• "Surf and/or Turf" – Episode Followup

    Dibs! I called dibs on this episode. Was it the cuteness? The song? The world building?

    Being totally honest: it's the Hippogriffs. Darn tooting I'm gonna talk about the hippogriff episode!

    Check out the followup after the break. Watch out! There are large images and animated gifs that might slow down your computer.

    How long a sprint do you think it is from the hallway door to the map room? The Crusaders are a fit bunch as they're not even out of breath!

    "We're glowing!"

    Yes, for all the awkwardness of adolescence, it does contain a certain–oh, you mean literal glowing. That too.

    Wonder what would have happened if the map called the Crusaders before they'd earned their marks. Maybe they'd see their own heads floating around the destination like Spike.

    Okay, no fair! You can't hit us with this level of adorable before we even get to the opening credits. Quick, we need some random violence to balance out the sugar levels.

    And that is why you don't go riding bikes or skateboards through a train station. Learn from Scootaloo's error!

    I don't want to know how Sweetie Belle ended up eating that scarf. Yet this makes me glad that Twilight is going as a chaperone. Not only for the Crusaders, but because it reminds me of how Twilight used to wait for the map to give her a purpose.

    Twilight in Season 8 seems more autonomous. She isn't going to interfere with their mission, but she isn't going to force herself to be inactive either. A good compromise.

    And here we have a fine example of Scoota-sass. I like how motherly Twilight acts around the Crusaders. A different approach from how panicky she acts with her friends.

    Hark, everypony! A filly is delivering exposition. Let us pay heed!

    "And that's when Applejack used her super heat-ray vision to melt the Storm King's giant robot army!"

    "Uh, was that before or after she rescued the wagon full of puppies and kittens?"

    Creative embellishment, Twilight. It's what all the big-time storytellers do. Of course, I celebrate how much this episode ties in with the movie. It's a delightful influx of...

    At last we return to Mount Aeith Mount Aeris that place where Hippogriffs live.

    Yep. No cutie-mark related issues here. And if you go around inspecting all their posteriors, this journey will not end well!

    As silly as Scooatloo's approach seems at first, I often wonder why the Mane Six haven't tried this approach. The map isn't offering any hints, so why not just be direct?

    I based my Hippogriff OC off a more classical version of the design, but I love how the MLP staff forged their own path with these characters. It's a nice balance between avian and equine traits and there's plenty of colors and mane styles to make it feel diverse.

    Uh oh! A Seapony. If he starts to sing, threaten him with tartar sauce!

    True story. There is a Terramar Beach in Carlsbad, California. The name is a blending of the Latin words terra for land/ground/earth and mare for sea. Right off the bat, this young Hippogriff's conflict is being broadcasted.

    It's not discussed, but if Silver Stream is Queen Novo's niece, then this guy is also royalty. He's pretty chill compared to a lot of the royals we've seen thus far.

    Now we get the explanation for why Silver Stream could change forms in the premier. Kinda funny that Queen Novo was so protective of the magic pearl at first, but now that the Storm King is resting in pieces she spread the pearl amongst her subjects.

    Love getting to see how this former ghost town has repopulated.

    Not to mention I'm pretty floored by the design. Surely Twilight appreciates a culture that lives in trees!

    This is how ingrained I am with Hasbro intellectual property. The minute they started playing those seashell trumpets, I kept waiting for Starscream to blast them off. I think I have a problem.

    So... you start the festivities with a game of air tag? Feel like Rainbow Dash should come by and instruct these 'griffs on the Wonderbolts. See if we can get a little friendly rivalry going between the nations' best fliers. Fan fic writers, get on it!

    Apparently the "Glad to be a Hippogriff" festival takes place every weekend. I can get behind that, but then again my ego is the size of Mount Whatchamacallit.

    Every species looks cooler in armor. Yes, even the royal guard.

    Wow. Given her grand theft pearl in the movie I'm glad to see Twilight's still on good terms with these 'griffs.

    "She's Silver Stream's teacher."

    Um... and savior of two nations, right? Right? 


    New location! The Harmonizing Heights are certainly lovely. Always love when we get a new setting for the show. Opens new possibilities.

    "Spinning Bird Kick!"

    Apparently the Crusaders are having a competition to see who can boop Terramar on the beak first.

    Naw, he's their mission. How to help this wayward soul?

    Okay, looking adorable might help... but probably not.

    So here's the meat of this story: a young person feeling split between families. Much like Tanks for the Memories, this episode is tackling a sensitive topic by using the fictional world as a metaphore. How well this works is going to vary between viewers but I like how they're using Hippogriffs and Seaponies as a way to illustrate a more personal sense of division.

    The face that launched a dozen memes. What Twilight doesn't know is that's an award for participation.

    And here we are. The chance to justify those Seapony CMC toys! It's nice to see the trio enjoy this opportunity. They didn't have the chance in the movie because they were... you know...

    Yeah, the less said about that weekend the better. Let's focus on something more cheerful!

    Here we have Scootaloo, the chicken of the sea.

    Yes, that joke was beneath me but I'm not sorry. She is a treat to watch in this environment. I think memories of Flight to the Finish add a lot to how she reacts to swimming.

    The DHX staff really went all-out to not only recreate Seaquestria but to expand it as the Seaponies have started to stop treating their home as a refuge. Now it's somewhere they want to love in full. It's a great evolution from the movie's more isolated feel.

    Someone explain to me how that scroll isn't a damp mess underwater? Did Twilight have to pay extra for water-proof paper? And why am I focused on this? Let's get back to the adorable stuff.

    I'm definitely biased here. Scootaloo is winning me over to the Seaquestria side of things. I think it's because this place seems more populated and lively than Harmonizing Height's open spaces. Next thing you know I'm going to break out into Disney show-tunes.

    Sweetie Belle gets the short end of the stick. Because she's already had her moment of celebration, her sourness is understandable but she comes off as a real party-pooper.

    When even fish are giving you the eye-roll you know you've become a bummer.

    "This is my main bud, Flipper. He's got my back." 

    And with one porpoise-focused pun, Scootaloo cements herself as my favorite Crusader. Only took me seven seasons to figure it out!

    I love this song. In addition to great visual the word play is fun and catchy. The escalating conflict. It really flows and sums up where we are in the story.

    Sadly, this is how most internet debates end.

    "I can't take you two anywhere!"

    I like how the Crusaders often change roles as to who is the voice of reason. Usually I think Sweetie Belle balances out Apple Bloom and Scootaloo's disagreements, but that doesn't always have to be the case. 

    Gotta call shenanigans on Princess Twilight. When she says, "Whoever said that [Terramar] had to choose", I thought of was Rainbow Falls.

    "You know, choosing not to choose isn't really a decision."

    I'd like to think this shows Twilight's grown since that time. Sometimes choosing not to choose is the most important decision. Terramar and the CMC were letting other people's choices limit their own. It's an easy trap to fall into since people are so eager to categorize. 

    "If any 'griff asks, I totally won that ring toss competition without magic. Capisci?"

    Thing I enjoy most about map missions is that they impact a community while helping an individual. These fillies helped mend a forming rift without even realizing it.

    I hope Terramar realizes that tree is not at all a safe perch!

    Actually, here's a funny thing I learned from one of Minty Root's panels at Babscon. How do you feel when you look at the flipped image?

    If you're from a culture that reads left-to-right, that perch might look more stable and secure. That's because our eyes move from the empty space to a solid anchor. Minty used Canterlot as an example, but I thin the same applies here.

    I'm all for this taking the place of "Proud to be a Hippogriff". Call it the "Proud to be Together" festival and you've got a winner!

    "We love you because you're you."

    My goodness, we need to hear that more in everyday life. I really enjoyed this resolution. It's going for the super-happy ending without feeling too saccharine. A hard balance. 

    Terramar did say he was worried about letting someone down, and I'm glad it's his parents who reassured him.

    And Terramar's celebration just adds to the relief.

    Okay, the Crusaders have commented on the oddities of Hippogriff and Seapony life, but how does it look to the rest of the world when your rear end starts glowing?

    But, whoa! Just like that you're packing up and going home? Talk about a quick turnaround. At least enjoy the end of the picnic!

    So if my commentary hasn't given it away, I really enjoyed this episode. Great followup to the movie. Expanding on Hippogriff/Seapony life. The Crusaders had fun dynamics and Twilight got some enjoyable moments. Silver Stream's family is kind though not nearly as quirky as their daughter/sister. I like Terramar because he's a kind and polite kid but I think he'd have to show some other traits if he were to return in an episode.

    But those are my thoughts. How about your own? We'll look forward to reading your comments.

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!