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Season 8, Episode 8 - The Parent Map

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Loganberry, 2 May 2018.

  1. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Air date:
    5 May 2018

    Writer: Dave Rapp

    Synopsis: "Neither Starlight nor Sunburst have visited their parents in a long time, but when both are called by the map to their home town, they discover their parents are at the centre of the friendship problem."

    We've seen all the Mane Six's parents now, but this is something new! Will we discover how Starlight's parents felt when she left home to (eventually) start Our Town? Or how Sunburst's parents reacted to his being chosen as Flurry Heart's Crystaller? So many questions, and so many ways this could go. Discussion is now open! :)

    Please use spoiler-cuts until 24 hours after the episode has aired on Discovery Family. Thank you.
     
    #1 Loganberry, 2 May 2018
    Last edited: 5 May 2018
  2. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    After this there will be 3 leaked episodes left
     
  3. GatewaytoGlimmer

    GatewaytoGlimmer Happy Happy Joy Joy!

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    This should be a good one. I love seeing family members of characters and I can't wait to see what Starlight's parents are like and it'll be cool to see Sunburst's parents again.
     
  4. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    From EqD: this one is written by Dave Rapp. His previous credits are "Newbie Dash", "Flutter Brutter" and "Where the Apple Lies".
     
  5. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    One of the best
    The initial premise, with the parents arguing over the future of the town, was over the top and silly in a good way. Part of me wanted that to continue for the whole episode but it ended a bit abruptly. The next part, it became obvious what the real friendship problem was very quickly, but I liked how the background ponies figured it out long before they did, and they were great in this, so it didn't matter. And then the resolution was heartfelt and quite moving. The episode managed to both be serious and keep the comedy flowing throughout. 9/10, almost perfect.
     
    CuldeeFell likes this.
  6. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    That was really good.

    That episode made me happier than any episode in a long time. It had the depth to it that attracted me to this show in the first place. Excellent work from Dave Rapp.

    There were lots of jokes as well that I appreciated such as the development committee and preservation society, the automated welcome message etc. Some of them will probably have gone over the heads of a lot of the target audience (how many six year olds know what a development committee is?) but I enjoyed them.

    What was really great here was a lot of the subtlety. It's never spelled out that the big pile of letters in Sunburst's house are all from his mother, but they clearly are. The episode didn't go overboard with explanations, and kept things moving before they got over obvious.

    Compared with some episodes the resolution(s) was (were) quite quick, but I liked that. Once something became obvious they resolved it pretty quickly rather than dragging it out, and the two part structure where the parents resolved their quarrel with each other first gave us time to get to know them and their characters before we moved on to addressing their relationship with their children.

    Although it's pretty obvious I thought it was nice (and again never explicitly spelled out) that they were both treating their town the same way they were treating their children. One wanted to keep everything the way it used it to be, the other wanted to develop a plan it push it forward. It's the kind of mirroring I appreciate in an episode; it means we approach the same topic from multiple angles.

    So yeah, this was great basically. Dave Rapp can come back any time. This had exactly the kind of simple but deep story that got me into the show in the first place. Adult child - parent relationships are hard. There aren't always easy answers and I love that the episode didn't try to come up with one which would be trite or pat; it just had the characters acknowledge the issue and agree to try and work on it. :)
     
    #6 CuldeeFell, 5 May 2018
    Last edited: 7 May 2018
    Recurrent Trotting and Robshi like this.
  7. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    Another really good episode

    I can't help but feel the development of the cutie map summoning more and more creatures it was thought unable to is a little fast. It might just be me, but it seems like every time the map appears, it's breaking new ground in who it decides to send. Great to see more of Sunburst, though.

    It was intersting to see their hometown. It's quite clear how it influenced Starlight in the way she designed her equality town. The parents were really great to see, and while I kinda would've wanted to see all four, it does make sense that, in terms of story, Starlight and Sunburst are treated as one entity with two parents. I did enjoy the apparent excessive extent of their respective traits, as it reminded me of earlier seasons. And I also liked that they each had an understandable reason for acting that way, and that it had a classic "things in moderation" resolution.

    It's also interesting how they seem to be expanding the families of side characters, now that the mane six have mostly been done. We should get to know Rarity's parents better, though and maybe finally see Scootaloo's family. Maybe Trixie reconnecting with Jackpot isn't completely of the table, either...

    I actually thought Sunburst's mother was actually gonna chop his whole beard off for a minute. Speaking of which, she should really talk to Twilight about their love of plans. I also see Starlight had some unexpected interests as a teenager, from the way her bedroom was left. And is that a bat pony plushie on top of her amplifier/stereo?
     
  8. Steamworks

    Steamworks Active Pony

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    Another week, another pone.

    Does Sunburst open any mail?

    "Why am I yelling?!"

    What's so bad about Sire's Hollow? I know some people don't like their hometowns, but this seems particularly bad.

    Gated communities? Are they middle class suburban now?

    It's worse. It's a HOA.

    Past vs future. Classic issue. My own town leans way too hard on something like Firelight's plan. It's strangling the town.

    "Use your words." Wouldn't that fix so many of these friendship problems early?

    Gothlight Glimmer room.

    I wonder if Starlight's dad knows about the whole enslavement thing.

    I'm starting to see where Starlight got her fanatical devotion from.

    Is this episode about standing up to your parents and asserting yourself? A little advanced for the target demographic with lots of potential for misinterpretation. Though, I think it might go along with Parental Glideance nicely.

    With all these plans, is Stellar Flare gonna give Twilight a run for her money?
     
  9. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Nice episode
    Stunbursts mum seemed the total opposite to him
     
  10. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Really enjoyed this one.

    First of all, Sunburst is such a huge dork. :p (In other words, I like him. :p )

    Seems the letters from his mother have been piling up though.

    Oh no, Equestria seems to have something like a Home Owner's Association. *shudders*

    Sunburst's mom tried to clip off his goatee. :p

    I loved Starlight's old room too. :p

    I love that "ancient grain" bread or whatever, and the running joke of it being extremely heavy. :p

    I like the fact that the feud between Stellar Flare and Firelight wasn't the "actual" problem the map sent them for, but just a means for Sunburst and Starlight to both stand up to their parents, but also repair their relationships with them. I thought that part of the episode was really heartfelt and sweet. Though I also can't blame them for frantically waving down the train at the end of the episode either. :p

    It was quite nice to have an episode that focused on these two and their parents. Definitely one of my favourites so far. :)
     
  11. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    • Wow the cutie mark glow is getting around these days. And I still wish there was a bit more explanation for the map. I guess it's just "plot device" (in more ways than one haha) and is never going to be explained beyond that. It's almost 4th-wall-ish in how overt they are with it being a plot device.
    • Uh oh, did that town also get the 1984 treatment? You can see where Starlight got her inspiration at least
    • So did Starlight's dad never find out the absolute mess that became of his daughter? He seems pretty chilled out
    • Hm, progressive vs. conservative politics. If only that was so easily resolved in reality...
    • Also, reminded me a bit of my own town with the ones who want to keep the town "special" (ancient) vs the ones who want to build lots of supermarkets. The recent voting apparently turned it into a geographical East/West left/right kind of divide (the local rag even went so far as to compare it to the Berlin Wall, which is taking the comparison to the point of ridiculousness), as if the world needed more of those
    • The map really does need to learn to be a bit clearer seeing as it's just a contrived plot device anyway - this "looking for the problem" trope is getting old
    • "That's what all of us think" says the crowd when they finally figure out that the problem is them and their parents - in classic "voice of the audience" style!
    • Starburst sucks at apologies
    • It was sort of resolved but then the parents got overbearing again and they cringed again so I don't think anything really was!

    Obviously in the minority here but I wasn't all that enamoured by this one. I think partly because of my opinions on the whole map thing and the "problem search", and partly because it was one of those "the only proper way to live your life is to leave your parents and find your own way" episodes (which they seem to view with a very high degree of importance over the pond, even more than here) which is something I fundamentally disagree with. Still, the Apples show they're not totally against the concept of living with your family and figuring things out together.
    Wasn't bad, just not one of my favourites. Good to see more Sunburst at least!
     
    #11 Cloudane, 6 May 2018
    Last edited: 6 May 2018
  12. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

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    So now we're getting to meet the parents of Sunburst and Starlight now that we've seen all the parents of the Mane 6? This does make me wonder who's relatives we'll see next. Spike's biological parents? It would be nice to learn more about Rarity's parents in a future episode.

    I did enjoy some of the comedy involving the two parents. Sunburst showing how annoying the automated welcome message was amusing, as well as his mother's attempt to stage a friendship problem for him to solve. Never mind her and Twilight's love of plans, her next idea just reminded me of this:

    Starlight's old bedroom had an awful lot of skulls in it. Did Starlight go through a gothic phase shortly before she left home? It was also cute to see that she presumably had a blankie as a foal.

    "Ugh! Why couldn't the map just send us to stop a war or something!?"

    Well, now that Sunburst and Starlight have solved that friendship problem, I'm sure Princess Twilight will use the map to send them on more friendship missions!
    "Mom, it doesn't work like that!"

    I really enjoyed this episode, and whilst I didn't think it was quite as fun as last weeks episode I do think it's one of the better ones so far.
     
  13. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    I wasn't enthralled to see this episode. I only saw it today, and it was almost exactly what I thought it would be. All of the issues I had with 'Parental Glideance' are exactly the same here. Not good.
     
  14. Recurrent Trotting

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    another ep about family relationships, nice but lacked the heart of the apple eps 7/10

    I agree with @CuldeeFell that the ep felt mature and was better constructed than many pony eps. The message about parental relationships being flawed due to them suffering from the past failures of their kids which they have not been able to remedy, not accepting that their kids have overcome these themselves, was ambitious. There was also a base message though which is more ponyish and for the intended audience, which is that families are fundamentally loving ( :p hey it's a fantasy) and the ep just didn't quite put that more innocent message across as well as some of the Apple eps have. Eg Apples to the Core is still one of my fave pony songs and that ep is a great example of an innocent family message. It's hardly surprising that the loving family message was a bit lost given that the Apple family are so familiar while these two inevitably came off as quite mono-dimensional

    other notable things: some good gags with the gate and Glimmer being treated as a filly and being sassy. Also teen Goth Glimmer is now a thing :D
     
  15. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I quite enjoyed this one, but for me it was a step down from the last two. Still solid, but my attention did wander at times. I just don't tend to find Sunburst a very interesting character, though he does work well with Starlight. (Actually, I think Glimmy has been great this season.) The message was fine and the plot also fine, if not exactly original. Not a huge fan of either parent. Some nice lines and character moments, though. So yeah, good but not great in my book.
     
  16. TheDashingJack

    TheDashingJack "An excellent UKoE user."

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    So, how exactly does the Cutie Map work now? What determines that ponies are worthy of going on friendship missions? It used to be exclusively the Mane 6 in the past 3 seasons, but now it seems those that are apart of Twilight's little circle of friends and side characters (such as the CMC and Sunburst) can also be sent now.
     
    #16 TheDashingJack, 8 May 2018
    Last edited: 8 May 2018
  17. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I think @Cloudane probably has the right answer to this one: it's basically the Element of Convenience. It would be nice if we had a map episode with a difference in that it was actually about the map and gave us some answers to this... but I suspect in reality it's now a handy plot device first and foremost.
     
  18. GatewaytoGlimmer

    GatewaytoGlimmer Happy Happy Joy Joy!

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    Finally got around to watching it, and I gotta say, I really enjoyed it!

    The overall plot of the episode is good and right at the beginning I liked how Starlight seemed a bit anxious to visit her's and Sunburst's hometown. It gives the impression to the audience that she might be anxious to visit back because of how she used to be and she might get feeling her parents would be ashamed of her. The foreshadowing of Sunburst receiving loads of telegrams from his Mum was done well I thought as well.

    As for the parents themselves, I do like Firelight and how supportive he seems of his daughter, but not in the same as Dash's parents are towards her. As we didn't see Starlight's mum (which I found a bit disappointing) and how "attached" to Starlight he is, it makes me wonder if she's the only pony in his life and his wife has sadly passed on. This could also be a good story for Starlight as well since she might have struggled in her fillyhood considering not just what originally happened with her and Sunburst, but also her mother potentially passing on.I think there was like a nod about Starlight being punk/goth kinda phase in her teens which links to her EQG counterpart's outfit nicely (and I was already a big fan of that as well!

    Stellar Flare is a decent character and I like the addition of the backstory on how Sunburst dropped out of magic school when he was younger (younger stallion of course) and still wanted to have a plan for him, it shows how much of a caring mother she is. It is weird what happened to Sunburst's dad though, maybe he just left his wife? Not sure tbh.

    Getting back to the plot, I love how this friendship problem was actually something to do with the characters in question instead of two potential strangers. It gives us nice change and also a bit of character development as well for both Sunburst and Starlight. The overall relationships the two have with their parents is good, but I think it could have explained in more detail, like for example what I mentioned above regarding Starlight's Mum and Sunburst's Dad. Also considering how Sire Hollow has changed, I think it would have been great episode on its own on how places you know and love change over time. It's deffo one of those episodes that easily could have been a two parter.

    In conclusion though, I really liked it! Possible contender of best episode of Season 8 so far. I'll give it an 8/10.
     
  19. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    I've just noticed a interesting animation error watching this a second time. When Stella Flair shows off the greeting message the gate to the town gives her fur colour is the same as Sunburst instead of hers.
     

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