• "Twilight Time": Episode Followup

    A Princess Twilight episode that actually treats her like a princess? Sure, she got a couple of episodes this season where that side of her comes out to play, but this is really the first time we get to see those wings of hers get her into something else besides those wild, open skies.

    Check out this week's followup for "Twilight Runs a Daycare" after the break!

    In keeping with the original purpose of these followups as highlighting the things you may have missed upon viewing, here's a picture of Twilight as a supporting character in this episode. Pretty nifty, huh? There's not much more to point out here.

    I feel like I've read this scene in so many fics that it didn't really hit me that it was going on in the show, either -- but Twilight's totally teaching Sweetie Belle how to do magic. With this and Scootaloo's tenth-life crisis in "Flight to the Finish", it's nice to see the show taking the CMCs beyond treating them as earth ponies.

    This also isn't the first time we've see Friendship is Magic take a page from The Sorcerer's Apprentice with the broomstick, as we see whenever it's re-shelving day at the library.

    If any of you ever wonder what it's like to hang around Sethisto on a given day, take a look at Spike back there. This blog's been around for just over three years, and Seth'll still happily sweep through emails on his phone no matter who he's hanging out with. His is a certain kind of zen few of us could ever hope to achieve.

    Pictured: the EqD inbox and token submitter. We love you!

    New squee sound effect for the animators out there! Not that I expect this one to remain novel for long, but it's nice to have a front-and-center alternative to that clip y'all've been using since "The Stare Master." You know the one.

    Is that Apple Bloom mixing potions? Complain if you want because it's Twilight teaching her and not Zecora, but the end result is the same.

    Fun fact: Apple Bloom's working a sequential oxidation of vanadium ions. Though the popular demonstration in introductory inorganic chem classes goes in reverse, the purple, blue, and yellow solutions we see here correspond nicely to the +2, +4, and +5 states in order. If you're into chemistry for the colors, go inorganic -- O-chemists spend a lot of time around white or pee-colored compounds.

    Here Twilight wishes someone would invent the fume hood already. Or general laboratory safety protocols.

    Oh yeah, this is Equestria. Forget everything I said up there so long as botched experiments bring about tributes to Little Shop of Horrors and not death.

    I'm hesitant to suggest the fandom's responsible for putting the credit writers on their toes like this, but you've got to admit this is frakkin' thorough of DHX. Excellent work, Andrea! You'll out-strangle Tabitha yet!

    Let's pretend that joke came out right and move right along.

    Yo, foursquare! Do kids today even know what that means apart from a social service that tracks you everywhere I go?

    Just kidding -- all of them do that now. Meanwhile, there's Pipsqueak! Apparently, his VA from "Luna Eclipsed" did that puberty thing in the intervening years, so they had to bring in a new one.

    I'm not one for violence, and I understand Diamond Tiara wouldn't be the same character if she even had the slightest shred of sympathetic character in her, but all I hear out of her mouth is "punch me in the face" and it doesn't even happen as subtext.

    Here's a pout.

    Here's a duck face.

    Know the difference -- you'll trick people into thinking you're smart.

    In the show's continuing interest of comedy at the expense of the elderly, here's Diamond Tiara's butler getting some unreal air.

    "Getting attention without doing anything" seems to be a common complaint leveraged against the higher echelons of the fandom.

    Oh, wait. I'm projecting my insecurities onto people who actually do stuff here. Take back!

    It worries me a bit that proper lab attire in Equestria only exists in Sweetie Belle's fantasies.

    My colleague Present Perfect was nice enough to point out the hollow sounds Sweetie Belle's head made under DT's hoof. Of all the things they're changing with Sweetie over the seasons, her ability to completely and adorably check out of reality is something I'm glad they're keeping with her.

    "We used to see her around town all the time, and I thought, 'Whatever.'"

    You know, I don't think there's enough appreciation for how spot-on the writing has to be in order to make these two so thoroughly despised for who they are. You could not get a more transparent confession from these two that they're only interested in knowing ponies for their connections, and the CMCs are thankfully wise to this after dealing with them for three and a half seasons.

    Scrunchy face!

    Funny how Apple Bloom can see how wrecked Sweetie's plan to rub their princess connection in will wind up, going so far as to call out the exact events that befall them later in the episode. After all, it was Sweetie Belle being the voice of reason when Babs Seed first came to town.

    Then again, Sweetie locked everyone's choice for best CMC back in Season 1 with her propensity for ill-conceived plans. Taking that away from her would be like depriving Dr. John Dorian of his legendary fantasies on Scrubs.

    I severely doubt Dave Polsky writes these episodes as fandom commentaries, but Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are doing exactly what any of us would do running into a show staffer at a con. Say what you want about "Daring Don't", because as primer for the do's and don'ts of fan/creator interaction it pretty much gets top marks.

    More and more it seems that the people of Ponyville don't understand what a public access library's there for, either...

    Apple Bloom is suddenly worried that she doesn't remember how often Diamond Tiara carries shears on her. Good thing Snips isn't around, or Tailless Sparkle would've been a thing from this point out.

    Can I believe that Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon haven't actually read a book in their lives? Please?

    Throughout the episode, Sweetie Belle claims she knows exactly how to handle things as they escalate from fires to bigger fires. Granted, she's not afraid of making mistakes not because she understands they're a part of the learning process, but because she 100% believes she's never going to make them -- and yet that mindset serves her better than it has any right to.

    This is a picture that explains why democracy is evil.

    This is a picture of all of your headcanons exploding. "Why would Twilight ever eat like this?" demands the outraged brony. "Because it's hilarious," says the staff, laughing in their pools of tears and money.

    My only complaint with this scene is that Mr. Polsky missed his chance to give Equestria its very own Whinny-Out Burger franchise, but other than that...

    Twilight's "honored" to be asked out for fast food and successfully wipes her face with a burger. Awkward doesn't even begin to describe this princess, even now.

    Everyone look at Scootaloo for a moment.

    Whoa! Did Pinkie always have a part-time job at the Hayburger, or did the Cakes raise the rent on her cupcake? It's good to see her here, though -- again she shows how well she shines as a character just by commenting on a situation as she sees it instead of going all random on everyone. That focus was her deal in Filli Vanilli, too, and hopefully people have cooled off about that in the intervening week.

    Some might also notice how Colgate and Berry Punch are sitting together in the back corner, too. Man, 2012 came calling quick.

    I guess the Pony Free Press is still alive and well, if Featherweight there's anything to go off of. Holy crap, that was in 2012, too!

    "When I don't smile in a picture, goblins come out of the ground and tease me."

    I was about to make a joke regarding the photos Twilight was signing here, but these are foals we're talking about. Let's save me the trip to hell and put it on you to supply the material instead.

    Forget the Helix. The Sweetie knoweth all.

    I bet the "keys" aren't what opens that box of Twilight's. It's all the hooves we've seen polished over the seasons, reflecting light into the holes at precise angles.

    Sweetie Belle's close to going full Cady Heron here, and I'm not sure how much I object to that.

    And then the show became The Trotting Dead, with a Fry pony thrown in because coherency is a thing networks laugh at before taking it out back to get shot.

    Are we still on this Seth-as-Spike joke? Are y'all tired of that yet? Can this picture just caption itself?

    "Games Ponies Play" was forever ago, but we definitely see some of the calmer Twilight from the end of that episode here. This is the same horse who freaked about missing an assignment deadline that never really existed in the first place, which really shows how she's developing as a future ruler in her own right. Not the most exciting facet of her character, but it's a solid one in conjunction with her lifelong passion for learning and education.

    "How many of you have felt personally victimized by Regi--" Shoot, wrong show.

    Pipsqueak, I can't see how that scooter belongs to you. It weighs more than you do.

    And not that Scootaloo's entirely justified in taking it apart just because he happened to tell Twilight the real reason why she had so many foals infesting her library, but Scootaloo's still young and judgmental and will proceed to take your face to the mat if you tick her off.

    This is the one moment all of you out there with 3D TVs bought them for. Congratulations!

    "Become a tree" has to be the most wooden direction I've ever heard. Thank you, I'm never going away.

    And then Applejack comes flying in to save the day with her knowledge of taming all things apple-rela-- what's that? We're not going with that script?

    Yeesh, then things are about to get awkward.

    I truly dislike talking about it, but Unicon happened on this weekend one year ago. In case you needed a recap of how that went down... *points up*

    A lot of the fun I had with this episode came from watching the consequences of Sweetie Belle's political maneuvers come back to bite her, even if Diamond Tiara was the pony supplying the teeth. Of course, in true vicious bimbo fashion, DT doesn't realize this is a bad time for scoring points with the powers that be, either.

    Drama, kids. No one looks good in it.

    This is a tough situation for anyone to be in -- doing the right thing after closing the window of opportunity on themselves. I've had my share of good things I let slip in the past, and I wasn't as lucky as these three to get them back after realizing what went wrong.

    Still -- Sweetie Belle can officially perform magic now. Just as it was with Fluttershy last week, it's a baby step, but a wholly welcome one.

    Now that the library's cleared out, you can hear the screams building in Spike's head. Cathy did a wonderful job with his "Come on!" here.

    I just realized Scootaloo's tail is long enough to get caught under that wheel if she goes backwards. Yeowch.

    And all right. I don't entirely get the point of these disguises -- but that's definitely a garbage can full of nachos out there and I'm a little sad they went to waste like that.

    CMC episodes have the unenviable position of needing to advance their narrative without taking too many definitive steps toward fulfilling it. Here, they're still after their cutie marks, but Sweetie Belle's taking lessons in Unicorn as well, while Apple Bloom and Scootaloo tend to pursuits that are already relevant in their daily lives. Mr. Polsky's done some wonderful work with the main line characters this season, but this episode has me looking forward to any further CMC adventures he might bring up down the road.

    Thanks for reading! I'm out.

    Bonus: Have Aquaman's take on the episode, since it's a lot more precise and hilarious than mine.