Friday, May 2, 2014

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 4 Episode Reviews (SPOILERS)

05/03/15 EDIT: Yes, I removed the first three seasons from this review list. I'll post them up again later once I've had the time to watch every individual episode by itself and make the proper revisions to my reviews for each of them while the details are still fresh on my mind. I think it's time for me to revise my rankings for various episodes, rearrange some stuff, and actually post my reviews based on production order instead of based on how good I found each episode.  It's going to take me a while, but I'm going to split this into multiple parts, try to give more detailed, less amateurish reviews, and give each episode a more proper rating, rather than following the "10/10 it's ok - ign" protocol I've been doing.

My Season 4 Favorites (for the moment, I've listed them in chronological order instead of order of ranking... ALSO, CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS):

1. Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1 (9/10, pretty much a sequel to Magical Mystery Cure... This episode started off fairly heartwarming, and then ended up getting serious... The Everfree Forest has started to take over Equestria, Discord returns, and his antics are entertaining as always, and it closed with an awesome flashback scene detailing Princess Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon... this episode was AWESOME)

2. Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 2 (9.5/10, this episode opens up with the flashback battle between Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon, which, as you may imagine, along with being epic, was also one of the biggest tearjerkers in the entire series... Discord's antics continue to be quite hilarious, and we get a glimpse of just how much of a magnificent bastard he truly is. The ending was a little bit rushed, but o
verall, this was the best season opener EVER)

3. Castle-Mania (8.8/10, this episode, while not quite as epic as the Season 4 opener, is still pretty awesome in its own right. Twilight Sparkle is very much the same as she ever was... She still has an incredible obsession with books and learning, The Mane 6 sans Pinkie explore Princess Celestia and Luna's old castle, and they end up being terrified by it... The last few minutes pretty much culminate in everypony running around screaming in abject terror, until Twilight snaps them out of it. Then, the twist... Pinkie Pie was the one playing the organ. They walk away from the castle with the realization that the Pony of Shadows isn't real, but then, ANOTHER twist... The 

Pony of Shadows WAS real all along. Then the episode ends, happy music plays, etc.)

4. Daring Don't (10/10... OHMIGOSH OHMIGOSH OHMIGOSH OHMIGOSH OHMIGOSH THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST EPIC EPISODES EVER!!! ...Now with my epic fangasm out of the way, Rainbow Dash's constant fangirling of Daring Do was adorable, her interactions with Fluttershy in the early parts of the episode were funny, Daring Do is revealed to be real, meaning ALL of the awesomeness in her books actually happened, Daring Do kicks a whole bunch of flank throughout the episode, the final confrontation between Daring Do + The Mane 6 and Ahuizotl and his goons was also the stuff of awesomeness. And the ending of this episode was awesome and heartwarming as well. Yes. If you watch only ONE episode of MLP:FiM, I would probably recommend this one)

5. Flight To The Finish (8.25/10, Pretty good Scootaloo episode, catchy song, Rainbow Dash was absolutely adorable in this episode, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are horrible, insufferable, hate-filled bullies as always... While I prefer Sleepless in Ponyville to this one, this episode was still pretty good. T
he conclusion was pretty heartwarming and awesome... Scootaloo throwing away her scooter and flight posters and crying because she couldn't fly and thought herself unworthy of being a pegasus was quite heartbreaking, Rainbow Dash convincing Scoots that regardless of whether she flies or not, she's still awesome, and Scootaloo immediately proves this by riding her scooter to the Equestrian Games with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle in tow, FASTER than the speeding locomotive Dash, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were just on, mind you, and winning.)

6. Power Ponies (8.25/10, pretty good episode, though not necessarily to the degree of most of the others during this season so far... They kinda overdid the references and cliches a little bit, but overall, it was a pretty enjoyable experience. Pinkie Pie was entertaining as always, Rarity's superpower in this was probably the coolest thing IMO, Flutterhulk was awesome, and Spike saving the Mane 6 and helping them save the day, consequently finally gaining the respect he 

deserves for once, is CERTAINLY the crowning moment of this episode for me)

7. Bats! (8/10, starts off kinda slow, but the song was pretty awesome... Kinda reminds me of the March of The Dead from Army of Darkness, and the episode gets awesome very quickly. Flutterbat is the cutest thing ever, and it's nice to see all the arguments of Twilight Sparkle becoming a Mary Sue after becoming an Alicorn be effectively shattered by way of her basically making the same mistake she made in Swarm of the Century.)

8. Rarity Takes Manehattan (9.75/10, Rarity finally gets her own episode after being shortchanged in Season 3, and that makes me happy. This episode was absolutely magnificent. Manehattan looks absolutely glorious, the song was nice, and pretty much everything about this episode was great. I'll refrain from posting spoilers until more people have had a chance to see it, as hard as it may be due to all the gushing I'm doing about it.)

9. Pinkie Apple Pie (8.5/10, great episode, EXCELLENT song, Pinkie Pie reads a genealogy scroll and finds out she might be Applejack's fourth cousin twice removed, and they embark on a family trip to find out for sure whether this is true. Of course, the episode ends on a cliffhanger, which I didn't really like, but the rest of the episode was pretty cute, heartwarming and entertaining and thus doesn't really suffer much from it. Also want to give a big shout out to Peter New for his VA work as Goldie Delicious.)

10. Rainbow Falls (9/10, another excellent episode... I liked how Bulk Biceps got more lines and actually got along quite well with the Mane 6. Cheerleader Pinkie Pie was incredibly adorable, the return of Derpy Hooves was another awesome and heartwarming thing, Rainbow Dash's conflict of loyalties was handled fairly well, albeit at the cost of Spitfire and Fleetfoot coming off as manipulative jerks for most of the episode, especially with the way they treated Soarin... Hope to see more of Bulk Biceps and Derpy Hooves, and I also hope next time Spitfire appears, she's LESS of a jerk than she came across in this episode) 

11.  Three's A Crowd (8/10, another good episode... Not all that keen on Flash Sentry, who was supposed to be an Equestria Girls-exclusive character, cameoing in this episode, but it's actually no big deal, really. Other than that, Discord's hijinks were entertaining as always. His song and the battle with the Tatzlwurm were the highlights of this episode)

12. Pinkie Pride (9.9/10, excellent, entertaining, hilarious episode, and probably my second favorite Season 4 episode so far... Weird Al Yankovic stars in this episode. The awesomeness of this episode cannot effectively be put into words. You really should watch this episode for yourself)

13. Simple Ways (6/10, This episode was decent... While it had a few funny and entertaining moments, I wasn't really fond of Trenderhoof, and thought he was a jerk... I also didn't like how Rarity pretty much brushed Spike off and pretty much ignored him entirely. Overall, fairly good, not great... Probably the weak link of Season 4 so far.)

14. Filli Vanilli (8.5/10, very good episode, I loved seeing Big Macintosh sing, Fluttershy in particular has an incredibly beautiful singing voice, Flutterguy's return was awesome as well, and I particularly loved the little Cheerilee x Big Mac tease that occurred at one point in the episode. However, seeing Fluttershy break down sobbing, running away from everypony towards the end, as always, was incredibly heartbreaking... Even when she first broke down sobbing in her Flutterguy voice, it STILL managed to almost make me tear up. I just can't stand seeing her cry, no matter WHAT she sounds like. Though, it ended with Fluttershy and the Ponytones singing in what is arguably one of the BEST musical moments in the entire series. The only thing I really disliked about this episode was the way Pinkie Pie behaved throughout this episode. Almost every line she spoke was her (albeit unintentionally) constantly making Fluttershy feel even worse by saying the wrong things. Also, another minor gripe I have with this episode is that it's basically Hurricane Fluttershy recycled, except this time Fluttershy's problem is dealing with extreme stage fright instead of worrying about other ponies making fun of her flying skills, and the ending's moral was different this time around, but, all in all, it's a pretty entertaining episode, so I can forgive this. Would be 9.5 if it weren't for Pinkie's insensitive, obnoxious behavior.)

15. Twilight Time (6/10, fairly bog-standard CMC episode, and probably the weakest link of Season 4, but decent nonetheless. It's nice to see Pipsqueak make another appearance. Sweetie Belle's incredibly adorable squeaky voice returns as well. It's also quite heartwarming to see Twilight Sparkle tutor the Cutie Mark Crusaders and teach them to do stuff... Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, while still rude, obnoxious, manipulative jerks, were actually fairly nice to the CMC for once, even though it was SOLELY to get Twilight Sparkle to do favors for them, so while I still intensely dislike them, I have to give them props for at least not being outright HORRIBLE towards the CMC this time around. It was also awesome seeing Sweetie Belle daydream about using her magic to humiliate Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. It's the first sign of evidence that Sweetie Belle, while usually a very nice pony, has a dark, vengeful side. Also, holy crap, Twilight can eat a LOT of food. Seriously, she ate like 6 hay burgers and a whole bunch of horseshoe-shaped french fries. And it was nice to see the CMC improve at their studies as well at the end of the episode, particularly, Sweetie Belle FINALLY successfully using magic. Maybe this leaves a spot of hope that Scootaloo could fly in a future episode? Who knows?)

16. It Ain't Easy Being Breezies (9/10, heartwarming and beautiful episode... I wasn't really a huge fan of the Breezies aside from Seabreeze, but this was an excellent character development episode for Fluttershy, and I found myself sympathizing with Seabreeze quite a bit as well... even if he was a little bit rude for most of the episode, it was always perfectly clear that his heart was in the right place. He just wanted to get home to his wife and kid, and he clearly wanted what was best for his fellow Breezies as well. Fluttershy realizing the Breezies weren't safe in her world and shooing them away so that they would go back to their homeworld where they were safe, and then breaking down and collapsing in a sobbing heap at the front door after they left was heartbreaking, and the Mane 6's temporary Breezie transformation, while it felt like it came out of left-field, was surprisingly well-done and I had no problem with it.)

17. Somepony To Watch Over Me (8.5/10, great episode... Starts off like your usual CMC episode, with the Cutie Mark Crusaders being adorable as always, but the second half of the episode is incredibly awesome and epic... It features Apple Bloom, in a desperate attempt to prove to Applejack that she doesn't need to be constantly watched over 24/7, traveling through an incredibly dangerous, hellish swamp with fire and hot lava, and a dangerous chimera with a voracious hunger for pie and, failing that, "filly filet". Only problem I kinda had with this episode is how overprotective Applejack was of Apple Bloom, though, this could be explained as them having lost their parents at a young age, and AJ not wanting to lose her younger sister as well, so her constant coddling of Apple Bloom may be understandable with that in mind. At any rate, Applejack's moment where she saves her younger sister from the chimera is incredibly awesome and heartwarming.)

18. Maud Pie (9/10, great episode... Pinkie Pie has more than redeemed herself as a character after her obnoxious behavior in Filli Vanilli, and while I didn't really like Maud Pie's character at first, she grew on me by the end of the episode... Seeing her throw a rock over a mountain (it even flew WAY past Twilight's library!!!), so hard it caused a mushroom cloud was pretty awesome, and the way she utterly smashed a humongous rock that was about to crush her younger sister was one of the most prodigious feats of awesomeness I've seen anypony on this show do, and a lot of ponies, ESPECIALLY each individual member of the Mane 6, and yes, even the Cutie Mark Crusaders, have some very awesome accomplishments to their name. But, most of all, her relationship with Pinkie Pie is really as heartwarming as things can possibly get, and despite her general lack of expressiveness, you can also tell that she warmed up to the other Mane 5 as well by the end. All of this makes me like Maud Pie, both the character and the episode, a lot more than I was expecting to at first, although I personally still prefer other Season 4 characters like Coco Pommel and Cheese Sandwich. Only thing is, now I'm hoping for a future episode featuring Pinkie Pie's younger, and by all appearances, far more expressive sisters, Marble/Inkie and Limestone/Blinkie Pie. I also want to see more of Maud, of course.)

19. For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils (9/10, Sleepless in Ponyville Part 2: The Sweetie Belle Edition. The return of Princess Luna was something I've been waiting for all season. Sweetie Belle's dark side returns with a vengeance, though I didn't like how Sweetie Belle sabotaged Rarity's work for such a stupid reason as Rarity's dresses being the highlight of Sweetie's play. However, the second half of the episode (mostly the dream sequence) was awesome enough to make up for it. The dream sequence was quite disturbing, showing imagery of a bad future where Sweetie Belle's mistake costs Rarity her fashion career, her sanity, and effectively, her entire life, to the point where she won't even make dresses for her friends anymore, and Sweetie Belle, naturally horrified and overcome with guilt and remorse at seeing her sister lose everything because of her, begs for Princess Luna to stop showing her those images and let her wake up so she can correct her mistake before it's too late. As to be expected of an episode centering around Sweetie Belle and Rarity, the ending was heartwarming as well. As this is effectively Sweetie Belle's answer to Sleepless in Ponyville, I'd like to make a personal note and say I hope Apple Bloom gets an episode where Princess Luna visits her dreams and helps her out somehow)

20. Leap of Faith (8.5/10, The Flim Flam Brothers, con artists businessponies nonpareil, return to Ponyville, this time pitching a tonic they advertise as a panacea, a miracle elixir that cures all ills. Granny Smith starts to believe Flim and Flam's, er, flimflam when she suddenly forgets her fear of swimming and starts doing all sorts of magnificent feats. Applejack, of course, is skeptical of these two, and goes to confront them. Flim and Flam "hypothetically/theoretically" reveal that the "cure-all tonic" is made of a mixture of apple juice and beet leaves, and then pretty much guilt-trip Applejack into keeping quiet about it so they can keep scamming everypony out of their money  she doesn't ruin Granny Smith's happiness . Of course, after Granny Smith nearly kills/injures herself trying to do an extreme diving feat, Applejack decides she's had enough and exposes these two for the frauds they are, tells the truth about the cure-all tonic being a scam for Flim and Flam to make money, and then she gets her Rainbow Key, a bit that's given to her by Silver Shill, a pony that helped Flim and Flam with their scam, but then helped Applejack expose Flim and Flam's scam out of guilt. Flim and Flam, karmic Houdinis nonpareil, slink away into the sunset without even returning any of the money they scammed out of numerous ponies. Also, another entertaining, catchy Flim Flam Brothers song plays, and while they're con artist scumbags, they prove to be entertaining con artist scumbags. While their previous episode made me hate their guts at the end, this episode actually made me like them a little bit. Their song was catchy, even if some of the images of sick ponies that Flim and Flam displayed were a bit gross.)

21. Testing Testing 1 2 3 (8.5/10, not really what I was expecting, but a great episode nonetheless... Rainbow Dash's pranks and antics during the first few minutes of the episode were kinda entertaining, especially when she, Spike and Owlowiscious did the little marching band thing while Twilight was doing her history lesson. And Rainbow Dash's breakfast-related answers were pretty funny, too. Fluttershy had an awesome moment when she saw Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash arguing, and  she broke up the fight by screaming at them to stop, and they actually apologized to one another over it. Pinkie Pie's rap was also incredibly entertaining. I felt really bad for Rainbow Dash when she broke down and stormed off, utterly frustrated by her inability to learn, and kept calling herself dumb afterwards. Just before she stormed off, she truly sounded like she was on the verge of tears, and for a normally strong-willed, confident, boisterous pony like Rainbow Dash to have her spirits crushed to that extent is quite heartbreaking. Thankfully, towards the end, through the power of being an extremely adept visual learner, Rainbow Dash suddenly learns the Wonderbolts' history in what is one of the most heartwarming moments in the entire series. The first time I watched this episode, I was fairly harsh on this episode, rating it a 7.5. But after rewatching it, I think this episode is actually pretty awesome.)

22. Trade Ya (7.5/10, a fun episode that's, refreshingly, significantly more lighthearted than the previous episode for the most part. Pinkie Pie's antics were amusing as always, although I was quite annoyed by Pinkie Pie yelling at a filly, Applejack and Rarity arguing was also slightly amusing at first, but got to be somewhat annoying due to how they carried it out, and Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's interactions, as is often the case, were the best part. I liked the scene where Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash took over an oat burger stand and started making oat burgers for everypony. I was a bit annoyed that Rainbow Dash was too busy drooling over the Daring Do book to realize she just accidentally agreed to sending her best friend away to train the Orthros they just traded until it was too late, though the lengths she undertook to correct her mistake result in an incredibly heartwarming experience.

23. Inspiration Manifestation (8.75/10, Spike gets a little bit of respect in this episode, and Rarity is INCREDIBLY creepy throughout most of it)

24. Equestria Games (9.5/10, one of the best episodes so far, and a huge crowning moment of awesome and heartwarming for Spike)

25. Twilight's Kingdom Part 1 (9/10, excellent episode, starts off with Twilight Sparkle questioning her role as a Princess, culminating in another awesome, heartwarming song, and a new villain that may be familiar to older fans of MLP resurfaces from the depths of Tartarus and starts draining random ponies' magic, causing Princess Celestia to enlist Discord's help. The Mane 6 go into the Canterlot Library and start reminiscing about how they got the various items with rainbow auras that the Mane 6 attained in earlier episodes. Discord corners Tirek and tries to stop him. Tirek manipulates Discord and tells him that without the shackles of friendship, he could have the ability to use his powers of chaos freely. Unsurprisingly, this causes Discord to betray Equestria to Tirek and helps him drain the magic of virtually everypony in Equestria. To be continued...

26. Twilight's Kingdom Part 2 (11/10, best episode EVER! Princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence transfer their magic to Twilight to safeguard. Tirek comes to Canterlot and starts draining everypony's magic. He tries to drain the alicorns' magic, but, much to his confusion and rage, their magic is already gone. However, he is extremely quick to catch on. He finds out about the existence of Princess Twilight Sparkle. Tirek gives his brother's medallion to Discord as a token of their friendship. They then head down to Ponyville and Discord captures the Mane 6 sans Twilight. Fluttershy is utterly heartbroken at Discord's betrayal, and breaks down sobbing in Applejack's hooves. Tirek drains the other Mane 5, and then turns on Discord and drains his magic as well. Discord is heartbroken at Tirek's betrayal, and asks about the medallion Tirek gave him as a sign of friendship. Tirek replies that the medallion is a gift from his brother, and that is as useless to him as said brother. And then, Tirek finds Princess Twilight, and Twilight initially tries to run away from him, hiding in Golden Oaks Library, until Tirek destroys it. Twilight Sparkle rages and attacks him, and an epic battle reminiscent of a Dragon Ball Z episode ensues. They fight each other to a standstill. Tirek makes Twilight an offer she can't refuse... Her (and the other princesses') magic for the freedom and safety of her friends. Twilight reluctantly agrees, only as long as Tirek frees ALL of them, including Discord. Tirek honors his word, takes Twilight's magic, gets about 10 times bigger and stronger, and goes off to destroy a mountain or something. Discord apologizes for betraying Fluttershy and the Mane 6, thanks Twilight for saving him, and gives him the medallion Tirek gave him. This medallion suddenly acquires a rainbow aura. The Mane 6 go to the Tree of Harmony, and the rainbow items that the Mane 6 gained over the course of Season 4 transform into keys. Tirek appears again, destroying the forest around him. The Mane 6 hurriedly use the keys on the box in front of them. They gain Rainbow Power. Tirek tries to blast them into oblivion to no effect. Tirek understandably freaks out, reasoning that they have no magic. Twilight replies that they have the most powerful magic of all, the magic of friendship, and blast Tirek back to Tartarus in his original emaciated form. Everypony in Equestria gets their magic back. The Mane 6 get a new castle in the place of Golden Oaks Library. Each of the mane 6, as well as Spike, gets their own throne. Discord asks where his throne is, and Fluttershy says "I don't think you're quite there yet". Awesome, celebratory song ensues, complete with cameos by Coco Pommel, the Wonderbolts, Cheese Sandwich, the Breezies and Silver Shill. The most awesome episode ever.

Movies: 1. Equestria Girls (???/10, other than a few clips on YouTube, haven't seen it yet. Looks decent from what I can tell. Not bad, not great. I'll have to see it sometime)
2. Equestria Girls 2: Rainbow Rocks (???/10, other than a few clips on YouTube, haven't seen it yet. Looks pretty good.)

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