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Crusaders of the Lost Mark (MLP FIM) - The 2nd Opinion


I have a lot to say about this episode... for obvious reasons?
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The episode was so... painful. It was empty, bland. Sure the songs were good and made you have feelings... but it was still a huge disappointment. It felt forced right from the beginning.

 

One thing I briefly considered was "maybe Diamond Tiara's mother gave in to her because she never thought Diamond Tiara would stand up to her, and she's only bullying Diamond Tiara because she herself is pushed around" but for the love of GOD, I should NOT be thinking so deeply about her mother when the episode is suppose to be focused on HER! And to add to that, Diamond Tiara just turns around and goes "it's my CUTIE MARK that allows me to make people do what I want" - and then that whole spinoff spiel in my head is made null anyway.

 

Good for Diamond Tiara for turning around and "being the pony she wants to be", I guess... but it just feels so fake, as in, I wouldn't be surprised if the next episode is how all of that was just a dream one of the crusaders had because they wanted their bully to turn good.

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Honestly, I was too swept away by the heart-wrenching feel-good drama to even think about anything. By the end of the episode I was just euphoric. 

 

If there's one thing that I've decided in the wake of the explosion that was the Analysis group, it's that I'd be better off if I enjoy whatever I get. It's why you rarely find me doing any speculation or theorizing or any harping whatsoever on this thing people call "potential". It just seems to set you up for disappointment if you get too invested. 

 

I would say go with the flow but you're a reviewer. Getting easily swept up by drama is very much the opposite of what you have to do.

 

As for the episode itself, given just how many things happened, this episode may have been eligible to be a two-parter. Think about it. Given how many steps there would have needed to be taken, do you believe that everything could have been executed and delivered in just 22 minutes of screen time? It's an honest question that I would like you to answer.

 

On a final note, I won't defend the episode at all if someone thinks it to be lacking. I loved it, yes, but seeing your take on it, I can understand your perspective on it and that's good enough for me.

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The episode was so... painful. It was empty, bland. Sure the songs were good and made you have feelings... but it was still a huge disappointment. It felt forced right from the beginning.

 

One thing I briefly considered was "maybe Diamond Tiara's mother gave in to her because she never thought Diamond Tiara would stand up to her, and she's only bullying Diamond Tiara because she herself is pushed around" but for the love of GOD, I should NOT be thinking so deeply about her mother when the episode is suppose to be focused on HER! And to add to that, Diamond Tiara just turns around and goes "it's my CUTIE MARK that allows me to make people do what I want" - and then that whole spinoff spiel in my head is made null anyway.

 

Good for Diamond Tiara for turning around and "being the pony she wants to be", I guess... but it just feels so fake, as in, I wouldn't be surprised if the next episode is how all of that was just a dream one of the crusaders had because they wanted their bully to turn good.

That was pretty much how I felt, for the most part. And now that you mention it, it did feel dream sequence-like, but I highly doubt that's what it's supposed to be. After MMC, I find it entirely believable that the writers would resolve a plot this way.

 

And I guess it's believable that Diamond Tiara's mother is just that much of a wimp, but either way, she's just as detrimental a parent at the end of the episode as she was at the beginning.

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Honestly, I was too swept away by the heart-wrenching feel-good drama to even think about anything. By the end of the episode I was just euphoric. 

 

If there's one thing that I've decided in the wake of the explosion that was the Analysis group, it's that I'd be better off if I enjoy whatever I get. It's why you rarely find me doing any speculation or theorizing or any harping whatsoever on this thing people call "potential". It just seems to set you up for disappointment if you get too invested. 

 

I would say go with the flow but you're a reviewer. Getting easily swept up by drama is very much the opposite of what you have to do.

 

As for the episode itself, given just how many things happened, this episode may have been eligible to be a two-parter. Think about it. Given how many steps there would have needed to be taken, do you believe that everything could have been executed and delivered in just 22 minutes of screen time? It's an honest question that I would like you to answer.

 

On a final note, I won't defend the episode at all if someone thinks it to be lacking. I loved it, yes, but seeing your take on it, I can understand your perspective on it and that's good enough for me.

I'm glad it gave you that much joy, and I appreciate your understanding. Your take on the analysis community, though, reminds me of when I first saw Pirates of the Caribbean 3, before I was any kind of critic. I really wanted it to be good, and right up to the credits, I kept trying to put a good face on everything that happened. But after years of never going out of my way to watch it and turning glum every time I did, I wasn't sorry to start considering the idea that it's okay to want for better, that you could instead cope with disappointment by thinking about what could/should have been improved. It's great to be able to enjoy something, even with its flaws. But if everything's "great," then basically, nothing is. With everything there is to see, I'd rather not be watching something just because it's on.

 

I get that deliberately stepping back to think about something while you're watching it can hurt the experience, and I get that some critics come across as though that's exactly what happened. Personally, I think the way to go is to react first and analyze that reaction after. (I'm sure I seemed like a guy out for blood in this one, but even now, after 4 1/2 seasons, I still haven't given enough flat-out negative reviews to fill up a "10 worst" list.) But even critics you don't agree with can have value, helping you think out why you liked something they didn't or vice-versa. It's all a way to explore something you're interested in a little more.

 

To answer your question, yes, I do think that having to fit stories like these into 1 part episodes can make it harder for the writers. But any story can be done well. Editing, compressing, and reworking are also skills that go into being a writer, and it wouldn't be fair to the episodes that have pulled off larger scale stories to say that it somehow can't be messed up anyway, because it's "too hard." I do think it means trade-offs, like higher risk and higher reward when you succeed or some of the blame going to whoever decided the story only warranted 1 episode. But I don't think that means anything they come up with is okay.

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Gave this review a second watch. Yeah, you very much nailed it when you described it as "sugar-flavored corn syrup doused in honey less healthy for you than a twinkie". Which got me thinking. I'll admit, all that sugar got me to eat it straight up but I'm hoping there'll be enough space in between this sugar bomb and the next one.

 

Something I've been wondering. Do you think that the episodes over a season should pace themselves carefully much like an individual episode or movie? With the rough understanding I have on the matter, it would seem like a good idea for far less dramatic episodes to rear their heads right about now. What are your thoughts on that notion?

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Gave this review a second watch. Yeah, you very much nailed it when you described it as "sugar-flavored corn syrup doused in honey less healthy for you than a twinkie". Which got me thinking. I'll admit, all that sugar got me to eat it straight up but I'm hoping there'll be enough space in between this sugar bomb and the next one.

 

Something I've been wondering. Do you think that the episodes over a season should pace themselves carefully much like an individual episode or movie? With the rough understanding I have on the matter, it would seem like a good idea for far less dramatic episodes to rear their heads right about now. What are your thoughts on that notion?

Granted, the generally disconnected nature of the episodes (compared to shows with ongoing story arcs, anyway) probably lets the show to get away without worrying too much about how they pace it from episode to episode. But yeah, the rules of pacing in your video are probably the ideal model for when it plays its aces. Last season, for example, it seems like Simple Ways was buried a little by Pinkie Pride, despite still being one of the funniest episodes of the season itself, imho. The One Where Pinkie Knows seemed like the ideal follow up to this episode, since it was just a modest little attempt at comedy, but it revealed something important enough so that it doesn't feel like a jump from "significant" to "pointless filler."   

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