Oh hey! Netflix finally got season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! Well it can’t be put off any longer. Time leave the light-hearted, family-friendly lands of Supernatural and venture now into the dark, twisted world of sapient ponies…
Well this episode is in canon so I have to do a straight review.
…Which I don’t mind! Save for Discord’s first appearance, this is the strongest season opener the show has had so far, and kudos to the makers for actually going with an episode that is dripping with continuity. I mean I can get why some kids shows aren’t continuity heavy, though never because “kids can’t grasp it”. If you’ve ever spent any time with a five-year-old and up, you’ll quickly learn that their brains are incredibly sponges able to store and recall minute trivia about any of their favorite subjects (I won’t challenge a 5th grader on superheroes).
Regardless, the story was also pretty well crafted to give background on things that happened before without making the exposition clunky or unnatural. If they ever did “as you know” it was in a manner like taunting or threatening – the way people would in real life! I also admit that I’m a sucker for “wheels in motion” style plots.
Often this show can struggle with the speed of things, ending up with developments that happen way too quick (like the very first episode, the “friends” having the power to defeat an ancient evil after knowing each other for 2 hours). This two-parter was a good breather and had the subtext of “it takes time”. Twilight might have wings now, but she’s still struggling with flight and often times forgets she has the ability. Likewise Discord’s reform. Previously it almost seemed too quick and sudden, but in this episode we see said reformation is still taking time. He might be honestly reformed but still tempted by mischief, or he might still be wicked but is plotting a longer game. Either interpretation works and this is what makes deep, fully-realized characters.
Yeah, I’m saying some of the best writing on TV is in a kids show.
Maybe 4.5 because the flashback with Luna & Celestia was pretty gratuitous fanservice but at least it wasn’t boring.