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Spotlight on The Cutie Mark Crusaders - Week 7

Discussion in 'MLP: Re-Living the Journey' started by Bridle Timeout, 14 February 2016.

  1. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

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    [​IMG]

    THIS WEEK'S EPISODES:

    Brotherhooves Social (Season 5, Episode 17) - Big Mac volunteers to be Apple Bloom's sister for the Sisterhooves Social while Applejack is out of town.

    Crusaders of the Lost Mark (Season 5, Episode 18) - The Cutie Mark Crusaders discover another side to Diamond Tiara when they help Pipsqueak run for class president against her.

    Going to keep this very short, as watching these two episodes has me feeling rather emotionally drained. I needed a lot of tissues, for "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" in particular. :p

    The first time I watched "Brotherhooves Social", it felt like a filler episode through most of it. It was entertaining filler, but I didn't think it would have any big impact on the great scheme of things. Then Big Mac gave his little speech to Apple Bloom, and that makes this entire episode for me. It put everything in perspective, and shows just how much he cares about his little sister, and I felt sorry for him. He just wanted to be a hero for AB, not realising that he always was one.

    I knew I wanted to use a screenshot of the CMC with their cutie marks for the title image. When I was looking through screenshots for "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", I actually started tearing up, just looking at the stills of when they finally got them, and I hadn't even re-watched the episode yet.

    There have been plenty of scenes where I just wanted to hug one of the ponies and tell them that everything will be okay. Before I saw this episode for the first time, I never would have expected that there would be a scene where I would feel that way towards Diamond Tiara of all ponies.

    Another thing I remember from my first watch was near the end, after DT got the new playground equipment for the school, thinking "Wow, this was actually very good and emotional" Then "it" happened... :) The CMC finally get their marks, and that scene and the song have as much emotional impact on me as the first time I saw it. I'm so proud of them and the new chapter of their lives that their just stepping into. :)
    CMC Cutie Mark vectors by KyssS90 on deviantArt.​
     
    Danishbrony2011 and CuldeeFell like this.
  2. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    All right then!

    Brotherhooves Social is an odd episode. It takes place at the same time as "Made in Manehattan", and as with when they did this sort of thing in S3 I'm not sure it actually works terribly well. I like this episode more, but most of that is for the wonderful scene at the end. If you want one indication of how important family truly is to the Apples, then that's it. As for the rest -- I pretty much agree with what @Bridle Timeout says above. You can see how upset Big Mac is in the early part of the episode when Apple Bloom is ignoring him. As for the "Big Mac in a dress" thing, well, okay. I did find it grating after a bit, but I can live with it.

    And then there's Crusaders of the Lost Mark. While it's neither my choice for best episode of S5 (that'd be "Amending Fences") or my favourite episode of all time ("Hurricane Fluttershy"), this is nevertheless an amazingly special ep. It's one of the very rare episodes that I can watch again and again without ever getting bored with. Yes, there are niggles if you want to be picky (eg Spoiled Rich is in town, then almost immediately adjourning from a school board meeting) but you know what? I don't care. It's wonderful. Even now, when I watch it, I find myself grinning like an idiot and even punching the air at that moment.

    Those emotions include resignation ("Oh no, the CMC are still obsessed with their cutie marks"), amusement (Pip's run for president), annoyance (Diamond Tiara appears), satisfaction (Silver Spoon finally stands up to DT), awkwardness (we realise why DT is like that), warmth (Apple Bloom says they should check DT is all right), hope (is DT really going to reform?), disappointment (it looks like she isn't), relief (it turns out she is), applause (DT is reformed, nice episode guys), confusion (hey, there are still several minutes left), contentment (the CMC are finally going to stop obsessing), surprise (hang on, what's going on?), anticipation (can it really be...?), delight (they are! They are!), bittersweetness (AJ's "mom and dad" remark) and -- yes -- pride (during the flashbacks). And when it's all over? Happiness. Sheer elation.

    I've missed some out, but surely that's enough to be going on with! How can a 22-minute advert for plastic toys do that to my emotions? No idea, but clearly it can, because it did. Yes, in my case there was an extra dimension (it aired while I was at a wonderful convention), but even without that aspect I think I'd feel much the same. It's not as if there are many kids' cartoons that run story arcs lasting almost 100 episodes, but this one has. And it's an absolute triumph. If only it wasn't so late, I'd go and watch it again right now. I certainly will tomorrow. It makes me that happy. :D
     
    Oilyvalves and Bridle Timeout like this.
  3. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    Brotherhooves Social

    Wasn't that fussed about this one before, and haven't re-watched it many times. But really quite liked it this time. The cross-dressing thing isn't my cup of tea, but it's easy to look pass that. The characterisation of all characters involved here is so strong, it's remarkable what this show can achieve. Kudos to Dave Polsky. Even Granny Smith is perfectly tolerable; they seemed to have dialed back her 'Cooky Old Lady-ness'. The CMC are fun to watch as they react to 'Orchard Blossom'. Seeing Scoots and Rainbow team up is soooo good to see :D. There's also the other cute sister teams like Berry Punch and Pina Colada, Carrot Top and Noi etc.

    There's a moment during the 'Sisterhooves' song as AB realises that Big Mac knows all the words, and she breaks into a smile. That's so heart warming to see, as she's actually starting to appreciate the effort he's putting in.

    The message from the judges near the end is such a good one. It doesn't matter that Big Mac's competing or that he's cross-dressing, but it does matter that he cheated. This is really a Big Mac episode, and I don't really need to say how fantastic the scene on the hilltop is.
     
  4. Oilyvalves

    Oilyvalves Railway Pony

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    After 19 previous CMC episodes, it's finally time "we beat her and play a better game, 'cause when we..." we've reached the last in the longest running arc of the show.

    This is my attempt at putting into words my experience of:
    Crusaders of the Lost Mark

    So I was at UK Ponycon, and things were wrapping up in the evening. My friends and I were debating whether to stay a bit longer, but then we agreed it'd probably be better to get home in time to watch the latest episode of the show before catching some well-needed sleep.

    So I took the journey home, already looking forward to Sundays festivities, sat down at my computer at home and put the episode on. Crying ensued. Then once the episode finished I went to bed and attempted to fall asleep, but the thing I'd just watched was making me feel like tearing up again. Just.. wow.

    Since the rest of season 5 aired, I've decided this is my favourite episode of the series. I admit it isn't perfect; there's a couple of little niggles, like Cheerilee being so unrealistically bad as a teacher, and Diamond Tiara's reason for being a bully feeling a little cheap. But I will say this. The last four minutes or so of the episode I think are absolutely perfect.

    I know we were supposed to watch these 're-living the journey' episodes one-after-the-other in order, but being honest I probably re-watch this episode about once a week. I did just view it again now, and it still has an effect on me, but I kinda know it too well now. One thing I did pick up on this time; you can see little hints during the episode of things being wrapped up properly, like Luna having a contented expression at the end. She did have a fairly big part to play in the CMC's development.

    Probably the best aspect of the episode is the music. I really love all the songs; the emotion being played out, and the superb harmonies achieved by the 3 VAs. The way the background score blends with and re-imagines the songs is super brilliant as well.

    After this episode came out, the remaining episodes of the season gave the CMC a rest, placing them in secondary or background roles. I'm very much looking forward to how season 6 handles their first focus episode post-marks.

    I think the reason I like the episode so much is that it's got so much great stuff packed into it. Even if the CMCs didn't get their marks, D.T's redemption arc still wouldn't been more than enough to carry the episode, and the musical element makes it a winner in any case. Combining all three of those elements together produced a star. This is one of Amy Keating Rogers' last episodes, and I'm really grateful to her for the effort she put into this.

    I think that's enough for now. All that's left to say: *Hugs Scootaloo Plushie! :D*
     
    #4 Oilyvalves, 8 March 2016
    Last edited: 9 March 2016
  5. Danishbrony2011

    Danishbrony2011 Recognised Pony

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    Crusaders of the Lost Mark is the episode I had been waiting for since I joined in autumn 2011.
     

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