Derpy at Sweet Apple Acres by ~LeavingCrow

Time for your review of the Season Finale via reviewer Ryan C. All after the page break.

This is a VERY lengthy synopsis/review. It has been split into sections for the readers’ convenience.


Well, that went by quick, didn’t it? It seems just a few weeks ago we were all eagerly anticipating the start of a new season, and now here we are viewing the end of it. Season three, though, has been rather tumultuous. It has had, in my opinion, the very best and very worst of what “Friendship is Magic” has to offer rolled into a single 13-episode run. From outstanding episodes like “Sleepless in Ponyville” that offer a nearly unheard of look at intrapersonal reflection in a children’s cartoon to “Spike At Your Service” which is a veritable train wreck of overdone tropes and clichés that even children yawn at, this season of “Friendship is Magic” has been rife with ups and downs that would make a roller coaster jealous. Still, after this waiting and plodding and wishing, we finally come to the grand finale with anticipation.

Yet this finale is a bit different than you, I, or anyone else might have expected. This is the finale that had a “twist” that we were already told about. This is the finale in which Twilight Sparkle, after years of tutorship and study under Princess Celestia, finally fulfills her destiny. This is the finale where Twilight, a talented unicorn, amazing friend, loyal student, and beloved member of the Mane Six, fulfills her destiny and becomes a Princess herself. Fans already knew about the “what” of “Magical Mystery Cure”. The only thing the episode had to show us was the “hows” and “whys”. In the end though, what we’re left with is more “whys” than anything else.

I’ll get this out of the way right now: I am not a fan of Twilight turning into an alicorn or a princess. I’ll spare you the soapbox since this is a review and not an editorial, but I have my own issues with it that extend beyond just arbitrarily disliking it. I did, however, go into this episode with as much of an open mind as I possibly could and tried my best to shove aside any preconceptions I might have had. I’ll do my best to give my opinion on everything as it was presented in the episode itself while disregarding conjecture and promotional material attached to the show.

“Magical Mystery Cure”, written by M.A. Larson, is the season three finale to “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. The story, at least in the beginning of the episode, involves Twilight accidentally casting an unfinished spell by Starswirl the Bearded that causes her friends, the current Elements of Harmony, to have their cutie marks – and therefore their destinies – switched.. Rarity inherits Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark and believes that she is supposed to control weather, Pinkie Pie inherits Applejack’s cutie mark and tries to run Sweet Apple Acres, and so on. This is the show’s answer to the fabled “body swap” episode that some had anticipated. Oh, and by the way, it’s a fully-fledged musical.


A Pony Musical

“Magical Mystery Cure” has, in total, six completely different songs and a reprise in its 22-minute run. It’s the first musical of the series and they went all-out in driving that point home. The episode begins with a song, the major plot points are done in musical montages, and even Twilight’s transformation is done after a song. Daniel Ingram and the musical crew at DHX have truly outdone themselves this time in terms of the sheer number of tracks in this single episode. As a point of fact, it has more songs than any other single episode of “Friendship is Magic” and more in this single episode than the rest of season three combined.

The first thing that will be noticed after a viewing of “Cure” is that everything happens very quickly. The first part of the episode, the “Switched Cutie Marks” half, is introduced and resolved almost entirely in song and the entirety of that plotline takes place in only about 15 minutes. The rest of the episode is Twilight’s transformation and much-advertised coronation, which in itself begins and ends extremely abruptly. Little has been done to hide the fact that this episode was a musical because it’s much more time-efficient to give a montage of events in a song rather than take time to have conversations and explanations. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing necessarily, but it does seem to be the case.

As for the songs themselves, they are, for the most part, quite good and certainly the most redeeming portions of the episode. Twilight’s “I’ve Got to Find a Way” song has an eclectic yet moving mix of high-power vocals with an almost old school R&B-esque musical track. It’s without a doubt the most depressing song in the series and the accompanying scene is certainly deserving of it. “What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me” is a well-done montage displaying the Mane Six’s switched destinies. The music and vocals are nothing special, but it’s at least very effective in its purpose – it tells which cutie marks have switched and the struggles they’re having adjusting to their new “lives”. Its resolution song, “A True, True Friend” is a much more upbeat track in the same vein as the “Smile Song”. Like “What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me”, it does have a bit of a generic sound to it, but like said song it is also very effective in showing how the girls use their friendship to fix their cutie mark problem.

Without a doubt, the most impressive track in the episode is “Celestia’s Ballad”. This song is sung exclusively by Princess Celestia herself, and it marks the first time that any princess has had any singing roles. The song and its accompanying scene are superbly emotionally powerful and at least soften the blow going into the rushed second half of the episode. The song is moving, relatable, and downright impressively presented. The lyrics in particular are so powerful because they don’t sound like a teacher rewarding her student – they sound like a mother allowing their child to blossom into an adult. Through Twilight’s own personal journeys and her careful teaching, Celestia shows her student that she is destined for much greater things and she is willing to let her become an adult and grow past her tutelage. It’s something that the older audience of “Friendship is Magic” will most certainly appreciate, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it hit so close to some viewers that they got a bit choked up by its end.

The remaining songs, “Morning in Ponyville”, its episode-ending reprise, and “Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle” are much less impressive. “Morning in Ponyville” seems almost comically cheery and upbeat while “Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle” seems like something out of the worst portion of a Sunday Mass. “Behold” in particular is almost offensively self-serving. It comes off not as a grand coronation for a new princess, but like a procession for a Messiah returning from the dead. I don’t exaggerate when I say I shook my head in disgust when I heard this short hymn.


The ‘Swapped Five’

One big takeaway from this episode, coronation aside, is the new information we gained about cutie marks and just exactly how they work. We learned much more about how cutie marks are intrinsically tied to a pony’s destiny instead of just an outward display of the pony’s inherent special talents. Switching the cutie marks even seemed to directly affect the Mane Six’s memories about their true selves – Rarity remarks to Twilight that she’s always had her cutie mark, despite the fact that she is utterly inept at controlling the weather. It seems that Twilight’s friends are miserable because they are forced to do what their cutie marks tell them rather than what they know (or used to know) they were proficient at.

This actually presents a rather frightening scenario wherein a pony could conceivably receive a cutie mark at something they were not good at or disinterested in, thereby forcing them to perform this task, seemingly impulsively, while failing at every attempt. This does, however, happen to contradict Apple Bloom’s reaction to the Cutie Pox in a season two episode where she becomes extremely proficient at every talent her cutie mark gives her. This can probably be hand-waved as a side-effect of the pox, though.


Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle

So, with the Cutie Swap Chronicles and the musical stylings out of the way, now I suppose I have to talk about the elephant in the room: Twilight Sparkle’s ascension to an Alicorn Princess. It’s worth mentioning that the term ‘alicorn’ is now show-canon as of “Magical Mystery Cure” to directly refer to winged unicorns. It had previously been mentioned in “Magic Duel” with the Alicorn Amulet, but in the finale Rarity uses the term specifically to reference Twilight’s transformation. This is a nice, canon-centric nod to the fandom and pop culture in general, as the term “winged unicorn”, “pegacorn”, or “pegasus unicorn” had previously been used to describe what type of pony the Princesses are.

As per the multitudes of advertisements, promotional material, and toy line announcements, it is indeed true that Twilight Sparkle ascends to Princesshood in “Magical Mystery Cure”. After helping her friends fix their cutie mark crisis and return to normal, Twilight has an epiphany and realizes how to complete the incomplete spell of Starswirl’s she cast at the beginning of the episode. That realization is, of course, the magic of friendship. After completing the spell (with a rhyme, of course) and casting it, her friends’ Elements of Harmony necklaces glow with power and simultaneously blast Twilight literally into oblivion – the only thing left after the explosion is a black mark on the floor of her library in the shape of her star-spangled cutie mark.

This leads into the “Hall of Memories” scene in which Celestia appears in what seems to be an incorporeal form and sings “Celestia’s Ballad” to explain to Twilight that the princess had been keeping an eye on her all of this time to see just what exactly Twilight would do or become during her time in Ponyville. After Celestia’s final note, Twilight is lifted into the air, magic swirling around her, and deposited back into Ponyville, wings in tow, to meet her friends. The exact method by which the transformation happens – either by Twilight’s own power or the interference of Princess Celestia – is still left mostly unclear even after we witness it firsthand.



There are a few rather large bugbears I have with these scenes. The first and most glaring is that, for being her apparent ultimate destiny, Twilight is utterly oblivious to her coming transformation and even seems frightened and reluctant during and after the process. It appears almost as if it was something that was forced upon her rather than a change she actively was working toward. The argument could be made that Twilight was “rewarded” with something she did not consent to and may not have necessarily wanted. What if she didn’t want the responsibility and power? What if she just wanted to be a filly that studied under her teacher and grew with her friends? The option for Twilight to reject becoming an alicorn is not one she is given. The fact that she accepts it so readily also completely caught me off-guard. This is a pony who questions everything – why would she be so quick to accept her own ascension to princesshood and a new pair of wings growing out of her back?

The other issue I have is her friends’ reactions. They just watched Twilight be vaporized into thin air and reappear out of the sky from apparently nowhere. Yet, after her landing and spreading of her wings, not once do any of them say “Are you okay?” or “Do you need any help?” or “What happened to you?” or inquire in any way, shape, or form about their friend’s well-being. No, instead the first thing they do is shout how wonderful her new change is, praise her becoming an alicorn, and Rainbow Dash simply exclaims how happy she is to have a new “flying buddy”. Even Fluttershy seems utterly unconcerned.

While, of course, everything turned out to be safe, it seems wholly out-of-character for each and every one of her friends to be completely laissez-faire about Twilight’s transformation. It’s never attempted to be explained and it’s never questioned. In fact, Twilight’s only line of questioning to Celestia is what to do with her newfound princess status, not how or why it happened. This scene is a complete face-heel turn from the personalities of these characters and seems meant to drive home only one thing: This is what happened, whether you like it or not. Twilight is an alicorn now, everyone is happy, and everything is normal. Twilight is crowned a princess, all of Equestria’s citizens are ecstatic with the news, peace and prosperity reign, and everything is “going to be just fine”.

All of these things beg the $6,000,000 question, though: Why? There was no effort whatsoever made to explain the ‘whys’, ‘hows’, and ‘whats’ of her transformation. Why did Twilight need to become a princess? How does this improve her as a character? What does she gain from becoming an alicorn and receiving a pair of wings? Was it really necessary to change such a beloved character in such a drastic way? What does this say about the rarity of alicorns or the power they supposedly wield? None of these are answered and I fear some of them never shall be. If they aren’t, though, Twilight Sparkle as a character is in danger of becoming completely unrelatable to the viewership after previously being the most-liked precisely because she was like so many of us.

Rarity and Sweetie Belle reignite their sisterly love after an argument, Rainbow Dash learns the importance of self-control and humility after her hubris puts others in danger, Fluttershy learns how to stand up for herself while still being kind and compassionate, Applejack comes to understand that sometimes pride needs to be set aside and it’s okay to ask for help, and Pinkie Pie learns that your friends are always your friends even if it may not seem like it sometimes. These life lessons are the small rewards that “Friendship is Magic” teaches us are the most important. The fellowship of those you love and the learning of an important truth are the real rewards – that is what has made this show so touching, so relatable, and so important. Twilight Sparkle has learned, through her life in Ponyville, the Magic of Friendship, and that in itself is its greatest reward.

However, all of this seems to be utterly disregarded in “Magical Mystery Cure”. Twilight, for being the great friend she is and for being so important to the lives of so many ponies in Equestria, is rewarded with godlike powers and a new status of royalty. It’s a nice dream, but that’s all it is. She is given a tangible reward for doing what she should always be doing in the first place: being a good friend. It may simply be foolish conjecture on my part, but I feel as though Twilight would have been just as happy and perhaps even more so if her only reward for curing her friends’ cutie mark ailments was their eternal gratitude and happiness. Twilight, as I and many others have come to known her, is not a pony that has ever had aspirations of being royalty. Of being a deity. Of being anything more than a studious, simple pony that loves her friends. But this new status is is the role that has been thrust upon her, and it seems we simply have to accept it.


Closing Comments

As for general comments about the episode itself, there is a very nagging feeling in the back of my head that “Magical Mystery Cure” was initially to be a series send-off and not a season send-off. From my own bits of research and with new information coming to light, it seems that Hasbro was still using the “65 episode rule” mindset in ordering Friendship is Magic, where the show would have normally been cancelled after 65 episodes to run a full-year syndication, but its extreme popularity caused Hasbro to reconsider. This would help to explain why the end of this episode had such a feeling of finality to it, despite the fact that another season is well on its way. In fact, according to Meghan McCarthy’s Twitter, “Magical Mystery Cure” is the first of what is essentially a three-parter. The unfortunate part is, we have to conceivably wait until season four this fall to see its conclusion.

We are left with entirely too many questions about the future. I don’t know what’s in store, but I can at least say that it’ll be interesting. We’ll just have to wait and see what season four and beyond has in store for Princess Twilight Sparkle, but is everything going to be “just fine”?

I have my doubts.

  • EquestriaGuy

    It’s a mere assumption that Twilight has godlike powers, or is some sort of deity, or is any different or more powerful than she was before, other than her wings. Let’s just see where S4 goes with this before we assume Twilight is in any way unrelatable. I personally am going to reserve my judgement until after the first non premiere Twilight centric episode of S4.

    • ryanc

      That’s exactly the point – we know nothing of how princesses work or why it’s necessary to be an alicorn to be one. If Twilight gains nothing, why give her wings and a new status?

      • Ponichaeism

        Character development.

        • Ryan C

          I keep hearing that parroted and I never hear anything else to go with it. If Twilight stays the same, as her voice actor, the writers, and the storyboard artists have claimed multiple times, then what is the point? Just “because”? Are we so vapid that “because” is a legitimate reasoning for a change like this? I want something interesting and natural that happens because it makes sense for it to happen. That is not what I saw from the end of this finale.

          • Ponichaeism

            First of all, I do not “parrot”. I am not one of those people who regurgitate TV Tropes in lieu of actual arguments.

            Secondly, I think making her a princess has the possibility to widen the scope of the show in a way that it couldn’t with her as a unicorn. After all, Neo found out about his destiny at the end of the first Matrix movie, and spent the next two learning more and more about his role and his powers. I could very easily see a similar scenario happening here. But we simply don’t have enough to judge what the writers’ plans are yet.

          • Derterifii

            funny thing is, the last two matrix films, especially the last one were not nearly as good as the first.

            You like the episode. that’s great. wonderful. now stop trying to tell people that the reasons someone else DOESN’T like the episode is invalid. people are getting tired of this crap.

          • Ponichaeism

            So you’re saying that everyone thought the last two Matrix films were crap, which I don’t agree with, and then you complain that I’m saying people shouldn’t think the last episode of MLP was crap, which I didn’t? You sure you don’t want to rethink your argument a little bit?

          • Derterifii

            Um… no.
            words. mouth. you. mine. putting in.
            I never said the Matrix films were crap, though I could probably come up with a list of reasons why the last two don’t stand as tall as the first. I liked ’em. I really did. I just felt that the last two, especially the very last one, could have been a bit stronger than they were.
            Second, you are so busy trying to tell people that the reasoning they think Magical Mystery Cure is unjustified (though if the reason was nothing more than T’wilight being an Alicorn’ I’d be inclined to agree), that you never take the time to actually LOOK at why people (the ones that THINK, and NOT the “OMG TEH SHOW IZ RUINED FOREVERZ” people) dislike the episode. it’s becoming scarily close to fanboy-ism. I personally feel that it rushed its way past the first half, and didn’t have enough to substantiate the second half. combined with the continuity errors that ‘I’ saw, and I was left thoroughly unimpressed, and kind of annoyed. I think I left a response to you back on the post with the links to the episode explaining in better detail the errors and problems I saw in writing.
            This was not a well thought out episode. and I am disappointed, because it could have been something grand! they instead chose to rush through it, and let the songs tell the story. it just didn’t work as well as they had hoped.

            Just because I like a series, does not mean I cannot be critical of it. in fact, that’s more of a reason TO be critical of it. so that they can actually look at feedback, and see what they could improve.

          • Ponichaeism

            I think you’re putting words into my mouth now, because I never, ever gave the impression I am a fanboy. In fact, I am anti-fanboy.

            Fanboyism is only not unquestioning obedience to the show (which I don’t have, BTW), it is when a person gets too emotionally invested in a fictional universe. Most of the so-called “criticisms” of Magical Mystery Cure I’ve seen are nothing but masks and excuses for the fact that the posters do not like any change which upsets the show they’re far too overly invested in. It’s just giving the veneer of rationality to what is essentially a gut reaction to change. The mere fact that this episode inspires such vitriolic anger and overemotional posting is proof positive that people are taking it way too seriously.

            If you, Derterifii, have actual, *legitimate* criticisms about the episode, and are not just using them as an excuse to indulge in reactionaryism, then hey, more power to you. I don’t share your criticism, as I thought the episode was great, but….more power to you.

      • EquestriaGuy

        According to McCarthy she will gain the responsibilities of her new role, but at the same time it also won’t change who she is, or remove her from Ponyville. I’ve got to keep faith with Jayson and McCarthy that they’ll be able to reconcile this with fun one shot adventures. This ofcourse means more Dragonshy style mane 6 adventures, and probably diplomatic missions.

  • Ponyko

    As to the ponies reactions to Twilights disappearance and transformation; They know twilight can teleport, so here disappearing would not be alarming. It was the ponies themselves who channel the friendship at Twilight they must have knows it was love, not destruction that they were projecting. Their reaction as Twilight returned as an Alicorn can be easily explained thus: they knew she had been transported / had teleported, They new the magic that they used must have done something to twilight, her return and transformation is greeted with wonder and enjoyment. They are all linked by the elements of harmony after all. Is this permanent? I see an episode perhaps where Twilight feels alienated from her friends and perhaps despairs at the gulf that separates them. This will I suspect lead to a dramatic finale where Twilight renounces her crown, and reverts to been her true self!
    Yes the episode was rushed, and has the hallmarks of been the result of a change proposed mid to late planing of the season. This however is handled well, I know we have many talented writers in this fandom, but could they do as good a job in that amount of time? Overall I think this works, Yes we are left with questions, but know I want to see season 4. I don’t personally think this change is permanent. Hasbro know a cash cow when they see one, and you don’t send it to slaughter until all the money has dried up! They wont mess with a winning formula, I think, so we will see Twilight return as a unicorn at the end.
    Prediction :
    Season 4 Episode 1; Twilight grows sad and lonely as a princess and the isolation from her friends
    Season 4 Episode 2; Twilight states her true destiny lies with her friends, renounces her crown, and goes home (preferably without wings ^_~)

    • Ponichaeism

      The idea of Twilight becoming sad and lonely because of her powers doesn’t mesh with the Crystal Empire, though, as the moral of those two episodes was sacrificing one’s own desires to preserve the greater good.

      • Derterifii

        for the short term, yes. but if you are in a position you do not like for a long term, you are going to want to find a way out.

    • jesus christ i’m depressed

      >Season 4 Episode 1; Twilight grows sad and lonely as a princess and the isolation from her friends
      >Season 4 Episode 2; Twilight states her true destiny lies with her friends, renounces her crown, and goes home (preferably without wings ^_~)

      Yes please.
      It should be episode about Twilight giving up her title because she can’t spend time with her friends anymore. Just like Disney’s Hercules giving up his immortality to live with his beloved one.
      Or episode about importance of sacrifice. Twilight uses all her powers to ressurect/revive one of her friends (huge battle n’ shit) and loses her alicornity.

      I hope this whole alicorn thing is only to sell those fucking toys and put old Twi back in the 4th season.

    • “Season 4 Episode 1; Twilight grows sad and lonely as a princess and the isolation from her friends”

      This could be a very good plot point. I can also see an Episode where Twilight has to convince the citizens of Ponyville to treat her normal.

    • Ponyko

      Yes, thats the ticket, this is what we want, more descussion on the next season! I know we coulld bitch and moan about a bad song, or a rushed plot, but it happened (personaly its only the last song “behold princess Twilight” im not keen on) What other ideas could there be for the next two episodes, what are your hopes for next season? Lets be constructive, not destructive ( ^_^) /)

  • Ponichaeism

    I get the feeling people don’t really understand how destiny works in Equestria.

    By all accounts Equestria is a deterministic universe where everypony’s destiny (“path” would probably be a better term) is already decided. Even when discussing cutie marks back in season 1 they’re always spoken of as revealing “who I’m supposed to be” or “who I’m meant to be”, implying predetermination (filly Rarity even shouts out “my destiny!” when she is on the cusp of getting her cutie mark). Thus there is no “wrong” cutie mark, because the cutie mark is already decided upon. Similarly, Twilight becomes a princess because it’s her destiny to become a ruler and nurture harmony for ponies, and since destinies in Equestria are whatever makes a pony the happiest, there’s no reason for her to disagree with it. Even all the way back in Winter Wrap-Up she was overjoyed to be making things efficient and orderly for everypony.

    • Derterifii

      I disagree with you, as the mark states what you are good at, but does not necessarily lock you into one job. Rainbow Dash’s talent, once again, is speed. she’s competitive, and bust her butt trying to win a competition. She could easily sign up to be a racer, a wonderbolt, or even a mailmare. all require some form of speed. Pinkie Pie bakes and works for the Cakes. confection does not necessarily go hand in hand with parties, and even then, the party planner does not necessarily have to make all the food. It states what you’re good at, but in certain cases, like Pinkie Pie, it only covers ONE of the pony’s many interest. Just because you like one thing, does not mean you necessarily want a job in that field. I love to play TCGs. it is a wonderful hobby, and I’d have to say I’m pretty good at a few. But I would never want to play competitively, because it’s a hobby. and I’d like to keep it that way. I would imagine that similar circumstances would exist in Ponyville.

      To further substantiate my point, Just take a look at our favorite MailMare. something tells me those bubbles on her flank have nothing to do with delivering mail.
      And what’s Filthy Rich’s talent? making money? now what job could possibly make money? hmmmm……
      what about the Flim Flam Brothers. they have apples for cutie marks, and they sell cider. but it’s obvious that they’re quite the inventors as well.
      and what the hell kind of talents to Snips and Snails have?
      To say that the cutie marks determine a pony’s destiny is inaccurate, as there are some that are vague enough to the point where a given pony can fit in just about any job. With ones that are more specialized, we have seen that a good handful of ponies are multi-talented, but their flank only recognizes one of those talents.
      I tried to avoid background ponies to the best of my abilities with the exception of Derpy, because I wanted to show that there ARE ponies actually important to a given episode in one way or another, that either have more than one talent that could be recognized, or that whatever talent they have is far too generalized to be locked into one specific job.

      Copy/paste. gotta love it.

      • Ponichaeism

        First of all, you did not need four separate comments.

        Secondly, Derpy isn’t a mailmare. We don’t know what her job is, or even if she has one. As to Snips and Snails, barber and animal caretaker, possibly. And as for Featherweight, yes he got his Cutie Mark before he became editor-in-chief, but his destiny/path was always going to take him to the editor-in-chief desk, so that’s irrelevant.

        Third, I never said Cutie Marks decide a pony’s destiny, but that a pony’s destiny decides what their Cutie Mark will be, hence why I started the paragraph with “deterministic universe”. A pony’s job, talents, and Cutie Mark are just one part of their destiny, which is the whole package. Again, “path” would probably be a better term for the show to use, but that doesn’t rhyme with “telling me”.

        Fourth, you repeatedly say that a pony decides their own destiny, then use the sonic rainboom at the end of Cutie Mark Chronicles as proof of that, except the fact that all six ponies were in each particular place at that particular time implies predestination, as does their becoming not only friends but the six Elements of Harmony years later. You seem to be crowbarring notions of free will into a universe that is directly refuting them.

        Fifth, while Twilight’s Cutie Mark may involve magic, the show has repeatedly shown that ensuring social harmony (which is a type of friendship) is its own type of magic. Hearth’s Warming Eve, for instance: Clover the Clever’s spell which melts the windigoes and turns back the eternal winter happens because the three ponies come together in the spirit of friendship.

        • Derterifii

          I know I didn’t. read the first line of the last one, and you’d see that.

          Derpy showed up at one point working alongside a delivery truck, and accidentally dropped an anvil, piano, and one other thing on Twilight. I understand this was back in her background days, but nevertheless, it did give birth to the idea of being a mailmare. In any event, it was more a nod to the site than anything else.

          Same thing, really. The idea that the pony’s fate is pre-deterimined is what you are trying to get across, which is STILL not the case.

          The point is still valid. Had the ponies not reacted the way that they did, then the ponies would have been in different situations. what did I say? “It’s the pony’s experiences and how they choose to react to them that determine their destiny”?
          yeah, sherlock. the five ponies DID see the rainboom that Rainbow Dash made. EVERYONE within that radius was capable of seeing the blasted thing. To say that it was predetermined fate for these five to see it, when it was in EVERYONE’S ability to see it is kind of weak. in that case, it has to do with the REACTION that these ponies took and those around them. try that one again.

          that…. was a play. she was playing a character. and if I remember correctly, they were ALL bickering before the play started, and even some after. are we really going to bring a story within a story to substantiate our point? in either event, the entirety of the mane 6 has demonstrated that ‘social harmony’ is its own type of magic. wings and horns for all, then. right? wrong. The fact of the matter is that Twilight STILL did not create ‘new magic’ as Celestia said that she did. as a result, while Twilight deserves the praise for outdoing Starswirl, she doesn’t deserve the praise for creating NEW magic, with that point being even stronger now, since you brought up that play. All Twilight did is switch the focal point. of the spell. no more. a focal point that, canologically speaking , HAS been used before. Once in the play’s story (if we want to include that in the canon), once against Nightmare Moon, once against Discord, and arguably twice in Magical Mystery Cure.

          • Ponichaeism

            “The idea that the pony’s fate is pre-deterimined is what you are trying to get across, which is STILL not the case”

            Except for the last episode, Magical Mystery Cure, which says that every pony has their own unique destiny, which means predetermination.

            “Had the ponies not reacted the way that they did, then the ponies would have been in different situations.”

            Well, of course, Watson. But again, Magical Mystery Cure confirms the notion of “True Selves”, that everypony has an inborn nature predetermining how they’ll react to any given circumstance.

            “To say that it was predetermined fate for these five to see it, when it was in EVERYONE’S ability to see it is kind of weak.”

            I never said it was their fate to see it, I said it was their fate for the rainboom to trigger the circumstances that gave them their Cutie Marks at the precise moment they needed them to be triggered.

            “that…. was a play. she was playing a character.”

            True. I did assume the play was rooted in real events, which may or may not not be entirely accurate. Still, the play *does* reveal the values that Equestrians hold about the importance of social harmony, cooperation between ponies, and the importance of good government in fostering them.

            I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say about Twilight creating new magic. She switched the focal point? What?

          • Derterifii

            ‘kay. now follow me here. Some spells respond differently to different emotions. happiness, sadness, anger, love, hate, ect. this is what I would call the catalyst for the spell in question. because you are calling on the power of that feeling to fuel the spell you are trying to cast. With that said, casting a spell that responds better with love will either backfire, fizzle, or won’t be as potent if cast with a different emotion in mind. However, if that same spell is cast with love, the spell will hit with its full potential.

            Now, Starswirl was trying to use a catalyst other than friendship to fuel his spell, but couldn’t figure out how, because his knowledge was limited to what he knew. with it being implied that he preferred to be isolated, Starswirl did not grasp the concept of friendship as well as Twilight could. the potency of such a feeling. the power behind just even the word.
            Because Twilight DID understand “friendship”, she figured out (all too quickly) that the problem with the spell was the catalyst.
            with a quick modification, the spell was made to use “friendship” as the fuel source. the kindle for the fire, so to speak. a catalyst that has been used in earlier episodes.

            Celestia congratulated Twilight on a job well done, but gave more praise than what was deserved by saying that Twilight ‘created new magic’.

            In regards to the ‘destiny’ crap, I still disagree. because the term ‘Destiny’ does not mean that their job is predetermined. ‘destiny’ is determined, once again, by the experiences you have and the way you, and others around you, choose to respond towards those experiences. Twilight could have easily said ‘nope!’ at any time, yet CHOSE not to. Pinkie before she got her cutie mark, could have chosen to keep the experience to herself or not even throw the party. Her parents could have chosen to be very cross with Pinke for being woken up in the early hours of the morning regardless of the party.

            Past experiences shape the person. past experiences shape the pony. HAD Pinkie’s parents chose to be rather irked, Pinkie would be on a different track.

            in short, it’s your experiences that may shape you, but it’s ultimately you that shapes your destiny. nothing is set in stone.

    • Derterifii

      The pony’s ass does not determine the pony’s destiny, the head does. it always has. the cutie mark is not a “hey! you found your destiny!”
      Twist was making confectionary one day, and POOF! cutie mark. she liked making that confectionary. she was good at it.
      But if asked, she could probably tell you the square root of Pi, as well. she could easily become part of a more intellect-based-field. she’d just be handing surgary treats to her teammates, and that would still be in keeping with her cutie mark.

    • Derterifii

      I would also like to point out that Featherweight got that cutiemark before he became editor-in-chief.

      And Snowflake. that one large pony who shouts “YEAAAAH!” his cutie mark was a weight, which says he was good at weight lifting. so should he become a gym instructor? Nnnnnnope! he’s in the running to be a wonderbolt! The Pony makes their own destiny. not whatever mark is on their flank.
      Meaning, what you like is not necessarily what you will do.

    • Derterifii

      Should have thought about this in one post. blasted lack of an ‘edit’ button.
      Twilight’s talent was magic. it had nothing to do with the fact that twilight was organized. and if you remember back in season one, Five of the Mane 6 would have not gotten their cutie marks if it wasn’t for Rainbow Dash. Had Twilight not have been scared by RD, she wouldn’t have lost control of her powers and almost blow up the school. Had Pinkie Pie not seen the rainbow that RD created, Pinkie Pie would not have thrown that party, and it is more than likely that she would be walking around with something rock-farm related. it displays what you are good at, but not your destiny. THAT is determined by your experiences, and how you handle them. ALL of these ponies received their marks after discovering what they’re good at. for ONLY SOME does that actually tie in directly with what they want to do.

  • Pendejo

    We want nostalgia! The newer episodes, its like they farted got up and left. You know?

  • Bucky McGillicutty

    I still don’t see how fans of this show can watch such a beautiful episode so full of joy – the natural culmination of all Twilight has learned about friendship and magic on her journey that we have watched – and come away from it embittered and sour about the future… but I guess that’s just me. *shrug*

    • Ryan C

      Joy is something you have to feel naturally, it’s not having “BE HAPPY NOW” forced down your throat. Everything about the final portion of this episode felt hollow and artificial – sort of like the reasoning for alicorn Twilight existing in the first place.

      • anynomous

        Not everyone came off that way it would seem. Are you saying the those who are happy with it are hollow and artificial too? That we only like it because we’re supposed to, and not because we genuinely do not see much of an issue?

        • Pendejo

          If your going to rub our noses in it, then perhaps.

        • Bucky McGillicutty

          ^ What anon said. I’ve never had an issue with Twi becoming a princess. Seems like the logical next step to me, and I’m glad to see the show moving forward instead of stagnating. I’m as happy as Twilight’s friends were for her (and why wouldn’t they be?) and I left the episode with a natural feeling of joy.

          I’m sorry some folks didn’t. I hope after S4 answers all these nagging questions you guys have, that you can go back and let yourselves enjoy this really nice episode. :)

    • MorphineDream

      I’ll tell you why. The “groanies” are predominantly geeks with obsessive personality disorders of various types. Writing a grousing, deep analysis of a fun, musical episode of a child’s TV show is not sane, rational adult behavior. Period. Look at how some can’t even see past their own head canon, assuming things never stated in the show. Twilight will be isolated and alone? Where the hell does that even come from?

      The rest of us enjoyed the songs (three times in my case), wondered what next season will bring with princess Twilight, and have moved on with life until season 4 starts. Maybe we’ll get a new season of Legend Of Korra this summer or something.

      Maybe it was to sell toys. Maybe, since the episode was made a while ago, they thought there’d be no season 4. Who cares? It’s supposed to be fun. The show cheers me up in a pretty unhappy time of my life. Why bring all this negative BS Into it? People want to be SERIOUS about something, go do some charity or volunteer work. Sitting around arguing the mechanics iof a fictional universe, especially parts where the writers themselves might still be working it out, is one of the most pointless activities I can imagine. They’re debating things that have no real answer.

      And this is from a big fan with a comissioned White Dove Creations Rainbow Dash plushie. I adore the show and the characters, but, my god, you absolutely can take criticism and anaylsis WAY WAY WAY to far. It’s a bleeping cartoon about ponies. Why are people getting themselves wrapped around the axle over it?

  • Anonymous

    I have the answer to all of your questions in the “Why?” section of this review. Ready? Here it is:

    Hasbro wants to sell toys.

  • Anonymous

    How did you write that entire gigantic review and not mention the return of Derpy even once? :)

    • Applepie

      Lacks Derpy.

  • Pendejo

    I just dont think one really good episode can ever justify a bunch of really crappy episodes. And just the fact that Lauren would allow something possibly even She is not happy with, id say someone farted and left smelling like roses.

  • Pendejo

    Okay, that might have been harsh. But come on!

  • Shiek927

    While I’m not the writer is necessarily saying wrong, I think one has to remember what the canon is — a (sometimes overly) straight-forward and light-hearted cartoon that little kids watch; yes, a cleverly written show with an adult audience both admiring and often with insatiable standards…but again, little kids watch this: when it comes to things of cutie-marks and destiny, they aren’t going to get into complex areas of logic and reason.

    the cutie-mark represents, not just your special talent and what you are naturally gifted in, but essentially your future – and not just your future, get over it, but your happiness…your ‘true self’, what makes you special, the road and life that will make you happy; it’s why their is so much simplicity and eagerness for foals to find their cutie-marks because they don’t have to necessarily think about themselves and their future in the broad way humans do…it’s just a matter of figuring out what they are good at (hence, the CMC trying all sorts of ridiculous things to make things interesting and funny) i.e. what their special talent is, which doubles in what makes them happy and fulfills which also parallels in being their destiny and what they are meant for in life i.e. what will make them happy like no other.

    1) Foals don’t have to think too hard about their future – not like humans do…it’s just a matter of figuring out what they are particularly good at, narrowing down what their ‘special talent’ is which…
    2) Will appear on their flank as a “cutie-mark” when they realize this; which doubles as the realization of their life’s calling and what they are “meant” to do which will bring them a happiness and fulfillment like no other…something called “destiny”.
    3) They wouldn’t get a cutie-mark for anything other then something they were ‘meant’ to do – meant to in the sense of being something they were genuinely good at (‘special talent’) and exceptional, and fits with their personality, and also in the sense of being an indication of what they are meant to do in life that will bring them a happiness and fulfillment like no other…a state of being that is truer and more representative of themselves like nothing else — hence, their “true selves”.
    4) Hence the extreme importance of finding out what their cutie-marks are for, and why things are so awkward and difficult for foals and why “Blank Flank” is such a stigma…ponies can’t make a life for themselves that is happy and fulfilling doing anything else — someone with a bread-making cutie-mark can’t start making fruit and expect to be happy, or live a life that’s as happy (or happy at all)…they will inevitably and continuously be miserable forever and ever because they are not doing what they are meant to do i.e. what they are naturally and exceptionally good at i.e. what fits best with their personality and character i.e….they are ignoring their ‘true selves’.
    4) Hence the extreme importance of finding out what their cutie-marks are for, and why things are so awkward and difficult for foals and why “Blank Flank” is such a stigma…ponies can’t make a life for themselves that is happy and fulfilling doing anything else — someone with a bread-making cutie-mark can’t start making fruit and expect to be happy, or live a life that’s as happy (or happy at all)…they will inevitably and continuously be miserable forever and ever because they are not doing what they are meant to do i.e. what they are naturally and exceptionally good at i.e. what fits best with their personality and character i.e….they are ignoring their ‘true selves’.

    This, my friends, is why none of the Mane 5 questioned anything when the cutie-marks were reversed…you have to understand just how dependent they are on cutie-marks – everything is unbelievably simplified in their world, and also has it’s drawbacks….because even though they realized they were not good at what they are doing, they refused to even try to think about doing anything else, and nobody else tried to help them, simply because this was their cutie-mark — of course Rainbow Dash must take care of animals, because it’s her destiny, it’s what she is meant to do and must be what she’s good at, it must fit with her personality, her special talent and what makes her happy like nothing else will….because she wouldn’t get a cutie-mark for anything else if none of that were the case.
    Ergo, despite being unhappy, despite being unsuccessful….nobody helped the Mane 5 and nobody else bothered to help them in this time-warp episode because, well, “it’s got to be my destiny….and it’s what my cutie-mark is telling me!”.
    This is also why Twilight, who by the way, behaved quite appropriately actually for the situation and even asked about books, didn’t ask too many questions nor did anyone else…because again, the comfort of knowing this is what she was meant to do all along, what she is good at, what her cutie-mark must have always meant…this is a time for celebration, not a time for asking longevity questions! Destiny is always a comforting simple and explicitly good thing in their world, no.questions.asked.

    • Shiek927

      Ugh, it looks outrageously butchered; wish I could edit posts on this website.

      • Ponyko

        Thats good, i agree mostly! but you need to explain Rarity! Her cutimark clearly tells her to find gems, be a miner, yet her passion is fashion, and has been even before she got her cutimark, now gems and bling do make her happy, but from the song ‘Art of the Dress’, and the episode ‘Green isnt your colour’ only making dresses and fashion make her happy.