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  1. 1. Did you like it?

    • No, I hated it! >:(
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    • Meh. It was okay.
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    • I liked it!
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    • I LOVED IT! <3
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The premise of the episode was really interesting, though I didn't care for the execution.

 

I know this is a kids show, but I felt that this premise needed a bit more substance to really work, especially since I got no real impression as to why anypony would want to join Starlight's cult town outside of just pure brainwashing, which doesn't feel correct.

 

Without that the episode felt rather dull actually, with weak characterization and slow plodding to what was a pretty predictable conclusion to the whole conflict. 

 

Not sure how feel about the worldbuilding, and Starlight's apparent cutie mark based magical talent. Seems like a rather dangerous and particularly overpowered. . .power I guess.

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I got no real impression as to why anypony would want to join Starlight's cult town outside of just pure brainwashing, which doesn't feel correct.

Eh, I disagree. I'm sure there were plenty of ponies who felt out of place because of their cutie marks. Maybe a guard didn't like seeing ponies better at guarding than he was (since that's an incredibly common special talent, assuming the royal guards are any good at it), or a weather pony felt inferior compared to Rainbow Dash's ability to clear the skies in ten seconds flat. I'm sure there's been some uncertainty about cutie marks once ponies have obtained them. While these doubts might not amount to anything on their own, Starlight Glimmer was so sure of her philosophy (and such a great salespony) that I'm sure a few might have been convinced to join the herd. Once a few ponies have been converted, there's strength in numbers.

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Eh, I disagree. I'm sure there were plenty of ponies who felt out of place because of their cutie marks. Maybe a guard didn't like seeing ponies better at guarding than he was (since that's an incredibly common special talent, assuming the royal guards are any good at it), or a weather pony felt inferior compared to Rainbow Dash's ability to clear the skies in ten seconds flat. I'm sure there's been some uncertainty about cutie marks once ponies have obtained them. While these doubts might not amount to anything on their own, Starlight Glimmer was so sure of her philosophy (and such a great salespony) that I'm sure a few might have been convinced to join the herd. Once a few ponies have been converted, there's strength in numbers.

That's certainly a good point. There are also ponies who may have never gotten their Marks, even as adults ( if such a thing actually DOES exist in canon. )

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Eh, I disagree. I'm sure there were plenty of ponies who felt out of place because of their cutie marks. Maybe a guard didn't like seeing ponies better at guarding than he was (since that's an incredibly common special talent, assuming the royal guards are any good at it), or a weather pony felt inferior compared to Rainbow Dash's ability to clear the skies in ten seconds flat. I'm sure there's been some uncertainty about cutie marks once ponies have obtained them. While these doubts might not amount to anything on their own, Starlight Glimmer was so sure of her philosophy (and such a great salespony) that I'm sure a few might have been convinced to join the herd. Once a few ponies have been converted, there's strength in numbers.

It is something that can be implied certainly, but I think the episode would have been better off by being explicit about it and expanding on it.

 

Otherwise I feel it makes the victims seem rather dumb for putting themselves in that kind of situation, for seemingly no reason (at least the ones that weren't out and out just tortured into submission). 

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I liked the episode, but I really need more reason to actually despise the sp00ky new antagonist. I mean, she did some terrible thing, but for what reason? There's no justification for her even doing it, unless she was bullied as a filly or something for being a late bloomer haha. It's reasonable to understand the antagonist's ideology, and it does make sense in a perfect world. A shame Equestria doesn't exist within a perfect world. I feel like the ideology wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't pulled off as radically as she had done. I'm sure there's a taboo or a stigma behind lacking a talent, as seen through the CMC's tales. The exploration of characters lacking a cutie mark would be super interesting to expand upon in the future. owo

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I finally got to watch this episode yesterday and lemme say this: Starlight Glimmer could be the first true normalized monster of My Little Pony.  It proves that you don't need to look like a monster to be one.  And I'm looking forward to seeing more of her in the finale.

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Eh, I disagree. I'm sure there were plenty of ponies who felt out of place because of their cutie marks. Maybe a guard didn't like seeing ponies better at guarding than he was (since that's an incredibly common special talent, assuming the royal guards are any good at it), or a weather pony felt inferior compared to Rainbow Dash's ability to clear the skies in ten seconds flat. I'm sure there's been some uncertainty about cutie marks once ponies have obtained them. While these doubts might not amount to anything on their own, Starlight Glimmer was so sure of her philosophy (and such a great salespony) that I'm sure a few might have been convinced to join the herd. Once a few ponies have been converted, there's strength in numbers.

 

Especially considering these characters are most likely in range from teens to young adults, (15-30 or so), which is prime, 'what the hell do I do with myself, ohgod I suck at everything, my entire life sucks, drama and stress is what I live and breathe' time of your life. So some ponies being enticed by the idea that they can be equal with everyone seems normal.

 

That said, it did feel, at times, that the show couldn't decide if it wanted to lean towards brain-washing or choice. The uniform smiles and dancing made it feel like brain-washing, but then later on and throughout part two, more and more of the Equal Sign ponies did less of that, and seemed to have more will to question and be confused. Ah well. I'm sure it wasn't the easiest thing to write.

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Especially considering these characters are most likely in range from teens to young adults, (15-30 or so), which is prime, 'what the hell do I do with myself, ohgod I suck at everything, my entire life sucks, drama and stress is what I live and breathe' time of your life. So some ponies being enticed by the idea that they can be equal with everyone seems normal.

 

That said, it did feel, at times, that the show couldn't decide if it wanted to lean towards brain-washing or choice. The uniform smiles and dancing made it feel like brain-washing, but then later on and throughout part two, more and more of the Equal Sign ponies did less of that, and seemed to have more will to question and be confused. Ah well. I'm sure it wasn't the easiest thing to write.

Perhaps they were truly happy at first, but the arrival of the 6 made them less sure, resulting in the uncertain behavior?

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Perhaps they were truly happy at first, but the arrival of the 6 made them less sure, resulting in the uncertain behavior?

 

Probably, but the smiles in-particular seemed like they had to be a product of brain-washing. So I guess the doubt from the Mane Six directly interfered with the brain-washed state of them or something.

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That said, it did feel, at times, that the show couldn't decide if it wanted to lean towards brain-washing or choice. The uniform smiles and dancing made it feel like brain-washing, but then later on and throughout part two, more and more of the Equal Sign ponies did less of that, and seemed to have more will to question and be confused.

 

I think that probably had to do with the increased intrusiveness (is that the right word?) of the mane six's presence. At first they were trying to convert their differences to sameness, so they relied on the learned beliefs and behaviors to change them. Later, though, they started to pay attention to the new culture, and their mannerisms changed to reflect their new doubts.

 

I imagine the initial conversion was a misinformed choice later aided by brainwashing.

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This story has a meaningful message, and you don't have to overreach into economic analogies to find it.  Sugar Belle tells us what it's all about.

 

 

"We gave up everything for you, because we thought you were our friend!"

 

The ponies in this village have come here because they each felt their individual lives were missing something important.  Was it the common ownership of the means of production that they wanted?  No, it was just friendship, harmony, and a sense of belonging. 

 

 

"Is your friendship ending?"

 

Sugar Belle is genuinely confused about how friendships work.  That's unusual for an adult pony, but it is not very unusual for the show's target audience of young children.  Kids' friendships are often volatile, and some of them have not yet known a strong friendship that can weather an argument.  Rather trivial disagreements can, unfortunately, signal the end of a friendship among children, so this is a realistic worry for some in the target audience.

 

It's likely that some of the adults in the village had friendships before they came here.  I'm assuming that Starlight Glimmer talked them into doubting the veracity of those friendships, compared with her offer of friendship without judgment.  Some of the other adults may have never had strong friendships before; they may have been ostracized where they grew up, and never really felt like they belonged anywhere.

 

 

"I'm sorry, I'm just having a hard time understanding. Different talents lead to different opinions which lead to bitterness and misery. So... why aren't you bitter, and..."

 

To gain harmony and friendship without judgment, the ponies in the village succumbed to a societal pressure which many of us have seen before.  This is the threat in the story: the pressure to try to blend in with the majority, by suppressing those parts of yourself that make you unusual. 

 

Some ponies may be more desperate to do this, because of pain they've already experienced from being different.  Especially so if they've internalized the belief that they were at fault for being different, instead of recognizing that others were wrong to hurt them for it.

 

That peer pressure, to merely emulate others, is what this episode is about.  It's not about communism, or socialism, or capitalism, or a mixed economy.  It's not about any kind of economy.  The story shows what peer pressure could do to everypony, taken to an extreme.  Maybe we've all heard so much Cold War propaganda through the loudspeakers that it's hard to notice a message here that's not about geopolitics.  img-3637601-1-wink.png

I think your comments about being judged/bullied and peer pressure would explain Fluttershy's behavior in the episode. We have seen Fluttershy be bullied and experience peer pressure so maybe the idea of the village was comforting to her. And your right about kids and arguments. Adults can see past things but children may end a friendship too quickly over nothing in a fit of anger/emotion.

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Honestly, I can't believe more people aren't talking about Starlight's powers. Prince Firemane and "Cute Ski Horse" seem to be the only ones really interested.

I notice many people calling Starlight an "average" pony as part of the villain's appeal. I partially agree - compared to the numerous non-pony villains such as Discord, Chrysalis, Sombra, Tirek, and the Dazzlings, her abilities (save one) aren't spectacular (exceptional, yes, but hardly the large-scale reality-altering abilities of the former).

 

As Cute Ski Horse stated, though, even Star Swirl, implied to be one of the most powerful unicorns in the history of Equestria, had the modification of cutie marks as part of his penultimate spell (which was unfinished to boot!). Discord, quite possibly the most powerful magic user in Equestria (save a powered-up Tirek) did not remove the mane 6's cutie marks given the chance. Though admittedly it is unknown whether he possessed this ability, he did go through the trouble of removing their horns and wings (and presumably AJ and PP's passive Earth pony magic as well), and when visibly annoyed by FS's resistance, only went as far as corrupting her as much as her friends. In addition, even his theft of RD and FS's wings, given that it affected their state of "winged-ness" is not particularly notable for someone of his power, as Twilight had previously demonstrated an ability to give a pony wings in Sonic Rainboom, even if only temporarily. Tirek, one of the few to possess such an ability, had this as his primary and defining ability, the difference being his obviously demonically-inspired species (which, if Equestria Girls is to be considered Canon, represents a very powerful form) and his origin from a "distant land" - he is clearly meant to be shown as being far beyond the average pony's magic. Twilight Sparkle, about the only pony with which one could make a fair comparison here, was unable to give Apple Bloom a cutie mark, even cosmetically. She even states that "...not even magic can make a cutie mark appear before it's time." Being a well-studied pony, I'd expect her to know what she was talking about there.

 

That's why, for me, the largest twist concerning Starlight Glimmer was not that her equal cutie mark was fake (honestly, I found that part to be a bit predictable), but that the "Staff of Sameness" was fake. It just completely throws what notion I have of a non-alicorn pony's power out the window. Magical artifacts have, by contrast, been shown to frequently have extremely powerful, sometimes reality-altering effects (e.g. the Mirror Pond, the Alicorn Amulet, the Crystal Mirror, the Tree/Elements of Harmony). Starlight's ability to actually rival many of the main villains' defining powers without the use of one of these artifacts seems to me a bit extreme as far as a character goes, but it will certainly provide the potential for an interesting future appearance.

 

 

The fact the brand new villain with no history, and no obvious differences between her and every other unicorn in the world has this wicked intense magical ability that no one else has, looks a lot more like a convenient plot device than a well-woven part of the story, that's all I'm trying to get across, as this was the only issue I had with the premiere.

 

Its no different than Keep Calm and Flutter On. At the time, the sudden plot device of, 'Lol, Discord is reformed now guys!' didn't sit well with many people, because it too was sudden and felt kinda forced. Later on, most of those people were fine with it as Discord's nature proved similar, up until his 'true' reformation in the S4 finale, which felt far more genuine and realistic than what the ponies tried in KCaFO.

 

Similarly, I imagine Starlight will return, and her crazy-ass unique magic will be explained in a manner that seems fitting enough to be believable. All I'm saying is that for now, the writer's have chosen to leave it completely vague and unexplained, which will no doubt make some people cock their heads. :3

 

 

I don't find Starlight's power all that remarkable.

We've seen that ponies can be good at pretty much anything for a Cutie Mark--if we can have someone who can raise the sun or is good at magic in general, why not someone who can alter part of a ponys nature?

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Maybe they thought that it was useless to purchase her because they couldn't reason with her, or that she was already too far away...

 

That's true. Looks like she'll be a season long villain. :o

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(edited)

I really liked this season premiere main reason being (as I'm a big Pinkie Pie fan) I love that Pinkie Pie was the first one to know something was seriously wrong with this town and stuck to it :lol:. Another reason being I thought it was interesting to have a non-threatening looking villian who thinks she's in the right compared to the previous villians who seem to know and love being evil.

Edited by ImogenOnscreen

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I don't find Starlight's power all that remarkable.

We've seen that ponies can be good at pretty much anything for a Cutie Mark--if we can have someone who can raise the sun or is good at magic in general, why not someone who can alter part of a ponys nature?

 

Only examples of rising the sun and moon we've gotten were from alicorns, a super-charged Twilight, and supposedly, unicorns from thousands of years ago who did it during the Dark Ages. I don't find rising the sun and moon to be on the same level as something like screwing around with destiny, which is exactly what taking cutie marks does. It doesn't just remove the symbol, the ponies begin losing their sense of talent altogether. That's dark shit.

 

And being studious in magic in general, that's not very remarkable. That's a plain and simple Study > Get Better at Magic formula.

 

Something super specific and disturbing like removing cutie marks is the kind of strange shit you'd expect from Discord, not some random unicorn. So either Starlight's been screwing around with dark magics she shouldn't have been, or she's somehow special in some other manner.

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   Portrait of a voluptuous mare named Starlight Glimmer, a sparse little pony pony who feeds off her own self delusions, and finds herself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in her diet. And like some human predecessors she searches for something to explain her hunger, and to rationalise why the world so often passes her by without saluting. That something she looks for and finds in the gutter. In her own twisted and distorted lexicon she calls it equality, friendship and harmony. I based this on Rod Serling's opening narration in "He's Alive", this was a great episode to open the new season, and the first season of MLP for Discover Family, it reminded me of an episode of the Twilight Zone, and had a sort of twist in the plot, it also reminded me of the Legend of Korra, the first book, when Korra moved to Republic City, in the midst of anti-bending sentiment, perpetuated by Amon, later revealed to be a water bender, who believed bending led to war, and exploitation of non benders, yet Amon was a deceiver and was revealed in view of the public as a charlatan. The mane six had defeated Tirek, now they were uncertain of what they had to do next, until a map of Equestria was uncovered, guiding them to an isolated hamlet, of ponies with the same equal symbol cutie mark. The guru of this town is a unicorn named Starlight Glimmer, who runs this town as an unelected, de facto leader and front to her idea of equality, for she sees cutie marks as an reason for trouble, and disagreements, yet she does not stop there, Starlight Glimmer goes out of her way to keep everypony equal, singing her anthem, wearing drab clothes, mane style, forced smiles, sanctioned speech and eating bland pastries, without stating their negative opinions in public. Fluttershy was the most vulnerable to Starlight Glimmer, she gradually was won over as the other mane six was suspicious of Starlight's intentions. Three ponies confessed to the mane six, that not all was well in this town, the ponies had feelings of individuality and talents, the ponies had their cutie marks removed to a vault, but use of a magic staff, but were ambushed and had their cutie marks stolen. Fluttershy was the only one won over by Starlight, until she saw a pony named Double Diamond, gave himself up to spare the only two ponies who informed the mane six, as a result Fluttershy saw Starlight Glimmer had her cutie mark, and concealed her cutie mark with an equal symbol. Fluttershy splashed water at Starlight, revealing her deception, that her magic and not the staff was responsible for removing the town's cutie marks, as the town ponies get their cutie marks back, Starlight flees with the mane six cutie marks, only to be pursued by the town's ponies, this was a great moment, it showed the unique qualities of each pony, as they chased after the former guru, I hope we see these ponies again, they were amazing. Twilight Sparkle got her cutie mark back, and defeated Starlight Glimmer's magic, Twilight learned that she was great, because she had great friends, equal and unique together, rather than coerced to be equal, in order to be friends. Overall, this was a great episode, I liked the fact the mane six were not the only focus in this story, the ponies here had a lot of screen time and speaking lines, I hope we get more episodes that develops new pony characters, now that Starlight Glimmer got away, she remains a threat to everypony, everywhere. Where would she go next, this pony of powerful magic, this trickster of delusion and illusion Manehattan? Fillydelphia? Canterlot? Ponyville? Any place, every place, where there's difference, where there's independence, where there's freedom. She's at large. She's at large so long as these qualities exist. Remember it next time when she comes to your town. Remember it when you see an equal cutie mark. Remember it when you hear a name called, individuality attacked, unreasoning assault on expression and special talents. She's at large, because through these things, she will always be at large.   

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Hey, umm.. Does anyone know where I can watch this online? preferably for  free but it is ok if it is cheap. Thanks!

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SPOILER ALERT!

So I watched the brand new MLP season 5 2-part episode. I LOVED IT! I think the writers were extremely brave and took a ton of risks that paid off beautifully. The theme is AMAZING and profound. I am surprised a theme with Marxism/Communism tones got produced and I'm very happy. I find it interesting that it focused on all of the girls rather than just Twilight like the way the last few 2 parters focused on Twilight's character growth. Fluttershy's screen time was interesting. I like that they gave Fluttershy a lot to do but I'm not sure if I like how easily Fluttershy was taken by the "niceness" of the villagers. I like what Fluttershy did at the end. Starlight Glimmer was a cool bad guy and I like how we find out she studies magic and her whole interaction with Twilight after Twilight puts up the forcefield. Looks like I was right about Starlight being a foil to Twilight. I wonder if Starlight will appear again since she just escaped. I never would have expected Starlight to escape. The animation itself was AMAZING especially Pinkie's cookie bloat/sick expression. I have no idea how they managed to make Pinkie's face contort that way and so fluidly. The only flaw I really noticed was maybe the pacing seemed a bit faster than the other 2 parters but that may not be a bad thing. btw the season 5 show opening is the same except for a spilt second image of the castle. 3 questions popped up as I was watching, why can magic be used to remove cutie marks but not make them appear? Does the = cutie mark remove all magic like what Tirek did? If so why can the pegasus ponies still fly(or fly a little anyway)? 

 

I think maybe the = cutie mark brings ponies down to a sort of default status as to how their skills were when they were first born. Rainbow Das had the flight capability of a weak Pegasus with no wing strength.

 

I assume the same would go for Twilight. She'd probably only be able to magically lift things and all her spells would be too complex for a level 1 unicorn to cast. (Since the = mark reset her stats)

 

Rarity would think the ugly plain window curtains looked nice cuz that's probably what a beginner fashion designer would think. (Again the = mark)

 

That's just my idea... hope it makes sense. :)

Hey, umm.. Does anyone know where I can watch this online? preferably for  free but it is ok if it is cheap. Thanks!

 

There's a website called watch cartoon online. Watchcartoononline.com and then search for My Little Pony.

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(edited)

Probably, but the smiles in-particular seemed like they had to be a product of brain-washing. So I guess the doubt from the Mane Six directly interfered with the brain-washed state of them or something.

 

I think the smiles are more from a fear of getting locked in that room more than anything else. I don't think that they we're getting brainwashed, but I do think that failure to conform resulted in immediate punishment.

 

When it was revealed that Starlight was lying, they all seemed to turn on her pretty fast. I don't think that would happen had they been brainwashed.

Edited by Banul

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I liked the episode, but I really need more reason to actually despise the sp00ky new antagonist. I mean, she did some terrible thing, but for what reason? There's no justification for her even doing it, unless she was bullied as a filly or something for being a late bloomer haha. It's reasonable to understand the antagonist's ideology, and it does make sense in a perfect world. A shame Equestria doesn't exist within a perfect world. I feel like the ideology wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't pulled off as radically as she had done. I'm sure there's a taboo or a stigma behind lacking a talent, as seen through the CMC's tales. The exploration of characters lacking a cutie mark would be super interesting to expand upon in the future. owo

We still don't know anything about Starlight Glimmer, and since she'll certainly reappear later in the show, we'll certainly understand why she did that.

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So MLP  went into Cult themes..../brain washing/tourture/stealing/pushing that a cutie mark can change or be removed..../

 

:comeatus:  I support this cult idea!

 

So is Glimmer the new bad Sunset Shimmer?  Given she has a powerful magic it seems and more than

give how it ended will be back most likely for the end of season five perhaps?

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Very nice opening episode, though a bit more info about Starlight Glimmer's motives would have been helpful. The fact that she escpae could indicate we will see her again some time later

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I think maybe the = cutie mark brings ponies down to a sort of default status as to how their skills were when they were first born. Rainbow Das had the flight capability of a weak Pegasus with no wing strength.

 

I assume the same would go for Twilight. She'd probably only be able to magically lift things and all her spells would be too complex for a level 1 unicorn to cast. (Since the = mark reset her stats)

 

Rarity would think the ugly plain window curtains looked nice cuz that's probably what a beginner fashion designer would think. (Again the = mark)

 

That's just my idea... hope it makes sense. :)

 

There's a website called watch cartoon online. Watchcartoononline.com and then search for My Little Pony.

Excellent points there. It makes perfect sense. Thank you! I think the = mark slowly sucks out their personality when it glows gray like that too. 

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