My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 5 Thread

Well, Season 5 of MLP:FIM was aired over the weekend and I thought it could use a thread since the long-running general My Little Pony Thread died off a while ago.

The season premiere us a two-episode adventure story titled “The Cutie Map”. It picks up shortly after last season’s finale. Twilight Sparkle has a new home and a new role, and it looks like the Mane Six will take a more proactive part in solving problems throughout Equestria this season.

A mysterious map in Twilight’s new castle leads her and her friends to a remote part of Equestria (Spike stayed home to watch hoofball with Big Mac), where they find a village where all the ponies have the same cutie marks and Stepford smiles.

[spoiler]The villain is the founder of the strange village: Starlight Glimmer. She’s a warped reflection of Twilight (right down to the OCD) who believes that the best way to create friendship and harmony amongst ponies is to strip them of their cutie marks since special talents lead to envy and differences lead to division. Her magic is powerful enough to strip Twilight Sparkle and the others of their cutie marks (and special abilities) and then tries to brainwash them into seeing things her way.

Not only is Starlight Glimmer the first pony villain, she also gets away clean at the end (expect a return) and tells Twilight to stuff it when she gives her patented importance-of-friendship speech. This is also the first two-parter resolved without the Elements of Harmony (which were lost last season) or similar power-up. It looks like the staff is willing to shake things up a bit this season.


Some thoughts as I watched the show:
“All Hail Landru!”
Pinkie should have briefly had a cute mark that said 3.1416.
Party Favor has one of the neatest powers I’ve seen on the show. Too bad we’ll never see him again.
Anybody else notice that Starlight Glimmer is just a synonym for Twilight Sparkle? Future alicorn villain maybe?

Starlight Glimmer is also very similar to Sunset Shimmer. It would be nice to have a season-long villain arc with a Pony.

I didn’t love the episode, but it wasn’t bad. I liked that Fluttershy got to be the hero.

Both Starlight Glimmer and Sunset Shimmer are warped reflections of Twilight Sparkle. I don’t think the show format can really support an season-long arc villain, but Starlight Glimmer will almost certainly be back. Having a vindictive unicorn out there that can strip an alicorn of her magic should be causing the princesses some sleepless nights.

“You can’t have a nightmare if you never dream.”

If the rest of the season is this good we’re in for quite the ride. Antagonist with the best motivations, wasn’t defeated by her own stupidity or arrogance. Each char had good moments. Tons of fun little details, face animations, and gags, particularly all the equal sign symbolism.

Pinkie’s parents are Amish, so why not Mormons here? OK, maybe a cheap shot, but when they were all being super over the top friendly it’s what came to mind.

In these false utopia/cult stories it always seems the leadership has some secret that, once revealed, pulls the keystone out of their plans. This was like the whole first season of Korra distilled into 44 minutes. What if the staff were real, and Glimmer had removed her mark as well? Logic and argument failed. They’d have to actually demonstrate what they’re talking about, which they sorta did when they were having lunch. Even once it’s shown to be a sham, brainwashed cult members often just double down anyway. Would be a little too dark I suppose, but then again I didn’t expect them to be locked in a room and brainwashed 1984 style.

I thought Sunset was a waste of potential. She could have been Twilight’s Moriarty. So I’m glad to see them revisit the concept of a powerful, scheming unicorn mare to oppose Twilight, even if she’s not one of Celestia’s former students.

I especially liked how Glimmer interrupted Twilight’s corny hero speech.

I never thought Sunset Shimmer had the potential to be an arch-nemesis for Twilight. Not really much there beyond ambition and resentment. One odd thing about her is that, even though she seem to be the same age as Twilight, if she was Celestia’s special student before Twilight filled that role, she would have to be much older than the Mane Six.

With Starlight Glimmer, the obvious parallel is Amon. I almost expected her to say,“It is time for you to be equalized” before zapping Twilight. Like Amon, she is both a sham and a true believer. Amon believed bending was evil because of the abuse his father subjected him to. What makes Starlight Glimmer tick, I wonder?

Episode 2 is titled “Castle, Sweet, Castle”, and as expected after the adventure two-part season opener, it’s a character/friendship story set in Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle has a humungous sparkly brand new castle home, but she’s been studiously avoiding it, since it just doesn’t feel like home to her. Her friends try to help her out by re-decorating, and hijinx ensue as everypony tries to decorate more along their own preferences (Hay bales! Lots of Critters! Wonderbolts posters! Hidden confetti cannons!) than Twilgiht’s while Spike stalls for time.

The Mane Six have a pancake breakfast! “I lost a measuring spoon in the batter.”
Bulk Biceps has a new job as a masseuse at the spa! “Oh, I hate it when he does that.”
Angel Bunny gets cranky after repeated baths!

The whole time I watched it, I was like “JUST GET HER SOME BOOKS!”

I was right!

Also, I don’t see how what Rarity did was that bad. Maybe not TS’s style, but it wasn’t like what the other four dumbasses did.

Another week, another episode. This one is called “Bloom and Gloom”, and it was an episode I was hoping would come along this season. Season 3 had “Sleepless in Ponyville”, Season 4 had “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Tolls”, and this episode completes the trilogy.

In case you haven’t guessed from the titles, this is a dream episode featuring Apple Bloom and Princess Luna. It starts with what should be good news: the Cutie Mark Crusaders get a letter from Babs Seed. She’s gotten her cutie mark! But this triggers a lot of anxieties in Apple Bloom. What is she gets a cutie mark she hates? What if she gets her cutie mark before her friends? What if her friends get their’s and she doesn’t? What if she doesn’t get an Apple family cutie mark? Apple Jack tells her that she’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep…

Two more episodes since the last update.

“Tanks for the Memories” is a Rainbow Dash episode. Winter is coming, and Rainbow Dash is giddy with excitement cuz this’ll be the first winter with her seldom-seen pet turtle Tank, and she’s got all kinds of winterrific activities planned for them! If only Tank wasn’t so sleepy and tired these days…Fluttershy and others try to tell Dash that Tank is going to go into hibernation for the winter, but will be right as rain come springtime. Dash isn’t having any of that, so she decides she’s going to sabotage winter, much in the manner of the Grinch sabotaging Christmas in Whoville.

Watch Rainbow Dash go through the five stages of grief, including sulking in her bed in a fuzzy robe and slippers. She also gets away with accidentally wrecking the weather factory in Cloudsdale.

And this week, Applejack takes the Cutie Mark Crusaders to AAAAPPLE-oosa, where she’s subbing for an injured Cousin Braeburn in the rodeo. After all the talk of Applejack being in rodeos over the years, we finally get to see her in one. However, AJ’s main role in this episode is to be the Unreasonable Authority Figure. There’s a nogoodnik named Troubleshoes who’s been sabotaging rodeos all over Equestria and Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo are on the case faster than you can say CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS CRIME-STOPPERS.

I really liked the lesson in the hibernation one, how badass Fluttershy was the only one with the nerve to just be straight with Rainbow Dash. Even AJ chickened out. Rainbow needed to cry it out. I had a family situation and someone needed to just cry something out and it really helped my kid understand what was going on and not join in on the crying.

Tanks for the Memories"
“Winter is coming.”

Appleloosa’s Most Wanted
Cutie Mark Counselors, Yay!

After a week with no MLP, this week gives us “Make New Friends But Keep Discord”, an episode told from Discord’s point of view.

The cold opening shows Discord and Fluttershy at one of their previously-mentioned Tuesday tea parties. Things are going along swimmingly until Fluttershy mentions that she wants Discord to meet her new friend Treehugger. And that she’ll be taking Treehugger to the Grand Galloping Gala. Let’s just say Discord doesn’t take it very well. He gradually gets so annoyed* with Treehugger that he attempts to banish her to another dimension right in the middle of the Grand Galloping Gala. Luckily, Stern Fluttershy makes an appearance and set things right.

*I found Treehugger pretty annoying, too. She has dreadlocked mane and tail, says “like” at lot, and has a pronounced vocal fry. She also uses words like aura, vibe, chakra, and skosh.

Metal Gear Discord :slight_smile:
I hope Treehugger doesn’t have a cousin named Facehugger.:wink:
Discord/Fluttershy shipping?

With all the drama Discord was giving off this ep, maybe he should be paired off with Rarity? Speaking of shipping , it looked like Fluttershy was really really into Treehugger.

My favorite things from this episode:

-The poor, beleaguered postman. I hope Discord remembered to send him back home.
-Pinkie getting so excited she breaks the fourth wall and shakes the camera.
-A return to the Grand Galloping Gala.
-Applejack using Rainbow Dash’s tail as a hankie when she gets all misty-eyed when she sees Apple Bloom in her gala dress. “My little sister’s all grown up.”
-Maud Pie heckling Discord during his stand-up routine.
-Celestia’s expression of delight at the end. She was hoping inviting Discord would liven up the gala!

Seven episodes in, and I’m really liking the new season as it gets to the quarter mark. I thought season four was a big improvement over season three (I probably would have dropped the show if it wasn’t), but looking at the first seven episodes of season four (Princess Twilight Sparkle (2-parter), Castle Mane-ia, Daring Don’t, Flight to the Finish, Power Ponies, Bats!), I’m liking this season more. Granted, season four took a while to build up steam…

The Cutie Map is my favorite two-parter since The Return of Harmony, and Starlight Glimmer is the best villain since Discord, or maybe Queen Chrysalis. Castle Sweet Castle is a solid Mane Six episode. Bloom & Gloom is my favorite of the CMC/Princess Luna episodes. Tanks for the Memories is my favorite Rainbow Dash episode in a while, Appleoosa’s Most Wanted is a CMC episode where they do something different, and Make New Friends and Keep Discord is a hilarious episode.

Next episode is another Cutie Map episode to Griffinstones, land of the griffins.

Four of the seven episodes explore the nature of cutie marks as a theme. I wonder if that will continue through the season.

Allegations of alligators allegedly assembling cakes have been assuredly abandoned.

Pinkie Pie brand baking soda! For all your random baking needs!

Finally got to see “The Lost Treasure of Griffinstone”. As foretold, it’s a cutie map episode, but the map only sends Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash off to Griffinstone. Twilight gets awfully passive-aggressive snarky about that, especially since she can expound at length on the history and culture of griffins. Rainbow Dash doesn’t want to go at all, but is cajoled.

Of course, who else should they meet there but Gilda the Griffin, from way back in the fifth episode of season one. She’s her previous pleasant self, and the other griffins don’t seem to be much nicer, but Pinkie thinks there’s something beneath Gilda’s gruff exterior.

It seems that griffins, like dragons, are obsessed with gold and won’t even give you the time of day without a payment of bits. In the past, the griffins were united by their respect for the Idol of Boreas, which gave them pride and sense of community strong enough to overcome their natural selfishness. However, the idol was stolen long ago by a fearsome monster that disappeared with it down into a bottomless windswept chasm.

Rainbow Dash, who is not digging being around Gilda, heads off down the chasm to find the idol. Pinkie Pie gives Gilda some practical baking advice to help her griffin scone baking business (Baking Soda!), and then gets her all misty with a flashback to when she first met Rainbow Dash. (Rainbow rescued Gilda from the same bullies that picked on Flutterhsy).

When word comes that Rainbow Dash is trapped in the chasm, Gilda’s ready to come to the rescue and does find the idol, and has an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade moment where’s she grasping for it just out of reach while holding on to Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. She lets the idol go and saves the ponies, saying her friend means more to her the gold. With friendship re-ignited in her heart and a kickass scone recipe, it looks like Gilda will gradually bring the griffins together and the cutie map summons them home.