S09E26: The Last Problem

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Perpetual Motion (?) » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:00 pm

I mean, I'm not going to strut about and say the epilogue was perfect and that those who dislike it are messed up in any way. Do I wish a few details in the world worked out differently enough to get certain dumb ideas out of people's heads? Sure. Do I wish they had enough time to follow up with important characters in more detail/show the state of Equestria outside of Ponyville? Hell yeah!

But just because it wasn't the most perfect thing that I could imagine does not mean that I begrudge the show's crew in the slightest for doing what they did. They had a lot of tough choices to make, and knew they couldn't please everyone. The fact that they managed to strike a balance of setting the tone for the future through showing it, and leaving enough unsaid for people to come to their own conclusions is frankly super impressive, IMO. It's already inspired me to get back into writing and do my own take on the world they've given us a taste of!

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Dal (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:04 am

I’m not one of those people who has dislike the show since Faust left, just look at my signature, I do however have issues with how the writing got after Season Seven/Movie. And you can not deny that it took on a different tone, and less thought out continuity.

That said, this episode is realistically the best we could have gotten and I’ve come to accept this. Still doesn’t mean I can’t have some resentment that we could have had better.
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Headless Horse (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:02 pm

I would say that the epilogue worked better than the 2-part finale when it comes to continuity and wrapping things up. If we remove the finale's plot decisions from the equation, I kinda think the epilogue standing alone (which by the way I don't think it references the finale story at all, does it?) is pretty strong and consistent with the show's overall tone and theme.

Basically we could have extrapolated straight from S1 to the finale without knowing a single thing that went on in between.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:17 pm

Headless Horse wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:02 pm
(which by the way I don't think it references the finale story at all, does it?)
During the flashback when Twilight flips through the newspaper you can see the villains turned into stone, but otherwise yeah, they didn't really refer to the events directly.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Perpetual Motion (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:40 pm

The epilogue mentions defeating the villains in passing during the flashback, but yeah, it's more or less standalone. It relies a lot on featuring the various important side characters introduced over the years, though. (the Cake twins, Cheese Sandwich, Starlight, Sunburst, Sugar Belle, the school/students, the many non-pony races...)

As for changing after the movie, I'd argue that the change started in Season 6 with the introduction of Starlight into the primary cast (though it could be argued that the seeds of this change were the introduction/exploration of the griffins and yaks in Season 5). It was at that point that they started working on secondary characters more, as most of the Mane 6 & CMC were wrapping up their initial character arcs for the most part. You have Starlight forming her own friend group (Sunburst, Trixie, Maud, Thorax), Equestria forming alliances with a bunch of (mostly) fleshed out non-pony races, exploring Equestrian history more with the Pillars and their exploits, and eventually culminating in the founding of the School of Friendship and the introduction of the students.

I guess it all boils down to whether or not you like all the worldbuilding and roster expansion. I, personally, loved it. The new characters were at worst harmless and more often than not really interesting, The expanded world was fascinating, and the addition of it all most importantly provided new contexts for existing characters to work in. Teaching and mentoring others was a new challenge, and more characters meant more personalities to mix with and bounce off of. Combine that with a bunch of fantastic character arc capstones/examinations, and I'm just happy things managed to end well, as it's plainly obvious that that kind of character and scope expansion isn't something that any show can keep doing indefinitely. And heck, I still have tons of comics to read with more on the way. So, yeah. Good show, great friends, great evolution and ending. IMO, at least.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:52 pm

Perpetual Motion wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:40 pm
As for changing after the movie, I'd argue that the change started in Season 6 with the introduction of Starlight into the primary cast (though it could be argued that the seeds of this change were the introduction/exploration of the griffins and yaks in Season 5). It was at that point that they started working on secondary characters more, as most of the Mane 6 & CMC were wrapping up their initial character arcs for the most part. You have Starlight forming her own friend group (Sunburst, Trixie, Maud, Thorax), Equestria forming alliances with a bunch of (mostly) fleshed out non-pony races, exploring Equestrian history more with the Pillars and their exploits, and eventually culminating in the founding of the School of Friendship and the introduction of the students.
I think the flip side is that they started going back to the previous seasons' loose ends and started expanding on them more aggressively. Griffonstone (early season 5) felt like the start of that, and then we got more changelings, more dragons, any outstanding family we hadn't seen, and some new developments for characters we hadn't seen much, like Cadance/Shining Armor having Flurry Heart. The first four seasons felt like they never had time to look back on all the ideas they'd generated.
I guess it all boils down to whether or not you like all the worldbuilding and roster expansion. I, personally, loved it. The new characters were at worst harmless and more often than not really interesting, The expanded world was fascinating, and the addition of it all most importantly provided new contexts for existing characters to work in. Teaching and mentoring others was a new challenge, and more characters meant more personalities to mix with and bounce off of. Combine that with a bunch of fantastic character arc capstones/examinations, and I'm just happy things managed to end well, as it's plainly obvious that that kind of character and scope expansion isn't something that any show can keep doing indefinitely.
I think there could've been some rebalancing, but it's tricky. I liked seasons 4 and 5 a lot, but my hunch is that a lot of the fandom ire stemmed from the shift away from the M6 being underdogs struggling with personal problems to the M6 parachuting in to solve someone else's problem, and often as not, those new ponies only existing as plot devices and never appearing again. We needed the next generation of main characters earlier -- especially the students, who are genuinely interesting but only got any attention at the very end.

Maybe spend more time with Starlight in season 6, introduce the students somehow in season 7, and get the Pillars more involved with school or something. There were enough stinker episodes spread out across seasons 6-8 that they definitely could've shuffled them around.

(I'm also torn on this because I really don't like school cartoons, having graduated a long time ago, but it was an effective way to pull in new blood.)

Ironically, I think they'd be in a better position after this season to keep running for another 2-3 seasons with a new main cast -- if they could retain a bunch of well-motivated writers. They just didn't have the pieces in place for so many years that they had to squeeze blood out of a stone as the M6's stories wound down.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Perpetual Motion (?) » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:09 pm

I definitely feel that. Spending another season with the school and related characters before the finale would have been welcome, and as with most any show, there's certainly enough chaff that could have been cut/adjusted for new characters in previous seasons to do that. But in the end that's less of a problem with not liking the direction the show went in and more wanting it to have gone farther/moved quicker in its shift.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Applepie2017 (?) » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:22 am

And now it's time to pay the price.
But...
This one's too young

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Headless Horse (?) » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:00 am

... You know, Home Movies had one of the best endings of a cartoon I can think of

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Dexanth (?) » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:26 pm

I'm in the 'I liked the ending' end, nice and solidly. It felt like a nice clean wrapping up for me, and I think part of it was I'm kinda at a point I was ready for it to end - I was still enjoying the stories, but the Saturday morning Magic wasn't really there anymore - except my rush to crunch the back half of S9 and finishing a ton of it Saturday to go into the finale live, that did bring it back, that excitement, at least long enough to savor and enjoy and then say see you again to.

And maybe I won't see that excitement again with My Little Pony FiM, but I'll find it somewhere else. I mean, I already have once again in falling super hard into Love Live, although even there it's a bit muted right now (Though I think a huge part of that is, well, it's Japanese, so there's a lot more effort in being a fan on this side of the Pacific, and with no anime airing right now - I digress!). And I am sure I will again, and again, so long as I remain open to what made FiM magical.

And, well, if I want more stories in Equestria? Fimfiction isn't going anywhere, and at this point I am quite content to claim and fully be prepared to argue it to the grave that there are plenty of authors on Fimfiction who can craft horse narratives that are just as good as anything the show has produced. Oh, sure, not all the time, every author has a dud or two - except perhaps horizon, but he's a sorcerer - but there's plenty out there who produce really great content in most any genre you can think of.

And I like that the ending is open ended. Because it means they've just given us the world big and full and still bursting with stories to tell. And if you don't like that ending? Ignore it and just headcanon your own ending. That's okay too! If you aren't happy Twilight is a Big Alicorn in the ending, then just decide that, you know, she's not, to you. If it makes you happier, that's fine. There's no one single hard Equestria, and the staff like it that way. It means each of us gets to make our own image of what it is and what we want it to be, and at least in mine, there's plenty of magic still to be found, whenever I feel the urge to visit.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by PonyHag714 (?) » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:44 pm

It's like the song lyric, "If you don't like what you got, why don't you change it." Image

I have faith in the fans. I've never seen the amazing level of creativity that MLP:FiM has inspired. We have nine seasons' worth of material to draw from and inspire new things. Pony hasn't gone away - it's just taking a break. Season 10 in the comics and G5 await.
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:22 am

One thing's been bugging me about this conclusion. I still think it was a powerful episode, and the story about moving and leaving friends behind really hit close to home. However, I went back to the season premiere, and I think they kinda forgot where they were going with it.

In the season opening, when the princesses drop their retirement on Twilight, everyone explicitly says that she can do it together with her friends.


"If you're all on board, I guess I am too!"

...and then, here at the end, they just give up on that. Everyone else goes back to their lives. I wish they'd followed through on why a little better.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Captain Rufus (?) » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:30 pm

I'd say they still get involved. And given last episode they still are friends 20 odd years later. I'm sure they did their share of heroic stuff over that time. And had more friends to help no less! And now we have the IDW comics to cover what they all get up to for that time.

I'm still not a fan of some of the blatant stereotype ships no matter how well intentioned but it will have time to grow and be covered in hopefully not a pandering or cowardly way as well. If their Transformers comics are anything to go by I may end up thinking BEST EVER ANYTHING ELSE BUT THIS IS WRONG.

They only had so much time in the show and it's not the HURRY UP AND END deal that the last few episodes of Battlestar Galactica had by any means.

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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sat May 16, 2020 10:13 pm

Well, having just binged on the two-part finale, I obviously have to plow through and watch the ending! :party:

This episode is basically a coda to the whole series. In it, Commander Riker consults the holodeck to learn how Twilight Sparkle dealt with a friendship problem.

* Equestria. The castle is rebuilt! Species coexist in harmony! All ships are valid in this new existence!
* Oh no, the Mane Six were turned into statues?! I wonder what they did? :flutterdear:
* Griffons have those claw fingers so they can make the V sign for pictures, and ponies are super jealous about it.
* Now that Spike has grown into a human shape, his lack of pants is ... distracting.
* Diamond Dogs reference! :awesomedash:
* I had to look up the context of Abyssinians here, since Spike cannot possibly be talking about Ethiopians. Okay, in MLP Abyssinia is apparently the kingdom of the Taye Diggs cat people. Oh, I get it! Cats and dogs! Good joke. :good:
* The Celestiazation of Twilight Sparkle is complete. Hey! Get a haircut, you hippie! :rainbert:
* Gallus cuts a fine figure as a guard! I wonder if all griffons have to take jobs that begin with G.
* I'm already composing Luster fanfic where she's super into robotics and uninterested in friends she hasn't built herself.
* Little disappointed we didn't get a "future" version of the opening credits. Actually, now that we're at the end, can I just say, we've never gotten a wacky version of the opening credits and it CHEESES ME OFF.
* So, they're really selling the suggestion that Twilight isn't friends with her friends anymore. But I wasn't born yesterday, show! I'm not some naive little kid like your target audience! I'm a full-grown brony geek!
* Yeah, let's drink in the stained glass windows. The School Six defeating ... or possibly befriending a stegosaurus, Empress Flurry Heart, the Grogar Gang getting zapped, Twilight double-booking it. I often wonder what happened to Cozy Glow's parents, and what they thought about their daughter, a minor, being sent by the state to pony hell. Lawsuits ensued, no doubt.
* We put a flashback in our flashforward! Eat our dust, postmodern literature! :wingsright:
* Oh, Spike. Real comic book nerds don't care whether they've read the comics they own or not.
* The newspaper photos. You know, Chrysalis got it right in the end -- when you know you're going to spend eternity as a statue, you use your last seconds to strike a badass pose. That's what you do. Tirek's gonna be a cowering chump forever.
* Lyra and Bon-Bon's wedding photo (the newsprint actually resembles "Lyra + BonBon"), Muffins in a chef hat (presumably for baking muffins?), and something really important about apples and pears. Or, very possibly, Apples and Pears.
* I like thinking there's a pony version of [insert political cartoonist here] who makes shitty and obvious politoons for Equestria's newspapers. I bet that's Cranky's job. Seriously, "Cranky Doodle" is the best imaginable name for a political cartoonist.
* I know we've speculated for years about an episode about the Mane Six drifting apart. And even if that's not what's actually happening, it's nice to see the show voice the subject.
* Oh man, AJ is burying her anxieties a mile deep.
* Twig crown! :allears:
* All the ponies may be burying their anxieties. Although they're also making some pretty cogent points about change. And about fashion.
* That comic book has a UPC code, which raises a lot of questions. I imagine some checkout pony using their horn as a scanner.
* :-/ "Bye! I guess," is just an amazing line read.
* It is nice that the show began with Twilight coming to Ponyville, and the last episode is about her leaving. Now if we can get a Celestia storybook narration, followed by Pinkie saying "And that's how Equestria was made", we'll have all the bookends.
* That's it, girls, cry it out.
* What happens when Twilight teleports and six ponies' worth of air is displaced in an enclosed train? Maybe Cheerilee and her physics blackboard can help.
* Passenger Pony is reacting to Rarity and her spiders pretty much as I would.
* :gonkity: "NooOOOOooooo!" [windows shatter for parsecs around]
* It's two, two, two crowns in one!
* We're on Boneless 6 now.
* Rarity's rocking the gray like the boss she is. :vogue:
* ban mlp:fim for appledash shipping
* It's a book of GIFs! Finally, Twilight attains the perfect synthesis between friendship and books. :bookmobile:
* Also nice to see acknowledgement that friendships need to be maintained.
* Hey, does the Friendship Map still exist and are ponies still going on missions?
* Still kinda weird that the god-princesses are retiring to Silver Shoals instead of, I dunno, exploring distant galaxies.
* Big ol' gigantic group hug. :hug:
* If I'm being honest, there's a little disappointment that Future Twilight's visual look is basically "Celestia with Twilight colors". But then again, if anypony was DEFINITELY gonna become just like Princess Celestia, it's Twilight.
* Oh yeah, we need a song, don't we?
* Ponyville: Equestria's rehabilitation center for friendship dropouts.
* OK, I see a lot of freeze-framing in my future. Twist, Silver Spoon and Di are hanging out, Lyra and Bon-Bon still cutest couple, Muffins still wearing the brown.
* Hey I just noticed, this show is trying to draw a subtle equivalence between friendship and magic. :ponder:
* So much time has passed that the Cake twins are adults! And ha, Gummy's as big as a horse. Well, I mean he's as big as a horse for horses, if you get what I mean.
* Busts of the Pillars of Harmony in the school, and Starlight is still headmare? Eh, I guess I would've thought she'd have moved on to other gigs. And the CMC are finally allowed in, oh OK because they're teachers now.
* Look, Granny Smith is dead by now. We're not going to show it, but I know it and you know it. :granny:
* Little bunnies all over the place! Such was Angel's monument; and perhaps it would not have displeased him.
* And with this storybook ... bookend, we come to the conclusion. Or at least a conclusion. It's the conclusion to MLP:FIM, the weekly television series. As far as I know it's still existing in other media, and there seem to be one-shot episodes floating around I haven't seen yet, and I think there's even another film coming? I don't recall, but the point is this is an ending to one outlet of this particular incarnation of ponies. So it feels appropriate, at the end of this specific journey, to say thanks to the Round Stable, and to its own cast of colorful characters, for being my friend and each other's along the way.
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by SlateSlabrock (?) » Sat May 16, 2020 11:06 pm

Mechanical Ape wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 10:13 pm
* I like thinking there's a pony version of [insert political cartoonist here] who makes shitty and obvious politoons for Equestria's newspapers. I bet that's Cranky's job. Seriously, "Cranky Doodle" is the best imaginable name for a political cartoonist.
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by PonyHag714 (?) » Sat May 16, 2020 11:18 pm

Hopefully Twilight or somepony will find a way down the road, and eternity won't last that long...but yes, Chrissy did go down swinging, and for that I respect her. Image
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by Mechanical Ape (?) » Sat May 16, 2020 11:25 pm

:ponder: "Were we going to try and redeem one of them at some point?"
:-/ "How would we do that without thawing the other two?"
:notthisshitagain: "Apple Bloom, git my chisel."
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by EvilMorty (?) » Sat May 23, 2020 11:25 pm

I still think Discord being the villain was an ass-pull, pardon my French! I will probably not change my mind on this. I don't think it was subversion, I think it was lazy writing. And they petrified a filly instead of therapy!

Sigh.
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Re: S09E26: The Last Problem

Post by PonyHag714 (?) » Sun May 24, 2020 1:52 am

The more I learn, the more I think the finale isn't as cut and dried as what we saw. It's my understanding that Discord only wanted to help petrify the Unholy 3 to get back at them for turning on him - something he should have been ready for. They deserve to be punished for what they did, not because Discord screwed up. I'll add that stone prison for even 1000 years seems a little harsh for causing problems that could be or were easily resolved.

As far as Cozy Glow is concerned, I think all three villains should be redeemed if possible, either now or when a way do to it is discovered. Image
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