• "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone": Episode Followup

    Well, it took 94 episodes, but here we are.  I don't know how many of you expected to ever see Gilda again, but it happened, more than four whole seasons later.

    I'm Pegasus Rescue Brigade, bringing you my first episode followup of the new season.  This week, veteran writer Amy Keating Rogers brought us an episode featuring a whole lot of heart, one of the oldest minor characters in the entire series.

    Let's talk about "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" after the break.

    So, we started off this week with what I thought was one of the most adorable cold opens we've seen in a while: Pinkie and Gummy baking together.  Or at least, to the extent that Gummy can be considered to be doing anything with anypony, ever.

    I'm beginning to wonder if there's a dragon somewhere in the highest boughs of Pinkie's family tree.

    I'm pretty sure this little guy does not move from that spot for the entire episode.  Sometimes I wonder if he's really just a stuffed doll or something, and any lifelike characteristics he exhibits, much like the inanimate objects in "Party of One", are simply a figment of Pinkie's imagination.

    I think I read a fanfic like that once.

    We've seen this happen enough times now that I think it's reasonable to assume Pinkie Pie uses the same hair-care product that created the Mane-iac.

    "Tiny denizens of Griffonstone, I am your god now!"

    One thing that I immediately noticed a lot of fans reacted to was the amount of worldbuilding in this episode.  A griffon kingdom has been speculated about for a long time, and this sequence delivered to us not only a canon setting for it, but historical details to back it up.

    Plus we got some really cool storybook art for these histories.  Kudos to the animators for exploring different styles when the opportunity arises.

    "Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned important princess business is really, really boring."

    "Y'know Pinkie, Twilight's writing is just fine, but her art needs a little work."

    I think I read a fanfic like this once, too.

    "We'll take the lot!"
    Are there any chocolate frogs among those treats, Pinkie?

    This screenshot is here because of cute hats and creepy smiles.  I don't actually have anything to say about it.

    Top quality followup I'm doing here.

    Conspiracy time: Twilight knew Griffonstone was a dump but is required for political reasons to make it sound awesome.  Being a princess must be tricky.

    And then, the dramatic moment!  Gilda was our very first minor antagonist, beating out even Trixie by a single episode.  Personally, I wasn't desperate to see her reappear, but given the circumstances, I was excited to see her show up again.

    Some of the fans weren't, though.  A few of you really hold a grudge when it comes to someone bullying Fluttershy, huh?

    "Is my attempt to break the tension working yet?  How about now?  Now?"

    Seriously though, following up on what I just discussed, Pinkie actually amazes me with her ability not to hold a grudge.  Gilda has literally never been friendly to her, and she's still all smiles.

    Somehow, the appearance of this guy's house and his general attitude makes he wonder if he's half cuckoo instead of half eagle.

    Gilda's heard this story once or twice before.

    This monster immediately caught my attention, and the attention of a lot of other fans who know some details about older generations of MLP.  He bears enough similarity to Grogar from generation one that I thought for a moment he might be generation four's adaptation of the character.  As far as I know, he's not, but maybe one day we'll see him appear as well.  Tirek and the Smooze managed just fine, after all.

    The Abysmal Abyss?  Ghastly Gorge?  Is it some kind of rule in Equestria that huge, dangerous canyons be named with alliteration?

    "Do you have a caption for this screenshot?"
    "Do you have enough bits for one?"

    This is going to be one weird wave of shipping art and fanfics.

    The fact that this sign needs to exist is hilarious.  Spontaneous musical numbers are much funnier when the characters are aware of them occuring.

    "Tell me where the baked goods are right now, dang it!  I need my fix!"

    I like how Pinkie's mane contributed to the indentation, not just her body.

    Once again, her exact choice of hair-care products are called into question.

    These few seconds must have been incredibly interesting to animate.  Pinkie goes through a hoofful of totally bizarre faces in just a few moments.

    "I'm smiling because I have really good dental coverage."

    Gilda does not understand this whole "Jazz Hands" thing.

    You can almost hear the synapses struggling to send a message,

    Poor Dash.  Trapped on a ledge in a deadly ravine.  Looks like she's a pegasus in need of some kind of rescue brigade, huh?

    Get it?  Because...

    Yeah.  Moving on.

    Unfortunately, instead of that, she had to settle for Pinkie Pie.

    Gilda was never a character I associated with "heart-attack-inducingly adorable."  Times sure do change.

    It's interesting that griffons start out with wings the same size as a pony's.  Gilda's wings are much bigger than Dash's now.

    You know, even though we heard this chant ages ago, and were fully aware that Dash and Gilda used to chant it at flight school, it still really hit home with me to see it happen here, mainly because the version in "Griffon the Brush Off" was so insincere on Gilda's part.  It's the kind of joy you can only experience when you've settled for a cheap knockoff for a long time before suddenly being given the real thing, like how all toys of Princess Celestia used to be pink, and then suddenly we got correctly colored ones.

    And we all thought Gilda would never be reformed.

    "Alright, bronies, who's next for reformation?  Chrysalis?  Diamond Tiara?"

    Somewhere around this moment, I realized something.  Dash shrugged off Pinkie's suggestions on how to help Griffonstone and went off to do her own thing.  Later on, Pinkie dove into an accursed canyon and faced basically certain death in order to try to save her friend.

    Which one is the Element of Loyalty, again?

    Really?  We're making this reference and Daring Do isn't here?

    "Fluffy" and "Delicious" are now terms that can be legitimately used to describe friendship, apparently.

    Or something.  I'm out of jokes already,  Good thing we're almost done.

    New headcanon: griffons have extremely powerful vocal abilities.  Gilda didn't even yell very loudly here, and she still blew Dash and Pinkie's manes back.  When she actually yelled in earnest earlier in the episode, Pinkie left a Pinkie-shaped dent in a stone wall.

    Forget the beaks and talons and catlike speed and agility; griffons can probably come out on top in any combat situation just by screaming a lot.

    "I'll always remember you, Pinkie Pie."

    "Oh, don't be sad, King Grover.  We'll be seeing a lot of each other in the fan content real soon..."

    I have to admit I'm disappointed that there wasn't a finished, perfectly crafted fifteen-layer cake next to Gummy in this scene.

    It must still be in the oven.  Yeah.  That's it.

    Well, that's all there is to say about this one.  Stay strong for that three week hiatus, guys.  Episode 100 is next, and I have a feeling all of us are going to have something to discuss about that one.

    Thanks for reading!