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Post-Series Finale Rewatch - Season 2

Discussion in 'MLP: Re-Living the Journey' started by Bridle Timeout, 1 December 2019.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    [​IMG]
    Welcome to Ponyville by Dsurion
    And here we roll on with Season 2!

    Note: Although I plan on posting the Season 3 thread on the 1st January as usual, remember that it only has 13 episodes, so don't worry too much about falling behind because of the holidays. :) (Unless you're like me and still have a few S1 eps to watch. :p )

    For reference, here are the episode names and numbers for Season 2:

    E1 & 2 - The Return of Harmony, parts 1 & 2
    E3 - Lesson Zero
    E4 - Luna Eclipsed
    E5 - Sisterhooves Social
    E6 - The Cutie Pox
    E7 - May the Best Pet Win!
    E8 - The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well
    E9 - Sweet and Elite
    E10 - Secret of My Excess
    E11 - Hearth's Warming Eve
    E12 - Family Appreciation Day
    E13 - Baby Cakes
    E14 - The Last Roundup
    E15 - The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
    E16 - Read It and Weep
    E17 - Hearts and Hooves Day
    E18 - A Friend in Deed
    E19 - Putting Your Hoof Down
    E20 - It's About Time
    E21 - Dragon Quest
    E22 - Hurricane Fluttershy
    E23 - Ponyville Confidential
    E24 - MMMystery on the Friendship Express
    E25 & 26 - A Canterlot Wedding, parts 1 & 2
     
  2. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    I began withn watching FiM under the S2 opening teaser on The Hub.
     
  3. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Well then here we go again!
    Man, the fact that I've only seen most episodes once really makes all this interesting.

    Return of Harmony
    Introducing Discord! Best addition to the show there's been IMHO, although it's only the once at this point. It's interesting really that the CMCs arguing of all things would be what makes him break out. This is all either extremely convenient or, partially staged by Celestia, or there's a lot more scope to Discord's comments in the season 9 finale (I'll go ahead and assume no newcomers to the show are going to be reading UKofE at this point) when he says everything was his doing to test/prepare Twilight and the others, it literally is all his doing the entire 9 seasons which is nuts. But the fact he nudges AJ when he takes the wings away and says no cheating suggests he's seen season 1's events (Fall weather friends), and that he pats Fluttershy's figure in the stained glass.... maybe seen the future too? Would the writers have planned that far ahead?

    First time around I remember criticising Pinkie's characterisation in this. I took it as her not caring about anything except enjoying the chocolate rain, even when everything is chaos around her. Knowing more about the depth of her character takes this problem away on a rewatch.

    Seeing the mean six is both amusing and painful at the same time.

    Rainbow reacting to the apparent destruction of Cloudsdale without her is interesting. Not disloyal, but loyalty elsewhere? It's a bit like Gilda - if you took loyalty to the extreme, she should have been loyal to Gilda, or here, Cloudsdale. But what happens when loyalties conflict? Hmmm...

    Some big moments here like seeing the six as heroes set in stained glass for the first time, and Celestia's first ask of the six for help is a major milestone - they just happened to help her last time and continued to be vaguely half-familiar subjects, now already she depends on them.

    My friends have turned into complete jerks. .... NECKLACE. NECKLACE. NECKLACE. CROWN THINGY. I love Twilight's dry, cynical "these ponies are a pain in the backside, get this nonsense done" attitude here.

    I tear up a bit when Twilight finally, after all this effort keeping up the faith in her friends, gives up and goes grey with a little broken heart for a tear.

    Also feelsy is when she reads the letters and the magic activates itself, then when she spreads it to AJ and others

    Sort of wonder how in Equestria the absolute mess that was Ponyville got rebuilt (again). Maybe Discord's magic reversed once he got turned to stone.

    Decent moral: Friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for.

    Totally forgot about the Star Wars ending. Lol.

    Neat alternative ending music, too - didn't even happen for the grand finale, just the standard music.


    My Little Ponies: I counted 3 namedrops.

    Also of note:
    Fluttershy's first reaction to Discord is to yelp and dart away.
    The elements are useless if those wielding them don't feel those elements. Kind of sets out the symbolism nature they have.
    The pony flying along doing "wibble" noises XD Never noticed that before or any screenshots of it XD
    Is it just me or did the animators already do a lot of AJ+RD shipping, like when RD recolours.
    DoggoMac. Not sure why but I've never really seen this as much of a meme.
    Cheap shot from AJ to Rarity about being fooled by a rock!



    Memes:
    Pinkie's whole thing with laying there drinking chocolate milk and the many many exploitable frames, some of them a bit um... risqué, let's say.
    "What fun is there in making sense?" (or scents, if you've seen that joke)
    Liarjack, in particular her lieface
    Tom the rock
    Fluttershy diving into / peeking out of bushes
    "Not at all.. I AM weak and helpless!"
    "What is soaking wet and clueless? YOUR FACE!" XD
    "I guess you just bring out the worst in us, Spike" - every Spike hater ever
    I'll put it here - Fluttershy: "I'm just wondering if it's okay if I hold you down against your will for a little bit?"
    Twi: FOR EQUESTRIA
     
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  4. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    The Return of Harmony

    In many ways, this is the opposite of Friendship is Magic. That was (at the time) an epic adventure which brought out the best in each of them and had them overcoming obstacles in the world around them. This took place in a much more consistent environment, brought out the worst in each of them and had them overcome obstacles within themselves. It did have a much darker tone than anything in the first season, with Discord basically mind breaking each of them, but I think they balanced it out well by having them actually be quite funny afterwards. As part of the bigger picture, I have to wonder if Celestia deliberately held back, or if she and Luna really couldn't use the elements anymore. I want to believe it's the latter, since I think the former would detract from the story.

    It's easy to assume that Discord turns each of the mane six into the opposite of their true selves, but I'd argue that he brings out their dark side, their suppressed antisocial desires. Applejack wants to lie, probably more often than she likes to admit, but her own principals keep her from it. She gives into that desire, but quite amusingly, she still can't lie very convincingly. With Pinkie, he preys on her fear of rejection, and the end result isn't actually very different from several other times she gets really upset, with Party of One as an example. I'm not sure why the balloons have Pac-Man eyes, though :p.

    Interestingly, Rarity almost breaks out of her illusion; could she be even more strong minded that the rest? Discord obviously uses her desire to hoard all the shiny for herself, and her excessive "defence" of it is an interesting twist on her usual drama queen tendencies. It's ironic how Fluttershy is the most terrified of Discord here, when she later becomes the one to tame him. It's also great possible foreshadowing that she's totally immune to his usual tactics, and forced him to just zap her. In the whole story, she's the only one who can make him lose his cool. But part of her also desires to trample on everypony who makes her life difficult, which the rest of the mane six have at different points, unintentionally. We also see less extreme versions of this every time she accidentally overexerts. It's not much to go on, but her one line to Angel implies that her love of animals still remains.

    I actually don't think it's ever shown at any other point that Dash cares that deeply about Cloudsdale, but apparently, she does. Of course, it fits her anti-loyalty, but we don't really see her for most of the story, so there's not much else to say. It's fitting that turning the other five was a part of Discord's process of turning Twilight, to the point where he didn't need to do anything else. Again, this is in contrast to when the other five discovered their elements, and that was all it took for Twilight to find hers. For the spirit of chaos, he had a very logical plan to split the mane six up and turn them all separately. If he'd tried when they were together, they would've covered each other, which is exactly what happened in the end. It worked like a charm, but the only thing he didn't count on was Celestia. She can't bear the elements anymore, but she knows how to restore Twilight.

    Seeing them interact, even Discorded, was just one of those moments that make me think "I love these six". I love the details like how Fluttershy and Pinkie's "ha ha"/"quit it!" carries on in the background for the whole scene. And that face AJ makes every time she lies. This is why she shouldn't play poker :p. I find Twilight's gradually turning the sass all the way up quite funny, and let's not forget the "your face" moment, or the emotional roller coaster of Rarity's arc with Tom ;).

    The sequence where each of them gets restored is actually quite beautiful. I love that the last memory to restore Twilight is when they discovered their connection, and the one to restore AJ was her and Dash finishing up the Running of the Leaves side by side. It's a shame we don't get to see the others, though. That was all it took for Discord to be defeated. He realised that himself later, as he demonstrates in The Beginning of the End. In spite of everything here, I maintain that Discord isn't truly evil. He just thinks that the only way he can be free to be chaotic is like this.

    I noticed something very interesting, but it's probably a coincidence; when Discord is turning AJ, his apple puppets claim to be the keepers of the grove of truth, and challenge her to ask anything about the past, present or future. This implies that if he hadn't encountered Aurora, Bori and Alice, he'd at least heard legends of them. I also found it very interesting that when he was turning Pinkie, he said "being different is hard". Firstly, is he tapping into a fear/hurt Pinkie feels or has felt about not being able to fit in? And secondly, is it possible that Discord ended up this way for the same reason? One last thing, if Discord returned from being a statue, what implications might that have for Cozy, Tirek and Chrysalis after the show ends?

    Lesson Zero

    This feels like kind of a strange case where almost all of the character development goes to one character. I know we're all thinking this is the original Twilight freak out episode, but it's also actually the worst case she ever has. It's the only time she clearly hallucinates, and while she makes meme faces other times, this seems to be the only time her mane gets messed up, implying that she basically forgets about hygiene for that day. Even so, it's done in a way which I don't think compromises her character at this point. They all still see Celestia as a distant, powerful ruler rather than a friend, Twilight more than anyone, and as she proved in A Bird in the Hoof, she has this irrational fear of Celestia harshly punishing her. Come to think of it, there's almost an arc in the second season of Twilight basically learning to chill out.

    I do love Rarity being a drama queen throughout the episode, and I have to wonder if that was a deliberate decision to create a parallel with Twilight. I think her declarations that this is the! Worst! Possible! Thing! are my favourite moment from the episode. Twi fussing over the amount of icing sounds a bit like me when I bake cupcakes, but it occurred to me that maybe it would've made more sense for her to freak out because a dozen cakes means two for each of them, but now who's gonna get the last one? It's fun to see Mrs. Cake trying to politely nod and agree. After seeing The Last Problem, I feel a bit like I'm starting to think like an AppleDash shipper. I'm not particularly loyal nor averse to any ships, but I'm feeling like I can see their point a bit more. In any event, I do like how irritated Dash looks at Twi's attempt at a therapy session. There are many from this episode, but "She must hate her guts! How wonderful!" is another legendary quote. At least Twi had a reason to hang out in a ditch this time. As much as they were clearly setting up a misunderstanding, I think it actually shows how much of an animal expert Fluttershy is that she knew exactly where and with how much pressure to massage Harry. Being a bear, it had to look really rough, but that was the only effect it had on his body. I do have to wonder why she's didn't try Pinkie for a problem.

    The way the CMC was playing with that ball remind me of Tempest and her friends as a filly. I guess they physically bounce it when playing with non-unicorns. Using the Want-It-Need-It spell was never going to end well, but she was that desperate by this point. Her friends probably should've gently calmed her down, even though her freaking out looked silly to them. Pinkie was especially insensitive, but maybe she actually thought Twi was joking? I think Celestia was actually angry that Twilight used magic for that, not that she missed her letter. She was clearly about to explain that, before the mane six barged in. She saw that as an opportunity to help them see what they just learned, and decided they were all worth hearing from. I suspect that the only reason Celestia said it like she did at the end of Friendship is Magic was because she understood Twi's need for structure, she just didn't expect her to take it this far. What Twilight did was kind of a Starlight Glimmer move, and I'm sure Starlight would know that Latin name for that spell.

    Spike was great in this episode, both in trying to keep Twilight sane, something he's clearly become an expert in, and in writing to Celestia when it really got out of hoof. I could try to read between the lines of Big Mac genuinely love Smarty Pants, but I don't wanna read too much into it. Maybe he just likes dolls, and I don't think any of us are in any position to judge him for that :p.

    Luna Eclipsed

    I'm a massive scaredy cat, so I actually really love that they did a Halloween episode without making it scary, even in the slightest. Instead, we get some nice lore, and some great character development for Twilight and Luna. Luna just got really unlucky in the way she made her entrance and misunderstanding everything that was happening. She felt really bad about having been Nightmare Moon, and came to make amends like she would've a thousand years before. When she arrives, she thinks they all genuinely see her that way, and every time the kids run away screaming, I suppose she thinks they actually hate her. When she learns to speak more softly, and is introduced to fun (which I'm guessing had a different name 1000 years before), the town started warming up to her, but she just felt like Pinkie ruined that for her. Misunderstanding what they enjoyed about the carnival games, she just freaked them out even more, leading her to finally cancel the celebration. But for Pinkie, and probably the whole town, they were just enjoying the thrill of a scare in a safe environment. It seems weird that Luna would struggle to stop using the Royal Canterlot Voice when she can talk normally at the start, but I believe that's muscle memory. I suppose the only other thing to say is that this is the first of many times Twilight spreads friendship to others in Equestria.
     
  5. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Yes, I think after eight years the need for spoiler-cuts has probably expired now. ;)
    That's a really interesting question. I don't know. You could ask a similar question when it comes to the fact that Discord doesn't manage to corrupt Fluttershy in the same way he does the others, and instead has to resort to direct mind-jumbling.
    This calls for a friendship lesson! But seriously, good point. We're conditioned in the episode to think that Rainbow is being a jerk -- and, after all, she's Discorded -- but loyalty to Cloudsdale (the real one, not that little cloud!) wouldn't have been the worst thought when Ponyville seemed a lost cause.
    Off-topic so I'll keep this brief, but William Anderson did write a special piece for the ending of S9E26. Hasbro didn't use it, though -- and since they own the rights, WA can't unilaterally post it. (Someone asked him on Twitter a few weeks ago.)
     
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  6. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Sisterhooves Social:

    I'm still a bit confused by the implied living arrangements with Rarity's family in this episode. Pretty much everything before and after seemed to imply that Sweetie Belle lives with Rarity, but this seems to imply that she lives with their parents. There's no way they all live at Carousel, since we never even see Rarity's parents after this. Maybe it's possible that Sweetie tries to spend as much time there as possible? Her parents clearly live in town, since Sweetie is always around somewhere, and their holiday is the only reason Rarity has to look after her. It's actually kind of sad in retrospect that Rarity's gonna be left wishing she started playing around with Sweetie much, much earlier.

    I don't think Rarity was particularly being a stereotypical stuck up unicorn, it's more that Sweetie kept disturbing her when she was trying to work. As usual, she was probably already pushed, and cleaning up after her sister just took up even more of her time. It's actually a bit surprising that their parents couldn't tell that would be a problem. Sweetie obviously felt ignored; as we saw in Stare Master, she kind of admires Rarity in a way her sister just doesn't seem to understand. But as a kid, she's understandably bored really easily, even though she'd rather hang around Rarity and try to "help" than hang out with the CMC, interestingly. I had to notice that Sweetie just felt disappointed, and like she was at fault, not actually getting angry, until Rarity refused to join the Social with her. On top of already feeling ignored, that just left her feeling really hurt. It's interesting that she chose to head for Sweet Apple Acres, though.

    The other part of the episode with the Apples draw a nice contrast with what we saw before. As much as AJ works hard, and most of the time, the big difference between her and Rarity is that she gets to spend all of it with her family. It must be hard not to be as close as they are after spending that much time together every single day. Naturally, Sweetie sees just what she wanted from Rarity, to help and to be involved. It does seem like Rarity grows a fair bit after each episode with Applejack; in many ways, Rarity doesn't even really know her own sister.

    I love that it's possible to tell that the pony racing alongside Sweetie is Rarity from the colour of her eyes and the shape of her tail, but you'd pretty much have to be looking for it. It is a pretty sweet moment that she was willing to literally cover herself in mud like that, but were they actually allowed to just carry one egg between them? Another of my favourite details is Sweetie Belle having packed heavily, and feeling that her drawing "needs something". She really is her sister's sister. I did laugh out loud at one point, actually:

    "So y'all head on up to the finish line, ya hear?" *Big Mac whispers* "The start line! That's what I said!"

    The Cutie Pox:

    The one got me thinking again about cutie marks, a little bit. While Apple Bloom clearly didn't, is it possible to get two cutie marks? Or even more? Twilight had never heard of it, but in hindsight, she didn't really know as much as she thought she did back at this point. Furthermore, it looks a lot like Zecora has a African style sun cutie mark, but I think The Fault in our Cutie Marks established that only ponies can get them. Does that extend to all equines, or is that something else on Zecora's flank?

    I didn't actually notice, but I wonder if those bowling ponies from Slice of Life were at the alley. It's interesting that Scootaloo was the one to buck a ball across the whole building, that kind of strength would usually be associated with an earth pony. I'm wondering a bit why Apple Bloom got so down about not having her mark yet, maybe she was still more self conscious about it than the other two? I suspect she was already on her way to see Zecora, after the rapport those two had in Bridle Gossip, and it was just by luck that she stumbled into her, almost literally. Even though it was for a selfish purpose, I guess this was also where her interest in brewing potions came from. speaking of which, it wouldn't have given her a cutie mark, but maybe a small dash of the Heart's desire would've helped her along? It almost seems like the problem was that she had too much of it.

    Cheerilee postponing the whole curriculum to have Apple Bloom teach them all to hula hoop is one of those charming, silly moments which kinda test the suspension of disbelief a bit more, but it's the kind of silliness that helped the early seasons, a little bit. Having said that, though, maybe she felt there was some educational value in that. I guess it's easy to forget that they wouldn't be restricted by the limitations of our real world education systems, so maybe it was part of a more holistic approach to teaching?

    I feel like Equestria and the zebra lands should probably have closer ties; no ponies had ever been able to document a cure for the cutie pox, and yet Zecora knew instantly what needed to be done. I bet she and Meadowbrook would make an unstoppable team of healers. It's actually quite sad that she immediately thinks the whole town is hiding from her again. She looks properly troubled by it, too. I think I forgot to say this about Luna Eclipsed, but it's actually quite heartwarming that she got to be a part of their pony celebration that year. Still, it kinda makes you miss the days when the flower ponies would cause a town wide panic over nothing :p.

    I have to assume the Seeds of Truth only respond to a confession of some kind, that one of Twilight's random trivia facts wouldn't have worked. I'm just left wondering if it had to be Apple Bloom, or if Pinkie ate even more than six corn cakes.

    May the Best Pet Win:

    I think this was a pretty great episode for both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. I like that Dash didn't feel like she could admit to feeling left out, so she crept around the issue. And I love Fluttershy's relentless excitement at the prospect of finding her friend a new pet. I wonder if she helped some of the others, as well. Oh, and Rarity playing with Opal is one of the most adorable things ever. After seeing it this time, I actually suspect that Fluttershy knew Tank would be the pet for Rainbow since early on. From her absolute insistence that Rainbow let him try to the way she smiles when she's "confused" about why she chose him over the falcon. To be fair, if she'd told Dash "this is the pet for you", she wouldn't have believed her, anyway.

    During that actual contest, I actually find it quite adorable that Rainbow spent the whole time imitating her hero, Spitfire. The whole thing is a nice variation on the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The Tortoise and the Mare? That should be a picture book :p. Aside from the obvious, it feels a bit like, unusually for her, she was actually being too methodical about choosing a pet instead of feeling what felt right. It also looks really painful to have her wing trapped under that rock, even though she didn't really seem to feel it.

    Of course the song is another absolute classic, and of decent length. Aside from obviously being an entertaining song, it's practically another scene in musical form. Rainbow Dash doesn't know what she wants, just that it needs to be cooler (again!), while Fluttershy takes a very loose interpretation of "bigger, and cooler", having to gradually work up to the stuff that impresses Rainbow Dash. Although in her mind, a flying squirrel is probably the coolest thing ever. And why not? Which brings me to another of her lines from the end; "It's flying and it's not a squirrel. Should we sing about it again?" Given her love of singing, as we discover later, she probably did want another excuse to sing...

    The Mysterious Mare Do Well:

    I know this one is quite widely hated, and I think I can understand the reasons. Sorry, but I enjoyed it. Dash suggesting her exaggerated word at the start was her usual playfulness, and I think it's actually quite a subtle progression as she slowly annoys more and more ponies. It's very subtle, but that mother at the start clearly isn't happy with the way Dash just tossed her foal. It's pretty clear that their plan was to essentially hold a mirror to her with Mare Do Well, to show her what she looks like to them. Maybe it would've been a simple addition to have them try to talk to her, but when she was on that kind of ego trip, I can't imagine her truly paying them much attention. I do appreciate the scene where they all indirectly compliment themselves for their deeds as Mare Do Well, possibly the biggest hint at her "identity". That, and that she was apparently an alicorn, of which only three were really known at this point, and all of whom were considerably bigger.

    When the town seemingly abandons Dash, her insecurity kicks back in, and she feels like she has to step up her game, instead of admitting defeat, or failure, in her eyes. The others maybe should've seen that coming, but they still weren't amazing at communicating at this point, even though they had improved. The other interesting thing here is that Rainbow still doesn't seem to realise how much Scootaloo looks up to her. Rainbow-senpai still hasn't noticed her yet :p. At least, not any more than the rest of her fan club. Again, they're more alike than they know. Can we also just appreciate that after two instances of Pinkie chasing Dash around Ponyville, she unknowingly turned the tables here? I do also like that Pinkie is the one who gets caught, absentmindedly wandering instead of staying vigilant.
     

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