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Season 9, Episode 20 - A Horse Shoe-In

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Bridle Timeout, 10 September 2019.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

    3 March 2013
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    I see. by Iamlightbruh
    Air Date: 14th September 2019

    Written by: Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim

    Synopsis: Starlight decides to hire a Vice Headmare in preparation to take over the School of Friendship from Twilight. But she soon realizes that hiring the right pony for the job is going to be a lot harder than she thought.

    So, we get a Starlight episode, a horse pun in the title and a new writer. :p

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

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

    8 October 2013
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    I loved this episode and all I can say is
    Phyllis is best plant!
  3. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

    17 March 2014
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    That was the best part
  4. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

    6 January 2017
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    Great again. This could actually end up as my favourite season.

    That intro really drove home that the ride's almost over. I suppose we can only expect the sense of finality to intensify from here on. Incidentally, if Twilight's moving to Canterlot when she takes over, I really hope she doesn't have to go there alone. I feel like maybe it would undermine some of the importance of the mane six as a group and their friendship if that happened.

    I actually thought there might be more Starlighting, but it's probably for the best that didn't happen. I actually really liked the way she conducted the interviewing process; she clearly put a lot of thought into that, and in what's implied to be quite a short time. I honestly have no idea what made Spoiled Rich of all ponies think she'd be a good fit for the position, but I still think Starlight did the right thing in still giving her a chance, along with Trixie. I would've liked to have seen Spoiled try to teach laughter class :p. I can see that Big Mac would make a decent teacher, but the parent conference would've been too much for him. He can speak much more than that, and quite insightfully, but he clammed up under the pressure, and that's a feeling I know well. Though maybe he was unlucky in getting Silverstream and Sky Beak, they both seem as talkative as each other. Doctor Whooves wouldn't have been bad, even if he didn't think his "field trip" through. I actually felt like it was quite a shame Octavia didn't get the job. I love that she's actually not stuck up, as we might've been led to assume. The way she does away with her bow and just strums her cello like a guitar with a "well, why not?" face actually made me really like her, that's a playfulness we hadn't really seen from her. Though that's understandable if her orchestra colleagues are anything like most of Rarity's business contacts. Kinda makes me wish I'd had her for a music teacher ten years ago.

    This wasn't Trixie's best appearance, but I certainly don't think that did too much to hurt the episode overall. I'm trying to see her side of things, to understand why she acted that way, and I'm struggling a little bit. It's clear that she thought she was getting the job from the start, and so I can understand that she didn't take that lesson seriously. I felt like Starlight could've dropped her there, along with Spoiled Rich, but I feel she probably should've said to Trixie then what she said before their field trips, and dropped her around the same time as Big Mac voluntarily dropped out. I really hope Trixie didn't cause any more problems for Gallus back home. She couldn't have known about that (he probably would've told Starlight shortly before or after the Hearthswarming when he told his friends, but she would've kept it confidential), but she was still really reckless. I wonder if Rainbow Dash and/or Gilda are gonna have to clean up that mess by trying to talk some sense back into Grandpa Gruff. I did feel sorry for Gallus, seeing the sadness on his face in that scene, but it's interesting that Trixie of all ponies was the first to really stand up for Gallus in front of Grandpa Gruff. With her field trip idea, I can actually see that, in theory, it's a creative solution. It might've worked if she hadn't tried to teleport somewhere so dangerous, but it's quite a relief that she didn't just march them into the Everfree Forest and lose them all. Starlight absolutely lost it like she hasn't in a while, and I think it was fully justified.

    Sunburst was quite a good choice to assist Starlight, I think. aside from taking over from Twilight, it's starting to feel like her friends might be taking over from the mane six. Will Trixie make a good counsellor? Probably, if she really takes it seriously, and doesn't treat it like another magic show. I think she can, if she shows her best side.
    Danishbrony2011 and Blissful690 like this.
  5. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

    3 March 2013
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    Really liked this one. :)

    The fact that Starlight would be taking over the school was mentioned in the synopsis, but there were quite a few things in this episode that are really bringing a sense of finality to the series... Namely Twilight going off for things like royal etiquette lessons and coronation gown fitting. Twilight mentioned moving to Canterlot... I really hope that means she can still spend time with her friends.

    I guess Starlight has been taking hug lessons from Pinkie, because she gave Twilight quite the tackle-hug near the beginning of the episode. :p

    Starlight's interview process was quite well thought out, and I was amused by how the applicants interacted with the students and parents.
    - Spoiled Rich made the lesson about money and business.
    - I liked how Octavia played music with the students and then her "field trip" to a concert put on by herself and DJ Pon3.
    - I did like how Trixie stood up for Gallus, even if she was overly loud and rude about it. And it was quite impressive that she teleported a portion of the bog to the classroom, though obviously a bit too impulsive since she didn't consider the presence of the flash bees.
    - Big Mac would be a good listener, but perhaps not the best at communicating in great detail.
    - Starlight's really uncomfortable look when Dr. Hooves mentioned time travel and "You are now five seconds into the future" :p

    Trixie was... Trixie. :p I enjoyed the gags involving her, like when she set off a smoke bomb and slowly backed off Starlight's desk, and of course her saying "wink" when she thought that the "interview" was merely a formality. This episode also gave a sense that Trixie's stage persona is perhaps her way of dealing with her social awkwardness... she does seem to have trouble "reading" other ponies at times, even her closest friend.

    I really liked the scene where Twilight and Starlight talked by the window, and then the scene where Starlight went to talk to Trixie. They were both really well done.

    Trixie did give some good advice though. I think if she takes it seriously, she would make a fine counsellor. I wasn't expecting Sunburst to appear and be chosen for the Vice Headmare.. or is that Headstallion? :p
  6. Zero Motion

    Zero Motion Active Pony

    11 June 2018
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    Super enjoyed this one, work kept me late but finally got to it.
    I'm already hyped just from that like holy heck.
    As a major Starxie fan this episode was everything heck this is easily top 3 for this final season from me, I'm so hyped they decided to give us another and one final Starxie episode.

    First up I love the premise cause it makes so much natural sense, Twi is leaving and someone needs to run the school, we all knew it was gonna be Starlight so there wasn't a point of "who could it be" in that regard but thanks to Trixie we did get the idea of a vice-head mare.
    I love how much sense it made with the timing, this also links back to Equestria girls since iirc Luna's role was the vice-principal.
    Interesting turn out with the candidates, Spoiled Rich, Big Mac, Dr Whooves and Octavia.
    I get that Spoiled Rich is all about money but would have loved some deeper layer to her character.
    Big Mac covering for Rarity was fun, sucks about his communication issues.
    I was expecting some more experiments, Back to the Future style when we went into Dr Whooves' lab but oh well.
    Octavia was utterly fantastic, the way she handled Pinkie's class to her duet with Vinyl, just everything, well done Octavia, really wish she could remain as a teacher.

    I am rather curious whether Starlight will hold out more of these recruitment calls for teachers since the school will soon lose a lot of the staff, with only Trixie and Sunburst, that isn't enough to cover so would Starlight reach out again or are her and Sunburst supposed to be enough for the teaching staff?
    Since iirc Starlight as a guidance counsellor has not been shown teaching class in that position so Trixie won't either going forward.
    Speaking of I am happy Sunburst came back, he got a fulfilling end with his character in a great position where he can finally use all of that random knowledge he has stored in his head.
    I do kinda love how it was Trixie who recommended him as well, it's like the show is trying to keep the fandom ships of Sunburst x Starlight and Trixie x Starlight alive without hurting or favouring either one. (but we all know Starxie ftw!)

    And so we finally get to Trixie the best girl.
    I loved her during this episode since she was so damn relatable, like more so than any pony has ever been for me.
    The entire way she acted for me was so natural and it made sense with how she represented herself to the students.
    I just love how this works with the Trixie from DWK videos, the raging meth head idiot but loveable.
    Adore how she threw Phillis into the trash, shows that Phillis is not top tier waifu.
    I do adore her as the new student counsellor, I think she'll do a fantastic job at it, or should I say a great a powerful job at it.

    Overall just a splendid and fun episode, Twi again was amazing at her authority figure since she wasn't overbearing but available to help out when needed.
    I think this was a great episode for Starlight as a whole, this shows and explains to us fans that Starlight and the school will be just fine.
    She's working with her childhood friend Sunburst and best friend Trixie, that is all the support she needs, sure she's losing the chance to speak to Twi any time she wants, but she'll always have her two pillars, keeping her bound and making sure she can control the school.
    I'll admit I was a bit surprised no appearance or even a mention of Discord at all but I guess he's busy with other matters, I'm curious if he'd ever join as a teacher.
    Anyways so happy, this episode was exactly what I needed after working.
    Danishbrony2011 and Blissful690 like this.
  7. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

    24 August 2013
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    This was another good ep.

    A great and powerful episode even!

    It was good to see Starlight and Trixie in another episode together. This did remind me a lot of All Bottled Up, particularly when Starlight snapped after the field trip. As the episode progressed you just knew it was leading to a clash between the two.

    I enjoyed Starlight's new houseplant. I was expecting her to go "Noo!" when it was knocked off the desk earlier in the episode though.

    I was a little disappointed that we didn't get a cameo from Ember at the parent/guardian conference. It would've been nice to see her again.

    I'm sure Trixie has taught a lesson at the school before, and it went better than the nap time she ended up doing here. I guess she didn't put much thought into the subject because she figured she had the job anyway. Her magic has improved though, she's gone from teacups to bog teleportation! Too bad she didn't check for flash bees, although her ego is something else if she still thought that went well.

    I also enjoyed her smoke bomb escape from Starlight. I guess her flashy exits need work in both human and pony forms.

    "A chair?" Turns out Smolder was right. Doctor Whooves' field trip was just a chair. I found that a little odd though given he has a whole lab of stuff to show. His flameless fireworks would've gone down a treat. Also, what were the gismos on the chair for anyway?

    RIP Phyllis 2019-2019. He grew, he advised, he was thrown into a bin before his time.

    Another really enjoyable episode. It may have been a little predictable but it was well done. It's setting up for the end of the show too... which is rather sad to realise. Still, if this quality of ep continues at least this show will go out with the bang it deserves.
  8. Steamworks

    Steamworks Habitual Pony

    7 March 2017
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    Late because stressful weekend at work. Spoilering just to prevent any potential page stretching.

    Starlight really likes that plant.

    It's already starting to feel like things are closing for the final time.

    This one is timed a little too perfectly. My stressful weekend at work was me being in charge of my department for the first time ever. Definitely feeling Starlight on the nervousness over taking over.

    This is an odd collection of choices for vice headmare. Of course I want Mac making it.

    I guess Tavi picked up improvising from being with Vinyl so much.

    I think Trixie just made the best case for learning history.

    I do love the Doc's enthusiasm.

    Aww, come on. Mac can communicate enough for RPGs. He can get detailed for parents.

    Now only if that duet was as great as the one from Slice of Life.

    Doc, come on man.

    Trixie totally just negated the "field" part of the field trip.

    Is it just me, or did Trixie get good at teleportation quicker than Twilight?

    I think Starlight could have avoided that blow up if she had just told Trixie no from the beginning.

    And Sunburst is a good choice.

    I think Starlight's "Phyllis, no!" is right up there with Party Favor's "Brian, no!"
  9. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

    23 September 2014
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    Left this one late as I wanted to fit in a second watch. A good episode overall. :)

    As Starlight-Trixie episodes go, I'd maybe prefer Common Ground over this one. Predominantly because I wasn't quite so keen on Trixie's behavour. The core story line of her assuming she'd get the job wasn't something I particularly looked forward to re-watching.

    However, there were lots of other things to like about this episode. Some excellent things in fact! Highlights for me were the return of Dr Hooves and Octavia, speaking roles and all. I also loved the parent meeting scene. Some very cute interactions between the students and their respective families :D. As Robshi mentioned above, a slight pity Ember wasn't there. I enjoyed Big Mac and Spoiled Rich too.

    Starlight was great in this one. I was happy to see her not freaking out about the Head-Mare role. Her reactions with 'Phyllis' were fun, and her loss of temper with Trixie towards the end was rather fierce. Other than that, there were plenty of lovely little animation details (Twi's awkward floor tapping at the beginning :p).

    Speaking of Twi; Is it just me, or does Tara Strong's voice sound a little.. muffled in this? I know she records separately to the main cast. Maybe she had a bad mic day? :confused:

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