This episode got off on the wrong foot for me when Twilight said "I had good friends in Canterlot."
uh, since when?! Yes, there was that flashback to the pilot of being invited to moondancer's party. But it completely overlooks her "Big Brother Best Friend Forever" song, the entire first verse was about how she HAD NO FRIENDS AS A FILLY!
it was a great episode seeing how things have and have not changed in almost 5 years was really neat. felt so bad for moon dancer having the pony you look up to like a big sister just leave without so much as a goodbye and never hearing a thing from her was really devastating. sure you can argue she did it to save the world and it's true but why had she not even talked to her in almost 5 years? it was also great seeing her old home. i honestly had forgotten about it till now because we only saw it for a few minutes in the very beginning of the series. defiantly a great character building episode.
Twilight was way too dramatic for me, and she literally BEAT UP Lyra when she was a hypnotized brides maid, so they shouldn't of accepted her so fast. Moon Dancer had actual sense and if some one beat up one of my friends even if they weren't acting like themselves, I don't think it be good to be around that person. None the less, Twilight didn't stay there until the pony had forgived her some what. I'd just claim it as average this time though.
Take some throwaway minor character development and probably throw-away names from the pilot and turn it into an episode where it was a real event that had actual consequences and meaning.
That's some fundamentally cool shit to begin with. The execution of the idea turned out pretty nicely and we got nice development too. Also, respect for Pinkie grows, back in said pilot I had her nailed down as needlessly annoying, but no, she takes the enjoyment of others and knowing them as integral to her very being. An incidental comment in this episode showed that almost as much as last weeks episode did.
It was so much like what happens in real life, you don't show up for a friend or a friend doesn't show up for you and you close your heart off I already made a journal To fix some broken ships... FRIENDSHIPS!
It was a good episode. When I first watched it, I thought it was a little, well, boring, but after watching it a second time I realized how good it actually was. I don't know why, but I tend to do that a lot. Anyway, I totally predicted Twilight's old friends being completely okay with Twilight ditching them in the past, but since I'd never seen Moondancer, I had no idea what she'd be like. I had always just assumed that she was just like Twilight's other old friends - happy, social, friendly - and that the party she invited her friends to in the series opener was nothing special. Boy, was I wrong. It never even occurred to me that she'd be just like Twilight used to be and that that party was her first one ever. Larson, you've done it again.
I disagree with the people who say that Moondancer overreacted in the past because I know what that sort of thing feels like, but I'm afraid I have to agree with everyone who's saying that Twilight was being arrogant when she automatically assumed that she had ruined all her old friends' lives by leaving them without even saying goodbye. Only Moondancer took it personally, the others were just fine. The world doesn't revolve around Twilight and I hate it when people claim that it does so in the show, so imagine how much I hated it when Twilight herself seemed to think that she's the center of the universe in this episode. Luckily that's never happened before and I truly believe that she'll never be so arrogant again.
Continuity is not nearly as rare in MLP as some people seem to think it is by acting so surprised whenever there are references to older episodes, so I could see the callbacks to the first episode coming. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see Twilight's other flashbacks. I got the impression that she was actually closer to Moondancer than any of the others as a filly, because they had so much in common. Of course, she still never even invited her to her home, so I can completely understand Moondancer's resentment in the present. I thought Twilight should just leave Moondancer alone at some parts, but of course, the Princess of Friendship wouldn't be doing her job if she gave up like that, so I knew that those two would reconcile in the end. Thankfully it was executed quite well. Moondancer's breakdown wasn't nowhere near as cringe-worthy as Rainbow Dash's in Tanks for the Memories. I actually felt sorry for her.
Twinkleshine, Minuette and Lemon Hearts were adorable and Larson even managed to explain their common appearances in Ponyville - they go there to visit Lyra! I guess Lyra must have moved to Ponyville very soon after Twilight because she was seen at the Summer Sun Celebration and I assume that's when she decided to make her new home in Ponyville. Heck, maybe she met Bon Bon at the SSC and immediately fell in love with her. It's a sappy theory, but completely possible.
Spike was written well in the episode too. He certainly is as honest as Applejack, but unlike her, he's never afraid to speak out even the harshest of truths. I just love that guy. I don't know what Twilight would do without him.
All in all, a very nice episode, definitely the best since Slice of Life. 9/10.
I still have a bitter taste in my mouth after seeing the "Tree of Harmony" with it's sparkle-shaped mark in the middle, and the implications that Celestia's been waiting for Twilights arrival for a thousand years, immediately taking her as her protege the moment she saw her cutie mark, that the only other alicorn we know of having been ascended was put on a throne right away... I mean turned into a babysitter for Twilight. Also that she believed saving the Crystal Empire was actually a "Test" for her alone to complete, and of course the whole ordeal with being the Element of Unlimited Magic, groomed to become a princess and on her way to surpass Celestia and Luna, if she hasn't already.
We've seen plenty of examples of Twilights title as "The Chosen One" being taken to an extreme hinting at her eventually becoming some sort of God-Princess of Ponykind, and that kind of "I worry about being the sole cause of ruining this ponys life" attitude, complete with being proven right just.... makes it cringe-worthy for me.
You make some good points. Twilight was obviously meant to become a princess from the beginning, but I don't think she's ever been very arrogant about it. I still can't believe Celestia told her to save the Crystal Empire alone, even though she actually said it just to see if Twilight was sensible enough to ignore that stupid order if she couldn't save the Empire all by herself. I think Celestia was being the arrogant one there, using an entire Empire's peril as a test, when she and Luna could most likely have defeated Sombra just fine by themselves.
I don't really like the fact that Twilight's Cutie Mark is in the Tree of Harmony either, because how could a tree know that some day a unicorn with exceptional magic skills would be born centuries or even millennia in advance? I got the impression that Celestia and Luna only knew of the Tree but had never seen it before in Twilight's magic flashback, so it must have come as a shock to them to see their own Cutie Marks there under the huge star in the middle. I wonder if Celestia started keeping an eye out for a unicorn with that star-shaped Cutie Mark already back then, or only after she had to banish her sister? According to Lauren Faust, Celestia knew that she couldn't save Luna herself, so she was looking for someone with the potential to use the Elements to do it for her. When she found Twilight, I bet she already knew that Twilight might become a princess some day if she just could bring Luna back.
There's one major flaw with the whole "Twilight will surpass Celestia and Luna and become a God-Princess of Ponykind" thing, though. If Meghan McCarthy is to be believed, Twilight isn't immortal like Celestia and Luna and will not even outlive her friends. If that is true, then I assume that there might have been more ascended Alicorns in the past and they've all died by now. Celestia and Luna were most likely born as Alicorns, but if ascended Alicorns are not immortal, then I wonder why they even exist. What happens to the Tree of Harmony once Twilight is dead? Will the star mark vanish or what? Is Twilight "the Chosen One" only because her magical abilities together with her friends are able to defeat the enemies who would otherwise destroy the world? If so, then I certainly hope she can beat/reform them all by the time she dies, because apparently Celestia and Luna are useless without the Elements of Harmony.
Hmm, sadly Meghans statement about Twilight not outliving her friends is quite dated, I wouldn't be surprised if that was subject to change as the seasons go by and the need to add more to her increases. It was said as damage control to make the fires die down, now that so many are... sigh... quite okay with it, they can pretty much take her anywhere, including turning into a "Major" alicorn, with the astral mane and growth spurt.
If... or rather by now when that happens, there will be little left to counter the argument that all of Equestria orbits around Twilight, not the other way around. Lets see, magical tree announces your arrival a thousand years in advance, the current ruler tries in vain to train unicorn prodigies... or possibly, trains herself not to mess up when the "CHOSEN ONE" arrives, said ruler gives her protege everything she needs, including an alicorn babysitter for prestige/protection. Once Twilight triggers the return of the Elements of Harmony, she's sent as training to do everything that needs to be done, as if Celestia and Luna already knows that their time's at an end, then is ascended for the most ridiculous of reasons: Fixing her own mistake. From that point on, she's given more responsibilities, and is even given all alicorn magic for a while despite knowing fully well that either Tirek or/and Discord would likely find her easily by snapping their fingers anyways. Detect Magic, realize that there's a gigantic source of magic somewhere, hunt it down.
The way things are heading, we're going towards a scenario in which Twilight becomes some sort of goddess, only thing worst would be the nightmare scenario of the entire mane 6 being ascended into "Major" alicorns, so that literally nobody would be outliving Twilight anyways. This could had been averted a long time ago by opening the floodgates of alicorns, showing that being ascended is NOT such a big deal, that other things are happening out there, other heroes (besides Daring-Do) saving the day, displaying that no, everything does not come down to Twilight becoming the centre of the universe, but it hasn't been done. Even Slice of Life managed to give off that "Well, there's other ponies out there... but the mane 6 can't be matched in any way" vibe, just the premise of the background ponies having to do something without them is enough to trigger a panic. Instead, each season just adds more reason to believe it'll all end by throwing away all potential the show used to have, spiralling into a typical "You can be a princess! You too! Everyone's a princess!" fairy tale ending we've blamed previous generations of MLP for.
Course, there's the whole "It's a childrens cartoon, you're looking too much into it" argument, but... honestly? If it truly was, the show wouldn't had become anywhere as popular as it did. We're liking it for a reason, and as time goes on, so does the need to preserve that appreciation. There has to be limitations, ending the series early to lock it down didn't work because of its popularity, now we have to face the possibility of it going on for so long that it becomes an unholy mess twisted beyond recognition. This isn't how I want to remember MLP:FIM. There HAS to be detractors, or else the "hypetrain" will crash at full speed, along with the entire community.
Again, you make some good points, but I'm afraid I have to disagree with your overall negative view on things. I have faith in the writers and I'm sure they won't turn all of the Mane Six into immortal Alicorns. Also, I actually wouldn't mind Twilight outliving her friends, because let's be honest, there's no way they'd ever show any of the major good guys get killed in this show and surely it will end long before the Mane Six become old and frail. In other words, whether Twilight is immortal or not doesn't really matter. I have no idea how the show will end when it finally does end some day in the future, but I seriously doubt that it will include a death of a protagonist or a major good character. Hasbro simply wouldn't allow it. I agree that MLP FiM is far more than a simple kids' cartoon, but Hasbro still needs to keep the kids happy and therefore I'm afraid the terrible "Tanks for the Memories" is as close as we'll ever get to see the show dealing with "death".
Wish there was more of Twilight's other friends than a focus on just Moondancer, but it was a nice episode. Also the ending with the picture and them hanging out was probably one of the best episode endings of the series.
While I liked it, I was kinda uncomfortable with the ending. To be honest, I would've dumped Twi right there. I've been through similar experiences as Moondancer (and I kinda wish they didn't make her mane so similar to Twilight's...).
Yeah, my opinion exactly, the episode went great until we found out Moondancer was kinda seeing Twilight as her role model and that this one mistake alone (As in, she saved the world instead of going to a party) shattered all of her desire to have friends.
It's like they wanted to show that even when Twilight didn't have friends, she still had people worshipping her Canon Sueness! XD
Good thing Twilight was forced to go to Ponyville. She would have NOT become like Moondancer because had she stayed, nopony would believe her proof of Nightmare Moon's return, & who knows what fate befell her & Equestria without the Elements Of Harmony to stop her return.
I really loved it, but I would have loved it even more if all Twilight's friends weren't recolored copies. Though I suppose having Moondancer as a Twilight recolor adds to the 'what Twi could have been' effect.
This was a great episode, it showed us what Twilight might have become if she never went to Ponyville, showed us a little more of her past, and when Moondancer broke down at the party...that was PERFECT, an explosion of emotion and pathos that we rarely see, it reminded me of the way Pearl and Amethyst vent on Steven Universe. Also I was totally WTF when I found out Lyra and Twilight were apparently old friends, they've encountered each other multiple times but never showed familiarity...
Lots of nostalgia, but I found it disappointing that it all revolved around Twilight ruining someones life.
I'd have better liked it if Moondancers reasons for turning into a social outcast were more... diverse, as opposed to "The Main Character wronged me, that means I must become a social outcast". It just seems too convenient, especially with that part where Twilight imagines herself ruining her life, I really, REALLY hoped that would turn out to be her worrying too much, that we'd have Moondancer showing her that she's still happy the way she is, that friendship comes in different ways..... nope, Twilight was right, as always, and Moondancer had FRIENDSHIP shoved in her face, which turned out to pretty much save her life.... eeeeeerrrrgggg.
I liked the first 3/4, but that ending just... didn't seem right to me.