» TRS Round Table 013: Magical Mystery Cure

Welcome back to another rousing edition of TRS Round Table! This edition examines “Magical Mystery Cure,” the episode of Friendship is Magic that first aired on February 16, 2013. TRS Round Table is our group analysis and chat about the episode, and maybe you’ll learn something new or look at it in a different light. Joining the Round Table today are Wayoshi, ComradeCosmobot, drunkill, Headless Horse, BartonFunk, and KefkaFloyd. Find out our thoughts beyond the cut.


Headless Horse: Well, here we are. If we didn’t know there was a Season 4 coming, this episode would have worked outstandingly well as the series finale it so clearly was written to be. What a show-stopper.

It’s bound to be one of the most divisive things the fandom has ever seen, and it’s certainly a watershed moment since now we know the show is going to continue on. But it’s also probably the most emotional few minutes we’ve ever spent with these ponies, and every choked-up reaction it’s been getting from people here on our forums is very well earned.

KefkaFloyd: So let’s get down to the nitty gritty, and the first thing I want to talk about is SINGING! Because boy, do I love singing, especially when miniature colored horses do it. My wishes for a musical episode have finally been granted.

ComradeCosmobot: A TV show certainly isn’t going to rival an animated musical from the Disney Renaissance, but damnit, this was a damn good try and did well given the constraints of the medium! That said, I can’t say I found any standout songs this ep. They didn’t really have the catchiness of some of the S1 and S2 tunes.

Wayoshi: The episode really is meant to be taken in as a whole, so any single song is hard to pick out. “True True Friend” is pretty dang good as the centerpiece though, and “Celestia’s Ballad” rewards invested viewers strongly as Twilight’s studies throughout the entire series to date reaches its apex. (I’m also a sucker for clip montages down well like in this astral realm.)

She's a singing, dancing entertainment machine! She’s a singing, dancing entertainment machine!

BartonFink: I don’t know if this episode would qualify as “a musical episode”, but yeah, I thought having the songs as a recurring theme helped to keep the story moving and worked on an emotional level. I thought these ranked on the higher end of the show (especially “True, True Friend”).

Headless Horse: Oh, sure it’s a musical episode. A show doesn’t have to be entirely songs in order to qualify. It’s a musical in the same sense that the Disney golden-age features are musicals, and they basically define the genre for most people these days. Hell, even the South Park movie was a musical by the classical definition, and this easily fits the bill too.

ComradeCosmobot: You know, there is one thing I was disappointed with… A foley artist could have had some fun putting in some “horse clops” in place of castanets during the flamenco dance in the first song. What a missed opportunity!

Headless Horse: That’s true… but if we’re talking about foley, we should spend some time giving Daniel Ingram his due for writing not only all the seven songs in this episode (including some of their lyrics from scratch), but the entire score in place of Will Anderson. And it’s really pretty incredible.

In between the songs, the score builds off of “What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me” and “A True, True Friend” with instrumental cues that tie the whole thing together. And then those two songs contain quotations and callbacks to previous musical high points of the show like “Winter Wrap Up” (during Dash’s cloudbusting scene) and “Art of the Dress” (beginning with Applejack’s struggling with the sewing machine). And to cap it all off, the instrumental introduction to Celestia’s song, with its ethereal, introspective piano melody, is absolutely beautiful—what a perfect way to establish the otherworldly and yet utterly welcoming atmosphere of that scene. Ingram just wrote himself one hell of a portfolio piece.

The more I rewatch this episode—and a lot of us seem to be doing quite a bit of that—the more I think “A True, True Friend” and “Celestia’s Ballad” are going to cement themselves right among the best of the show’s music. I’ve missed songs like these this season.

KefkaFloyd: Given the shorter nature of season three in general, did this episode suffer for being only twenty two minutes? Keep in mind the uncertainty of being able to go beyond the order of 65 episodes.

ComradeCosmobot: Like most of the other eps this season, the pacing on this ep was off. But where the other episodes ultimately suffered from having too-rapid resolutions to what were otherwise decently paced episodes, this episode really felt like it was trying to handle what should have rightly been two episodes worth of material (or at least an episode and a half). Rather than wrapping things up too quickly in Act 3, it feels like this ep ended up fast-forwarding the first two acts to make room for the third. In the process, the ep ends up losing a proper introduction, shoehorns the “cause” of the switcharoo into a flashback, and ends up not saying much more than “here’s the problem, and here’s the solution, congrats Twilight!”

Can't you see this is the land of confusion? Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

BartonFink: This is my personal split on the episode – when you take into consideration the cutie mark plotline as a separate entity, the ending sequence as a separate entity, and the recognition of the Hasbro mandate, the execution was pretty strong all around. And the episode was fine to watch.

drunkill: What’s interesting is the start of the episode felt the most rushed instead of the ending which had enough time to play out at a more natural pace. The downside to this is the first half, it’s a shame the story concept of ‘body/cutie-mark swapping’ wasn’t able to be played out to its full potential in its own episode.

BartonFink: The “body swap episode” gimmick – of which this isn’t identical, but is functionally close enough – is an obvious fit for a show with such distinct personalities, and the cutie mark swap we got here is an obvious take on it. People have been looking forward to an episode of that type since the show began. So it’s kind of a shame to see such a concept be done in such a bare bones manner. The opening comedy of the mismatched personalities, while a fun sequence, runs by very quickly and leaves obvious opportunities unaddressed (for example, how did the Apple family feel about Pinkie’s new presence?), jumps to an appropriate solution quickly, and then runs through the necessary “fix everyone sequences”.

Now, to be fair, all of this is actually effectively done! Seeing straight-haired Pinkie in an appropriate context was great, Applejack’s dress frustration writes itself, I loved Rarity’s weather artistry. And I think the emotional back-to-reality segments were better than in “Return of Harmony”. But I can’t shake the feeling that there was so much more room to explore with such a broad, show-appropriate concept, especially since they did a great job with what they had. It’s like eating a chicken wing without sauce – it’s still really good, but how much better would some barbeque have made it?

ComradeCosmobot: Agreed. I, too, was hoping for more levity and jokes about the swaps, but there really was only enough time to really highlight the swaps and then undo them, which left me a bit wanting. It’s a shame this will probably preclude a revisit to the body swap concept, simply because, like you say, it’s functionally identical. Outside of a proper Freaky Friday sendup which might be different enough in moral and gags to justify a retread of what would otherwise be a similar plot (Rarity/Sweetie Belle swap anyone?), I doubt we’re going to get a chance to see the writers do justice to the body-swap gimmick.

Headless Horse: Really, I thought the amount of time they gave the gimmick was just about right. Ultimately it’s just a MacGuffin, just another excuse for Twilight to accomplish something through the power of friendship—and the repetition of that recurring theme is kind of the point. If it had been stretched to episode length, sure, there would have been lots of opportunities for great comedy. But it’s really just one joke stretched out over and over, and they would have had to come up with another twist of some kind in order to make it satisfying enough to carry a whole episode. As it is, there’s a really interesting atmosphere it sets up right at the beginning, with the lampshadingly silly happy-happy-Ponyville intro song: it feels like the cutie marks going wonky is just yet another damn thing that’s gone wrong in this crazy mixed-up pony town. When Twilight is setting about fixing them up, it has an air of “geez, how many more times do we have to go through this kind of thing?” You even roll your eyes a little bit along with her. And so the volta coming so early in the episode—about 2/3 through—and shifting its attention to the reward actually feels like it’s properly paying attention to what she’s gotten so good at doing, finally. It’s saying the overall story has never been about all these silly little misadventures that happen every week. It’s about what Twilight has been becoming along the way, and what she’s earned in the process. There’s even a moment where Celestia calls attention to how many times Twilght has saved the day—and, unlike so many other status-quo cartoons where being the hero uncounted times never really gets properly recognized, this time she feels it’s time Twilight got something more than just another stained glass window.

What has science done!? What has science done!?

Wayoshi: I for one am glad they dedicated as much minutes as they did (seven) to Twilight’s formal ascension. Yes, it sacrifices much of the great potential the mixed-up marks naturally provided, but the episode would have been worse if it traded off more jokes there and cheapened this part: Celestia’s Ballad, establishing Twilight is still her nerdy self even after being crowned, Shining Armor’s lightening moment of “liquid pride”, and the overall theme of the tight bonds of the Mane 6 being the defining reason Twilight surpassed Star Swirl the Bearded are all each worth the time.

ComradeCosmobot: Even so, the third act really felt tacked on as an afterthought. It probably couldn’t have warranted an episode on its own without some other plot-line to help carry it (revival of Sombra? Twilight’s apprehension at an impending coronation?), but it really did feel all-but-unrelated to the first two acts outside of the plot device used to connect them. But for an afterthought, I’ll give the third act credit for reasonable pacing (unlike the first two acts).

BartonFink: The ‘afterthought’ thing gets to what I didn’t care for as much. The fast pace of the first two acts might’ve been justified had it logically been building to the alicornization scene, but there was a feeling of one storyline ending and then another one – an ending that felt like a series finale – beginning and quickly ending. Had it not been for the almost unavoidable spoilers (which I fully indulged in), the alicorn thing would’ve struck me as completely out of left field given the episode that preceded it.

There’s no problem at all playing this sequence at complete face value, and indeed they made the right call there in letting the emotion of the show stand on its own. And, as an individual sequence, it was probably executed as well as it could’ve been. But it still felt like an island unto itself in the episode at large.

ComradeCosmobot: Exactly. The episode is an admirable effort given the constraints placed on it. With only thirteen episodes to work with, and two toy lines to promote (Crystal Empire and Princess Twilight), there wouldn’t have been enough room for two two-parters, so it’s really a testament to the creators’ skills that it didn’t turn out horribly. The writers needed some conflict to justify the coronation (there hadn’t really been enough this season to make this episode the coronation on its own) and they couldn’t just skimp on it either (lest they wreak the wrath of Hasbro’s demands). So it’s a good effort given the situation, but not one of the better-written episodes overall.

Wayoshi: I don’t really think a major conflict for the princesshood was really needed. This is a celebration of Twilight’s accomplishment and the series as a whole; it didn’t need a major conflict to work. In that sense, maybe it’s semi-ironically the least standalone episode of the series.

ComradeCosmobot: I guess you’re right. It’s not that important to justify the princesshood, but you’d still need a conflict in the episode (e.g. a conflict with her friends over her new status) if only to make it anything other than a dry 30-minute depiction of some monarchic pony ritual.

Come together, right now, over me. Come together, right now, over me.

BartonFink: You don’t need to justify the coronation, but there’s any number of ways to have the rest of the episode connect to it. Just as a thought experiment, think of another episode – “Magic Duel”, to pick a random one – and let’s say it plays out at 150% speed throughout the first two acts of the episode. Once Trixie is defeated and reformed, we jump back to the library with the elements of harmony, then jump into the third act. Is there any reason this wouldn’t have worked as well as the body swap storyline?

ComradeCosmobot: To be fair, the one thing that the body swap storyline does have to its credit is that it establishes the link between a cutie mark and a pony’s destiny. This does help support the coronation to an extent; by restoring her friends’ cutie marks and destinies, Twilight becomes inspired to write magic and thus fulfill her own destiny. You could tack the coronation onto “Magic Duel” but then you lose even that loose, thematic connection between the two parts of the episode.

BartonFink: Perhaps, and that was where they went to tie the two sections together – but it strikes me as something you could take care of by switching ~4 lines. Also, random side note: nice use of continuity in that Twilight had the elements in her possession after the events in “Keep Calm and Flutter On”.

Headless Horse: I noticed that she’s even placed their glass case where her lectern normally goes. She’s moved her reading desk and cushion over to the window as of “Spike at Your Service”. Man… stuff like that is so endearing to notice that it makes me twitch.

KefkaFloyd: As far as the other elephant in the room goes… we’ve talked about it in spoiler areas, but now that it’s actually here and happened, how is everyone feeling about alicorn Twi? A shameless move by a corporation to bleed children dry, or maybe something that the staff were ready to embrace regardless?

ComradeCosmobot: I’m just going to say it because we’re all thinking it: “The word alicorn is officially canon.” (Yeah yeah, I know, “Alicorn amulet,” but I’m pretty sure this is the first time it’s been used to actually describe a princess). But seriously, I want to know if being a Princess is a thing that only unicorns can do, or if it’s a secret club where anyone can join, but you have to be sponsored by an existing Princess to get in. Given that Celestia mentions that it’s Twilight’s destiny to be a princess, I’m going to say that earth ponies and pegasi are basically out of luck in the Princesshood department.

And now, the student has become the master. And now, the student has become the master.

Wayoshi: I’m not surprised future ramifications have been punted until Season 4, that’s exactly where they should be. I was very happy to see the true magic of friendship stressed more than once throughout Act III.

Headless Horse: Many fans have expressed concern that Twilight’s transformation “unbalances” the show’s careful construct of two earth ponies, two pegasi, and two unicorns in the main cast. I can see where that discomfort comes from; but then I also want to caution fans against trying to hold the show to a formula. We know that if they try to be strict and regimented about the stories they tell, they can end up forcing the issue—what if they can’t think of two good Rainbow Dash stories for a season, but they have more than two good Rarity ideas? That might be part of what led to some of the unevenness that some see in Season 2. By the same token, maybe allowing themselves to go where the story wants to go of its own accord is the answer. If that means Twilight is no longer a “regular old unicorn”, well, so what? What matters is that it’s fodder for great stories for them to tell.

BartonFink: So here’s how I see it: season 4 opens with the task of balancing recognizing the importance of Twilight’s accomplishment without hurting the feel of the show in the process. On the one hand, it doesn’t seem appropriate if a show about friendship suddenly elevates one of our heroines to “mini Celestia” status. I also don’t think they’ll head in this direction. But at the same time, Twilight is now in canon a hugely powerful entity that is now a princess. That has to mean something in the long term. Striking a balance seems like the next project for the creative team.

I don’t mean this as criticism at all, it’s an interesting location for the show to be in and I’m excited to see where they wind up with it. They’ve rarely steered me wrong before, and McCarthy’s tweets on the subject indicate they have a game plan. Can’t wait.

KefkaFloyd: I couldn’t help but feel throughout this episode that it was a bit of a love letter to the audience, and to the staff of the show. Almost like they knew that this could have been the end of it all, and that they wanted to go out with a bang.

ComradeCosmobot: I know a couple people who have criticized the ending based on the fact that only Twilight really accomplishes something new, but I don’t think that’s really a fair criticism. You have to remember that the series has fundamentally been about Twilight first and her friends second. Of course Twilight’s going to get the recognition.

drunkill: Watching this episode there is the overwhelming feeling that this was it. The last episode. They knew it was a half season and put out this episode as a result. If we didn’t have another full season coming by the end of the year, this episode would have been a fitting send off for the show.

It's not just a look back for these two, but for all of us watching as well. It’s not just a look back for these two, but for all of us watching as well.

Headless Horse: Absolutely. I find myself wanting to review this episode as though it were the finale, because it was so clearly meant to be.

drunkill: I almost feel sad for all the creators after watching this episode, they were dealt a rough hand by the network (13 episodes only) and forced to play their best cards early. Sure, we’ll get at least another 26 episodes of the show which is fantastic but it’ll have to come to an end eventually. Can they create an ending again without somehow diminishing the magic of this episode?

ComradeCosmobot: I think they can, provided they get a heads-up. Kids’ entertainment has had rather unfortunate luck in that regard (Nickelodeon being one of the biggest offenders), but I really do get the feeling that the creators wanted to do something bigger with more finality than we got here.

drunkill: It’s possible they knew they were greenlit for a fourth season by the time production rolled around but the story does heavily lean towards finality, excluding the last minute or two of course. I agree though, I hope the creators know when the show will end, so they don’t have to attach a possible ending onto each new season from now on.

Headless Horse: I’d really like to know at what point the studio learned that Season 4 was a go, and what changes (if any) they made to the episode in response to that. I’m almost positive that Twilight’s final “Everything is going to be just fine” was a pickup recording late in the game, meant as a “Woo-hoo! See you all next year!” from the staff, and a signal that they have plenty of great stuff in store for us. But then again, that line is just a recapitulation of the episode’s opening song and the setup where everything was clearly not fine. So maybe it was written that way from the outset, and it was actually meant to be the final line we’d ever hear from a pony’s mouth. …Talk about bittersweet. That thought right there is getting me right here, let me tell you.

drunkill: You can’t really judge this episode against others because it is so different, and depending on how the next season turns out, this could almost be considered a second Pilot episode for the show. The first few chapters of Friendship Is Magic are over, the next one has only just been penned.

A true, true friend helps a friend in need. A true, true friend helps a friend in need.

BartonFink: You guys covered all the major points, but just to toss in another one: as a culmination of Twilight’s efforts, not just over this season but the entirety of the series, the ending sequence is very strong and emotionally well done. But I’d be kind of disappointed if this was the series finale – from the season one practice of including Twilight in every situation (including some rather obvious shoehorning, such as “The Show Stoppers”), the show seemed to mature and recognize the strength of its own ensemble. Twilight was included when appropriate, which struck me as much more balanced. If this was a series finale, it would’ve been disappointing to see the remaining main five relegated to supporting players.

Now, obviously this wasn’t the actual series finale, so the point is moot as regards the episode. But consider this a response to a common refrain I’m seeing in reactions to the episode.

Wayoshi: It really is true that the circumstance of this episode, as the all-important 65th of a kids series, lends itself to making the episode more than the sum of a episode’s usual parts, because it takes the investment of all the previous episodes and pays it off emotionally. Even if the episode is not meant to be read as a series finale, it’s a culmination of everything before it, celebrating the benchmark in spectacular fashion, and finishing with open-ended optimism down to the very last line – whether kids need to continue growing up without further adventures in Equestria or not. It works exceptionally well both ways, although there is the risk its impact will be dented in the long run as the show now continues. But I most value the impact the episode has on its intended number of viewings for the average person – just one, the first – and that impact is undeniably poignant.

Headless Horse: This show has done many beautiful things, but I don’t know if anything quite compares to the Celestial realm where Twilight goes after being zapped by the Elements. What a dazzling piece of artwork.

I was especially tickled by the flashback tiles floating in 3D space. It lent an almost technological, futuristic air to the proceedings, and it really served to elevate the narrative to an otherworldly level—a “meta” Equestria, if you will, that place beyond the fourth wall where we all live and spend our time similarly disconnected from reality. Someone should edit the scene to put little YouTube frames around each of the scene tiles.

ComradeCosmobot: Well, there is that one drawing by sophiecabra

drunkill: It was a great moment showing the viewers that this was something very special and probably the best way to include flashbacks within the show, combined with the life flashing before your eyes sequence it’s touching reminder of how far everything has come in 3 seasons.

From all of us together, together we are friends. With the marks of our destines made one, there is magic without end. From all of us together, together we are friends. With the marks of our destines made one, there is magic without end.

KefkaFloyd: All that said… is there anything else that we might have missed? With so much going on in this episode, it wouldn’t hurt to point out a few notable things that might have slipped through the cracks.

ComradeCosmobot: Okay, I know that this was foreshadowed in part two of “The Crystal Empire” with the Starswirl book (hey hey, a good guess!) but I’m not sure what the whole point of the book or spell was. Is it like some sort of standardized test? Maybe whenever they want to induct some unicorn as a princess they just give away copies of the same Starswirl book with the incomplete spell and ask her to write it? Otherwise, what was the point of the spell and why would the princesses even bother tasking Twilight with it if it didn’t do anything useful? What was Starswirl intending to do? There’s a lot of potential that was missed and questions left unanswered here, and I hope that some of it is usefully mined for future episodes.

ComradeCosmobot: It’s interesting to note (as I did earlier) that cutie marks have been bumped up from “pony’s special talent” to “pony’s irreversible destiny.” Sucks to be Snails, I guess.

Wayoshi: On a bookend note, I couldn’t help but notice that the first song of the season, in the early going of the first episode, was the Failure Song. It ended with Twilight being so uncertain about her future, alone on a balcony in Canterlot, with the camera zooming out overlooking the whole city. Life in Equestria, our last song of the season, ended with Twilight being more certain than ever about her future… and in exactly the same fashion, now with all her friends. Intentional choice by the team as a whole? I have a feeling it may very well have been.

KefkaFloyd: And that’s it for this Round Table. Thanks for reading, and join us next time for discussion about your favorite miniature colored equines! 

Share your thoughts


  1. I doubt the writers intended this to be the series finale. After all, there were so many juicy plot threads put into play in The Crystal Empire that still haven’t paid off yet, like Cadence being “the crystal princess” or that brief shot of a shadowy Celestia and Luna overthrowing Sombra, which practically screams “there’s more to this story than meets the eye”.

    As for the spell and the apparent disconnect between the two halves, it makes sense the more you know about esoteric metaphysics. I noticed a lot of Hermetic subtext this season, starting with the “light within” and the “as above, so below” of The Crystal Empire, the tarot symbolism in Magic Duel, and now the whole True Self/inborn nature and the unfinished magic spell. In Hermeticism both old and modern, alchemy and magic are not just ways to turn lead into gold or conjure fire, but rather symbolize an individual’s perfection of the self as they transmute themselves into a better person, until finally they achieve a reunion with the pantheistic cosmos.

    The spell in MMC seems to do just that, i.e. Starswirl could not finish it because he didn’t understand how the metaphysics of friendship work in Equestria, yet Twilight, who did, finished the spell and became a better pony, who is then transported to a celestial realm. The spell, and the restoration of harmony among her friends, seemed to be the key to her ascension.

  2. And I still don’t buy this whole alicorn thing. I’m one of these people who usually don’t complain about the show, no matter what. But the transformation. As a shit-tier reward to hurr durr test. It seems so rushed, so unnecessary and forced.
    Mane 6 isn’t balanced anymore, no matter what. Of course, Twilight Sparkle is the main character. But she wasn’t physically or socially superior to her friends. Now she is.
    Friendship is Magic until one of your friends become your boss. I wonder how they are going to keep the balance between them.

    I hope there will be episode about Twilight giving up her title because she can’t spend much time with her friends due to her royal duties. Kinda like ending of Hercules. Or something about sacrificing her powers to save her friends from a powerfull villain. That would be great for me. Chances are low, but hope dies last.

    • They were never all that balanced. Twilight has always been OP with magic. Her Element of Harmony has always been a crown, while everyone else had necklaces.

      And yet, Tara Strong has said that she will not be up and abandoning her friends in S4. That would be ridiculous, especially since her magic is founded on friendship. She’s still Twilight, but with wings.

      Personally, I say up with character progression, and down with the boring status quo! I’m glad to see the show is moving forward.

      (PS: I enjoyed the Round Table!)

  3. I’m certain things will remain cohesive between Twilight and her friends. I mean, think about it from a writing perspective. I believe Headless Horse touched upon this well: You can only write so much about six friends in a small town so much before you run out of things to write about. The CMC have been used as a fallback position to wring more story out of Ponyville, but a change of scenery or setting is in order.

    Twilight’s transcendence is a decent modifier. It blows the door wide open for future episodes to build on new elements, and possibly explore new scenery (Manehattan, Los Pegasus, and others!). Twilight being able to fly properly at the very end was a disappointment, though. I would have loved to see an episode with Rainbow Dash trying to teach a blundering Twilight how to fly!

  4. I thought this episode was bad. In fact, I think it’s really the only bad episode that they’ve ever made. All of the other episodes that I didn’t care for as much still had a good amount of things going for them. This episode is just empty.

    The music is probably the strongest thing going for it, but like everything in the episode, the songs are rushed. You need a little breathing time between songs, and they are pretty rapid fire here. Still, Celestia singing was pretty great.

    Now, the biggest problem is that the episode just doesn’t work as a story. I’m not talking about how many feels you got out of it. I’m talking about structure. This is a bad 80’s cartoon. We watch Twilight as she figures out something is wrong, then comes up with a solution, implements it, and ascends. Exactly that. No setbacks. No challenges. Twilight knows what’s wrong and fixes it pretty much immediately. Anyone reading this as a short story would have put it down. The rest of her friends could have been anypony, for as much as they impact the story. Yes, she knew what to do because she knows her friends, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are just window dressing.

    Then we move into roughly seven minutes of ascension where we kinda sorta learn something about becoming an alicorn, but it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Do all Alicorns have to do this? Do they all have to do something new and special? Like, did Cadence have to find some new way to invoke love? Did Celestia do something amazing with the sun? I’ll give them some leeway on this to explain it in the future, but it sure didn’t satisfy me when I was watching the episode.

    For me, each episode needs to work, and this one didn’t. It has a paper-thin plot that is full of convenience rather than story and then overfills the pretty pretty princess stuff at the end when it probably need to end on the cliffhanger of Twilight showing up with wings. Her friends are so amazed by the transformation that they can hardly contain themselves. Oh wait, that’s right. They barely even reacted to this incredible change in Twilight. Just like the rest of the episode, they pretty much just stood around.

    I hear a lot of “Well, they did the best they could with the time constraints” in the fandom. I don’t think so. The best they could do is to write a smart, tight episode that works in twenty-two minutes rather than obviously cram two episodes worth of story into one. Unless Hasbro came up to them at the 11th hour and told them that they weren’t going to have forty-four minutes after all, then they went in knowing that this was too much story and went with it anyway. That is bad writing and I’m sorry, but there is no defending it. If I try and make an amazing meal that takes 4 hours in two hours instead, then there are going to be a lot of things wrong with that meal, just like there was in this episode. I’m not saying that this episode is wholely without worth, but it is fundamentally broken.

    MLP Team, if Hasbro did short you at the last minute, I apologize and will see the episode differently.

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