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Pipe Land 25 & 26 · 4:19pm Oct 28th, 2017

And season seven comes to a close, with a heck of a bang! :D I hope everyone enjoyed Shadow Play, because I sure as hell did!

Before I get into the reaction and analysis, I wanted to bring up something interesting. I was looking through transcripts recently and came across this gem, from The Crystalling, part 2:

Starlight Glimmer: I know, right? It's not like there's some spell that would magically compel us to pick up where we left off.
Sunburst: Well, actually, there's several. Mistmane's Material Amity, Rockhoof's Rapport, Flash Prance's Fellow... ship…

(And don't forget Somnambula's Weather Abjuration!) If we assume "Flash Prance" was an early-stage name for Flash Magnus, this means they'd been planning this whole "Legends of Equestria" thing for at least two seasons, maybe three if you count the mention of Meadowbrook in the S5 opener.

Like, given that we knew season eight was going to be a thing more or less before S7 even started, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but it still kinda blows me away. A reference that was not even on the level of that book about Gusty fighting Grogar suddenly turns out to be foreshadowing for a season-long event in the next season? Incredible.

Also, and this isn't related to the finale at all, I noticed that in No Second Prances, after making Big Mac talk rapid-fire, Starlight says, and I quote: "I can't be friends with somepony who doesn't talk!"


Anyway, onto the actual post. :D

So out of the virtues the pillars actually represent, I got three right. ("Sorcery" is too "Also Magic", how dare you suggest otherwise! D:) I do like that Beauty belongs to the pony whose legend starts with her giving hers up. I still think Sacrifice is better, but probably not "kid-friendly" by whatever metric.

God, I love the graphical layout of this introduction.

Gotta love that transition from "Star Swirl's final words before he died vanished!" to dramatic chord to MY LITTLE POOONYYYY

I love watching Celestia and Luna get very excited about the journal. :D

>tfw Twilight is probably better at speaking a language that Celestia likely grew up speaking

Calm down, Sunburst, we need to keep those books clean. (Also, he and Twilight were made for each other, sorry, Starlight.)

Pinkie stuck a cupcake in her eye :V

I love that Starlight's special talent is reading (and writing) terrible writing.

"This is it: Ponehenge. I can't believe it!" I can't believe it either! I really love that it's just called Ponehenge. Like, not Ponyhenge, they went full pone and stuck with it. XD

Is anyone else disappointed none of them even speaks Ye Olde Englishe? :B Like, I don't expect a whole episode translated to Old Ponish, but come on, why even bother building that much if you're going to ignore what ponies from a thousand years ago were like, according to previous canon? D:

Also, does anyone find it odd that Mistmane and Somnambula just carried around a flower and a blindfold everywhere? >.> Like, the rest of the artifacts make sense, but still.

Yes, thank goodness the journal was left with its "magical exposition" setting on. :V

Trust Twilight to be the only one who can solve an old mystery. XD

That giggle-snort though :D

"I made more!" This whole scene is just amazing.

You could take points off for all the magical shortcuts used to explain what happened a thousand years ago, or figure out who goes to get what, but the fact is, if they'd left that stuff in? Probably woulda been three episodes. And one of them would have been boring.

So Petunia Paleo is about the most out-there choice for a recurring character. Anyone?

This isn't the first time Indiana Pony has shown up, is it? Am I crazy?

Applesass is in full force this day. No, that is not "Apple's ass". :|

I'm not sure I can communicate just how much I appreciate Mistmane's garden still having a tenant. Like, so much of this is ancient history, but here's a place where history and the present intersect. I can't even say that's Mistmane's actual descendant, not like Meadowbrook's, it just… It's nice that these aren't all archaeological digs, is what I'm saying.

Also, judging by where the flower was on the map, the place where bent-horn unicorns live is somewhere on the southeastern coast of Equestria. Hard to say for sure, though.

Trust Rarity to manipulate about fifty different things and turn weeds into topiary. (She's done it before!)

Does anyone else just hate dragons now? Is it just me?

Okay, so how the fuck did these relics get to where they were? We see them fall back to Ponehenge after the limbo spell. Who the fuck came along and took them? Dropped the shield somewhere in the dragon desert, gave the flower back to Mistmane's people… I guess there's a whole story in that alone!

And Spike fails his way to victory, just like every episode he stars in! :V

I love how ready Garble is to twist the Dragon Lord's words. Spike should be glad someone hates him so much.

So already, I don't get this. Applejack gets the shove by being strong enough to counteract that professor's dickishness. Rarity brings beauty back to Mistmane's garden. And Rainbow Dash… outsmarts Garble? (Not that it's hard, especially if Rainbow can do it.) Like, she wasn't even the one displaying bravery here, that was Spike. I guess he's still the new Rainbow Dash. <.<

All those sad snakes and crocodiles. :C

To continue my earlier statement, Fluttershy gets the mask by… having finished a quest earlier in the season. Cattail even says he'd've given it to her, no sweat, and that's why. Here, in this particular moment, all she's doing is displaying her usual kindness, nothing related to healing.

And Pinkie gets the blindfold more or less just by being Pinkie. <.< This episode could have had a slightly stronger thematic element, is what I'm saying.

Yeah, I don't wanna know what kind of dreams Twilight's had about Star Swirl. And neither will he.

I do like Starlight as the voice of reason. Spike often fills this role, but he's not as much of a worry-wart, nor does he speak from experience on topics like "don't open portals to other worlds".

Geez, Pinkie, at least clean the damn thing! D:

God, I love the animation for the Pony of Shadows reforming! It's so fluid and gloopy… I wouldn't be surprised if it was hand-drawn somehow, it just looks so much different from the rest of the show!

Knowing what I do about how this episode goes, let's talk about the PoS for a minute. What he wants to do is "extinguish light" in the world. That makes sense, I guess, he's a creature birthed from shadow, he wants to be able to live in darkness or something. And when he comes back, there's an obvious, immediate change in all the clouds that suddenly appear above Ponehenge. So, while he doesn't do too much in this episode, there's at least an obvious threat. But what's really telling is here, with him taunting all of them; you start realizing, he really knows Star Swirl. Those are not the words of a pony who has only encountered his adversary on the field of battle. This is all very personal between them. And I think that's great.


So Star Swirl's whole arc is that he's kind of a conceited dick, but that doesn't make him wrong. Saying you've saved the world and continuing to rise to challenges presented to you are two very different things.


Anyway, I disagree with people who are upset the Pillars made the Tree of Harmony. Like, I think that's really cool! And their virtues got distilled down into the Elements of Harmony. I dunno, it doesn't bother me. Also, it helps explain the castle. :B

Everyone loves that butt hug.


I love how well Dash and Flash get along. (I headcanon that he's Flash Sentry's ancestor. I mean, even the coloration fits!) I also love how Twilight's whole thing is she finally gets to meet her idol and she is a complete and utter disappointment to him. XD Between that and Celestia laughing at her in the premiere, Twilight has gotten cut down a few necessary pegs this season. Also, I love how he's just not impressed by her being a princess or anything, you'd think that would be a major "wow" moment for any of them.

SEAPONY ETIQUETTE %D God, I hope that's foreshadowing!

Though, if anything, I think it precludes the movie from being canon. Or else confirms that the hippogriffs are not seaponies; seaponies exist as a separate race.

Again, here we have Starlight as voice of reason, and Spike as cheerleader, roles that fit them both well. And then Starlight becomes the voice of pacifism, which is surprising and entirely fitting.

I love that bit about the Ghastly Caverns. :D

Then Twilight was the saddest horse. XD I do like that her friends all come out to stick up for her. This is something they've needed to do for a while, and they needed someone like Star Swirl, who she looks up to but who the rest of them are neutral on, to do it to.

So Mage Meadowbrook reading and understanding the spell. Gives you reasons why she picked up the name "Mage", huh?

Okay. So. Hollow Shades, let's break this down. First, The Hollow Shades. Second, abandoned eons ago, yet somehow AJ thought she might have relatives there? I take this to mean that's just her first assumption about any place. Third, how many fans cried when their terrible batpony headcanon died? :D Fourth, I am really, really glad that headcanon is dead, can you tell? :D:D

"So it's like a supervillain tracker!" Yet more magical conveniences, and yet, I still can't fault them, or Dash pointing them out.

"He gave me moderate praise! Spike, get me a towel!"

Also interesting how, after that moment, the conflict changes from Star Swirl and Twilight to Star Swirl and Starlight.

I'm glad Starlight points out the map has only been for friendship problems so far. Like, Dash's earlier comment aside, she's right, and it means that there's more than just projecting going on with her.



And it's doubly impressive, because it means both EQG and the comics are canon here.

Also they can breathe lasers what c.c

I love that filly who immediately comes up to Rockhoof, like, "I am tiny, have a carrot!"

If I ever refer to Stygian as Stygius again, you have my permission to smack me. <.< Stygius is the batpony from Project Horizons.

I mean, who wouldn't get jealous of Star Swirl chatting up that sweet mare? Dude was hella old but still had game! :V

I do like the irony of Star Swirl being all "villainy is irredeemable!" to Starlight's face :V I just can't be mad at him, he's everything I wanted him to be!

Like, Starlight is definitely projecting there, but it doesn't stop her from being right.

Necklace, necklace, necklace, big crown thingy! Seeing the Elements again just feels so good. We definitely needed four seasons away from them. Wow, it's been almost four entire seasons since we last saw them! :O

God, I hope people don't start shipping Rainbow Dash and Flash Magnus. Anyone who does is missing out on the fact that they just totally became best bros after like a day of hanging out, and that is strong friendship that doesn't need to be anything else.

Does anyone else feel kind of bad for Starlight here? Like, she looks really naked without an Element for some reason. Kind of an awkward seventh wheel. D:

You know, if there's anything to be said for this episode, it's that it's got an ensemble cast of fourteen characters, fifteen if you count Spike (and who does), and they all have something to do. Well, okay, most of the Pillars just kind of stand around, but at least they all do something and get lines.

Goddamn do I love Twilight just fucking flying into the villain without a moment's hesitation. Say what you will about the fight with Tirek, this is her finest moment.

I love his fucking shadow alicorn form. :D

So the Pony of Shadows is basically just "the shadows", ponified. God. Just, the fact that they were all set to re-banish him to Limbo, and then they stopped, listened to him, and saved him from himself… I'm not just proud of the ponies, I'm proud of the show. I hope the good will this season has engendered in me isn't squandered in S8.

Star Swirl never accounted for the magic of friendship. :D At least there's one piece of old canon that they paid attention to!

GAH I LOVE THIS SCENE WITH THE PRINCESSES SO MUCH :D And Luna's line about them owing him essays is so great. XD

Also, let me just say I love how they all consistently refer to Equestria as "The Realm".

Okay, let's think about what's happened to everyone's homes. Mistmane's is mostly abandoned, but she's got a descendant (?) and a newly revitalized garden to get home to; Meadowbrook is in more or less the same boat. Somnambula is going to be worshipped as a goddess in the town named after her. Flash Magnus is going to have major temporal jetlag trying to do anything related to modern pegasi in Cloudsdale. (Because remember, the Weather Factory existed back during his time!)

So let us all take a moment to get really sad for Rockhoof. The town he worked so hard to protect is now nothing but a memory. :(

Man. The worst thing I can say about this… Well, is that, though my "Star Swirl actually shows up in an episode" contingency plan is still in effect, I have kind of lost all drive to finish Epic Unicorn History. D: I'm sorry, it's true, time to face reality.

The other worst thing I can say is that it clinches my idea that seasons six and seven were presented in the wrong order, at least in terms of how Starlight is used. I might have a larger post on this later on, but suffice to say, her role in this episode is very secondary, but entirely based around "I was a villain once, and I changed, and I believe other villains can change, too". She's basically a mouthpiece to remind us what this show is actually about. Not to mention, Rock Solid Friendship did her a big favor, as far as I'm concerned, giving her some actual character like.

Whereas in season six's finale, she's suddenly shoved into the lead role, after a season of stumbling over trying to make us like her and forget how badly handled her reformation was (seriously, the only good episode with her in it is the one where she makes friends with Trixie). The mane cast are shoved aside and suddenly it's The Starlight Glimmer Show, with her friends, Giant Asshole, Beta Idiot and Trixie! And no one wanted that. I sure didn't. I'm not sure how you could rewrite all the plot threads with the changelings and so forth to make season seven be where she finally comes into her own, but it's what needed to happen with her. Hopefully, moving forward, she'll be more of a boon to the show than a detriment.

As for the episode itself, hot shit, best finale ever. It's better than the wedding, it's better than laser raving with Lord Tirek, it's even better — if not by much — than the fucking Wasteland future. This is just everything I've ever wanted out of an epic season finale, and I couldn't be happier. Season seven, you did good. Fuckin' 6/5

And now you can all look forward to My Dickish Pony 7! :V

Comments ( 19 )

Does anyone else feel kind of bad for Starlight here? Like, she looks really naked without an Element for some reason. Kind of an awkward seventh wheel. D:

*Eighth :V

fifteen if you count Spike (and who does),

Clearly not you. :p

The Starlight Glimmer Show, with her friends, Giant Asshole, Beta Idiot and Trixie!

In fairness, since his return Giant Asshole's never been better than when he was paired with Trixie there.

With you on Sacrifice being a better fit than Beauty. Disagree on the Pillars/Elements connection. I think it would be a lot better if they were presented as being separate, independent realization of the same kind of underlying magic, that manifests when Equestria faces great peril and the right people gather together. Or something like that. Maintaining a bit of mystery is nice compared to it being all nicely tied up, and adding these guys as something more like equals than the source of the EoH wouldn't kinda diminish in retrospect (at least to me) what C&L&M6+Sp did.

I admit, I do kind of want to ship Dash Magnus. yes, they are the bro-est bros to ever bro across the broceans of Broseidon, but the chemistry there seems to work just as well both platonically and non-.

And Stygian is definitely giving Templepop Twist-o-Shade a run for her money in terms of Edgiest Unicorn of 2017.

All told, amazing stuff. :raritystarry:

All I really wanted from this episode was for Jerkswirl the Bearded Jerk to be a thing and I got it tenfold. AND his magic ain't all that hot.

My silly Last Unicorn crossover fic remains in tact (because anypony can go grey when they get old) and Starlight got yelled at by Best Historical Figure. What a great episode.

It all came together in ways that even I didn't expect. So glad I stuck it out for the ending.

Here's hoping season 8 delivers on the changes seen here.

Trixie for season 8 MVP!

God, I hope people don't start shipping Rainbow Dash and Flash Magnus.

I'm like 99.9% that a pony like Flash Magnus got all of the tail, and once hit up a hot mare with a rainbow mane. He's probably responsible for most of the top stock pegasus genes in modern day.

Goddamn do I love Twilight just fucking flying into the villain without a moment's hesitation. Say what you will about the fight with Tirek, this is her finest moment.

I think I loved this moment the best, if only because it made me think of Sailor Stars, my favorite Sailor moon season of all. To clarify what happens. Thoguhout the episode, Usagi is told by the starlights and Cosmos that she has to kill Galaxia in order to stop Chaos. If not, then Chaos wins. Remember, this is also the woman who had taken the souls of Usagi's boyfriend, her friends, and most of the world. So, to do the deed, Usagi is given a blade and is forced to go and kill Galaxia. Then, in spite of everything going against her, Usagi does what Twilight did here...she reaches out through the darkness and pulls out the goodnesss of Sailor Galaxia and taking out Chaos without having to kill anyone.

It's moments like this, when it compares to my favorite Maho Shojo show, that I love this series.

Well. I think your enthusiasm for this answers my question of watch more s6/7 to catch up vs writing.

 Also, I love how he's just not impressed by her being a princess or anything, you'd think that would be a major "wow" moment for any of them.

This whole finale was basically "The one where they reboot the series without princesses." As good as it was, it's basically the nail in the coffin for any relevance Celestia and Luna might have had. Now they're double needless, since we have two teams of ponies with Elements to their name.

God, I hope people don't start shipping Rainbow Dash and Flash Magnus. Anyone who does is missing out on the fact that they just totally became best bros after like a day of hanging out, and that is strong friendship that doesn't need to be anything else.


The mane cast are shoved aside and suddenly it's The Starlight Glimmer Show, with her friends, Giant Asshole, Beta Idiot and Trixie! And no one wanted that. I sure didn't.

I did. : /

I like seeing the 'side' characters get some limelight, and this quad's borderline dysfunctional relationship was excellent comedy. That said, I derive a vast majority of my enjoyment of the show from its comedy rather than its solid story choices, and Glimglam is just so spot on with her shenanigans that I absolutely love any episode that has her in it.

Anyway, yes, this was an excellent season finale. I would argue right alongside you that it's the best season finale to date. So much happened in such a short amount of time, and yet it still didn't feel all that rushed. I would have preferred more time spent in the artifact collection scenes, but outside that, everything came together nicely. And like you said, 15 characters and all of them had a place. That's exceptional in its own right.

OmyGod I paused it right when Pinkie hugged Applejack's butt and she has this shit eating grin with asymmetric pupils and I will laugh until I die life is beautiful.


Does anyone else feel kind of bad for Starlight here? Like, she looks really naked without an Element for some reason. Kind of an awkward seventh wheel. D:

Spike-world problems.

Anyways, holy skit that was great. Every single pitfall for season enders or the show in general was dodged like a champ.

-Everyone got a chance to shine. It wasn't "Starlight/Twilight saves the day."
-Worldbuilding to the nines, hearkening all the way back to the elements themselves!
-Actual legit reason the princesses weren't involved (unaware).
-More Sunburst, in a fitting role.
-Sommy's accent was so cute. :heart:
-No OOC BS. Twilight never fully came around to "Yeah, we should kill banish our enemies," and her friends didn't sit still when she took a tongue-lashing.

-Probably best and most surprising at all was Starlight Glimmer, giving her first appearance in a role actually distinct from Twilight and Spike. Her status as ex-villain gave her a needed perspective she kept offering to Twilight, offering just enough foil that Twilight was willing to make that jump into shadow against her idol's plans. She was living proof Star Swirl was wrong, and no one else would have fit exactly in that role.

-Almost as good, I can't fault the elements for being hardass killers banishers. They lived in a smaller, more dangerous Equestria with no Elements or even adult alicorns to turn to for help. Their ethos was probably right for the time in which they lived, and it's to their credit they seem willing to adapt. And hey, Stygian did steal their stuff... and they did sacrifice themselves to seal him away. Dudes did not duck around with defending Equestria back in the day.:coolphoto:

What I wanna know, is where the fuck were Celestia and Luna when Twilight freed the Pillars.

Like, "Hey Celly, Starswirl, the greatest unicorn in history and our personal teacher, is about to be freed by undoing one of the most powerful spells in the known universe. Wanna go watch?" Asked Luna.

"Naw, I got cakes to eat," Celestia said dismissively.

"Fair enough." Luna put a hoof to her muzzle. "I guess I should go play some videogames while bitching about batponies not being real. Cadance, you wanna go?"

"No thanks, auntie Luna," Cadance called from the other room. "I gotta fuck with Shining and do... something in the Empire."

Author Interviewer

My point was, I might have, had I actually given a damn about Starlight at that point. Had there been two seasons' worth of character development before they went, Okay, time for you to save the day! Instead of it being "The writers' new OC gets to save the world, and all the characters you actually cared about for the last six years just don't matter anymore." :B

Eh, they know Twilight'll take care of it, and then Twilight has bigger concerns than "reunite mentor with her mentor". :B

One extra note, I do like that they all put magic into the tree of harmony. Bit of a small reveal at this point, but I enjoy the official statement that yes, Earth Ponies and Pegasi have magic too.

On that note, every time Meadowbrook is openly called "mage" it lights a little candle in my heart.

These last three episodes should really encourage anyone who's been disappointed by a lack of direction. Remember how much of a letdown the season theme "exploring equestria" was? Here we have starlight appreciating the importance of friendship she's learned the past two seasons to help twilight, her teacher, overcome her own bias she's had for starswirl since season 2, while starswirl and sunburst share hirsute harmony to discover magical solutions. And this uses stuff from over three seasons. I was just about to give in to people's critiques of the show that it is still good episode to episode and even season to season, but it lacks the inter seasonal development we might have hoped for from the early days, but this blows that out of the water. Even though I loved the unique cast and concept from last seasons' finale (even though some didn't, because they are wrong), you are totally right that this is just objectively the most well crafted finale yet.

Third, how many fans cried when their terrible batpony headcanon died? :D Fourth, I am really, really glad that headcanon is dead, can you tell? :D:D

Cleeeeeearly they visit in daytime, so cooooonsequently, the batponies are oooooobviously all asleep, and also bad at home maintenance.

Author Interviewer

I would actually take this.

Batponies suck so much, they don't notice a pony made out of shadow fucking up their town. :D

I'm having more trouble trying to figure out how Celestia and Luna pretend to have been Starswirl's students (and he remembers them being smaller) when the fact is they are both Immortal God-Queens who descended to Equestria at the dawn of time.

M... maybe he's delusional and they are humoring him...?

Y... yeah, that's the ticket... :derpytongue2:

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