Apr
30th
2016

So...Trixie's back. And Starlight's here, too. In fact, the episode is pretty much a vehicle for the former villains, one of whom I enjoy in small doses and the other I still feel nothing but cold hatred towards.

...SO WHY DID I LIKE THIS SO MUCH?

This is “No Second Prances.”


TECHNICAL SPECS:

Season: 6

Episode: 6

Written By: Nick Confalone

First Aired: April 30, 2016


REVIEW:

To appreciate the hype of this episode, one must look back to the very beginnings of the show. Back when the fandom first emerged from the primordial cesspool that is 4Chan, there was only one season of FiM to overanalyze and overhype until people wished us dead. While the Mane 6 were celebrated for being well-realized characters in a toyetic cartoon, many fans clutched onto the background and guest ponies, crafting entire backstories and headcanons that one had to abide by, lest they be excommunicated from the herd. And one of the ponies latched onto the most was the Great and Powerful Trixie, a sort-of antagonist from a low-tier episode.

While Trixie didn't really do much other than serve as part of the conflict, she had a lot of qualities that could really get fans excited. She was the only unicorn besides Twilight to have some kind of magic as her special talent, her personality contrasted perfectly with Twilight's, and there were quite a few that thought she was disproportionately punished by the episode in order to facilitate the moral. The creators liked her as well, and plans were immediately drawn up for her return...as an actual villain. “Magic Duel” was a Season Two script that wasn't used until the more-or-less slapped-together Season Three, and had Trixie go full tyrant and take over Ponyville, albeit while under the influence of a sanity-draining magic amulet. The episode ended with her seemingly forgiven and running away, returning a couple of times in the comics.

Fast forward to Season Six. Starlight Glimmer, yet another counterpart to Twilight (making her the third one if you count Sunset Shimmer, which you should), is now the princess' student. And then an episode with no synopsis, simply called “No Second Prances,” is announced. We don't know what the episode's actually about until two weeks before it's scheduled to air, and yet everyone's thoughts are immediately drawn to Trixie. Then someone derped and released the preview clip a week early, spoiling that Trixie had indeed returned. Cue the fans celebrating...and also dreading that Twilight apparently didn't like Trixie, even after forgiving her for the Alicorn Amulet debacle. Nevermind that there's a difference between forgiving someone and actually liking them, but it still seemed rather odd.

The episode itself starts with Twilight's newest passion: proper table setting. And I will open my review by stating, for the record, that table setting, silverware etiquette, and anything related to those two fields is worthless crap from a time when everyone had to have a rod surgically stuck up their ass from birth and must be abolished for the sake of our species. You don't need three different forks to eat dinner, people. Anyone who says otherwise is also an ally of serving tiny cakes with tea, another evil that must be destroyed. Slobs of the world, RISE UP!

Anyway, Twilight's making a big deal out of this because Princess Celestia is coming for a dinner, and Twilight wants to show how great a teacher she is by having her student make a new friend in one day and bring her to dinner. (Needless to say, I am not going to like Twilight this episode.) Starlight's attempts fail, partially because she can't stop using magic for everything (even horrible things), and partially because of sheer bad luck/her past as a brainwashing tyrant. It's not until she goes to the spa to relieve her stress that she encounters Trixie, who has experience when it comes to conquering villages and being treated like crap because of your past sins. Cue Twilight trying to break the two apart because she doesn't trust Trixie, and doesn't trust Starlight to make good friends.

To be fair, while Twilight is absolutely awful, she does bring up a good point. Starlight is still trying to get over her own dark past, so having someone who still struts around in public like she's the best thing since sliced bread isn't the best role model to have. On the other hand, Trixie's crimes are nothing compared to what Starlight did. Trixie enslaved a village, but only after she had been broken by society rejecting her due to two fanboys exposing her boasts, and arguably she only went completely wall-to-wall crazy after the amulet began corrupting her. Starlight destroyed Equestria multiple times over because her best friend left her. Just saying, I think Twilight's pinning the “bad influence” marker on the wrong side of the equation.

Of course, Twilight turns out to be correct in the end. Trixie really was just using Starlight to one-up the pony that humiliated her – if she can't outclass Twilight when it comes to magic, friendship will do just nicely. The episode is vague, however, on whether this was her plan the entire time, or if it was something she came up with after learning who Starlight was. There's no indication that she was hunting Starlight down and faking a first meeting; the two simply run into each other while at the spa, and their conversation is nondescript grumbling about not being given a real second chance. It seems far more likely that Trixie was sincere in the beginning, and only shifted her priorities towards “beating” Twilight once she saw an opening. And then she shot herself in the hoof because Trixie is second only to Rarity when it comes to pork by-product.

Trixie isn't behaving out-of-character, even accounting for the ending of “Magic Duel.” Even when she was begging Twilight's forgiveness, she switched right back to boasting about how humble she was. Even in the comics that followed, Trixie is still shown exaggerating her accomplishments, going so far as to take over a kingdom of very stupid dogs. She's still a creature of ego, she was still shown up by Twilight getting rid of the Ursa Minor, and even under the influence of a power-boosting artifact, she was defeated by a wooden gun Twilight using Trixie's own skillset.

Now, the whole “killing yourself by performing the trick you know you can't do without Starlight's help” thing? That's a pretty...extreme reaction, more or less.

Starlight is much better here, unwittingly stumbling into the Twilight-Trixie war when all she wants is a new friend. Okay, she didn't want a friend at the beginning, but she's overjoyed to find somepony who also has a dark past and is trying to make up for their past mistakes. (Trixie is likely doing so for the sake of her career, but still, the thought counts.) Her failed attempts to make friends elsewhere, besides making Mrs. Cake look like a bit of a jerk, help highlight how out-of-place she is amongst the Mane 6, so Trixie really is someone she can reasonably relate with. This is part of why it had to be Trixie here, even if it meant Twilight coming off more poorly than was likely intended. About the only other villain we have that is in Ponyville and actively “reformed” is Discord, and do note that I am being sarcastic when I imply that he's turned over a new leaf. Even when he's trying to bond with the Mane 6, he can't resist being a dick, especially to Twilight.

All of this is wonderful character stuff, and the ending was obviously lovely and nice. Helping the episode along, though, is the very good comedy this week. Twilight's exhilaration over silverware setting is beautifully dorky, as is her obvious and overt attempts to pair Starlight up with ANYPONY besides Trixie. The rest of the Mane 6 mostly get a mandatory line, but are still amusing. Angel obviously loving the attention Starlight gives him, Trixie twisting the silverware into a little statue of herself, Cranky's stinger at the end...there is a lot to love here. I'm not really overly pleased with shoving in DJ-Pon3, Derpy and Cranky, as it brings back not-quite-wonderful memories of “Slice of Life,” but it accomplishes what the staff was going for.

...But seriously, how does Celestia keep her mane like that?


CONCLUSION:

Outside of Trixie's suicide attempt (which is more than likely just overthinking things), the episode was great. It made good use of a returning character, featured some good comedy, and has a wonderful charm of its own. I won't call it the best of the season so far, seeing as we're not even a third of the way through, but it's definitely up there.


Next time, the Wonderbolts return. And they will likely still be horrible ponies. Joy.

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  • Viewing 149 - 153 of 153
#153 · 28w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2010093

I'm not exactly proud of quite a few of them, but yeah, I've done a lot.

#152 · 28w, 5d ago · · ·

592 blogs holy shit.

#151 · 45w, 5d ago · · ·

"Just a pointless idiot." Lol,  I don't think that an idiot would be able to write what you do so don't be so hard on yourself."Yes, I have a blog here. Why? Because torturing you all with my fics doesn't bring me nearly enough satisfaction." Lol, I like your sense of humor! My only suggestion on how to improve your stories is diction.diction.diction. I cannot stress enough how much better you and your stories will sound when you use superior vocabulary choice. When I'm writing,  I use a thesaurus to help me(however you should be sure to look up examples of the word that you intend to use in a sentence so you can understand it instead of blatantly inserting it.)  I love your work and I hope that you keep staying awesome!À brohoof pour vous /)

#150 · 52w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1797135

Glad we can agree on that. Don't hold back because this Fiendship series has been slightly disappointing to me.

Also hope things go easier for you in the future.


#149 · 52w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1797131

I'm going to review that issue later this week (been a bit of a hard week last week, so I'm playing catch-up), and I definitely have words about the ending.

  • Viewing 149 - 153 of 153
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