Nov 7, 2014

Ponies Through The Ages: Day 7

(Fun fact: This is the first post of PTTA where I managed to get less than 500 words on my first attempt without having to trim it down later! Yay! I'm getting the hang of this whole "concise writing" thing!)

Episode seven is the third-most important episode of your show. Its importance is outdone only by episodes one and two. Why? Because episode seven is your first chance to LOSE viewers. Up until now, you’ve given your viewers six episodes, so they have a generally good idea of what to expect from the show. So why should they KEEP watching? They already know what’s coming. The answer to that question is: Because the show is really freaking good. You have to show them that by making episode seven the best that it can be. It is far more important that episode seven be good than any other episode. And so it needs to be really really good, and so it needs to be the best. If your show has an overarching story arc (MLP doesn’t, but let’s just pretend), then this is around the time where you would introduce a good plot twist. This keeps viewers coming back for more, as they now DON’T know what to expect.

MLP’s seventh episode is “Dragonshy”, which, as shown below, is pretty good. The other seasons gave us “May The Best Pet Win!”, “Wonderbolts Academy”, and “Bats!”

All of these are insanely good. So let’s take a look at each one in detail.


Even without an overarching story, though, “Dragonshy” throws a huge plot twist at you. This is no longer a day-in-the-life show, because this time, for the first time since the pilot, there is a quest that the ponies must take on, rather than just staying in Ponyville the whole time. I also like the design of the dragon, and having Fluttershy be the focus of an episode is a good idea, as she hasn’t had any yet, and she is probably the weakest-written character at this point. This episode changed that, and put her on equal footing to the rest of the cast. (Rarity is a bit weaker, but that’s only because she hasn’t been the focus of an episode yet.)

“May The Best Pet Win!” is-

ZOMG! RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES!!!!!111!!11!!!!one!!!1!!

-one of my favorites of Season 2. The “Find a Pet” song is beautiful, being one of the few songs at this point to last more than 40 seconds (LOL, Remember when that was a thing?). It’s also beautifully animated, being able to show off so many kinds of animals doing so many kinds of activities. Oh, and um, just a little thing, but, uh, RIDE OF THE FREAKING VALKYRIES!!! THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER!!!!!

“Wonderbolts Academy” was good, but was sadly predictable. I think it would have been better if the similarities between Lightning Dust and Rainbow Dash were shown off a bit more. Like, have them both say “I will do anything to be a Wonderbolt” to each other. The difference is that RD has an implied “within reason” in there, and Lightning Dust doesn’t. Then we can see her force Dash into more and more questionable situations, until Rainbow finally puts her hoof down when Lightning Dust tries to kill her friends in order to be a Wonderbolt. Then, what would seal the deal is if, after Rainbow saves them, Lightning Dust becomes a Wonderbolt anyways, and Dash has to deal with the fact that she gave up her dream, but saved her friends in the process, so she’s happy. (As for how she saved them, with the cloud thing, well, Fluttershy can stand on clouds, Twilight can self-levitate, presumably Rarity can too, Pinkie Pie is immune to all logic, and Applejack, um, um… moving on.)

“Bats” is bad. This line sums up all of my problems with it:

“That’s not Fluttershy! It’s Flutterbat!”

Stupid. “Flutterbat” is a name that the bronies would come up with. Whenever a pony has an alternate version, we seem to name it. For them to do this in-universe is stupid. I mean, in real life, you wouldn't call your friend something different if he suddenly turned into a vampire, would you? It's just dumb. I will give credit for one thing here: the song. MLP doesn’t do villain songs often, but when it does, it does them VERY well. (Applejack is totally the “villain” of the story at that point.)

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... not sure I agree with the seven episode thing. I've quite shows before getting 7 episodes in and if I have already gotten 7 episodes in then I'm already hooked either way.

    S1 - Yeah, Dragonshy was just awesome when it came out. Dragons, Fluttershy getting expounded on, a threat to Equestria, adventure. Definitely a top episode.

    S2 - The song is awesome, like really good, but the rest of the episode.... not so much. Maybe it's because it focuses to much on Rainbow Dash and Rainbow doesn't carry episodes well. She's fine as a bit player, but when she's the main focus it never turns out good.

    S3 - Meh. Still think Spitfire doing a 180 on personality was weird, the cloud thing is just plain uncaring writers, and Lightning Dust could have been a really good character if they had fleshed her out or given her any kind of backstory/motivation.

    S4 - Another bad but fun one. Everything about the plot is just mush, but Flutterbat is novel, but get over it people it's not that cool so please stop drawing it, the song was nice, and there were some cool animation bits, but the whole, the bats aren't bad and we should just give up a giant portion of your lively hood was more than stupid.