Jump to content
Banner by ~ Sleeping Silk
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

My Thoughts on Every MLP:FiM Season 9 Episode and My Farewell to the Series

Misty Shadow


This is a compilation of every mini-review I gave to each episode of Season 9. 


The Beginning of the End (both parts): I have many weird feelings about this season premiere that make it difficult for me to articulate my thoughts...but I will start by saying that it was awesome and miles and bounds better than the first premiere involving King Sombra. The pacing was perfect, there was always something happening, a constant feeling of suspense, and best of all, do I even need to say it...King Sombra.  I was pleasantly surprised at his competence as a villain, to the point where he used his own defeat to his advantage, and happy at the confirmation of my suspicion that he was never actually killed (dispelled into the ether), but also weirdly disappointed that he still played the "typical shadowy bad guy villain" trope to a T in terms of personality and that the end actually left more of a reason for him to come back. Either way, it's better than giving him a rushed reformation, even as I would not mind a well-done reformation to keep the show attuned with the comics, so I'll let it slide. I also would not mind them making him irredeemable so long as proper closure is involved, even with the implication that Grogar is actually more evil than Sombra. That implication that he actually killed ponies caught me off guard. This special was a great set-up for what's in store for the final season, as all I want to see after watching this is more. 9.4/10


Uprooted: Ha! Even Spike and The Student 6 still want Sombra around. I love how Spike was like "King Sombra's not coming back!"...right after he assumed that the Crystal Empire was under attack. He totally wants to get even after he was powerless in the premiere. They had me going just a bit at the beginning of the episode, playing along like the tree was really dead, but we all knew it was coming back, albeit in a different form. And if the tree can come back, do I even need to say it. Discounting that, I like how this episode played out slightly different than how I thought it would, emphasizing the importance of the acceptance of loss while making fun of The Student 6 thinking they could bring the tree back just by holding hands and singing Kumbaya. It felt weird having Yona steal the show by being the only one who wasn't fighting with anyone and saving Sandbar, the second best of The Student 6 in this one with the funniest lines and the most rational, realistic solution to the problem, from the clutches of death, but I guess it’s compensation for the show always trying to kill her as well as realizing that she's growing on us. The ending did feel like sort of a cop-out, but again...do I even need to say it. 8.3/10


Sparkle’s Seven: So the 100th episode was for the fans, and the 200th episode was for the writers...and the fans. I refuse to ever believe that twist ending featuring the most glorious image in the entire show was not also done for the fans. Luna is a James Bond villain, Spike is a femme fatale, it even brings everything with the spy stuff full circle to tie it back to the title. Sparkle’s Seven...007. I love how even watching the after-interview before the episode didn’t sully the pleasure of that twist, because this episode just gets better and better the more you go back to it and feel things click in your head better. They even address the issue of predictability and have predictability vs. unpredictability as part of the plot’s conflict. Wonderful. Even if you don’t get this episode at first, it’s still an endearing, funny gem that you’ll want to come back to to understand more and more.  9.6/10


The Point of No Return: Not outstanding, but a good final episode for G.M. Berrow to close out with. I like how they tied it in with the first episode of the show Amending Fences style, showing that Twilight's abrupt departure from Canterlot had consequences that actually affected the world around her, had a nice twist at the end with the book itself that I did not expect to cleverly tie in with the message, and showcased some great chemistry between Twilight and Spike. It's been a long time since we last saw how well they played off each other, I actually laughed a lot more at their comedic banter than any other gag in the episode, including the opening gag with Derpy of all things. I also enjoy the irony of this episode's theme surrounding books, possibly referencing the fact that G.M. Berrow was also the writer of many of the show's books. A worthy tribute to her. 8.3/10 


Common Ground: Last episode was a worthy tribute to G.M. Berrow, and this was a worthy tribute to Patton Oswalt and his character. With the only flaws being an odd Z-story with Snips that doesn’t contribute anything to the plot and us never learning about the fate of Wind Sprint’s father, I like how the implication still lingers that he’s either divorced or dead, the latter being much more likely considering the implication having already been done with Applejack’s parents and Wind’s attitude. The underlying grit is essential to hit the message home how you can’t create a bond or any lasting relationship by trying to be something you’re not. It was also great how they could even joke about it at the end, how he did have to buy the book. Still love how this show never takes itself too seriously. 8.7/10 


She’s All Yak: It really is fascinating how quickly Yona worked her way up from being hardly recognized, to being a fan favorite, and now to being a writer’s favorite. They didn’t even try to kill her in this one. She keeps showing that she has more to her character than just being a musclehead, she had a great song, she even got shipped with Sandbar. I’m impressed that they actually subtly tied in her saving him in Uprooted here. I’m also stunned that they brought up Sombra again for a great out-of-nowhere joke, it’s like some kind of game they’re trying to play with his fans who want him back. Yeah, everyone knew from the start that the moral could only be a variant of “Just be yourself.”, but it’s much less frustrating when you see the moral done with a character who is no longer bland and developed from pruning. 8.9/10 


Frenemies: One of the most unique episodes of the show in addition to being one of the finest. The instant I found out it was written by Michael Vogel was the instant I knew it was going to be good, just not this good. No pacing and storytelling flaws, they got the song out of the way as soon as possible to get straight to the plot, showed every villain at their best, and showed easily the best series of villain interactions in the show. The most pleasant surprise to me was the foreshadowing of Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Chrysalis turning the tables on Grogar at the end, I loved how they were able to learn how to work together without wanting to change their ways and were able to make the call to rise up against a foe clearly more powerful than them. That's not something I would've expected of them judging from their actions in the premiere, which showcases good character development. The most unpleasant surprise to me was no mention of Sombra. You'd think he'd be name-dropped here once with all the unexpected mentions this season, but I guess they're just really good at this game they're playing with his fans. 9.5/10


Sweet and Smoky: Another very unique episode. Not Frenemies quality, but at least predictable was the last word I could use to describe it. It honestly surprised me how they made Garble Smolder’s brother and gave him a sensitive side, though I have to say that if he’s sensitive by Dragon Kingdom standards, they are in trouble. The episode’s highlight is towards the end where after Fluttershy beautifully roasts Garble with facts and logic, he saves the day through his will to humiliate himself in front of the entire dragon population and finally brings some likability to his character. Just like in To Change a Changeling, once again, the day is saved thanks to bullying. Life’s cruelty is essential for repopulating our species, perfect lesson for a pony show to teach the kids. I am not even kidding when I say that the undertone is why I like the “be yourself” moral here more than in She’s All Yak. It’s packed with gritty realism, but it’s also not mean-spirited to the point where it just feels like a sick joke. This is an easy candidate for the best episode about the dragons. 8.8/10  


Going to Seed: First episode of the season that I honestly don’t have any strong feelings for one way or the other. Average plot, average humor, the big thing that puts it as above average for me is creating a good sense of mystery and suspense. I thought for sure at first that the harvests were a trick by Granny Smith and Goldie Delicious, and later, that it actually was the Great Seedling. I wasn’t expecting it to be Big Mac sleepwalking until much later on, even as I remembered Chekhov’s Gun. Seeing Pear Butter and Bright Mac again was another pleasant surprise too, love the confirmation that we’ll likely get another episode explaining more about them. Also love how we’re still seeing deer ponies, yet still no bat ponies. 8.2/10 


Student Counsel: In the words of Maud, “I have mixed feelings.”. This was another decently above average episode that I, again, had no strong sentiments for one way or the other. I liked how it was very...nostalgic, bringing back the cockatrices from Season 1 and the kind of scenery we haven’t seen since the pilot. There were also some great zingers with Maud’s “search party” joke and Trixie’s “experience telling ponies that she has experience” line, but that aside, Trixie actually kind of got on my nerves in this one. The way she was callously eating peas while being told that one of Starlight’s students was missing was just unpleasant to watch. And while the writer’s intent to make neither Trixie and Starlight in the right is understandable, I was more on Starlight’s side, work comes first. Love the ironic moral at the end though, always work by the hour. XD 8.3/10


The Last Crusade: I am with the crowd of liking this episode a lot but not loving it. I love, as everyone seems to, it finally being revealed to us what Scootaloo’s home situation is like, her parents finally making an appearance, and the cameos of so many returning characters we hadn’t seen in seasons. Even Sombra got name-dropped again, go figure. I also really like the emotion that went into it, showing how much Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle actually care about Scootaloo. However, that also helps play into the weakest part of the episode...the unrealistic conclusion. Scootaloo not only gets to stay, but her aunts just so happen to have a solution to the problem of her parents selling the home? In a show that is willing to change the status quo as well as coming to an end, you would think that even a happy ending would be more impactful. Overall, it’s just so good...without being great. It’s also interesting how we now have two Indiana Jones-inspired ponies in an episode paying homage to Indiana Jones with its title. I guess that’s what they call keeping up with the Joneses. 8.4/10 


Between Dark and Dawn: The thing I hate most about episodes like this is that they are too, too easy to love. Again, Celestia and Luna act like such characters, the comedy and story write themselves. Like, it just feels unfair almost how this episode stole The Mean 6’s spot for my favorite midseason finale like a day at the beach. Only flaw I could find in this one was some parts being hurried along...for good reason. There is only so much awesomeness from Celestia and Luna you can cram into one single episode while still having a good subplot with Twilight and her friends that gives them a struggle, yet also shows them making character progress in the end with learning how to run a kingdom. There are too many killer moments in this episode, my personal favorites being Twilight thanking the rich ponies for the constructive criticism before tossing them out, Luna actually trying to make the post office sound thrilling, and the ending, which surprisingly transitioned well from being heartwarming to hilarious. Though the actual finale will obviously be what counts the most, I still appreciate how our last midseason finale was divine. 9.7/10


The Last Laugh: Though definitely no Pinkie Pride, Weird Al’s return to the show as Cheese Sandwich was still stellar. The way he delivers his lines as a somber pony who’s forgotten joy just makes you anticipate the moment when he finally busts out in song, the best part of the episode to me, more and more excitedly, all of the gags at the gag factory were creative and clever, especially that moving banana peel, and the underlying message really spoke to me. You can have pure motives in the pursuit of success in business that are only futile if they lead you to deny who you really are. Oh yeah, and the business pony’s name is Sans. Priceless. Not casting bets on that being an Undertale reference, but I wouldn’t have any bones about it either. 9/10  


2, 4, 6, Greaaat: Didn’t go into this one believing I’d take much home from it, then right out of the gate, they described Princess Celestia as a jock with wavy hair. And then later, we find that she yells like Bulk Biceps. My life is now complete. This was better than I anticipated. I know not everyone likes it when Rainbow Dash is a jerk, but I do. It’s amusing to me, especially when I can get behind her frustration. Seriously, who does care about cheerleading? Snails, just like in the sub-prequel to this episode, is at his most likable here, and this episode’s only letdown to me is how short-lived his screen time is. That, and the lack of resolution to Snips’ plot. Loved the reveal at the ending though, how we find out that Twilight has been taught all too well by her faithful teacher. 8.5/10


A Trivial Pursuit: MLP characters playing MLP trivia. A ton of fun for nerds like myself who know most of the answers. Already knew only midway through the episode though that this episode was not going to be a ton of fun for obsessive Twilight fans because it actually shows a character they like being a character and making stupid and selfish decisions. Admittedly, it’s kind of weird to watch when Twilight is usually a saint for the most part, but geeks do resort to underhanded tactics in real life to succeed at things they care about. Twilight’s also gotten plenty of flack for “being a Mary Sue”, so I do enjoy watching her channel who she was in Lesson Zero. This episode features what are easily her best facial expressions and comedic overreactions. I also loved watching Pinkie acknowledge actual shipping terms for the teams. Twinkie. It’s really funny knowing that the world of MLP is home to Hostess treats. 8.6/10  


The Summer Sun Setback: Even better than Frenemies. Trust me, that is saying a lot. Though there is some annoyance to the fact that the Mane 6 still have a way of being clueless to what’s really going on under their noses, it’s worth it to see how far the villains have come in terms of competence, being able to infiltrate and advance their plan without provoking any kind of suspicion to their presence. And Discord says character growth is so boring. Honestly one of the funniest lines in the series, and one of the funniest moments in the series is seeing him dressed like Jesus. I like how he continually refuses to be a Deus Ex Machina, allowing us to see how much Twilight’s friends have not changed by believing that Twilight hasn’t changed. The acknowledgement of how they still don’t listen to Applejack is just the cherry on top. Episodes about the villains are definitely tied with Celestia and Luna episodes for the easiest episodes of the show for me to love now. 9.7/10


She Talks to Angel: Well, I saw this coming. We finally get to see a sympathetic side to the devil, Angel Bunny. Honestly, I never found him to be that annoying, but I also never really cared about him. He’s grumpy and selfish all the time because he can’t talk and it’s hard to travel...sorry, just doesn’t hit me in the feels. Probably why this episode doesn’t click with me too much, even if there is some gold to scavenge in it, like the way Angel first reacts upon being in Fluttershy’s body and says that Fluttershy wants to marry Discord. It’s also really amusing how they finally acknowledge how hard it would realistically be for Fluttershy to do all that work with those animals and still have time to be a teacher. Was not expecting that or that snake to actually eat that elephant that was at least twice its size. So much for, “I’m almost as big as her, how could she gobble me up?”. 8.2/10


Dragon Dropped: I am no Sparity shipper and I have to say, this is my favorite Rarity episode. It’s also one of the best Spike episodes to me, since it finally shows just how much Spike does for Rarity that she never really appreciated. The scene with Rarity apologizing with the record player was adorable hilarity, and when Gabby was introduced, I was surprisingly impressed that they actually picked things up from that unresolved plot point in The Fault in Our Cutie Marks and utilized it as a way for Gabby and Spike of all characters to become friends. Not to mention how they used them “not coming from the most reputable cultures” as a way. So Neighsay wasn’t just a nutjob. I love how this episode makes me care enough about Spike’s friendship with a formerly standalone background character to actually crave a predictable, happy ending. That is definitely a rarity for me. 9.5/10


A Horse Shoe-in: The final Starlight Glimmer-centered episode is...admittedly somewhat underwhelming. Again, the conflict involves her and Trixie with Trixie being the side of sentimentalism and Starlight being the side of pragmatism. They really stuck with this format, but even though the other two episodes that used this formula, The Road to Friendship and Student Counsel, did a good job eliciting sympathy for Trixie, I was more on Starlight’s side by far this time. At least they acknowledge that Trixie didn’t deserve the job, but she totally had that scolding coming to her. That’s not to bash Trixie, as she did, as always, have some funny lines and was beast in standing up to Grandpa Gruff. However, it’s disappointing for Starlight’s character arc to end with such a telegraphed, standard episode that really doesn’t leave me with much to say. 8.1/10 


Daring Doubt: The final Daring Do episode is more about Fluttershy than Rainbow Dash, oddly. Even more oddly, despite the entire Daring Do arc being focused on Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy was written better than Rainbow Dash here and had some of her best character highlights too. She hits the nail on the head perfectly in her attitude on actually talking to Daring Do's rivals. It doesn't matter whether or not they're telling the truth, everyone still deserves to be listened to. That has to be the perfect message that today's society needs right now. It is a little disappointing to not see many highlights from Rainbow Dash, but with loyalty being her main character trait, I understand how a conflict about her doubting Daring Do in favor of listening to a villain wouldn't work. Only thing I honestly found dumb was Daring Do's fans ditching her because of Caballeron's story exposing that Daring Do was a real pony. I'm well aware that people are fickle, but seriously? If I found out my favorite book author was actually Indiana Jones, I'd be all over them. 9.1/10


Growing Up is Hard to Do: This final CMC episode is hard not to like. I found it to be better than The Last Crusade, which left a seriously bad taste in my mouth with its forced “happy ending”. The exposition leading up to the feature presentation of the episode may be dry, but everything else after that put a smile on my face. I love how the song shows how naive the CMC and most kids in general are about what being an adult means, especially when they say, “Facts don’t matter, we can win any argument with, “Because we say so.” I was not expecting that, the callbacks to the pony from Sounds of Silence and Trouble Shoes, or that pet turning into a cyclone. I really like how the moral in this episode is not just about how grown-ups need to be responsible, but also that grown-ups aren’t perfect and can mislead children. The only real disappointment this episode brings is being the last CMC episode, but not ending their arc on a conclusive note. 8.8/10


The Big Mac Question: The final episode about the Apple family may be mostly comedy-based, but at least it’s good comedy and ends on a very heartwarming and satisfying note. Not every joke hits, I definitely found the whole thing with the apples coming to life unfitting (that’s coming from someone who’s read and enjoyed the Night of the Living Apples comic arc), and it’s no The Perfect Pear. However, the way things are tied back to The Perfect Pear at the end with the reality TV show parody turning out to be everyone talking to Applejack at the wedding is magnificent. It’s good that the last ordinary episode of the show actually concluded a character arc and left an impact on the show canon. 9/10


The Ending of the End (both parts): Such a legendary final two-parter. I went in worried that the leaks were going to ruin it for me, but no, the things about the leaks that disappointed me actually helped me look at it more objectively and appreciate more how great this final showdown in the show is. It’s action-packed to the brim, I loved seeing the characters fighting while they were massively underpowered, and how they were able to give so many other characters besides the Mane 6 some time in the spotlight. My favorite moment besides the fight with Starlight and Chrysalis is when Twilight and her friends accept death only to be saved by everyone in Equestria. Yes, no Grogar and us being left to assume that Discord had the best intentions in bringing the villains back is still a letdown, but this was still amazing for what it was. They didn’t even sugarcoat the moral. “There will always be darkness in the world.” Truer words have never been spoken by a pony show. 9.9/10 


The Last Problem: This final episode is...curious. Unlike The Ending of the End, which was an adrenaline-pumping action thriller, this episode feels more like a...poetic finale. And I must be honest, it is a very good poetic finale. I love how it shows that Spike really did finally get some respect getting to sit as Twilight’s right-hand man, stays true to the promise of Twilight not outliving her friends, and stays consistent with the final two-parter’s showcasing of all the characters, giving us the feeling that all of Equestria’s story ended on a good note. It’s probably just a matter of taste that I wasn’t as into it as the last two-parter, even as the only real stake of the conflict is the question of whether or not friendship really does last forever. It is the best challenge for the show to tackle before it wraps up though, and I like the way it faces it through showing us a great moral about how the pursuit of perfection is futile. You’re only a failure if you have no one to laugh about your failings with...it really is the perfect follow-up to The Ending of the End’s moral of how there would always be darkness in the world, but from that darkness comes the light. It really shows what made this show so great, and that’s why I still love this finale. 9.5/10 


Episodes I Loved 

The Beginning of the End (both parts) 

Sparkle’s Seven 

Common Ground 

She’s All Yak

Sweet and Smoky


Between Dark and Dawn

The Last Laugh

A Trivial Pursuit

The Summer Sun Setback

Dragon Dropped

Daring Doubt 

Growing Up is Hard to Do

The Big Mac Question

The Ending of the End (both parts)

The Last Problem


Episodes I Liked


The Point of No Return

Going to Seed 

Student Counsel 

The Last Crusade

2, 4, 6, Greaaat

She Talks to Angel

A Horse Shoe-in 


My final thoughts are that this really was one of the best final seasons we could ask for. I actually really enjoyed Seasons 7 and 8, and I still thought this season was miles and bounds better. I loved how we finally got a great overlapping villain arc, how there were no mediocre episodes, and how mostly every character got a chance to shine. Obviously, there was no way we were going to everything we wanted, and even if we did, that would just give us less of a reason to look forward to the Season 10 comic. Even without that and the upcoming special and movie, I still feel like the show would never truly be over in my heart, which is the best feeling a show can leave you with when it’s done. So farewell, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Even as we move on to G5, what you did to revive this franchise will never be forgotten.

  • Brohoof 1

1 Comment

Recommended Comments

Not even an 6/10, you really enjoy almost everything about this season.:P There are some story arcs, some answers that I found underwhelming this season so I hope the comics will fill the void(Starlight for example). :yeahno:

  • Brohoof 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Join the herd!

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...