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Season 8, Episode 15 - The Hearth's Warming Club

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Bridle Timeout, 3 August 2018.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    [​IMG]
    The Friendship Club by DocWario

    Air Date: 4th August 2018

    Written by: Brian Hohlfeld

    Synopsis: A prank gone wrong ruins Hearth's Warming Eve preparations. When Twilight Sparkle tries to figure out which of her students is behind it, the students bond over shared memories of home.

    An episode with a title and story that's based on one of the best films to come out of the 1980s? I approve. :D

    The real question is... Will Twilight raid Barry Manilow's wardrobe? ;)

    Anyway... this is the same writer that wrote "Surf and/or Turf", so I think this episode will be really good. :)

    Also, apologies this wasn't posted earlier in the week. With the odd early releases recently, I thought we had a couple weeks until we got new Pony again. :)

    Please remember to use spoiler tags as appropriate until 24 hours after this episode has aired on Discovery Family. Thank you.
     
  2. sten whik

    sten whik Space

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    Well that was great 9/10

    Different races sharing holiday stories is a good idea for world building and perfectly executed here.
    I especially liked that dragons have a completely different sense of narrative structure.
    Given that most of the students are from different countries threatening to hold them hostage was a very risky bluff from Twilight, also collective punishment is a war crime. :confused::p
     
  3. Streamline

    Streamline Active Pony

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    Good grief! School finishes the day before the main holiday.....our lot get it easy :p

    OK so in the midst of summer we get this.....

    I found it alright, just felt like a 'middle of season' episode and nowt more. It was still fun to watch and I enjoyed the Heartswarming stories the student 6 explained. Still can't get over Silverstream's over excitement about the smallest of things, it never gets boring. I felt Twi's methods were rather harsh (stopping students from going back home for the holidays) but considering they pretty much knew all along who had sabotaged the tree I suppose it made sense. I wonder what Dash's methods in the interviews involved?

    Yona:
    It had it's funny moments. Enjoyable overall to watch and a good insight into everycreature.
     
  4. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    A good, solid episode

    I was kinda hoping for more of a slice of life episode with the student six, but what we got was still good. Spike covering his eyes along with the student six was quite amusing, and I found it even funnier that Rainbow Dash did the same. If Twilight ever intended to keep one or all of them, that seems unlike her. More of a generic kids' TV teacher move than Twilight. If she had planned for the eventual outcome, that makes some more sese, but it's still quite manipulative for her. Seems more like something Starlight would do.

    Partway though, I was expecting a rashomon-style story, which may still have happened off-screen. It was great to see their different cultures' ways of celebrating. Each fits what we know about each race, while adding something more. Once again, I really liked to see that the Yaks don't just smash everything. The dragon story, while depressing by pony standards, could actually be quite progressive by dragon standards, in the sense of being an underdog story. And the griffon celebration sounds a lot like Christmas for some people :p.

    From the ending, it sounds like Gallus is homeless, but that doesn't explain why the griffons volunteered him. In any case, he got some much needed development, and I can only hope we get to see that kind of complexity in all of them.

    If I'm not mistaken, Gallus was rocking a Mare Do Well outfit. Maybe Rarity still has some. and was anyone else reminded of Equestria Girls Pinkie's explosive sprinkles?
     
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  5. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    I think this may very well be the best episode of the young 6 we've had.

    It was very interesting about how other species celebrate it. Or at the very least their equivalent. The Hypogryph one is probably my favourite. I do also feel really sorry for Garrus. He may not be Scootaloo, but at least we now know their are orphans in Equestria.
     
  6. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    I enjoyed this one.

    I liked the focus on the Student Six, and learning a bit more about their cultures and homes. Initially, I thought Twilight saying that they wouldn't be able to go home over the Hearth's Warming break if no one confessed was rather harsh, but given the fact that she and Rainbow knew it was Gallus, it just seemed like incentive for the guilty party to come forward than out of any genuine desire to ruin their holiday.

    I liked the way the story unfolded too. Gallus didn't tell the truth at first, because he was actually looking forward to having the week with his friends, but he couldn't bear the sight of them fighting anymore. It was nice that he did the right thing... eventually. :p
     
  7. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    Me too.
     
  8. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

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    I believe 24 hours have passed since the air date now so I believe spoiler tags should now be optional.

    Yay... another Christmas themed episode in the middle of summer. They really air these Hearthswarming eps at bad times don't they? I guess it can't be helped with the way the season is scheduled, but they could at least do them later in the season or something so it is a bit closer to Christmas!

    Anyways, it seems the hiatus has ended with two fairly solid episodes to kick off. This may well be my favourite episode with the Student Six. Their stories of Hearthswarming were interesting, and I chuckled at Ocellus's literal interpretation of Twilight's instructions to the holiday and Yona's smashing holiday and how she felt insulted when the students guessed "Yaks smash it" again.

    It also seems Spike's experience from Secrets of My Excess hasn't deterred his enthusiasm for presents either.

    I also wonder what the student's guardians would make of Twilight's punishment. Surely Twi could have handed out some punishment homework for the holiday or something instead? I guess it did tie in with Ocellus' intent though, so I'll let it slide as plot convenience.

    As for Ocellus, I suspected it may have been him early on, but it was nice to see his character developed more. I also enjoyed the cameos of Gilda and Gabby. I don't think we've seen Gabby looking quite so grumpy! I guess the attitudes of Gilda and Grandpa soured her mood too.

    Speaking of cameos, I was rather disappointed not to see Ember appear in Smolder's story. It was a good chance to see her again but instead we learn more about the mean spirits of dragons.

    Anyway, this was another good episode. I hope the quality continues like this. Also, yay! More pony eps!
     
  9. Recurrent Trotting

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    solid 7.5/10. Gr8 but y no song?

    first ep of this season to get me misty eyed. Great blend of humour and sentiment. This is why the student six rock :3

    I thought it might be ocelus tbh

    ocelus' story was greatness :p

    smolder's story was disturbing D:

    griffons continue to suck despite Pinkie-Dashie's efforts. Gallus' story did rock though. No wonder the poor bird-lion can't express his feelings and sabotages burning christmas-tree hearts :(
     
  10. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    I really enjoyed this one :). In the top three of the season so far, at least. Hearth's Warming episodes aired in the summer do seem to be an unlikely winning combination..

    The student six have impressed me before, and I'd agree with others that this is their best outing yet. Getting some focus and depth on each of them was wonderful. Ocellus is still my favourite; she's just super adorable :D. But the others all have something going for them (well, maybe except Sandbar).

    As the episode progressed, I was worried that the ending would be a big let down, with an unknown character being revealed to be behind the goo powder (a la Pony Point of View). So I was very pleasantly surprised for it to actually be one of the student six. And not just for a silly reason either; Gallus's confession did hit me rather. Who knew that, even in season 8, this pony cartoon is still capable of giving me feels, eh? :')

    It was nice to have Dashie and Twi team up again too.
     
  11. Steamworks

    Steamworks Active Pony

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    Spoilering to prevent page stretching.

    Does Equestria have Taco Tuesdays to make Tuesdays that awesome?

    So who is this shadowy figure?

    (Oh geez, there's an annoying lower third in my copy.)

    Is cleanup even gonna be easy since it had such a strong hold on Spike?

    I do like how literal the changelings are being.

    I do like that we're getting more about the not pony cultures.

    Feast of Fire doesn't sound too filling.

    That dragon story didn't sound too uplifting.

    At least Sandbar's was pretty brief.

    Hey, at least we've Queen Novo showing up again.

    Gallus is an orphan?

    Gryphons don't have the best track record for behavior in Equestria. First Gilda and now Gallus. I know there was Gabby, but I'm pretty sure she was an exception to gryphon behavior.

    I do wish they'd line things up so we get a Hearth's Warming Eve episode actually remotely close to the holidays for once.
     
  12. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I'm going to boringly go along with the consensus here: I really enjoyed this, with only one real quibble. The Student/Young Six have become some of my favourite characters in little more than half a season -- some impressive character writing right there. Seeing a little of their home lives through the medium of their stories was clever, and it worked well in the context of the episode. Sandbar is still rather dull, but all the others had something about them.

    It wasn't especially hard to guess that Gallus was the perpetrator -- not seeing his story when he came out of the office was a clue in itself -- but his backstory was still emotionally charged. We've spent years wondering about Scootaloo's home life, yet now we have a character who canonically has no parents -- though we don't know whether they're dead or just gone. Given that, Gallus's explanation of why he wanted to stay at the school was both convincing and heart-rending. It was also interesting, if not exactly fun, to see the students get really irritable with each other towards the end, to the extent of accusing their fellow students of lying about their "guilt".

    My one real complaint is that Twilight's choice of punishment seems exceptionally harsh. This isn't just detention, it's telling a student just as they're about to go home for Hearth's Warming that they won't be seeing their family (if any!) and friends at all this holiday. That really doesn't sit right with me, especially in an Equestrian context. This also applies to the otherwise heart-warming ending: imagine you were, say, Silverstream's parents, waiting happily and expectantly to see your daughter for the first time in months, and all of a sudden you have it snatched away from you. I'd have been much happier if the punishment had simply been a delayed holiday -- along the lines of "You'll have to clean up today, then you'll have to spend tomorrow in one-on-one honesty lessons with Applejack before you can go home".

    I get that it works for the way the episode was written, and it certainly didn't ruin what was an otherwise excellent and very watchable ep. But I don't find myself able to ignore it completely. It probably knocks this down from a potential five-star episode to a four-star one.

    This Christmas, I fully intend to sing "Carols, carols, carols, carols" and "Yak song" ;)
     
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  13. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    I thought so too, but given they knew it was Gallus, I think it was a bit of a bluff to see if he would come forward and tell the truth.
     
  14. sten whik

    sten whik Space

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    It was a bluff, Twilight never intended to go through with the punishment, they knew who it was and wanted to give them time to confess and, for reasons I mentioned in my previous post, likely couldn't do it even if she wanted to.

    Edit: Sniped by Bridle XP
     
  15. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Well, that it would get rid of some of the uneasiness I feel -- though I'm really not comfortable with the use of such a harsh threat even as a bluff; it just seems nasty, considering that no-one was actually hurt by the goo powder. I also note that Twilight does tell Gallus "you're still going to have to make amends and stay over break for extra friendship lessons by yourself" after he's confessed. It's only after the other students have offered to stay with him that Rainbow Dash suggests to Twi that they don't need the extra lessons. So yeah, the bluff explanation helps -- but it doesn't entirely remove my discomfort.
     
  16. sten whik

    sten whik Space

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    I believe that also might have been a little bit of manipulation by Dash and Twi to get them all to stay so that Gallus didn't have to be alone for the holidays but it's hard to tell for certain.

    Yeah the show has generally taken the stance that only Applejack shies away from attempting to manipulate others and even champions manipulation in general. For example, sure the Diamond Dogs enslaved her first, but how is it morally right that Rarity manipulated them into being her slave workforce?
     
  17. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I've got some catching up to do - I'm this far behind.

    The harshness of the punishment put a damper on this episode for me, in particular the fact that they were all made to suffer when only one of them was responsible. I think innocent until proven guilty should apply there; they all get to go home until it's proven beyond doubt that one of them did it. Made slightly better knowing it was a bluff, but still it's the kind of thing that rubs me up the wrong way.

    I do still agree with everyone's positive comments about the episode though, I enjoyed hearing all their stories/traditions, so I have truly mixed feelings overall.
     
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  18. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    I quite like this one. I agree that hearing the stories was nice, but that the group punishment was a bit unfair. Also, their families are going to miss them over the holidays. I didn't work out that it was Gallus who did it, and I'm a lot more sympathetic to him and fond of him in particular after this episode than I was before.
     
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  19. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Suddenly Christmas XD
    Interesting that, the further they get from the Faust foundations, the more real world Christmassy it gets (to the point where the music album literally just calls it Christmas and stops doing the fantasy equivalent of it). Personally, I'm more for the fantasy equivalent as it's another world where our history and traditions just don't make as much sense, but can understand and respect traditionalists and those with religious backgrounds preferring it the way it's going. And anyway G3's Minty thing was good :3
    I'd put money on G5 going back to just calling it Christmas.

    I liked that a lot. It set you up to believe the obvious (that they were all innocent and it was a third party) only for it to be the griffin, but it was for such heartwarming reasons that it's impossible not to forgive (IMO). It made me tear up.

    Twi and Dash did get a bit harsh over it, but it seemed to work out
     
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