OK, welcome back everypony to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews". This week, we're looking at "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone". My apologies for the late review, the weekend's just been a bit wonky is all. So to start, I really liked this episode. It was our second "Cutie Mark Map" episode of the season (and the first to feature simply a pair of the Mane 6 rather than the whole bunch, a pattern that I imagine we will see repeated this season a few more times), and just like the first two episodes, it introduced us to a really cool new setting, Griffonstone. On top of that, we got some great bits of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash bouncing off of each other and working together quite swimmingly (at least in the end) as well as the return of none other than Gilda the Griffon!
So let's start by talking about the new setting. I really like Griffonstone for a couple of reasons. We've never really seen a community in the show that's struggling economically, and by extension has many very apparent social difficulties as well. It was kind of jarring to see that in MLP, but kudos to the writers for not shying away from showing such an imperfect place. The history of the city-state (let's call it that, it wasn't exactly defined what kind of kingdom it was, but the griffons we saw at the Equestrian games behaved as Equestrian citizens, and it showed up on the Equestria map as well, so I'm assuming it's a part of Equestria) was very cool as well, and actually didn't do much to threaten previous head-fanon in the brony community, something I as a fanfiction writer very much appreciate. As I said, the kingdom/city-state seems to be in a very remote part of Equestria, so it's not very hard for fanfiction writers like myself to simply say that this was a splinter group of griffons that simply emigrated to Equestria, while most griffons live elsewhere. A random tangent, I know, and it probably wasn't intentional on the writers' part, but still, I appreciate it nonetheless.
Look at that fly charmer of a griffon king!
The aforementioned difficulties facing the community made for an interesting lesson to be learned. I understand that some bronies are upset with the fact that the episode didn't really address the economic difficulties facing Griffonstone even though it quite clearly showed they exist, but to that I say that the minimal effects of what Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash accomplished clear that up. The episode did not say that friendship alone is going to solve Griffonstone's problems, and it didn't even show them resolved. Gilda alone is right now the only griffon there committed to spreading friendship in her community, with the possibility that Greta might join her. So Griffonstone's salvation is hardly ensured at this point. What I think the episode was saying was that you cannot let material idols be the foundation, the basis of all unity and harmony in your community. One can never always rely on material things, they will wither away at some point. The foundation of a healthy community is that it must be one where the citizens inherently care for one another because it's the right thing to do, not because there's something to get out of helping one another. Such a community can carry its citizens through the good times and bad. Is the road ahead of Griffonstone going to be a long and hard one? Most certainly, and the episode doesn't deny that, or provide all the answers even. But a good place to start for a community as devastated as that place is is for griffons like Gilda to reteach its citizens what it means to care about something that truly matters, like each other. Once there's some unity in the community, then it might be able to better start meeting its pressing material needs and once more become a prosperous community as it was before when the Idol of Boreas previously brought its people together.
Look at all the bronies, Dashie!
Anyways, onto the characters themselves. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are always a hoot together; it was very bizarre, more than anything else, to see Pinkie Pie of all characters thinking things through more than Rainbow Dash (though that might've been Rainbow trying to get out of Griffonstone as fast as possible so she didn't have to be around Gilda), but I liked that, it showed Pinkie using her noggin in her own strange way. Both of them were wildly entertaining, no surprised there, and had great episodes in their own ways, neither really felt OOC at any point for any reason. It made perfect sense that Rainbow wouldn't want to help griffons or stick around Gilda given her previous experiences with Gilda, but thankfully she came around to seeing they were worth helping fairly quickly as well, and also made up with Gilda quite easily. Gilda, herself, though probably shined more than any other character in the episode. Not only did she take the first steps toward becoming possibly a social leader in her community, but we also got to learn about her past of all things (in an adorable flashback no less!). To put into perspective just how great an episode she had, this was a character who up until this episode I never thought I'd stop loathing, mostly because she made Fluttershy cry in Season One and was just an all around douche in her first episode. But miraculously, not only was she reintroduced, but the writers also managed to redeem her without it feeling forced in the slightest. Pinkie Pie taught Gilda about friendship by example, and really, that's the best way for Pinkie Pie to teach things. She's not so much a words-pony, at least when it comes to delivering lessons, she's a doer, and I'm certain that her treating Gilda just as friendly as she did when she first met her must have left an impression eventually on the stubborn, hotheaded griffon. Overall, Gilda's redemption impressed me more than any other aspect of this episode's writing and execution, and I'm actually really glad to have seen it happen.
Buck, these two are gonna get shipped like there's no tomorrow, aren't they?Ah well, 'tis but the nature of the fandom, I suppose
Not much else to say about this one. The comedy was great, be it from Gummy, Pinkie, Rainbow, the side characters, whoever. The animation as always was gorgeous (including those very cool history segments, I liked those a lot). Overall, another Season 5 episode that hit it out of the park, what else can ya really say but that it was awesome to watch! We've got a bit of a break now in the season; the next new episode won't be until June 13. But... what an episode it will be. Prepare yourselves, everypony, because the next episode... is the 100th episode of MLP. Oh yeah, 'dis gonna be good.