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  • 9 weeks
    S8E25-26 - School Raze

    Synopsis

    The Young Six and the Cutie Mark Crusaders stop an evil force from taking over the School of Friendship while the Mane Six try to escape Tartarus.

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    765 comments · 8,255 views
  • 9 weeks
    S8E24 - Father Knows Beast

    Synopsis

    Spike and the Mane Six provide shelter to an injured dragon. He claims to be Spike's father, but Smolder suspects there's more to him than meets the eye.

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    121 comments · 4,633 views
  • 9 weeks
    S8E23 - Sounds of Silence

    Synopsis

    Applejack and Fluttershy encounter a group of Kirin who are scared to hurt each other's feelings.

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    105 comments · 2,450 views
  • 9 weeks
    S8E21 - A Rockhoof and a Hard Place

    Synopsis

    The Mane Six help Rockhoof fit in to modern-day Equestria.

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    28 comments · 1,211 views
  • 13 weeks
    S8E20 - The Washouts

    Synopsis

    Rainbow Dash fears Scootaloo's days as her number one fan is over when Scootaloo is obsessed with The Washouts, an expedition group of stunt ponies.

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    467 comments · 7,957 views
  • 13 weeks
    S8E19 - On the Road to Friendship

    Synopsis

    Trixie tries to convince Starlight Glimmer to go to Saddle Arabia with her and do a magic show there.

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    81 comments · 2,928 views
  • 13 weeks
    S8E17 - The End in Friend

    Synopsis

    Rainbow Dash and Rarity question their friendship when they cannot find anything they enjoy doing together.

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    Apologies for the upcoming dump but the episodes airing right now are a total mess!

    45 comments · 2,599 views
  • 14 weeks
    S8E16 - Friendship University

    Synopsis

    Twilight is shocked to find out that Star Swirl the Bearded has enrolled at another school of friendship.

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    193 comments · 4,488 views
  • 14 weeks
    S8E15 - The Hearth's Warming Club

    Synopsis

    A prank gone wrong ruins Hearth's Warming Eve preparations. When Twilight Sparkle tries to figure out which of her students is behind it, the students bond over shared memories of home.

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    Man it's hard to keep up with this weird episode scheduling.

    169 comments · 4,019 views
  • 15 weeks
    S8E14 - Matter of Principals

    Synopsis

    Discord becomes jealous when Twilight Sparkle leaves Starlight Glimmer in charge of the School of Friendship instead of him.

    Reminder: Links to unofficial streams/downloads of episodes are not allowed!

    343 comments · 6,562 views
Sep
9th
2018

Episode Discussion » S8E22 - What Lies Beneath · 11:50am September 9th

Synopsis

The Young Six find a hidden passage underneath the School of Friendship.

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Comments ( 62 )

Anyone else feel like the Tree of Harmony is a freaking psychopath after this episode? Pass my friendship tests or die! First Discord endangers children this season, then Lightning Dust, now the freaking Tree of Harmony.

Once again, my theory that the tree is sentient is proven to be true.

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Well the truest, purest form of harmony is a barren wasteland of absolute death, so...

My opinion on this episode:

(Poor Twilight imitation): The Tree of Harmony is a troll.

Cozy Glow is somewhere in the school jilling off and laughing evilly to herself while planning something diabolical.

Gallus has claustrophobia, Smolder being adorable, Silverstream has PTSD, Squeaky voiced Chrysalis is hilarious.

Yona has arachnophobia and ends up making friends with itty bitty spiders? I can't do that to save my own life!

Sandbar is alone with two hot mares. In a cave. Exactly what me and everyone back in middle school fantasized about.

Now I'm starting to wonder what Cozy Glow’s backstory and motivations are.

Overall, this is a very excellent episode and I really enjoyed it! ^3^

Silverstream's heartfelt rant toward the Storm King makes me feel really emotional. Easily the best part of the episode.

That tree is one creepy bucker.

That tree scares me...

Also, oh hey, Chryssi didn’t do anything to it in The Mean 6

The Tree needs to move out of Twilight's image and get its own appearance.

Comment posted by Dragon Turtle deleted September 9th

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This is the kind of character-based magical obstacles I love in adventures, especially from MLP.

Gallus and Silverstream shipping intensifies, also smolder should dress up more often, she was so adorable.:heart:

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i wish i didnt see that.:rainbowlaugh::raritycry:

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On one hand, having Gallus show up actually tell Silverstream that none of it's real seems a bit of a cop-out compared to how half the group got out of their situations on their own. On the other limb, it was a dick move by the Tree to make a girl face off against a room full of yetis in the first place.

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The test wasn't whether the characters could face their fears or not, but it was whether friendship was in their nature. In the case of Gallus and Silverstream, Gallus showed friendship by going back to help his friends and Silverstream showed friendship by trusting Gallus when he said the Storm King was an illusion.

o_O...Okay, Tree... we need to work on your ability to show expressions without looking like a creepy psychopath. Also maybe learn what an overreaction is. Just because the kids are doubting their friendship doesn't mean you have to trap them in a death dungeon with the threat of being trapped forever if they don't pass some arbitrary test. Kinda need to dial back a bit there, Harmony.

But you know what, I can also dig this. The Tree of Harmony isn't some all knowing, all powerful force, so much as she's kind of a newborn entity that's trying to figure out this whole 'person' thing. Hmm, I wonder if absorbing the Mean 6 is how she's grown the ability to take on Twilight's form and start communicating verbally? She admitted she's growing and learning as she goes along, so it seems maybe Harmony kind of needs some guidance. Hopefully interacting with those in the school more might help Harmony's personality develop. Right now she's kinda HAL with a somewhat good aligned bent.

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That would be order, not harmony. Harmony requires the interaction of multiple parties.

It did seem a bit like there was some inequality in the intensity of the challenges handed out.

Smolder, you have to have a tea party and then admit you kinda like it.

Yona, SPIDERS SPIDERS SPIDERS!

How I saw the student 6's fears:
Gallus: claustrophobia -- I was hoping it would turn out to be symbolic for something, but it was just literal ... oh well. It was still good to see him calm down and think through the solution to his puzzle.
Smolder: perception/reputation -- Not identity, because she already knows who she is, but she feels she has an image to uphold.
Ocellus: falling -- Not literal falling. When you look up to someone (have an idol), and that person does something terribly wrong, one great fear you might have is that you would fall down the same way your fallen "hero" did. I have this fear, and for this reason, Ocellus' fear arc was my favorite.
Silverstream: PTSD -- This was also compelling, but her rant was kinda unbelievable if she really believed those were yetis and the storm king. If she knew they were just manifestations of her fears, then the rant was good, if worded uneloquently.
Yona: arachnophobia -- This could have been genuinely creepy, but it was just kinda silly.
Sandbar: his wasn't a fear, but a test -- He could have passed the test with flying colors, and almost did, but his friends showed up before he had to, so booo!

I'm also interested in seeing where the show goes with this newfound sentience for the Tree. It's always been sentient to a degree, but this is the first time it's taken a moving, speaking role.

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Your comment made me think. Were there any expressions of friendship other than loyalty and trust in this test? Gallus and Smolder showed loyalty after facing their fears, Sandbar showed loyalty as part of his test, Silverstream and Ocellus showed trust, and Yona...yeah, hers was just facing a fear.

To all who think the Tree put them in danger, pooh pooh. I doubt the Tree would do that, so I don't think they were in any actual danger.

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Smolder: perception/reputation -- Not identity, because she already knows who she is, but she feels she has an image to uphold.

The term is "expression."

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Maybe Yona's test was whether she was willing to make friends with spiders even though she's scared of them. Also, there's the framing of Cozy Glow's commentary. For Yona, she mentions her pride for her heritage and explicitly states that this must mean she thinks she's above friendship. In the test, she disproves this sentiment by both facing her fears so she could help her friends (even if she doesn't directly help them like Gallus and Smolder) and her willingness to make friends who would be considered "less important" than the sapient creatures. This is all just conjecture here, though, and I found the other tests more compelling.

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Well the Elements of Harmony did turn Discord to stone, thus rendering him incapable of acting in a manner that was disruptive to harmony, thus suggesting that harmony and order are closely related to one another in the MLP universe.

Having not seen this episode, I can't comment much on the matter. But going by what others have said, I have a theory regarding the Tree of Harmony and its test.

The Tree never really intended to keep the student six locked up underground if they failed the test. It simply told them such so they would have a strong motivation look past whatever petty disagreements were plaguing them, and instead focus on more important matters. The Tree is attempting to invoke the fire forged friends trope.

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Closely related does not mean the same.

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Not in our world, perhaps. But the MLP universe has the ponies controlling everything like the weather and the seasons. There's nothing that's unscheduled or allowed to happen naturally, and they see that as the way things are supposed to be. Suggesting their idea of harmony is actually just order.

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No, perception is what I meant. Expression is the action she does in order to hold a certain perception, so others' perception of her is her weakness/fear.

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Yeah, Yona's arc was the weakest imo. In fact, from most compelling to least, I'd rank them: Ocellus, Silverstream, Smolder, Gallus, Sandbar, Yona.

I forgot about Cozy's part in this episode. Man, I hate that filly. Her background music, her too cute design, her too helpful approach to others...on the surface there's nothing really wrong with her, but you can just tell something is off about her. The way she almost turned the student 6 on each other was devious. And in the finale, the way she pulled an Azula/Long Feng on Neighsay was quite the moment for me.

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By this same logic, because we can sometimes cure cancer by firing lasers into people to burn it out or irradiating them, that means all medicine involves lasers and radiation, and more is better.

No, things do not work that way. Harmony is indeed not just an absence of discord, it is actively getting along, mutually enjoying each other's presence. When you take the notion of "petrify Discord" to the extreme of "barren wasteland" it stops being Harmony the way medicine stops being medicine when you start measuring doses in gallons.

I really like how the Tree of Harmony was handled in this episode, and how it brought the Student Six closer together. Not to mention they decided to loosen up on being subtle about Cozy Glow...

I was staring suspiciously at Cozy Glow (if that is her real name) every second she had screen time

Dan

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Maybe as Fausticorn.

I liked this episode. Didn't expect the tree to do that, and or that it could become sentient at all really. Nice to see the Student Six dealing with their fears well and helping each other. Also, this episode reaffirms my view that Cozy Glow is clearly evil. Haven't seen the last 3 episodes of the season yet to confirm whether she's evil or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if she's working for Neighsay. Anyway another good episode! :twilightsmile:

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But definitely not the same.

I like the way Alarajrogers lays it out in the universe of her fics. There Order, Chaos, and Harmony are something of tripolar opposites. Harmony is individuals still having differences of style and opinion while still working in unison. There's still too much dissent and diversity for pure Order, and too much cooperation and conformity for pure Chaos.

The Twilight trifecta:
Treelight Sparkle to greet you when coming home from work.
Twilight Sparkle to hang out with you during the weekend.
Meanlight Sparkle to whisper dirty things to you at night.

I liked this episode, very much indeed. Is Cozy Glow some Diamond Tiara's alter ego or what? With just a hint of Discord and FlimFlam's silver tongue. Really, that filly's evil...
In my opinion, the Tree of Harmony was a bit...harsh. To trap six youngsters in a cave with their worst fear and separated from each other? Gee, even an adult would go insane quickly.
Silverstream's reaction touched me, it did bring a tear to my eye, even if the fact that she was yelling to shadows was a tiny bit awkard. Ocellus' too was a quite strong arc: the fear to be unable to change, the feeling deep down that, despite your efforts, you can't change because your nature has always been deception...or rather, that's what your leader, your Mother, has always talked into your head...and now even that 'role model' has crumbled down and you think you're doomed to follow her... It was quite deep, I mean, Ocellus is very young and still she feels the weight of Chrysalis' actions...Thorax should impose his presence a little more, as saying "it's alright, everling, now look up to me and everything is going to be fine". He's the King, for goodness' sake. It is clear that Chrysalis' downfall left a scar even in the youngest minds, he should do something on the matter.
Yona's fear...I don't know. You're a student of Fluttershy, I suppose the first thing she taught you was not to judge a book -or an animal- by its cover/appearance...anyway, I guess aracnophobia is a little thougher than that, and the Tree was just cruel putting Yona alone with no one, no two, but hundreds of spiders...
Same with Gallus' claustrophobia. That would be unnerving...
Nothing particular to say about Smolder and Sandbar' tests. I don't think the two of them ever feared for their lives, while the others did -well, except for Ocellus maybe, but she was suffering just as much-.

Now, I understand the point of this episode wasn't help the students overcome their fears but determine if friendship was in their nature or not...
...but damn it, Tree, the whole affair was just creepy!

Just saying, the absolute highlight of this episode was Smolder acting adorable and wearing a dress. :yay: Well, at least it's up there.

The Tree of Harmony...I had a feeling it was sentient to a degree, but once more it is proven that they are the Elements of Harmony, not the Elements of Niceness.

I actually thought Cozy Glow might have somehow been associated with the Tree initially, having been the one to trigger the group's doubts in the first place like some sort of agent.

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I was thinking like a crystal-blue alicorn with a Season 4 Rainbow mane.

In the OK category.

If the Tree of Harmony is becoming sentient. It must be destroyed immediately.

On the world lore side of things we see that the tree of harmony has learned to project magical illusions to talk for it. And that its roots now extend to Ponyville/the school at the edge of Ponyville. (Although that makes sense, why wouldn’t the tree want it’s roots near the town where its champions reside, spreading harmony?)

Although I once again find the tree’s sense of justice and ethics lacking. Especially since a lack of actual justice is one of the fastest ways to destroy harmony in a community.

While I can hope the tree was bluffing about the price of failing the test, given its past crime against the Rainbow Dash clone I’m not too sure. And because they passed the test we’ll never know it the tree would have followed through on the threat to imprison them in a cave only fit to feed a dragon while the others starved to death.

As for the story, I thought it was okay. We see Cozy Glow playing the part of manipulator again, sowing the seeds of disharmony among the student 6, and the tree testing them to prove the ideas she seeded in their minds wrong.

Although I don’t see what Gallus’ test had to do with friendship as it seemed more like a logic-puzzle and he solved it by himself. But other than that the rest fit nicely. So overall I’d say it was a good episode.

Until next time have fun out there.

I like this episode for the most part. Some of the dialogue is bad (one line in particular).

But overall, the episode has good gags, interesting character development, and actual stakes. It is one of the best Young Six episodes.

There was so much wrong with this story. First things first, all students just go into an unknown cave that no one has ever noticed before despite it being quite obvious. I get that some of them were excited, but seriously? None of the six protested? It wasn't suspicious to neither of them? I don't know about their age and maturity, but they look old enough to have some common sense.

Another thing is that the challenges were inconsistent:

  • Gallus was close to getting crushed or be trapped in a close space with little oxygen left.
  • Smoulder's fear was being a social outcast because of her interests, possibly being an embarrassment to her kind.
  • Silverstream and Ocellus had a bit of history creeping up on them in a form of tyranny that could've destroyed many lives in the past.
  • Yona had a few hundreds of possibly very venomous animals to face.
  • And Sandbar's biggest fear was... disappointing his idols? Really? I mean, I can see why, but it simply feels flat in comparison with the others.

Plus the fact that Smoulder, Yona and Sandbar had to pass the test on their own, whereas Silverstream and Ocellus had to get a help. And Gallus didn't pass his test at all. He cancelled the final ray with his tail. How did he get out? Did the tree simply said "It's just a prank, bro!" and released him?

I don't see how it makes friendship become a part of their nature, since four of the six had to pass the challenges on their own.

But the negatives in the plot are compensated with the dialogue - the moments with Gallus and Silverstream were simply sweet. I like how Cozy Glow said at the beginning the episode how she's surprised by their will to learn about pony stuff, besides being from different cultural background. (I didn't find anything that would be straight up racist.)
Plus the desperation in pony history lessons - I've always sucked at history classes, so I appreciate these scenes a bit more than an average person.

Final rating: This episode had its moments, it was enjoyable in parts, but it wasn't something spectacular either.

I wonder if the tree gained the ability to take on a phyical form by absorbing the Tree doppelgängers in The Mean 6?

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And Gallus didn't pass his test at all. He cancelled the final ray with his tail. How did he get out? Did the tree simply said "It's just a prank, bro!" and released him?

His previous attempts had opened the gate wide enough, and he was fast enough, that he could slip through just before it closed behind him.

...

Um, Cozy Glow? Are you okay? You seem a bit... :rainbowhuh:

Y'know what? Never mind. It's probably in my head. :twilightsmile: No spoilers, plox.

Another excellent Student Six episode. It was a real treat to see them go up against their greatest fears and seeing them overcome them together. The Tree of Harmony certainly works in mysterious ways.

As mentioned before, I'm starting to have my doubts about Cozy Glow. I think she needs to pay more attention to her friendship lessons.

So, impressions and takeaways from this episode:

Cozy's speech at the beginning was so demoralizing and so full of xenophobic undertones that I have difficulty believing she wasn't doing it at least partly on purpose.

Tree-Twilight was both creepy and adorable. Adoracreepy?

The students’ fears were interesting. Smolder’s and Silverstream’s made a certain amount of sense, but Gallus’ claustrophobia and Yona’s arachnophobia were a bit surprising.

"I’m hideous!": somewhere in Equestria’s wilds, Chrysalis felt her ego insulted for no explainable reason.

This episode is making it very difficult not to ship Gallus and Silverstream...

I liked Yona's lesson. I really like how the show has tended to portray stereotypically "gross", "ugly" and "scary" animals like spiders and snakes as being just as nice and lovable as more traditionally cute creatures.

This past couple seasons have had a lot more cross-episode storybuilding than previous ones had — even leaving aside the continuity callbacks past episodes have been unusually full of, there’s been a definite increase of stories set up in one episode, built up in another and paid off in a third; last season we had the thing with the pillars and the way "Uncommon Bond" was used to set up "Shadow Play", now we have whatever’s going on with Cozy Glow.

Also, I feel like the idea of the Tree growing and expanding has been hinted at before now. There was the map's expansion, and then the way it killed the wood-clones... hmm.

On that note: Cozy Glow is really creeping me out. "You let Cozy take care of everything..."

This was a very good episode. The character-building for the students was very welcome, and I really liked the way the later half was based on the ones who’d passed their tests offering emotional intimacy and support to help their friends pass theirs. It's... kind of odd how there has been a running theme this season of the student six learning the most about friendship when they aren't studying Twilight's lessons, though.

Another awesome episode written by Michael Vogel. His episodes this season has been pretty solid.

What a great episode. The Young Six really shined in this story, showing us their fears, doubts, and hidden secrets. And they proved without a doubt that friendship really is in their natures.

Cozy Glow, on the other hand, showed a darker side of herself, calling out most of the Young Six for their individual species' flaws. And the look on her face in the final scene was unnerving.

There were plenty of fun scenes (like Smolder's tea party), and sweet moments (like Gallus encouraging Silverstream) that showed just how close the Young Six are. And the fact that the Tree of Harmony can now speak with others raises some interesting possibilities for the future.

In my opinion, this may be one of the best episodes of the season.

Did anyone else find the sparkly, Tree Of Harmony Twilight to be a bit... creepy?

I kept thinking of what happened to the Mean Six...

Smolder: I like cute, silly stuff!!

And that's why Spike is perfect for her!

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