A Matter of Principals  

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  1. 1. Like or Dislike?

    • Starlight: *angrily obliterates Discord from the school grounds* (I HATE IT! >_<)
    • Discord: "Well, that's disappointing." *flings artifacts into the air* (I dislike it!)
    • Gallus: "You've been underwater a looonng time…haven't you?" (…meh…)
    • Spike: "And the gems are real!" *Twilight stares at him; chuckles nervously* "Eh, not that I tasted them." (I like it!)
    • Discord: *snaps fingers* "Everything is re-hidden! *snicker as image flies by* With a few surprises." (I LOVE IT! <3)


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I liked this episode, mostly because I think Spike and Starlight work very well together and because Starlight has really become one of my favorite characters. I like how her violent solution was the wrong one, and most of all, that she realized the correct one by herself, showing that, while she still likes to rely on raw power, she is learning a lot from her friendship lessons. That said, it's certainly not a flawless episode. Sure, Discord is a spirit of chaos, but he gets off the hook for screwing everyone over far too easily. I had the same problem with Pinkie being incredibly inconsiderate in the previous episode. I really wouldn't mind if the show decided to call them out on such behavior, because it wouldn't get in the way of the solutions to the problems at all.

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It was a fun episode to watch. Even though Discord was even a bigger jerk than usual, and being left out has become a recurring theme of his episodes, I enjoyed it. Mainly because of what happened to the Friendship School – it was what I wanted it to be from the start: run by secondary characters (+ Spike and Starlight) rather than the Mane 6 who now have to be torn between the school and their main jobs.

I loved all the cameos and continuity nods, and now I also want to learn more about the artifacts and their original bearers, especially the dragon and the changeling ones. As for the clash of two overpowered semi-reformed ex-villains, I’m a bit surprised by what Starlight managed to do, but I have a feeling she had been prepared in advance for this, and she probably created spells for every kind of possible threat – just in case.

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Discord isn't as powerful as we think.

He can still get sick
He can have his magic drained
He disappears if he doesn't act chaotic
His body can still be affected
 

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15 minutes ago, VG_Addict said:

Discord isn't as powerful as we think.

He can still get sick
He can have his magic drained
He disappears if he doesn't act chaotic
His body can still be affected
 

That last one made me remember. When he went to confront Tirek in his weakened form, he still dodged Tirek's horn blast by splitting his head in two.

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That lesson...the final lesson...what was the motive behind that lesson, Dubuc.....:huh:

Wait I got it! It really is interesting how some writers choose to approach Discord. You can make him completely sympathetic (Discordant Harmony) or you can make him the chaotic jerk of the group (Dungeons and Discords) yet the motive behind every move, every action is always the same...I love just being myself too much. I can see now where the Chaotic-Neutral approach comes from yet in order to to keep him there you have to change the approach if he's not the one learning the lesson.

The core structure of the lesson wanes under the fact he is "staunchly" Chaotic Neutral. For Starlight to truly need this lesson he needs to start elsewhere. Either Chaotic Good or Neutral Good, which it did almost accomplish at first. Those little notes he made at the very beginning were perfectly fine and just added some fun but we needed MORE of that. We needed to see him add some unique but appropriate elements to the school. Stuff that was disruptive but not dangerous or amoral. Have Troubleshoes be Pinkie's sub, have Iron Will be Applejack's and show an easier way to buck apples by punching the tree where both bring destruction but also still being enjoyable for the students. Even have the tree gag where instead the students just do whatever because the tree can't discipline them. Now we have Discord at least making the school fun but not the way Twilight intended. So now instead of commenting on how things could be improved, Starlight flat out just bans him. And NOW he has a motive and a reasoning for the episode to continue normally. Now Starlight can easily be perceived as "power hungry" because she showed him she wants no one else input and leave him out of it entirely. Now the switch to Chaotic Neutral can be justified.

This lesson has practical uses. When one is put in charge of a team or group sometimes additional input can go unnoticed and unappreciated because they are in charge so logically only they should know how things are done. When you push others ideas away and focus solely on how YOU should do it you're going to make some enemies, especially those that have the tendency to mess with you. Still it only works if those people were willing to contribute helpfully or at least creatively in the beginning.

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Don't have much hope for the 2nd half of S8 after Yakity Sax and A Matter of Principals

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Ah, Dubuc actually released a tweet saying that Discord wasn't actually harmed by the blast (because he's god tier), and he saw it as a victory, since Starlight snapped and used magic despite her trying not to rely on that anymore.

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A Matter of Principals Episode Spoilers 

 

Spoiler

The reason for the conflict was pretty petty even for Discord, IMO. :dry:

Where was the humor in this episode? I'm sure there were jokes but they were probably left to visual gags. ( Discord wearing Donald Duck's shirt.)

On the bright side, they finally gave us an episode where I enjoyed  the Student Six & Starlight Glimmer on her own.

 

Edited by Sparklefan1234

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I personally thought that some of Discord's antics were a bit funny, but overall it felt like a big character regression for him. He just showed complete disregard for everypony, even when he's supposed to friends with the Mane 6, Spike and Starlight. This is why I don't like reformed Discord. He flips back and forth between being a jerk with a heart of gold at best, and an annoying pompous asshole at worst.

So yeah, I didn't really like it. :dry:

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9 minutes ago, shyabetes3939 said:

I personally thought that some of Discord's antics were a bit funny, but overall it felt like a big character regression for him. He just showed complete disregard for everypony, even when he's supposed to friends with the Mane 6, Spike and Starlight. This is why I don't like reformed Discord. He flips back and forth between being a jerk with a heart of gold at best, and an annoying pompous asshole at worst.

So yeah, I didn't really like it. :dry:

But isn't that who Discord really is? He'll never be truly reformed. He's still a spirit of chaos and disharmony. His chaotic nature makes him erratic and unpredictable, and his mood swings reflect that. 

 

 

 

Edited by JH24
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2 minutes ago, JH24 said:

But isn't that who Discord really is? He'll never be truly reformed. He's still a spirit of chaos and disharmony. His chaotic nature makes him erratic and unpredictable, and his mood swings reflect that. 

It's better to have an ally you can somewhat keep in check, then an enemy who one day will escape his stone prison once again and this time will stop the Elements of Harmony successfully. 

 

 

I know that, but for someone who's supposed to be an ally of the Mane 6, he's just not an enjoyable character to watch.

And to be honest, I never really saw the point in reforming him in the first place. He was a much better character as a villain, and the episode where he got reformed is among the worst in the entire series.

Edited by shyabetes3939

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6 minutes ago, shyabetes3939 said:

I know that, but for someone who's supposed to be an ally of the Mane 6, he's just not an enjoyable character to watch.

For me personally that makes him more enjoyable to watch, but I totally understand what you mean.

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35 minutes ago, Starlightglimmer15 said:

Actually he was abused in  this Episode as well by discord twice when discord made a cheese fall on top of him and when discord pushes him away from him.

Discord abuses everyone, does he not? He almost hurt the students! Spikeabuse is when he's the only one getting it.

Edited by MegaSean45

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I can’t help but think of Discord trying to be seen as "cool" by the Student Six by dressing cool and talking in horribly outdated slang.

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Spike being able to fly has made him like 40% more adorable and I don't know why. It's something to do with how he can just flutter around the screen at will now.

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Finally another great episode in the season, it's not a top tier one but it's great nonetheless.

I liked the premise of the mane 6 having to leave for a mission and Twilight leaving Starlight in charge of the school. And after the revelation that Discord was behind the whole mission I certainly had a laugh.

Discord being Discord is always fun to watch and adding insecure headmare Starlight and assistant Spike to the mix was certainly entertaining, the dynamic between these three characters was spot on.

Iron Will and Cranky Doodle were not so funny in this episode, but I still liked that they had their moments.

Trixie and Discord make for another awesome combo, even when they had just one scene. I love how Trixie keeps her cool until Discord summons the Ursa Major which could have easily destroyed the school.

It's a shame that Spitfire and Maud weren't shown to interact with the students.

At the beginning I thought the Students were not being used too well, but their interactions in the spellvenger hunt were great, I particularly liked the Silverstream-Gallus moment when she's excited that Gallus paid attention to a class and he's embarrassed by it.

Starlight's frustration was definitely understandable and even when Discord had his own reason to be a jerk, it seems that he felt casted aside by the mane 6 and not by Starlight directly. I feel that him picking on Starlight was a bit of a jealousy thing, after all he was already a friend to them when Starlight was pardoned and accepted as Twilight's pupil.

Overall, this one is a really entertaining and funny episode, I feel a little bad about the mane 6, but having Starlight/Spike/Discord in the spotlight makes their offscreen misfortune worthwhile.

Edited by DonMaguz
Mispelling.

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1 hour ago, gingerninja666 said:

Spike being able to fly has made him like 40% more adorable and I don't know why. It's something to do with how he can just flutter around the screen at will now.

He comes across as (literally) cherubic now that he has wings and spends much of the episode hovering with bent knees and feet dangling instead of him standing on them.

Considering how much the hopeless romantic he is, this imagery they have been giving us may even be by design.

All that's left for his complete transformation to Cupid is the bow and arrow.

Look out, Cadance - the hero of your kingdom is horning in on your territory! :laugh:

 

EDIT: On the other hand, perhaps he poses like that due to his fondness for superhero comics and it's coming off as more adorable than fearsome? :laugh:

Edited by Truffles

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So it was just another "Discord is an obnoxious Prick" episode

Not sure what else I was expecting, except maybe for a nice change of pace to actually stick after Discordant Harmony actually turned out nice

Edited by This Whomps

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15 hours ago, DonMaguz said:

it seems that he felt casted aside by the mane 6 and not by Starlight directly. I feel that him picking on Starlight was a bit of a jealousy thing, after all he was already a friend to them when Starlight was pardoned and accepted as Twilight's pupil.

That's something I've been wondering about for several seasons now. Considering how long it took for Discord to finally be at least somewhat accepted by the Mane 6, I've always wondered why he doesn't resent Starlight for being immediately forgiven and welcomed with open arms. I'm glad this episode finally had a bit of a resolution between them and I hope they can be friends moving forward from here. 

Overall, I loved this episode and it's definitely one of my favorite so far this season. Spike and Starlight make a great team and Discord is always fun to have around, whether he's acting as the foil or the hero doesn't really matter to me as long as he's being entertaining. Plus, the Student 6 are just so adorable! I loved the little moments between Silverstream and Gallus and hope to see more those two in future episodes. 

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53 minutes ago, sci-fi-pony said:

That's something I've been wondering about for several seasons now. Considering how long it took for Discord to finally be at least somewhat accepted by the Mane 6, I've always wondered why he doesn't resent Starlight for being immediately forgiven and welcomed with open arms. I'm glad this episode finally had a bit of a resolution between them and I hope they can be friends moving forward from here.

I don't think Discord was mad at Starlight being accepted right away, he took the mane 6's word on Starlight being their new good friend, but Discord is as childish as S1 Spike, one thing is accepting that their friends have a new friend and another one is accepting that Starlight has become closer as a friend to the mane 6 than Discord.

When I heard Discord telling Starlight that Twilight "put in charge an incompetent, power hungry unicorn" I immediately thought he was going to end it with "and not me".

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Is it just me, or has this season been a BIG step down from S7 in terms of quality so far?

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1 hour ago, VG_Addict said:

Is it just me, or has this season been a BIG step down from S7 in terms of quality so far?

For me personally it's still around the same level of quality. There were some weaker episodes, but there were also good ones. 

 

Edited by JH24

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2 hours ago, VG_Addict said:

Is it just me, or has this season been a BIG step down from S7 in terms of quality so far?

Not only that but Its one of the weakest season of all time. It might be even worse than Season 6 after recent two episodes. If they mess up Spike episode, it will probably become worse than S3

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So apparently ponies plundered the sacred artifacts of the other cultures and are now using them in a freaking scavenger hunt, that's very respectful. :P

Anyway, the moral was odd. Discord was entirely in the wrong, and Starlight Glimmer was in the right. However, the more I think about it I realize that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if who is right or wrong, you can't stop Discord by force without something like the Elements of Harmony. He acts like a spoiled child, but sometimes you just have to indulge him because you're powerless to resist him. 

Edited by Ganondox

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47 minutes ago, Ganondox said:

So apparently ponies plundered the sacred artifacts of the other cultures and are now using them in a freaking scavenger hunt, that's very respectful. :P

I'm pretty sure those artifacts were given to the school, not taken from the countries that held on to them before.

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