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Season 9, Episode 4 - Sparkle's Seven

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Bridle Timeout, 15 April 2019.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Air Date: 20th April 2019

    Written by: Nicole Dubuc and Josh Haber

    Synopsis: Twilight and Shining Armor pit their wits against each other to settle a long-standing sibling rivalry, but they soon discover they are not the only competitors.

    Here we go, the 200th episode. :D (Yes, "Best Gift Ever" counts as an episode. :p )

    In case you haven't seen it, Big Jim announced that
    this episode is intended as a "thank you to the 5 voice actresses who brought us this far".

    https://www.equestriadaily.com/2019/04/jim-miller-drops-some-juicy-tidbits-of.html

    So, while the synopsis only mentions Twilight, I think we have an idea of who the other competitors are, and an excellent "Mane 6" episode to look forward to. :D

    Please remember to use spoiler tags as appropriate until 24 hours after this episode has aired on Discovery Family, thank you. :)
     
  2. Blissful690

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    A little something I'm thinking about:
    So, the title's an obvious reference to the Ocean's movies. Do you think the seven of the episode title consists of Shining Armor, Spike and the Mane 5?
     
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  3. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    Time had been flying since episode 100 four sumnmers ago
     
  4. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    My first thought on reading the title:

     
  5. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I'm intrigued by this one, and beyond what's in the synopsis and under the spoiler-cut in the first post, I really have no idea what's going to happen. Though going on that...

    ...it'll be interesting to see whether the "Seven" in the title includes Twi herself or not. It could mean Twilight+the Mane Five+Shiny or it could mean the Mane Five+Shiny+Spike. I'd prefer the option with Spike, and Big Jim's namecheck for Cathy Weseluck suggests that will be the case. It does seem pretty clear that we're not in for another all-out fanservice spectacular like "Slice of Life", and tbh I'm pleased -- I think that really was something you could only do once.

    I think the writing team is fine, and probably the people we'd expect. I'm not a huge Nicole Dubuc fan when it comes to mid-season episodes: she's done "Marks for Effort", "A Matter of Principals" and "Uprooted", which is a fairly moderate collection overall. But this is a bit more like a special, and I think she and Haber are pretty good at those. So I'm looking forward to tomorrow. :)
     
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  6. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    Hey BABSCOn

    This was not the episode with the screenshot of Spike as DJ.
     
  7. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Episode watched, some brief thoughts now as I'm short of time.

    I missed the last two minutes so I don't know exactly how it was resolved. Apart from being a bit of an unusual story I'm not sure what made it special for episode 200 - but it was good fun and it's nice to get a Mane 6 plus Spike episode once in a while.
     
  8. Eunos the Fool

    Eunos the Fool Proud Hater of Sparity

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    Episode watched.. Time for Opinions

    All in all it was a fun episode.

    Kinda lacked the craziness that episode 100 had but 2 different things.

    A lot of great faces in this episode which some fun ideas.

    Good to see Shining Armour in a regular episode..Don't think he showed up at all last season.

    Good to see some returning characters like Zephyr Breeze..Dumb as ever ;D

    I think Luna is a seriously overrated character but I will give credit where it is due.. She did well this episode.

    Loved seeing Fluttershy in her spy gear again as well.

    All in all a fun episode.. Do I think it was worthy of being the 200th Episode?.. Honestly not really, but for what it was it was still good fun :)
     
  9. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    Really enjoyed this one. :)

    Not as "crazy" as episode 100, but that suits me just fine. :)

    Loved the flashbacks of Twi, Shiny and Spike when they were younger. :D

    I was like "They let Zephyr Breeze into the Guard?!" But it turned out there was an ulterior motive to that. :p (Loved the dramatic shot of Luna stroking one of those noisy birds when Spike revealed he took advantage of "another sibling rivalry" :p)

    I still think Rarity looks awesome as a guard, even if it was just for a couple seconds.

    And Spike comes out victorious, and some adorable Spikelove at the end. :)
     
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  10. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    Well, that was utter lunacy. See what I did there?

    I do like Rarity's plan simply because it just turned into a complete [shambles - mod]. Which was the plan. Though it did not go as smoothly as they thought it would. I have to say I bellowed out laughing when i saw Zephyr show up. Just WHY? How did he get in? Was this part of the plan? Why did they not fit the armour correctly? Just why?

    Though the twist at the end just takes the cake. And that image of Luna stroking a goose menacingly was just pure gold. I want another episode with Luna and Celestia fighting each other. No nonsense from the main cast intervening. just stick them in a room together and let civil war commence. This was too much fun.
     
    #10 Solar Wind, 20 April 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: 20 April 2019
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  11. Zero Motion

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    Just watched, honestly can't believe it's episode 200.
    Understandbly most of us don't really consider this as bigger than episode 100, however, I don't think this was meant to be.
    I remember reading that 100 was a love letter to us, the fans whilst this episode, 200 was a love letter to the voice actors.
    I think that's the best way to view this episode since it was a generic yet good Spike episode.
    Of course, the mane six were featured and all that but Spike was the main focus point, good for him, glad he got a good episode before the series finale.

    I love how well Spike and Luna played, the series is ending yet they can't get over their slight animosity for their siblings.
    I really hope Cadence has a royal baby sitter, cause otherwise she's taking care of Flurry whilst running an entire kingdom just so Shinning can solve a rivalry with his sister... and little bro in Spike.

    Little annoyed at the Zephyr x Dash ship push, Dash has always been my least fave Mane Six for many reasons but I felt bad for her here.
    Not only is she having to deal with Zephyr, a guy who in anime would come off as a total creep yet he's just played for laughs, she also has to do it in uncomfortable clothing. (for her since I assume Rarity makes comfortable to wear clothes)
    I may not like Dash but I feel her pain in that situation.

    Rarity and AppleJack were fantastic this episode.
    Rarity donning her usual Detective Rarity get up is always a delight, plus the way she went from screaming at the guy for answers to politely thanking him is just fantastic.
    AppleJack or should I say Apple Cord was just wonderful, granted I was hoping for a reference to RaRa or at least the camp, just to really tie in the backstory and really cement it, I'm happy we not only got her singing but also were left wondering whether it was true or not... I hope it is, it was sweet.

    Pinkie and Fluttershy were... ok.
    They're my faves of the Mane Six yet I just felt they weren't as utilized.
    Though the Pinkie and Gummy flying in space were cute and Fluttershy's terror of closed spaces was a nice callback.

    Overall a decent episode, I hope the voice actors enjoyed themselves making this episode 200 special for them.
    I love how we've come to a point where Twi just doesn't even give Starlight the usual, "you are in charge now" speech and just dashes off whenever she wants.
    I guess this serves to show that characters are slowly getting used to change, as in Twi is getting used to leaving the school in Starlights care.
     
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  12. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Quick thoughts on this one...

    I think that was a very nice, very solid ensemble episode. It didn't try to outdo "Slice of Life" -- and I think that was the right decision. Instead it gave us lots for each of the seven (including Spike, yay) to do and say. Maybe Fluttershy was a little short-changed in how much of the limelight she got, but what she did do was fun. I thought Rarity did best this time around. Not sure how I feel about Zephyr Breeze returning, though I was relieved when it was revealed there was an ulterior motive to what was going on. Would have preferred it if Celestia had "won" over Luna for once, though. :p A few bits of this felt "Castle Mane-ia" like, which I guess is Josh Haber's influence.

    Overall? I suspect that (maybe unlike "Slice of Life", though that's arguable), this one will age very well and still be just as entertaining in a few years' time. So I'm happy. Also... PINKS IN SPAAAAAACE! :D
     
  13. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    I enjoyed it about as much as last week's.

    There's been a lot of hype, maybe too much for what it is. Episode 100 had a real novelty appeal, but I think this episode stands up on its own. Had we not expected anything, I think we'd be generally pleased with it, and I'm trying to look at it in that light. I think it was a good episode, if quite strange, and with the kind of lighthearted fun we had in season 2. Maybe I'm just thinking of It's About Time, though.

    I'm glad to see more Shining Armour, and to get more insight about their upbringing. I was worried they'd contradict Twilight's claim that they never had a single fight, but they never took it that far, and they still don't here. Though Twilight was probably either exaggerating or looking back at her fillyhood through rose tinted glasses. That song implied she hadn't seen him for years before the season 2 finale. Anyway, I like that young Spike was also shown. It should've been obvious, but I never really thought about how he'd have been there the whole time, and that sets one of the themes of the episode. I also love how the royal sisters are still bickering. How have they been ruling all this time without any kind of mediation?

    Applejack is Hannah Montana confirmed! Her song even sounded kinda similar, from what little of it we heard :p Anyway, does every member of the Apple family have an alter ego? First Big Mac, and now AJ. I guess it's left ambiguous if her story was true, or she wanted to let that side of her out, but hadn't yet. I do kinda agree with her about music, though. Just wanna make people feel something. As I understand it, the writers had been toying with the idea of Flutterspy for a while, and it's nice to see that concept realised. Similar has happened before, but I can't really remember what she did in magic duel, and her part in The Cutie Map was more infiltration. Pinkie's obsession with space was a bit too random for my taste, even if that may have been a reference, as I suspect it might be. As the mastermind of their "opposite" plan, I suspect Rarity took inspiration from Shadow Spade on the whole thing. It was quite entertaining to see Rainbow Dash having to be that kind of distraction, and while it doesn't suit her personality, I think she looks really good like that. I do think it's a bit unfair On Zephyr though; I'm not sure if he'd figure out that she still isn't actually into him.


    I'm quite glad they didn't try to shoehorn a moral into this one like they did with Slice of Life. It looked like they might have been going for something like Twilight trusting herself and her instincts, but I don't think there was any need for that. I love that the episode is secretly about Spike the whole time, only to be revealed at the end. Both he and Luna are the overlooked younger sibling, and I like the twist that together they outwitted both Twilight and Shining. Spike doesn't always get much recognition, but they couldn't have taken the crown from Shining without him. That scene where he opens up to Fluttershy might be the highlight from a character development perspective, and it seems that maybe he was misinterpreting their signals, and that they did consider him a brother all those years? I think it's great that he got his own dangerous mission outfit, as well.

    Yes, the episode was an excuse for an espionage plot, but it's a lot of fun, and it feels like an earlier season episode, especially with the taking a relatively trivial thing and presenting it as serious business. For all of his cockiness, if we read between the lines, Shining Armour just wanted to spend some time having fun with his sister, just like they used to as foals. They don't get to do that often, and if you look at it like that, the whole thing is actually really sweet.

    I can't stop thinking that if the rest of the mane six wanted to help Twilight win the crown, they could've tried jumping up, making a sound, stomping their hooves, and turning around...
     
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  14. Steamworks

    Steamworks Habitual Pony

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    Episode 200. Kind of a shame we'll never get to see what 300 would bring.

    Aww man, Starlight should have interrupted the kite part.

    Penetration testing? This amuses me because I've been toying with an AU on and off to stick Steamworks there in my avatar into where he ends up working within a top secret organization and they help out with annual penetration tests among other things, so yeah.

    Repurposing the throne is another idea I'd had for that AU. gg.

    Did Shining figure her out, or does he just have Twi's castle bugged?

    Being unpredictable is a pretty good tactic.

    They really missed an opportunity with Pinkie's moonwalking by not having it happen on the moon.

    I wanna know the truth behind AJ's alter ego, too.

    Something tells me those explosions in Spike's fantasy would set off the geese.

    Digging AJ's outfit but not her mane.

    Now that bit of theft was pretty slick.

    At least Dashie's bit of seduction was easy enough.

    How do you even reset guard geese?

    Improvise and adapt, nerds. Don't go the expected route.

    I think they should have had Luna petting Tiberius from the comics instead of the goose.

    In the end, the unexpected plan won out.
    [/spoiler[
     
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  15. Streamline

    Streamline Active Pony

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    This had its moments, enjoyable episode with a chance to see some of the best out of our characters.

    Rarity was the best here, I do like it when she goes really deep into a plan and the facial expression and voice are spot on. Nice reminiscent reminder of her and Rainbow Dash in those few sequences like they were in season 5.

    Cool imagined up section featuring Spike and Fluttershy 'Mission: Impossible' style.

    Luna was great, liked the sarcasm at the beginning and how she was in on the plan all along.

    All in all it was fun, I suppose compared to episode 100, I did like that for its variety and attempt to get as many characters in as possible whereas this only had a selected few. However it was still enjoyable nonetheless.
     
  16. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

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    Best episode of the season so far by a huge margin!

    I only heard in passing that this was episode 200. I wouldn't have guessed it just seeing the ep, but it was packed with references and fun cameos.

    Firstly, I'm so happy we got an episode exploring the sibling relationship with Twi and her brother. I've been wanting one for years and now we finally get one. This was a fun premise too, being a practical test for Shining's defences and a contest for a tin crown given huge importance.

    Shining Armour sure liked to brag, but as soon as he explained the defences I thought "steal a guard badge". I'm surprised that wasn't mentioned in the tactic discussion, but it was pulled off by AJ at least.

    I think Pinkie needs more than a fish bowl and a hot air balloon for space travel. Then again, this is Pinkie.

    I liked Flutters and Spike's spy outfits. It was nice to see Maud again. Zephyr not so much, but I love his scene with Dash and how clueless he was. For those thinking this would confuse him, you need to realise that Dash has been up front with how uncomfortable she is with him for years and he still thinks she has the hots for him. This won't change much. Also, his barber career must be going slow for him to take a job with the guard, which he was also bad at.

    Rarity's sleuth career is still strong, and I also loved the way she suggested Dash distract Zephyr.

    Now for the real highlight... Spike being the best sibling! I loved him confessing his own feelings about the rivalry. Having him then following up by stealing the crown at the end was genius, and this also gave us the best image of the entire ep.

    Screenshot (13).png

    I'm going to stroke this goose and explain all of my plans in such elaborate detail it will allow you to escape.

    Then we have Luna and Celestia smiling snarkily at each other whilst they leave to discuss things.

    All in all, an absolute classic. This will likely hold up to time better than Slice of Life, even though I do like that ep. I just hope we get more episodes of this quality that tick off my episode wish list before the show ends.

    Sister, another false alarm from this goose security system!
     
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  17. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    I'm rather late to the party with this one, but for the purpose of completeness (I'm trying to post for every episode this season), I'll add my quick thoughts. I found this episode OK, nothing bad (except maybe the return of Zephyr Breeze :p). But I was also left feeling a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps I unintentionally hyped episode 200 up too much in my head.

    The callbacks to episodes like Rarity Investigates and Castle Mania were appreciated. I also really liked the return of Fluttershy's suit from Magic Duel. Luna teaming up with Spike was cool.
     
  18. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Like Oilyvalves I'm posting here for the sake of completeness and, again like Oilyvalves, I was rather underwhelmed by it. After hearing that it was a "thank you" to the VAs I think I'd been imagining hearing them playing other characters, or the character's voices being changed somehow, or something else to give them a chance to do something different to what they normally do. Oh well.

    The best bits were undoubtedly Spike's dialogue about feeling left out of Twilight's family as a baby and the reveal of Princess Luna stroking her goose. Otherwise the episode was a bit of a mish mash of mostly gently amusing scenes with some bits that didn't quite feel like they worked (Pinkie's obsession with going into space?). Overall it was a decent bit of fun, but not the extravaganza I was hoping for from episode 200, sadly.
     
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