• "The Cutie Re-Mark", Parts I & II: Episode Followup

    This season has gone in circles a lot. Completing them, I mean. Not making them.

    We've had characters long since scrubbed from the show return with aplomb, completed a long-overdue but perfectly timed arc for three central characters, and even had an entire episode based on a ten second throwaway scene from the very first pilot. It's all been a poignant reminder of how far the show, every pony in it, and everyone making it possible has come. As it comes to a close, it's seeming like we're going to need a heck of a lot of icing for this cake.

    Leave that monumental task to Josh Haber, who seems to have a thing for alternate timelines or something.

    It might be a while before the show returns to the air, but just like Thanksgiving leftovers there's plenty to keep us entertained in the meantime. And as always, it is my solemn duty to give that sendoff by making fun of every last thing I can.

    Below the break, the followup for Starswirl The Bearded Destroys Equestria With Paper.

    Here we can see Twilight at her rehorseal.

    Man, you came in here on purpose, too.

    Twilight used Lecture! Spike fell asleep!

    Continuity! It's still a thing that continually happens!

    Some people ask me why I keep saying that every time an episode references a previous one. To that I would respond, "how dare you speak to me?"

    I suppose Twilight is a real professor now, even though the episode never really comes out and says it. Maybe she just does lectures on the side when she's not saving the entirety of Equestria on a regular basis.

    Twilight does her best to imitate a popcorn maker.

    The real point of this episode is that we learn that paper is as much Twilight's weakness as quesadillas.

    Twilight sure forgets she has wings a lot. Like, even more than once in this episode. It's been like two whole seasons, Purple Smart. At this point she doesn't have a leg to stand on. 

    Oh Celestia, that tomato was rotten. Not cool, guys.

    Come on, Twilight. Even Spike knows about the Temporal Prime Directive.

    It was quite nice for Spike to appear to be the voice of reason for more than a few moments during this episode. It balanced Twilight's general over-analysis and sometimes outright panic quite nicely. It's a fantastic example of how well these two have bonded over time.

    It's also how you write this dragon, damn it.


    It appears that in this timeline the Apple's farm follows the rules of video game farms- upgrade it enough over time and it becomes a food factory. Hey, you can do a lot when you completely abandon your principles, and/or war ceases to change.

    They also seem to have developed canning technology and assembly lines but somehow forgot to make the can sealer anything but a wooden hammer. Someone didn't follow their tech tree very well.

    Flutterdash confirmed.

    And Sombra's literally dozens of fans let out a cheer.

    What a set of armor, though. It's like he smashed together Roman headdresses with Power Armor and laser eyes and added a few spikes on everything for good measure. Sombra might have gotten his flank kicked the first time, but apparently he was prepared.

    Pattycake, the most devastating combat technique known to horses.

    It's not very surprising that in every alternate universe we see Rainbow Dash as a rough and tough military type, but holy cow, that's either an armored or a prosthetic wing. I don't know when I booked a ticket on the steampunk express, but I'm enjoying the ride.

    Looks like someone gave her an earful at some point, though.

    Oh hey look, Celestia did something other than delegate this time.

    Pale Purple Guard doesn't look very impressed, though. That could be the internal bleeding.

    Starlight, I'mma let you finish, but Sombra had the best crystals of all time.

    Alternate joke: Twilight learns to chill out.

    Starlight used ideological attack! It's super effective!

    I can't call this scene anything less than sinister. The complete disconnect between what Starlight is doing here, how Twilight attempts to stop her, and how all this looks to Fluttershy and the colts- knowing what we do from the premiere- is staggering.

    There is nothing I can say about this face that can be printed on Equestria Daily.

    Berry Punch doesn't even know how she got here. She woke up in the forest after the cider season premiere, saw everyone dressed up and hunting Changelings, and did what she could: her best.

    Zecora seems suspicious of these directors.

    No one directs Zecora but Zecora.

    That's quite an impressive application for a single hoof and a camera cut.

    Judging by everyone else's reaction though, I'm fairly certain this is the first time that potion has worked.

    I think it's oddly fitting that Zecora was the first and only pon- uh, zebra to figure out that their world was non-canon, so to speak. Mysticism and incantations are one thing, but showing off a character's intuition like that speaks volumes. I think I like her again.

    Literal mud pony.

    "You're a mare out of time. But all's not lost!"

    If you look very closely at the furthest hut, you can see a much lesser villain see how a real one destroys Equestria.

    If the Rainboom never happened, it would be quite the coincidence that these three would have the same cutie marks as their canonical counterparts. Of course, they are Changelings, but I figured I'd point it out anyway.

    I tried to count how many fanfics have become reality at this point, but I overflowed my calculator.

    Twilight confirmed for either an A-10 Thunderbolt or the aim of a Stormtrooper. I'm not sure which.

    Also, are any adult ponies in Cloudsdale going to take notice of this epic laser-filled battle between two very powerful magic users who are literally destroying this race circuit?

    I guess I answered my own question.

    Twilight ran out of animations, it seems. Unicorn lasers are expensive!

    I guess they had to justify the expense of those 3D Timberwolf models somehow.

    It's not that they're bad, but the animation is just as uncanny valley as their last appearance.

    That's racist.

    Twilight loved Zecora's rhyming scheme so much, it carried over into this scene.

    At this point I was pretty sure that Twilight was planning on bringing all of the now-undefeated villains together to the past to defeat Starlight in some epic battle to the death, but I like the real ending much better.

    Still, wait a week and I'm sure someone will write that fanfic.

    A week. Haha, who am I kidding?

    This scene probably made someone's day.

    It's hard to call a best face winner for this episode, but I'm putting this in the top three.

    The part they didn't explain is that Celestia and Luna are loving this.

    rekt ☑

    Before we enter the final sequence, a word: the dialogue in all of the scenes in Cloudsdale couldn't be more spot on.

    Usually the meta-analysis of the show from within comes from a character like Discord, but Starlight is different. We know what Twilight and the other five did and what an impact it made on her. On top of that, having someone else clearly fed up with Twilight's usual saving-the-world routine, and to put it so confidently that we as the viewers are almost convinced she's right, was a joy to watch.

    All hail Josh Haber.

    Not setting off the Rainboom has literally led to the complete desolation of Equestria.

    No one tell Dash, she will never shut up about it.

    Also, I don't mean to ruin an emotional scene like this, but I just saw Spike's face in the back there.

    Literal book horse. Sorry, Twi.

    Also, has any character in any medium with double ponytails not turned out to be evil?

    [actual horse noises]

    Twilight clearly has 10 Charisma to pull off a speech check like that.

    God damn it you guys I told you not to tell her.

    The most poignant part of this aftermath exposition for me is Twilight admitting that she can't solve every problem herself, and that convincing the other person to reevaluate their stance on something is the only way to fix things. It's not the first time we've seen that moral, but it's a subtle way to put across that same lesson.

    And thus ends the second redemption of an archnemesis of Twilight Sparkle whose name is some variation on [astronomical phenomenon] and [adjective for flickering]. You would hope she'd catch on if a third one shows up.

    And thus ends season five, as well.

    Every person on staff at DHX has come just as far a way as this show, and they continue to show us that with every season. I don't think I'm alone in considering this one the best they've produced so far. They've shown that they're not afraid of continuity and wrapping up loose ends, or giving us a nod once in a while. Well, okay, Slice of Life was more like a wrecking ball, but I'm not complaining.

    With a movie on the way, and another hiatus between the sixth season, you can bet we'll all still be here waiting to cheer you guys on.

    You rock. Sincerely, myself and all of us here at Equestria Daily.