Well, that's it. Season two is over.
And what a ride it's been.
Season one set the bar high, and I don't think I was the only one just a little bit nervous about the concept of a second one. During that summer drought of no new episodes, many assumed that the fandom would decrease in size and perhaps die out all together. Against everyone's expectations, the pony train kept going forward at full steam, and accelerated beyond what anyone would have imagined. When the second season hit the airwaves, our unorthodox audience was more numerous and more enthusiastic than when the first season had ended.
We've had a lot of highs and a lot of lows during the airing of these twenty-six episodes, and I'd like to think that we ended on a high note yesterday. Perhaps not the perfect high note, but it's definitely up a few octaves.
I've heard through the grapevine that some members of DHX Media read these followups. I'm not going to spoil your report card before the break- but you guys got an A in my book. Bravo.
Take one last ride with me, ponies, as I do my best to wrap up the season finale of season two of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
|Om nom nom nom|
Is the mushy stuff over? Oh, good, now I can make off-color jokes for an entire post.
Gotta get it out of my system.
Twilight got a great big dollop of character development during this scene that was awesome to see. Not only did we get to hear about her brother, but the rest of the episode is neatly set up in such a short time.
Oh, and the sandwich thing was awesome.
The first song we hear about Twilight and her brother is called, according to Daniel Ingram, "B.B.B.F.F.". It's been a while since we've heard Twilight sing, so that was nice!
|Rarity at excitement level 3/10. You don't want to see a ten.|
I love Rarity. Just saying.
|This window shade string makes Twilight sad.|
I'm not saying that Meghan McCarthy totally sidestepped having to explain what a bachelor's party was twice... but she totally did. I was amused.
I'm glad that the bubble shield was given a proper explanation and place in the episode, because I was totally confused as to why it was there the first time I saw it, even if it was cool-looking. That may have been because of the way we saw Twilight use it in Ponyville Confidential, or it may be because I'm pretty thick.
Probably just the latter.
|Seen here: Celestia being a |
Then we get to meet Shining Armor, Twilight's brother that we've just now heard about. It seems that everyone in Twilight's family has a connection to royalty. Being captain of the royal guard is no small feat, and being tasked alone with keeping that shield bubble up means that Armor is a serious magic user- on Twilight's level, at least, if not more powerful.
Also, unshorn fetlocks.
|Shining Armor- number one badass.|
Before I start talking about Cadance, I just wanted to show this because it's cute as hell.
So, yeah, Cadance.
That appears to be the official spelling as opposed to the similar-sounding word 'cadence', which refers to the rhythmic flow of something, usually music. I guess it makes sense, since she doesn't appear to be related to music at all.
Cadance shares Luna's body type- that is, thinner than Celestia, but still as horse-like. I would say that this appears be an alicorn feature, but then there's Fleur de Lis to consider, who has the same body type. Speaking of alicorns, Cadance in general seems to take alicorns down a peg. I've heard in more than one extrapolation of the universe that alicorns are always super powerful, godlike, or immortal. This doesn't appear to be the case here, but we don't really have a lot of context or explanation of her origins. That's fine, but I'm still curious. I doubt we'll get an answer.
Something to note: Lauren Faust did not originally intend for Cadance to be an alicorn.
The only other thing I can say about her right now (other than the fact that her 'evil' form reminds me too much of Diamond Tiara) is that her special talent of spreading love is just a tad... creepy. Maybe it was just the way it was presented. Speaking of that talent...
That's totally Sibsy's pony right there. That's awesome. I flipped when I saw that.
[Sibsy = Sabrina Alberghetti, a storyboard artist for the show.]
|Applejack's cupcakes can make anyone happy, apparently.|
|This was so delightfully meta. I can't not like it.|
"Secret butt fun time!"
"No, Cadance, no!"
I've heard more than one person tell me that they knew Cadance was evil the moment they saw her horn glow with green magic. I guess that's as good a clue as any.
What about Spike, though?
|Seen here: Celestia |
Yep, Lyra totally has a voice now, as does Colgate. I also haven't seen Phoe in a while. I'm sure the two aren't related in any way, though.
|I'm really liking the cutie mark motif going on here.|
I also flipped when I saw this. This reveal was done rather well, as it leaves room for doubt later on- at least, it left room for doubt with me, but as we've established, I'm thick.
Also, remind me to never get a headache around Cadance.
I have wracked my brain for hours for a reason for Luna's strange lines (and appearance) in this scene, but I still don't have an explanation for them.
"Who goes there?!"
"Stay indoors, Twilight Sparkle!"
"Be sure to brush your teeth after every meal!"
"Remember- not more than two thousand calories a day, as directed by your dietician!"
"Wash your hooves with soap and magic!"
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy really liked their dresses, I guess.
I take that back, Rainbow Dash does have a really cool dress.
I've been trying to avoid highlighting only awesome faces, but Twilight made like a hundred of them and if I highlighted them all this followup would be bigger than it already is.
That said, this is cute.
|Okay, one more face. Two. Two more faces. I'm done, I swear.|
Like I alluded to just above, Shining Armor's explanation for all of Cadance's strange behavior actually had me doubting the evil theory a bit for a few minutes. I'm going to chalk it up to good writing, or maybe I was just distracted by Cadance's mane. It's entirely possible.
I mean, look at it. It's like cotton candy.
Wait, no, she's just evil. I guess that answers that.
This is the semi-automatic version of Twilight's magic laser cannon. We get to see the Gatling version later, but it requires a Pinkie Pie to operate.
|Hey, I didn't put them in this position, the animators did.|
The second song we get in this episode is called, again, according to Daniel Ingram, "This Day Aria". For all of you who wanted a villain song, this was your lucky day.
Oh, by the way, Cadance can really sing. This was Disney-tier work. I can't give it a higher compliment. Well done.
|And then Colgate, Lyra, and whomever were zombies.|
I was writing that caption and then I realized I don't know who that other pony's name is. Someone inform me in the comments after you're done correcting my typos.
|"Stop right there, evildoer!"|
Before we continue, the production name for this villain is 'Queen Chrysalis', though this is never said in the episode itself.
I suppose that she thought that she was close enough to breaking through Canterlot's shield barrier to reveal herself, but this was still kind of silly. She went totally Bond Villain, including the explanation of her evil plan, instead of trying to bluff her way out of the situation like she had previously. Required for the plot to proceed, I suppose, but I feel as though it was rushed.
Gotta say, though- that character design is genuinely frightening. Not even cartoon violence kind of frightening; genuinely scary-looking. Props to the artists.
|Best strategy ever.|
Aw, yeah, kick her ass, Celestia! As soon as I saw her step into the picture I was sure that she was going to be able to at least hurt Chrysalis in some fashion.
I mean, she can move the freakin' sun, right?
See what I mean about alicorns getting taken down a few pegs in this episode? Take note, fanfiction writers (myself included in that statement)- Celestia is not all-powerful. She's not someone to take lightly, but she can be defeated.
And so, with that begins one of the best fight scenes in this history of cartoons. We're ignoring Samurai Jack for the next ten minutes.
|I'll say it again- genuinely scary-looking.|
I can only assume that the forces guarding Canterlot were taken out when the the Changelings broke through the shield. Maybe they landed on them first. It's never explained, but am I the only one who was really anticipating a huge battle between the Canterlot forces and these things? That probably would have taken up most of the budget for this episode though.
What's better than one Twilight Sparkle? Six Twilight Sparkles.
Yeah, kick their asses!
|I spit my drink at this scene.|
Seen here: previously-mentioned Gatling Twilight Laser Cannon.
Not seen here: Party Cannon as an offensive weapon. Who would have thought?
Well, at least they tried. It's been argued at me that the purpose of the preceding scene was to give Evil!Cadance time to get comfortable and give Twilight the opportunity to free Real!Cadance for the ending scene. Makes sense to me- again, it's never really elaborated on in the show.
And then the major ending events occur.
This isn't the first time one of the two-part episodes' ending has felt a little rushed. I'm tending at this point to put more blame on the awkward time limit than the writers themselves. Their (commendable) tendency for including more overarching and epic plotlines is sort of curtailed by the fact that you could have filled a whole movie with this episode's story, and they just had to make due with what they were given as far as a time limit. It shows, to my dismay.
I will applaud the active avoidance of using the Elements of Harmony as another deus ex machina. That would have gotten a little stale the third time around, I think!
|Also, apparently only unicorns can get married, apparently.|
"Guys, you would not believe the amount of whining going on in the Bioware forums right now. Anyway, what did I miss?"
Only the whole season, Luna. Only the entire season.
|"LET'S SPIN THIS S-squee-!"|
One more song name, courtesy of Daniel: this last one is called "Love is In Bloom", and it features more of Twilight singing, which was the best thing ever until Cadance sang.
Don't hate me, I'm just the messenger.
I've heard magenta. I've heard that the light is wrong and they're actually red.
All I have to say is: close enough. I'm happy.
Community-submitted stuff follows:
The AV Club Reviews The Finale
I thought this would be an interesting tidbit of info to share. The fight scene against the changlings had a shot that plays out very similarly to one in The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
Powerpuff Girls beating up the monkeys (9:14):
Mane 6 beating up the changlings (12:41):
It could be an homage to the cartoon Faust is most famous for working on, Powerpuff Girls.
That wraps it up, ponies. Season two is over. We made it through one drought and we can make it through another one.
If anyone from DHX Media is still reading (or ever reads this at all), let me be the first to congratulate you on a successful second season. We all loved it. I loved it. We can't wait to see what you guys have cooking for season three. Keep doing what you're doing, because you're doing it right!
Until then, this is Cereal Velocity signing off.