don't think you will see it, so I'm posting it here. Click on the link and see.

    1. Okay, there is no link on that URL, so instead you should copy paste that URL into the address bar.

    2. Yeaaah, I understand why so many people hate MMDW, and it is terribly written. I never said the oposite.

      I consider it my guilty pleasure episode of this show. Is it well written? No. But it looks great, it's packed with action scenes, and it's a neat parody of old cheesy 60's super hero shows. For that, I actually like it, even if it's terribly written.

  27. Well, first off, let me say that I look forward to reading your reviews, even when I disagree with your opinions. That's why I was bummed that I had to wait so long to get to reading your thoughts on these episodes.

    For the most part, I agree with your criticisms, but those were minor to me, especially since the rushed ending thing is pretty much a common criticism I have to many episodes of this series. What really bothered me was Chrysalis and the plot hole about the changelings hunger for love.

    If the changelings feed off of love, why would they try to take over and enslave all the ponies that are full of love they could feed off of? I know that how love works isn't really explained in the series, but assuming that it's powered by emotions, I would think putting your food source in a position that would weaken its yield would be a poor decision. If the changelings were simply nice or pretended they were ponies worth loving, they would get far more love to feed off of than if they simply enslaved everypony.

    As for Chrysalis, something about her is rather off-putting. Chrysalis has a great visual design that I absolutely adore and I can't wait for finals to end so I can try making a life size sculpture of her, it's just that creative a design. Unfortunately, I feel that is all she has going for her.

    This is where I disagree with you most in your review, because I felt Chrysalis, and the changelings in general are among the flattest villains in the series. Yeah, they have the motivation of wanting to feed off the love, but we don't really know if they are starving without it and if they are, I would think they would want to set up some type of system where they would get a large food source that would run out (see point above about love as a food source).

    Beyond that motivation for food, the only personality she shows is being evil for the sake of being evil and making the same cliche mistakes that only bad and overly cartoony villains make. She had no depth to her beyond feeding her army for more power to, as she put it, take over Canterlot and then all of Equestria. Insert M. Bison "Of Course" clip here.

    At leas with the other villains, their motivations felt more fleshed out or meaningful. Nightmare Moon was seeking revenge for the neglect she received from all the hard work she had put into making beautiful nights as Luna and then being trapped in a moon for a thousand years. Discord is a little harder to understand, but the biggest thing to realize about him is that he isn't really "evil." He is simply an all powerful creature that gets his kicks by screwing with the natural order of things, no matter who suffers from his hijinks. He simply does what he wants because it amuses him, not because he has some evil agenda to simply be evil.

    Well, I typed a lot more than I expected but I guess that's just because I had a bit to say about her. I kind of feel like I'm among a handful of fans that don't like Chrysalis, though as I stated earlier, I still love her visual design.

  28. Great review.

    And this episoide had so many highlights like the Changelings and so on.