Season 8 Episode 6 “Surf and/or Turf” Review by EpicEnergy
This episode was amazing, but it did contain a few problems. First and foremost, I must address one of the largest problems in season 8 – the Cutie Map. I briefly mentioned it in my episode 1 review, that it will affect future episodes, and that is exactly what is occurring here in episode 6. I’ll briefly explain the situation – The Cutie Map is already a contrived and arbitrary plot-device, because it suddenly appeared with Twilight’s Castle at the end of season 4 and was largely used after that to mysteriously tell the mane six where friendship problems are and where travel to solve them without any explanation at all. It’s being used to further the plot of many episodes before and many to come yet continues to be arbitrary; thus, it remains to be problematic until an explanation is provided. This arbitrary plot-device mysteriously calls the CMCs in this episode and tells them exactly where to go and gives us no explanation as to why it called the CMCs and how it knew where a friendship problem was. Consequently, this incident affects this episode’s rating. Next topic. The characters and worldbuilding are overwhelmingly superb! There are numerous new characters all over the place. The episode’s story takes place at the majestic Mount Aris, which was first introduced in the MLP Movie. This kingdom is magnificent and has a culture of its own, with new buildings, events, creatures, hobbies, wildlife, and more! The most important aspect is that this kingdom has two separate places to live in: the land (with Harmonizing Heights) and the sea (aka., Seaquestria). I am genuinely astonished at both the characters and the worldbuilding in this episode! Proceeding to the next subject. The moral of this episode has a normal meaning and an allegorical meaning. The normal meaning is that one doesn’t necessarily have to choose between two things, and that your family will accept you for who you are even if you don’t choose. The allegorical meaning focuses on a specific topic, which is the modern-day issue of divorce. After a divorce occurs, the child can sometimes feel like he has no choice but to choose between one parent or the other. The episode is saying that the child doesn’t have to choose, and that he could switch between parents as much as he likes. This is very good advice, but one must take into consideration that it is only applicable to certain contexts.
Minor Inconsistencies with other episodes: Before I proceed to the episode rating, I must address a few inconsistencies this episode has with previous episodes. Firstly, in the MLP Movie Twilight is looked down upon by the seaponies/hippogriffs after she intently steals their pearl, yet she walks around Mount Aris without anyone bringing it up whatsoever. How is she suddenly forgiven by the Queen Novo and the hippogriffs for this? I find this to be an irritating inconsistency. Another inconsistency is evident far back, when Twilight says she can’t go to Griffinstone because the map didn’t call her (in the S5 episode “The Lost Treasure of Griffinstone”); however, she easily goes to Mount Aris despite not being called by the map. Why couldn’t she go to Griffinstone for the sake of research, yet she could easily go to Mount Aris for this reason? Like I said, another inconsistency.
Episode Rating: 8/10
To conclude, this episode has positive features and negative features, with the positive outweighing the negative by a good amount. It succeeds by far in the worldbuilding, characters, and moral aspects. On the contrary, it had a severely contrived and arbitrary plot-device that is only made worse through this episode. This episode also has a few minor inconsistencies with previous episodes.
0 = the worst of the worst, an absolute failure
1 = an extremely horrible disaster
2 = very dreadful
3 = terrible
4 = bad
5 = mediocre
6 = good
7 = great
8 = very fantastic
9 = extremely amazing
10 = an absolute perfection