[Where I Watch] My Little Pony

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sun_tzu

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My Little Index
The reviews on DA (cleaned up and extended)

So.
My Little Pony.

*takes a deep breath*

It is without any shame that I admit the following: As a kindergartener, My Little Pony had its place on my cartoon list, next to G.I.Joe, Transformers, and the Care Bears. In retrospect, I realize that this show actually served as my introduction to fantasy, years before I read The Hobbit (or before I knew how to read, period).
So, what is My Little Pony?
Well, it is the most memorable girl-oriented franchise cartoon spawned by the 80s. But, aside from that:
It is the tales of a cast of characters comprised of a few token humans, sentient multi-colored ponies (which includes unicorns and pegasi), a child dragon, and more strange creatures as they try to live the good life in a magical land. Please note that when I say "magical land" (the writers can't seem to agree if it's called Pony Land or Dream Valley. I'm partial to the latter, since the ponies actually seem to be a minority population), I don't mean that in a "oh joy, magic is in the air!" kind of way. Rather, it's more of a Dungeons&Dragons kind of way.
You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Dream Valley is freaking dangerous. This land is always doomed, in a state on semi-constant armageddon.
Seriously...Barely a week can go by without some doomsday disaster threatening to wreck the place. Most episodes involve something threatening to destroy the land/kill the ponies/enslave the ponies/[insert unpleasant fate here]. And the villains? The villains are nightmare fuel, at least for little children. Forget Cobra and the Decepticons, the hardcore bad guys are in My Little Pony.

And so, in this age of YouTube, I figured I'd dip back into this old show.

Rescue from Midnight Castle

I believe this TV special was the first animated appearance of My Little Pony. Regardless, it appears to show up first in the chronology.
The special opens on the pastel ponies frolicking outside while the famous theme song plays. The whole thing is sugary to a level that could cause cavities, but screw this, I write Care Bears fanfiction. My tolerance to sugar is over 9000.
I note that for now, they seem to live in a sort of pink castle. If my memories are correct, that's the last we'll ever see of this building; the show had them living in "Paradise Estate" instead.
Hm. I suppose now might be a good time to point out that the unicorn ponies have magical powers. They all can do short-range teleports, and near as I can tell, every one of them has a minor unique power (ranging from telekinesis to telepathy to creating surprisingly-resilient bubbles).
Firefly is conclusively shown to be a daredevil. Applejack... is either a lesbian, or just doesn't want to let apple sauce go to waste. We all know what the fanficcers will choose to believe.
Well, it's been two solid minutes of cutesiness. Time for the Sugar Apocalypse to begin, in the form of an army of dragons coming down from the sky to kidnap ponies!
...You thought I was kidding when I said this show was hardcore, didn't you?
Cut to Midnight Castle, where we get a look at our villains. Tirac, the Evil Overlord, stays in the shadows for now. Spike, the kid dragon, doesn't fit in very well (mostly by virtue of being pink, cuddly, and kind). Scorpan, whatever the hell he's supposed to be, acts as the Darth Vader to Tirac's Palpatine; you can see he's not all bad by how protective he is of Spike.

Enters Megan, the token human. As the closest thing this show has to a main character, I believe Megan deserves some examination.
When we first meet her (that is, now), Megan appears to be a normal girl (well, a normal girl with her own normal, non-talking pony) from our normal Earth (which raises the question of how connected our world is to Dream Valley. Is the rainbow a dimensional gateway?). But, soon enough, she shall rule Pony Land with an iron fist by virtue of her superior human DNA, demanding worship and obedience from the inferior pony races...
...OK, so she's not actually going to do that. But as a general rule, whenever a crisis rears its ugly head, Megan becomes de facto in charge, by virtue of being the most mature person in the show, and the one least likely to lose her shit when it hits the fan.
She's the semi-pro heroine around here, and that's why Firefly is coming to get her: So that she can save the ponies from their current predicament.
...Though this kinda begs the question of why Firefly was so convinced (correctly) that Megan was hero material. Psychic powers? Old prophecy? Do pony legends claim all humans are like that, and she got lucky? Or did she just see Megan's (non-magical, non-talking, non-sentient) pony in its stable and figured, "if that pony is willing to let her treat her as a pet, she must be one hell of a badass"?

Regardless, Firefly half invites, half shangais Megan into this, and breaks into a song.
Ah, yes. The songs. Was that an 80s thing? It seems like the show can't go 15 minutes without a musical number. Mind you...In my case, I happen to be a huge sucker for songs. It doesn't take a lot of quality to placate me. Throw in a couple of rhymes in The Phantom Menace, and I'll consider it an enjoyable movie. In the case of My Little Pony...I find the songs to be pretty hit-or-miss.

Megan joins the ponies, just in time for Scorpan to strike again. Megan, obviously, is still new at the hero thing...but she gets angry enough to attack a dragon bare-handed. She's learning fast.
Cut back to Midnight Castle, where we finally get to see Tirac's true form. Holy crap. Somebody once said this episode was basically "My Little Pony vs. Satan". That just about sums it up...Then Tirac turns the prisoner ponies into savage dragons under his control. Not cool, dude. Not cool. (We also get to see why he keeps Spike around...He's a hostage to enforce Scorpan's cooperation.)

Once again, an example of how Everything In Dream Valley Can Kill You: A few seconds after Appejack falls into the water (with Megan jumping in to save her. It's in her job description), they get trapped by a giant sea-shell.
Luckily for them, they get rescued by the sea ponies. These guys will never get much characterization, but they do get an easily-recognizable leitmotif.

Well, our heroes meet the Moochik. He's the gnomish, absent-minded professor/wizard... For the rest of the show, he'll be the go-to guy for figuring out the latest magical craziness (and how to stop it). Of course, his senility is a bit of a problem...Thankfully, his long-suffering rabbit assistant is more grounded than he is. (Less thankfully, the rabbit is mute.)
As it turns out, Tirac is planning to use the Rainbow of Darkness (tm) to bring forth the Night that Never Ends. And what better way to prevent that than by introducing our show's new deux ex machina: The Rainbow of Light!

Sea ponies to the rescue again. Move along. Scorpan, finally fed up with Tirac, goes rogue.
Big brutal showdown between Tirac and team good. Megan activates the deus ex machina, and as it turns out, Light > Darkness.
Tirac gets killed by a rainbow. That's gotta sting.
Scorpan is apparently a human royal who got wtfpwned by Tirac in the backstory. Sure, why not.

Roll out the outro, with Megan going back home. Don't worry, she's going to come back to Dream Valley soon enough. Her heroic instincts need the outlet.


So, to sum up Rescue from Midnight Castle:
It's a bit rushed. It would probably have worked better with ten extra minutes. Nevertheless, it's a decent introduction to the setting, and to the insanity therein. Also, it establishes from the get-go that, while My Little Pony may be a girly-girly pink-hearted story, it's a girly-girly pink-hearted horror story. And not in a Twilight kind of way*.

Next up: Escape from Katrina!


*I probably shouldn't talk, since I haven't watched or read Twilight, but...
 
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Stryke

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You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Dream Valley is freaking dangerous. This land is always doomed, in a state on semi-constant armageddon.
Seriously...Barely a week can go by without some doomsday disaster threatening to wreck the place. Most episodes involve something threatening to destroy the land/kill the ponies/enslave the ponies/[insert unpleasant fate here]. And the villains? The villains are nightmare fuel, at least for little children. Forget Cobra and the Decepticons, the hardcore bad guys are in My Little Pony.
I've got to admit I was sceptical from the thread title, but from then on I'm completey sold. Subscribed.
 
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LittleTito

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MLP holds a very special place in my heart. I always wanted transformers and MLP for christmas presents. :)
 

sun_tzu

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Escape from Katrina


This was the second TV special. It already has the intro I'm more familiar with.
We open on the ponies playing around while preparing a welcome-back party for Megan. I note that they still live in the castle for now... And that Spike seems to have integrated their society fairly well.

Cut to an underground sweatshop, where cute, fuzzy, and not particularly bright creatures known as bushwoolies are working as wageless slaves. Hopefully they don't annoy you too badly, because these guys are here to stay.
Right now, they and the shape-shifting lizard who acts as their overseer are working hard to produce as much magical heroine... er, I mean, witchweed potion as possible for the feline Katrina.

Back to the party preparations. Sundance seems to be on a spree of clumsiness-induced disasters today, and if I know my tropes, that means she'll be instrumental in saving the day later on.
Megan returns! She is now GALVAN, and demands proper tribute from...OK, I'll knock it out. Seriously, Megan returns, and proceeds to display her mad baby-sitter skills on the baby ponies.

Cut back to the drug-addicted catgirl, whose slaves are cutting lose. Since she still needs the slave-labor to produce the witchweed potion, she decides to capture the first workforce she can find: A group of ponies who never asked for any trouble (except, you know, by choosing to live in this crazy place). Cue Megan unleashing the awesome might of the Rainbow of Light to save the day.
Now for a scene of Megan talking some much-needed confidence into Sundance and...wait a minute, why the hell is that waterfall rainbow-colored? WTF?

Apparently, our villainess is competent enough to get the deus ex machina out of the way this time.
And kidnap a baby pony in the process. Bad move, catgirl. Bad move.

The bushwoolies are eager enough to help strike against their former oppressor.
Katrina makes the mistake of threatening the baby pony's life. This is apparently too much for her henchman, who finally decides to stop acting as her enabler and kick her ass. Sundance's Checkov Skill saves the baby.
It takes some extortion and threats, but henchlizard finally manages to convince Katrina to kick her drug habit...and for all her issues, it would appear that Katrina is a catgirl of her word.

Costume party. OK, the cheerleader pony disturbs me.
Katrina is allowed (I'll bet encouraged) to join in. The ponies seem to have extremely forgiving social reintegration policies - if you show any sign at all of being redeemable, odds are they'll make good guys out of you. (Mind you, that still leaves a great number of villains who stay EVIL and pay the price. Like Tirac, aka Death-By-Rainbow.)


Next up: The Movie!
 

sun_tzu

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We've seen the first two specials. We're getting closer and closer to the show itself. But for now...


My Little Pony: The Movie


This time around, a winter scene. Snow everywhere. Happy wildlife. Areas where the snow is melting, suggesting that it's actually early spring. Then we see the ponies' castle (fine, so I was wrong about it only appearing once. Sheesh), with almost no snow in sight. Micro-climate, I guess?
Cue theme song, and preparations for the spring festival. OK, so winter is over (and the lyrics seem to confirm it).
Spike, apparently, can play some mean piano. Whodda thunk? Licketty-Split, however, seems to be suffering from Diva Syndrome, combined with Poor Team Player Syndrome.

Cut to Mordor, where we meet a family (meaning a mother and two daughters) of white-trash, evil-for-the-sake-of-evil witches. The mother bemoans how the ponies supposedly made the land green and lush, as opposed to how dark and terrible it used to be and...
...Wait. You're telling me that the current, sugary niceness is actually a recent development brought forth by the ponies, and that in its normal state, Dream Valley is actually more like Mordor (movie version)?
Holy crap, suddenly everything makes sense! Dream Valley must be the kind of place where evil overlord after evil overlord rises, archvillain fights archvillain, evil upstages evil...Then, every couple of centuries, I guess the forces of good get a temporary victory, and you get short historical parentheses where the place actually looks like a nice place to live in...until, inevitably, the latest villain-of-the-week wins, and things become hellish again. That must be why the ponies have to deal with some monster/disaster/conqueror every other episode!
...Moving on.
Momma witch breaks into a song about the long family tradition of Evil, and about all the wickedness performed by their ancestors. Frankly, I feel this supports my theory. Following that, she tasks her hapless daughters with making life difficult for the ponies.

Baby Lickety-Split's not-a-team-player syndrome kicks into high gear, leading us to her own musical number "I'll go it alone". Ouch.
Hm. You know, for all that Spike is comic relief, I find it surprising how he ends up being the voice of reason and responsibility every now and then (generally when surrounded by characters who have it even less together than him).

The witches' attempt to flood the party gets them laughed at by the ponies (who recognize them as the Witches from Gloom Mountain. Suggesting they've encountered them before...?).

Remember that old cartoon moral about how you can do anything if you believe you can?
Lickety-Split has just demonstrated that it's total crock. Non-pegasi ponies, apparently, can't fly, no matter what belief they hold to the contrary. Now, she and Spike are stuck down a ravine.
Meanwhile, the other ponies have learned about Lickety-Split's running-away, and are sending an expedition of adults to catch up to her. This time around, the expedition is joined by Shady. Shady, for those unfamiliar with her, is a whiny little bitch. She was emo before anyone pretended emo was cool.

Mamma witch, displeased with her daughters' performance, decides it's time to pull out the heavy artillery: The Smooze, which she boasts "wiped out that kingdom on the other side of the Black Mountain" (exact quote).
The witch daughters are sent to collect ingredients for the spell, while engaging in surprisingly violent slapstcik (wait a tick, did she just bite an alligator to make it go away?). Apparently, though, they are terrified of collecting "floom" (whatever that is), and choose to cut corners there.
One ritual later, the Smooze appears. Apparently, it's a living grey ooze capable of covering a large area. It begins its rampage, covering the land as it goes.

We get what I think are the first speaking lines of Fizzy and Whind Whistler, who recommends getting Megan's help. Fizzy...TVTropes describes Fizzy as the girliest of the ponies. Another pony prefers to describe her as "bubble-head".
Wind-Whister on the other hand...When I played "My Little Pony" with the girls in kindergarten, she's who I'd pretend to be. Wind-Whistler is awesome. You shall love her and despair - for she is the answer to the age-old question: What if Mister Spock had been a female blue pegasus? (But more on that later in this thread.)

Cut to Earth, where the ponies find Megan...and, in their first appearance, her two younger siblings: Molly and Danny.
Molly is...I dunno, seven? Not old, anyway. You could argue that she is to the baby ponies what Megan is to the adult ones - the one who keeps a level head, at least comparatively speaking. I suspect Megan was much like her at that age.
Danny is a few years older, and a bit of a brat...But a competent one, as far as kids go. I suspect he has watched Home Alone a dozen times. Now, one might wonder why a boy like Danny would want to hang out in the sugar-and-estrogene maelstrom that is the Little Ponies domain. I suspect his answer would be along the lines of "I get to ride a flying horse and hang out with a fire-breathing dragon, bitch."
(Little confession: As a kid, I thought Megan was Molly and Danny's mother. I blame the Hebrew dub, which gave her a much more mature-sounding voice.)

New musical number: "Nothing Can Stop the Smooze". That one feels like it's on acid, in part because the Smooze has mouths and eyes everywhere. Oh, and it quickly swallows the castle and covers up the entire valley.

Well, it's time to wrap things up. Megan unleashes the deus ex machina. The Rainbow of Light begins fighting the Smooze, which is itself limited because it was made with "floom", so now everything should fine and holy crap the Smooze just ate the Rainbow of Light!
...Uh-oh.

Momma witch realizes her daughter didn't include floom. Cue rage.

As it turns out, the "floom" is the bodily fluids of a sentient carnivorous plant. It gives the witches quite a fight.

Our heroes go to the Moochik for advice, right after his game of three-dimensional chess (well, not chess...Sorry, forgot the name of the game).
I love the fact that the rabbit assistant actually sighs when the Moochik begins his song. Poor guy really has it up his ears with his boss's cookiness. The song does accomplish one thing, though: It gives us Paradise Estate, which shall henceforth be the ponies' new residence. As for the Rainbow-defeating Smooze, Moochik suggests obtaining the help of an even higher power against it: The FLUTTER PONIES!
...Uh-huh.

Lickety-Split and Spike continue their quest to survive, leading them to encounter the grundels. The grundels, as we discover, are a race of subterranean trollish creatures; ugly-looking, but definite good guys (the first, though not the last, proof that beauty != goodness in Dream Valley). As they explain, the few we meet happen to be the only survivors of the kingdom the Smooze wiped out last time.

The witches feed the floom to the Smooze, powering it back up. Yeah, because it wasn't enough of a problem already.

Bushwoolies, as we learn, agree by instinct with everything people say. It kinda shows, now that I think about it. Guess it takes a lot to push them too far.

Megan manages a two-dice stunt in Athletics in order to escape the Smooze.

...OK, that false-echo scene with the well was actually kinda clever. Our refugees end up rescuing one of the flutter ponies (i.e. a poney with butterfly wings...and, I think, added magical might).

And now, a forest of evil trees tries to slay our heroes. Another example of Everything in Dream Valley Can Kill You.
Not complaining: It gives Fizzy the opportunity to be at her most badass, distracting the trees from her friends by acting as a moving target and constantly dodge-teleporting away from their projectiles. You go girl!
...And then they barely survive an attack by a 20-feet-tall spider. Well, of course.

And so, our heroes finally meet the flutter ponies. The only beings with the power to stop the Smooze.
Unfortunately, the flutter ponies are isolationist dicks, who figure it's not their fight.
Fortunately, a combination of diplomacy and the flutter pony that got rescued earlier manages to change their mind.

Time for the climactic showdown, as the flutter ponies take on the Smooze.
Quick summary of the fight: Utter Flutter WTFpwnage FTW. (Seriously, their magical attack is called "utter flutter".)
Is it just me, or did the Rainbow of Light purposefully get revenge back there?

And so, the flutter ponies go back to their valley, the little ponies move to Paradise Estate, whereas the grundles are given the old pony castle as a gift, allowing them to build a new kingdom of sort. Megan and her siblings head back to Earth...But I believe they won't be staying away from Dream Valley much longer. (I'd rather hope not! They're the only reason this place doesn't get overrun by some archvillain every other week!)



Next: The End of Flutter Valley!





Oh, and just for fun: This!
 

sun_tzu

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Well, folks...We've been through the two original 20-minutes specials, and the movie. Time to get into the show itself.
"The End of Flutter Valley" is sometimes marketed as "My Little Pony: The Movie 2". Near as I can tell, though, it wasn't a movie - but, rather, the five TV episodes that launched the series' first season, acting as a direct sequel to the movie.
Notable fact: To the best of my knowledge, this is the only case of recurring villains in the franchise. Every other villain in the series, by the end of their first appearance, is either dead, has seen the light, or got WTFpwned so hard they fled and never looked back.

And so, without further ado:


The End of Flutter Valley


We open with... well, with Surprise being immature and genki, while a group of ponies (with Spike, of course. Dude appears practically as often as freaking Megan) travel to Flutter Valley. Quickly, we cut to the witches from the movie: Apparently, they want revenge over the Smooze fiasco.

In a...surprising display of competence...the younger witches actually manage to capture the expedition. Huh. I can't say I saw that coming. For that matter, neither did their mother.
This doesn't last long, however, as the flutter ponies show up, and it's Utter Flutter Time! So, yeah.

The Flutter Ponies introduce the latest magical artifact: The Sunstone, which is supposedly is linked to how the Sun gives life to everything. Or something like that.
This is followed by another failed attempt by the witches to destroy them, this time by causing a landslide. After it backfires, the flutter ponies start a small debate on whether they should go after the witches, or, in their own words, "turn the other wing".

Momma witch, desperate for vengeance, proceeds to summon her ancestors from their paintings to ask for their advice. They provide her with the following plan: Get Bumble the bee queen to steal the Sunstone, thus leading to the flutter ponies getting captured by the bees when they attempt to get it back. Not only will this lead to Flutter Valley being deserted and ripe for witchy conquest, but, without the Sunstone, Flutter Valley will become a dark and dreadful place.
Again, I believe this supports my "the natural state of this land is hellish, and the pony niceness is a historical exception" theory.

As we learn from the witches' chatter, Bumble and her Bees got kicked out of Flutter Valley for being assholes ("mean and tough"), and exiled to Siberia... I mean, Bumbleland.
So, we meet the bumbles. Giant sentient bees, with detachable darts that they can use as swords, ruled by a matriarch reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts with a Russian accent. She seems to like the plan, figuring she can use the Sunstone to improve Bumbleland's climate, while simultaneously getting revenge on the flutter ponies over the whole exile thing.

Back to the ponies who are returning from Flutter Valley. Spike is choosing to err on the side of caution, witch-watching every bush they come across. Then they meet the furbobs - cousins to the bushwoolies, who seem to have as much trouble agreeing with anyone as the bushwoolies have disagreeing. The one thing they agree on (to the bushwoolies' shock) is that they're being hunted by stonebacks - who suddenly appear, trying to destroy the bridge our little expedition is standing on. Because the day wouldn't be complete without yet another life-threatening experience.
My, my. What a perfect place for a cliffhanger. End of episode, people!

But, since I have the episodes here, might as well go on.
The bridge collapses, and Fizzy impresses me again by using her bubble-powers to create herself a parachute. Not bad at all! The rest of the cast gets pegasus assistance - though the landing is still a bit rough, to the point where a baby pony gets her leg injured, and needs treatment (I'm tempted to make a joke about shooting horses, but...)

Back in Flutter Valley, operation "totally own the flutter ponies" proceeds without a hitch: Queen Bumble, her henchman Sting, and the witches capture the whole band, and the Sunstone begins warming Bumbleland's climate. The witches, accompanied by the 20-feet spider from the movie, revel in watching the vegetation of Flutter Valley slowly wilt away.

The pony expedition learns that one of the bushwooly has a highly unreliable ability to make his dreams come true. Before I can decide what to make of that, they get surrounded by more feral stonebacks.

Back in Bumbleland, Sting seems to be having second thought. The flutter ponies still disagree on whether one should "turn the other wing", but they agree on attempting escape. This promptly gets foiled by Queen Bumble, who apparently planned for this contingency and has them covered in sticky honey, preventing them from using their wings (and, therefore, the Utter Flutter. This franchise keeps coming up with ways to neutralize its own superweapons, doesn't it?)
One of the flutter ponies, Morning Glory (the "turn the other wing" partisan), does manage to escape, barely.

Back to the expedition. After they try all of their respective powers unsuccessfully (including bushwooly wishing), they finally manage to drop stuff telekinetically on the stonebacks long enough to distract them while they run away and reach the furbob habitat.

Morning Glory, slowed down by the honey on her wings, is unable to escape the Swarm, lead by Pointer. She is brought before Queen Bumble.
The Sunstone just turned red. I'm certain that this is not ominous and indicative of incoming doom in the least.

The furbobs proceed to heal the injured baby pony with a weird-ass druidic ritual. Oddly enough, they do it while chanting about harmony in nature, despite being a specie that's pathologically compelled to disagree with every spoken statement. I'm surprised cognitive dissonance hasn't destroyed them by now. The expedition decides to help the furbobs defeat the stonebacks - but first, they want to obtain reinforcements from the flutter ponies.

And so, our second episode ends with the witches committing cruelty to animals (namely, using live turtles as balls in a game of cricket).

Our third episode opens on Pointer realizing, to his dismay, that the Sunstone is heating up dangerously (the Sunstone? Heating up dangerously? Noooooo). He tries to warn the queen, but she won't listen to reason.

Morning Glory, imprisoned under Sting's watchful eye, tries to convince him that "I was just obeying orders" is a shitty excuse for evil deeds. The conversation drifts to Sting's Big Hidden Issue - he's the only bee around who can't fly. With a cutesy musical number about "pushing yourself to the limit", Morning Glory teaches him how to - and is shocked when he locks her back in her cage afterwards.
"I thought we were friends!"
"I got a job to do, Morning Glory! Keeping you in a cage is it!"
Ouch. That's gotta sting. *gets shot by the pun police*

The pony expedition gets back to the decaying Flutter Valley, only to be attacked by the witches. They put up a valiant fight, and seem to be winning, until the 20-foot spider joins the fray and captures them.

Back in Bumbeland, the Sunstone has set fire to the place. The bees decide to evacuate...Leaving the flutter ponies to die in their prison.
Morning Glory, realizing the danger, begs Sting to set her free. Despite admitting that they're friends, he refuses - "I'm still a bee".
That is, until it dawns on him that the queen left without him - at which he finally goes all "screw it, I'm going to help my friend instead". Displaying more competence than the rest of the hive, he knocks the Sunstone into the ground; it's so hot, it actually melts its way through it. This puts out the fire, but also puts it outside of Morning Glory's reach - which complicates the matter of saving Flutter Valley.
As the Swarm returns, Sting openly defies the queen, and has to flee with Morning Glory after a quick brawl with Pointer (whose words suggest that he and Sting have a hostile history). The rest of the flutter ponies finally break out of their prison...only to be captured within 30 seconds.

Back to Flutter Valley, where the ponies come up with an escape plan that involves getting the 20-foot spider to use a furbob as a basketball. This allows him, eventually, to escape and promise doom to the witches (from a safe distance).

Back with Morning Glory, Sting is wondering if he did the right thing. More importantly, he's wondering what the hell they can do. The Swarm is holding the rest of the flutter ponies hostage, the Sunstone is beyond their reach, Flutter Valley is under the witches' control and will be lost forever unless the Sunstone is returned before sunset...
The whole situation is completely and utterly lost. Morning Glory realizes that, in such a situation, there is only one possible solution:
Get Megan to save the day!
A quick trip over the rainbow later, they find the stable...where they sumble upon an angry bull that seems determined to gore them. Cue end-of-episode cliffhanger (get used to these. This show loves them).

Our fourth episode opens on Sting and Morning Glory desperately trying not to get killed by a raging bull. Luckily for them, Megan, savior of worlds, shows up in time, and displays corrida skills we were not previously informed of. I'm guessing that, after the last three adventures, she's been developing her action hero capabilities.
Well, now that someone competent is in charge, hopefully this entire mess can finally be fixed.

The witches attempt to magically torment their prisoners. The prisoners seem to find said attempts hilarious.

The escaped furbob, on his way to get help, realizes that he doesn't know how, can't make up his mind, and is in fact pretty much paralyzed by his own genetic inability to make up his mind. Cue self-deprecating song about what a crappy hero he makes.
Luckily for him, Megan shows up to act as the decisive leader.

Bumble is forcing the flutter ponies to work on retrieving the Sunstone. They make an escape attempt (which involves taking Bumble as hostage and threatening to let her fall to her death into the Sunstone's hole!), which ends with one of their numbers, Honey Suckle, seemingly... falling to her death into the Sunstone's hole. (I'm going to go on a limb and say she survives somehow.)
Megan, having arrived on the scene, decides to have a talk with Bumble. The furbob and Sting say it's a bad idea, as the queen won't listen to reason, while Morning Glory insists that they have to find the good in people. Megan agrees with Morning Glory.
While Bumble does not appear very receptive to diplomacy, Megan effortlessly shifts to a threatening bluff (faking hidden numbers) that actually seems to work on the queen, until Pointer decides to intervene. Cue chaos and combat. Sting and Pointer have another go at it, dueling in the skies; this time, Pointer wins, stabbing Stinger, and everyone gets captured.

Back to the witches' prisoners. This time, they trick the witch tasked with guarding them: They offer to teach her magic, play on her greed, then completely screw her over and escape.
...Only to be captured by the others almost immediately. You know, this chapter is starting to remind me of The Prisoner.

Back in Bumbleland, Honey Suckle climbs out of the Sunstone's hole...with the highly unexpected reinforcement of the stonebacks. Hoo-kay.
The group retreats into the hole...though the furbob seems to have serious trouble bringing himself to follow the stonebacks, his hereditary predators. End of episode four.

Cue the fifth and final episode of this little saga. Since the furbob is caught up in deadly indecision, Megan makes the goddamn decision for him and pulls him underground. Bumble orders Pointer to lead an expedition after them, but he plays on her psychology to lead it instead. She doesn't get very far, being too obese to get through the freaking hole.

Back underground, Megan addresses the furbob's fears of the stonebacks, and suggests that their long-standing hostilities might be caused, primarily, by the stonebacks' inability to talk. Cue the song with the weirdest freaking animation I've seen on this show.
I need a minute.
Some Utter Flutter later, and the Sunstone is once again cold enough to be held - and thus, carried to Flutter Valley.

Back in Flutter Valley, momma witch is punishing her daughter for almost letting the prisoners escape. In a great (though fruitless) display of compassion, the prisoners try to argue in their jailer's defense ("It's not her fault! We tricked her!").
It looks like the big showdown is about to begin. Realizing that the flutter ponies are coming, the witches send the 20-foot spider - after giving it a potion that immunizes it against the Achilles heel that was used to defeat him during the Smooze fiasco. Not that it matters much - Megan figures out an alternate route, using the stonebacks to get past the obstacle. Of course, she also needs to talk the furbob reinforcements into working side-by-side with the stonebacks.
The witches retreat at the sight of the incoming heroes, who quickly rescue the prisoners.
The Sunstone is hastily placed where it can save Flutter Valley...Just in time for the Swarm to charge. Sting has some harsh words for Bumble, but a diplomatic solution is finally reached when the flutter ponies' queen reaches an agreement: A peace treaty with Bumbleland that allows the Swarm access to Flutter Valley's vegetation. With an agreement that satisfies both sides, Bumble agrees to leave, and even take Sting back into her forces.
All is well that ends well, the flutter ponies' earlier "strike back vs turn the other wing" debate reaches a compromise ("turn the other wing when the other side is possibly redeemable. Otherwise, kick their ass")...
...and then the witches cast a spell as a last-ditch attempt to destroy Flutter Valley.
The response?
Utter Flutter WTFpwnage FTW.

Wellllllll, that was one long ride. The witches have been defeated once more, never to be heard from again; the furbobs and stonebacks are on the way to peace talks; Bumbleland and Flutter Valley have reached diplomatic agreements; the Sunstone preserves Flutter Valley once more.
Everything is now right with the world; our ponies and their friends can now enjoy the peace and...
...
...Bwahahahahahaha! I'm sorry, I can't type that with a straight face. This is Dream Valley. Dream fucking Valley. Peace doesn't last long here. You only get short breaks. Mark my words, it won't be long before the next threat looms on the horizon, threatening a veritable holocaust.

Next up: The Ghost of Paradise Estate!
Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe.
 
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