|"Friends", by Jiayi|
[EDIT: The followup has been amended to remove any criticism of the ending. My basis for complaints was based on a misinterpretation of a scene and was factually incorrect.]
Never has an episode title been so appropriate.
The lord of chaos is back! After surviving a mere season and a half without our favorite cobbled-together-from-lots-of-animals villain (to distinguish from our favorite attacked-by-a-hole-punch villain) we finally get more of a taste of John de Lancie's fantastic mannerisms and shenanigans. Fluttershy takes center stage as Celestia hands Discord off to be reformed by the mane six in an effort to... well, we're not sure exactly what yet, but I'm sure we'll be told. I'm sure it will involve friendship and magic of some kind.
Floating cottages, vulgar beavers, and my opinion as to Discord's favorite band await us down below in today's followup. Let's-a go!
|A lady never leaves home without her anti-Pinkie spray.|
I guess this solves the age-old question of whether or not you can polish a marshmallow. Someone tell Jamie and Adam. Don't tell Kary, though. I want to see her try.
|HURR I'M A HOERS|
Okay, sorry, I paused on that frame by accident and spit my drink. Moving on.
|"Oh, god, not the Hub logo! Anything but the Hub logo!"|
Kind of curious why Celestia didn't call the mane six to Canterlot where they could presumably keep a better eye on Discord's reformation. Well, then I guess we wouldn't have gotten the rotating cottage thing. Still. Missed opportunity.
Whoa, damn. Didn't see this coming.
Chill, Twilight. I'm sure Celestia knows exactly what she's doing.
See, she even brought the plot dev- uh, Elements with her. She's totally got this.
Wait, she put a spell on them to prevent anyone from hiding them? Man, that would have come in handy the first time Discord showed up. Or at any point in the show. Or ever.
I would just like to point out that we were explicitly told that both Fluttershy and Applejack were missing, and that here Celestia only asks for Fluttershy.
If you know me at all you'll know why I found that hilarious.
Yes, I know why she only asked for Fluttershy, don't email me.
|I like to pretend there are very vulgar subtitles that we never saw for the beavers.|
|Okay, that was pretty smart.|
"I know you're constantly characterized as a soft-spoken pegasus who likes to avoid conflict wherever possible and you primarily deal with animals, but I think you're the best choice to reform a chaotic demigod that is literally made of like six different animals."
"I am like twice your size and my mane is literally made of magic don't argue with me."
|Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to fly this way...|
|... right onto my chariot...|
|... being pulled by other pegasi. Yes.|
Yeah, that was pretty much my face, too, Twilight.
Oh hey, look, it's the Elements of Harmony again. I forget how long it's been since we've seen those. Unfortunately, they look just as silly on everyone as they did in season one.
This was pretty, though, I'll give them that. The animation does get more elaborate each time.
|Right into the best personification of noodle-arming I have ever seen.|
And the first thing he does after being released from stone is he starts casually turning animals into enormous scary creatures with tattoos. I love this guy.
|"Yep, it's a pony!"|
This episode was helmed and written by Dave Polsky, and from what we've seen from his previous episodes he is very good at visual gags, if they're appropriate for the setting. Discord- in case you couldn't tell- is one giant visual gag, so I ended up liking the majority of the things he made Discord do.
Side note, this was adorable and hilarious.
|Exhibit A: This was also funny.|
So, now we know that The Stare works on...
- Mythical creatures
- Talking creatures
I completely missed this the first time I watched it, but Discord just totally broke the fourth wall there. I can only assume Pinkie's face implies she knows exactly what's going on.
Look at her. Look at her eyes.
"I saw what you did there. That's my job."
|"This doesn't feel family-friendly!"|
|Custom Discord Lamp, on eBay for only $350!|
There's actually a cool bit of cognitive dissonance being developed here. The viewer is clearly supposed to be on the side of the other five instead of Fluttershy, but at the same time they're forced to acknowledge the fact that her way is probably the best way to go about this whole reformation thing. You get that whole tearing of loyalties thing. At least, I did. When I wasn't being lulled into a trance by de Lancie's voice.
That man could narrate paint drying and I'd listen to it.
Replace Discord with a cat and keep the clothes, and you have half of Imgur in this one frame.
"Are you eating paper?"
"I am, and it's delicious! What's in it?"
"... this is murder."
"Eat it up, ya sick freak."
|I just noticed he was wearing bunny slippers. Kind of macabre, actually.|
|"My fanfics will have a solution, I know it!"|
Did this scene make anyone else sick? It made me sort of sick.
It was also around this point that I realized what sort of music that Discord would listen to in his spare time, in his upside-down world full of chocolate moons: The Mars Volta.
I listened to The Bedlam in Goliath in its entirety while writing this. So now you know.
Also, bonus points if you caught the Wilhelm Scream in this scene.
|"It's going great, what could possibly go wrong? Let's have a dinner party!"|
It's been a trend for a while now, but it still makes me sad. This is one of Rarity's only speaking lines and it's about a dress. I'm not sure why we didn't get a Rarity episode this season- probably just time constraints- so I've gotta enjoy every scene she gets.
Okay, moving on.
How many outfits has Discord had on this episode? I think we're on at least four.
Also, Rarity looks like she's gonna sneeze.
|Today I learned Fluttershy's cottage was painted by Picasso.|
Wait a second, I smell a reference here. Hold on... it's on the tip of my tongue...
Uuuh... wait, almost there...
Oh, yeah. Got it.
By the way, I'm just gonna point out that they're using brown (giblet) gravy. Gravy is usually made out of meat drippings mixed with flour and other things. Essentially what I'm saying is this meal just got a whole lot weirder.
Fun fact to cancel out the carnivorous undertone: Tabitha St. Germain is credited as voicing the gravy boat.
|Dash also handily wins best face for this episode.|
|APPLES APPLES APPLES APPLES|
I... uh, I don't know how they got Sweet Apple Acres from this, actually. My first thought was 'apple juice'. Can anyone explain this to me?
Also, someone wake Twilight up.
Hey, look, it's the return of the extremely vulgar beavers!
I was going to start typing out some subtitles for them, but I realized halfway through that I'd break the PG rating of these followups pretty quick. Who has two hooves and no self-restraint? This guy.
The continuing cognitive dissonance- we still want to side with Fluttershy because she's trying her best, and much like the dinner party, Discord shows a sign here and there that he's beginning to listen.
|"Congratulations, hoof, you're the new Fluttershy."|
Well, that worked out splendidly. Once again: Discord has taken advantage of Fluttershy's passive approach, but there's cracks around the edges of his demeanor.
"You think I'm going to change everything back just because you said so? I can do whatever I want, whenever I want! I'm Discord! The master of chaos!"
|"Ah. Well played, Fluttershy. Well played."|
|See above: Fluttershy's best "I can't believe that worked" face.|
|"I promise not to turn your castle into bananas."|
Is it just me, or does Celestia's mane just get bigger every time she appears? Look at her tail, it's positively enormous. Maybe it's just these strange mushrooms that I found, though.
|"Thunderlane's got a cute butt."|
As a last image-based farewell... look at Rainbow Dash. Just look at her. What the heck is she doing? Whistling? All I can hear when I look at her is, "oooooh, what's that? :D"
Followup completed! Achievement Unlocked! Ten pony points!
The Entire Episode Upside-Down and Backwards