Jump to content

S06:E16 - The Times They Are A Changeling


What did you think of the episode?  

202 users have voted

  1. 1. Did you like it?

    • Times are changing, and I do not approve!
      6
    • Eh, not really.
      2
    • Times have changed. MEH!
      12
    • Could've been better
      37
    • Times are changing, and THAT WAS AWESOME!
      145


Recommended Posts

 

 

Anyway, I've always wished the episodes could be longer.  Since day 1.
 

Same. I always imagined how great the episodes could have been if they get longer... :blink:  But, then, when i came back to reality, i amazed how well-crafted the episodes are in SUCH 20 minutes  :orly: ... Remember the days i disgusted every minute of this show and now i hungry for every second of Ponies...  :orly: 

  • Brohoof 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges


Register now to remove this ad.
  • Replies 270
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

After all of the waiting and the mystery of how this episode would go, could it be near perfection? I can safely say, yes, yes it is. This peisode was everything I wanted it to be and even a bit more.

(Link to "YES!" design here.)   Originally, Gauntlet of Fire was the best Spike episode.   The Times They Are a Changeling changes that.   This is an amazing episode. So much here is done so wel

Good afternoon ya'll, so sorry I didn't get this up earlier, been busy with the Ward Jenkins Q&A and some other Poniverse business.  Anyways, welcome, welcome, welcome back to another edition of "

Posted Images

I always imagined how great the episodes could have been if they get longer...

As a rule, stretching of length of an episode doesn't lead to something good. 21 minutes is too much time for many episodes of MLP. Quality is the same, and its density is less.

 

As to this episode, yes, there is a lack of time for emergence of trust. Trust to a former enemy do not emerge by a singing of a song. It occurs in process of time. There are no facts that can confirm Thorax's loyalty, even though everyone including me believe in it. But it hard to say that addition of some minutes makes it more believable. It can be.

  • Brohoof 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

As a rule, stretching of length of an episode doesn't lead to something good. 21 minutes is too much time for many episodes of MLP. Quality is the same, and its density is less.

 

It would be nice if instead of budgeting DHX to work on 26 22-minute episodes, they instead budgeted for 572 minutes per season of MLP, allowing DHX to divide it up any way they like that works best for their storytellers. But, DFC would not like that at all since it would make it difficult to schedule shows in such an arrangement.

  • Brohoof 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

Yes, for a number of episodes 11 minutes format suits much more. I believe there are some stories that were not screened because of its disparity with main format, and also we saw episodes that obviously underachieve it. Okay, it do not pertain to the topic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of conflict though, “The Times They Are a Changeling” is all over the place. The primary conflict starts out as one centered around Thorax not being able to have friends due to his changeling nature, but by episode’s end it’s all about Spike’s reputation and him regretting mistakes. Somewhere between the 15 minute mark and the end, all the interesting nuances of having to interact with a friendly changeling are scrapped to deliver a story about Spike and denial. It’s upsetting, because the story undermines any themes of trying to understand pariahs in favor of focusing more on redeeming Spike for his pitfalls. So in the end, it’s not even about Thorax or inclusivity at all; it’s about “risking reputation in the name of friendship.”

 

This is especially true in the song, as this is the one moment where Spike should be explaining to the others why they should treat Thorax kindly. But instead providing any explanation, he merely confesses “That sometimes I’m scared and I can make mistakes / And I’m not so heroic, it seems.” Never mind the fact he’s confessing to the wrong characters, it’s still completely irrelevant. Spike just said, “No, he’s not a thing. His name is Thorax, and he’s my friend,” so you would expect the song to explain to the others why Spike is friends with a changeling, but he never does. Instead, they all just roll with his confession, accept his conclusion without question, and any issue with Thorax being a changeling is dropped altogether. None of this makes any logical sense.

I think you're putting a bit more of what you want the episode to be about in than is actually there. The conflict over Thorax motivates the central conflict of the episode, which is how Spike handles his perception in the Crystal Empire. That's the topic of the cold open. It's the topic of the first act. It's the topic of the final act. How can the focus of the episode be anything else unless you're subconsciously downplaying it because you want the episode to be about Thorax?

 

It's true, the plot of getting the Crystal Ponies to accept Thorax ends rather abruptly, but that's because ultimately, the change from "get out or die" to "maybe we won't kill you or kick you out," really isn't that big of a leap, and when you look closely, that's all there is. The ponies of the Crystal Empire accept Thorax only insomuch as they believe Spike when he says Thorax doesn't wish them harm. Even with this atmosphere of rapprochement, there's still a moment of tension and mistrust when Cadance presents Flurry Heart to Thorax for the second time.

 

And that's what I get out of the episode, on the front of Thorax. His story isn't over. There's more to come from him. The normalization of relations between the Changelings and Equestria won't be resolved in 22 minutes. But, for what it's worth, Spike's identification with his status in the Crystal Empire has been aligned with his personal sense of morals.

 

 

For instance, we could use the same analogy to “imagine a Nazis that’s nice.”

 

Just remember, invoking Godwin's Law doesn't mean you're right. It just means the discussion's over.

  • Brohoof 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're putting a bit more of what you want the episode to be about in than is actually there. The conflict over Thorax motivates the central conflict of the episode, which is how Spike handles his perception in the Crystal Empire. That's the topic of the cold open. It's the topic of the first act. It's the topic of the final act. How can the focus of the episode be anything else unless you're subconsciously downplaying it because you want the episode to be about Thorax?

 

It's true, the plot of getting the Crystal Ponies to accept Thorax ends rather abruptly, but that's because ultimately, the change from "get out or die" to "maybe we won't kill you or kick you out," really isn't that big of a leap, and when you look closely, that's all there is. The ponies of the Crystal Empire accept Thorax only insomuch as they believe Spike when he says Thorax doesn't wish them harm. Even with this atmosphere of rapprochement, there's still a moment of tension and mistrust when Cadance presents Flurry Heart to Thorax for the second time.

 

And that's what I get out of the episode, on the front of Thorax. His story isn't over. There's more to come from him. The normalization of relations between the Changelings and Equestria won't be resolved in 22 minutes. But, for what it's worth, Spike's identification with his status in the Crystal Empire has been aligned with his personal sense of morals.

 

 

Just remember, invoking Godwin's Law doesn't mean you're right. It just means the discussion's over.

 

Discussions only end when one party decides they wish to discuss no more. Also, I did not compare anyone or anything to Hitler or Nazism, I merely used those words as alternate lyrics to demonstrate potential problems with the song. Rest assured, we haven't proved Mr. Godwin right yet.

 

It's very easy to interpret the episode as being about the changeling conflict, because apart from Spike complaining about his status before the theme song, every conflict after that is with regards to the changeling; the city's abandoned because of the changeling, the Crystal ponies are freaking out because of the changeling, they go  out and search for changelings because there's a changeling, and so forth. So yes, there are hints of a conflict over Spike's status at the beginning, but the narrative is moved forward by the conflict with the changeling, not the conflict with Spike's status and reputation. I'm not "subconsciously downplaying" anything; there's just more content and conflict regarding the changeling, making this the main conflict. 

 

And the transition in the episode isn't from "get out or die" to "maybe we won't kill you or kick you out," it's from enemy of the state (as Changelings have always been considered enemies of ponykind) to personal friend of the Princess (as Cadance personally went to become friends with Thorax). And that is a big leap, and yes it deserved to be explored more fully. It's also a lot more interesting than Spike's status, so I don't know why the writers would want to cut that short. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Discussions only end when one party decides they wish to discuss no more. Also, I did not compare anyone or anything to Hitler or Nazism, I merely used those words as alternate lyrics to demonstrate potential problems with the song. Rest assured, we haven't proved Mr. Godwin right yet.

 

It's very easy to interpret the episode as being about the changeling conflict, because apart from Spike complaining about his status before the theme song, every conflict after that is with regards to the changeling; the city's abandoned because of the changeling, the Crystal ponies are freaking out because of the changeling, they go  out and search for changelings because there's a changeling, and so forth. So yes, there are hints of a conflict over Spike's status at the beginning, but the narrative is moved forward by the conflict with the changeling, not the conflict with Spike's status and reputation. I'm not "subconsciously downplaying" anything; there's just more content and conflict regarding the changeling, making this the main conflict. 

 

And the transition in the episode isn't from "get out or die" to "maybe we won't kill you or kick you out," it's from enemy of the state (as Changelings have always been considered enemies of ponykind) to personal friend of the Princess (as Cadance personally went to become friends with Thorax). And that is a big leap, and yes it deserved to be explored more fully. It's also a lot more interesting than Spike's status, so I don't know why the writers would want to cut that short. 

You have a poor understanding of Godwin's Law.

 

Just because you can easily interpret the episode one way doesn't mean it's a cohesive interpretation. Indeed, you don't even like your interpretation because it's not cohesive. Yes, there is a lot of content involving the changeling, but that's because, as I have already said, Thorax's presence is the motivation behind the episodes actual story. Your interpretation requires you to ignore Spike's arc, or discard it as unrelated and incoherent. My interpretation requires the changeling arc to be coherent. Why do you insist that an incoherent interpretation of the story is the most valid one when a coherent interpretation is available, if not because it is simply your interpretation?

 

Cadance introduced Thorax to her infant child once there was sufficient assurance he wouldn't suck the love out of her. Okay, that's not quite so mild a regard as "maybe we won't kill you," but there is no way you can possibly interpret that as "personal" friend. It's absurd to suggest that Cadance would view Thorax in the same light she does Spike, and, while it's understandable that one may, if one's only exposure to the concept of a friend was MLP, since the show does a poor job of explaining the various registers in which "friend" can be used, the show doesn't give the viewer any explicit reason to expect that a friend just met is trusted to the same degree as a friend of many years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a poor understanding of Godwin's Law.

 

Just because you can easily interpret the episode one way doesn't mean it's a cohesive interpretation. Indeed, you don't even like your interpretation because it's not cohesive. Yes, there is a lot of content involving the changeling, but that's because, as I have already said, Thorax's presence is the motivation behind the episodes actual story. Your interpretation requires you to ignore Spike's arc, or discard it as unrelated and incoherent. My interpretation requires the changeling arc to be coherent. Why do you insist that an incoherent interpretation of the story is the most valid one when a coherent interpretation is available, if not because it is simply your interpretation?

 

Cadance introduced Thorax to her infant child once there was sufficient assurance he wouldn't suck the love out of her. Okay, that's not quite so mild a regard as "maybe we won't kill you," but there is no way you can possibly interpret that as "personal" friend. It's absurd to suggest that Cadance would view Thorax in the same light she does Spike, and, while it's understandable that one may, if one's only exposure to the concept of a friend was MLP, since the show does a poor job of explaining the various registers in which "friend" can be used, the show doesn't give the viewer any explicit reason to expect that a friend just met is trusted to the same degree as a friend of many years.

 

Oh please. If you've written a thesis about Godwin's law, I'll gladly read it, but don't tell me I'm calling anyone a Nazi merely because I used the term.

 

"Thorax's presence is the motivation behind the episodes actual story." That's the problem; if one conflict is the primary reason why another smaller conflict happens, and the two happen simultaneously, why wast time exploring the smaller conflict? From the above post, it sounds like we both agree that the conflict involving Thorax is incoherent, which is problematic, as the majority of the episode's screen time is with regards to the changeling conflict. If the episode spent significantly less time involved with Thorax and more with Spike struggling with his position, then it would make sense to interpret the episode as about Spike. But the episode didn't do that, it chose to have the conflict regarding Thorax be the one that builds the tension, and so we should expect the climax and resolution to be about that same conflict. You know, basic Freytag's pyramid.

 

We can drop the "personal" if you like; we'll know if it's actually personal or not next time Thorax & Cadance makes an appearance (after all, some ponies like Starlight Glimmer do go directly from enemy to close friend. We need another episode to see what's actually genuine)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed people talking about how they wish the episodes were longer - and they could be, if only by three to five minutes - which would be more than enough for most episodes, if they were made by...y'know, another country, where advertising doesn't take up a third or more of all run times. (I know it's a way to make money but it's kind of crazy how much time American shows spend just trying to get you to buy stuff.)

 

Anyway. I've been wanting to talk about a few things about this show all week, which is why I finally actually joined a discussion forum. I've been watching the show since the season 3 premier (I'd bingewatched the first two seasons about two months prior) but...it was Cadence in this episode that got me into a position where I have to talk about something. Be noted: This is a completely lighthearted little discussion point. 

 

GOD is she such a typical new mommy. She didn't even have to say anything either. She just had to point.

look%20upon%20my%20baby_zpse2wumqct.png

 

Basically, as soon as she's introduced to Spike's friend, without anyone saying anything or showing any interest, she points him to her baby. "LOOK AT MY CUTIE ISNT SHE PRETTY :D" And again at the end of the episode, when she decides to be friends with Thorax, she thrusts lil Flurry in Thorax's face. Sure, he was interested in the baby, but can you imagine if someone who didn't care about the foal with abnormally huge wings and horns? (Not sure why you wouldn't be, since as far as we know she's very unique and would be pretty cool to see, but there's probably some types out there who just do not want to interact with babies whatsoever, just like in real life.) I have quite a few friends who have had their first babies in the last couple of years, and this is so true to them. Can't say for all first time moms, but for my friends at least it has been true. They're very eager for people to notice and compliment their babies, even if they don't always outright say 'look at my cute baby.' I don't know if anyone else appreciated this but...I had to stop the video and squeal a little at how adorable Cadence was being. 

 

here%20look%20at%20my%20baby%20again_zps

 

And one last note on Flurry Heart: It seems like Sunburst's new job is 'Royal Infant Carrier.' He's carrying her around everywhere. Sure, he seems to be tasked directly with...being near her (I think we can assume it's for protection, but she does have an Alicorn Princess and the head of the Royal Guard for her parents). "And now, as our new royal vizier, it is your glorious honor to carry our baby around everywhere!!" :)

flurry%20being%20innocent_zpseqdsjdzz.pn

 

And then for the not-so-lighthearted discussion point - I really loved this episode for the message it got across. I have two nieces and two nephews not to mention a bit of a concern for my close friends' children because they're growing up where I did: A very one-note rural area where everyone is the same (same religion, same skin color, same school district, even the same grocery store). Equestria is a whole country where 90ish+/-% of the population is one general race of beings. This is important because, well, in the real world we currently have a huge problem with the media telling us that a certain group of people is out to destroy us and rural areas like that with so little diversity tend to become very cruel towards people from that group if they try to even so much as visit. They don't necessarily lash out or kill them or destroy their homes or businesses (though that is also a problem in some areas) but there's a huge lack of understanding and lack of acceptance out of pure fear. Sure the allegory isn't perfect since in the real world, the majority of that population isn't out to get us vs MLP where the majority of the race, by nature of their main source of food, is actually after the ponies, but accepting Thorax despite their trepidation felt like a really good message for my nieces and nephews, especially because I know what they're surrounded by right now and I don't want them to grow up hateful of those that are different from them because of a few bad eggs. For me, this one really hit on the acceptance message a lot better than Zacora - she was just different from the rest, where as Thorax comes from a species that is actively looked down upon in Equestria.

 

Then there's a second message through Spike that I really could've used when I was in middle school. Well, more like the popular kids could have benefited from seeing it. It can be really hard to be liked and do something that you know people won't like. His weakness in the episode was really strong for me, and he quickly realized his mistake and went to set it right. I watched a lot of kids turn a blind eye to bullying for the sake of their reputation. By senior year a good number of them had turned their attitudes around, but especially when they were younger they had a very hard time with it. I talked to some of them when we had art class together and they did mention they felt bad for ignoring those situations, but they'd been terrified themselves as to what might happen to them. Now in real life odds are pretty good the response won't be everyone immediately doing a 180 from super angry to super happy, but Spike did have the Princess of Exposition - oops sorry I mean friendship :) (seriously I love her but she had three main scenes in this episode - 1. Exposit 2. Be adorable over quills and 3. Accept Thorax and be the Princess of Friendship all over that ending) - there to back him up.

  • Brohoof 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, as soon as she's introduced to Spike's friend, without anyone saying anything or showing any interest, she points him to her baby. "LOOK AT MY CUTIE ISNT SHE PRETTY :D" And again at the end of the episode, when she decides to be friends with Thorax, she thrusts lil Flurry in Thorax's face. Sure, he was interested in the baby, but can you imagine if someone who didn't care about the foal with abnormally huge wings and horns? (Not sure why you wouldn't be, since as far as we know she's very unique and would be pretty cool to see, but there's probably some types out there who just do not want to interact with babies whatsoever, just like in real life.) I have quite a few friends who have had their first babies in the last couple of years, and this is so true to them. Can't say for all first time moms, but for my friends at least it has been true. They're very eager for people to notice and compliment their babies, even if they don't always outright say 'look at my cute baby.' I don't know if anyone else appreciated this but...I had to stop the video and squeal a little at how adorable Cadence was being. 

Shining and Cadance being new parents, with all the doting and exhaustion and overprotectiveness that implies, is one of my favourite things this season, and I'd be perfectly satisfied if the entire season just followed their misadventures. I already happen to think Cadance is adorable, and this episode hit ALL OF MY BUTTONS with her. Cutest princess? 

 

 

And then for the not-so-lighthearted discussion point - I really loved this episode for the message it got across. I have two nieces and two nephews not to mention a bit of a concern for my close friends' children because they're growing up where I did: A very one-note rural area where everyone is the same (same religion, same skin color, same school district, even the same grocery store). Equestria is a whole country where 90ish+/-% of the population is one general race of beings. This is important because, well, in the real world we currently have a huge problem with the media telling us that a certain group of people is out to destroy us and rural areas like that with so little diversity tend to become very cruel towards people from that group if they try to even so much as visit. They don't necessarily lash out or kill them or destroy their homes or businesses (though that is also a problem in some areas) but there's a huge lack of understanding and lack of acceptance out of pure fear. Sure the allegory isn't perfect since in the real world, the majority of that population isn't out to get us vs MLP where the majority of the race, by nature of their main source of food, is actually after the ponies, but accepting Thorax despite their trepidation felt like a really good message for my nieces and nephews, especially because I know what they're surrounded by right now and I don't want them to grow up hateful of those that are different from them because of a few bad eggs. For me, this one really hit on the acceptance message a lot better than Zacora - she was just different from the rest, where as Thorax comes from a species that is actively looked down upon in Equestria.

Much like Disney's Zootopia, the allegory may be imprecise, but that doesn't make the message of acceptance come across any less clearly. Of course having the oppressed group have a history of preying on the larger group doesn't really reflect the real world, but if predators/changelings can become fully functional members of society, what excuse do we have for not expecting the same of people who quite clearly aren't out to get us? 

 

 

Princess of Exposition - oops sorry I mean friendship :) (seriously I love her but she had three main scenes in this episode - 1. Exposit 2. Be adorable over quills and 3. Accept Thorax and be the Princess of Friendship all over that ending) - there to back him up.

One of these days, Twilight will become an interesting and consistently fun character in her own right again. One of these days. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It occurs to me that if Spike was concerned about being mobbed at the beginning of this episode by his fans in the Crystal Empire, then he REALLY has something to worry about the next time he returns if it leaks out he has a talent for singing. (And playing instruments, for that matter.)

 

He'll not only be regarded as a hero but also get promoted to teenage heartthrob status by a bunch of screaming fillies. (And maybe even a few colts.)

 

Not a bad position to be in, as long as he doesn't turn into Justin Bieber!  :lol:

They'll probably grab at him in hopes of knocking a few scales loose and put them in their love shrines. Sometimes having a hardened outer skin has its disadvantages!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

Oh please. If you've written a thesis about Godwin's law, I'll gladly read it, but don't tell me I'm calling anyone a Nazi merely because I used the term.

 

"Thorax's presence is the motivation behind the episodes actual story." That's the problem; if one conflict is the primary reason why another smaller conflict happens, and the two happen simultaneously, why wast time exploring the smaller conflict? From the above post, it sounds like we both agree that the conflict involving Thorax is incoherent, which is problematic, as the majority of the episode's screen time is with regards to the changeling conflict. If the episode spent significantly less time involved with Thorax and more with Spike struggling with his position, then it would make sense to interpret the episode as about Spike. But the episode didn't do that, it chose to have the conflict regarding Thorax be the one that builds the tension, and so we should expect the climax and resolution to be about that same conflict. You know, basic Freytag's pyramid.

 

We can drop the "personal" if you like; we'll know if it's actually personal or not next time Thorax & Cadance makes an appearance (after all, some ponies like Starlight Glimmer do go directly from enemy to close friend. We need another episode to see what's actually genuine)

Strictly speaking, Godwin's Law only stipulates that the longer a discussion goes, the probability of Hitler or the Nazis being mentioned approaches one. But a popular corollary of the Law is that the one who brings up Hitler or the Nazis loses the debate. You don't have to call anyone a Nazi. You just have to mention them.

 

You're misunderstanding me. I'm saying the whole story is only incoherent if you act like Spike's personal conflict is inconsequential. But it's not. Whenever Thorax is on screen, Spike is, too. Literally any time you're watching Thorax, you're also watching Spike interact with the plot, and all of those interactions, even if they are rooted in the changeling conflict, serve to impact the plot of Spike's development. In fact, the climax is about Spike making the decision to support Thorax despite the damage it could do to his reputation, and that decision literally solving all of his problems. Twilight even devotes a whole speech to how proud she is of Spike because he didn't betray his morals for personal gain. The central conflict of the episode was front and center in the denouement. You have to be ignoring all of this to be missing it.

 

I wouldn't even argue that Starlight is much of a close friend, at least not for her part. Starlight doesn't know Twilight, or her friends, even, that well, and acts like it. She has to be cajoled into attending Twilight's Hearth's Warming party. She's usually awkward and anxious around Twilight and her friends. And it feels like Twilight has staked enough of her professional self-esteem on this thing with Starlight working out that she very well could be driving for a closer relationship with Starlight than she would otherwise.

  • Brohoof 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

And it feels like Twilight has staked enough of her professional self-esteem on this thing with Starlight working out that she very well could be driving for a closer relationship with Starlight than she would otherwise

 

That's a great insight. I hadn't even considered that Twilight's trusting and befriending Starlight was essentially the parallel to Spike doing the same with Thorax, mainly because I never really considered Starlight becoming evil again.

 

It makes it even more fitting that Twilight would be the first one to realize what Spike had done by taking a stand, since she's done the same already. And maybe his befriending of both Ember and Thorax is some part of him trying to follow her lead?

 

She's essentially out on the same limb as he is - if Starlight ever turns bad again, her rep would suffer much like it would for Spike's if Thorax betrayed him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

Strictly speaking, Godwin's Law only stipulates that the longer a discussion goes, the probability of Hitler or the Nazis being mentioned approaches one. But a popular corollary of the Law is that the one who brings up Hitler or the Nazis loses the debate. You don't have to call anyone a Nazi. You just have to mention them.

 

You're misunderstanding me. I'm saying the whole story is only incoherent if you act like Spike's personal conflict is inconsequential. But it's not. Whenever Thorax is on screen, Spike is, too. Literally any time you're watching Thorax, you're also watching Spike interact with the plot, and all of those interactions, even if they are rooted in the changeling conflict, serve to impact the plot of Spike's development. In fact, the climax is about Spike making the decision to support Thorax despite the damage it could do to his reputation, and that decision literally solving all of his problems. Twilight even devotes a whole speech to how proud she is of Spike because he didn't betray his morals for personal gain. The central conflict of the episode was front and center in the denouement. You have to be ignoring all of this to be missing it.

 

I wouldn't even argue that Starlight is much of a close friend, at least not for her part. Starlight doesn't know Twilight, or her friends, even, that well, and acts like it. She has to be cajoled into attending Twilight's Hearth's Warming party. She's usually awkward and anxious around Twilight and her friends. And it feels like Twilight has staked enough of her professional self-esteem on this thing with Starlight working out that she very well could be driving for a closer relationship with Starlight than she would otherwise.

 

So it looks like we're using two different definitions of Godwin's law. According to Mr. Godwin (source) the law is "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one" (comparison bolded for emphasis). Interpret that how you will, but in my original argument I do not compare (and compare is the key word) anything to Hitler or Nazism to anything, so I have not "lost" any debate by the means of Godwin's law. 

 

And, yes, by the episode's end, it clearly is about Spike, but that's not the problem I have with the episode. Allow me to break it down step by step, as I feel we're missing each other.

 

My problem is with the conclusion not being about Thorax, or alternatively, the rising action not being about Spike. Don't get me wrong, from early on we know all about Spike's reputation. However, it's not a source of conflict then, rather, it's more of an annoyance. When Spike meets Thorax, he has no problem with risking his reputation to help his friend, so the only conflict is between Thorax and the other ponies. This conflict continues to build as the guards laugh at Spike telling them about his changeling friend. It comes to a breaking point when Thorax's identity is discovered. We see the ponies's anger, and changeling-pony tension is higher than ever.

 

This is also when Spike's reputation comes in. His denial adds another conflict, so now it's Thorax vs. Ponies (+Spike momentarily) but also Spike vs. Self as he considers the weight of his actions for himself politically. While we've seen Spike mention his reputation, before it has been a source of strength, not doubt, so it's a bit of a 180 degree turn. It's a good plot twist, but it is a twist, and this conflict is not one that was not present in Spike's first meeting with Thorax (the other one was).

 

When we arrive at the final scene, the conflict between Thorax and ponies continues to rise, but Spike's conflict is mostly internal now. He's made his mistake, he's regretted it, and he's now doing the right thing by correcting his early mistake. In some sense, his conflict is already resolved; all that's left is facilitating the final confrontation between the ponies and Thorax. Spike can only undo his wrong by making Thorax's conflict right, and he needs to step in as a mediator to resolve the conflict between the parties.

 

And that's what's missing at the end, because Spike doesn't sing a song vouching for Thorax's acceptance. Instead, he vocalizes his internal conflict through song without addressing any of the legitimate reasons for why the conflict exists between Thorax and the ponies. None of them know about Thorax and Spike's relationship, and by song's end they still don't know anything about it. While it does bring a nice close to Spike's internal drama, it doesn't address the Changeling in the room, and this conflict (which again, has been built up through out the entire episode) simply abates without reason. That's what I mean when I say the conflict is inconsistent; it starts one place, then adds another dimension, but never adequately concludes the original conflict ( which it could have done, if they chose for the song to not be about Spike, or if they dropped the song altogether).

 

I know you're going to tell me ph00t that Spike's conflict was present all along, but was it really? Where do we see Spike struggle (and I mean struggle, not being annoyed ) with his reputation? We see Thorax's struggle immediately, but Spike's doesn't seem to show up until near the end. Anyways, I hope I've made myself clear where I see the start and end of each conflict, and why their ordering makes me see the episode as one not about Spike's conflict, but about Thorax's. 

 

I also want to point out that just because the episode is through Spike's eyes, doesn't mean that the conflict need be centered on him. Novels like "The Great Gatsby" are good example of this; the novel's about Gatsby, but it's through the eyes of his neighbor, Nick Carraway. With MLP:FiM frequently introducing more and more characters, I don't think it would be strange to utilize this tactic. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So it looks like we're using two different definitions of Godwin's law. According to Mr. Godwin (source) the law is "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one" (comparison bolded for emphasis). Interpret that how you will, but in my original argument I do not compare (and compare is the key word) anything to Hitler or Nazism to anything, so I have not "lost" any debate by the means of Godwin's law. 

 

I know you're going to tell me ph00t that Spike's conflict was present all along, but was it really? Where do we see Spike struggle (and I mean struggle, not being annoyed ) with his reputation? We see Thorax's struggle immediately, but Spike's doesn't seem to show up until near the end. Anyways, I hope I've made myself clear where I see the start and end of each conflict, and why their ordering makes me see the episode as one not about Spike's conflict, but about Thorax's. 

 

I also want to point out that just because the episode is through Spike's eyes, doesn't mean that the conflict need be centered on him. Novels like "The Great Gatsby" are good example of this; the novel's about Gatsby, but it's through the eyes of his neighbor, Nick Carraway. With MLP:FiM frequently introducing more and more characters, I don't think it would be strange to utilize this tactic. 

You made a comparison. Nazis were involved. This isn't even important. Why can't you be wrong about something that literally has no bearing except to remind you that reference to the Third Reich is always a rhetorical shortcut, and not supporting evidence?

 

The conflict isn't even so much Spike struggling with his fame. He actually takes it for granted, and underestimates its power and importance, both to the ponies around him, and to himself. When Thorax questions whether there's anything Spike can do, Spike flippantly suggests that his influence will sway them, but as the episode progresses, he gradually loses that original confidence, first walking back his original plan and suggesting that Thorax hang as a pony for an indeterminate period, and eventually loses his nerve entirely. That is the rising action you've willfully ignored. When he goes back to apologize to Thorax is the climax. His song is the falling action, and the time after his song is the denouement. The song isn't about his relationship with Thorax, because that's not what the episode isn't about. When some aspect of an episode is about what the episode about, and isn't about what the episode isn't about, that's not a problem.

 

Maybe this episode could have told the story from the perspective of a different narrator. It didn't. But not every episode is going to be quite so sophisticated. Sometimes they're just solid episodes that are fun to watch.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You made a comparison. Nazis were involved. This isn't even important. Why can't you be wrong about something that literally has no bearing except to remind you that reference to the Third Reich is always a rhetorical shortcut, and not supporting evidence?

 

The conflict isn't even so much Spike struggling with his fame. He actually takes it for granted, and underestimates its power and importance, both to the ponies around him, and to himself. When Thorax questions whether there's anything Spike can do, Spike flippantly suggests that his influence will sway them, but as the episode progresses, he gradually loses that original confidence, first walking back his original plan and suggesting that Thorax hang as a pony for an indeterminate period, and eventually loses his nerve entirely. That is the rising action you've willfully ignored. When he goes back to apologize to Thorax is the climax. His song is the falling action, and the time after his song is the denouement. The song isn't about his relationship with Thorax, because that's not what the episode isn't about. When some aspect of an episode is about what the episode about, and isn't about what the episode isn't about, that's not a problem.

 

Maybe this episode could have told the story from the perspective of a different narrator. It didn't. But not every episode is going to be quite so sophisticated. Sometimes they're just solid episodes that are fun to watch.

 

You're essentially accusing me of comparing someone/something to a Nazi, and that isn't what I did (I substituted in the word "Nazi" to show how the lyrics could be used to justify anything, e.g. Nazism), so naturally I'm going to rebuke your claim.

 

Anyways, we're not getting anywhere closer to understanding each other. I don't think there's anything more I can say to help you see my perspective; all you've told me is that I've "willfully ignored" aspects which I haven't, time after time, so I can't tell if you're considering my thoughts or are blindly discrediting them. 

 

Goodbye ph00t. Maybe next time we'll reach an understanding, but for now there's nothing more I can do. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

one side not though.. the guards jumped from one band wagon to another real quick at the end. I understand if the Princess and Prince say they have to be friends they have to but they were ready to kill one second and hooting and hollering the next.  would have been more believable if they gave a reaction like Cadence after Twilight said something, calm and agreeing. Not cheering and over excited. Then again maybe they were being kiss as- uh- flanks.
 

That last remark has more truth to it than you know. I've been in crowds before and seen people turn on a dime if a speaker they idolize does a 180. It's weird and more than a little unnerving. Having said that, I doubt that's what the writers were doing in the episode. There's a lot of things in the show that are really just super simple because of the target audience (though the target audience may be in question at this point).  :adorkable:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

I liked this episode, but it begs the question of who was the changeling in episode 100 at the wedding and why did ponies not run away screaming?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Phew! Wasn't able to catch with this and Dungeons and Discords. Too many Uni homework. Now, i got a look at it and gotta say, So-so. We got a good look at changeling culture, life cycle and larval stage, and Thorax himself is alright. Spike's solo song was sweet, but him saving the entire day all because of it was rather rushed and jarring.


I liked this episode, but it begs the question of who was the changeling in episode 100 at the wedding and why did ponies not run away screaming?

That changeling was a friend of Cranky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this episode, but it begs the question of who was the changeling in episode 100 at the wedding and why did ponies not run away screaming?

They didn't run away screaming, but they were clearly uncomfortable to see a Changeling at the wedding. Probably not the same changeling, though. That would be a mighty big coincidence.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...