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Hearth's Warming Helper


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Found 289 results

  1. WELCOME TO THE STARLIGHT GLIMMER FANCLUB! She was equal and wanted to share True Friendship with everypony. And then she was reformed, and is the one and only student of the Princess of Friendship. She has amazing magical abilities that match those of the Princesses themselves. She is the first true friend of the Great and Powerful Trixie. It's the one and only Starlight Glimmer! Club Rules: - No hate on this or any other character. - No spam. - Don't claim that you're the biggest fan. - No overly inappropriate material. - Please focus on this character only: all posts must include her as the main topic. - Forum global rules still apply!
  2. 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-
  3. One of my biggest peeves in reviewing is giving something a calculated score, because it's very difficult if not impossible to reduce the quality to such a mark. Plus, whenever many people see a score, they tend to not read the review at all and rely on the score/grade itself as proof for purchase. Nonetheless, if I were to grade the following based on the following items below, they would be the followings below the first rule. The grades are respective and separated to the following categories: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Season 8 Season 9 (ongoing) MLP: The Movie & Specials Equestria Girls series, RR animated shorts, specials, and IDW comic/annual Main Comic Series* Micro-Series Friends Forever If you want to see my order of every FIM episode from best to worst (with grades), click here. Be warned: There are no reasons given for any of the grades, and they're all subject to change. Let's begin! Season 1: Friendship Is Magic: C The Ticket Master: C- Applebuck Season: B- Griffon the Brush Off: D+ Boast Busters: F Dragonshy: B- Look Before You Sleep: B Bridle Gossip: F- Swarm of the Century: B- Winter Wrap Up: A- Call of the Cutie: B+ Fall Weather Friends: B Suited for Success: A Feeling Pinkie Keen: D- Sonic Rainboom: B Stare Master: C- The Show Stoppers: F A Dog and Pony Show: C Green Isn't Your Color: B Over a Barrel: D+ A Bird in the Hoof: D The Cutie Mark Chronicles: A- Owl's Well that Ends Well: F Party of One: A+ The Best Night Ever: A+ ——— Season 2: The Return of Harmony: A- Lesson Zero: A Luna Eclipsed: B+ Sisterhooves Social: A+ The Cutie Pox: C May the Best Pet Win!: F The Mysterious Mare Do Well: F Sweet and Elite: B- Secret of My Excess: B Hearth's Warming Eve: B Family Appreciation Day: B Baby Cakes: C+ The Last Roundup: B The Last Roundup (edited): F The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: C- Read It and Weep: B- Hearts and Hooves Day: D A Friend in Deed: B Putting Your Hoof Down: F It's About Time: B- Dragon Quest: F- Hurricane Fluttershy: A Ponyville Confidential: D- MMMystery on the Friendship Express: D- A Canterlot Wedding: C- ——— Season 3: The Crystal Empire: F+ Too Many Pinkie Pies: C+ One Bad Apple: F- Magic Duel: B+ Sleepless in Ponyville: A Wonderbolts Academy: A- Apple Family Reunion: B Spike at Your Service: D- Keep Calm and Flutter On: D+ Just for Sidekicks: D Games Ponies Play: F+ Magical Mystery Cure: C- ——— Season 4: Princess Twilight Sparkle: C- Castle Mane-ia: B- Daring Don't: D Flight to the Finish: A Power Ponies: C Bats!: F+ Rarity Takes Manehattan: B+ Pinkie Apple Pie: B+ Rainbow Falls: F- Three's a Crowd: C+ Pinkie Pride: A Simple Ways: C- Filli Vanilli: D Twilight Time: B It Ain't Easy Being Breezies: D- Somepony to Watch Over Me: F Maud Pie: C+ For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: A- Leap of Faith: C Testing Testing 1, 2, 3: A Trade Ya!: F Inspiration Manifestation: B Equestria Games: D+ Twilight's Kingdom: B- ——— Season 5: The Cutie Map: A+ Castle Sweet Castle: A- Bloom & Gloom: A- Tanks for the Memories: D+ Appleoosa's Most Wanted: F Make Friends but Keep Discord: C+ The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone: C Slice of Life: A Princess Spike: F Party Pooped: C- Amending Fences: A+ Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?: C- Canterlot Boutique: B- Rarity Investigates!: B Made in Manehattan: C+ Brotherhooves Social: D+ Crusaders of the Lost Mark: A+ The One Where Pinkie Knows: C Hearthbreakers: B- Scare Master: B+ What About Discord: F The Hooffields and McColts: D+ The Mane Attraction: A- The Cutie Re-Mark: A ——— Season 6: The Crystalling: B The Gift of Maud Pie: C+ On Your Marks: B+ Gauntlet of Fire: A- No Second Prances: F Newbie Dash: F- A Hearth's Warming Tail: A The Saddle Row Review: A Applejack's "Day" Off: C Flutter Brutter: F+ Spice Up Your Life: C- Stranger Than Fan Fiction: B- The Cart Before the Ponies: F 28 Pranks Later: F- The Times They Are a Changeling: A Dungeons & Discords: B Buckball Season: C- The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: A- Viva Las Pegasus: B+ Every Little Thing She Does: D P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View): F Where the Apple Lies: B- Top Bolt: B To Where and Back Again: F ——— Season 7: Celestial Advice: B- All Bottled Up: A- A Flurry of Emotions: B+ Rock Solid Friendship: C+ Fluttershy Leans In: C Forever Filly: C+ Parental Glideance: A+ Hard to Say Anything: F Honest Apple: F A Royal Problem: C- Not Asking for Trouble: B- Discordant Harmony: A- The Perfect Pear: A+ Fame and Misfortune: F- Triple Threat: B- Campfire Tales: C+ To Change a Changeling: B+ Daring Done: C+ It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: A- A Health of Information: B Marks and Recreation: A Once Upon a Zeppelin: A- Secrets and Pies: D Uncommon Bond: A- Shadow Play: A+ ——— Season 8: School Daze: B- The Maud Couple: B Fake It 'Til You Make It: F Grannies Gone Wild: A Surf and/or Turf: A Horse Play: A- The Parent Map: B+ Non-Compete Clause: D- The Break Up Break Down: A+ Molt Down: A- Marks for Effort: B+ The Mean 6: A A Matter of Principals: C- The Hearth's Warming Club: A Friendship University: B+ The End in Friend: B Yakity-Sax: B- On the Road to Friendship: A The Washouts: A A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: A+ What Lies Beneath: A- Sounds of Silence: A- Father Knows Beast: B- School Raze: B ——— Season 9: The Beginning of the End: B+ Uprooted: B+ Sparkle's Seven: A+ The Point of No Return: A- Common Ground: A She's All Yak: A- Frenemies: A Sweet and Smoky: B Going to Seed: B- Student Counsel: B+ The Last Crusade: A+ Between Dark and Dawn: A The Last Laugh: A- 2, 4, 6, Greaaat: D A Trivial Pursuit: B- The Summer Sun Setback: A She Talks to Angel: B+ Dragon Dropped: A A Horse Shoe-In: B+ Daring Doubt: B Growing Up is Hard to Do: C- The Big Mac Question: A+ The Ending of the End: C The Last Problem: A ——— Specials/Movies: My Little Pony: The Movie: C Best Gift Ever: C+ Rainbow Roadtrip: B Equestria Girls: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: F- The Fall of Sunset Shimmer: A- MLP Annual #1: C- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls — Rainbow Rocks: D Equestria Girls Holiday Special: F- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls — Friendship Games: F+ My Little Pony: Equestria Girls — Legend of Everfree: C- Dance Magic: C Movie Magic: C- Mirror Magic: D- Forgotten Friendship: C ——— Rainbow Rocks Shorts: Music to My Ears: A Guitar Centered: C Hamstocalypse Now: C Pinkie on the One: D+ Player Piano: C- A Case for the Bass: B- Shake Your Tail!: C- Perfect Day for Fun: D Life Is a Runway: A My Past Is Not Today: A Friendship Through the Ages: A Main Comic Series: (Individual issues and overall arc are graded separately.) The Return of Queen Chrysalis: B a. Part 1: B+ b. Part 2: C- c. Part 3: B d. Part 4: B Nightmare Rarity: F a. Part 1: D- b. Part 2: D c. Part 3: D- d. Part 4: F Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair: B+ a. Part 1: B+ b. Part 2: A- Neigh Anything: B a. Part 1: B- b. Part 2: B My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy: D a. Part 1: C b. Part 2: D+ The Bookworm: C- a. Part 1: D b. Part 2: C Reflections: F a. Part 1: D+ b. Part 2: D- c. Part 3: F d. Part 4: F Manehattan Mysteries: A- a. Part 1: A- b. Part 2: A- The Good, the Bad, and the Ponies: F- a. Part 1: F- b. Part 2: F- Siege of The Crystal Empire: F- a. Part 1: D b. Part 2: F c. Part 3: F- d. Part 4: F- *The main comics have been so bad, until they clean up, I refuse to read them again. ——— Micro-Series: Twilight Sparkle: F+ Rainbow Dash: F- Rarity: B+ Fluttershy: F- Pinkie Pie: A Applejack: D+ Cutie Mark Crusaders: A- Princess Celestia: B- Spike: C- Princess Luna: C ——— Friends Forever: Pinkie Pie & Applejack: F Cutie Mark Crusaders & Discord: B Spike & Princess Celestia: C- Twilight Sparkle & Shining Armor: B Fluttershy & Zecora: A Rainbow Dash & Trixie: C+ Pinkie Pie & Princess Luna: A- Rarity & Applejack: D+ Rarity & Babs Seed: B Rainbow Dash & Soarin': A I wound up growing uninterested in reading Friends Forever, hence the short list.
  4. In "The Cutie Re-Mark (Part 2)" the final alternate future of the desolate wasteland, could Celestia have become Daybreaker causing it, or could Ahuizotl have finshed the ring ceremony from Daring Don't to "unleash 800 years of unrelenting sweltering heat"?
  5. (Except for the things she possibly actually did wrong) So, in Amending Fences, Twilight goes back to Canterlot to make nice with her former Canterlot friends, who she feels she wronged by leaving Canterlot for Ponyville. Most of her friends forgive her, but Moondancer wants nothing to do with her, instead pretending not to care about renewing the friendship. Of course, there is more to the story, and Moondancer is secretly harbouring resentment for Twilight skipping her "little get-together in the west castle courtyard," as shown in the first episode. Things come to a head when Twilight brings Pinkie in to put together a party for Moon Dancer, upon which Moon Dancer lets Twilight know just how much she was hurt by Twilight's no-show at Moon Dancer's party all those months ago. There is ultimately reconciliation and a happy end. Now, a lot of fans related really well to Moon Dancer, seeing in her an innocent pony hurt by an insensitivite act committed by somepony who is ostentibly her friend, and who became a recluse who had given up on friendship because of the bad experience she had. And that's fine. I'm not trying to convince anyone to not feel empathy for Moon Dancer. But I will explain why I personally don't feel Moon Dancer's story connected with me in the way the writers intended. First, we are presented with the idea that Twilight was wrong to forgo the party for a study session. As I see it, Twilight had zero obligation to attend the party. It's an invitation, not a summons. If she wants to spend her time with old dusty books instead, that's her perogative. And while she didn't know at the time that Nightmare Moon was due to return, she did seem to have something on her mind. She was reading history, but asks Spike to find a book on Predictions and Prophecies, which obviously is about the future. So she had a reason to decline the invitation: something had caught her interest and she wanted to learn more, which is typical Twilight. But even if she hadn't had a reason, I still feel it's unjust of both the audience and Moon Dancer to blame her for doing what she had every right to do. In the case of Moon Dancer, it's even more egrerious for her to feel wronged, since she should have understood Twilight's decision. They are so similar, after all. I also think it's a bit unfair of Moon Dancer to expect Twilight to be more social just because she decided to be. And let's be real here, Moon Dancer didn't even bother to invite Twilight personally. Twinkleshine did the inviting. We don't even know if the invitation was on Moon Dancer's behalf as we are never given any evidence for such being the case. How was Twilight supposed to know that Moon Dancer was putting any kind of emotional attachment to her attendance? This could easily have been avoided if the writers just added another flashback to Moon Dancer inviting Twilight, and having her agree to attend, and then going back on that agreement when she saw the Elements of Harmony mentioned in her book. Here we actually have Twilight going back on her word to a friend, and that would go a long way towards making Moon Dancer's reaction more justified. As written, this episode has Moon Dancer forcing responsibility for her own emotional well-being onto Twilight without letting her know about it or agree to it, and that makes it her own damn fault when she then gets hurt. (Consent? What is that?) Now, leaving her friends without even saying goodbye and then never contacting them; that I agree is a pretty crappy thing to do. If Twilight did anything wrong, this would be it. In fact, if the episode had made that the focus and that action was Moon Dancer's beef with Twilight, I might have found it more emotionally resonant. (It wouldn't negate all the bad writing, but it would have improved my outlook on the episode as a whole.) As it is, the party snub angle just muddies the water and makes the message of the episode weaker. What is the message now? "You are justified in making someone else your emotion crutch without their knowledge or consent"? "If somebody snubs you, take it so personally that you become a recluse and shut out everyone else from your life"? And more, that you're justified in doing so? This is pretty much what Moon Dancer does. How am I supposed to feel sorry for her when her reaction is so totally out of proportion to the "offense"? Another reason why the "Twilight hurt Moon Dancer by not going to her party" plotline doesn't really work is that all her other friends did attend that party, including the three that Moon Dancer herself points out as being the original reason why she wanted to be more outgoing in the first place. They even invited her out a few times after the party and she turned them down, because one pony (who wasn't even the impetus for Moon Dancer coming out of her shell, let's remember) didn't attend. That's simply self-sabotage, and it's not justified for the reasons I outlined above. While we're on that topic, I'm not entirely convinced the party was intended as a party for Twilight specifically. It's never stated to be the case. Even if one can infer it from context (arguable at best), that still doesn't change the fact that Twilight was unaware of the fact, and still had the right to decline to attend even if she were aware. The writing also suffers from other issues, even seeming to work against itself at points. It wants you to believe that these ponies were Twilight's friends, but then makes a few jokes out of her not remembering their names. Here's a friendship hint - if you need your assistant to list the names of your friends, you don't have any friends in the first place. Heck, I can reel off two dozen names of friends I had in high school and university (I'm 37 now) - Twilight couldn't remember four (after at most a few months / years). They even make the point that Twilight had no photos of her Canterlot "friends", as she had with the Mane Six. So, you'll forgive me for being a little bit skeptical of the supposed friendship. There's also quite a lot of retconning to make this former friends angle work at all. Previous episodes make it pretty clear that Twilight didn't consider friendship important until she went to Ponyville, and she previously stated that her brother was the only pony she considered her friend before meeting the rest of the Mane Six. Now we're supposed to swallow the lie (which is exactly what it is) that she had these ponies she considered friends in Canterlot. All in all, I'm simply not convinced that the relationship between Twilight and those ponies was anything close to friendship. As another example of what I tend to think of as manipulative writing, we see again the scene from the first episode, with Twinkleshine telling Twilight about the party and Twilight declining in favour of studying. In this episode, the scene is cut short, ending with the other ponies watching Twilight running off. The original scene had the ponies remarking on Twilight's lack of social interaction. The lines excised are as follows: Twinkleshine: "Does that pony do anything except study? I think she's more interested in books than friends." Twilight: "I know I've heard of the Elements of Harmony." I guess they didn't want to remind us that Twilight didn't go in for friendship back then, did they? Or that she was actually going to research the Elements of Harmony, thus giving her a valid reason to decline the party invitation beyond exercising her own free will. It's literally a few seconds of extra footage, so I doubt they cut it for time considerations. There's a difference between evoking and manipulating emotion. This lands squarely on the latter side, and I don't appreciate it from the writers. To be honest, it makes me kind of angry. To conclude, there are many problems with the writing and characterization of this episode, which preclude me from being convinced of the emotional story the writers are trying to tell. There are fans who do find it convincing, and really, I'm glad that someone at least could get edification out of this episode where I can't. Still, I feel that Twilight is being unfairly blamed for Moon Dancer's (to my mind) self-inflicted emotional pain, and I will defend her on that count. Until the next time I bloggity-blog, just remember: always accept any invitation. Somebody's self-worth might be on the line! That's totes on you, friend! Oh, and stay sunny side up, as always!
  6. Why does this episode make think of John Lithgow and Sylvester Stallone? Huh… Anyway, the penultimate episode of Samurai Jack is upon us! Let’s see how the lovebirds are doing... What Happens Following on from the last episode, Jack and Ashi are kissing. However, the romance is dampened by the fact that they still have slug juice in their mouths, causing them to separate and spit the taste out. Reassuring each other that it isn’t a reflection on the kiss itself, they decide to get clean. While Ashi, still wrapped in Jack’s gi, goes to find some suitable clothes, Jack heads outside the ship and luckily finds a broken pipe to use as a shower. Ashi, now clad in a green one-piece dress, appreciates the view of Jack nekkid, but leaves his now-clean gi where he can find it. The two both manage to find some bugs in the desert to cook for dinner that night, despite being chewy and rather unappetizing. Jack reminisces on the beauty of the valley where he grew up, before Aku returned, and mentions that he thinks that he will only ever have the memory, which saddens Ashi. We switch back over to Scaramouch’s journey and Scarry has coopted an octopus to serve as his body. He finally finds Aku’s spire, and despite an automated recording from Aku that he is not currently receiving visitors, proceeds inside. He convinces Aku to talk to him and tells him about the issing-May ord-Sway of ack-Jay. Aku is pleased to hear this, and restores Scaramouch’s body as reward for bringing the good-bad news. They dance. Do the Robot! In the morning, Ashi wakes to find that Jack has left her behind in secret and follows his trail again. (Note the separate beds… I guess a kiss is as far as they went… pity) Jack walks through the desert, and finds himself in a familiar place… the wreckage of giant robots all around. As he clambers over them, he comes to a destroyed time portal and sees some familiar red sun-glasses broken on the ground. It seems the Guardian and his time portal are no more. (Ah, man. I had hoped to see him again. I guess prophecy is not infallible…) Ashi arrives and soon, so do Aku and Scaramouch. Aku does his usual “fooooolish Samurai!” bit, until Jack unsheathes his sword. Scaramouch barely manages to protest before Aku blows him up… this time for good. (He just got… Scarasmooshed… ) Jack tries to attack Aku, but the Shogun of Sorrow avoids him easily, despite being distracted by something that smells like him, but isn’t. Aku then turns to Ashi… As it turns out, Aku did once visit the Cult of the Daughters, and even contributed some of his evil (from his hands, I might hasten to clarify) for the High Priestess to drink, thus impregnating her with Ashi and her sisters. (So the name “the Daughters of Aku” turned out to be literal. I must confess, I didn’t see that one coming…) Ashi is unable to control her body, attacking Jack with a purloined sword. After they trade a few blows, Aku fully releases the evil within Ashi, turning her into a black-clad clone of himself, with GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS! The fight resumes, Akushii being much stronger and faster now. Jack still manages to graze her with the sword, releasing the good part of Ashi long enough to beg Jack to kill her before she is again subsumed. However, Jack cannot bring himself to do it, and drops his sword. A triumphant Aku holds it up as Jack collapses before Akushii and… WATCH OUT! Thoughts on the Episode You see, Friendship is Magic: that is how you do a cliffhanger! I always disliked the habit of two-parters in FiM being aired together… it leaves no time for tension to build. And for now, that is where I will leave it. Comments welcomed, and look forward to a bumper review when this whole shebang is all wrapped up. Stay sunny side up!
  7. In this episode, another of my theories goes belly up (I sincerely hope), and I’m forced to make some retractions… what do you think of that, Jack? “Drinks all around!” Oops, wrong Jack. Anyhoo, let’s move on to the seventh episode of Samurai Jack, Season 5. Fish heads, tiger heads and Stanley Kubric inspired imagery await us… What happens A gigantic monolithic ship is hit by asteroids and crash lands. Next we see Jack and Ashi in a desert city. Jack samples some of the local cuisine and gets his head transformed into a fish. Ashi is less than enthused, but luckily it quickly wears off. They board a gigantic camel, along with a large number of tiger-headed aliens. In the crowded quarters, Jack and Ashi are pushed together, and it gets a little awkward… we see quite a bit of UST between the two as they try to avoid touching hands and any other bits, in fact. The will-they-or-won’t-they-tête-à-tête is interrupted as they are attacked by the tiger aliens, and forced to escape out a window. They swing down to the desert on the reins and continue on foot. A gigantic sandstorm begins, and they seek shelter in the crashed ship from earlier, which is revealed to be huge. They make their way deeper and end up getting lost, when something starts chasing them. Ashi gets bitten by a venomous slug, forcing Jack to suck out the venom. So, here’s Jack sucking on Ashi’s… um, ashi… Oh, by the way, “ashi” means “leg” in Japanese, so get your mind out of the gutter! You’re blocking my light. As they continue on, they find themselves being stalked. Their enemy is revealed as a colony of slugs like the one from earlier that form a giant monster. “My God… it’s full of slugs!” Jack eventually finds an armoury with a device that can destroy the monster, but the critical part of the explanation is lost when Jack is distracted by Ashi accidentally discharging a blaster into the wall. The two take the device and move on, Jack desperately trying to activate it. Ashi, having armed herself with a double headed sword and a shield, once again takes point as Jack struggles to use the device. The slug monster attacks them again, and Ashi ends up losing her outfit to its attacks. She feels no real qualms about fighting in the buff, but Jack certainly does and is forced to use his gi to cover her. When Jack admits he has no idea how to work the device, they trade roles back and forth. They finally manage to activate it just as the slugs swarm all over them. The device makes the slugs explode, leaving the pair alive, panting from exertion and covered with slug goo. Perfect time for a Big Damn Kiss! "Romance in Samurai Jack? Surely you can’t be serious!” “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” MAKE OUT! Thoughts on the Episode On Jack and Ashi’s blossoming romance: *sigh*… the Rule 34 squad is going to have a field day with this episode. Which brings us to my first retraction: I was also wrong that Jack and Ashi would be revealed to be father and daughter. At least, I really really hope I’m wrong about that, because otherwise… ewww. Even worse, Ashi technically already fulfilled the first part of the Electra Complex double whammy, when she killed her own mother. We can probably take it as read that there is no familial relation between the two, because surely that would be a bit too squicky even for this season. With that caveat, I don’t really object to Jack and Ashi getting their freak on together. Sure, there’s an age gap and a probably even larger experience gap, but they’ve been through a lot together in a short space of time, and Ashi’s speech about how he saved her life and showed her the truth of Aku’s evil gives them bonus relationship points. Plus there’s a hint of real world psychology in the way they ended up, ahem, sucking face. Known as Misattribution of Arousal, in situations that involve a heightened arousal of the nervous system, the signals generated by fear, exertion or similar can be misinterpreted as physical attraction. How much this works in reality is up for debate, as with so much psychology/sociology research (the “squishy” sciences), but it’s a good enough working theory. Ashi not feeling any shame about fighting naked is a pretty clever touch, given the revelation that she always fights essentially naked, and Jack’s reaction to her nudity is adorable and in-character too. So all in all, the romance angle is pretty well justified in my mind, but YMMV. Since I’m in a retracting mood (I’m assuming Jack is not, at this point )… uh, do you remember my review of Episode XCIII, in which I opined that the tiger-wolf subplot was unnecessary and didn’t contribute? Well, whoops. Second retraction: that was foreshadowing for this episode that the tiger guys would try to kill Jack. This might also have been a bit of a clue, in hindsight. In other news: I liked the villain of this episode, a non-sentient hive-mind of venomous slugs. There’s been a great variety of foes for Ashi and Jack to fight this season, so the creativity category gets a solid ten out of ten. This show has never had a problem with creativity and it’s good to see this is still the case. In the category of things to question, I’m not sure how much I liked the fish-head scene. It seems rather out of place… although, one earlier season episode had Jack being magically transformed into a chicken by a bad tempered wizard, so perhaps it’s more a return to form i.t.o. the comedy? It just seems odd given the darker tone of Season 5, so maybe the contrast is responsible for this seeming like a Big Lipped Fishhead Moment. It also seems a bit odd to dedicate a whole episode to forging Ashi and Jack into a Battle Couple. Fun though it was, it didn’t really change much in the grand scheme of things, making it seem like filler. There again, it avoids the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender issue of keeping the leads’ romantic relationship up in the air unnecessarily, so perhaps the episode deserves its place in the lineup. To sum up, this was definitely an interesting turn of events, but I’m not entirely displeased by it. It’s good to see Jack having things going his way after how much he’s been suffering, and they do make a good couple… assuming as always that certain theories are wrong. Jack will one day be an emperor, after all, and an emperor needs an empress. In fact, I foresee the final scene of the season showing Jack and Ashi in the past, with their newborn heir as the ultimate happy ending… make it sho, numba one! And with that, little remains but for me to invite you to comment as you will, and as always, hope that you stay sunny side up!
  8. I like episode 200 more than episode 100; however, I also think both episodes are still very amazing, episode 100 is actually one of my favorites in season 5. So which episode do you like better?
  9. We saw in MLP: FiM that different worlds exist from Canterlot High to the dark versions of Equestria from The Cutie Remark. What kind of alternate Equestria do you think could exist? I came up with concepts that are different from the original Equestria down below. Feel free to make your own. In an alternate Equestria... Spike changes back and forth from filly to baby dragon thanks to Twilight's magic hatching him. Diamond Tiara is a Pegasus and Silver Spoon is a unicorn. Sweetie Belle is really Screwball, who just wants to have a normal pony life. Discord is married to Derpy and both take care of their hybrid pony/draconequus children. Pinkie Pie is the princess of friendship and has her own chocolate castle that will never melt. Applejack owns a baby hydra. Fluttershy is a friendly changeling who takes love from worms. Rarity's dream is to be a ice skater. Rainbow Dash has a part time job as a waitress at the Cloudsdale Hayburger Queen. Twilight used a spell to turn into a Smooze to teach a friendship lesson, but she hasn't been able to change back into a pony since.
  10. Having Starlight and Trixie together in the movie means it has to take pace after "No Second Prances" sense that's the first time they met. Not having the Royal Guard would explain why Celestia had Flash Magnus be the new drill sargent after season 7. Having it take place then would also explain why the changelings and the Pillers of Equestria were not in the movie but I'm not sure about the yaks but if the movie takes place after "No Second Prances" the mane 6 haven't been to Yakyakistan yet, unless you count Pinkie kinda. But griffins probably wouldn't want to help, and sense Ember just became Dragon Lord she probably needs to impose her rule, and that I don't think the ponies would trust all the dragons yet to listen to Ember. As for the map expanding, remember the map was broken after "The Cutie Re-Mark", which would also explain why it took so long and that Mount Aris needed to be repaired and the new train station there. As for Twilight saying "This happened while we were gone?" could be when they went after the Pony of Shadows instead of the Storm King. Why Sandbar mentioned The Storm King but not Queen Chrysalis nor the Pony of Shadows is that no pony would probably know that Chrysalis replaced the mane 6, the princesses, etc and that the Pony of Shadows never appeared in public, and why Apple Bloom was recapping the movie in "surf and/or Turf" was because The Storm King was what directly affected the hippogriffs. This I the best I can do saying it takes place between season 6 episodes 6-7 and explaining how. But there is one thing that contradicts all of this unless you can help me, the new throne room, it is possible they were working on a new throne room for a while and was finished in the movie in a different part of the castle and was going to turn the old throne room into something else but for what happened to the new one in the movie they had to go back to the old one while that was being repaired, but the whole of Canterlot got repaired when they retuned all the magic at the end of the movie? Write below if you can think of any reason why Celestia and Luna would still be using the old throne room until season 8.
  11. When Applejack is escaping from Dodge Junction/Dodge City in "The Last Roundup" the stallions pulling are all blank flanks. You could say it was an animation error but in "Party Pooped" the same stallions pulling Cherry Jubilee, and Pinkie Pie still don't have any cutie marks?
  12. Sisterhooves Social - 95 The Best Night Ever - 92 The Perfect Pear - 92 Amending Fences - 91 Crusaders of the Lost Mark - 90 Party of One - 90 The Cutie Map - 89 Rarity Takes Manehattan - 89 A Rockhoof and a Hard Place - 88 Sweet and Elite - 88 Sounds of Silence - 87 Twilight Time - 87 Where the Apple Lies - 87 The Cutie Re-Mark - 86 Sleepless in Ponyville - 86 Lesson Zero - 86 Winter Wrap Up - 86 Friendship University - 86 Road to Friendship - 86 The Mane Attraction - 85 Green Isn't Your Color - 85 The Cutie Mark Chronicles - 85 Flutter Brutter - 85 Dragonshy - 85 Suited for Success - 84 Trade Ya! - 84 Marks and Recreation - 84 The Break Up Break Down - 84 Pinkie Pride - 84 Rock Solid Friendship - 84 The Hearth's Warming Club - 83 Horse Play - 83 Scare Master - 83 Grannies Gone Wild - 83 What Lies Beneath - 82 Once Upon a Zeppelin - 82 Secret of My Excess - 82 The Washouts - 82 Top Bolt - 82 Maud Pie - 82 Shadow Play - 82 The Return of Harmony - 81 The Ticket Master - 81 Putting Your Hoof Down - 81 Forever Filly - 80 Hearth's Warming Eve - 80 Surf and/or Turf - 79 P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View) - 79 Call of the Cutie - 78 Stranger than Fan Fiction - 78 Discordant Harmony - 77 On Your Marks - 77 Simple Ways - 77 Applebuck Season - 77 Hurricane Fluttershy - 76 A Dog and Pony Show - 76 Fall Weather Friends - 75 Hearthbreakers - 75 Castle Mane-ia - 74 Look Before You Sleep - 74 Brotherhooves Social - 74 Dragon Quest - 74 Dungeons & Discords - 73 Twilight's Kingdom - 73 Sonic Rainboom - 73 The Gift of the Maud Pie - 73 A Health of Information - 72 Friendship is Magic - 71 Uncommon Bond - 71 The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone - 71 A Friend in Deed - 70 Appleoosa's Most Wanted - 70 Wonderbolts Academy - 70 Buckball Season - 70 The Parent Map - 70 Equestria Games - 70 Marks for Effort - 70 The End in Friend - 69 The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows - 69 Swarm of the Century - 69 Inspiration Manifestation - 69 Applejack's "Day" Off - 69 Molt Down - 69 Apple Family Reunion - 68 Griffon the Brush Off - 68 Over a Barrel - 68 To Change a Changeling - 68 Rarity Investigates! - 67 Parental Glideance - 66 Hearts and Hooves Day - 66 Castle Sweet Castle - 65 Rainbow Falls - 65 Father Knows Beast - 65 The Last Roundup - 64 Family Appreciation Day - 64 A Royal Problem - 63 It Isn't the Mane Thing About You - 63 Luna Eclipsed - 62 Flight to the Finish - 62 A Hearth's Warming Eve - 61 Somepony to Watch Over Me - 61 Filli Vanilli - 61 School Daze - 60 Campfire Tales - 60 A Flurry of Emotions - 60 The Fault in Our Cutie Marks - 60 Fluttershy Leans In - 60 The Saddle Row Review - 60 Made in Manehattan - 60 Canterlot Boutique - 60 Pinkie Apple Pie - 60 Bats! - 60 The Hoofields and the McColts - 60 Magical Mystery Cure - 59 All Bottled Up - 59 For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils - 59 Stare Master - 59 Make New Friends but Keep Discord - 59 Princess Spike - 59 No Second Prances - 58 A Bird in the Hoof - 58 The Maud Couple - 58 Bloom & Gloom - 57 Feeling Pinkie Keen - 57 Triple Threat - 57 Celestial Advice - 56 Viva Las Pegasus - 56 Hard to Say Anything - 56 Princess Twilight Sparkle - 56 The Crystalling - 55 Leap of Faith - 55 Not Asking for Trouble - 55 Spice Up Your Life - 54 A Canterlot Wedding - 53 28 Pranks Later - 52 Read It and Weep - 52 Games Ponies Play - 51 A Matter of Principals - 51 Bridle Gossip - 51 Yakity-Sax - 51 Keep Calm and Flutter On - 50 Fake It 'Til You Make It - 50 The Cart Before the Ponies - 50 Honest Apple - 50 MMMystery on the Friendship Express - 50 Secrets and Pies - 49 Ponyville Confidential - 49 The Times They Are a Changeling - 49 May the Best Pet Win! - 48 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 - 47 Daring Done? - 47 It's About Time - 46 The Mean 6 - 46 The Cutie Pox - 45 Newbie Dash - 45 Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? - 45 Every Little Thing She Does - 44 Just for Sidekicks - 44 Party Pooped - 43 Gauntlet of Fire - 42 Owl's Well That Ends Well - 40 The Show Stoppers - 40 Magic Duel - 40 Too Many Pinkie Pies - 39 Non-Compete Clause - 39 Daring Don't - 38 Boast Busters - 37 The Crystal Empire - 37 Tanks for the Memories - 36 To Where and Back Again - 36 Three's a Crowd - 35 The Mysterious Mare Do Well - 35 Power Ponies - 35 One Bad Apple - 32 Baby Cakes - 30 Testing Testing 1,2,3 - 29 It Ain't Easy Being Breezies - 28 Spike at Your Service - 26 Fame and Misfortune - 23 Slice of Life - 18 What About Discord? - 16
  13. RATING SCALE: 91-100: Masterpiece 81-90: Absolutely amazing 71-80: Great 61-70: Good 51-60: Flawed, but still has merits 41-50: Bad far outweighs the good 31-40: Bad 21-30: Horrible 11-20: Vile trash 1-10: Kill it with fire Season 1: Friendship Is Magic: 71 The Ticket Master: 81 Applebuck Season: 77 Griffon the Brush Off: 68 Boast Busters: 37 Dragonshy: 85 Look Before You Sleep: 74 Bridle Gossip: 51 Swarm of the Century: 69 Winter Wrap Up: 86 Call of the Cutie: 78 Fall Weather Friends: 75 Suited for Success: 84 Feeling Pinkie Keen: 57 Sonic Rainboom: 73 Stare Master: 59 The Show Stoppers: 40 A Dog and Pony Show: 76 Green Isn’t Your Color: 85 Over a Barrel: 68 A Bird in the Hoof: 58 The Cutie Mark Chronicles: 85 Owl’s Well that Ends Well: 40 Party of One: 90 The Best Night Ever: 92 Season 2: The Return of Harmony: 81 Lesson Zero: 86 Luna Eclipsed: 62 Sisterhooves Social: 95 (favourite episode) The Cutie Pox: 45 May the Best Pet Win!: 48 The Mysterious Mare Do Well: 35 Sweet and Elite: 88 Secret of My Excess: 82 Hearth’s Warming Eve: 80 Family Appreciation Day: 64 Baby Cakes: 30 The Last Roundup: 64 The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000: 47 Read It and Weep: 52 Hearts and Hooves Day: 66 A Friend in Deed: 70 Putting Your Hoof Down: 81 It’s About Time: 46 Dragon Quest: 74 Hurricane Fluttershy: 76 Ponyville Confidential: 49 MMMystery on the Friendship Express: 50 A Canterlot Wedding: 53 Season 3: The Crystal Empire: 37 Too Many Pinkie Pies: 39 One Bad Apple: 32 Magic Duel: 40 Sleepless in Ponyville: 86 Wonderbolts Academy: 70 Apple Family Reunion: 68 Spike at Your Service: 26 Keep Calm and Flutter On: 50 Just for Sidekicks: 44 Games Ponies Play: 51 Magical Mystery Cure: 59 Season 4: Princess Twilight Sparkle: 56 Castle Mane-ia: 74 Daring Don’t: 38 Flight to the Finish: 62 Power Ponies: 35 Bats!: 60 Rarity Takes Manehattan: 89 Pinkie Apple Pie: 60 Rainbow Falls: 65 Three’s a Crowd: 35 Pinkie Pride: 84 Simple Ways: 77 Filli Vanilli: 61 Twilight Time: 87 It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies: 28 Somepony to Watch Over Me: 61 Maud Pie: 82 For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils: 59 Leap of Faith: 55 Testing Testing 1, 2, 3: 29 Trade Ya!: 84 Inspiration Manifestation: 69 Equestria Games: 70 Twilight’s Kingdom: 73 Season 5: The Cutie Map: 89 Castle Sweet Castle: 65 Bloom & Gloom: 57 Tanks for the Memories: 36 Appleoosa’s Most Wanted: 70 Make Friends but Keep Discord: 59 The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone: 71 Slice of Life: 18 Princess Spike: 59 Party Pooped: 43 Amending Fences: 91 Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?: 45 Canterlot Boutique: 60 Rarity Investigates!: 67 Made in Manehattan: 60 Brotherhooves Social: 74 Crusaders of the Lost Mark: 90 The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows: 69 Hearthbreakers: 75 Scare Master: 83 What About Discord: 16 The Hoofields and the McColts: 60 The Mane Attraction: 85 The Cutie Re-Mark: 86 Season 6: The Crystalling: 55 The Gift of the Maud Pie: 73 On Your Marks: 77 Gauntlet of Fire: 42 No Second Prances: 58 Newbie Dash: 45 A Hearth’s Warming Eve: 61 The Saddle Row Review: 60 Applejack’s "Day" Off: 69 Flutter Brutter: 85 Spice Up Your Life: 54 Stranger than Fan Fiction: 78 The Cart Before the Ponies: 50 28 Pranks Later: 52 The Times They Are A Changeling: 49 Dungeons & Discords: 73 Buckball Season: 70 The Fault in Our Cutie Marks: 60 Viva Las Pegasus: 56 Every Little Thing She Does: 44 P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View): 79 Where the Apple Lies: 87 Top Bolt: 82 To Where and Back Again: 36 Season 7 Celestial Advice: 56 All Bottled Up: 59 A Flurry of Emotions: 60 Rock Solid Friendship: 84 Fluttershy Leans In: 60 Forever Filly: 80 Parental Glideance: 66 Hard to Say Anything: 56 Honest Apple: 50 A Royal Problem: 63 Not Asking for Trouble: 55 Discordant Harmony: 77 The Perfect Pear: 92 Fame and Misfortune: 23 Triple Threat: 57 Campfire Tales: 60 To Change a Changeling: 68 Daring Done?: 47 It Isn’t the Mane Thing About You: 63 A Health of Information: 72 Marks and Recreation: 84 Once Upon a Zeppelin: 82 Secrets and Pies: 49 Uncommon Bond: 71 Shadow Play: 82 Season 8 School Daze: 60 The Maud Couple: 58 Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 50 Grannies Gone Wild: 83 Surf and/or Turf: 79 Horse Play: 83 The Parent Map: 70 Non-Compete Clause: 39 The Break Up Break Down: 84 Molt Down: 68 Marks for Effort: 70 The Mean 6: 46 A Matter of Principals: 51 The Hearth’s Warming Club: 83 Friendship University: 86 The End in Friend: 69 Yakity-Sax: 51 On the Road to Friendship: 85 The Washouts: 82 A Rockhoof and a Hard Place: 88 What Lies Beneath: 82 Sounds of Silence: 87 Father Knows Beast: 65 School Raze: ? My Little Pony: The Movie: 67
  14. I know this has been posted several times before. But who confirmed it, what confirmed it? Im lost. First I heard that Lauren Faust said that her parents are dead. Then im told that the episode "Apple family reunion" IMPLIED it. Then im told that applejacks parents died due to timberwolves. Now im told that theyre note dead and thats what thye want me to think. What I want to know is, who said it first?
  15. I don't see what's really wrong with Flim and Flams timeline in the season 5 finale other then they became capitalist and AJ lost the farm, that's waaaaay better then the other timelines where the world is destroyed/sent into chaos. I guess I'm just asking why it's in there?
  16. Well fear not Sugar Belle fans, here you are. Our sweets making mare has her own fan club! I personally feel like we'll be seeing more of her rather then not just in the first two episodes. Rules: No spamming. No hating on other clubs or on this one, we're here to love Sugar. Don't claim to be the biggest fan of her Don't post pictures that don't relate to Sugar Belle General rules of course still apply
  17. Hey, hey! Listen here! Today, after my training, something came to my mind, without any apparent reason: I thought I could ask you here if during the song "We'll make our mark" someone poured some tears... I did...many times... It just felt like it was a magical moment. I was seeing the CMC realizing their biggest dream, and I guess I got commoted!
  18. Evening, everypony! I don't know if this topic has been discussed before, but I haven't found anything regarding it, so I thought I could create a discussion about it, and finally get to know what happened. Not so much time ago, I noticed that normally, between the finale of a season and the beginning of another one, there are like 6 months to wait...but there is an exception for seasons 4 and 5. Season 4 ended on 10th May, 2014, while season 5 started airing on 4th April, 2015...so, there's been basically a 5 months delay. Could someone tell me why? I mean, I guess this has affected nothing, and is not that relevant, but I'm just curious to find out!
  19. Should Sunset have been Twilight's student instead of Starlight? It's a simple debate, should she have been and why? Let me argue for Sunset, see Sunset isn't actually that bad for a character, she made a mistake and it took her actual time to get others to trust her again not just the human mane 6 but twilight and the rest of Canterlot High as well, which can be relatable to many people and can actually teach a lesson to the target demographic like the shows "supposed to". for that reason, I would've like for sunset either pony form or her unseen human form to return or enter back into the portal and become pony twilight's student, shes smart, shes talented, and she has a lot to learn and twilight could easily have taught her and it would've been a lot more genuine than starlight, and maybe even have sunset do something grand and end up eventually making her own friends as the new mane six or even following in twilight's hooves and becoming an alicorn herself. Also having Sunset there for Starlight's capture of the mane 6 during the start of season 5 would have been extremely helpful because she could have easily figured out what was happening, she could have tricked Starlight into thinking she's betraying her teacher, and gotten starlight's true intentions and cutie mark discovered by the rest of the town, and it would've been way more believable then Fluttershy because Sunset herself was a villain at one point, and she's extremely crafty. Not to mention Sunset would end up driving Starlight away, Starlight would have to somehow manipulate the mane six into separating like in the season 5 finale, but without Starswirl's spell, and with them separated Sunset nor Twilight would completely notice because of how Sunset's teachings are really taking primary to Twilights and Sunset's attention, which would lead to a half season to a full season with Sunset learning friendship and making her own friends. This so when the next major threat does happen, (because we all know one will eventually), Sunset's group would have to step up and actually save the day, eventually leading to HER BECOMING STARLIGHT'S TEACHER and teaching her about friendship so that Starlight can redeem herself and become friends with Trixie like she is now. I also think Sunset would teach differently than Twilight, with her personality and all it would be a lot more challenging to both Starlight and Sunset. I also believe Sunset's teaching style would be very enjoyable to watch and to see her make mistakes while teaching Starlight about magic and friendship, which honestly could easily extend the series on to about 16 seasons before it got stale, adding new characters and groups to focus on, and etc.
  20. Lets assume for a moment that Tempest is getting ready to attack Canterlot, but not in the universe we know, but in one of the other timelines present in the Cutie Remark and how different things could be, this has been a really fun topic in my head. Crystal War timeline: This is the hardest one, you would assume the invasion would be easier, with most of the defenses gone to the north and Celestia leading the charge, but if Tempest attacked and took Canterlot, she would deal with the offense from a fully militarized Equestria, and I don't think Sombra would team up with Tempest either, he would know that she is a threat to both his conquest and Celestia, so he would lay low with his army, if Storm guard ships started heading to any of his territories, they would be destroyed immediately. Celestia is now more battle hardened and we have a larger more trained army, I do think that Celestia would march on Canterlot and be turned to stone by Tempest, but I still think Tempest would lose in the end because Equestria isn't vulnerable. If Tempest did win, Sombra would already have gained more, if she loses, Sombra has gained much more ground and would likely win the war. End result: Tempest temporarily succeeds, Sombra wins in the end. Best edgy horse. Chrysalis timeline: Invasion of Canterlot utterly fails as the incoming ships are swarmed with hundred of changelings, Tempest does manage to land in Canterlot but when she goes for Chrysalis, one of the Storm Guards turns into her and destroys Tempest. End result: Oof, sorry Tempest, can't win this one. Nightmare Moon Timeline: Tempest takes Canterlot (It was still a city when the sisters lived in the Castle) Moves on Nightmare Moons Castle. Nightmare Moon isn't an idiot who will stand and wait, she engages Tempest in the air, destroying her fleet. End result: Nightmare Moon destroys the invading army Discord Timeline: He turns the entire fleet into an ice cream cones, flicks The Storm King into the sun, and turns Tempest into a puppet. Tirek Timeline: Haha.Tirek blows up all the ships. RIP. I don't see Tempest winning in any of the alternate realities, Sombras is a possibility but I still think it is temporary, Sombra is a master at manipulating your mind, imagine he made Tempest see her losing her horn over and over again.
  21. Warning: Spoilers to season 4 and beyond, plus speculative spoilers and lighthearted banter Since the very early episodes of the series, Starswirl the Bearded has been referenced again and again, but never in the flesh. It's hinted that he's no longer around, but we're never told why. We don't even know who would know about what happened to Starswirl really; does Celestia keep that information a secret? Is it public knowledge? Is it a mystery to everypony? Well, my theory is... The call is coming from inside the house! And by that I mean, Starswirl is inside the Cutie Map. Insane? Possibly, but let me write out my reasoning. Starswirl may have little known to the show's viewers right now (Excluding information to come from books, comics, etc. It's not that I believe they aren't relevant, but I do think any number of continuity errors may have happened accidentally over the years), but we do know that Starswirl was around the first time Tirek came around to Equestria. We know he put away the sirens, made the time travel spell, and was acquainted with Celestia. While taking a small leap in assumptions, I'm going to say Starswirl might have been around when the Tree of Harmony still had the Elements of Harmony originally; don't worry, later information will help tie that assumption together better. But what does that matter? "The Elements are connected to the tree, the tree is connected to the chest, and the chest is connected to all of us... There must be a connection!" Yes, Twilight. You've already pointed out multiple connections before you declared there has to be one. You're supposed to be the smart one!! Anyways, All of these things spawned from the Tree of Harmony. But why? And what spawned the tree in the first place? Well, that's where I believe Starswirl comes in. While we don't know how long ago Tirek was imprisoned, we do know that he knew Discord. While they could have met beforehand, it still could tie Starswirl to sometime 1000 years ago, when Celestia first removed the Elements to defeat Discord, probably a few other villains, and then Nightmare Moon. I think the tree could be tied to Starswirl; maybe as something which sprouted from his grave (Dark, yet I don't believe out of the question) or he got tied to it by some magical means. The tree always seems to help Twilight and her friends: it gave them the power to defeat Tirek, a new home immediately after theirs was lost, and it now points the mane 6, Spike, Starlight, and potentially others in the direction of problems to be solved. But why would a plant know or care about all of this, and why specifically Twilight's friends? And why does it require them to learn things about themselves, and go through hardships to open that chest? Whether it's Starswirl or not, it's definitely sentient. It's teaching and guiding, which is what some theorize Starswirl did for Celestia. But the strongest evidence I have to link Starswirl with the map was a very specific piece of animation, that I originally didn't notice. Starswirl's spell; the same one Starlight realized she could tie to the map, was taken away by the map. Why? They didn't touch it again, and why the attention to connecting the scroll to the map with that beam? If the spell was going away anyways, it wouldn't have that beam right? I think the map purposely took it away after the job was done, knowing Twilight would succeed and that sending them all to Starlight's village in the first place would eventually cause this to happen. The map has always been more knowledgeable on the goings on in Equestria than even Celestia, and while it originally seemed specifically linked to the mane 6 (With their elements, cutie marks, throne-mark-beam things and such), now we know it isn't limited to contacting just them. What do you think? Is Starswirl helping to keep the peace and guide Celestia's student? Or is this all still insane and I spent way too much time thinking about nothing?
  22. And here, at long, long last, we are: the final episode of Samurai Jack. When last we left him, it seemed Jack had finally been beaten by the shapeshifting Master of Darkness… and Daddy’s Little Destroyer. Let’s see how this all pans out… What Happens Throughout the land, all the various peoples and groups that Jack had encountered gather around their viewing devices in dread, because Aku is making an announcement. Aku uses the opening from previous seasons to preface his gloating. Then Aku himself appears, showing off the captured Samurai Jack and his sword. In order to break the spirit of his subjects for all time, he is broadcasting live his final victory in finishing off Jack… if only he could decide quite how to do this momentous event just right… Jack pleads with Akushi to fight, but it seems to have no effect, and Aku finally decides to let her have the honour of killing his defeated enemy. However, before the final blow is struck, the armies of every group still able to put up a fight attack Aku’s tower. In the ensuing battle, Jack is blasted free. He tries to get the sword while Aku is distracted by the others, but Akushi stops him. While able to inconvenience Aku to a degree, the armies of good are unable to actually do any significant damage, and Aku even starts using his evil to create an army of his own. Things seem to be looking bleak for our heroes, but then the Scotsman’s ghost arrives with the red-haired, reindeer-riding cavalry! Scotland! F*ck yeah! Using a set of mystical ghostly bagpipes to transport his daughters through the sky, and to launch an attack powerful enough to affect Aku himself, the Scotsman reunites with Jack, naming each of his daughters and offering Jack his pick. I think the last one’s name is Ovalylongag… Jack demurs and shows the Scotsman his new girlfriend… but, said girlfriend still being a black blob of Aku’s evil at this point, the Scotsman is less than impressed. Aku, frustrated by the attacks on him, launches himself into the sky and rains down spears of darkness, to devastating effect. The armies of good are being routed, until the Scotsman uses his bagpipes to create a shield, and even destabilize Akushi. Jack is caught inside Akushi's roiling black blob, and struggles to reach Ashi, who is still fighting the ocean of darkness. It seems like they will lose the struggle, and Jack desperately shouts to Ashi that he loves her. Ejected from Akushi, Jack lands flat on his back, and Akushi begins to choke him to death. (Now there’s an erotic asphyxiation meme waiting to happen.) Then her hold on his throat loosens as Ashi, empowered by Jack’s confession of love, manages to overcome the evil, reverting to her black catsuit look. Aku orders her to kill Jack again, but this time she is in control and denies Aku as her father. He attacks and she fights back with the same powers that Aku has, like eyebeams and shapeshifting. It seems her victory over Aku’s compulsion hasn’t severed her access to his powers. All his powers… as Jack and Ashi both quickly realize, that includes time travel! Ashi stretches her arm to grab and return Jack’s sword. Then she uses her screech powers to make a portal back to the past and, as Aku realizes with despair, it’s one he can’t interfere with or destroy. Back in the past, the initial fight between the as-yet-nameless Samurai and Aku plays out as before, with Aku sending him into the future… however, Jack and Ashi arrive back in the following moment. Aku chokes out what will turn out to be his final words, “You’re back already?!” as Jack wastes no time using his sword to cut down, trap and then destroy Aku once and for all. Soon after, all the people the Samurai trained growing up, as well as all the citizens of the Empire, are gathering for his wedding to Ashi. As she walks down the aisle towards him, she suddenly stumbles and collapses. Jack runs to embrace her, as she tells him what is happening: since Aku was killed in the past, he never donated his evil essence to the Cult in the future and thus Ashi was never born. She fades away, leaving Jack clutching her empty wedding kimono. The disconsolate Jack rides his horse through a misty gloomy forest. He sits down by a tree and mourns. A ladybug lands on his hand, and he slowly smiles with renewed hope and lets it fly away, as the sun comes out and lights up the same trees that Future!Aku had destroyed. The screen fades to black as the title “Episode CI” lingers. So beautiful, it almost makes me forget the writers tearing my heart out and stomping on it... Thoughts on the Episode And thus the curtain falls on Samurai Jack. It’s been a long ride, with many ups and downs. I’m glad that we got this final Season to resolve Jack’s story, but… sob… They killed Kenny ret-goned Ashi! You bastards! In a way, I admire the sheer brass testicles / ovaries of the writers that led them to go this route, but… why? Why can’t we have nice things?! I didn’t think something like this would happen, really, even given how dark Season 5 could get. This… this was just mean-spirited. And it’s not like it was a necessary consequence of time travel, either. You can’t simply resolve the grandfather paradox by erasing Ashi. If Ashi didn’t exist, Jack would never have gone back to the past, thus wouldn’t have been able to kill Aku and thus make Ashi not exist. (I’m not going to do the cross-eyed joke! I’m not in the mood.) And then there’s the fact that Jack still remembers her… unless the ending scene is meant to imply that the memory of her faded away eventually, just as she did – unlikely with the way the scene was shot and how Jack’s expressions were shown, but still something your mileage could vary on. Speaking of delayed-reaction reordering of timelines, that’s another weird thing… why did it take so long for Ashi to be affected? Just so that the timing could be even more sucky for our poor hero? Dick move, writers, dick move. I mean, I can understand making the artistic choice they did, but I really did want Ashi to get her happy ending with Jack. I'm just really sad I didn't get to see my prediction come true... instead, heartbreak. But I'll live. If I were able to rewrite the ending, it would go like this… Jack and Ashi arrive in the past the moment BEFORE the Samurai gets sent to the future. Jack and the Samurai team up to take out Aku, and kill him with a super-cool double magical sword strike. As Aku dies, Ashi feels Aku’s evil leave her, as before, but as Jack tries to help her up, their hands go through each other. Jack and Ashi realize that preventing the Samurai from going to the future in the first place means they, the second copy of the sword, and the future timeline of Aku’s reign (coincidentally, virtually the entire series itself) all will cease to exist. After taking a short time to explain to the Samurai what would have happened, they start to fade away. Jack and Ashi redeclare their love for each other and share a final kiss as they fade out of existence, saddened but consoled by the fact that they are leaving existence together. The Samurai revels in his victory over Aku and the celebrations begin. Jump ahead a while, the Samurai is married, with a new born heir being held by the new Empress, wife and mother… who just happens to look a lot like Ashi. Bam! Perfect happy ending… Ashi still goes out, but now so does Jack, who now never had to suffer those 50 years of despair. We can still have our victory at a price without leaving the hero to suffer alone. Since the Samurai was never affected by Aku’s time travel, he ages perfectly normally, thus removing the question mark over whether or not Jack is still immortal. The Prophecy of the Guardian’s time portal is also resolved by never actually having happened, so the inconsistency of Jack’s older appearance in that vision vs the events of Season 5 is reconciled. All tied up with a neat bow, thank you very much! It’s such a pity the writers didn’t consult me, I coulda set them straight… sigh. Other thoughts: So in the end, the Guardian was apparently killed by Aku. I had hoped we might see him one last time… even if it were merely a flashback to witness the battle between them. Seeing the various friends Jack had made reappear en masse makes his absence even more notable. At least the Scotsman got his chance to shine and reunite with Jack. Oh, the irony… Aku managed to destroy all the time portals, yet still sowed the seeds of his own destruction by “blessing” the Cult of Aku. This lead not only to Ashi being born, meeting Jack and helping him regain his determination to destroy Aku, but also equipped her with the exact necessary power to negate all his efforts at preventing Jack’s return to the past. Add in the fact that he could have won if he had simply done to Jack what he did to the Scotsman a few episodes earlier and the Pie of Irony is complete, ready to throw in Aku’s flaming-eyebrows, fang-mouthed face. Heh. Overall, Season 5 has been a fun but bumpy ride. I give you my thanks for joining me on this journey. I may or may not write a review of the whole of the season/series at a later time, and I think I should probably start on FiM Season 7 like I’ve been saying I’ll do for the past couple of months. Please look forward to it, and join me again in the future. In the meantime, feel free to give your own perspectives in the comments. How did you feel about how the season wrapped up? Do you think my ending would have been better? (Because I do.) What did you enjoy most about the season? What did you enjoy least? Share your thoughts. And until the next time we meet, stay sunny side up!
  23. In this episode, questions are answered and unexpected characters make their reappearances. Join me as we rejoin Ashi and Jack on their quest to regain the Sword of Evil’s Bane… No, not that one… So let’s jump on our oversized budgerigars and have a look. What happens The episode opens in the past, as Jack Classic climbs a mountain pass, escorted by the cutest little mountain goats that ever did goat. At the top he finds some old stone pillars and (wonder-of-wonders!) a working time portal… and it’s not guarded by an African-American Blue Warrior… No, not that one… Jack leaps into the portal and it seems like his quest has finally been achieved… until, in the ultimate Dick Move, Aku reaches in and plucks him out of the time portal. Casually blowing the time portal to pieces with his eye beams, Aku gleefully informs his nemesis that that was the last one in existence and taunts him about how he almost made this time. Enraged, Jack leaps at Aku, but the villain, leery of his sword, avoids his attacks and transforms the goats into gigantic evil minions to occupy Jack while he escapes. Still blinded by his anger, Jack doesn’t recognize these as the same goats who accompanied him earlier and he kills all three. Seeing them return to their normal forms, but still quite dead, Jack is horrified, and drops his sword. One of the pillars falls and knocks the sword into the pit where the time portal once was. Jack is left unable to anything except watch it fall into the darkness. Back in present day, Jack and Ashi ride a gigantic budgerigar (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, a budgerigar is a kind of small parrot – err, except that this one is, ya know, gigantic and all…) We’re gonna need a bigger Speedo(TM) to smuggle this one… The Australians out there should get that joke. They descend into the hole to look for the sword but are unable to find it. Ashi wonders if someone took it, but Jack, seeing the bones of one of the goats he killed, is sure that the sword abandoned him when he killed innocent creatures in his anger. He decides he needs to go on a spiritual journey to retrieve it. They return to the top and Jack sits near the edge of the cliff to meditate. Meanwhile, Ashi is left to guard his back, and it’s a good thing she’s there… an army of orcs has arrived to kill Jack. Ashi makes like Gandalf and blocks the path. Despite being derided for thinking “one little girl” is enough to defeat an entire army, she promptly does just that… However, the army is merely a distraction… an assassin slips past and starts to climb towards Jack. Ashi reaches the top first, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood giant parakeet, and is confronted by an unexpected enemy… her mother, the High Priestess. The HP tries to get Ashi to turn on Jack, but having seen the truth of things, she refuses, and they fight. The HP proves a strong opponent, but when she gets a chance to leap towards Jack’s unprotected back, Ashi throws an arrow through her and she plunges over the cliff. Exhausted, Ashi collapses. Meanwhile Jack makes a trip while tripping and reaches a temple with a small old monk who asks him to make tea. He does so, but when the monk tastes it, he declares it bad… Jack is not balanced internally, and therefore cannot make good tea. HalluciJack reappears and he’s once again the crazy version. He screams imprecations at the old monk and tells Jack to force him to give the sword back. Jack finally realizes that HalluciJack is the reason why he is no longer worthy of wielding the sword… or maybe we should call him… Mad Jack! Dun dun DUN! Eeeyarrrk! Gesundheid! Yes, Mad Jack is back! Jack faces off against the manifestation of his own negative emotions, and with Eye Beams of Understanding, destroys Mad Jack. This brings him back into inner harmony and he meets the three gods Ra, Odin and Vishnu. They not only return his sword, but they also use a clothes beam… No, not that one… …to restore his previous look. Shave and a haircut… three gods, 50 years and a secret test of character!... TWO BITS! Returned to reality, Jack is finally, truly truly truly outrageous back! He finds Ashi and revives her and she compliments his new (for her) look. Where to next? Aku! WATCH OUT! Thoughts on the Episode Well, a lot of interesting parallels with previous episodes are on display here. Of necessity, I’ll need to explain one or two things that happened in the previous seasons for context. First of all, there was an episode that featured Mad Jack… a being Aku manifested from Jack’s own anger; think Dark Link. He had all of Jack’s prowess and was essentially unbeatable in combat. Jack’s solution to this was pretty much the same one as in this episode… he calmed himself down and got rid of his anger, thus causing Mad Jack to fade away. My previous theory re Omen and HJ is therefore wrong, but I’m happier with it this way. It provides us with a great callback. Okay, so maybe it isn’t literally Mad Jack back, but it’s close enough for government work. Second, there was an episode where Jack was lured into a graveyard and attacked by zombies resurrected by Aku, who actually managed to steal Jack’s sword from him and pin him down. When he tried to stab Jack with the sword, however, it simply bounced off without leaving so much as a scratch. Jack then says that “in the hands of evil, [the sword] could never be used to harm an innocent,” before reclaiming it and forcing Aku to flee. Is there a contradiction here? Perhaps not; Jack is not evil, so he can harm innocents with the sword. It could also be that the transformed goats were given a veneer of evil by Aku, and this by-passed the protection enough that it could kill them, leaving them still dead when they reverted. Thus the heartbreak. Speaking of, this incident could help explain why Jack was so distraught when he thought the children from two episodes previous had died, and why he didn’t bother to check first. It’s still a question mark for me, but less of one now. The sword continues to display some measure of sentience and mystical power, literally vanishing from the world when its wielder was deemed unworthy to wield it. I mean, heh, what does it think it is, Mjolnir? Come to think of it, Odin WAS instrumental in its creation, so that kind of makes sense. Hmm... Well played, writers… well played. So here’s a bit of a discussion point – given that the High Priestess displays quite the serious skill of her own in fighting Ashi, who curb-stomped an army of thousands single-handed, why did she not simply join the Daughters when there were still seven of them and assist them in crushing Jack? Did she think she had to stay behind in case they failed and she would have to replicate the feat of having sextuplets? This seems like a serious case of Villainous Stupidity on her part. Poor form, writers… poor form! Well, at any rate, Jack has his sword back, HJ/MJ and HP (probably) are toast and Ashi is still alive. Aku’s days appear to be numbered… in fact, only three episodes remain! Join me again for the next episode of Samurai Jack Season 5. In the meantime, leave your comments below and remember to stay sunny side up!
  24. The fun fun fun continues with the sixth episode of Samurai Ashi… I mean, Samurai Jack Season 5. While Ashi tracks Jack’s journey, a villain unexpectedly returns, on a journey of his own. Will the villain’s dastardly plan succeed? Will Ashi find Jack before he does something irreversible? Isn’t it weird how the word “irreversible” is itself irreversible? (Well, not if you want it to make sense anyway…) Questions, questions! And the answers lie below, so let’s leap right in… What happens We rejoin a concerned Ashi riding on an airship. She is attacked by two large hooded creatures who have heard her asking about Jack’s whereabouts. She dodges them and tells them she is trying to find Jack to help him. They reveal themselves as two of the Woolies – a race that Jack saved in the previous seasons. We get a flashback to the relevant event. (Get used to that happening in this episode.) A staff member of the airship tells Ashi that Jack got off in this area, and she immediately leaps out of the airship. She uses her sickle-onna-chain to slow her descent into a forest and continues on her journey. Back in the destroyed village from the first episode of Season 5, what is left of Scaramouch reactivates and rejoices in being alive, baby… despite being just a head and neck, which reduces him to moving around at the pace that a bunny hops. Or perhaps the pace that a fox trots. How is he going to do the Fandango, now? With his phone destroyed, he shoulders the burden of giving Aku the news about Jack’s loss of his sword in person, and legs it, since he has some news he needs to get off his chest. You’ve got to hand it to him for being resolute, folks! You wouldn’t think he had the stomach for it! He’s not totally ‘armless yet! Okay, I’ll stop now. For every body’s sake. Ashi sees a group of Akubots riddled with arrows on the retreat. The archers responsible for the robot rout confront her and ask if she is a friend or foe of Jack’s. When she says she is the former, they lead her to their village complete with giant Jack statue and relate their tale (by flashback, natch). They were tricked by Aku (slight “retcon” there, I’ll come back to it) into gaining superlative skill at the cost of being enslaved to protect a magic Wishing Well. Jack defeated them and destroyed the Well instead of wishing for passage home, and thus freed them. However, they haven’t seen him recently, so she continues on. Scaramouch finds a port, and tries to board a ship. He is stopped by a bouncer (oh, the irony!), who won’t let him on because he’s just a head, and when he boasts about being Aku’s favourite bounty hunter / assassin, is pointed to a sign that lists him as #3. He finally gets on board by bribing a guy with a shrunken head into letting him use his body. Once they part ways, Scarrie opines that the guy looks kind of like a talking penis… Yes, he uses the actual word “penis”. We’ll come back to that, too. Back to Ashi, who hears rave music and travels down to Funky town. When she asks a party-goer if a Samurai came this way, a spotlight shines down on her. The DJ (who is YARC - Yet Another Returning Character) asks the obligatory “Friend or Foe” question, and then plays a tribute track to Jack, telling how, well, just guess… Yup, you got it in one… how Jack saved them once. They all dance the Jack Dance and make S shapes with their fingers, before sending Ashi to the next checkpoint. Said checkpoint is a clear water spring with a waterfall and pool and all. Ashi remembers a particular childhood ceremony, where was dumped naked into a bunch of presumably not entirely mundane coals, thus creating her catsuit by burning it directly onto her skin! She enters the pool and uses a rock to scrape the catsuit away. Since this leaves her naked, she creates a dress using the plant life around her to replace it. I guess it’s the latest spring fashion! (The joke works in two ways! ) Scarrie is enjoying his cruise, albeit with a few bumps along the way, but he manages to locate a phone and get through to Aku. Before he can spill the beans re Swordless Jack, though, he gets into an argument with some dogmen about the noise they are making, and is thrown overboard. Aku hangs up, never realizing how close he came to getting the information he needed to hunt down and destroy Jack once and for all. Huzzah! Good going, Scaradouche! You see, Lone Star, Good will always triumph, because Evil is dumb! Or something like that. Ashi finds a bar where she meets Da Samurai (YARC), who is now the bartender, and has been for many years. She hears how Jack defeated many of the bar patrons in the past, and even taught Da Samurai what it really means to be a samurai. The group is also graced by a cameo from Demongo the Soul Collector (YARC). Leaving the bar, she runs into a shadowy figure who directs her towards Jack (YARC?). She finds him sitting in a graveyard with a bare blade in front of him. The Apparition, who is finally officially named as the Omen in the credits, appears and floats over to her, telling her she can witness, but not interfere. When she asks what she is to witness, Omen responds “the end.” The Omen then tells Jack he has been dishonoured by his failures, and he must therefore commit seppuku. Ashi tries to get through to Jack as he prepares to disembowel himself, and the Omen fights with her. Overmatched by the spirit in strength, but agile enough to evade his attacks, Ashi continues to remind Jack of all the people he has helped over the years, and the lives he has saved (including hers.) Nothing seems to help, and the Omen declares “No more words!” but Ashi finally reveals to Jack that the children he thought he had helped kill are still alive. This breaks Jack out of his suicidal depression and he quickly puts paid to the Omen. Jack compliments Ashi’s new look, and thanks her for her help. She asks “What now?” and Jack replies, “It's time to find my sword.” Aww, snap! Looks like Aku had better… WATCH OUT! Thoughts on the Episode Let’s first deal with the ever-classy Scaramouch, and the “penis” line. Umm… yeah… for the record, I did NOT expect that sort of line in Samurai Jack. Ever. I kind of had to stop the video for a minute after that and simply... marvel. By the way, how does a robot even have the context for that sort of comment? All he should have down there is plastic underpants and a trademark! (I will wuvs you forever if you can tell me where that reference originates! ) He got very close to ruining things for Jack, but luckily, his cocky attitude (heh) got him in enough trouble that he wasn’t able to get the message across to Aku, so sighs of relief all around. "Evil will oft evil mars", indeed. If he had just been polite to those he encountered, he would have succeeded and that would probably have been curtains for Jack before he could get his sword back. Speaking of the sword, I’m glad that Jack is finally back on track as far as defeating Aku once and for all goes. While my suggestion that Ashi might have to sacrifice herself to bring Jack back to the land of the living was incorrect, (although she did risk being killed by the Omen, so give me half points, okay?) she might still have to do so to retrieve the sword. I hope not, though; killing her off after she finally came over to the Light side would be pretty cruel. Blood, eyebeams of death and mentions of male reproductive anatomy aside, I don’t think Season 5 is going to go that dark. Next, as I contemplate Ashi, there’s that whole thing with the origin of her form-fitting catsuit. It appears to be less a garment and more, well, wearable charcoal. This reveal pretty much means the Daughters have in fact been wearing little more than black body paint this entire time, which is just odd to contemplate. I mean, freedom of movement I can see as being an advantage, but what about modesty, huh? They aren’t Doctor Manhattan, with his "withdrawing from humanity" excuse, is all I’m saying. Plus the logistics of it all… how do the Daughters go to the bathroom or deal with menstruation or any of that? On second thought, maybe it doesn’t need to be thought about too much. I like Ashi's new look, particularly the Expository Hairstyle Change. It makes her look even more Asian, which brings me to a Wild Mass Guess: could Jack, somehow, be the FATHER of the Daughters of Aku? I admit it’s unlikely that the High Priestess was impregnated by Jack, given the whole “we have to kill the Samurai” deal, but it would certainly put an ironic spin on Ashi’s quest to kill him and subsequent conversion to being his ally. Then again, "[50 - Ashi's Age + nine months] years of no progress" + young man's body = rather big need for stress relief... intriguing... It's probably just my imagination running wild again, but time will tell. Ashi’s journey is a textbook example of a Continuity Cavalcade, with many appearances from characters featured in episodes from previous seasons or YARCs, as I decided to call them. It fulfills two purposes… it expands the knowledge of newcomers to the series and serves as a nostalgia buffet for fans like me. Best of all, because of the first point, it’s not actually fan service! Slice of Life, take note! Again, I note the distinct lack of the Guardian, but there are still four episodes to go, so plenty of time for him to reappear. Perhaps once Jack actually defeats Aku, he will age a bit (not the full 50 years, but a decade at least) and his appearance will become more like it was shown in the relevant episode, and we'll have a final Jack / Guardian showdown. Or maybe that’s all going to be retconned. Again, not much to do about it but wait and see. Genndy Tartakovsky, don't fail me now! Speaking of retcons, the archers mention that they found out after the fact that Aku was the one who cursed them. If I remember the episode in question correctly, the Well was a Jerkass Genie that had nothing to do with Aku: it granted wishes, but always in some kind of twisted, monkey’s-paw-esque way. The archers wished for unbeatable skill with their bows, which they were given... in return for becoming mindless slaves conscripted into protecting the Well. Jack decided he couldn’t risk his wish to return to his own time being corrupted in the same way, and therefore destroyed the Well instead. This episode says it was Aku’s doing all along… which I find somewhat unsatisfying. It’s not like Aku is the ONLY evil being in existence, and having it all bad stuff somehow trace back to him seems unnecessarily trite and simply bad writing, in the final analysis. Oh, Well. (Heh.) A quick word on the Jack Track; I blame that on Tara “Twilight Sparkle” Strong, as she provides the voice of Ashi. I guess she can’t appear in any series where there isn’t at least one musical interlude. In seriousness, though, I used the word “blame”, but the song isn’t that bad, and to see Ashi just having fun dancing for once was very heartwarming. Plus lots of hot swaying bods to look at. Why isn’t Scaramouch at the rave? Because he had no body to go with! Dah dum TISH! This episode again had no HalluciJack. Maybe the Omen and HalluiJack were connected in some way, so once the Omen had Jack ready to commit seppuku, HJ was no longer necessary. Maybe we’ll never know, but some clarity there would be appreciated. (Yes, I know I’ve implied in the past that “mystery is good”, but I want this particular thing explained, dammit! So sue me.) Again, this was a good episode, niggles aside. Plenty of call backs, more Scaramouchy goodness (as it were), Ashi getting a new outfit to mirror her change of heart, and best of all, Jack’s finally got his game face on, and is determined to find his sword, defeat Aku and get back, back to the past! And Sunny Fox will be with him each step of the way! Until the next episode airs, feel free to make your mark below, tell me what you think, and don’t forget to always stay, as they say, sunny side up! PS – I guess I should get around to reviewing Season 7 of MLP at some point… I'll keep you updated, y'all. Mwah!
  25. And he got biz-zay! It’s a whole family of Supers Scots! What happens Three armies arrive at Aku’s tower, one army of tanks, one army of rhino-riders and one army of statuesque red-headed Scottish warrior women. These are led by the Scotsman, Jack’s old buddy… now literally his old buddy. Although he is now grey-haired, one-eyed and wheelchair-bound, the Scotsman hasn’t lost his pep, and is delighted to have found Aku’s lair. After seeing what his daughter is wearing to the battle, he tells her and the others to cover up, producing a mass groan of “Da-aaaad…!” They obey him and cover themselves, promptly to uncover themselves again as the Scotsman gives the order to charge. The tanks and rhinos advance and launch missiles at Aku’s tower, while the Scots charge, the Scotsman's wheelchair being pushed by Scottish Daughter #1, Flora. Inside, Aku demands to know what all the noise is, and is told by his computer’s voice – no doubt on loan from Invader Zim – that he is under attack. Unzipping his vid-window, Aku is delighted to see some enemies he can crush – which he does, literally; he shapeshifts into a ball and simply rolls over the first two armies. Miley Cyrus, eat your heart out! Seeing this, the Scotsman realizes that the attack was foolhardy and instructs his daughters to run for it while he distracts Aku, who is aiming to complete the slaughter. The Scotsman taunts Aku, calling him a scared baby hiding in his crib, terrified that Samurai Jack is still out there inspiring people to resist him. Aku cuts him off by way of laser eyebeams, leaving behind the Scotman’s skeleton for a moment or two before it crumbles to dust. Aku is satisfied at first, but then gets depressed again at the reminder of the Samurai and goes back to his tower. The Scottish Daughters mourn the loss of their father and pick up his broken sword as a memento, but then his ashes stir and the Scotsman’s ghost appears. The Scotsghost is delighted to note he is back and back in his prime, no less. His answer to his marveling Scottish Daughters as to how this is possible? Why, Celtic magic, o’ course! Magic runes, laddie! All them fancy eye beams will get ye nowhere! The Scottsghost vows to raise another even bigger army and to find Samurai Jack to lead them. Meanwhile, Ashi and Jack are still on that island. Ashi has a vision of the High Priestess urging her to complete her mission and kill Jack, but she argues with it instead, saying she wants to know the truth. The HP accuses her of always being the weak one, but the vision ends. Ashi then gets to ride on Jack’s giant snake… wait, let me rephrase that… Jack summons a sea serpent to swim them to the shore, and says farewell to Ashi. She continues to follow him, however, and when he stops for the night, she demands that he prove to her that he is the good guy and Aku is the bad guy. Jack refuses, not believing she is able to let go of her long-infused hatred enough to accept the truth. She is angry at this, and makes as if to leave, but Jack changes his mind and tells her he will prove that he is telling the truth if she follows him tomorrow. Ashi lies on a rock looking at the sky and asks if it is true that Aku made the stars, but Jack tells her the fairy tale that his mother taught him about two children, Sun and Moon, who rode a phoenix and shot arrows into the sky to make the stars. D’aawww! Who’s a cute little anthropomorphic representation of a heavenly body? You are! Yes, you are! The following day, Jack and Ashi travel to a field of jagged rocks with a single tree. He tells her that this field used to be covered with those trees, but Aku destroyed them, leaving but one left as a taunting reminder of what he had done. Seeing she is still not convinced, Jack takes her to a space port, where a gang of exiled criminals have just docked. An official of Aku allocates them land that is already occupied by innocent, peaceful people, and it is implied the criminals will simply dispose of them when they land. The two end up in a village that has been destroyed, and all the children kidnapped. Ashi is finally convinced of the truth of the evilness of Aku, and they attempt a rescue, but the children have been given implants that allow them to be controlled and turned into an army of mindless beserkers. Jack tries to fend them off while Ashi tries to locate the controlling device. She does, but is trapped and electrically tortured by the operator while the children continue to attack Jack in a frenzy, who is unable to fight effectively due to his need to hold back. Ashi manages to free herself, knock out the operator and shut down the machine. This causes the children to “short out” and collapse. Jack, horrified that he and Ashi might have killed them all, gives a scream of denial and slumps down. The Apparition appears and tells Jack, “It is time.” Jack simply agrees, and walks off into the green mist. Meanwhile, Ashi comes back down to find the children lying there. She cradles one of them and is delighted when the child stirs. The rest start waking up as well. Overjoyed at their triumph, Ashi looks around for Jack, and is anguished when she can’t find him. She starts calling for him, for the very first time using his full name. Annnd… WATCH OUT! Thoughts on the Episode Huzzah! for the return of the Scotsman! I always did like that guy, and although I knew he would reappear (Thanks, Internet, for spoiling that! #sarcasm), it did me good to see him still fighting the good fight. Not a smart fight, mind you, but a good fight. And boy howdy, are his little swimmers strong! Every one of those Scottish ladies is his daughter. His poor wife! I assume she has passed by this point, since he doesn’t mention her. Classic cranky old father behaviour when he harangues them all for dressing like “ye was going to a dance!” and making them cover up, however briefly. Tension breaking moment of humour there, I like it, I do like it. The Scotsman is just hilarious in general, though. Seeing Aku effortlessly plough through two armies… “Ye know what, this was a bad idea!” Gee, ya think? Now all we need to complete the roster of awesome is for the Guardian to return. Aku claims to have destroyed all the time portals… but I think he missed that one. Because Jack has to go back to the past somehow, and that portal was the only one that came equipped with a prophecy. Although how that vision of an older Jack defeating the Guardian gels with the current situation of Jack’s current status as the Ageless, we’ll have to wait and see. Anyhoo, previous Season tangent ahoy! Gotta get back, back to the past present! I’ll admit my flabber was ghasted when the Scottsman was blasted. My gob was thoroughly smacked. After waiting so long to see his return, I felt it was a very unceremonious, nigh ignominious death. I mean, I know Season 5 hasn’t been puppies (with laser-beam eyes or otherwise) and rainbows (on fire or otherwise), but that seemed rather bleak even for the darker and bloodier tone the new episodes have got going on. Sheesh… Luckily, he soon comes back as the Scotsghost, so that turned out all right. Speaking of ghosts… while we don’t get a HJ appearance, we do get the Apparition… and boo yah! I was right about him being some sort of “Jack joins his ancestors in death” deal. In the wake of the “death” of yet more innocents, this time children, and believing himself partially responsible, Jack finally agrees it’s time to leave this cruel reality, shuffle off the mortal coil, join the Choir Invisible, pine for the fjords, yeah, you get the idea. I’m not quite sure I feel about that. Yes, Jack isn’t exactly a paragon of stability these days, but to just assume that all the children had died without even checking to make sure seems a step a little too far. With such good writing as we’ve been treated to up to this point, this particular development seems forced. I guess it ain’t SJ S5 without a cliffhanger ending. And the operator’s speech about “children are gullible and therefore easy to control”, while ironic in being delivered to Ashi, doesn’t really make much sense given that, y’know, the village kids are literally being controlled. It’s not at all the same situation as Ashi’s. Those nitpicks aside, though, this episode was fine. Perhaps not quite as engaging as some previous episodes, but Ashi is now on the side of right, Jack is off communing with his dearly departed, the Scotsghost is raising an army and things proceed apace towards their conclusion. And just one more review to go before we’re all caught up! Will Ashi find Jack? Will she have to remain behind in the world of the dead in order to send him back to the land of the living? Will Batman ever get rid of that bomb? Questions, questions! Please leave comments, commendations or condemnations below, if you consider that course congruent with your conscience. Chocolate chip cookies, you’ll have to send by courier. Stay sunny side up!