Jeric

Warning, there will likely be spoilers in the Episode discussion threads so venture in at your own peril. 

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How was the episode?  

85 members have voted

  1. 1. How was the episode?

    • Passed the test with life-long friends! (5/5)
      54
    • Passed the test! (4/5)
      26
    • I don't know what lies beneath! (3/5)
      2
    • Bad like Cozy Glow! (2/5)
      2
    • Failed the test! (1/5)
      1


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Very, very neat episode. Seeing the Tree of Harmony's sentience in action feels like a minor subplot idea that's finally been confirmed, and in a satisfying way, no less. We've seen the map carry a mind of its own, but now we have confirmation that the tree is a far more than just a magical plant; it could have been acting as a silent guide behind the scenes for the Mane Six and many other characters from the getgo. A tad creepy, but extremely awesome.

Of course, this all the more makes me crave seeing Discord further interact with the Tree of Harmony in the future. If the tree is sentient, then what does it think of Discord? Discord may be air quotes 'reformed', but he is still the tree's polar opposite in every way, the opposite representation in nature, and lest we forget, Discord tried to undermine and cease its power four seasons ago. 

My guess? They have a love hate relationship.

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Well, this episode was pretty good. It had a couple of problems, but overall quite solid.

 

The Bad

  • Cozy Glow was just made into a speciesist little s*** who has absolutely no concern for others, at all. That will more than likely make for a very bland villain. They threw in subtle hints before, but now I think it's safe to say that Cozy Glow is bound to become the worst villain in the series' run.
  • Why exactly is the Tree testing the Student Six? Maybe the Tree can see into the future and is preparing for it? It's yet to be seen as it wasn't really explained.

The Good

  • As previously noted, this episode actually hints at a couple of interesting things: The Tree of Harmony is actually a sentient being capable of using its own magic, and Discord actually interacts with it. This could have interesting consequences, and I would bet that the writers will utilize that. I believe they may have already, but we don't explicitly know that.
  • Among the strongest episodes for character development in the entire series. It doesn't beat out episodes like "the Return of Harmony" in that category, but it's close. It builds on the Student Six's already strong character attributes and makes them even more interesting. Who would have thought that Gallus is claustrophobic or that Yona is an arachnophobe? Critique, though: They didn't do as well with Silverstream as they did with the other five.
  • Seriously, I'm starting to have a hard time deciding who my favorite of the Student Six is. Last episode Yona really shined, and here it was Gallus who stepped up. I think as of now it's a three way tie now, honestly. Hopefully we'll see some opportunities for the other three.
  • I think my first point already addresses this, but this episode (aside from Cozy Glow's script... :dry:) serves as a fantastic setup to a potentially great finale.

Overall, I say this episode is a solid 9.25/10. Fantastic episode for building up a great finale, and it did a fantastic job developing the Student Six as characters.

Edited by Dusk Noire

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1 hour ago, Dusk Noire said:

 

Well, this episode was pretty good. It had a couple of problems, but overall quite solid.

 

The Bad

  • Cozy Glow was just made into a speciesist little s*** who has absolutely no concern for others, at all. That will more than likely make for a very bland villain. They threw in subtle hints before, but now I think it's safe to say that Cozy Glow is bound to become the worst villain in the series' run.
  • Why exactly is the Tree testing the Student Six? Maybe the Tree can see into the future and is preparing for it? It's yet to be seen as it wasn't really explained.

The Good

  • As previously noted, this episode actually hints at a couple of interesting things: The Tree of Harmony is actually a sentient being capable of using its own magic, and Discord actually interacts with it. This could have interesting consequences, and I would bet that the writers will utilize that. I believe they may have already, but we don't explicitly know that.
  • Among the strongest episodes for character development in the entire series. It doesn't beat out episodes like "the Return of Harmony" in that category, but it's close. It builds on the Student Six's already strong character attributes and makes them even more interesting. Who would have thought that Gallus is claustrophobic or that Yona is an arachnophobe? Critique, though: They didn't do as well with Silverstream as they did with the other five.
  • Seriously, I'm starting to have a hard time deciding who my favorite of the Student Six is. Last episode Yona really shined, and here it was Gallus who stepped up. I think as of now it's a three way tie now, honestly. Hopefully we'll see some opportunities for the other three.
  • I think my first point already addresses this, but this episode (aside from Cozy Glow's script... :dry:) serves as a fantastic setup to a potentially great finale.

Overall, I say this episode is a solid 9.25/10. Fantastic episode for building up a great finale, and it did a fantastic job developing the Student Six as characters.

Based on later events, I'll say just this. I don't think Cozy is speciesist. She was trying to demoralize the student 6 to make them more reliant on her.

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4 minutes ago, gingerninja666 said:

Based on later events, I'll say just this. I don't think Cozy is speciesist. She was trying to demoralize the student 6 to make them more reliant on her.

Maybe so, but I have a hard time ignoring the spiel on how their species affects their understanding considering that it lasted 4 whole minutes and that she hardly used anything else to demoralize them. Not to mention, I wouldn't understand how they'd be reliant on her.

 

Nonetheless, I still think even if Cozy wasn't speciesist, the whole thing just kind of makes her weaker as a potential villain, when she just attacks characters based on their species. That's lower than I would think that even DIamond Tiara would go, and that's saying something.

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37 minutes ago, Dusk Noire said:

Maybe so, but I have a hard time ignoring the spiel on how their species affects their understanding considering that it lasted 4 whole minutes and that she hardly used anything else to demoralize them. Not to mention, I wouldn't understand how they'd be reliant on her.

 

Nonetheless, I still think even if Cozy wasn't speciesist, the whole thing just kind of makes her weaker as a potential villain, when she just attacks characters based on their species. That's lower than I would think that even DIamond Tiara would go, and that's saying something.

Well, after bringing up all that stuff, she praises how hard they're trying anyway and offers to give them her friendship notes to help out. She's trying to make them feel bad, so that she can offer them extra help.

 

And don't worry, she doesn't JUST attack other species.

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7 hours ago, gingerninja666 said:

Well, after bringing up all that stuff, she praises how hard they're trying anyway and offers to give them her friendship notes to help out. She's trying to make them feel bad, so that she can offer them extra help.

 

And don't worry, she doesn't JUST attack other species.

Even so I don't like her as a villain but I'll say more on that when we get to a later ep.

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6 hours ago, Senko said:

Even so I don't like her as a villain but I'll say more on that when we get to a later ep.

I think its more complex than that; without needing to reference future eps, I would say the personality traits are similar to a LOT of individuals you see making it big in the world; the distinction seems to be that if they are this sort of individual, but play within the established framework and don't inconvenience those with more money and power than themselves, they are at worst seen as ambitious or a potential threat, but not "evil".

Only when they try to take illegal shortcuts that those in power don't approve of (while being bang alongside illegal shortcuts that they have done or would do themselves, of course) are they considered "evil".  So far, she has been manipulative to everyone around her, but only abusive to those she considers herself able to subordinate and use to step up upon; as per her chess piece though, while she isn't a pawn, she also isn't a queen - so if the choice of piece is significant, she is only one part of a bigger picture.

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3 hours ago, Cypherhoof said:

I think its more complex than that; without needing to reference future eps, I would say the personality traits are similar to a LOT of individuals you see making it big in the world; the distinction seems to be that if they are this sort of individual, but play within the established framework and don't inconvenience those with more money and power than themselves, they are at worst seen as ambitious or a potential threat, but not "evil".

Only when they try to take illegal shortcuts that those in power don't approve of (while being bang alongside illegal shortcuts that they have done or would do themselves, of course) are they considered "evil".  So far, she has been manipulative to everyone around her, but only abusive to those she considers herself able to subordinate and use to step up upon; as per her chess piece though, while she isn't a pawn, she also isn't a queen - so if the choice of piece is significant, she is only one part of a bigger picture.

Actually I was referring to something else that really does come up more in a future episode rather than that. However I've just realized I can refer back to friendship university somewhat its not as good as what I had in mind but it'll work without spoiling anything to come. On the nature of that I will be making comments here as if I'd only seen up to this episode so don't worry about anyhting I say being an actual spoiler. Hopefully the long post below will make my position a bit more clear.

First off my problem with her is how she's being presented here on the one hoof she's a child young enough to attend friendship university, on another she's orchestrating these massive complex schemes maniupulating and deceiving people while on the third hoof she's not mucking them up enough that its obvious there's something off about her even if she's later able to calm things down. I can see a child lying or deceiving people but not this consistently for this long without someone noticing it they just can't pull it off in my experience. Bascially her plan, abilities and behaviour are adult but her body and presentation is as a child and it doesn't work for me.

As demonstrated she's somehow gone from "I faked my incorrect answers to encourage you to let them attend the school headmaster" in one episode to "Here's the mail headmaster" in another. Basically she's manipulative and skilled enough to become a personal assistant to Twilight without any of the adults interacting with her noticing anything odd in the filly who's already admited she's tried one scheme that "backfired" by getting others in trouble. Fine, I have some difficulty with the whole concept of a child pulling that off so consistently without slipping up at some point but maybe she's an adult with a birth defect, Chrysalis in disguise or some other situation. However we also get these slip ups and mysterious mistakes like her "don't tell twilight" to the student six that not only don't arouse suspicion but apparently convince all of them to keep quiet about the entire underground tree of harmony caverns beneath the school because she was crying about being expelled? Again she pulls off the manipulation there after her panic but seriously you can tell the professors about the giant magical hole in the library without mentioning why you were freaking out yet they let her convince them to keep it secret.

Now don't get me wrong as I said when she's on stage she's pulling her manipulation off but to me she shouldn't be unless she's an adult and if she's an adult then she shouldn't have responses like panicking at the student six wanting to tell their professors about the magical talking tree hidden under the libary. Either she's a brilliant manipulator who's evil reveal should be shown to us in off camera moments when no one's watching her e.g. a cruel smirk after her initial attempt to break the student six up that only we see because of the camera angle (like the one at the end of this episode) if at all. Alternatively her slip ups that are in character with a young child should be noticed by the adults around her even if she then manages to recover.

Maybe I'm just overestimating kids or underestimating how trusting ponies are but the whole "its just so impressive you keep trying to understand friendship even though it isn't in your nature" should have rung some alarm bells coming from another student attending the same school they are for the same reason they are and there's been other ones elsewhere or been used to distract them from suspicions about her by turning them on each other. Same with the CMC's it'd have worked better if they did think something was off about her and she then discredited them by having her bad exam results and making Twilight ban them in the belief they were sabotaging her for me. Even if her special talent is manipulation she's living in a school 24/7 dedicated to teaching people to be friends and no one notices anything off about her?

Ah well I think I'm repeating myself in this post a few times (its late and I'm heading to bed) but I have other issues with her that sadly will need to wait a few episodes for me to launch into it. To recap though I don't have a problem with the personality traits so much as the fact she's able to apply them so consistently and effectively even though she's apparently in her early to mid teens that no one around her notices anything off. She should either be an adult like Twilight or make a mistake that she then needs to cover up and discredit another person.

Edited by Senko

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40 minutes ago, Senko said:

Ah well I think I'm repeating myself in this post a few times (its late and I'm heading to bed) but I have other issues with her that sadly will need to wait a few episodes for me to launch into it. To recap though I don't have a problem with the personality traits so much as the fact she's able to apply them so consistently and effectively even though she's apparently in her early to mid teens that no one around her notices anything off. She should either be an adult like Twilight or make a mistake that she then needs to cover up and discredit another person.

Not sure really. She *is* tiny, but I have been assuming that the school of friendship is actually at college level (after all, she doesn't teach the standard curriculum, and twilight said the CMC need to graduate from Cheerilee's classes) so all the pupils there have already graduated school. As the CMC (despite their increasing maturity) haven't yet done so, and are still physically smaller than the pupils at Twilight's school, it would make sense that Cozy is just small, not young.  Small girls (who could easily be mistaken for schoolgirls, but are in their 20s) aren't that rare - I must know at least three - and I suspect that her mane style (and slightly lisping speech pattern) was specifically chosen to play up the appearance of youth. 

If you assume she is actually around 20 or so (but posing as younger) her behavour seems to fit a lot better.

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Remember the Mean six episode when Queen Chrysalis thought her copy golems of the mane six failed but what if that image of Crystal version of Twilight Sparkle is still alive and the Tree of Harmony has been cursed with dark magic?

Plus my theory of Cozy Glow being sneaky and quiet plus normal evil got me thinking she could be a Siren disguising herself as a cute mischief pony to lead the mane six into a trap but I could be wrong about the whole idea you ponies decide.

Edited by rainbowdashacademy
Fixing mistakes

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This was an interesting episode with lots of revelations and mysteries. The Student 6 being tested by the Tree of Harmony (which is now confirmed to be 100% sentient as I and others previously speculated) gave me vibes of Season 1 episode 2, where the Mane 6 were tested in their respective Elements.

I should probably talk about Cozy Glow since I didn't post on either of the 2 episodes she appeared in excluding this episode. Others have strongly implied and predicted that she is secretly evil and I must concur. Even in her debut, her crying about how much she sucks at friendship conveniently outside the CMC's treehouse seemed fake, like she was only using the CMC for a hidden agenda. Then she deliberately fails the test resulting in the CMC's expulsion from the campus. In her next episode, while she doesn't actually do anything suspicious, her timely appearance in the last scene after Twilight wonders how Flim and Flam got her book must be foreshadowing. And now we have this episode with her "complimenting" the Student 6 and pleading them not to tell Twilight about the secret dungeon beneath the school.

There's also Neighsay's line from an earlier episode about creatures using friendship as a weapon to which Twilight replied "How can friendship be used as a weapon?!" I think that sounds a lot like what Chrysalis tried to do in the mid season finale and possibly what Cozy is scheming to do next since she obviously has an ulterior motive for attending the School of Friendship and she has everycreature fooled by her innocent filly act. This leads me to 2 possible conclusions: Either she is Chrysalis in disguise after her first attempt to weaponize friendship failed, or Neighsay's daughter, sent as a double agent to sabotage the school. These are just my speculations and could be proven wrong but I think they're both very plausible explanations for Cozy's odd behavior.

The Tree of Friendship won't be fooled by a bunch of discordant doppelgangers but maybe somepony who actually attends a school that specializes in teaching friendship could succeed. It's kind of scary, the concept of using a friendship as a weapon, I'm intrigued to find out how this plot will end.

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Great episode. Felt like a huge adventure, and wondering where they actually stranded, why it is happening and why the profs are being so weird.

Really feels like the last third of Season 8 seems to be really outstanding! This, mean 6, Road to Friendship and Rockhoof are exceptional episodes, maybe even among the best in the entire series!

 

I didn't watch the finale yet, but I wonder if Cozy Glow did do anything in this episode, and also, whether she has anything to do with professor Snape from the opener. I mean, he clearly must have a grudge against twilight, must he not?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bas said:

Great episode. Felt like a huge adventure, and wondering where they actually stranded, why it is happening and why the profs are being so weird.

Really feels like the last third of Season 8 seems to be really outstanding! This, mean 6, Road to Friendship and Rockhoof are exceptional episodes, maybe even among the best in the entire series!

 

I didn't watch the finale yet, but I wonder if Cozy Glow did do anything in this episode, and also, whether she has anything to do with professor Snape from the opener. I mean, he clearly must have a grudge against twilight, must he not?

 

 

Great now I'll never be able to unsee the resemblance between Chancellor Neighsay and Professor Snape from Harry Potter.

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Just now, Bas said:

You didn't notice? And I am not even huge into HP.

To be honest no I tend to go more by attitude than looks in identifying people and they're different enough i didn't make that connection before.

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S8 premiere felt like a crossover of MLP, Harry Potter and X-Men.

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Just now, Bas said:

S8 premiere felt like a crossover of MLP, Harry Potter and X-Men.

Interesting to me it felt more like Twilight trying to find a more consistent way to contribute to Equestria by immitating Celestia as waiting for map missions or the country to need saving is a very intermittent occupation.

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Quote

S8 premiere felt like a crossover of MLP, Harry Potter, Soviet Union/communism and X-Men .

Is this more fitting for you? :P

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Just now, Bas said:

Is this more fitting for you? :P

Hah no, like I said Twilight still largely idolizes Celestia and desperately wants to contribute something in her new role as a princess to perform well given her general work ethic. The map missions happen rarely and may not involve her, villain attacks are a sort of annual event and she often is too inexperienced to be included in major political actions so she has to find someway to consistently do something as a princess of friendship rather than just relaxing and enjoying the title. So she made a school to teach friendship to others.

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The tree could work as one though AI goes rouge forcing absolute control antagonists, if it gets fed up with too many not friends around.

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"Xerxes has detected introducers" ?

Anyways, I remember something; why does Cozy Glow try to help the CMCs before? Was it all for a big master plan? Or did she really care about them?

Why does she try to get the y6 to argueing? Why does she does so by bringing up their races?

This just remembered me to some parallels to Neighsayer, who doesn't see other creatures on the same eye as ponies. Hence why I am considering CG to collaborate with him. I somehow thought he could be her, but I am not aware of any ponies being able to take form of another pony.

Ultimate Plot twist: Chrystallis is both neighsayer and Cozy Glow?

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On 9/22/2018 at 5:18 PM, ImpctR said:

^ What's the point of entering here then, does one expect to read posts and not get spoiled at the same time (if the spoilers are for the same episode)? Anyway, the past 4 episodes this inclusive has been with some of the good writers and made nice episodes, this episodes did not disappoint, it is awesome, have some small remarks. Let's see:

 

An episode focused entirely on the Student Six. I've mentioned it and will again, I find these six sooo adorable and I've been shipping them since the first episodes they had them, they are already much more interesting to me than the CMCs have ever been.

Here comes a little remark, it seems that when someone asks something (in the air), something non-natural around them will always become alive and start speaking and pointing it out. In Shadow Play it was when trying to figure out how to activate the stone pillars when placing items, here it is the Tree of Harmony suddenly can become a ghost and living being speaking to the Student Six, and in some cases the Map will magically point out or notify the ponies. Like really couldn't somepony figure things out on their own? I will accept this because nature or a tree seen as a spirit like nature's spirit has been done I guess.

Cozy Glow is such a lil manipulator, wanting to break their friendship. Does the crystal cave lead to the Tree of Harmony, is it the same cave? Like with the pond of too many Pinkie Pies?

Silverstream's place: The grunts, the face of the Storm King, more and more revealing for the movie, that anyone should have watched by now.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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Gallus: TFW he was just about to exit and messed up the last beam to close it entirely, ouch!

Smoulder: I had a hard time knowing she or he, now I know for sure, she has always been cute and my most/2nd fave! Those ponies were right she was cute, before putting on the make-up.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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Ocellus: Ahh the flashback of what Changelings looked like and Chrysalis appearance in same episode as the Storm King, feels good! 

So was Sandbar thirsty for leadership? He wants to be more important like the Mane 6.

And there I see two shipping materials that I totally dig! This, and :wub:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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this :wub:

 

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And finally, you lil devil Cozy are totally up to something (I dont watch further episodes by this time), I was only expecting this face from her: :fabulous: (no not fab more like green eyes for evil)

 

I did find it odd how the tree was like "Pass my test, or Die!" like Wow harsh. But yeah great episode and Cozy is evil. I"m just guyssing her, but maybe she is Neighsayers daughter.

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1 hour ago, BlinkZ said:

"m just guyssing her, but maybe she is Neighsayers daughter.

Regarding that, read my post above yours. ;)

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13 hours ago, BlinkZ said:

I did find it odd how the tree was like "Pass my test, or Die!" like Wow harsh. But yeah great episode and Cozy is evil. I"m just guyssing her, but maybe she is Neighsayers daughter.

Not sure that is what the tree said - it was more "if you pass the test you can leave, if not, you must remain" - Perhaps to carry on taking tests until they finally passed?

I do like that the tree's Avatar is Twilight Sparkly though :)

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Are we just not going to wonder why the Tree of Harmony took the form of Twilight?

Oh...………….. Okay, then.

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