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Season 7, Episode 17 - To Change a Changeling

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Loganberry, 31 August 2017.

  1. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    [​IMG]
    King Thorax by xbi
    ( CC by 3.0 )

    Air date:
    2 September 2017

    Writer: Kevin Lappin

    Synopsis: "Starlight Glimmer and Trixie try to get Thorax's brother Pharynx to accept the new way by sharing love and transforming so he doesn't undermine Thorax's leadership, and that the hive will ultimately accept him."

    This looks like it could be a really intriguing episode! People have been speculating since the S6 finale about whether all the changelings were truly reformed, and it seems that some of them weren't, at least not fully. You do wonder what the term "brother" actually means in a hive, but never mind... what do you think might happen?


    Please use spoiler-cuts until 24 hours after the episode has aired. Thank you. :)
     
    #1 Loganberry, 31 August 2017
    Last edited: 3 September 2017
  2. finalsight

    finalsight Honorary Pony

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    With a name like that i'm expecting him to have a very nasally voice.
     
  3. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Quick first impressions are favourable. :)
    They took a different approach to the usual reformation storylines, and I think it worked pretty well. Starlight and Trixie remain a brilliant double act, and there were some very amusing lines in there, especially from Trixie. Thorax seems to be gradually growing into his job, partly thanks to Ember as was briefly mentioned, and his relationship with Pharynx was a little more nuanced and complex than I'd expected. Not a huge fan of the monster, but it did its job I suppose. I was half-expecting Chrysalis to turn up at one point, but no -- I'm sure we'll see her again at some point, though. Overall, a fun episode, and one with some great snappy dialogue. Didn't see who wrote it, though.
     
  4. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    Why ya hitting yerself? Stop hitting yerself.
    Pharinx is meh, the story was meh, although I do have to say Pharix's new design is better than the other changelings. Although he still reminds me of a fruit pastel. I have to say though I was so hoping that he would just leave the hive and try to find Chrysilis. Build some tension for the future. I suppose it is only a matter of time before Chrysilis turns good as well.
     
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  5. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Pretty good episode :)
    Starlight: "But Trixie has come to terms with being second best..."
    That was such an epic burn. :D

    It was interesting to see how life has changed inside the changeling hive. Seems Thorax is growing into his role better, though he has a way to go. I liked the fact that his constant sticking up for Pharynx wasn't out of weakness, but out of kindness because Pharynx protected him when they were younger. (Even if he did make Thorax hit himself. :p )

    I was a bit meh about the monster, but I guess it did bring things together and make the changelings realise that they need to know how to protect themselves.

    Good interactions between Trixie, Starlight and Thorax though, and that made this episode really enjoyable. :)
     
  6. Cendaquenta

    Cendaquenta Honorary Pony

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    Ehhhh...
    I didn't really think the episode was anything special. Pharynx was honestly kinda right all along - it was stupid for Thorax to enforce pacifism to the extent of sabotaging the hive's self-defence. I still don't get how the sibling thing works in the context of bug ponies... the "elder broodmate" explanation just confused matters further.
     
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  7. Recurrent Trotting

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    well there were ponies so it can't be that bad, but on reflection it both lacked much of substance and what it did cover was tainted. 5/10
    I think it was that Pharynx was loved back rather than learned to love himself - so I agree with @Cendaquenta the message misfired

    king bug moose continues to be a weak character with a silly voice

    this is a bit pathetic of me but I hated that the bullying mantra of "why are you hitting yourself" was turned into a positive thing. It felt dangerously close to being a way of bonding by bullying others (ok it was built up as an enemy but we never saw it do anything and it actually looked rather feeble)

    there were a few funny moments between Starlight and Trix, but they veered into flanderising Trix

    the fact the lings continue to defy physics also bugs me. geddit :3

    how much better would this ep have been if the lings had risen up and banished both brothers and Trix and Starlight had had to sort that out.
     
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  8. Cendaquenta

    Cendaquenta Honorary Pony

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    Oh, very much agree with this. Thought of it myself while watching, but wasn't sure how to word it. I do wonder what message this ep sent to little kids who are bullied by other children / their older siblings in that fashion.
     
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  9. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Yay a Trixie episode xD
    This was a great episode Trixie and Starlights friendship is great how they just insult each other all the time. Liked how the played the reform differently so Pharynx did not change his personality and become a happy clappy pushover like the rest of the changelings. Also loved how Spotlight refered to herself as an ex Dictator with an iron fist lol. So yeah Pharynx is pritty cool and Trixie is still awesome as she is still kinda a jerk, I much prefer it when they have characters that arnt just straight up do-gooders (I guess that's why Rainbow and Rarity are my favorite main 6 ponies as they can more often than not be jerks lol)
     
  10. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    Another week another new episode. This time Kevin Lappin is on writing details. Is this better then his last attempt?
    In way it was enjoyable episode I did enjoy Pharynx, but if there was anything that I didn't like and was the pain the rump known as Roman Rei- I mean Trixie. Sorry but she just rubbed me the wrong way the whole episode. And for some reason Thorax's struggle as a leader kind of reminded me of Rodimus Prime's in the G1 Transformers series. This is also the third time in the entire series that the Mane six fail to make an appearance. 6.5/10 from me, just no more Trixie, the Roman Reigns of the MLP universe please!
     
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  11. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    For those of us who aren't wrestling fans, can you give us a quick explanation of this, please? Ta. :)
     
  12. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    Basically it's my nickname for Trixie as they are both as I like to call them marmite characters in which you either love them or hate them (in my case hate them!)
     
  13. Steamworks

    Steamworks Active Pony

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    Time for more pony

    Starlight having trouble with teleportation is kind of a surprise.

    Unscare-able Trixie? Pretty sure even the ursa minor scared her.

    Nice to see Trixie is still screaming spell names.

    At least we're seeing Thorax struggle with becoming a ruler. Cadance seemed to step into her leader role pretty easily. Not sure too many leaders ever have to overcome such a drastic change in culture in such a short amount of time.

    Pharynx didn't mince words. Right to calling Trixie and Starlight losers.

    Feelings Forum? Wat?

    While the communication in the feelings forum is great, does it ever lead to plans of action, or is it just venting?

    Way to drop that bomb on Starlight right before she could tell him the tough news.

    Starlight's plan sounds really risky.

    And there it just gets riskier.

    I wonder if Starlight gained those speech skills back in her dictator days.

    And there comes the cavalry, even if their tactics don't seem too refined.

    Risky engaging a melee specialist at melee ranges. At least it worked.

    If Pharynx transformed is so similar to the king bug, are Chrysalys's generals similarly similar to her?
     
  14. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Something, something changelings

    That was ok. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. Filled the time nicely, and there were some good jokes and some nice changeling world-building. Nice they admitted Pharynx had a point about them needing to defend themselves.

    Comparing the changelings in the flashback with the ones in the present it seems that almost all of them except Thorax and Pharynx have done a 180° personality change which still hasn't really been explained, but there we go.
     
  15. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    Well, this episode gets a thumbs up from me. :)

    Seeing the hive post-reformation was pretty cool. And I've always been a fan of the new changeling style. This one got to show off how cute they can be. ^_^

    And I liked Pharynx. You could totally get on his side of things, and his redemption towards the end felt gradual enough, rather than happening in the blink of an eye. His dynamic with Thorax as a brother was also interesting.

    Starlight and Trixie are always great fun together, too.

    The voice credits at the end make for entertaining reading. ;)
     
  16. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Not without its problems...
    Using violence to defeat the monster - what happened to solving problems through the power of friendship? That's the lesson I hoped Pharynx would learn...

    And that, alone, is a shame because I think there was a lot of good in this episode as well. Particularly the relationship between Pharynx and Thorax, how Pharynx always really cared for his brother despite everything, that's good to see.

    But as one of the other changelings (I think) mentioned - why would the hive need defending if they didn't have any enemies? Good episode 90% of the time, but the ending isn't very Pony.
     
  17. janglehooves

    janglehooves Proud to be an earth pony!

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    Not sure about this one...
    I enjoyed the Starlight/Trixie double act but the episode had some very mixed messages. I like Kevin Thorax as a character. Some folks think he's weak but I see him more as a genuinely nice chap who has had leadership thrust upon him and is still trying to find his way in the role and is also trying to do things a little differently. That said, I had a surprising amount of sympathy for Pharynx as he wasn't wrong in his desire to defend the hive and I don't think I would have been able to stomach that Feelings Forum (TM) for more than about ten seconds...;) For a brand new character he was given quite an impressive amount of depth and his actions, while they may have been misguided, were motivated by a love for his brother and a love for the hive. I don't believe that trying to be a decent person and being prepared to stand up for yourself and your friends/family are incompatible. If they had explored these aspects more and maybe gone down a route of understanding by both sides (ie. if Pharynx dials it back a fair bit and the rest of the hive accepts that not everyone is comfortable with the full new-age commune approach to living...) then it would have been a better episode IMO. As it was, the way they handled the monster storyline was somewhat concerning, for the reasons already raised by @abrony-mouse and @Cendaquenta . I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt and assume they weren't defending bullying but wow did it send a bad message using bullying tactics to defeat the mole/bear beastie. I actually found that scene cringeworthy and quite uncomfortable. It's a little ironic given the message of Fame and Misfortune that they weren't a damn sight more careful over the sort of signals that this episode potentially sends to the target audience. The rest of the episode was a lot of fun and the dialogue was excellent, particularly between Starlight and Trixie...it's just a shame about that battle scene.
     
  18. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    On further (largely introspective) thoughts...
    Maybe I felt that way because it hit so close to home. In a way I was a lot like Thorax growing up; that flashback scene I could highly relate to, I've never really liked violent concepts even in play and I've never really understood the idolisation of violence that's all around (e.g. why so many people really like fight-scenes etc.); and as a result I like Pony because its messages of friendship provide an alternative to that way of thinking, and I guess that makes me unusually sensitive to any alternative creeping in to the show. I'm sure I'd be like Thorax as a leader... and maybe that makes me just as blind to other ways of thinking as he is. That said, you've got to remember it was Thorax who played such a major role in the changelings' reform.
     
  19. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    We're past the 24-hour mark now, so no further need for spoiler-cuts. :)

    Some thought-provoking comments on the violence/bullying aspect. I don't think I mind in itself the Maulwurf not being defeated with friendship -- even back in S1, Fluttershy didn't try to befriend the cockatrice. Discord wasn't reformed by the ponies at the end of "The Return of Harmony", either -- he was blasted into stone. And we've seen Twilight blast creatures with lasers as far back as the S2 finale. Good characters using violent means to beat monsters is not something that was entirely alien to the early-series writers.

    The specific point here about unintentional endorsement of bullying behaviour does give me pause, though. I think I can see what the writer (Kevin Lappin, who did "Honest Apple") was going for: empowering a (former) victim, telling us that family relationships can be complex, and that people (or changelings) aren't either perfect or appalling. But after a second watch, bearing in mind what several people have said here, I think it's a fair argument that this wasn't necessarily done in the best way.

    Weirdly perhaps, another thing that bothered me a little the second time around was the very brief scene when the Maulwurf bites its arm/paw and Starlight's response is just "Oh, that's gotta hurt". That felt out of place. I know Sombra actually got blown to smithereens, but still; I don't think we've had a good character talk about the infliction of pain (specifically) as though it were a good thing before, even against a monster.

    But maybe I'm being too Feelings Forum-y there. I do still like the episode a good deal, but I've slightly changed my mind on this aspect, partly due to what I've read in this thread.
     
  20. Recurrent Trotting

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    I see I'm not the only one thinking this - thought I was being too soft about it, but I just want to say that I like that the show is happy to kick a villain's flank with friendship every so often. This is a kiddy girly show with attitude, which is partly why my nephew (and friends' male kids) take a break from smashing dinos into cars and tune in to pony :D The bullying mantra is my main beef with this mole-bashing, making the violence seem mean-spirited, but the violence is also less clearly justified than for the other villains. Perhaps the closest thing to this ridulous villain is the just as ridiculous Bug-bear who was defeated by being walloped by the Mane 6 in Slice of Life. Slapping that down didn't bug ( :3) me at all because it was pretty nasty looking and was shown attacking the Mane 6, unlike the Mole who we only just a large mole doing moley things until it was attacked by an unreformed changeling, which looks the part of a real villain IMO.
     

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