Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Pony Recaps: Twilights Kingdom (Part 1)
"Twilight's Kingdom" was epic! MLP:FiM always goes above and beyond with their two-part episodes, especially their season finales, but this two-parter, bar none, is the best one yet. This season finale trumps Canterlot Wedding as the best season finale of the series.
I am serious when I say that!
Everything about this episode was epic. The conflict was epic. The plot was epic. The villain was epic. The songs were…mediocre. (Well, actually only one song was mediocre.) Okay, so maybe not everything about this episode was epic, as there are plenty of problems I will mention now and later, but overall, the episode remains one of the most epic the series has yet created.
The best part, no question about it, has to be the villain. We haven’t had a decent villain in this series since Queen Chrysalis. King Sombra had the potential to be such a villain, but it was squandered in his overall apperance in Crystal Empire, where he was merely relegated as a looming existential threat with a single-word vocabulary. Lord Tirek is what King Sombra should have been. After waiting this long for a decent villain, the series finally managed to deliver with Tirek.
And the fight scenes! My Celestia, the fight scenes! This is something I and every other brony have been wanting to see for a long time. Yes, we sort of received this back in the season premiere with Princess Celestia fighting Nightmare Moon, but destroying a castle has nothing, and I mean nothing, on two super-powered beings leveling mountains and landscapes.
Now with all of this praise, is this episode by all means perfect? No. As I will explain, there are plenty of plot holes within this episode which, if you focus critically on, sort of make this episode less epic than it appears to be. But if you manage to overlook them, like I did, than this episode is nothing but high octane thrills and enjoyment. This is the type of season finale that leaves viewers waiting in anticipation for the next season, which is what a good finale should always do.
But enough small talk! Here’s my thoughts on the first part of Twilight’s Kingdom:
Obligatory shot of the castle and crystal heart. (You know, just in case you forgot this was the Crystal Empire.)
When Rainbow Dash gets bored of your bragging, you know you are going overboard.
Figures that the American pony has the common sense to see no significant difference between royalty and everyone else other than BS hierarchy.
Confirmed: pony faces are made of rubber!
Twilight states what most other bronies consider obvious at this point: Twilight being a princess means little to nothing. Fairly certain Twilight figured that out when the Manehattan resident denied her a cab.
Obligatory (and awesome) Flash Sentry cameo!
So those royal ponies sitting in the VIP seats have been confirmed as being from Maretonia. (I assume the ones in front are the Duke and Duchess, but who are the two in the back?)
I’m sure most everyone is siding with Spike on this one: even if Twilight was supposed to be present to greet the dignitaries, why was she given the role of unfurling the banner? Why is she not with the other princesses greeting the royal guests? Isn’t she supposed to be on the same standing as them?
Again, why is Twilight not with the other princesses? What exactly is the point of being a princess if she doesn’t share their same duties.
Well, this really raises speculation as to what these “confidential discussions” are about. I would assume it would have to do with the plot, but as we later find out, Celestia and the others do not learn about it until her dream.
You can clearly tell from how they are lined up that the princesses vary in height from one another, which is obviously due to the age differences among them, with Celestia being the oldest.
“Having all four of us here lets the royal dignitaries know that their visit is an important one.” Which is why Twilight was cordially left out of their discussions.
“All I do is smile and wave.” The Madagascar penguins would be proud.
Yeah, I’m going to be perfectly honest here: I didn’t care for this song. Outside of hearing all four princesses sing together, there is nothing else special about it. Overall, I found it rather bland, and I mean blander than unbuttered toast toasted from the end piece of a white bread loaf.
I’m just gonna take this basket of oranges down this dark, deserted fog-filled alleyway. What could possibly go wrong?
CAAAAT! Um, I mean, CAAAAAN!
Bless us, my precious! A tasty morsel he will make us, Gollum, Gollum!
But seriously, the real line he speaks is one of the best evil villain reveal lines ever: “Is he friend or is he foe, the pony wonders. I can assure you that I am no friend!”
I am going to continue monolouging while gaping my mouth open at the same time. Don’t ask me how I can do both.
Celestia: “I had the most terrible dream.”
Luna: “I know! I can enter them!”
I love how they decided to use the storybook format to convey this new information rather than merely relying on a boring flashback. This really gives the show its overall fairy tale feeling.
Obligatory StarSwirl the Bearded cameo!
Many bronies have claimed that Tartarus is the pony version of Hell. I disagree. As was established earlier in “A Stitch in Time,” Tartarus is merely the prison where the most evil creatures are held. That sounds like Hell, but Hell is where the souls of the damned go when they die. Tierk is still alive. Therefore: this is not hell.
I’m going with Bronicurious’s theory: if Tierk escaped during the event in “A Stitch in Time,” then his escape could have been the terrible thing that Twilight was worried about. (Though this raises the question: if Tierk did escape, how did the princesses not know about this until now? It would be assumed that they would have been informed of something like this. It’s like if Saddam Hussein managed to have broke out of prison prior to his execution. At least the higher ups would have known about it.)
“I know just the princess I know who can help….Discord.”
Well aside from the disturbing images this conjures up, at least this breaks the cycle of Celestia calling on Twilight and her friends to defeat the evil villain of the season.
“Discord can detect a magical imbalance.” Um, since when? If he could do that, then he would have been able to notice when Twilight and her friends had returned their power to the Elements of Harmony before defeating him. Moreover, he would have been able to detect the elements when Celestia and Luna tried to defeat him the first time.
Obligatory friendship speech.
A spoonful of Discord makes the chaos go down. (Side note: this was my friend’s :icontheycallmesonic1::devtheycallmesonic1: favorite part. She’s a big Mary Poppins fan!)
Looks like Discord barely came back from an internet flame war.
Wonder if Discord loves the smell of napalm in the morning?
The face that sparked a thousand fan arts!
It seems from the look of it that Discord knows the secret of opening the box and unlocking the power within it, which makes his actions later in the special all the more baffling.
Fillies and gentlecoats, Discord has left the dimension.
“Sometimes I wonder if the reformed Discord is more obnoxious than the before-he-was-reformed Discord.” You mean the Discord who turned Ponyville inside out and turned you all against each other?
Gee, there’s something important in the chest with six keyholes attached to the magical maguffin tree? Ya think, Fluttershy?!
Wasn’t the whole point of Castle Mania for you to spend the night researching all the books in the library to check for an answer of how to open the magical treasure chest flower? Or are we forgetting that Castle Mania ever happened? Good enough for me. I hated that episode!
OMFG! He attacked Neon Lights! Now who will help Vinyl Scratch with her DJ gig?
Discord is best troll!
“I just followed my nose!”
Pinkie Pie taught me how to do this.
Then again, considering the otherwise “adult” implications of someone jumping out of a cake, I wonder if there is any fan art of…oh Celestia no! I don’t want that image in my head!
For all you fanboys who were bitching about how Discord was no longer a villain: here’s your bone! He’s evil again! Happy?
When I realized this was going to be a season-long arc, I knew there were inevitably going to be cutscenes back to the “key” episodes. Fortuntaley, there were only two, and they were quick and to the point. If this were an anime, this would have been a three-part episode with an entire part with nothing but cutscenes.
It seems fortunate enough that Apple Jack decided not to spend that coin she was given; otherwise, Equestria would be doomed.
And I’ll point out the obvious plot hole on the flank here: this entire episode hinges upon all six ponies having obtained their keys. Had they not obtained them prior to this episode, it would not work, and villain would have won. But perhaps this is simply a minor nitpick.
“I’m afraid I put too much faith in Discord.” Seriously? You think sending the “former” evil villain to track down another evil villain would have been a bad idea? Ya think?!
Here’s the real magic trick: Bon Bon was in the ground-level audience, now she’s in the balcony. It’s magic!
Okay, stealing magic from ponies is bad enough, but going after Derpy? That’s unforgivable.
Looks like things aren’t looking up for A-A-ppleloosa!
So the princesses big plan is to give up their power. Trust me! I'll have more to say about this "plan" in Part 2.