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Season 7, Episode 25 & 26 - Shadow Play

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Bridle Timeout, 18 October 2017.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    [​IMG]
    Starswirl the Bearded by Gratlofatic
    Air Date: 28th October 2017 (Discovery Family)

    Written By: Josh Haber

    Synopsis: Sunburst discovers Star Swirl the Bearded's lost journal, and Twilight Sparkle becomes obsessed with saving him from a thousand-year-old prison.

    Twilight becoming obsessed with something? How unusual for her. :p

    I figured we should get a thread up for this. According to the wiki, this episode is scheduled to air this Friday on Polish television, and given what happened last week, it might also air in Canada? Who really knows these days? :p

    Please remember to use spoiler tags until 24-hours after this episode has aired on Discovery Family.
     
  2. Bronydiferous

    Bronydiferous 'Diferous

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    Watched this today (via the joys of the internet) as part of my pony weekender with the film tomorrow and UKPonyCon on Saturday. Will post my thoughts later but, barring a few niggles, I really enjoyed this. Low key in some respects but some wonderful touches. Thumbs up from me.
     
  3. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Neat ending
    Maybe a little light on the action but still fun, nice see the Sirons origin story lol. I think season 8 will have the legendary mane six learning to adapt to the new world
     
  4. Recurrent Trotting

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    enjoyable pony romp and a neat end to Starlight's arc 8/10
    once again we have the master-virtue generosity of spirit (aka the magic of friendship) on display. Great message about Starswirl learning Twi's lesson and.. um.. turning a pony from shadow to..um... wait have we heard this all before :p talk about turning full circle

    was great to see Twi and Starswirl together. I've missed someponny lording it over Twi and putting her in her place. Not that she's too big for her princess boots or anything - just feels good >:3

    lore building was good. I actually found the new character models and locations a great addition to the show and I hope we return to them. Now each of the Mane 6 has a mentor.I rank the new combos best to worst: Mistmane/Rarity, Starswirl/Twi, Flutter/Meadow, Pinkie/Somnabula, Dashie/Flash, AJ/Rockhoof

    who is blown away by the fact that it wasn't Chryssie being redeemed though? wth? so that wasn't a set up for Chryssie at the end of s6?
     
  5. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    I normally watch an episode and then write down my thoughts soon after, but I actually watched the finale a couple of weeks ago. This post will be based on my second viewing, and is a bit more like the posts I made in the "Reliving the Journey" section. (In other words, some play by play, some commentary and lots of rambling. :p)

    I loved the opening sequence, telling the story of the Pillars and the Pony of Shadows. It hearkens back to the opening sequence of "Friendship is Magic" and the sequence explaining Tirek and Scorpan in "Twilight's Kingdom", while perhaps being a bit more modern. I love how this show can do an incredible amount of world-building in pieces like that. :)

    It's been a part of the show's lore for a long time, but I still find it fascinating that Luna and Celestia are old enough to have known Starswirl personally.

    Twilight gets so adorkably cute when she talks about her knowledge of Old Ponish and Starswirl.

    Sunburst also gets pretty adorkable too. Yay for nerdy ponies. :D

    Sunburst (to Starlight): It'll take years before we understand Starswirl's spell.
    Twilight: I think I understand Starswirl's spell!

    That's our Twily. <3

    I love when she excitedly explains the spell to the others, especially that cute little snort. She even prepared dioramas to use as visual aids when they have trouble understanding what she's talking about.

    I like how the sequences where they retrieve the artifacts show parallels between the legends of The Pillars and the Mane 6. (AJ displays great physical strength, Rarity works to beautify an old garden, Rainbow and Spike retrieve Flash's shield from the Dragon Lands, and Fluttershy helps some animals, even though she didn't need to, to retrieve the mask used by Meadowbrook.)

    Twilight is getting very excited about the prospect of bringing her idol back to Equestria, and so is Sunburst. Starlight isn't entirely convinced though, and she brings up some excellent points about irresponsible use of magic...

    Starlight reluctantly helps Twilight and Sunburst with the spell though...

    And it looks like they done screwed up. Big time. :p

    Twilight tries to take on the Pony of Shadows to protect Starswirl... it's almost too much for her alone, but Starlight steps in to help her, thus showing the bond of friendship the two have developed. :D

    I love Pinkie's recap of the Mane 6's adventures, especially Starlight's awkward smile when she's mentioned. (Which also should have been a pretty big hint to Starswirl about the power of friendship...)

    More lovely world-building when Starswirl explains the origin of the Tree of Harmony and the fact that the Elements of Harmony came from the essences that they infused into it. *squee* :D

    I love the sequence where Pinkie went through the Elements, particularly how she hugged AJ's butt when she said Honesty and made sparkles and said "Maaaaagic" when she got to Twilight. :p

    Ho boy, Starswirl isn't too impressed with Twilight though... He comes up with a plan to defeat the Pony of Shadows that involves sacrificing the Elements of Harmony permanently. Though Twilight does question his plan at first, his constant dismissiveness of her concerns seems to wear her down. I felt really sorry for her in this part. :(

    "Seapony Etiquette" :D

    Starlight nervously suggests that there might be another way to deal with the Pony of Shadows. Twilight trusts that Starswirl knows what he's doing and continues on her previous path of research...

    Starswirl's really getting to be kind of a jerk. He didn't even look at Twilight's spell before pushing it away, which really upsets her.

    Applejack: "Beggin' your pardon, Mr. The Bearded..." :p

    Twi's friends stand up for her though. :D

    That eyebrow raise Starlight does after Rainbow referred to the map calling all of them a "supervillain tracker" is epic. :p

    Starlight raises concerns about their banishment plan, but Twilight decides to go along with Starswirl's plan. This time Starlight decides to pursue her hunch and asks the Pillars about the Pony of Shadows.

    The Sirens!! :D :D And even more world building as they describe Stygian's descent into darkness. :D

    Starswirl arrogantly defends his banishment plan.

    Starlight: I guess I'm lucky your idol wasn't around when you decided to be my friend. I might've been banished to Limbo too...

    Wow...

    The Elements of Harmony! It's so weird to see them again after such a long time! :D

    Well, it looks like this is it... The Mane 6 pair up with their complimentary Pillar to activate the portal so they can banish the Pony of Shadows... except Twilight isn't using her magic. Starswirl orders her to "push him in", and she begins to use magic... but she realises there's a pony in there, and without a second thought, she dives right into the portal. :eek: My jaw dropped the first time I saw this scene.

    I love how Twilight talks to Stygian to find out why he turned to darkness, and when Starswirl realised that they misunderstood his intentions. It was also very sweet when Starlight came in and used herself as an example that a pony can change for the better. :)

    So... I guess the Elements are back now? It was cute when Twilight called him "Swirlstar" :p

    Great scene back at Luna and Celestia's palace...

    Starswirl: If you want wisdom, look no further than your own pupil. She showed me that the power of friendship is a magical force indeed... and that in turning away from others, you hurt yourself as well.

    Awww, Twilight's getting all teary-eyed. <3

    Twilight (to Starlight): It's funny... I thought meeting my idol would give me all the answers I ever wanted... but instead I forgot things I already knew. Good thing I had a student of my own to remind me.

    D'awww. Cute moment between those two. :D

    What a great way to end a great season, and in many ways the type of Twilight/Starlight episode I've been waiting for. Twilight's last line sums up so much so well. I can understand why she felt so certain about following Starswirl's plan... he was a well-respected pony and one that she idolised quite a lot, because she learned so much from him when she was studying magic. At a few points in the episode, I felt myself thinking "C'mon Twilight... you've been here before... Listen to Starlight for a minute..." That scene where they create the portal though was so good. I think she didn't join the others right away in "firin' their lasers" because she was beginning to have doubts... but when she realised that here was a pony in the shadows, she dived right in without hesitation.

    I found it a bit amusing that I watched this for the first time the same week "Once Upon A Zeppelin" aired, as they're both episodes where a pony meets a pony they idolise. :p
     
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  6. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Not many comments in here. So did everyone watch this weeks ago, or are people waiting for the US broadcast? Or has the release date muddle just slowed down the comments?

    So I watched this one tonight, and...

    I liked it. Let's start with that. It didn't leave a big impact on me but it was a pretty pleasant 44 minutes. It wasn't completely predictable and I liked the ending with rescuing Stygian.

    Seeing the elements again was a nostalgia blast after nearly four seasons. That said, I'm not convinced reviving them is a good idea for the series going forward. They were a neat metaphor for the power of friendship in the first ever story and after that they seemed to slightly hamper the writers going forward. After "Friendship is Magic" they were only ever used again to defeat a villain in "The Return of Harmony", and that story was all about going to ridiculous lengths to stop the Mane Six just using the elements straight away. I'm not sure having them hanging around really adds a lot to the series and I was quite happy when they were sealed away.

    That said we've got Rainbow Power still hanging around, and if something has to be used I'd much rather it be the elements than that explosion in a paint shop.

    Star Swirl was all I imagined he'd be. Well, actually I've always imagined him with the late John Hurt's voice, but Chris Britton gave the right vibe quite nicely. Imperious and aloof, convinced he's right, fallible, not the most pleasant of ponies to be around. Hopefully he has a sense of humour somewhere too though. That said, the line about him having been Celestia and Luna's teacher jars slightly with him having been Celestia's travelling partner through dimensions in the Reflections comic (which I love to pieces- if we ever get a TV episode that outright contradicts that comic I'm just going to declare that the TV show is wrong), but we didn't get an actual explicit contradiction to with the comic here, just an extra jigsaw piece added on to the puzzle at a slightly funny looking angle.

    What I did like was the pacing and structure here with Part 1 being a series of mini adventures for each of the Mane Six and then the appearance of the ancient heroes in the present day being a good turning point in the story that set us up for a nice Part 2 with the Pillars as characters.

    Also, is the appearance of the Sirens (even if only in flashback) our fist explicit reference to Equestria Girls in Friendship is Magic? I do believe it is...
     
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  7. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Flash Sentry appeared twice in Season 4, in "Three's A Crowd" and "Twilight's Kingdom, part 1"
     
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  8. Cendaquenta

    Cendaquenta Honorary Pony

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    Personally, waiting for the US release to watch it in a decent quality.
     
  9. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Fair enough, that counts.
     
  10. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Theres a few good quality ones on a certain French rival of YouTube's.
     
  11. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I'm just taking a pause because of the movie mainly, give me a few more days...
     
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  12. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I'm a little behind the curve because of UK PonyCon. I have seen the finale once, but I want to watch it again before commenting here. :)
     
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  13. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Fair enough. I watched the Movie, watched 'Uncommon Bond' and attended Ponycon at the weekend, which is far more pony stuff than I normally get through in a week and was why I personally didn't get round to watching the finale until halfway through this week.
     
  14. Alliminaro

    Alliminaro Old Man Minaro

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    Once more, not often we get my involvement in a thread; but I wanted to point out a small detail the animators put in that I found amusing;

    Just a small one; but when everyone first arrives at Ponehenge; (goodness me, that name) Sunburst uncovers a set of "magical runes" - carved in the most recognisable runic language; Elder Futhark. Basically, yes they can be transliterated into the latin alphabet and gives us the words "PONI RULES" - A small, hidden but amusing touch added in by an animator with the likely help of Wikipedia. :p
     
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  15. Cendaquenta

    Cendaquenta Honorary Pony

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    A-one, a-two, a-squeeeee...
    Now this is proper high-fantasy MLP! Let's LotR it up!
    The Elements are back! Yay, we're gonna get more good old-fashioned rainbow friendship cannon in the future! It was great that the show was able to grow and change enough to give them up in the first place and make a drastic change to the status quo, but... it's just so nice to see them again.
    Cool to get an origin story for the Tree of Harmony. Destroys one of my old headcanons, but hey-ho.
    Predictably, I love Rockhoof. :p Scottish pone!
    Animation on the Pony of Shadows was niiice. So fluid!
    I was sure there'd be a revelation that Stygian was Starswirl's kid. I mean they look practically identical. Either that, or Celestia and Luna's brother, like in the supposed original concept for the movie. (But that would've been a bit too Nightmare Moon, I guess.)
    The scene where AJ retrieves the shovel artifact - oh hey, that blue filly is the same one that the CMC helped out a while back! Petunia, I think her name was.
    Garble has suddenly gone from hooligan teenager to... attempted murder of his own kind with a giant rock? :eek: Oh yeah, just squish the newly-minted ambassador from the place whose rulers control the sun and moon, that won't have repercussions...
    Pinkie was awfully touchy-feely this episode. That butt-grab when she was listing the elements was restraining-order-worthy.
    I'd like to see Starswirl interact with all the other stuff that's come back to Equestria from ~a thousand years ago~, like the Crystal Empire and Discord. ESPECIALLY Discord. (Oh, speaking of, I'm glad the Discord-and-Starswirl-are-the-same-person theories are now squished. Was never a fan of those.)

    I so hope Season 8 continues in the high-fantasy vein. Suspect it will, if the Pillars become recurring characters and the rumours of movie characters returning are true.
     
  16. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    I waited in ages for Starswirl to be in a season finale
     
    #16 Danishbrony2011, 28 October 2017
    Last edited: 18 March 2018
  17. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    I find this to be a rather interesting 2 parter.
    Part 1 of this was simply spectacular. The build up to everything was spot on and really got your adrenaline going for what would happen in part 2. Sadly though I don't think it really lived up to the expectations we were lead to believe in part 1. I wanted there to be something special. I wanted a big climax and, this, just, wasn't, it. They just seemed to build it up considering they had to go to all of these places to look for the pony of shadows and to merely skip over all of it and arrive in Manehatten, it just doesn't work for me. I also have to point out 1 thing. Ponhenge? Really? Is Stonehenge trademarked or something. Anyway, loved part 1, part 2 leaves a fair bit to be desired.
     
  18. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Awesome finale.

    This was a great culmination of many things built up over the past three seasons. From the map, and Starlight as a character, to the smaller details, like Daring Do and the dragons. The six pillars were awesome here, but I actually hope we don’t see too much of them in the future. I kinda think it would’ve been better if they returned to their own time, but I also see how that couldn’t work, as it would cause all kinds of paradoxes all over the place. I was kinda starting not to like Starswirl in particular, but he seems to have learned from Twilight. I thought their “elements” were a bit… strange, as well. Strength? Beauty? Doesn’t seem very Pony. It could just be a reflection of the values from that time in Equestrian history. And I felt that Pinkie and Somnambula was a bit of loose connection, like they were the only ones left after all the others were paired. Unless you count the hope/optimism/laughter, which is probably what they were going for.

    The whole thing actually reminded me of Friendship is Magic, from the quest for the artefacts, to the eventual reformation of the villain, with the elements of harmony, no less. It was so awesome to see those again, and for them to be put to good use again. Part 2 was Starlight at her absolute best. While Twilight was too star struck to trust in herself, Starlight acted as her conscience, showing all that she's learned. There are a few continuity issues, if all the claims of 1000 years are accurate. For example, how the royal sisters were able to use the elements before the pillars went into Limbo, considering the gap of a years or two (maybe three?) between Friendship is Magic and where we are now.
     
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  19. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus New Pony

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    Gotta say I really, really enjoyed the finale, might even beat out Twilight's Kingdom for my favourite finale in the series



    Regarding the pillars and elements, they seem to be going for what DC Comics did with the Seven Lantern Corps

    For those unaware the Green Lantern Corps was revealed to be using one light out of seven. The DCU has the concept of life generating an emotional spectrum with seven lights, each corresponding to an emotion, rage, fear, greed, willpower, hope, compassion and love

    In Lost Army it was revealed that the previous universe which existed prior to the big bang had also discovered the emotional spectrum and created seven groups who could harness it, the Lightsmiths but that knew the seven lights as fury, terror, gluttony, resolve, faith, emapthy and passion

    Same thing, different names for different eras based on who discovered it


    First part was good, seeing them traveling far and wide and all the secondary characters returning

    Second part was even better, it was good because it wasn't a world ending threat, it was ultimately a friendship problem and thanks to Starlight they resolved it, both her and Twilight shined and showed how far they've come from when they first appeared. And Twilight showed why she's the Princess of Friendship

    Starswirl came off as less a jerk and more someone who was extremely confident in himself and had no patience or reason to trust a pony who who'd already undone his greatest sacrifice without having a backup plan in case her first one went wrong, which it did. As he saw it his sacrifice had worked the first time and if he had to redo it so be it, regardless of the sacrifice that would be required. Later on he admitted he'd made a mistake and that seeing the world in black and white wouldn't work
     
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  20. Settop

    Settop New Pony

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    I really enjoyed the finale, it's definitely one of my favourite episodes of the series.
    I thought the pillars were great, it was good to see them in the show after reading their comics and seeing their legends in the previous episodes, especially Starswirl after we have heard so much about him. Also I loved Somnambulas accent. We finally know the origin of the elements of harmony which is something I didn't think would happen, so I'm quite happy about that and I think it was a good origin for them.

    There's not much to say on the Pony of Shadows as we didn't see much of him, but I thought the animation on him was really good, the scenes where he forms out of a shadowy blob were really smooth.

    I liked that Starlight was the voice of reason to Twilight and stopped her getting to carried away because of her awe of Starswirl, and it shows how far she has come in her friendship lessons.

    Since the pillars are sticking around, it will be interesting to see what they do next season.
     
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