MLP - Magical mystery cure - Review

So here we are then, the final episode of the third season. Once again this review will contain spoilers. Those of you who have not watched the episode yet, you have been warned.

So the episode starts with Twilight leaving her home and going around town, singing the episode's first song about how great the day is, only to be interrupted by a splash of water. At first she thinks it's Rainbow Dash messing with the weather, but is shocked to find that it was actually Rarity, who is doing Rainbow's job, and even more surprisingly, has the latter's cutie mark, leading into the show's opening titles.

After the title sequence, Twilight asks Rarity why she's changing the weather and has Rainbow's mark, only to be told that Rarity thinks she's always had that mark and duty. Twilight finds Spike and brings him to Fluttershy's cottage and explains what she saw. There, they find that Rainbow Dash has taken up residence there and, despite not being very good at it, is trying to control Fluttershy's animals because she has her cutie mark. This leads Twilight and Spike around Ponyville seeing all of their friends doing each other's usual thing because of the mixed up marks, like Fluttershy doing parties, Pinkie Pie working on Applejack's farm and Applejack making dresses. Each one being driven to do what their cutie mark is telling them but having no skill or success at it whatsoever.

Back at the library, Spike asks what's going on and Twilight explains that she received a delivery from Princess Celestia the previous night. The delivery was an unfinished spell from the oft-mentioned "Starswirl the bearded" who tried the spell but abandoned it. Celestia then informed her that she believes she could finish the spell, which Twilight tries to do. However, although she believed at the time that her attempts didn't work, it seems that the spell actually affected the elements of harmony, which had been kept in her home, thus affecting her friend's cutie marks. Spike suggests various ways to try and fix it, but Twilight informs him that none of his ideas would work. Spike then tries to cheer her up by saying that maybe they may come to like their new roles, but Twilight is distraught, now realising that her friends have changed for the worse because of her.

Twilight sings the episode's next song about how her actions have caused everything to go wrong, all while we're show how bad things are going with the other ponies, with their changes bringing about general bad feeling all over Ponyville. Spike tries to cheer her up, telling her that she'll think of something because her friends are at stake. This succeeds and Twilight is briefly bathed in a bright light before stating that she has a plan. She takes the elements and says that she plans to remind them of their true selves by helping each other. She starts with Fluttershy and convinces her to go to Rainbow Dash to help with the animals. Although hesitant, she tries and eventually succeeds, which leads Twilight to giving Fluttershy her element and resorting her memories and real cutie mark.

This leads to the episode's next song which shows Twilight going around Ponyville and visiting each of her friends, convincing them to try and do what they're supposed to do and restoring their memories and marks as a result. After turning all her friends back to normal, Twilight claims that she knows how to fix the spell she was given. She goes back to her home and writes the end of the spell, which causes a reaction in the elements of harmony, their powers focus on Twilight and, after a blinding flash of light, the other five see that twilight has vanished.

It seems that Twilight has been transported to a strange place filled with stars. There, she meets Princess Celestia, who congratulates her. Twilight is confused and Celestia explains that what she has done is understand friendship better than any pony has ever done before, and that in doing so, she has become "ready". When asked what she's ready for, Celestia sings a song about how far she's come and all the thing's she's accomplished. This leads her to start some sort of spell on Twilight, which returns her to Ponyville and her friends. When the light dies down, they see that she has been transformed into an alicorn, a winged unicorn like Celestia.

Celestia joins them and informs them that she has become a princess. This shocks the group, but Celestia goes on to say that since she came to Ponyville, Twilight earned all the traits that would make her worthy of a position of leadership. When asked if this means that she's no longer Celestia's student, the latter responds that although she will still guide her, her studies as she has known them have come to and end. We cut to Canterlot where a ceremony is taking place, officially crowning Twilight as the latest princess of Equestria, much to the delight of her friends and family.

Celestia encourages Twilight to say something to the crowds, and she gives a speech about how when she started living in Ponyville, she didn't care for friendship. But, after everything she's been through, she can't imagine her life without her friends. For this, she thanks them all. After this, her friends and loved ones congratulate her on what she's accomplished, and the episode ends on a reprise of the episode's first song.

So then, how did the season finale hold up?

Let me say right now that this is an episode I've been looking forward to for some time. Not only because season finale's have typically been very entertaining, but because this one was being written by M. A. Larson. Larson, in the past, has been responsible for the writing on some of my favourite MLP episodes, including "Return of Harmony" and "Magic duel", and is by far my favourite member of the MLP writing staff since the show's creator, Lauren Faust, left after season one. But he's never done a finale episode before and I've been eager to see how he handles it. And in many ways this episode both met and exceeded my expectations.

Well, as far as the basic premise of the episode goes, that of the cutie marks being switched around, I think it's an interesting one to end the season on. While it may not be the first time that the personalities of the main characters have been altered in some way, It's an interesting perspective to have them fill out each other's roles like this. This is basically a variation on the "body swap" cliché that some fantasy shows like to do, and while it's not a story type I've had much interest in before, here I think it's executed fairly well.

This episode also continues the tradition of continuity by having a number of references to past episodes. Under normal circumstances I'd accuse the writers of simply putting in these references to try and please fans, but they were honestly handled in a very good way. Spike's suggestions on how to fix the mixed cutie marks all hark back to previous times when magic was used to solve a problem, like Twilight's memory spell from "Return of harmony, and Zecora's magical cure from "Cutie pox". All of these things are solutions that I myself might have thought of to try anf solve the situation, and the fact that the writers could see that and acknowledge it, whilst still showing that they wouldn't work, was a real plus for the story.

In many ways, this episode feels a lot like "Return of harmony" in which the personalities of the main characters are changed and as a result they are driven apart from one another, leading to Twilight having to unite them via some sort of spell. Because of that, the episode has a feeling of repetitiveness in it's story, but that's no bad thing as it handles it well and does a lot of things right. There was a real emotional centre to the episode and the character go through perhaps one of their lowest points in the series before being turned back to normal. Drama or depressing things are hard to pull off well in kid's shows but the writing team for MLP has had a history of doing it well, and this episode is no exception to that.

As with all of the most important MLP episodes, this one is primarily focused on Twilight. And like many of the show's best episodes, she's handled really well here. Although there have been times when her magic has caused problems, the problems in question were never that big. Here though, through an act of carelessness, she causes a massive issue for all of her closest friends. As accidental as this may have been, she was partly to blame for what happened, and this episode does a great job of showing just how torn up she is over the whole thing. Voice actress Tara Strong really brings her A-game to this episode and does well in making you feel sorry for what Twilight is going through. Her character and what she goes through is easily the strongest aspect of this episode, making her behaviour and her actions both relatable, believable and sympathetic all at once.

There are, however, one or two problems with the premise, but one is fairly "nitpicky" of me so I'll keep it brief. It was established in the show's first season that magic was not supposed to able to affect cutie marks like this, so to be able to swap them around en masse seems to fly in the face of that. Also, am I the only on who finds this concept rather scary? Think about it, these cutie marks are supposed to determine what a pony is good at and what kind of person they will be. I've had mixed feelings on that, but that's not the real issue with the premise in this episode. The real issue I have with it here is that, with the wave of a magic wand, or horn in this case, someone could just re-write what a pony is good at and how their life is supposed to play out?. I don't know about the rest of you, but that's a pretty terrifying idea from where I'm standing.

What also bothers me about that premise is the way the five ponies behave while their marks were changed. Apparently they are driven to do what "their marks tell them" to a degree that they never seemed to do before. Plus, not one during their change did any of them think to maybe got to Twilight or some other pony to try and get help. It was clear to anyone that they were all unhappy with their situation and yet none of them did anything to try and change it. They just accepted it. That is not how I would have expected any of them to behave.

Not only that, but their seeming inability to even try and go back to their old ways of life, and how they say they were told to do so by their cutie marks, brings up something that, frankly, I hadn't considered until this episode. In the past, the cutie marks were portrayed as basically being a way to let the world know what a pony was good at, and I was fine with that concept. But here, we get something very different for them. It seem that cutie marks actually encourage ponies to do what they're good at, regardless of how those ponies may feel about the task in question.

This is a problem for me because it basically means that ponies throughout the show have been coerced into doing what their marks tell them. Now in the past this hasn't been a problem because the ponies seem pretty happy with what they're supposed to do in life. But consider for a moment that this wasn't the case. Imagine, for example, that a pony character discovered that their special talent in life, and thus their cutie marks, was for something they didn't enjoy doing, or perhaps even hated doing. That would mean that they would have to spend the rest of their lives being forced to do something they didn't want to, without any say in the matter whatsoever, much like the main characters did in this episode. And this puts the whole concept of the cutie marks in a very negative light for me.

Perhaps the Cutie Mark Crusaders were misguided in their efforts to earn their marks this whole time. Because from what I've come to learn of them here, they may well be better off without them.

Also, I had an issue with the way the main six were when they had their personalities changed. Back when I reviewed "Return of Harmony" I made note of the fact that the "discorded" versions of the main six were not very interesting versions of their normal personas because their normal personalities are far deeper and more complex than the simple traits their alternate versions seemed to display, so they became one-note when Discord changed them. Here i find myself in a similar position. While it may be interesting for me to see the main six behave as each other, the way they do so makes it seems like they're nothing more than simple caricature's of one another as opposed o the more complex characters they evolved into .I know that maybe I'm expecting too much from this show on that count, but still it bothers me.

Okay, having said that, I think it's time for me to address the elephant in the room. The big controversial thing about this episode that's had fans talking for weeks now. Twilight Sparkle becoming an alicorn. I know plenty of people out there have had some pretty heated opinions about this and I understand their concerns. So I think I'll need to address them and give my own take on it before I give my final opinion on it.

Firstly, there's the accusation that this change has only been done so that they can try and sell some new line of toys based on Twilight's new form. I have no doubt that on some level, this is true. However, even if it was, it wouldn't bother me. After all this is Hasbro we're talking about. They are, at the end of the day, a toy company. And the only reason we get great show like this and others is so they can promote their latest product. True show like this may have grown into quality entertainment in their own right, but that's only because Hasbro wants to sell us stuff. Like it or not, having them try new stuff like this to promote new toys is the only reason they make shows like this, so if we want to keep this show around, it's a necessary evil we'll just have to put up with. Besides, I made no criticism against such acts back in "Crystal Empire", so to do so now would make me a hypocrite.

Secondly, there's the talk that this change to Twilight has ruined the show because it's "too different". This, I feel, is a fairly bad reason to hate a change like this. In the past, whenever I've advocated changes to stories or characters, I've done so with the belief that change can be a good thin in itself, if only because it m3eans they're trying to do new things. New things and ways of doing things can lead to great story possibilities, and I admit that this has the potential to allow for many great new future stories, with Twilight now having risen up the levels of magic and Equestrian society. So no, a drastic change does not bother me.

So, you're probably thinking to yourself that if I'm not bothered by the things people have said about this then I must approve of the change. I would not go so far as to say that I approve of it exactly, as I have my own issues with it. The fact that being in a position of leadership is never something that Twilight has never sought out for herself before. True she's been a leader for the group, and yes she's taken charge when there was a crisis and people needed her, but to have a position where people must be deferent to her? To treat her like royalty and a figure of authority? No, that's not something I think she'd ever feel comfortable with.

Plus, her becoming a princess rather flies in the face of something that I've always liked about this series. Right from the start, one of this show's key aspects that I've enjoyed is that, despite being a show for girls, it never pandered to them. It never resorted to using stereotypes or saying "this is what little girls want". True the main character could arguably have fallen into classic female character archetypes at the start, but they grew into something more than that as the show went on. By having Twilight become a princess, and by having it painted as some ultimate achievement, they're going back to that outdated perception of young girls and what they think they want. Granted, this may not be intentional on Hasbro's part, but it's hard not to see an element of that in there.

Not only that, but I think it was rather forward of Celestia to do this to her without actually asking her if it's what she wanted. Like I said, Twilight has never once sought out positions of leadership, and as such the fact that Celestia would just do this to her without asking if it's what she wanted seems like an incredibly risky thing for her to do. What if she refused, turning down the position? What would she have done then?

However, I will say right now that the transformation works with regard to what her character has always represented to me. Throughout the series, Twilight has been a character who has worked for what she's done. Whenever something happened, she tried her hardest to try and fix whatever problem or issue was thrown her way. She is a character who has earned every good thing that's happened to her, a character who represents exactly how good a person's life can be if they try their hardest. And this change to her works because it fits in perfectly with that. Becoming an alicorn and princess is seen as a high achievement in this world of MLP, and as such I can not think of a better thing to have happened to her, to reach that top point which, frankly, she's been working towards ever since she became Celestia's student, however unaware she may have been of it at the time.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about the animation and the visuals of this episode. This season, as I said back in my review of "Crystal Empire" seems to have stepped up from past episodes, and many of this season's episodes have showcased that well. This episode is not exception. Although it may not have the kind of grand visuals of the "Crystal Empire" episode, save for a few moments here and there, this one is notable mostly for minor touches. The changed cutie marks are one thing but what also helps that are the ways the characters are show during their change, they way they hold themselves to reflect their new station. The most notable example of this being Pinkie's straight-hair look, which usually only appears when she's unhappy, which was a great way of telling the audience of how she was feeling without telling us. Plus, the final few minutes were just phenomenal, not only with the strange realm where Twilight met Celestia, but also with the transformation. This was, if nothing else, a good-looking episode.

Time to talk about this episode's songs. Firstly, there's the episode's opening number which features Twilight going about time and singing about how great things are in Ponyville and how "nothing can go wrong". Now let me say right now that I think this is a very well-sung song, with Twilight's singing voice actress, Rebecca Shoichet, doing a fantastic job with the vocals. However, the whole time I was listening to it, I was feeling that it was only being used as a joke, singing about how everything's fine, only for something to not be fine soon afterwards. Plus, singing about how wonderful a morning it is? I can see maybe Pinkie Pie doing something like that, but Twilight? As good as this song was, it felt just a little out-of-character for her.

Secondly, there was a song shown when Twilight was going around town and seeing her friends try and do each other's jobs. This was a fairly decent song, although I would hardly count it among the show's best. It features almost the entire main cast in this song which is usually the kind of thing I like as ensemble songs, or songs featuring multiple singers have typically been among my favourites. I will say that it does a great job of showcasing just how upset the characters are with what they're going through and how helpless they feel at being put in this predicament, so it does it's job well.

The third song features Twilight singing a melancholy number about how guilty and bad she feels over her actions which led to her friend's changed cutie marks. This works much better than the previous song in giving the audience an emotional connection to the kinds of difficulties they're going through. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that it's probably the most depressing song the show has given us so far. But that's no criticism ad I've always praised this show whenever it's made me feel something like this. Plus, I have to say that this is probably Shoichet's best work yet.

The episode's next song, "True true friend" is another matter altogether. It's set during the part of the episode where all of the main six are helping each other and turning themselves back into what they were supposed to be. It's an ensemble song with features the entire main singing cast, and as I've just said, I am a big fan of any MLP songs that feature the whole cast. And to their credit, they do a good job here, which is lucky for me because after going such a long time without singing, I had feared that maybe they'd be out of practice. Fortunately that's not the case and the song was very well executed, especially towards the end where the song was particularly strong with all the voices united for the final lines. Now some may call some of the lyrics "corny" or perhaps even "repetitive", and in truth there is an element of that in here. ut I actually find myself really liking this song. It was sweet, heartfelt, and it's central theme of helping your friends seems like a good summary of the lessons of friendship Twilight and the others have learned over the course of the series. Is it the best song the show has done? No. Is it the best ensemble song? Again, no. But it's sung well, I enjoyed listening to it, and I think it's more than worthy to serve as the song for a season finale.

Next, we have, for the first time ever, a song featuring Princess Celestia. This was sung towards the end of the episode and I'll admit, it's sung well. I don't know who Celestia's voice actress is when she was singing, but whoever it was did a good job. The song is fairly short, just talking about what Twilight has done through the series. It's a very heartfelt number and, although brief, does well in establishing how proud Celestia is in her student.

The final song is basically a reprise of the first so I won't be going into any real detail about it as I've already said what needed to be said about it.

The humour of the episode is practically non-existent. But this is not a bad thing as, like most of the show's best episodes, the humour takes a back seat to the more important elements. This episode, by and large, is about Twilight and her friends,. and the trials they go through in it's story. Humour has it's place here and there, after all it's always fun to se3e Pinkie Pie acting her usual self. But while I don't dislike MLP humour, I will say that an over-abundance of it would have spoilt the general atmosphere of the episode.

As for the moral of the episode, what we have here is basically a summary of the entire moral of the series. It's a lesson on how important your friends are and that you cannot be the person you are without the positive influence that they have on you. In a past review I criticised putting in a moral that was basically what the whole show is about, but here, I must say that it works much better. Because this episode has such a strong sense of finality and resolution to it, it seems far more appropriate to have a lesson that acts like a summary of the show's story. It may not be the most original lesson the show has taught, but for a season finale, I honesty can't think of one better.

"Magical mystery cure", and I absolutely must stress this point, is a GOOD episode. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, and I imagine that those who are reading this review will enjoy it as well. I know from the review you may think that I hated it, and it's true that it may have had it's problems here and there, and yes the big change to Twilight gave me some incredibly mixed feelings, but it was still an enjoyable episode. The song was great, I liked how the characters were handled despite essentially not being themselves for most of it, and it felt far grander than usual MLP episodes. It had all the things needed to make it into a good final episode for the season and pulled it off well. When you watch it, you feel that it has something extra, a special something you can't put into words that many of MLP's best episodes have had. While it may not be the best the show has done, and will no doubt divide much of the fans, it is more than worthy of being both watched and liked.

So then, with season three over with, how did i feel about it overall? Well, I made the prediction at the start of the season that, because there were only half the number of episodes as a regular season, that the writing staff would be able to put more time and effort into each one and make them better than the episodes of past seasons. Has my prediction come true? Well, yes and no. I think it's safe to say that the quality of the writing and the episodes has certainly been more consistent than past seasons. True it has it's fair share of highs and lows, but the high's never got as high as "Canterlot Wedding", nor did the lows get as low as "Cutie Pox", but overall I'd say that the average quality of the episode was a little bit better than they were last season.

Also, I think it's safe to say that this one will go down in Brony history as the "fanservice season". What do I mean by this? Well, as I've mentioned in my reviews this season, there seem to be far more nods to the fandom this season, as well as having entire episodes seemingly born out of the fandom's wish-list f episodes. Scootaloo getting her own episode, Applejack getting her own song, Luna making more substantial appearance returning characters like Cadence and Shining Armour, whole episodes devoted to returning villains like Trixie and Discord, and even the controversial "Twilight become and alicorn" story for the finale. It goes to show just how much the show's writers and creators have been paying attention to the fans, far more so than almost any other show I've seen in my time. Whether it's to gain popularity among the fans or because they genuinely wanted to see if they could do those stories well, I cannot say. But either way, I was pleased with what they gave us.

However, and I know this will upset many fans, I think it might be in the best interests of the series if this episode, "Magical mystery cure", was also the last episode of MLP. I know I've been known to say that whenever an MLP season has a good last episode, but here I think it's even more important that the show comes to and end. And before anyone asks, no it's not because I think Twilight's transformation has made the show bad or anything, although the change is certainly part of it.

My reason for saying so is that, with the events of this episode, Twilight Sparkle has reached the end of her journey. Think about it, what has been the main goals of Twilight's character in this show? To understand the importance of friendship and having friends, and to learn all she can about magic. She's had the former down for some time but only now had latter goal been achieved. By becoming an alicorn, she's apparently reached the heights of her magical training and her tutelage under Celestia. And in doing so, she's achieved what she set out to do at the start of the series.

And there is one golden rule when it comes to storytelling. When your main character has fulfilled their goal, reach the end of their respective story arc, and finished what they set out to do, then the story has reached it's logical conclusion. Despite being an ensemble cast, Twilight is undoubtedly the focus of the series, and now that she's reached this end goal, so to has the MLP story as a whole. To create more stories after this would mean to extend a character's story after they've reached the end of their journey, which in past shows has always led to poor future stories. Plus, the entire episode was just filled to the brim with a feeling of finality. When you watch it, you really feel like you're watching an ending, not just of a season, but of a whole show.

Look, I love this show okay? If I didn't, you wouldn't be reading my sixty-fifth episode review of it. And in all honesty, if they DO continue into a fourth season, I'd love to watch it, and I truly hope that they can write more great quality episodes that showcase these characters I've come to love. And if they can pull it off, then great! But to me, this episode seems like a definitive full-stop for the series.

Well, that's it for my reviews for this season. I hope you all enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them and I'll be right back to it once season four comes along, whenever that may be.

See you then.

Did you forget that the spell that Twilight used was based on a unfinish spell by Starswirl? Yes a cutie mark switch spell does sound scary since this is the first time such a spell being mention, it's safe to say it's a one of a kind spell. I think this is reinforce being a one of a kind spell when Celestia said she cast a spell that no one had seen before.

Also I was under the impression that a cutie mark is suppose to be your true calling in life, not just your ability/ talent being sum up as a symbol on your hip. While today episode does bring the idea of being bad at something but your cutie mark said otherwise. I do not believe there are ponies with that problem well they haven't address it and today episode doesn't count since it was a spell mishap. In another word, whatever their cutie mark is, it is something that he/ she truly love and has passion for. I mean let say if the pony cutie mark was animal slaying, then that pony will have no problem at hunting animal for he/ she enjoyed the thrill of the hunt as oppose to having question his/ her moral on taking an animal life.

Still I do agree that I find it odd that the ponies well compell to carry on at the ability their cutie mark is showing them despite it clearly shows they were unhappy/ untalented in that field. I mean I get about cutie mark is their destiny but to not question it but yet again they are the first ponies to have experience it I guess?

I did like the episode being a musical but as many others had mention already, the initial plot is rush as it the problem arrive and resolve quickly and easily. The episode sould of been a two parter, one focus on the problem switched cutie marks and ended when it was solved and appranted they killed Twilight. Part 2 would of then focus on Twilight and her becoming an Alicorn.

I also got confuse to the extent of the spell. Yes it change their cutie marks and alter their lives but to what extent? I was under the impression it was timeline/ past changing as their were going on about trying their best at thier profession. That can't be the case given that the group photo in Twilight treehouse show their still had their real cutie mark and the extend of the changed cutie mark would of make a big difference to everyone live then just the mane 6 (for one thing wouldn't the citizen of Ponyville kicked or got Rarity to stop trying to control the weather?).
Yes it could of been a case of a simple memory changed (seeing how they started to lived in the others houses) but if that is also the case, would somepony would of question about their sudden change of profession especially when the Apple family find it weird that Pinkie Pie suddently worked in their farm and was bad at it.

For being a musical like episode I do like the songs in it alot. The Twilight solo ballad song is my favourite (I think that is the first time they ever make a song like that in the show).

I do admit that after the problem had been solve, the rest of the episode did somewhat make up for it as it did really like it was the last ever episode forever. It was like a farewell in a way.

Also I take it you didn't know that there is a season 4 in the work. While I do kind of agreed that today episode would of been the final episode forever but I thnik there still some room for season 4. I disagree that it's the end of her journey, while it's true in a way but as Celestria stated, she's now got a new journey for her new status as a princess.

Beside if they did ended it there would of been so many question like "is she the princess of Ponyville" or "what is her new duty are". I mean I know for one thing, she new found status will never get in the way in not seeing her friends ever again therefore her adventure with her friend will still continue despite being a Princess. Well ok that would probably ended with hundred of fanfic telling on their adventure after season 3 but many would still wanted the show to continue onto season 4.

Overall season 3 has been a step down compared to the last two seasons but I had expected that since other shows has share the same fate of the quality of the show decline (LOST and Heroes for example). Still among those episode I still find a rare gem of an episode (Sleepless in Ponyvile). Either way it has put me off from stop watching the series as I will be waiting for season 4!

Lastly I don't really have a opinion with Twilight being a Alicorn now, I kind of indifferent about it but I feel it will not have a devatation effect on the overall show, It's Twilight with wings now.

And so the last Followup for S3 has finally arrived.

Welcome back Derpy!

Looking forward to the Followup of the movie and the S4 opening in September.

Holy jesus balls, that is a long post. I'll just copy what I posted in the other MLP thread yesterday...

I didn't enjoy the finale. It was about as "meh" as any other Season 3 episode and Season 3 in general has had very few stand-out moments compared to previous seasons. I guess it inevitable due to Faust having zero involvement with this season.

Firstly it was the over-use of songs. I'm down with a solid 1 song once every couple of episodes, it mixes things up...but 50-70% of 1 episode being nothing but singing? I'm not big on musicals, I'm not big on characters turning exposition/narration into songs every 2 minutes. It gets increasingly tiresome and often the songs just drag on, they get nowhere and they add little to the characters/show/plot. I can't take any line seriously when the characters are dramatically singing it to me (or each other), it feels horribly out of place and completely breaks my immersion.
Think about it, if you were one of those characters in the show and a song started, the first thing you would ask is "where the hell is that music coming from? And why is everyone singing when they can speak normally??". Yeah, I know Hasbro is doing their best to stick to their target demographic (little girls), and children love musicals (Willy Wonka, Sound Of Music, etc) but I grew out of them a long time ago. I know songs are part of the show...but they need to be used in moderation. I know a bunch of bronies who are in the same boat as me when it comes to this topic.

Secondly it was the rather jarring "over-powering" of Twilight because I always felt the Mane 6 were somewhat equals and the fact that Twilight was just another unicorn (albeit rather good with magic) helped her fit in. Look, I'm not against alicorn Twilight...but I'm against the fact that she got such a MASSIVE reward while the other ponies got nothing. Absolutely nothing. They helped save Equestria too, they beat Nightmare Moon, Discord, Queen Chrysalis and King Whatever (seriously, worst villain ever)! How come only Twilight gets to become an alicorn? Honestly, they could've handled the plot a lot better. There could've been other ways to justify her getting turned into a princess...the way shown in this episode is pretty bullshit. Also how come turning into an alicorn = automatically a princess? I thought being a princess was a thing of royalty, i.e. you had to be born as one. But now there's a spell which turns you into one, "if you're awesome enough". That's nice -_-

Overall this finale was nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE near as good as A Canterlot Wedding. Seriously, the plot in that one hit me in the face. I thought it would just be a happy-chappy wedding with too many songs, what I got instead was a whole evil plot twist, a war-fighting extravaganza, Celestia actually being defeated in a fight, etc! I mean come on! You can't beat that! The S3 finale wasn't even as good as The Best Night Ever, which again had quite a few twists as the ponies found out that it was in fact the opposite to their expectations, and of course the pleasure of watching Fluttershy going batshit insane for the first time.

I started to seriously wonder whether it was my love for the show that made me so critical about it - perhaps I simply got used to the show, perhaps I got over-saturated to what I loved about MLP? So I put it to the test - a marathon watching most episodes from Season 1 + Season 2. AND I FUCKING LOVED THEM ALL, many moments still found me cheering and giggling like a madman. So no, I have NOT become over-saturated with MLP. S3 had drastically fewer memorable moments compared to S1 or S2 and I found it to be by far my least enjoyable season, the finale was the nail in that coffin. That is all. If I was to recommend this show to anyone it would be just S1+S2, skip S3.

I feel Lauren Faust needs to come back. Season 3 has been very bland and the lack of her involvement with the season was very much obvious to me. At first I didn't pay it much attention but now it is clear that she provided the magic behind S1 and S2, the magic which is mostly gone from S3 (if the King Sombra arc wasn't fucking obvious enough).

I really liked season 3. It had some less than stellar episodes, but the overall quality was damn good with some exceptional work over the course of season. I think that having fewer episodes this time round hurt them a bit and they tried to cram too much in each week. Next season I hope they either find ways to have more two-parters, or go back to the simpler slice-of-life style stuff that was so fun in past years. Nearly every episode this season has felt "rushed" as far as pacing goes, due to them trying to tell stories that really need more breathing room than the 20 short mins the show allows for.

Here's hoping for some more continuity, too. The amount of times the mane 6 have saved Equestria from doom (with giant parades in their honour afterwards) you'd think they'd have gained some sort of celebrity status at this point. One of the most immersion-breaking and annoying things for me was that season 2 episode where Rarity goes to Canterlot and nobody knows who she is. This is the pony who not only helped defeat TWO world-threatening villains, but has hobnobbed with some seriously important and famous fashionistas and Canterlot personalities, is a friend of Celestia and probably designed the dresses that these ponies (who don't know who she is) are wearing. I'm pretty sure she used to live there, for corn's sake. Anyways, more recognition of what's happened before would be nice, even if it's just in passing like Spike's allusions to previous mcguffins in S3's finale.

 

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