ok so I posted this in the episode discussion but Ill post it here too.
Magical Mystery Cure overview/Review
Ok so here is my very first just watched it impression review.
First lets get my one big complaint out of the way. This episode needed to be a two parter. It went by fast 22 minuets felt like 10. I felt more time could be spent on pretty much everything. Its weird because at the same time I feel they divided the the episode well. I guess 22 minuets isn't enough. For all the good and beautiful moments contained within this episode are slightly marred by a overall fast pacing. All of these theme's could have been explored more thoroughly. This leaves some questions and somethings go unexplained. One being the weird dimension Twilight and Celestia go to. What does being a princess mean in Equestria? Are all alicorns created in such a way? The exact purpose of Starswirls spell has some ambiguity. As I said in a previous post, this seems to be the one consistent problem that pervades the entire series. They have a lot to show, but not enough time to show it without pacing problems.
oh and why can she fly already? stupid nit pick but whateves.
Though it should be said lot of these questions dont really need to be answered right now. This is still an on going series, so many of these questions are almost certainly going to be addressed.
First thing I wanted to say is that this episode managed to evoke a greater emotional response in me than any other episode. That Celestia song my god. I am not lying when I say I teared up a bit. It takes a lot to do that to me. The way in which it is presented just shows how much Twilight has grown, brings up continuity and is an excellent song to boot. The loving tone in the song is I think what does it. Celestia has been like a second mother to Twilight and Twilight like a daughter to Celestia. Its not only stated that Celestia is proud of Twilight, but it really shows in the tone of the song. For as much as Celestia may have impacted Twilights Life Twilight has impacted Celsetia's just as much. That relationship and Twilght's growth are presented greatly in this song. The presentation is really helped by the weird dimension they are in all the memories from past episodes flicker by reinforcing the message of the song as a theme of growth and progression. What the dimension is isnt really explained, but it largely doesn't matter as it is mostly an artistic device used for effective staging. It may well be my favorite song, and one of my favorite moments in the series. This was the scene that had the most impact on me which is why I bring it up first.
I thought all of the songs were great. A true friend comes off much better in context. That sad Twilight song. Remixes will abound this year. The purpose of all the songs was to move the story along and evoke emotion I would most certainly say they accomplished that. Each song served a purpose.
-Everythings going to be fine.
This song starts the episode in an energetic way and introduces us to the problem at hand. The happy energetic nature of the song conflicts with the more dire tone of the next two songs and the situations those entail. It also serves to book end the episode and character arch of the episode. The first showing Twilight's normal happy energetic, optimistic outlook. The reprise showing that Twilight has accepted the change and situation she is in. Going from despare to revelation, and confusion to the state she was in at the beginning of the episode.
-What my cutie mark is telling me.
This song expresses the confusion of the characters. Showing that they have switched lives, stuck in a position in life that they are not meant for. Consistently failing at the jobs they think they are meant for and not knowing why.
This song shows twilights regret and the aceptence of her mistake. It expresses her misery whilst also showing the misery of the other ponies.The scene also serves the purpose of showing the consequences of Twilight's mistake.
-True True Friend
This song serves as a montage of the characters solving the problem. At the same time it emphasizes the connection they have as friends and that it is that connection and help that enables the to see their true purpose, or as the song would put it"see the light". The song serves to reinforce the main message the show has put forth since the first episode. Showing the importance of friendship.
I already addressed the emotional context of the song as well as much of its meaning, but ill elaborate more. This song is particularly poignant because it is the moment of Twilight's change. It serves to show us how she has grown as a character and what she has accomplished. and finally ends in Twilight's change.
-Going to be fine reprise
this largely serves to book end the episode whilst establishing that Twilight has returned to her normal happy self as she was in the beginning However this time it serves to also show that twilight has accepted her new situation and will tackle it with the same vigor that she does with every other day.
Switching of the cutie mark and destinies
There seems to be some confusion over this. The spell seemed to be trying to unify the elements further producing "a magic without end" but it malfunctioned. As we know the elements of harmony are not just magical devices, they are linked to the ponies and the ponies to them. It has been shown that if they change they cant use the elements properly. It not a big leap to believe a change to the elements in the form of a malfunctioning spell could somehow effect the ponies. As a result of the spell they switched cutie marks and destinies. In other words they literally switched places in the world taking on the other's lot in life believing they were meant to do this. They maintained their personality traits but their place in the world had been forcibly changed. They were stuck in a position struggling to succeed but constantly failing and never knowing why. Of course they didn't take on the desires/personalities of the other ponies otherwise it would just be a body swap episode.
Keeping a Consistent Theme
I found this episode to be pretty clever. The solution to both problems tied directly back to the first episodes. The same "spark" of friendship which started Twilight on this journey was the one that allowed her to take this big step forward. Its that similar type of spark shown as a cutie mark the first time which enables her to return her friends to their normal state. She realizes that only by helping each other as friends the problem will be solved. This leads directly into her solution to Star Swirls spell. It is then that the same exact spark shines in Twilight's eyes and she now fully realizes the importance of friendship, even in connection to her studies in magic.
I'm still meh on alicorn Twilight. I'm not enraged by it nor am I whole loving it. Though I do like the design.
some lingering questions and answers.
What does the spell do exactly?
From the indications given in the episode it seems the spell was trying to further unify the elements of harmony to produce "a magic without end"meaning either literally unlimited magic or very amplified magic. Unfortunately for Starswirl that requires an understanding of friendship. as it has been established since the first episode that the elements require or are heavily influenced by the unity of freindship. So it makes perfect sense that a more refined understanding utilized in a spell would amplify them.
Where will twilight live?
Probably in ponyville according to Tara Strong. Though all you have to do is think about it. There's no indication in the show that princesses are forced to live anywhere. Not to mention there is a presedence for princesses doing "mundane" tasks such as baby sitting.
Why didn't Celestia ask twilight?
im gonna chalk this one down to pacing problem. I have theories but they aren't things drawn from the episode. So it would be head cannon. It bothers me a bit, but its not a giant problem for me.
What do I think overall?
I think overall this was a good episode and a great piece of art with great emotional scenes. This piece of art was marred by pacing issues making it great, but not the excellent episode it could have been. I think if this were a two parter it would be my favorite episode alicorn or no. As it stands I enjoyed it greatly I just wish they had gone the two parter route.
Im sure ill notice more as I watch the episode a second time.