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Season 9, Episode 9 - Sweet and Smoky

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Loganberry, 16 May 2019.

  1. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    [​IMG]
    That cute lizard by Katakiuchi4U
    (cc by-nc-nd 3.0)
    Air Date: 16th May 2019 (Italy) / 25th May 2019 (Discovery Family)

    Written by: Kim Beyer-Johnson

    Synopsis: "Smolder brings Spike and Fluttershy to cheer up her brother, they discover a far more serious problem: the dragon eggs aren't hatching."

    Another early-airing episode in Italy, so here's an early discussion thread for it! This is an episode I'm looking forward to, partly (of course!) because of the Fluttershy angle, especially that she's interacting with Spike. I really enjoyed their dialogue in "Sparkle's Seven". However, the identity of the episode writer does give me pause -- it's the same writer who produced "Non-Compete Clause" last year. Of course, one dud doesn't mean they'll all be duds, so maybe this ep will be a lot better. I really hope so, as the synopsis does look interesting.

    Discussion time! :)

    Please remember to use spoiler tags as appropriate until 24 hours after this episode has aired on Discovery Family. Thanks! :)
     
  2. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Honorary Pony

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    Long time no see
    Ember.
     
  3. Streamline

    Streamline Active Pony

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    Im getting the sense we're at least going to visit each of the other lands once in this season.

    OK this felt a bit of a step down from last week's outing.

    I just feel the Dragonlands as a place hasn't particulary any meaningful connection to it like the other lands, it just seems to be the norm for everyone to pick on each other because 'that's the way it is'. At least in the other lands there were reasons for it, but here it has never really been developed on.

    Again, predictable to a point until Flutters took over and was clever with her words, I did like her point about Spike being stronger for who he is and not hiding his personality/traits.

    The laughing fire thing at the end to hatch the eggs, meh, it just felt like the clan are now accepting fellow dragons for their own traits just because they are ordered to, rather than because they want to.

    Best bit was Ember forgetting the pony names and getting them mixed up again, her and Flutters had a nice catch up there. Nice to see them get on like that.
     
  4. Zero Motion

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    Ok, just saw the episode, got to it a bit late due to Comic Con.
    Anyways this was a decent episode.
    Wasn't the best of the season level but average tier.
    I like that we got Garble back despite his character being very one-note till now, it's good that he's been somewhat redeemed.
    Since even though he no longer uses the tough guy as an act he never apologized to Spike.

    I do like that we got an extra side to him and deeper exploration on building onto the Student Six, with Smolder having a brother.
    Seems cute to add that in and create this deeper lore, feels a bit weird that Smolder wouldn't just tell Spike and Fluttershy the problem exactly from the start.
    So glad to see more of Ember, also I'm a bit surprised it's taken until now for Ember to enforce the whole "treat others with respect" policy, I figured she would have done so after Smolder was allowed to stay at the Friendship school due to the bound Smolder shared for other creatures.
    I love how even now, Ember will never remember any of the Mane Six's names, interesting AppleDash shoutout too.

    I do think it's interesting that Fluttershy has been directly involved with helping 2 different brothers accept their true passion, first with her own brother in Zepher and now with Smolders bro in Garble.
    I guess Garble being a poet works?
    It is something I suppose, just wish he said sorry to Spike for all that intentional bullying, he owns up to it at the end and I get why he did it, the survival of the fittest after all.
     
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  5. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

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    I wasn't in the right mindset for this yesterday, so I've only just seen it.

    I quite liked it, actually. I'm quite impressed that there was some form of development for no less than five different characters, and the whole dragon race. I also liked that they took the same approach as Forever Filly, in having two separate plots come together. The episode never addressed it directly, but I get the impression Spike was starting to have doubtful feelings about being a good dragon again. I honestly expected another new dragon character to be introduced as Smolder's brother, and I thought it was a twist when she and Garble seemed to get along. I assumed they were just friends, and that conflict would be another side plot. The reveal that they were siblings was a real surprise for me, probably the biggest since Spike got his wings. I have to appreciate that even though we've seen Smolder's gentle side mostly, she strikes fear into dragons about twice her size, and probably about twice her age. And while simultaneously making her softer side clearly visible, making no attempt to hide it. I find that kind of "tomboy" character with a girly side relatable.

    It's nice to see Ember again, and I find it interesting that she still feels slightly unsure as a leader, even if she isn't quite Twilighting. And even if the idea that Spike and Fluttershy were trying to do what was best suited to the other has been used before, I think it still worked well here. If the other Dragons were afraid of Smolder, they're lucky they didn't get Fluttershy totally furious. I like that she decided not to resort to that, but I'm pretty sure she could've had them running for the hills if she needed to. She's done it to bigger, badder dragons before. It seems that by now, she's either overcome her fear of dragons, or she just really isn't letting it affect her anymore. I can now understand why Grable acted the way he did, but it's still quite hard to fully forgive him. They maybe didn't do that as well as they did with Diamond Tiara. From that ending, I'm getting the impression the other dragons were in the same boat, as well. Ember only ordered them to keep their mouths shut if they didn't like it, they showered him with praise on their own. I do understand the need he feels to create, as well. He should really talk to Tree Hugger about that poetry.

    I actually really like that dragon fire comes in different colours. I have to wonder why Spike never had that laughter fire. Maybe he's just too young?
     
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  6. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    For once, I'm not super late seeing a new ep! My thoughts:

    Whilst not amazing, I actually found this one to be reasonably good. It would've been easy to watch Garble pick on Spike, and think "oh dear, here we go again". But looking past that, there was some real depth to this one.

    The moral seemed quite strong, for sure. Although the closing scenes did come across a little conflicted; particularly with using the dragon's laughter at Garble's expense to hatch the babies. And it was only really Ember commanding the dragons that lead to their eventual acceptance of Garble. But the true message still came across overall (not letting others stop you from being yourself).

    Fluttershy was also quite entertaining this time. Sure, the whole "she's really assertive now" thing has been played quite heavily for the last couple of seasons by now. But her gushing over the baby dragons, and her desire to help both Ember, Spike and Garble, was still great to see.

    I appreciated how Spike was more willing to stand up to the older dragons too. Maybe his trip with Rainbow in Shadow Play helped with that? Finally, Smolder always adds an interesting dynamic when it comes to dragon characters. Even if the whole 'sensitive brother' thing with Garble seemed a little forced.

    Favourite moment; Fluttershy's face upon discovering Garble's private bongo drum session.
     
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  7. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    Kim Beyer-Johnson is still probably the worst writer we've had on MLP, but thankfully this was no "Non-Complete Clause". Everyone was in character and got some nice moments. Mostly Fluttershy, but Spike, Smolder and Ember all got some too.

    The bad stuff then. There were some big contrivances to get the plot to where it needed to be. Ember knows that heat is needed to hatch the eggs, says she's tried everything to make them hatch, but hasn't noticed that the ground's gone cold? I'm not buying it. Smolder somehow manages to avoid telling Spike and Fluttershy who her brother is all the way to the dragonlands. She also fails to notice the way Garble's treating Spike, despite being there when Garble pushes him into the lava. And finally Garble's poetry turns out to be exactly what's needed to hatch the eggs, despite it being dragon breath doing all the work heating them up.

    Garble's poetry also came out of no-where. Plus, the idea that "writes poetry" equals "has a sensitive side" doesn't work for me. It's possible to be inconsiderate and self absorbed with no respect for other people and still write good poetry. It doesn't automatically make you a softy. And I can't even say I felt Garble's poetry was terribly good (although that may just be a matter of taste).

    Thankfully, despite all that the episode was still pretty watchable (which is a lot more than I can say for "Non-Complete Clause"). Fluttershy trying to hatch the eggs was cute, and her laying into the other dragons for picking on Spike was a nice moment. I liked seeing the way Smolder cared for her brother too, enough to offer to miss a whole week of school for him. Overall, a very long way from the best, and not one that'll offer a whole lot to make it worth going back to, but inoffensive and cute enough.
     
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  8. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    My blog review of this one is here: http://louderyay.blogspot.com/2019/05/episode-review-s9e09-sweet-and-smoky.html

    I didn't like this all that much first time through, but I was happier with it second time. I split the episode into two parts. The bits with Fluttershy, Smolder, Spike and Ember were all at least entertaining, and Flutters herself did really well. (Must admit I didn't even register the point @CuldeeFell makes above about the cold ground. :oops:) The bits with Garble and the side-character dragons were a bit of a trial at times. What was worse was that Garble didn't earn his redemption. He didn't even apologise for threatening Spike with serious harm not so many episodes ago. I enjoyed the episode regardless, and it was vastly better than Kim Beyer-Johnson's previous episode, but it's nowhere near as high on my all-time list as "Frenemies".
     
  9. Steamworks

    Steamworks Habitual Pony

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    Getting to it late again. Stupid holiday weekend and working 6 days in a row.

    Fluttershy turning up the cute factor there. Not sure she needs those faces with Twi.

    Dragons and show tunes?

    You'd think something as important as egg hatching would get passed along.

    Not sure why'd they'd try to make Garble the sensitive one.

    Gargar?

    Sneezing lava can't be that pleasant.

    Do lava surfers favor metal covers of surf songs? I did recently discover this one

    Good to see dragon's still listen to 'Shy.

    Can we get Shatner to do his take on Garble's poetry? Full Rocket Man.

    So is improv poetry another one of 'Shy's skills?

    The point joke was so bad, Smolder.

    Is this Garble's redemption?

    Garble's crew seemed more immature than before.
     
  10. Recurrent Trotting

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    one of my fave flutter eps :3 she was so cute and fierce this ep. There's nothing wrong with being a pony

    someponies didn't like Garble but for me he wasn't the focus of the ep. For me the focus was Flutters supporting Spike with Ember and Smolder as great dragon background. All those characters (even Spike.. who I'm not a huge fan of) absolutely nailed the ep. Garbs and co were just doing forgettable dragon nonsense
     
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  11. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    It's pretty rare that I'm this late to watch a new ep, but oh well, I got a double dose of new pony today. :p

    Flutters was great this episode. She was sweet, gentle and adorable, and yet fierce and assertive when the situation called for it. It's also nice to see that she's seemingly definitely over her fear of big dragons.

    I liked the point that Spike is strong because he isn't afraid to be himself, despite what others might think.

    It was nice to see Ember again, and I was amused by the fact that they referenced her inability to recognise individual ponies. ("AppleDash"? :p)

    I've gotta say though, other than Spike, I found the other dragons' participation in the story kind of... unsatisfying, I guess. It makes some sense, that Garble bullies Spike to compensate for his own insecurities and to make himself "look" better to others. But at the same time...
    he never really apologised to Spike for the way he treated him in the past; although he got over his fear of expressing his love of poetry in front of the other dragons, this was seemingly played for laughs and as a plot device rather than as a genuine strength.

    This episode was definitely better than Non-Compete Clause, but that's not exactly a high bar to get over. :p
     
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  12. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

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    I'm really late to commenting on this ep, but better late than never right?

    It was great to see Ember again. It was fun seeing her scare the wits out of the other dragons when she yelled at them for moving the rock and taking the lava away from the eggs. I also laughed at her reaction to Fluttershy asking if all the eggs were hers. Such an innocent question with some non-family friendly implications!

    So Smolder is related to Garble, and isn't related to Ember by the looks of things. At least we have clarification on that now. A shame she was rather oblivious to Garble bullying Spike throughout the ep. He pushed him into a lava pool in front of her for crying out loud!

    The laughter fire was rather contrived. We've seen dragons laugh plenty of times before this with no flames and it was clear this was just made up so Garble could save the day later. At first I thought Spike's blanket weaving was going to save the day, and it could've easily been a lesson for Garble about not being afraid to share his interests.

    I did enjoy this episode despite it's faults. It was more enjoyable than a number of other episodes this season, although it didn't hit the heights of Frenemies or the 200th ep.
     
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  13. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    On balance, I'm coming down on the side that this was a good episode and am willing to forgive its flaws. Always had mixed feelings about the dragons and episodes set in the dragon lands... on the other hand I do really like Ember and really pleased to see her again in a fairly major role. Fluttershy was also good in this. Not so sure about the ending, yes Garble was brave enough to be himself and that's all good, but didn't the eggs hatch because the other dragons were laughing at him? That seems like a bit of a mixed message to me.

    (I realise you posted this a while ago, I'm just catching up). I don't think that was the intended message though, I think it's only the stereotype the dragons held, that writing poetry makes you a softy - and that's why he had to hide it. I think by the end Garble is still meant to be a tough dragon - but writing poetry is a better outlet for that side of him than picking on others.
     
  14. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    Giving this episode another watch; it was a real drag to be honest. Fluttershy gushing over the baby dragons was about the only real enjoyment I got out of it.
     
    #14 Oilyvalves, 30 June 2019
    Last edited: 30 June 2019
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  15. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

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    (No problem with a long gap between replies. I've got slightly behind on episodes myself.)

    The idea that it was a stereotype held by the other dragons does make more sense. I suppose it comes down to two competing definitions of the word softy: being in touch with your emotions and acting like a doormat. The stereotype was that writing poetry made him a weak-willed softy in the "doormat" sense of the word, which he clearly isn't. What he was, and what I assumed he was trying to hide, was in touch with his emotions. And on reflection you do have to be in touch with your emotions to at least some degree to write poetry, so... I'm not sure where I'm going with this post.
     
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