In this episode, we see that Starlight Glimmer has been doing very well with her magic spells and appears to be Twilight’s equal in that department as observed in the cold open. However, one area that Starlight is currently lacking is in her friendship lessons. She is a little uneasy about those lessons. So much so, that she is going to attempt to do five at once using magic to impress Twilight while she and Spike are away at Canterlot to present at Celestia’s school.
Those friendship tasks are as follows:
- Bake a cake with Pinkie Pie
- Sew with Rarity
- Catalog family photos with Applejack
- Help Fluttershy with her animals
- And “Chillax” with Rainbow Dash
So, she uses a hypnotic spell (I’m not going to use words for the spells here) on the Mane Five to help her with her lessons. As we have learned with attempting to use magic to solve friendship problems (or make them in “Lesson Zero”), it doesn’t end well. Especially when turning them into pony versions of Siri and they take your instructions literally.
Twilight and Spike return to the mess and tell Starlight that she was missing the point of the lessons. The emphasis was not on baking an actual cake, but to get to know Pinkie Pie. Starlight is likely not the best at baking, sewing, cataloging, animal care, or “chillaxing”; but the point was to get to know the rest of the Mane Five. Starlight apologizes for her actions and the lessons go off better—especially the “chillaxing” part.
This episode does have some hints of “Lesson Zero,” but the point here is that while “Friendship is Magic,” magic is not necessarily friendship. Starlight is equaling Twilight in terms of magic, but social skills are clearly lacking. Twilight had some social skills, but they were not geared towards making friends at the beginning. The lesson is a bit repetitive of having magic solve your problems (“Winter Wrap-Up”, “Inspiration Manifestation”), but given the context of the story, it still works here.
There are times that we need to occasionally re-learn a lesson. That’s for the longtime viewers of the show in particular. So this was a very good episode for the lesson being taught here. It may be a bit repetitive, but some of the best lessons need to be re-learned once in a while.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + Great less about magic can’t always solve your problems
- + Relatable conflict with Starlight
- + Comedy
- + Magic practice at the start
- – Not the most original lesson (but still works here)
On a side note: This episode was the last storyboarded by Sabrina Alberghetti. She had been with the show since the beginning and was a popular figure among pony fans. We at Derpy News thank her for all her work on the show and wish her and her husband Andrew (aka MandoPony) the best in the future.