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Found 211 results

  1. Dabmanz

    Yona Fan Club

    Yona is best Yak Here is Pony fanclub for Best Yak who is Yona who is best. When I searched in the fan clubs thread I was surprised there was no Fanclub of the best Yak.
  2. The best thing I've ever done was become a fan of the show. After that, I took notes on the certain friendship lessons they learned and tried them out on a new girl. It worked so well, that over time I had a LOT more friends than before. I luv the show and you guys. Thanks so much!
  3. Since there's a thread for Star Wars films, I feel like the other Star franchise needs another thread in the same vein. Anyways, I already did a listing of them a few weeks back, so I guess I'll just copy and paste that here. STII: The Wrath of Khan (This really is one of the best movies of all time IMHO) STVIII: First Contact (I've really grown an absolute love for this movie) STVI: The Undiscovered Country (They really went out with a bang here) ST 2009 (XI) (Ten times better than my dad would say it is, because he takes issue with Kelvin's existence) STIII: The Search for Spock (Underrated, and honestly fairly good third installment) STIV: The Voyage Home (Yes, it's not top 5, and I don't care about the complaints) ST: Beyond (It was actually kind of good, definitely an improvement on Into Darkness) STIX: Insurrection (It wasn't THAT bad... Honestly I thought it was OK) STI: The Motion Picture (*Snoring* Huh? Is it over yet? Seriously, though this one's just boring) ST: Into Darkness (Second half was utter garbage, first half was OK so, tenth?) STVII: Generations (This film honestly should be the worst and has every reason to be, sadly it isn't) STV: The Final Frontier (Absolute, utter garbage that needs to be burned with fire) Haven't Seen: STX: Nemesis (And I don't doubt I'm all the better for it... Janeway as an admiral? OVER PICARD? SERIOUSLY?) Even with its, less than savory installments, It manages to have 7 good films with only 3 bad ones (well probably four, but gladly will just not see Nemesis).
  4. This was a top 10 list with lengthy explanations for each choice, but then I realized that it would be way too much of a hassle to get through the rest of it, so have this tier list instead. I'd rather not deal with just having a perpetually unfinished list and not really being able to do what I had otherwise planned to without it weighing me down. Not to mention, I'd pretty much just be repeating myself with different statistics and a different dumb line at the end so it isn't a wall of facts, and I'd have to rearrange the list to keep up with certain things. Also your welcome Mr. Nitpick (that grammatical error is there on purpose). This list is primarily based on statistics, though there is a little bit of personal bias here and there. S+: None S-: Washington, New Hampshire, Vermont A+: Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Virginia, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho A-: Minnesota, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin B+: Florida, South Dakota, Delaware, Oregon, North Dakota, Rhode Island B-: North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, New Jersey C+: Indiana, Illinois, New York, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina C-: Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Arkansas, Tennessee, California, Kentucky D+: Arizona, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Alaska D-: Louisiana, Alabama Washington D.C.: D+ (It's not a state, I know, why it's not on the actual list) Changes: Utah (-1): I didn't entirely take into account the bias this state has for Mormons. Hawaii (-2): Tulsi's beginning to make her state look a lot worse with how she keeps cozying up to the right for no real reason... Starting to think she should have ran as a moderate Republican, because at times she actually sounds like one... She's definitely not a progressive like she pretends to be sometimes. Also Washington has moved down a tier, because I'm really losing faith in the country as a whole.
  5. Made a 2014 version of this topic almost exactly a year ago, so felt like trying it again for this year, even if 2015 has a few days left before we really move on :3 So, what was your best moment of this year? I find it kinda hard to pick since this was an uneventful year for me- though, in a sense, a lot of good things have happened and I have very fond memories- but... 8D But... ... okay, I can't actually pick x3 How about you guys? I hope it's been a good year for you all, and may the rest of it be kind to you too!
  6. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of these legendary ponies in the upcoming episodes, so let the discussion begin! As for me, my favorite (so far) is Mage Meadowbrook. Not only is her character design lovely ("I really like her mane!"), but I love listening to her accent. I think it was neat how her legend has been mentioned as early as the start of season 5. I included Stygian in the poll as well, as I expect he's got some fans. While he's technically not one of the pillars, he is responsible for their existence, and, indirectly, the Elements of Harmony too. So, who is your favorite, and why?
  7. So, with school started up again for me, and mostlikely for many of you, I've just recently starting trying to get back into the learning mood and stuff. Get use to school and the routine and everything else. And I suppose that combined with other random explained things gave me the thought to make this topic. I've heard from many of my teachers about different learning styles, and from other people as well, and while I've done research online a little and discovered there are a bunch of different ways to interpret different learning styles, I'm probably just going to stick to the three I think are most basic, unless something makes me feel as though there should be other types included. The four main types from what i've gathered are as follows. Visual Learner: Visual learners tend to learn best well.. visually. They may recall words and such by simply seeing them, and may want a demonstration provided to help them learn. These people are also usually imaginative, and may learn well from descriptions of something too! They may also become distracted by movement while learning, but are less concerned about noises. Auditory Learner: Auditory Learners learn best by listening to the teachers verbal instructions. They may enjoy things like plays, dialogue, and the like over books and other things. They may recall things better when speaking it to themselves, or having it spoken to them by others. However they also may be distracted by sounds more so than visual learners. Tactile Learner: Tactile learners learn best by taking notes or reading something, as well as by drawing and doodling. They also learn well when doing hands on activities sort of like Kinesthetics, things like labs, projects, and such. Kinesthetic Learner: Kinesthetics like to be active and involved in what they learn, while similar to tactile in a way, kinesthetic learners tend to learn best while moving and being actively involved, and they lose much of what is said in lectures and the such. They much prefer to do, rather than to watch. These type of learners tend to also have high amounts of energy. I know some of that may seem redundant, especially if you know about all this stuff(Which many of you probably do.) but I felt like putting some kind of definition down anyways ;p. While all of us learn to some extent through one of these methods, apparently, we usually have one method we find the best method for us personally, the one we learn best with. So what would yours be do you think? I personally think I'm probably a Kinesthetic, since I tend to like doing things instead of just having someone show me or tell me how to do something. Although I suppose i could also be auditory, only thing is that I feel I don't recall auditory stuff the best always. (Except names, I think i'm pretty good with names.) Sorry if any of this information is kinda eh on the explanation, or if I'm lacking in knowledge on the subject, I haven't known about this all that long, and haven't learned a ton about it or anything. Plus i'm only a Junior in highschool so ;p. If anything is incorrect, i'll try and change it. Alright, have a great day everyone!(Or well, it's night over here right now ;p.) Edit: added in a 4th learning type, due to Miles informing me of it. I will edit the poll and the descriptions of the learning types to help adjust to this.
  8. Borderlands 1 v Borderlands 2 v Borderlands 3 Category [Max Possible] Borderlands 1 (RM) Borderlands 2 Borderlands 3 Aesthetic [20] [18] [16] X [19] NPCs [50] [42] X [48] [33] Playable Characters [30] [24] X [26] [24] Story [50] [38] X [49] [37] Gun “Feel” [30] [28] [27] X [30] Weapon Variety [70] [58] [62] X [66] Skill Tree Design [70] [57] [63] X [64] Weapon-Based [30] X [30] [20] [23] Farming [50] [41] [30] X [45] Skill Design [50] [42] [43] X [44] General Fun Factor [50] [44] [46] X [48] Total [500] 422 430 [X] 428 Aesthetic- Really the graphics don't matter all too much, but Borderlands 3 is the game that takes it here for sure. The guns particularly probably have the best design of all three games quite easily. Borderlands 2 ends up the worst of the three because it's visuals now are starting to seem dated in comparison to the new visuals with quite a few noticeable differences. But this is no biggie. NPCs- Anybody who's played these games should really be easily able to see how Borderlands 2 takes the cake here. Handsome Jack is quite easily one of the best, well-written, video game villains of all time who's hilarious in his own right even in a game series devoted to a violent sense of humor that leaves the audience maniacally laughing. This is unfortunately where Borderlands 3 falters most though. Ava is straight up terrible, and the lack of many favorites from Borderlands 2 leaves there more to be desired, even among more humorous NPCs and Bosses like Captain Traunt. Playable Characters- Anybody who knows a little about my preferences will know the answer to this one. Axton single-handedly allows Borderlands 2 a victory in this category, even if I also really liked Krieg (because I do like OG Mordecai and Zane). The other two just don't have anything like the handsome, gorgeous husbando that is Axton... Seriously, he's quite something. No wonder he appears semi-naked in adult magazines inside of Moze's mech... Story- Borderlands 2 hits this category out of the park. The story of the second game is not only a masterpiece, but a demonstration of the potential of a Borderlands story arc. Roland's death hits the player HARD and really impacts them in a way they won't soon forget. Also the motivations of Jack are VERY well put out there. As for the other two games, Borderlands 1 has a very barebones story... It works, but it's nothing spectacular. Just an adventure to the Vault. Borderlands 3 on the other hand is a bit disappointing here, but I actually won't spoil it, thus the lack of spoiler tags. Gun Feel- Borderlands 3 simply takes this category and RUNS with it. The guns feel powerful and impactful like you're really firing a gun. The other two simply don't have this, and 2's in fact just feels like you're just using a bullet hose instead of a real gun in comparison. Weapon Variety- Borderlands 3 also easily takes this category with it's ABSURDLY high number of legendaries. You've got stuff as simple in design as the Crossroads that's essentially an SMG version of the old Conference Call, and then you have really unique weapons like the Duc that's essentially what happens when a Jakobs revolver meets a Torgue gun. Borderlands 1 is a clear loser here because there's so many far too similar legendaries that don't differentiate themselves (Looking at you, Tediores). Skill Tree Design- This is a close one, but Borderlands 3 takes it for its level 2 Action Skills, even if I have some gripes when it comes particularly to Fl4k's skill trees, because he's just overtuned and there's also some bad design with his ability to make weapons that should never crit able to. Borderlands 2 is a VERY close second particularly with the design of Krieg's skill trees. I absolutely adore the care they took to design a character that just rampages into battle, damaging himself but absolutely destroying everyone in his wake. Borderlands 1 is a distant third, thanks to Roland's skill trees being $#!+. Weapon-Based- This category was made specifically to tell you the thing I miss most about Borderlands 1 that ISN'T in 2 or 3. GUN PROFICIENCIES. I totally loved this mechanic, and instead of refining it further what do they do other than introduce one of the worst design choices in Borderlands history, the Badass Ranks (not censoring because that's just what they're called). Small buffs you get for seemingly no reason that apply to EVERY character... Guardian Ranks in 3 are better designed, but just please give us back our gun proficiencies (and our broken BL1 Shotguns). Farming- Borderlands 3 easily takes this category as it allows you to choose how you want to farm your legendaries. Whether you like farming one boss or you like Borderlands 2's style (which is the inferior way by the way, just saying), you can farm them up how you like. Now for BL2's way of farming, I HATE IT. It's tedious, long, and just ridiculous for some legendaries, and that's not even MENTIONING pearls. That's easily my LEAST favorite part of BL2 and it's biggest problem. Skill Design- Nothing really to say here except they just got progressively better at what they already were doing since the start, and that is to create interesting and diverse playstyles for each character. Still missing the Truxican Wrestler class mod though, and also the greatness that was Pistol Mordecai. General Fun Factor- Really just a category for anything I left out, and Borderlands 3 does it all the best of the three. Overall Winner- Borderlands 2, but barely. The problems with 3's story and NPCs are just too difficult to ignore, even if the gameplay is an improvement in every possible way. Also, republishing so everyone can see this. Shame on me.
  9. All right, fillies and gentlecolts, you asked for it, and here it is! Er... well... um... I guess you didn't ask for it... BUT IT'S HERE ANYWAY!! THE MEGA POLL. You know what to do. Chop chop. If you feel like making a post as well, I'd love to know what your top five/bottom five are. Here's mine: From most awesomest to least awesomest... The Perfect Pear The Mane Attraction Amending Fences Wonderbolt Academy Shadow Play And from least stinkerous to most stinkerous... Newbie Dash Princess Spike Non-Compete Clause Feeling Pinkie Keen (Just because of the letter) Hard to Say Anything And there you have it. Mods, you would honor me greatly if you would consider pinning this. I really, really want this to take off. I want enough people to vote so that we can get enough data to start to see the fandom trends. Thanks.
  10. After I failed Fake It 'Til You Make It, I decided to put all 28 failed episodes in order from worst F- minus to least worst F+. That list eventually expanded into a complete list of episodes I graded, from the best letter-plus episode to the worst letter-minus, . The statuses can be found here: A episodes, B episodes, C episodes, D episodes, and F episodes. With each list compiled, I'm taking every episode in the show and arranged it in order from the best to the worst. The list is always subject to change; episodes could be upgraded or downgraded at anytime. S9 episodes are in bold underline. Those aired early are under "spoiler" tags. To see every piece of FIM media I graded (and how I graded each episode for each season), click here. That gets updated during each season and possibly in between or during the offseason, if I changed one. And for readability purposes, I sectioned each list with "— — —" in between. Let's begin! The Perfect Pear: A+ The Best Night Ever: A+ Crusaders of the Lost Mark: A+ Amending Fences: A+ Shadow Play: A+ The Big Mac Question: A+ The Last Crusade: A+ Sparkle's Seven: A+ Sisterhooves Social: A+ The Cutie Map: A+ A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: A+ Parental Glideance: A+ The Break Up Break Down: A+ Party of One: A+ — — — The Last Problem: A Testing Testing 1, 2, 3: A Pinkie Pride: A The Hearth's Warming Club: A Slice of Life: A Dragon Dropped: A Suited for Success: A Road to Friendship: A The Summer Sun Setback: A The Washouts: A Lesson Zero: A Sleepless in Ponyville: A Hurricane Fluttershy: A Between Dark and Dawn: A The Times They Are A Changeling: A Flight to the Finish: A The Mean 6: A Common Ground: A Frenemies: A A Hearth's Warming Tail: A The Saddle Row Review: A Surf and/or Turf: A Marks and Recreation: A Grannies Gone Wild: A Cutie Re-Mark: A — — — Castle Sweet Castle: A- The Cutie Mark Chronicles: A- Once Upon a Zeppelin: A- The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: A- Sounds of Silence: A- Discordant Harmony: A- Wonderbolts Academy: A- She's All Yak: A- The Mane Attraction: A- Uncommon Bond: A- The Return of Harmony: A- Horse Play: A- For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: A- Gauntlet of Fire: A- Bloom & Gloom: A- Molt Down: A- What Lies Beneath: A- The Last Laugh: A- It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A- All Bottled Up: A- The Point of No Return: A- Winter Wrap Up: A- — — — A Flurry of Emotions: B+ The Beginning of the End: B+ Rarity Takes Manehattan: B+ She Talks to Angel: B+ Luna Eclipsed: B+ Scare Master: B+ Friendship University: B+ A Horse Shoe-In: B+ Call of the Cutie: B+ Student Counsel: B+ Marks for Effort: B+ Magic Duel: B+ Pinkie Apple Pie: B+ Viva Las Pegasus: B+ The Parent Map: B+ Uprooted: B+ To Change a Changeling: B+ On Your Marks: B+ — — — Daring Doubt: B Apple Family Reunion: B Family Appreciation Day: B The Crystalling: B Green Isn't Your Color: B Hearth's Warming Eve: B Secret of My Excess: B Top Bolt: B Rainbow Roadtrip: B The Last Roundup: B The End in Friend: B Inspiration Manifestation: B A Health of Information: B Sweet and Smoky: B Fall Weather Friends: B School Raze: B Look Before You Sleep: B Twilight Time: B Rarity Investigates!: B The Maud Couple: B Dungeons & Discords: B Sonic Rainboom: B A Friend in Deed: B — — — Sweet and Elite: B- Triple Threat: B- School Daze: B- Applebuck Season: B- Read It and Weep: B- It's About Time: B- Castle Mane-ia: B- Celestial Advice: B- Going to Seed: B- Canterlot Boutique: B- Stranger Than Fan Fiction: B- Yakity-Sax: B- Hearthbreakers: B- Twilight's Kingdom: B- A Trivial Pursuit: B- Dragonshy: B- Swarm of the Century: B- Not Asking for Trouble: B- Father Knows Beast: B- Where the Apple Lies: B- — — — Forever Filly: C+ Campfire Tales: C+ Rock Solid Friendship: C+ Maud Pie: C+ Made in Manehattan: C+ Too Many Pinkie Pies: C+ The Best Gift Ever: C+ Make New Friends but Keep Discord: C+ Daring Done?: C+ The Gift of Maud Pie: C+ Three's a Crowd: C+ Baby Cakes: C+ — — — Power Ponies: C A Dog and Pony Show: C The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone: C Friendship Is Magic: C Leap of Faith: C Applejack's "Day" Off: C The One Where Pinkie Knows: C The Cutie Pox: C The Ending of the End: C Fluttershy Leans In: C — — — Buckball Season: C- Magical Mystery Cure: C- Princess Twilight Sparkle: C- Simple Ways: C- Stare Master: C- Party Pooped: C- Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?: C- A Canterlot Wedding: C- Spice Up Your Life: C- Growing Up Is Hard to Do: C- The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: C- A Royal Problem: C- The Ticket Master: C- A Matter of Principals: C- — — — Over a Barrel: D+ Equestria Games: D+ Griffon the Brush Off: D+ Brotherhooves Social: D+ Tanks for the Memories: D+ The Hooffields and McColts: D+ Keep Calm and Flutter On: D+ — — — Filly Vanilli: D A Bird in the Hoof: D Hearts and Hooves Day: D 2, 4, 6, Greaaat: D Just for Sidekicks: D Every Little Thing She Does: D Daring Don't: D Secrets and Pies: D — — — Feeling Pinkie Keen: D- Spike at Your Service: D- Ponyville Confidential: D- MMMystery on the Friendship Express: D- Non-Compete Clause: D- It Ain't Easy Being Breezies: D- — — — Flutter Brutter: F+ Games Ponies Play: F+ Bats!: F+ The Crystal Empire: F+ — — — No Second Prances: F Honest Apple: F May the Best Pet Win!: F What About Discord?: F Fake It 'Til You Make It: F To Where and Back Again: F Hard to Say Anything: F The Cart Before the Ponies: F Trade Ya!: F Appleoosa's Most Wanted: F The Show Stoppers: F Putting Your Hoof Down: F Somepony to Watch Over Me: F Boast Busters: F P.P.O.V.: F The Mysterious Mare Do Well: F Owl's Well That Ends Well: F Princess Spike: F — — — 28 Pranks Later: F- Rainbow Falls: F- Dragon Quest: F- Bridle Gossip: F- Fame and Misfortune: F- Newbie Dash: F- One Bad Apple: F-
  11. For me, it's almost a tie between Gabby and Gallus. They're very different but I like them both! (Edit: wait, wouldn't this go to show discussion?)
  12. The title is pretty self-explanatory. What is your best and worst childhood memory? We were all kids once and some of us still are. *cough* I think my best childhood memory was learning that Santa isn't real because it made me trust my parents a lot more. I know it's a strange best memory but I was so excited to learn that my parents actually loved me and that a huge fat creeper wasn't crawling down my chimney once a year to get a peak at me. My worst childhood memory is probably back when I lived in the country side. In our garage we had a flight of concrete steps leading down to our basement and my father had repeatedly told me not to go near them. He turned his head for two seconds and I was there quicker than ever. The next thing my father heard was: "Thump thump thump thump thump thump" and turned back to see me tumbling down concrete stairs head first. So now I want to hear from all of you! TELL ME TEH MEMORIES!
  13. HUB I can't believe that nopony has posted this before. Daring-Do is fictional character (even in the land of equestria) modeled after Indiana Jones. She is part of a 16 novel saga and appears in Season 2 Episode 16 "Read it and Weep". She is also overtaking Trixie as best (non-mane) pony. Lets start it off with some fan-art, shall we? [/shameless self advertisement]
  14. Well, I had a random thought, and I think it's time to make a tier list for BL2 Legendary Weapons. Well, here's my opinions on them. At least all the ones I can readily remember being in the game. SS: Unkempt Harold, Slagga, Fastball, Conference Call S+: Lyuda, Quasar, Amigo Sincero, Badaboom, Ogre, Norfleet, Bitch S-: Maggie, Leech, Hornet, Bonus Package, Gunerang, M2828 Thumpson, Hector's Paradise A+: Fire Storm, Storm Front, KerBlaster, Bonny, Gub, Baby Maker, Sledge's Shotgun, Infinity A-: Longbow, Hellfire, Volcano, Nukem, Fire Bee, Chain Lightning, Skullmasher B+: Thunderball Fists, Invader, Hammer Buster, Flakker, Nasty Surprise, Emperor, Veruc B-: Mongol, Striker, Pandemic, Logan's Gun, Madhous (C): Deliverance, Rolling Thunder, Bunny
  15. So yeah what country's flag do you think is the best?
  16. I did a search; 120 results, none of which looked quite like what I wanted. What was the best day in your entire life up to this point and time? Or if applicable, What is going to be your best day ever? I've had a few really good days, but I also have a horrible memory so finding my best day ever amongst all the rest of my memory-spaghetti would take awhile. So this thread will be about YOU. Yes fillies and gentle-colts this is not about moi, It's just strictly you. This way I'll get to know some of the wonderfull ponies on this forum without sounding overly egotistical. Alright you heard it! Best day, Go!
  17. Okay I see there is a thread for the best and worst Cartoon Network shows well I think there should also be one for in Nickeldeon because in my opinion, they're even more in the toilet then cartoon network. At least cncan make a few decent shows, nickelodeon only has like maybe 1 or 2 or maybe 3 Best Spongebob Squarepants (first 3 seasons and movie) The Fairly Odd parents up until Poof got there Jimmy Neutron Angry Beavers invader Zim Rocko's Modern Life Hey Arnold The Avatar series the new TMNT from what saw of it was good Drake and Josh Ned's Declassified Worst Fanboy and Chum Chum Victorious Big Time Flush Rush icarly Nick Studio 10 (Saw a clip of it one time oh my gosh it was terrible) And that's what I've got. Now there are some old nicktoons that I personally don't like that much but they didn't sink as low as this plus I don't want to mention them to accidently ruin someone's childhood or something So discuss away
  18. Post all your fav forum moments, maybe I just made this thread as an excuse to post this picture, maybe I didn't but who the hay cares. POST ALL TEH LULZY MOMENTS OF THE FORUMS HEAR Spoiler'd for image and wingboner
  19. Note: Various users are credited here, and there are some uncovered Season 9 spoilers (so read at your own risk!) Well, Season 9 arrived, so it's time to post my tops and bottoms of FIM's second-best season so far. My previous overviews are linked below. Season 5 Season 6, 1st Half Season 6 Season 7, 1st Half Season 7 I don't apologize for gushing over S8 this early. One important note: Despite being counted as an episode, The Best Gift Ever is self-contained, so it's not included. Episodes Bottom-3: Fake It 'Til You Make It Or, as I'll say for here, Putting Your Hoof Down 2.0. This entire episode is a major retread of one of the worst of the series. Background/tertiary ponies act rude for the sake of the plot? Check. Fluttershy conveniently forgets being assertive without being a jerk? Check. Fluttershy becomes an even bigger jerk than the folks she talks (down) to? Check. Consequences for her actions go unresolved for a painfully badly executed lesson? Double check! But that only scratches the surface for how bad this ripoff truly is. To go over some of them… a. Manehattan's setting's one-dimensional. Every single shopper to visit Rarity for You acts like a stereotypical depiction of New York's commercialized neighborhoods from an outsider's perspective. Sans the Edward Scissorhands parody, all act snooty, high of themselves, and with a one-track mind. Can you find anything worthwhile of these caricatures? Not at all. Even worse, since every shopper's like this, it makes Saddle Row a one-dimensional, unpleasant atmosphere. b. That said, despite their rudeness, the worst anyone really became was a background pony — Mare E. Lynn her name — agreeing with Fluttershy's eviction threat. At no point did anyone belittle her or act physical. All they want was to buy Rarity's clothes to match them. Fluttershy behaves worse than anyone else and, unlike its predecessor, has no motive justifying this sudden change in characterization. Bossing the raccoons around, threatening to kick them out, dissing them as rodents, and insulting her friends all cross a very firm line that this show established from the very beginning of the show. Why does she bear Kindness? For her inherent empathy and patience for others. She violates her moral code for a shitty, out-of-character reason. On top of that, by claiming to be pretending, FITYMI removes all accountability, rushes its conclusion, and makes her apology unearned. c. Rarity doesn't get absolved, either. Just like Honest Apple, she continues to show horrible leadership by rushing to find a backup storekeeper for the shop. Had she pre-planned everything, she wouldn't be this disorganized. But to make it worse, she becomes very OOC herself by bashing Manehattanites, Saddlettes, and her customers behind their backs, implicating she only extended her clothing line to Saddle Row to make a quick bit rather than connecting people's inner beauty. You do know your employees and many of your friends live there, right? What would they think about you if they caught you shit-talking about them? Won't be fun, ain't it? Now, does it get as bad as the former on the whole? Not quite. At least some of the characters here remain pleasant (contrived excuses aside), particularly Smoky, Softpad, and Smoky Jr. But that doesn't give this laziness a pass. Skip it! @Captain Clark, @Nyactis Mewcis Catlum, and @Jeric are credited for this. Compete Crap Clause Stole it from @Captain Clark. It fits too much. Whereas the former ripped off PYHD, this crap ripped off an actual good episode. So, how can AJ and RD get away with their immaturity in Fall Weather Friends and not here? In the former, neither of them were really good friends at the time. Prior, they disagreed and showed some friction. Additionally, FWF's stakes were lower and more grounded, and the goal was set: Dash has to compete in the Running of the Lave without flying to cheat. The highest moment of tension (their brawl) only affected them. Afterwards, they felt embarrassed, learned their lesson, and immediately worked together to complete their mission. OTOH, FWF 2.0 takes place several seasons later. They're teaching students the lessons of friendship they themselves learned over the years. Are they the most mature? No. That's okay. What isn't okay is degrading them into out-of-character children by putting the safety and education before their lust to win Teacher of the Month! To win it, they (or shall I say the story?) raise the stakes twice. Firstly, Dash's selfish desire to win Teacher of the Month and a stupid timing competition caused friction with AJ, resulting in a careless accident in bite-acuda-infested rapids…despite both knowing that Yona is so aquaphobic and can't swim (more about this later). Yet, after Twilight threatened to take over the trip, they agreed to get along, yet still competed with on another by being passive aggressive and testy with each other, forcing the Young 6 to find the way out of the nature walk for them and nearly getting themselves devoured. On top of that, just before it ends, they go back to arguing again, implicating they learned nothin'! As a result, NCC becomes the third episode — Cutie Pox & Fame the first two — to become pointless filler! The dialogue, usually a strength of S8, was clunky, contrived, and painfully unfunny. Protip: Writing long-standing characters out of character to make new ones better is pure laziness and risks making the new characters unlikable. The Y6 were poorly written. Two moments save it from failing: Twilight actively calling Dash and AJ out for their incompetence and threatening to punish them, and Dash and AJ getting sincerely nominated for TotM — risking that reward will make them think about how stupid they behaved on the trip. A Matter of Principals Discord's at his best when he's a jerk with a heart of gold. An ability to show he cares in his way. Unfortunately, AMoP flanderizes him into only a brat, first by tricking the RM6 to go on a friendship quest (which meant getting Fluttershy into the same pickle), and then using his jealousy of Starlight to make her and the student body miserable. His behavior contributed to friction between Starlight and disorder in the school with substitutes (including Cwanky as an out-of-character lazybones and jerk, and a dragon-sneeze tree to get under Spike's scales ). For the first time since The Crystalling, Starlight and Spike share the spotlight, and both of them were written fine here. While Discord and Starlight didn't get along, Spike acted as the middle man, keeping a cooler head while being as objective as possible. After Discord unleashed a bugbear on the grounds and put Yona in harm's way, Starlight was 100% justified to blast him and banish him from the school grounds. On the other hand, this is exactly what Discord wanted, as he insulted her for her past villainy, and the fact that she got her temper get the best of her proved him right and left her in a big dilemma. The ending is unfulfilled, yet not as black and white as some think. On one hand, Discord doesn't deserve Starlight's job offer for reasons explained. Clearly he doesn't deserve it, and even though the RM6's return — all filthy — nullified her hire, the fact that she hired nullified any consequences for his actions. On the other, despite being the interim headmare, she's also the SoF's counselor, so she also has to look in others' shoes. Rather than balance her job, she focused on leading the school and didn't consider the source of his actions to constructively solve sooner. Is it the worst episode of S8B? Without a doubt. But to echo from my quickieview here, it's watchable mediocrity, nothing more. Dishonorable mentions: Father Knows Beast & Yakity-Sax. ——— Top-6: A Rockhoof and a Hard Place During the second half, FIM went on a five great-episode streak, two of which are included here. This is one of them and the best of them all last year. Kaita Mpambara cleverly foreshadows Rockhoof's eventual wish to become a stone statue, ala Discord by both the princesses initially and the M6 later. In addition to being absolutely funny, Hard Place briefly featured one of the most beautiful set pieces of the show: Mistmane's Crystal Empire garden is full of beautiful colors, composed perfectly, and feels exactly like something she'd do. Long ago, she surrendered her outer beauty to preserve an old friend's, and the hard work she put here is an extension of that same selflessness. There are two stars here: Yona and Rockhoof. a. Yona acted as Rockhoof's foil. When she first met him, she admired him for his strength, perseverance, pride, bravery, and occasion to smash, yakdom's cultural foundations. Immediately, she grew a student crush on him, and her excitement when thinking of him perfectly blends with her innocence and youth. This is why "Day just got betterrrrr!" is so damn funny: It's so easy to understand where she comes from, and her reaction's very in character. So who can blame her for reacting to Spike's news the hardest? So how did she respond? With the season's best scene. b. Rockhoof is the center of this fish-out-of-water tale, and he's incredibly sympathetic. No matter the job, he always tries to impress not just himself, but also others. When they thank him, he knows he succeeded. When he screws up, he feels guilty. War conquered the realm long ago, so his warrior-first instincts don't leave, but today, harmony triumphs, and now he's a veteran looking to live and not give up what he grew up remembering. Everyone can go home, but he can't, and Stygian adapted to modern life, but not him! Once his most innate skill — using the constellations to dictate direction — is moot by time, he believed the only way out was to become stone, an allegory of suicide that was masterfully executed. Not a bad outcome for a Pillars with a bland backstory, huh? This is just a summary of its magnificence, so read my review for fuller detail. Like my main review, credit goes to @TheAnimationFanatic, @Ganondox, and @gingerninja666 here. The Break Up Break Down Unimpressive synopsis, impressive episode. In a season full of improved dialogue, this in particular really showed not just the highly-crafted lines, but also how the editing team responsible for Shadow Play's quick wit influenced this. Not one line feels wasted; they all mean something and carry a purpose to fulfill circumstances later. Some of the best lines not only delivered hilarious comedy, but also genuine heart while fluently transitioning the tone by Act 2's end. Several seasons ago, Discord was the M6's biggest foe, and it took more than a full season after he reformed until they began to have any faith in him. tarting in Season 6, Confalone's Dungeons & Discord added him with the tandem of Spike and Big Mac to create the O&O trio. On the surface, it shouldn't work, yet somehow he succeeded. Now they all act like they knew each other since Spike hatched, and it makes sense. Their organic tandem sells the humor, snarky exchanges, Big Mac's anguish, and Discord's act to mend his friend's relationship with Sugar Belle. Yet, that was only the A-plot. The CMCs were also spectacular here. Thinking Sweetie has a secret admirer, they search for him, experiencing equally funny shenanigans. Yes, thre wasn't nearly as much time spent here, but Confalone economically took advantage of what he gave them, including rendezvousing at the barn and getting mixed up with Big Mac, who accidentally flustered on them (and apologized). Did thy find "him"? No. And they realized it was all a mix up. But being best friends, the journey more than made up the destination, punctuated by one of the most heartwarming lines all year: Awwwww…! P.S.: Here's my full review. The Hearth's Warming Club If only Acts 1 & 2, it would've been good. The final six minutes turned it into the best Christmas episode of the franchise and one of the top-15 overall. To go over it one by one: a. Gallus asks Silverstream what cousins are. Thanks to his sarcasm and pride from earlier, for him to ask a sincere question comes off as rather surprising to the audience, evident by how off-guard Ocellus was as she explained to him. Earlier shots foreshadowed his act to vandalize the Fire of Friendship, but this was the first outward clue. b. Once Smolder and Yona complete their interrogations, everycreature becomes desperate and worried. They want to go home, but someone holds them back. No one confessing equals guilt from everyone. Therefore, they apply their anger on others, such as Sandbar accusing Smolder of feigning anger and Silverstream's conspiracy theory. Ignoring Gallus's words of calm, they argue loudly. While they fought early that semester, this is their first true fight as friends. Their anger is weighty, and watching his friends devolve hurt him to the point of nearly crying. c. Gallus's backstory is devastating. His friends are incredibly lucky to have family to celebrate with, but like many in real life, not everyone is. Griffonstone's family dynamics are either unstable or nonexistent, evidence pointing the latter; he's an orphan in a desolate, corrupt world. His friends are his first real family, and the School his first real home. As bad as damaging the main hall is, can't you blame him for not looking forward to returning to Griffonstone? No! Going back there meant returning to an aimless, depressing life, even for a few weeks. d. So with the ample opportunity to hide his secret, why confess? As what he said to his friends, he didn't went them to stay stuck in her School and feel just as miserable here as himself while in Griffonstone. Yes, his friends will be there, but won't enjoy each other's company. If they ever find out later, who knows how close they'll be. For all he knows, they may relapse and separate, leaving him all alone again. By confessing and accepting the consequences, he saves everyone's friendship. e. Right here, the remaining five demonstrate true friendship. Despite every good reason to be mad, disappointed, and force him to relearn friendship lessons as punishment alone, they chose to not only forgive him, but also support him at his lowest point. Maturity quickly developing beyond their years, they elect to stay behind, proving he's one of them no matter what (and nullifying his punishment). Similar to the RM7 two episodes ago, they become closer. This episode is phenomenal, and I cannot recommend it enough! Road to Friendship Like Big Mac, Spike, and Discord's friendship, Starlight and Trixie's began in S6's No Second Prances, a very rocky episode. Since then, DHX greatly improved their chemistry, solidified their friendship, and make it important for them to have conflicts without making each other look horrible. Road to Friendship continues to build it and is unquestionably their best outing together. Like Break Down or Horse Play, its tight dialogue convinces the audiences to buy into their friendship. Listen to how Starlight and Trixie communicate with each other and their environments. Their chemistry's organic in its humor, drama, and overall emotion. Haber took full advantage of not only take full advantage to comedic opportunities, but how to test their friendships too. We're Friendship-Bound, its lyrics, and tone are ear porn, and Pinkie's friends must be a teeeeeensy bit jealous over its fourth-wall-breaking madness. However, don't ignore Hoo'Far nor him inadvertently contributing to the conflict. He met Trixie and would like to trade his larger wagon for something smaller and more homey. Is Trixie's rusty, uncooperative, crowded and falling apart? Yes. But to her, it's her home, so there's sentimental value attached to it… But Hoo'Far sees it from a material P.O.V. only and believes she needs change. Starlight agrees with him. Since stopping at Somnambula, their whole trip worsened, and to her, Trixie's caravan is its source. By agreeing to trade, they have more room to sleep and store. Trixie told him why her wagon matters so much, but not her. For all she knows, Trixie wants to trade it, yet nopony offered to. Nevertheless, Starlight has NO right trading her property without asking! Thanks to their bad argument the night before, Trix's anger rightfully worsens. Fortunately, the ep understood this, hence its harsh treatment against SG once they split and that she apologized, a reversal of NSP done right. Heh! As a result of this upbeat, scaled-back classic, you'd think they knew each other since before the pilot. P.S.: My quickieview. P.P.S.: SG, Trix, please work on your chant and dance. Thank you! The Washouts A scrapped ending for Wonderbolts Academy was to redeem Lightning Dust, but after being reckless, selfish, and careless to the point of nonchalantly eschewing the RM5's near-fatal peril, it doesn't make sense. Disqualifying her works best. So what becomes of LD now? Does she retry for the WB, start a new career, or change for the better? The Washouts answers every question: leads a successful group of "washed-out" ex-'Bolts and becomes one of FIM's most manipulative antagonists. Her foil's Rainbow Dash, who continues a mostly grand streak of great outings (minus one, sadly). When DHX writes her well, they balance her ego with sympathetic depth, and like Berrow in GGW, Confalone does the same here. The episode phenomenally exploits her ego and self-confidence with equal dedication caring for Scootaloo and never relenting the consequences of when she exposes her flaws. Since most of TW is in Dash's perspective, we follow her every move and witness when she's either strong or vulnerable. However, Scootaloo isn't around her all the time; when she opens the Washouts Fan Club, Dash interrogates her. Later on, she brags about how much better the WBs are next to her and doesn't warm up to them at all till later in the stunt show, transitioning her emotions from envy to concern without being forced, especially once LD uses Scoot's rebellious naivete to claim anyone is capable of being a Washout. As per usual, it's really funny, especially this classic scene! Unfortunately, Dash's "tough love" not only made her feel more left out of the Wonderbolts, but also helped solidify Scoot's decision to become a Washout. Add to the fact that Dash immediately shuttered the Washout club over Scoot's inward objections, solidifying the thought that her mentor didn't act in good faith at any point. I haven't even touched upon the subtle development of Scoot's quest for inclusion (explained further down) and the harsh lesson Dash needed to hear to close Act 2, which you can find here. In all, a fantastic episode! The Mean 6 What better way to close out Season 8A with the second-best 13th episode! After a small sabbatical, Chryssie returns, aimless in the forest and desperate for revenge on the Mane 8, especially Twilight and Starlight. In doing so, she concocted a crazy scheme of replicating the RM6, leading to some of the best exchanges and jokes, mainly the hilarious tension between her and Snarkle. But the real stars of TM6 is the RM7. Immediately conflict brew between them, beginning with TS's impatience with the photographer and slowly growing while trekking deeper into the Forest (i.e., Pinkie accidentally startling FS and Rarity leaving man equipment behind). After FS wanders off to help a bird find his nest, the conflict improves, especially when they encounter QC's doppelgangers unbeknownst (and vice-versa). These exchanges brought forth both needed comedy to keep it entertaining, but also accelerated the frustrations within each of the ReMane 7; Lazy Dash's dismissals of 'Shy and Sparkle at their lowest points and Liarjack bullying Starlight for carrying all the camping gear are perhaps the best examples. Consequently, the RM7 had probably their worst argument since Return of Harmony. Thanks to confusion, everyone was anguishing realistically, the tears from Twilight subtly accentuating the pain. By accident, Chrysalis almost successfully broke them up…if not for their strong bond. Oh, and this… Indeed… *shudder* P.S.: My full review. Like before, Jeric, Clark, and @PathfinderCS credited here. Honorable mentions: Surf and/or Turf, Grannies Gone Wild, & Sounds of Silence. Note: All episodes are listed in my order. As for S8's alone, they're below with their grades and placement (as of the day before S9 debuts). S8 episode ranking: A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: A+ (#8) The Break Up Break Down: A+ (#10) The Hearth's Warming Club: A (#14) Road to Friendship: A (#17) The Washouts: A (#18) The Mean 6: A (#23) Surf and/or Turf: A (#26) Grannies Gone Wild: A (#28) Sounds of Silence: A- (#35) Horse Play: A- (#41) Molt Down: A- (#45) What Lies Beneath: A- (#46) Friendship University: B+ (#54) Marks for Effort: B+ (#56) The Parent Map: B+ (#60) The End in Friend: B (#71) School Raze: B (#75) The Maud Couple: B (#78) School Daze: B- (#84) Yakity-Sax: B- (#92) Father Knows Beast: B- (#98) A Matter of Principals: C- (#133) Non-Compete Clause: D- (#152) Fake It 'Til You Make It: F (#163) Morals: Bottom: N/A. In order to qualify, it must be a bad moral on its own merits. While some were poorly executed, they weren't actually bad. ——— Top-3: Breakdown: Don't be afraid to openly admit your feelings. Those who care for you will listen and understand. This lesson rings true in both this episode and beyond. Communication is crucial to any relationship, both romantically and familiarly. What's one of the most important elements of communication? Listening. Thanks to misinformation and miscommunication, Big Mac & Sugar nearly fell out on the most romantic day of the year. Thankfully, BM didn't give up and openly admitted his love for her as he mended her trailer, and Sugar — in her sweet, bubbly, caring voice — not only cleared it all up, but became more in love with him. Hard Place: No matter how hurt, lonely, or hopeless you feel, you matter. Over a year ago, Rick & Morty co-creator Dan Harmon tweeted very valuable advice for battling depression. The sentence that struck me, who was never clinically depressed, was how your feelings may be real, but aren't reality. That rings so true to Rockhoof, whose self-shame for his inability to adapt to modern times no matter how hard he tried made him believe no one sees him for the hero he was anymore. Yona, who admires him, convinced him he belonged not just by how much she likes him, but by rounding the whole school up to greet him. Surf: Even if you don't know it, you wording can perpetuate doubt and confusion to someone else. Another key component to a healthy relationship is how you communicate. Words matter. Even if what you say's innocent, another person might not take it that way. Observe the awareness of microaggressions to create a more inclusive society, for example. Now, what happens in Surf and/or Turf's completely unrelated to bigotry in any way, but pay attention to what Terramar's parents say to him: When he explained his conflict, he believes that if he chooses one home over the other, he lets others down and pins blame on himself for their separation, a very common feeling among kids of divorced parents. Statements like these perfectly exemplify why Terramar was so confused, unsure, and overwhelmed. Extra pressure's added onto his shoulders without them realizing it. Honorable mention: The best friendships overcome the toughest hardships (Mean 6). New characters: Characters that appeared on screen prior to S8 (even when in the background) don't count. So some of the tertiary characters from Fake It and Stellar Flare won't make the cut. Bottom-4: Every tertiary character debuting in Fake It. Every Manehattanite who walked into RFY's a walking stereotype, and the new ones share the problem. They're uninteresting, irritating, and obnoxious. I don't come to watch FIM to see caricatures of millennials, Gen-Xers, rich people, goths, and so forth. Save those elsewhere. Dishonorable mention: Rolling Thunder (flat co-foil for Scootaloo). Top-6: Yona. Cute yak best yak! NEXT! Gallus. This griffin is a hysterical featherball of jerkery. Embedded with a Griffonstone edge, he keeps his vulnerability within, yet will reveal it when he feels he has to. Cozy Glow. Triumphs over Stygian as the show's best villain. Deceptive, witty, manipulative, confident. Innocent on the outside, scheming from the inside. More than willing to make friends, then dump them after fulfilling her usefulness while making them the guilty party. Smolder. Growing up with her own culture in the Dragon Lands and understanding it from inside and out, she's macho without being demeaned for it, yet actually cares for others in her own way. Since S6, FIM showcased dragons in a more positive light; she's the most thorough example, especially in Molt Down and Father Knows Beast. Autumn Blaze. From my SoS review: Oh, and this: ^ If you can make a really serious situation witty and hysterical, y'got talent. Sludge. From my FKB review: Honorable mentions: Silverstream, Ocellus, Sandbar, Snarkle. Mane 8: Bottom: Fluttershy. Blame it on Fake It PYHD 2.0, her worst portrayal of the entire series. Backtracking her growth all these years, having to relearn her lessons in a contrived fashion (no pun intended), knowingly threatening to evict a rescue raccoon family, and apologizing half-assedly. In PYHD, she became a bigger plothole because everyone was atrocious to her first. But this ripoff gives her no believable motive and regresses her by storytelling demand. Dishonorable mention: AJ. ——— Top: Starlight Glimmer. Were ya expecting anyone else? S7 improved her performance and was its best man character, but two episodes held her back: Fame (being the false vessel for DHX to reject the Death of the Author theory) and To Chang a Changeling (became OOC by calling Pharynx a "lost cause" behind his back). S8 improves her consistency tenfold. No OOC moments, no contrived mouthpiece of DHX. As a character, she takes control and is in character in every appearance she's in. Honorable mention: Twilight. --- Full M8 rank (in order): Starlight Glimmer Twilight Sparkle Spike Pinkie Pie Rainbow Dash Rarity Applejack Fluttershy Moments: Bottom-3: Yona nearly drowns. An in-character, likeable Dash and AJ would stop squabbling over some lame record. That same Dash, who rejected going after a difficult-to-attain windpower record from Hurricane Fluttershy after several pegasi were too sick to fly, would consider her inability to swim and utilize her lessons to help teach her students friendship. That same AJ, who forgave Grand Pear and welcomed him to the family decades after disowning his late daughter, would stop arguing with Dash and focus on helping the students row safely. But nope! We got new characters in disguise whose out-of-character stupidity caused their boat to crash in dangerous water and needed the help of Ocellus and Silverstream to rescue her after nearly drowning! Do they have ANY idea how lucky they are?! If she died, relations between Yakyakistan and Equestria break beyond repair. Even worse, Twilight will have to close down the school! Prince Rutherford agreed to lend his trust to Equestrian royalty and let her join the school. Again, this ain't Fall Weather Friends or Castle Mane-ia! They're supposed to be past this stupid phase! Congratu-feathering-lations for proving Neighsay right, ponuts! Discord unleashes a bugbear on Starlight's students. Reasons why are similar to prior. Had Discord's prank harm Yona or the others, Twilight's school has an irreparable PR nightmare. Not to mention it makes Discord a spoiled brat! The reason it's lower is because a non-student's responsible for this, and the interim headmare both successfully intervened and justifiably called him out for his actions. Fluttershy threatens to evict Smokey and family. Verbally abusing animals, who she values so much and the core of her talent, violates her moral compass that this show sided for so long. To make it worse, Rarity reminded her early on how she rescued them, hired them, and they became very valuable employees. After threatening them, she proudly bashed them behind their backs to a fellow mare who agrees. *scoff* Some "pretending"! Dishonorable mentions: FS claims she "pretended." Discord screws up the treasure hunt. Maud stands Pinkie up. Dash & AJ argue to conclude NCC. Twilight suddenly announces the School of Friendship. Top-5: Yona rallies the School in support of Rockhoof. From my HP review (with edits for here): Discord breaks Sugar Belle's wagon wheel. Reiterating from above, reformed!Discord is written the best by balancing his abrasion with caring for his friends. (Observe this balancing act from The Beginning of the End for an excellent post-S8 example.) In Break Down, he acts like rude and selfish at times (even shooing Hearts & Hooves Day as a commercialized fad), but when he screws up, he'll go make it right. Here, he uses his chaotic magic to stealthily break Sugar Belle's wheel, allowing Big Mac to catch up to her, where they settle their differences and reunite. Yes, he complains about Hearts & Hooves Day being a commercialized fad, yet after his bad advice nearly breaks 'em up, he actively salvages it, proving his belief of romance and friendship with Spike & Big Mac. Smolder and Gallus won't leave the cave. Seven sentences. No more. A simple pause in the action fulfills several points. a. The School of Friendship helped them learn to become better people. b. No matter where they live, how they celebrate, speak, or what they look like, everyone's equal. c. Their friends matter. If they pass their tests alone, they'll help them and support them. They'd rather be trapped underneath than abandon them. d. Individually, they developed. Each task up to What Lies Beneath affects who they are and how they respond to the Tree's test. Without School Daze, Clause, and Club, they never become the people we know now. P.S.: I'm still in a self-plugging mood right now. If anyone wants to read my What Lies Beneath review, click here. After Twilight dismisses class for the winter, Gallus flies away.'s caption perfectly points it out: "Note the subtle foreshadowing here - only Gallus appears unhappy in this shot." The Young 6's whole dynamic fleshes out, starting here. Without it, we know nothing of their lifestyles or Gallus's home hardship. Lightning Dust's false inclusive motive. Originally, Scootaloo's love for The Washouts appeared to be a fad. At the start, she represented the rebelous teenager growing fascinated with the extra danger because it was "cooler" than the Wonderbolts. Until the final act, she never relinquishes this role. But this exchange creatively swerved an extra motive to admiring the Washouts: inclusivity. Unlike every other pegasi to date, she can't fly, yet idolizes Dash, who's now a Wonderbolt. She envies her mentor and her rise to stardom and feels guilty. This shot punctuates her guilt: But when Dust retorts, her facial expressions improve instantaneously: Every thing Scootaloo says and does through the rest of Act 2 calls back to these shots. a. Scheming with Dust to have the WBs expel her, qualifying her to join. b. Rejecting Dash's and Spitfire's tough love, believing they had selfish ulterior motives. "Following your wingflaps" subtly points to her disability (thank you, Ganondox, for this point) and envy of Dash for achieving an unattainable goal. c. Dash's snappy decision to close her fan club finalizing her decision to join the Washouts. After all of this, it culminates with the most painful lesson in Dash's life, and the one she most deserved to hear. The Washouts calls back so many episodes so subtly, including Flight to the Finish, and takes advantage of its continuity to build an internal conflict developing within Scootaloo for quite some time. Not only did Confalone and his editors write an avenue for Scootaloo to search for a club that'd include disabled pegasi like her, but also show major differences between them. Does Dash love Scootaloo? Of course she does! She's her surrogate sister. But her ego made her believe she became protective in bad faith. Scootaloo's direct rant was a long time coming, and made Dash painfully realize she'll never become one of the best fliers, the key physical qualifier for becoming a 'Bolt. The Washouts gave her a chance to prove herself, and she wasn't giving it up. Like it or not, Scoot's growing up; she must trust her to use her conscience and judge if a stunt's too dangerous. Dash and Twi did the right thing letting her go and decide for herself. Honorable mentions: Cozy talks to Starlight after watching Twilight expel the CMCs. Silverstream stands up to The Storm King. Twilight sticks up for Spike after helping defeat the Roc. Ocean Flow and Skybeak (Terramar's parents) greet each other warmly. Celestia leads the play's rescue. Gallus's friends stay behind to support him. What I want for Season 9: The usual: maintain consistency, watch out for unfortunate implications, etc. Haber and Dubuc continue working as a team. Shadow Play really showed what they were capable of; despite a slow start, they helped edit the most consistently great season of the show. Haaber's return helped improve S7, Dubuc's arrival added extra touches to improve its formula. So far, they remain that team with the touch. Further develop the Young Six. What Lies Beneath and School Raze show us what to potentially expect of them: The Tree of Harmony likes them, has faith in them, and believes they can spread the Magic of Friendship far and wide. Friendship's in their nature. Don't be surprised if they succeed the RM6 and either become the new Bearers or become successors to the Elements before them. The Y6 are some of the best group of characters FIM ever had; more of them, please! Deliver finality. Hasbro announced Season 9 as its last. As disappointing as it is to many, S9 and FIM's end's also a time to celebrate the show itself, what it became, its consistency from the beginning, and how it can inspire other shows years from now. Story-wise, there's still some closure left. Cozy Glow's S8's villain, yet she, Tirek, or Chrysalis aren't done. Their arcs remain. The Beginning of the End and an upcoming episode may foreshadow their conclusions, but the ride interests me just as much. Verdict: No secret. I love Season 8! Had S5 not top it just a little bit, it'd be my favorite. Great episodes, excellent consistency, great new characters. Best villain. I don't need to say anymore. Bring on Season 9!!! P.S.: My season order: 5 > 8 > 7 > 2 > 1 > 4 > 3 > 6.
  20. Be warned, contains spoilers for Pokémon Black and White. To anyone who hasn't played it yet and plans to, you've been warned. There seems to be a sort of debate what N actually IS in the Gen V Pokémon games (well aside from his real name being really funny. Seriously look him up and you'll see that it's pretty bad if you have a sick mind). Some people say he's a villain because he's, on paper, the leader of Team Plasma, the evil team in Generation V. But here's the thing, technically HE ISN'T. You learn very late in the game (basically the end in fact) that Ghetsis was manipulating his "son" the entire time. Also, he seems to be awfully friendly towards the player for being the villain of the game But onto the actual subject of this blog post. What actually makes N a great anti-hero in my opinion? Well... N has a warped, but very interesting train of thought about Pokémon and their trainers. He thinks (or thought, before his mind was changed towards the end of the game's story) that Pokémon should be released from their trainers because they long to be free. Sure these ideas were brought on by Ghetsis basically brainwashing N for his own gain, but the ideas themselves are rather interesting. I mean think about it. We keep making them fight until they faint for our own enjoyment, we keep making them wear silly (but classy and cute) outfits to compete in contests for our own enjoyment, and we take them from their natural habitats and stuff them inside a little ball. But the problem with this train of thought lies in the assumption that N makes that all Pokémon are suffering and none of them are actually happy to do this for their trainers. Also, he doesn't think about how this will affect the trainers of the Pokémon. But this train of thought feels natural for him to have because the story reveals he was actually raised... by Pokémon and he shows his intelligence by how he argues his point of view, though occasionally he gets a little bit immature about it, but for reasons that actually make perfect sense considering his actual backstory. They aren't random outbursts, they are actually rooted to his lack of real contact with people. N is a part of the evil team, yes, but he actually has a heart. He throughout the game shows that he has legitimate concern for all Pokémon, and even to a degree the player. He occasionally will heal your team, show you the benefit of the doubt even when you disagree with his ideas, and even release his Pokémon after he loses battles to you (he is the only recurring rival or villain to never keep his team. The only Pokémon he DOESN'T release during the game's events is Reshiram or Zekrom (Depending if you play White or Black respectively), and even then he seems to avoid putting him in an actual ball unlike you who keeps theirs in the ball, whether it be your Master Ball, an Ultra Ball, or whatever ball you catch him with. He actually shows more concern for his Pokémon than you or anyone else does with theirs. Not to mention, he actually only serves Ghetsis because his adoptive father convinced him and everyone else that Plasma's mission is to free all Pokémon from their trainers. If he knew the real reason for Ghetsis' agenda against all of the people (including non-trainers even) in Unova, he would have immediately had scorn for Ghetsis and would never have went along with Plasma's takeover of Unova, especially being the king representing such a takeover. N's battles are generally difficult enough to put up a challenge for people who don't have a good understanding of Pokémon, especially the last battle you have with him in Black and White. His Pokémon are made deliberately two or three levels higher than your own, and without a proper amount of strategy it is potentially challenging especially for being a battle in a Pokémon game against a character that technically isn't the Champion or an Elite Four member. He has a variety of types in his teams and his trainer AI isn't going to make battling him too easy, but also not too hard for the tykes the game was initially designed for. I mean none of the trainers in Pokémon games are particularly challenging with a few notable and frustrating exceptions (WHITNEY AND HER FREAKING MILTANK ), but they aren't supposed to be. I think N's AI does this really well and I applaud whoever designed his AI specifically. Well, I'm bad with conclusions, but those are my reasons. N is a kind person with somewhat twisted ideas that provides an adequate challenge for the player. Also, he looks kind of cute. DAMMIT JAPANESE ARTISTS ARE SO GOOD AT MAKING PEOPLE LOOK CUTE Anyways, N in my mind, fits every criteria for a good anti-hero in a video game and he does it well in his own way, making him an interesting character to say the least and I think probably even one of the best characters in the entire video game franchise. Not the anime version of him though, because the cleverness of the character was taken out of the anime. But I say in Black and White, he was a cleverly written anti-hero that checked all of my boxes. Yeah I repeated myself multiple times here, but that is it.
  21. Since the top 20 list wasn't, well... very well-explained, I plan to make a new list soon. But, for now I'll talk about one specific show and what it does so well. That show being? Steven Universe. In my opinion, Steven Universe is just one of the shows I could count on one hand that ascends above everything else that has EVER come on TV. No matter how much I hate the fandom (it's NOT okay to tell people to kill themselves over a piece of fanart or to attack a kid DYING OF CANCER over the fact he got to watch episodes early before he DIED *cough cough* AwestruckVox *cough cough), no matter how much BS there is around about the show having a "liberal agenda" (it doesn't, if you really watched the show without trying to get offended by it, you'd understand it applies to everyone and works for everyone regardless of political stance), and no matter if it messed up a few episodes (I can admit that), I can't stop LOVING this show. Yes, I do think that the first season was downright ATROCIOUS, but after that point, it recovered quite well from it's mistakes and really turned itself around. It went from a show I couldn't stand to a masterpiece of a show that even at it's most disappointing, is far from a bad show. Here's just a couple of reasons why this show is just so amazing. THE CHARACTERS When I watched Season 1, I hated EVERYONE in the show. They were all annoying, one-dimensional wrecks (particularly Steven and Garnet... Ugh). But now, I don't even find RONALDO irritating, and he's a character that's always considered annoying by the animation community as a whole. I can't blame them, but he's even improved to the point I don't cringe when he/s on screen anymore... As for everyone else... Well, I'll give you the three best examples. Steven went from being immature and downright annoying to being mature almost beyond his father's years. He's really shown that he has a heart of, well, solid diamond of a sizeable carat. Gold is FAR from appropriate. Steven has an ability to just humanize ANYONE. To be able to really get to literally anyone on a deep emotional level. Heck, one great scene of his involves him destroying a weapon Bismuth MADE for him because he wasn't out to destroy gems, but instead to speak out to them, to teach them of tolerance and of kindness. I really can't believe it. They really went out of the park with him. From, I swear, giving me ANEURYSMS to being the absolute nicest, sweetest kid in... well, anything ever. Pearl went from a b**** with a serious nagging issue, to a character with more depth than I could possibly have imagined. She apparently was in love with Rose Quartz, was hiding a secret of hers for over 5000 years (one with DIRE consequences mind you), and has shown a level of concern and care for Steven that wouldn't even be expected out of the best of mothers. She also has been struggling with plenty of her own demons for the longest time. When Steven got into her mind, you really got to see what she has on her mind all the time. On the exterior is the organized clean freak we know her to be, but underneath lies a hidden depression, comprised of thousands of years of sorrow. I could go on, but Pearl's insanely deep even for a Steven Universe character, and that says something because they all have an amount of depth I've never seen anywhere else. Garnet went from being a complete f***ing buzzkill to being literally the best LGBT representation in ALL of media, period, and among the absolute best cartoon characters EVER devised. Garnet really shows the beauty of love, regardless of who it's between. Ruby and Sapphire (the two gems that fuse to create Garnet) are absolutely the most adorable couple I've ever seen. The two, well, women also offer up their own characters to the mix, really creating an interesting sort of split personality within Garnet that occasionally manifests itself. A part of her is insightful and mature, while another part of her is energetic and almost childlike in a very charming way. They literally fused out of love, and they've stayed fused for most of almost 6000 years! That's true love, if I've ever known it. True dedication to each other and to their fusion. She, well, they are just such a great way to represent the community as a whole. I could never ask for such. It's also a huge plus that they're "marriage" was the most adorable thing I've ever witnessed in all of animation... Garnet is really a show of how strong the bond of love can be, and an impressive one at that. THE MESSAGE I also love the message of the series as a whole, which I would say is that we should let everyone be who they are, regardless of any standards we may place on them. That we should accept people's expressions of themselves. If you hate the show for having a message like that, well you're offended and you more than deserve to be... Seriously, this show is beyond insightful and if you decide not to see that because you don't like it, you have a problem not the show. There is so MUCH to get out of this masterpiece of a show. There is a lot about individuality, a lot about abusing power, and a lot about the importance of the connections we have with others, among a lot about other things as well. Seriously, there's just so many good things this show could teach EVERYONE that listing them would take far too long. All I'm saying is, this show is deep and thought-provoking with messages that can apply to literally anyone, regardless of who they happen to be. This show is a show for everyone, young or old, conservative or progressive, male or female, white or black, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity... I can't recommend it enough. Though I also can't recommend skipping the first season enough either. There are a few key episodes that should be seen to start with, but this is more about how good the show is and not anything else. This show is a phenomenal show. It's even more than just a show... It's an experience, and it's one heck of an experience. It's one that I think every single fan of animation should give a try, and a real try not just make some pointless 30-45 minute videos trying to criticize it's animation style that don't really go anywhere and prove more or less you're trying to hate the show as hard as you possibly can (I've seen more than one of those ...). All I ask to people who do that s*** is to really give the show a shot before they start bashing it. Maybe you can see the same thing I do in it.
  22. This idea for a new thread just came to me: what were your best childhood memories? Mine were back when my parents used to take me and my siblings to the Volusia Speedway dirt track races every weekend, if I remember right I must've been about 8, 9 and 10 years old, those were good times, probably my best childhood memories right there. I also have so many good memories of when I lived in Illinois and we would go out to my cousin's house every winter and he would attach a sled to his tractor and pull me and my brother around on it in the snow, and during the warmer months we would ride go karts and 4-wheelers around their land. So what about y'all?
  23. There are some TV series that just seem to bring out nostalgia in everyone. They may not be as good as we remember them to be, but there's nonetheless a reason to why these shows are classics in our hearts. The Twilight Zone is one of those series for many fans of science fiction as well as those of the macabre and the strange. The writing is usually solid (I do mean usually, since even Rod Serling himself has written a few duds), and the pacing is usually done quite well. Most episodes have an interesting premise, and usually deliver on utilizing the potential to intrigue with heir episodes, with well-written plot twists at the end of episodes that shock the audience into a love of the series. This will be a list of the episodes that did what Twilight Zone does best with nearly flawless execution, and a very short review for each, that may be 2 or 3 lines long giving the gist of why they are ranked where they are. Before we start, let's go through the 6 Honorable Mentions (it was really hard to mention less than that) for this list: These are "On Thursday We Leave for Home", "The New Exhibit", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", " The Masks", "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", and "The Invaders." These were all really good episodes, even if they couldn't make this list. This wasn't listed in any particular order, but the closest to the list would probably be "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." The episode was written extremely well. Probably would have put it in the list if I didn't have a slight bit of a bias against William Shatner as am actor. THE TWENTY BEST EPISODES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE 20. "Twenty-Two"- This episode is very creepy, and entertaining. It also has a clever way of hiding it's most major plot twist by throwing in a small twist a few times in a way that just works so well with the episode itself. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but that really made it for me. It's amazing, and well thought out, even as Twilight Zone episodes go. 19. "People are Alike All Over"- This episode had an interesting way of sneaking in a premonition at the beginning, that sounded like it was meant positively, but, ironically, actually made for one of the most gripping, dark, and clever plot twists of the entire series. Of course, keeping this spoiler free yet again. 18. "Nothing in the Dark"- As like "Twenty-Two", another very creepy episode with some clever writing, as well as probably some of the better acting in the series. At first we think the old lady is completely crazy (she really seemed that way), but, in another one of the great classic Twilight Zone plot twists, it's actually so revealed she wasn't quite as we thought. 17. "Nick of Time"- Oh great, another good one with Shatner that would have been better if Jack Klugman or the like were in it instead. Nonetheless, the episode was intriguing to say the least, and it had almost perfect pacing and an extremely intriguing premise. But seriously, Shatner must have had an amazing agent to be in this many classics... 16. "The Hitchhiker"- I was really amazed (and sort of but not really creeped out) with this one when I initially watched this one as a kid, and it still is very interesting to this day. Really, I must have watched this one 20 times and the twist ending still gets me. Though it's presented in such a way it makes sense once it's revealed to you. Almost as well paced as "Nick of Time." 15. "It's a Good Life"- Classic and very creepy episode. But since I feel like I may get questions on why it's so low, I'll answer you this: the ending was in no way startling or surprising. I expected that sort of ending from the story considering the boy's powers as well as his narcissistic traits. Also, it was slightly too out there for me to like that much. 14. "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"- Another classic. Absolutely amazing episode, and the real plot twist was completely unexpected. I would never have expected the way it ended. It would be top 5 though if it were harder to actually figure out who the martian was. I hadn't watched it in years and knew who it was by the 5 or 6 minute mark. 13. "The Midnight Sun"- Another intriguing Twiight Zone episode. Almost tired of using the word, but it's too much of a match for the episodes and Twilight Zone as a whole. Anyways, a big factor as to why this is above some of the classics everyone likes is how the ending actually turned out. I was legitimately SHOCKED by how it ended. 12. "Where is Everybody?"- An episode with an amazing premise, and amazing acting that really did quite the job of complementing the situation. The ending was like the ending "The Hitchhiker" sort of. It's a twist that still sort of gets me, and it actually makes perfect sense of the entire episode when you think about it. 11. "Eye of the Beholder"- This episode has certifiably the BEST ending of the entire series, that alone justifies it's placement here. But the seamless execution of the whole episode's premise reallt sealed the deal for its spot on this list. I'm actually having trouble not spoiling this one because the ending was so perfect... 10. "And the Sky Was Opened"- This is an odd one out, there's no real twist or shocking ending here. Just an episode that's well paced (it is a tad on the slow side), that's a thrill to watch every time. . It is completely unnerving to watch what happens to the main characters over the course of this episode. Very creepy and weird, but in a good way I promise. 09. "The Obsolete Man"- A cautionary tale against authoritarian government. A well-written masterpiece with an interesting premise, that Burgess Meredith executed almost flawlessly, as the librarian in this episode. What it ended up being is a classic that I've yet to see a bad word about, and after watching it, it's easy to see why. 08. "Living Doll"- An unnerving cautionary tale against bad stepfathers, that borders the line of macabre. The great thing about this episode is that this is one time where a seemingly evil doll is actually acting out of good faith, or so it could seem like. The piece was paced well, with acting that fit the story very well. 07. "Long Distance Call"- This was a weird one to say the least. No real twist at the end, but nonetheless satisfying. Sure it was one of the six episodes done in videotape, but quality scripting and the execution of the script in itself more than accounts for it. Won't spoil anything for you here, and considering there'd be spoilers very early on, can't say much more. 06. "Walking Distance"- A weird episode that involved some timey-wimey things, and a very strange visit of a 30-some year old man into the town of his childhood. The episode was presented fairly well, and the situation presented very well. Literally the only issue keeping it from trumping a similar episode later on is that the pacing could have been a little bit better. 05. "The After Hours"- One of the most creative and properly paced episodes of the series, that has perhaps one of the best endings. I will not spoil it for you, here however. I will just say this: the woman you follow in the story is not exactly what she appears to be, and the 9th floor of that department store is, for all intents and purposes, the Twilight Zone. 04. "To Serve Man"- An absolute classic, and it is not hard to see why. It is the best written episode in the entire series, bar none. The episode also has a very nice twist at the end (that at least SOMEBODY should have been suspicious of all along), that was nonetheless a little bit predictable (why it's only number 4 on this list). 03. "A Stop at Willoughby"- This was the episode I was talking about earlier on in the list. This is basically a better version of "The Walking Distance" with improved pacing, a miserable woman that never deserved the main character's affection, and an ever-so slightly improved premise. I debated where to position this one, I was initially going to put it second actually. 02. "Time Enough at Last"- This episode is considered one of the show's absolute best, for good reason. The plot flows extraordinarily well, and all of the several twists and turns feel highly impactful to the episode's progression. I'm also not spoiling the ending, but after the twist at the end, I feel particularly sorry for the main character of this episode. 01. "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street"- Bar none the best episode in he entire series, that is the best representation of Rod Serling's writing genius, and it has definitively the best acting in the show's entire 156 episode run. This episode is so close to flawless I might as well just say every facet is flawless and among the best in the series. I will end on this note, that this series deserves all of the praise it has gotten over the years. Even with all of the duds in the show's run (JESS-BELLE), the show is in general an absolutely fantastic venture into the unknown that will likely leave you wanting more and wishing it hadn't ended so soon after watching all of the episodes. The show is just about as much of a masterpiece as I remember it being. An impressive show that's probably about a 9/10 in my book, because the stellar outnumber the terrible MASSIVELY. I would have a hard time making a list half this size talking about terrible episodes, and with this list, I had to take some greats out and not even mention them, episodes like "The Dummy" that was absolutely stellar (To be honest, if I had to rank it it would probably be somewhere between 27 and 30). More A+'s than D's or lower, surely. Absolutely wonderful series that I couldn't recommend enough to fans of 60's television, the macabre, or science-fiction.
  24. Which voice out of the mane 6 do you like best? I think the voice acting in that show definitely makes it what it is. They are all done well but I think Rarity has the best one. Even though I really like Rainbow Dash's voice, I just think that Rarity's is just funnier when she's being dramatic.
  25. To continue the pattern from S5, this is a review of S7 as a whole, with both tops and bottoms in respective categories. To view the rest: Season 5 Season 6, 1st Half Season 6 Season 7, 1st Half No apologies for C&P'ing content from my First Half overview (with some changes). Episodes Bottom-5: Fame & Misfortune Where do I start? a. The dialogue is atrocious. b. The RM6 published all of their lessons from S4, including the one from Daring Don't, revealing her identity. c. They publish their journal without testing their target audience via study group beforehand. d. Each of the fan representations they meet are quarter-dimensional, stereotypical caricatures. None of the characters who appear act like genuine people. e. The RM6 are abused everywhere they went. Ranged from not taken seriously (Pinkie) to objectified (TS) to trespassed (AJ) to boycotted (Rarity) to stalked/harassed (FS). The background characters are out-of-character assholes. f. Every "fan," including the Canterlot reporter, honestly believed the journal was a work of fiction, turning the background characters into straw men. g. "We're a Work in Progress" is the worst song of the show for manipulating the audience, excusing bad writing and behavior of the characters over the years, and glorifying their flaws (as if changing and evolving is a bad thing in the show and life). h. The background assholes don't learn their lesson, and the main moral disguises what they did as a setback. Even after they stop group-hugging, Rarity, AJ, and FS still have to settle major problems, and the harmful moral excuses the abuse they suffered. There's no care for continuity, characterization, or story whatsoever. It disregards their main demographics (children and guardians) to boost their own ego and attack the critics. No wonder why Larson disassociates from it and hates it himself. For anyone who wonders why I (enjoy) bash(ing) this episode, dogshit on the sidewalk doesn't deserve to be rewarded a participation trophy. Fame & Misfortune's the worst of S7 by far and the worst written episode of the series. If there were any minuscule saving positives, Starlight continued to show growth, and I gained much more appreciation for Stranger Than Fan Fiction and its nuances after watching F&M. Hard to Say Anything Two words: unadulterated shit. After about 7 to 8 minutes of meandering (but nothing genuinely wrong), the minute Feather Bangs Stereo Pop shows up, the episode flushes down the drain. Big Mac and the CMCs have their worst and second-worst characterizations in the show, respectively. Big Mac for following on the CMCs' hairbrained schemes to try to woo Sugar Belle, the CMCs for believing the fairy tales are how-to romance guidebooks. None of the jokes or twists work at any point — Stereo Pop's characterization is a blatantly dated Bieber parody, Stereo Pop's phallic cutie mark resembling an erect penis with testicles (hence why he covers it up in almost every shot), and the shallow song-off between Mac and Stereo Pop. Protip, DHX: Sexual harassment ain't funny, either. Big Mac's crush on Sugar is contrived as hell, too; not only for the blatant ending, but also by the fact that we don't actually see it develop; the entire crush plot is unrequited. You could've written this episode much more differently and make it better. Hell, Starlight would've been a fine secondary character. Instead, it's a generic, clichéd, by-the-numbers plot that DHX couldn't even write well. Hell, continuity stated in the episode (Big Mac warned the CMCs not to use love poison to force the romance through) was ignored to make it work. Honest Apple While the former was marred by a terrible middle and ending, this episode's marred by a terrible beginning and middle all the way to the climax. Rarity acted incompetent and out of character by putting her contest into action despite only two judges signing off on it with no possible backups beforehand in case someone had to cancel. Apple Bloom looked really dumb for not realizing her bow caused major problems (and is a contrived plot point to boot). But what really drags this episode down is a complete lack of understanding of what makes Applejack the Bearer of Honesty. Does she tell the truth? Absolutely. But she tells them while still caring about others' feelings! So, what does she do here? Turn into an egomaniac with no clue how to judge fashion properly and a lust to tear down their work. The worst moment, by far, is shaking the crossed-over-stitched feathers off Lily Lace's hat. An in-character AJ will NEVER pull this stupid stunt! The only way she was able to realize she was verbally abusive was when Strawberry Sunrise (upon introduction from Rarity) delivered her the same abuse in return. We're in season 7; AJ should NOT have to learn about how important tact is when being honest. The new characters in the episode? Unlikeable, stereotypical, generic, or all of the above. Hopefully, none of them return! Secrets & Pies This is a type of episode that would probably fit in S1, like Honest Apple. It makes no sense for Pinkie to behave the way she did towards Dash here. S&P is a stretched-thin ripoff of Party of One with worse characterization. Pinkie's characterization here is the worst of the season for completely falling for Dash's tricks over the years and her psychotic obsession for catching Dash in the act. Dash is out of character for dumping the pie down Tank's feeding tube twice (easily my least favorite scene and one of S7's worst moments). Dash is partially at fault for causing Pinkie's injury at the academy (that's what you get for crying "wolf!" all these years!). Like most episodes over the years, Dash is beat down to be taught a lesson, a cliché so worn thin and should be tossed in the trash. Unlike PoO, every joke is awful, whether it's repeated to the point of annoying (the "look at that" coverups with no proper variation) or disgusting (Dash trying to eat the dumpster pie, close ups of Pinkie's deranged and tired faces). A good moral — "Don't create a snowball of lies just to make a friend happy. It's more worth it telling the truth." — doesn't save this episode. A Royal Problem The saving grace in this episode: Starlight. No, her actions were wrong, but the episode built that up to the point where Starlight's nightmare was so soul-crushing that it could've damaged her psyche. More on that a little below. Celestia was great in Advice, for showing how human she is without devolving her character. Unfortunately, she and Luna are out of character here. Is it fine for them to bicker as sisters? Totally. But their bickering crossed the line into being personal attacks; each of them treated each other's important roles in Equestrian society as not just pointless, but wasteful, too. On top of that, they never understood that THEY were the friendship problem until Starlight told them directly to their faces, and even then, they were still too dumb to get it till later. (Seriously, Snips and Snails are smarter than them here!) So, when did they finally get it? When they witness Starlight's heartbreaking nightmare. Their lack of appreciation for one another makes no sense, since Luna's envy of her sister and lack of appreciation are why she turned into NMM in the first place. You'd think at their age, they'd figure something out. It's among their five worst appearances for each in the show. But the worst moment of the episode comes during the resolution when Celestia tells Starlight that she was right to swap their marks. Firstly, she performed her spell on them against their will. Just because they say it's okay doesn't make it okay. The princesses absolve her of her wrongdoing. That side would've been resolved had she asked first and the princesses not act like idiots. Secondly, when they say she did the right thing, Starlight's emotional pain during her terrible nightmare becomes an afterthought. That her self-infliction plot-wise and emotion-wise was pointless. Despite quality characterization from Starlight, background music, and animation hints, Celestia's and Luna's out of characterization, idiocy, and incompetence ruin the episode. Even though I have it fifth-worst in overall quality, it's currently my second-least-favorite episode of S7 behind Fame (and easily the most disappointing). Dishonorable mentions: Fluttershy Leans In, Daring Done? Top-7: The Perfect Pear Pear Butter and Bright Mac = best FIM couple and best-written parents of the show. Everything about this couple is the complete opposite of the likes of Flash/Twilight and Sugar Belle/Big Mac: The development of the romance is like someone who knows romance wrote these ponies. Their chemistry from foalhood to matrimony's completely organic and makes complete sense to the audience. They show how much they love each other during and after life. Every joke lands. Only the third episode to make me cry and did so on a few occasions. One of them when Big Mac asked Burnt Oak if they can return to hear more stories about their dad. More about that later. It has misplaced criticism about them leaving out how they passed as well as Granny avoiding the tree. This isn't that episode. TPP's about celebrating their lives, cherishing their pasts, and letting go of both lifelong pain and bitterness. Each note is hit as the episode progresses. Secondly, the entire Pear family disowned Buttercup for marrying an Apple, and they died early. The marriage site gives her too much pain to deal with. The ending provides the perfect closure for this episode. "You're in My Head Like a Catchy Song" = best S7 song. It's so simple in its acoustics, but, to echo RainShadow on YT, packs such an amazing emotional punch. One of three times this episode makes me cry, the other one being Grand Pear apologizing to Apple Bloom. Grand Pear = show's most tragic character. The night his daughter married and became an Apple is the last day he saw her alive. Unfortunately, he'll never apologize to her and has to live with an enormous mistake he'll never repair. The moment he broke down as he apologized to Apple Bloom captures the heartbreak he had to hold within for so long. And excellent voice acting by William Shatner (and Felicia Day for Buttercup). In my first half overview, I said this might be the best episode of the show when S7's over. I was wrong. It isn't simply the best episode of the show, but of MLP altogether. Shadow Play FIM's canon and timeline are constructed on the fly and operate season to season. When an episode many seasons later feels like everything beforehand was preplanned, that's a major compliment. Amending Fences handled it beautifully. Shadow Play executes it just as beautifully, but in another way. Previous episodes both during S7 and in the past hung little details about specific characters' pasts, including Star Swirl. Twilight finished his spellbook, because he couldn't figure out how important the magic of friendship truly was in Equestria. The era he predominantly lived in justifies that, and it's connected to his association with the rest of the Pillars, his venom towards Stygian after he stole their magical artifacts, and bitter shots at Twilight after bungling her spell to free them. This two-parter is nearly one hour shorter than the FIM Movie, but each line matters, is naturally spoken, and the cast is excellently balanced. Everyone here in SP matters and is treated with importance. Remove just one of the Pillar Six, Mane Eight, or Sunburst, and the whole story changes. Speaking of characters, Stygian is the best villain in the entire series. Not only is he a really good character. His backstory that resulted in him becoming the Pony of Shadows is fantastic. DHX could've just stuck with the intro animation — a great callback to the opening scene of the pilot — and leave us with the simple backstory. Instead, each scene builds up the PoS's birth and merger with Stygian more and more. His backstory mirrors Starlight's intentionally. Speaking of Starlight, this is her best appearance of the series. For the entire season, DHX took extra care of her appearances and characterization, making sure she's not only written very well, but also make her a part of Ponyville's society. Unlike S6, her appearances are much more frequent and vary in importance, whether she's the episode's central character in Uncommon Bond or near-background like FLI. Shadow Play's a culmination of what she learned since becoming Twilight's pupil to conclude season 5. Everyone's rush to condemn the Pony of Shadows through the Elements of Harmony echoes critiques some of us had for the EoH, which was a band-aid to force evil to assimilate to Equestria's society; Sunset's character reset exemplifies this flaw to a T. Instead, Starlight pursued the cause of the Pillar's division from Stygian to search for a real fix to the conflict. Like most of S7's second half, SP illustrates a conflict that doesn't put one side entirely in the right or wrong and explored this tension masterfully. It's FIM's best two-parter. Parental Glideance "Wow" perfectly describes this treasure. Easily the best episode by a debut (solo) writer in the series. Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles = character-wise, two of the best canonical parents in the show. They play the embarrassing parent trope while still subverting the clichés, making them feel like they love Dash, and acting realistic. They're hyper, but so damn lovable. The jokes land perfectly. *gasp* The Wonderbolts are fucking LIKEABLE! Somepony call the Vatican! We witnessed a miracle! This episode also shows how to have a likeable character do a Putting Your Hoof Down rant correctly. There, Fluttershy calculatingly insulted both Pinkie and Rarity and then had the blame shifted to Iron Will that night. Here, Dash was at her limit's end, lost her cool, and immediately wanted to make things right. The criticism against the moral's execution is a flaw that doesn't even exist. Was Dash right to be upset at her parents? Yes. Some actions (despite having downplayed stakes) were reckless. Does she have the right to yell at them, slap Bow's hoof away, and implicate disownment of them because they embarrass her so much? No, she doesn't. She takes her supportive parents for granted, and Scootaloo would love to experience this feeling just once from her parents. The moral and execution were on the money. Marks & Recreation Is the cutie mark a pony's true life goal? What about their other passions? Will they be affected, too? Cutie marks are a part of Equestrian lore, but open up other questions, such as predestination, a choice of what they want to do for the rest of their life, their names associated with their mark, or living in a box. This underappreciated gem answers a few of these questions, streamlining its lore. a. Kettle Corn receives a cutie mark related to haiku poetry. @Batbrony highlighted VERY clever foreshadowing in his review: the circle she loves painting over and over is a zero in Japanese calligraphy, and a haiku is Japanese poetry. BTW, she was really good and cute in her curious, poetic, childlike ways. Her mark is unrelated to her name, one of the few in that regard. b. The CMCs are excellent in their roles, especially Sweetie Belle during her shouting match against Rumble. c. Rumble's blistering criticism and fears of a cutie mark trapping him in a box are believable. When he got no answer from Apple Bloom in regards to the last time she brewed potions with Zecora, he gained the leverage needed to retain his status as a blank flank. The song he led to rally the other fillies — "Blank Flanks Forever" — is solid and further developed the conflict. Thunderlane, now a Wonderbolt, is fantastic. His reason for sending Rumble to Cutie Mark Day Camp at Camp Friendship (calling back to Mane Attraction) makes sense: he wants Rumble to exit the box he himself created following his promotion to a Wonderbolt. The climax to resolve the conflict is both mature and tasteful. Yes, FIM could've simply made Rumble the complete bad guy and have the narrative shoot him down everywhere. Instead, the story used Thunderlane, he and the CMCs teaming up, and having Rumble witness and eventually decide to join the campers and TL at the campfire shows us that he can conquer his fear of losing his pastimes and hobbies. The moral — no one person is defined by a label — is fantastic. In all, a fascinating episode. Once Upon a Zeppelin Discordant Harmony Discord has his most likeable performance in the series. He was the spirit of chaos, but in many of his post-villain appearances, he was being a jerk for the sake of it. Here, he shows how much he cares for Fluttershy and wants to be seen as a valuable friend to her. Pinkie's advice's solid, but Discord's naivete with friendship made him take her too literally. Because he and 'Shy are close, it makes sense for him to feel really sensitive when ponies question it. Fluttershy continues to show off her growth from past seasons. Unlike Leans In, it does it better. She's not so timid anymore and really shows how much Discord means to her. Not in the way that Keep Calm implicated, but a genuine care for him. Like equals. When Discord became too normal and began to fade away, Fluttershy jumped into action to try to save him. More about her and the moral later. Out of every episode, this is the first to actually treat their friendship like one. Prior, the show tells us they're friends, but they don't behave like friends. Here, their friendship feels incredibly genuine, a long-time coming for this show. As a cherry on top, the moral is spectacular. More on that later in the overview. Uncommon Bond This great episode shows us how much Starlight grew prior to Shadow Play. This is an external conflict for Starlight: trying to catch up with Sunburst and figure out what they have in common so they can share memories and know each other better after being separated for so long. But when Starlight finds out Sunburst has smoother and better chemistry with Twilight, Trixie, and Maud over her, it's easy to see how discouraging and devastating it must be to her. As such, her rash decision to literally remake one of their childhood pastimes (including turning themselves into fillies) is believable, yet rightfully points out her idea as disturbing. At the same time, Sunburst, who was excellent here, isn't written to be a jerk, but instead got carried away and lost sight of his childhood friend. His interactions with her friends really fit into his character and, in some respects, can get really cute, too. Yes, he should've paid attention to Starlight's mood (she ain't very subtle about how she feels), but it was very clear he wasn't doing it to be mean. How they were able to find something in common fits them all. Instead of playing the board game, the life-size game brings a roleplaying element, alongside using each of their strengths to bond each other more. This episode and Starlight's conflict are very relatable to a lot of people, and everyone being in top form helps shape UB into being one of S7's best. Honorable mentions: It Isn't the Mane Thing About You, All Bottled Up. Note: From now on, F-graded episodes are divided into F+, F, and F-. S7 episode ranking: The Perfect Pear: A+ Shadow Play: A+ Parental Glideance: A+ Marks and Recreation: A Once Upon a Zeppelin: A- Discordant Harmony: A- Uncommon Bond: A- It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A- All Bottled Up: A- A Flurry of Emotions: B+ To Change a Changeling: B+ A Health of Information: B Triple Threat: B- Celestial Advice: B- Not Asking for Trouble: B- Forever Filly: C+ Campfire Tales: C+ Rock Solid Friendship: C+ Daring Done?: C+ Fluttershy Leans In: C A Royal Problem: D+ Secrets and Pies: D Honest Apple: F Hard to Say Anything: F Fame and Misfortune: F- --- Top-13 episodes (in order, updated; A+ episodes in italics): The Perfect Pear The Best Night Ever Crusaders of the Lost Mark Amending Fences Shadow Play Sisterhooves Social The Cutie Map Parental Glideance Party of One Testing Testing 1, 2, 3 Pinkie Pride Slice of Life Suited for Success Honorable mentions: Lesson Zero, Sleepless in Ponyville, The Times They Are a Changeling. --- Bottom-13 episodes (in order, updated; F- episodes in italics): One Bad Apple Newbie Dash Fame and Misfortune Bridle Gossip Dragon Quest The Crystal Empire Rainbow Falls 28 Pranks Later Princess Spike Owl’s Well That Ends Well The Mysterious Mare Do Well P.P.O.V. Boast Busters Dishonorable Mentions: Putting Your Hoof Down, The Show Stoppers, Appleoosa’s Most Wanted. Morals: Bottom morals: 1. Fame & Misfortune: Your personality flaws are admirable and make up who you are. Like characters in a TV show, people in real life change, either through progression or regression. Everyone's personalities have a balance of their positives and negatives. Part of learning is figuring out how to improve and become better people. By championing and glorifying personality flaws, this moral's actively claiming that changing and improving to become better people is pointless. Consequently, they're preaching a really dangerous slippery slope. To put this into perspective: There's a gigantic difference between liking someone in spite of your flaws and liking someone because of your flaws. F&M preaches the latter. When connected into the show, it's very hypocritical. Why? Because it goes against one of show's core themes of becoming better. The Mane 8, the CMCs, Discord, and so on all have strengths to build upon and weaknesses to overcome. Character development is crucial to the show. Dash's self-absorbed ego, Fluttershy's phobia and timidity, Twilight losing composure so quickly are all well-known character flaws; even when the episode isn't done well, they work forward to improve. Secondly, what do Discord, Diamond Tiara, Gilda, and Starlight all have in common? They all had personalities and attitudes the show and protagonists didn't tolerate, and they had to improve so others could trust and like them (again). When they didn't, the episode rejected them, like Lightning Dust, Gilda in S1, and Wind Rider. This moral spits on their reformations and redemptions. You can read more about my panning of this moral in my status, some of which I C&P'd from. Fame & Misfortune: You can't change how they feel about you, but you can change how they affect you. In a vacuum, this isn't a bad moral. But given the context of the episode and offensive subtexts when paralleled to fans, the implications make this moral toxic. This moral is in response to how Ponyville and Canterlot directly harassed and bullied the RM6 to the point of altering their lives and devastating Twilight. The RM6 handwave all of it as just an obstacle in their friendship and mask it as criticism, thus telling us to tolerate the abuse. --- Top morals: Discordant Harmony: Your best friend may have nothing in common with you, but you're true friends because you care for each other. This is true for just about anyone. Many of us have at least one person we know who have nothing in common in personality, opinions, qualities, 'tude, and preference. Commonness doesn't determine true friendship, but by how much they love each other. Neither Discord nor Fluttershy share anything in common. Their personalities and tastes vastly differ, but they're still friends and show us that. More importantly, she's the one who took him in and trusted him. By delivering that moral, Fluttershy hones in past continuity and growth while not degrading her character. The Perfect Pear: Don't hold onto past anger and guilt of a mistake you can't fix forever. Celebrate their lives, and pursue new memories with their loved ones. I repeated this point ad nauseum since first watching it last June. People from all walks of life make mistakes they truly regret. While some correct their mistakes, not everyone does. Grand Pear is among the latter for disowning his late daughter on the last day he saw her alive. On the opposite end, Granny Smith grew so bitter of the Pear family for how they treated her that she didn't inform Grand Pear of their deaths until much later in life, adding to the grief and longtime feud and whitewashing Buttercup and Bright Mac's romance to her grandponies. Honorable mention: You have the obligation to your own time, even when you feel you must sacrifice it to make others happy ("Zeppelin"). New characters: Characters that appeared on screen prior to S7 (even when in the background) don't count. Even though Star Swirl and Meadowbrook were referenced in past seasons, they didn't make physical cameos until S7, so they're exempt. Bottom-5: Toola Roola & Coconut Cream: Both fillies are lumped into one as a result of one common role. For the first time all series, FIM used token characters in an episode. Their only purpose from a meta standpoint is to tell young girls, their primary demographic, that they matter…when the entire episode leading up to the ending lumped young girls/kids (as the fillies) with the rest of the abusive ponies (the adults). Token characters talk down to children by only telling them they matter on a surface level only. Stereo Pop. Fucking Stereo Pop! A blatant, dated parody of teenage Bieber and stereotypical boy bands. Without him, Hard would actually be able to go somewhere. And, no, that asspull at the end doesn't make him any better. Strawberry Sunrise: She is a straw mare. Her only purpose is to be an asshole just to make AJ understand how it feels to be in the designers' horseshoes. There's no personality beyond this point, and the episode treats her bullying as a good thing. This Canterlot reporter from F&M. He's there only to drive the vessel that the ponies who abused the RM6 see them as merely fictional beings in an autobiographical journal and attack the critics more. Dishonorable mention: Lily Lace (valley girl stereotype), Dandy Grandeur. --- Top-6: Buttercup & Bright Mac. 'Nuff said. Stygian: The best villain in the series. Basically a ponified Squib, he doesn't have the magical abilities the Pillars or any other unicorn have, compensating it with his intelligence. As Shadow Play builds up his backstory, he as a character enriches. Bow Hothoof & Windy Whistles: Eccentric, loud, yet also very dedicated to raising their daughter the best way possible. They're very endearing, relatable, and hilarious. Star Swirl the Bearded: After years of mystery, he and the other Pillars physically appear before the Mane 8. As a character, he's incredibly balanced. Wise, smart, understands magic like the back of his hoof, but also judgmental, difficult to convince, and bitter. When he gets mad at someone, you'll know it, and his putdowns of Twilight in Shadow Play, Part 2 exemplify that. He's a byproduct of the tumultuous era he lived in over a millennium ago. But when he admits he's wrong, he sets his ego aside. A marvelous character. Honorable mentions: Pharynx, Mistmane, Star Tracker. Mane 8: Bottom: Pinkie Pie. She's really good in some episodes this season, in particular Not Asking for Trouble and Daring Done? Unfortunately, her characterization took a collective turn for the worse. During Rock Solid Friendship, she pestered Maud and Starlight continually, contributing to Maud feeling she doesn't belong in Ponyville. In S&P, she fell for Dash's constant cover up and became obsessed with catching her in the act. Dishonorable mention: Rarity. --- Top: Starlight. Overall, she's the best written and most consistent. After a sloppy redemption arc, DHX takes more care to write her correctly. She's not as nervous and hesitant as before, has a sardonic edge, and isn't boring or unlikeable. She still has a ways to go, but the Starlight here transitions into a more-self-confident pony. Every episode she's in makes her feel like she belongs in both Twilight's circle and Ponyville altogether. Plus, she's given much proper use. Her role in Rock Solid's fantastic, and it's a nice touch how she worked with the RM7 to build Fluttershy's sanctuary. Uncommon Bond brings forth a personal side to Starlight, and she humanizes Shadow Play's conflict as the Devil's Advocate. Honorable mention: Twilight Sparkle. --- Full M8 rank (in order): Starlight Glimmer Twilight Sparkle Fluttershy Spike Rainbow Dash Applejack Rarity Pinkie Pie Moments: Bottom-3: Big Mac forcing an attempted kiss on a sleeping Sugar Belle. Ah, nuthin' like a scene that says, "Hey! As long as it's a comedy, sexually harassing girls is a-okay!" Anyone who thinks this… this… AND THIS… …is okay or funny is lying. Big Mac's trying to force a kiss on Sugar Belle, who had no idea he was there! If SB showed or said anything to suggest that she knew he was there and teased him, then this moment won't look as bad. As is, it has NO business anywhere, especially in an education-centric cartoon like this one! I predicted no other moment will be worse than this one months ago, and it remains such. The Canterlot reporter accuses the RM6 and their journal of being fictional. Rather than rewrite why, I'll C&P why from my review: … … … Where do I even start with this shit? F&M is FIM's third meta episode of the series. Only this time, the characters are portrayed as the showrunners' avatar, and those who are abusing the ReMane Seven represent the fans they're retorting. It's self-referential and doesn't hide it. When we as an audience criticize the Mane Eight, we don't usually do so because we hate the characters or expect the worst. We criticize because we know that this show is very good and has done great, yet can do better. As an audience, we relate to them in some way or another. It can be a mane pony, secondary, or background. Everyone has a preference of who they like and dislike. Nobody looks at a character exactly the same way. Guess what? That's okay. At the end of the day, we still love the characters as a whole and appreciate the show and staff for what they do. This "parody" is completely inaccurate in message, conflict, and theme. This exchange is the worst dialogue in the entire episode and causes the whole conflict to fall apart. They're characters, not real people. They exist only on screen, on paper, or within our own imaginations. It's the creators' job to flesh them out and make that character become high-quality and memorable. Neither the avatars nor antagonists are real. But in the universe, the characters ARE real and conquer major trials. Each time they wrote in the journal, they changed for the better, even after the episode sometimes doesn't work. Fluttershy after Breezies, Dash in Equestria Games following Rainbow Falls, Rarity after Simple Ways, etc. In canon, the characters aren't dictated by a writer's pencil or keyboard, because there, they don't exist. On the other hand, the antagonists see the autobiographical lessons as fiction and those who wrote them as fictional characters. Neither the antagonists nor protagonists are on equal conflict ground. The ponies questioning, bashing, stalking, and abusing the RM6 are treating them not as real people, but as either characters that we as readers want to replicate on paper and recreate or property that we can recycle. How the hell can the reporter — probably the one who released the 1.5/5-star rating, though that's just a guess — honestly believe the RM6 are fictional characters when he's talking to them directly? Once more, why do ponies from within their inner circles suddenly begin to see them as celebrities when they've known them for so long, anyway? This small exchange does nothing except tell the audience that all of these "antagonists" are straw men. Characters written to be proven wrong in order for the main characters to have the upper hand. What makes them so bad is that you're taking what could be valid points and eliminating them so the protagonists have the upper hand in everything they do. You're making what should be a complex conflict completely one-sided, thus telling parents that the episode — and show, if they watch it for the first time — is trying to emotionally manipulate children into viewing the plot through a black-and-white mentality. F&M uses real talking points from within the fandom, checks them off, and morphs them into abusive caricatures of fans rather than taking the good, bad, and recreating them into what fans as a whole truly are — people. In layman's terms, what could be a good lesson is morphed into a bad one. Straw characters helped ruin the Fluttershy Micro, Root of the Problem, Spice Up Your Life, AND here. NEVER use straw men to teach a lesson! The four Ponyville ponies stalk and harass Fluttershy. What makes this so painful to watch is two reasons: Fluttershy's history. She's a sensitive pegasus who not only battles a psychologically crippling phobia, and was also laughed at (Hurricane Fluttershy) and abused (PYHD). The ponies' reasons for harassing her: Why she keeps relearning the same lessons and one stallion whining about why he wasn't inserted into the journal. Are you KIDDING ME?! FUCK those four ponies! Dishonorable mentions: Vet reveals Tank swallowed a whole pie/Dash chucks pie down her chute in a panic. AJ destroys Lily Lace's hat. Pinkie's bkg. friends laugh at everything she says. Celly and Luna absolve Starlight for swapping their marks. Pinkie tells Dash to "eat up" with a deranged face. Celly and Luna fight. --- Top-4: Big Mac asks Burnt Oak if they can return to hear more stories of his dad someday. This tearjerker is full of great detail. Big Mac — a stallion of few words beyond his "eeyup" gag — being the one to ask makes knowing more about his parents feel more important. After he asks, Burnt Oak cries, indicating clearly how much he missed his close friend. Little touches in episodes like this one turns a great episode into an amazing one. Starlight cries after Star Swirl venomously disowns Stygian. Starlight reformed from her villainous days a few seasons ago, thanks to Twilight giving her the opportunity to change and follow a completely new path. While every Mane and Pillar wrote him off, Starlight sees Stygian as someone who should be given another chance, because she relates to him. Star Swirl casting a final judgment on him as someone unworthy to befriend cuts deeply into Starlight. If she was in Stygian's shoes, she'd likely share his fate. Buttercup sings to BM. Their relationship is real, and the emotional (but simple) song makes it more believable. Bow Hothoof admits to installing the music by himself. Firstly, best joke of the season. Secondly, narrows Dash's parents down perfectly. They devote their entire lives to their daughter and cherish her, period. It helped build up the fallout later on. Honorable mentions: Rumble jumps over the line that divides the CMC and blank flank camps. Grand Pear apologizes to Apple Bloom. Cadance offers motherly advice to Twilight following her meltdown. Fluttershy re-creates Discord's house. Granny Smith forgives Grand Pear and welcomes him to the family. What I want for Season 8: Continue the episode quality. Season 7 is the most consistent in its episode quality (with only 5 bad and average episodes each and 15 good ones), and this was with a lineup of mostly writers who didn't write for the show very long or debuted in S7. Nick Confalone, one of the best writers for S6, only wrote one episode in S7. Josh Hamilton wrote the best debut episode in the show, and Triple Play isn't that bad. The Fox Brothers's Discordant Harmony was a major beacon of great quality to help conclude the first half. While Lappin started off poorly with Honest Apple, To Change a Changeling and Uncommon Bond are great and excellent, respectively. Brittany Jo Flores debuted with Zeppelin, and it's a far more nuanced and clever episode than F&M. Haber, who returned in the second half, had the longest tenure. Haber to continue his magic touch. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but after Haber returned to the show, the quality of the episodes spiked collectively. A couple of bumps along the way, but overall, the episodes were at least good. To repeat from earlier, the stretch from Mane Thing to SP was the series' best run since S1-2 (easily its best finish since S1), and who knows whether S8 will continue this trend or not. Once he returned, the direction changed for the better, too. Almost every episode contained dozens of shades of grey. By doing so, the conflict provides an extra side to the story, increasing layers to make the experience more rounded than one-sided conflicts provide. Episodes like Health of Info, M&R, SP, or Zeppelin wouldn't succeed had they not follow this direction. Starlight continue her arc. Her redemption arc isn't done, but she's come so far in the past couple of seasons, S7 being a major step up after DHX follied in S6. Now she's more self-assured and helped save Stygian from returning to limbo. She's heading in the right direction, and I want to see her develop more, maybe interacting more with the others beyond TS and Spike. Once more, watch your unfortunate implications and stereotypes. This got better following F&M, but chances are they may fall in that trap someday. If you have anything you might want to see for S8, let me know in the comments. Verdict: Season 7 was a huge step up for FIM. After S6, I worried whether the show would slow down or not. But not only did S7 squash those fears. FIM has a lot more left in the tank. With so many good and great episodes, and with Nicole Dubuc and Haber together to edit after co-writing Shadow Play so well, it's heading in the right direction. It's my second-favorite and second-best season of the show, and I can't wait what S8 has in store. For those curious about my season order from best to worst: 5 > 7 > 2 > 1 > 4 > 3 > 6.