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I mean, if you look at the first half of this season, you have episodes that center around that in some way, (Horse Play), (Non-Compete Clause), (The Maud Couple), (Fake it, Till You Make It), (The Parent Map), and recently the Mid-Season Finale (The Mean 6).  If those and what's to come in the 2nd half 


Episodes on Rarity and Rainbow Dash (The End In Friend) , Starlight and Discord (A Matter of Principals), Pinkie and the Rest of the Mane 7 (Yakity-Sax), Trixie and Starlight (On The Road To Friendship), etc 1b2.jpg

, if that doesn't show you that this season is about really testing their friendship and learning to accept each other for who they are and what they like and dislike, then I don't know what does.

I also won't be surprised, (because IMO it seems to be possibly leading to this), that the School remains open as it is, but that Twilight and her Friends decide to step down as the staff of the school, because they'll come to realize that even though the idea for the school is a good one, that after everything they've gone through this past season, and the strong tests that their Friendship has had to endure, that they themselves still have a lot to learn about Friendship, and that also balancing their other priorities  along with being teachers, isn't working out for them, and possibly hand off the teaching duties to those that they know can handle it and balance the time to do it.  

Or they can change it up a bit, to where School only is open maybe 2-3 times a week, and thus the rest of the week they can focus on strengthing their friendship with each other, and focus on their other priorities outside of teaching.  

And yes, in the end this will lead to a possibly Neighsay redemption at the end of the season.

But what do you guys all think?

Comments are Welcomed.

Edited by bwrosas

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Last week, I gave the OP a shout-out after the latest episodes in the second half. Yakity-Sax, AMoP, Club, and FU remeinded me of Bwroasas's theory, and I have a big feeling he's on the money, and then some. Not only does the second half and the Mane Eight seem to have their friendships tested with each other, but friendships are tested, period. Each of them have a conflict involving having their friendships actually tested in a conflict, and it's up to the others to fix it.

Every single episode so far supports @bwrosas's theory in some way.

  1. School Daze: The Mane Eight's inexperience and struggling to properly teach friendship led to her school's closure and caused Twilight massive doubt in whether she'll be able to achieve her objective or now. Additionally, the other nations representing the school were at major odds. Starlight's tough love and reuniting the Student Six with their families, respectively, capped it.
  2. The Maud Couple: Pinkie struggled to get along with Mudbriar, and Maud admitting to feigning enjoyment for Pinkie's parties caused her to reach a massive breaking point. Marble and Limestone helped snap Pinkie out of it.
  3. Fake It: Fluttershy fakes personalities, resulting in damaging relations with Manehattan customers and nearly damaging her relationships with Rarity, the RM6, Smokey, and his family. Rarity had to confront her and fire her thrice to snap her out of it.
  4. Grannies Gone Wild: After Dash neglects her duties, she goes to the extreme so she can earn her way to the roller coaster. The end result? Embarrassing herself on stage and nearly ruining their entire vacation. After she explained everything, they brought her onto the ride and concluded the trip on a happy note.
  5. Surf and/or Turf: Sweetie and Scoots were so impassioned by where Terramar should live that they confuse him even more and nearly fall out. Additionally, Terramar's parents accidentally pressure him even more through specific keywords.
  6. Horse Play: Twilight's white lies caused massive friction in her relationship with Celestia and nearly ruined the play.
  7. The Parent Map: Starlight and Sunburst wanted nothing to do with their parents and were so incensed by their behavior that they told them to stop meddling in their business. They had to mend their relationships with their parents to resolve the friendship problem.
  8. Non-Complete Clause: Dash's and AJ's egos get in the way, nearly causing Yona to drown and almost were eaten by bite-accudas.
  9. Break Down: Misunderstandings and awful advice nearly ended Big Mac's relationship with Sugar Belle.
  10. Molt Down: Spike freaks out over the thought that Twilight will evict him thanks to how bad his molt is.
  11. Marks for Effort: Cozy Glow frames the CMCs to Twilight, accidentally causing them to get blacklisted from her school. Additionally, Starlight questioned her worth as guidance counselor, until Cozy Glow came in, starting to resolve the conflict.
  12. The Mean 6: Chrysalis and her minions accidentally accentuate the friction between the ReMane Seven to the point of a full-blown, tense argument that included Fluttershy bawling uncontrollably. Twilight stepping in and everyone apologizing and cheering FS up resolved the brief feud.
  13. AMoP: Discord's bratty attitude nearly injured Yona and fractured his relationships with Spike and Starlight.
  14. HW Club: Gallus's plan resulted in one of the worst arguments of the entire series and nearly splitting the Student Six apart.
  15. Friendship U:

    Neighsay conspires against Twilight, accusing her of trying to monopolize the education of Magic of Friendship. And Flim & Flam's threat of blackmail disrupted her confidence and self-worth

  16. Yakity-Sax: Pinkie spirals into a deep depression after being told to abandon an impassioned hobby. The RM6 had to go to Yakyakistand and encourage her to retry the yovidaphone to return her to the Pinkie of old.

Future episodes (including On the Road, and The Washouts, and Sounds of Silence) further implicate such a conflict.

Episodes from previous seasons tested their friendships before, such as TRoH. But never have there been such a condensed collection of stories within a season in which friendships are tested to a major boiling point. Despite being a more laid-back season, several times did the episodes become very tense.

This reminds me of Season 7B: The majority of those episodes, mainly the ones that Haber helped edit, examined both sides of the conflict with equal validity. This premise thematically rounded the conflicts and made them way interesting. Zeppelin, M&R and especially Shadow Play wouldn't be as great as they are without that gray approach. But this was mostly for one half. "Testing friendships" is a season-long arc, and that effort's evident.

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