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Oct
13th
2018

MLP Season 8 Finale Review and Final Thoughts on Season 8 (SPOILERS) · 4:06pm Oct 13th, 2018

In which the absolute worst season of MLP:FiM finally goes away and can never hurt us again.



We open with Cozy Glow being helpful around campus--collecting the mail, showing a new student around, even helping with a crossword puzzle. Among other things. Basically she's gunning for Spike's job. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is subbing for Twilight leading a field trip to Cloudsdale, with Starlight along to cast the cloudwalking spell. The cold open ends with Yona falling through the clouds to her hairy death. Starlight tries to save her, but her horn fizzles out. Then the other wingless ponies start falling too, and the flying students have to catch everypony and help them to the ground.

When Starlight and Rainbow report to Twilight, Twilight discovers her magic is failing--and Rarity shows up, in tears because her horn has stopped working. Even Spike's dragon magic is failing!

The Mane Six travel to Canterlot, where they learn that magic is disappearing all across Equestria--even the alicorn princesses are having trouble. According to Starswirl, in three days, all magic in Equestria will fail forever.

Cozy Glow suggests Tirek is the culprit, which leads to Twilight and friends heading to Tartarus to check and see if he's somehow behind this. Cozy seems upset that Starlight Glimmer is staying behind, which is a big red flag.

When the students assemble the next day, Cozy says Starlight left a note leaving Cozy in charge. Veeeeeery suspicious. Worse, Cozy starts trying to drive a wedge between the students with her god-I-wanna-punch-her-in-the-faceness.

Meanwhile, the Mane Seven are discovering that life without magic SUCKS--swarms of flies, failed food preservation spells, rainstorms that can't be controlled.

Back at school, Cozy Glow is ingratiating herself to the students, which makes the Student Six suspicious of her.

At the door to Tartarus, the Mane Seven hit a roadblock in that Twilight can't open the gate with magic. Luckily (hah), Cozy Glow packed a magic key in Twilight's bag that opens the door--but only works once, and it closes behind them. Of course. Inside Tartarus, they discover all the inhabitants have lost their magic as well.

Chancellor Asshole shows up at the school with as big a stick up his ass as usual, and discovering Twilight gone and Cozy in charge, he decides to take control of the school and start fucking shit up.

The Mane Sevem reach Tirek and find out he's not the one doing this, but he says he might know something. Meanwhile, Chancellor Bigot spreads his racist agenda throughout the school, making the non-pony students out to be the cause of pony magic fading.

When Neighsay imprisons the Student Six, Sandbar turns on his friends and joins the Chancellor (it's an act, natch), then goes to the CMC to ask for help.

Back in Tartarus, the Mane Seven find out that Cozy Glow has been writing to Tirek and learning the secrets of stealing magic. Sandbar and the CMC discover Cozy Glow has imprisoned Starlight and is, well...completely insane.

When the Mane Seven learn the truth from Tirek, they hurry to leave Tartarus and head back to the school, except...they can't escape Tartarus because they have no magic. Twilight comes up with a plan to borrow some of the magical life force from the Tartarus creatures to create an escape.

Back at the school, Cozy Glow is trying to get rid of Neighsay, but he's stubborn as a mule and determined to stick around and promote his racist agenda.

Having discovered the source of the magic drain, Sandbar and the CMC realize they need help to stop Cozy Glow, so they free the other students.

Neighsay is dictating his New Order to the remaining students, and Cozy Glow manipulates the situation to turn the pony students against him. The students form an angry mob and run Neighsay out on a rail--conveniently right before Sandbar and the others can clue him in on what's happening.

Cozy Glow finally reveals her evil plan to a chained-up Neighsay...and it makes absolutely no fucking sense. While the CMC distract her outside, the Student Six free Neighsay and tell him what's going on. Neighsay uses his EEA Medallion to portal to Canterlot to tell Celestia what's actually going on.

Meanwhile, the Mane Seven are accomplishing absolutely bugger-all. The CMC's diversion of Cozy Glow falls apart because she's wise to them.

The Student Six figure out how to stop the magic drain, but it can't be done without destroying the school. Unfortunately, Cozy and the army of pony students under her thrall show up and stop them.

Twilight manages to draw enough power out of the Tartarus beasts to open the gate to Tartarus, and the Mane Seven escape. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing they can do to save Equestria, so they're just...there.

Cozy riles up the pony students into attacking the non-pony students, but an act of loyalty on the part of the Student Six show the pony students that Cozy is wrong. Then the Tree of Harmony randomly decides to finally do something, saves the Student Six, and gives them the chance to grab the artifacts powering Cozy's magic draining device. With the artifacts removed, all the magic goes right back where it's supposed to be, and Equestria is returned to normal in an instant. Cozy Glow is prevented from escaping and hauled off by the Canterlot Royal Guard. Neighsay finally admits that Twilight's the right mare to led the School of Friendship, and that friendship isn't something that only ponies should have. The Student Six learn they still have a lot to learn, and Cozy Glow is banished to Tartarus.

*deep, weary sigh* I dunno, man. I dunno. This is just...

This whole finale is one huge, confusing mess that doesn't seem to have any real purpose or direction. It's like a bunch of random ideas got tossed into a hat, then they decided "fuck it, we'll just use all of it" and we got THIS.

I've never actively disliked an MLP:FiM season finale until now.

This? This was crap.

0/10.

Thank god it's over.


Oy vey. Where do we even begin?!

I used to think it couldn't possibly get any worse than season three. And to be fair, season eight has a few really good episodes. But...well...

Gah.

Where season 3 was merely mediocre, season 8 was offensively bad. Numerous episodes regressed characters to their season 1 and season 2 states to weakly rehash old lessons in regurgitated mimicries of already-done episodes. The School of Friendship was brought in, along with an entirely new cast of secondary characters...and all of it was underused and mishandled. It ended up just being there, for the most part, with few episodes centered around the Student Six and the school, and the Student Six often being used as a set piece for garbage episodes that ignored several seasons of character development to retell stories from early seasons badly.

Basically, everything season 7 did well? Season 8's crop of lackluster, careless writers waltzed in and shat on with recycled plots, clumsy aesops, and a mishandled seasonal gimmick. Season 8 managed to do the one thing no season of MLP has done in the six years since I first became a brony:

For the first time since I discovered the show, I stopped looking forward to Saturday morning's new episodes.

Every week of season 8's first run was an honest-to-God chore. There was, to me, no excitement to be had this season--only weary dismay at the worst episodes, and halfhearted appreciation of the decent ones.

The best thing I can say about season 8 is that it ended. That's...that's just sad.

"School Daze, Parts 1-2": 9/10
"The Maud Couple": 8/10
"Fake It 'Till You Make It": 9/10
"Grannies Gone Wild": 6/10
"Surf and/or Turf": 7/10
"Horse Play": 10/10
"The Parent Map": 5/10
"Non-Compete Clause": 0/10
"The Break Up Breakdown": 10/10
"The Molt Down": 9/10
"Marks For Effort": 6/10
"The Mean 6": 8/10
"A Matter of Principals": 2/10
"The Hearth's Warming Club": 7/10
"Friendship University": 7/10
"The End in Friend": 0/10
"Yakity-Sax": 6/10
"On the Road to Friendship": 10/10
"The Washouts": 7/10
"A Rockhoof and a Hard Place": 8/10
"What Lies Beneath": 8/10
"Sounds of Silence": 8/10
"Father Knows Beast": 5/10
"School Raze, Parts 1-2": 0/10

Season Average: 6.3/10

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Comments ( 50 )

Lots of slapstick here. Rarity hitting herself will always be funny.

And, uh. Hannibal Tirek is the creepiest thing this show has ever produced.

"I'm afraid it will take more than one semester to learn all there is about friendship."

Isn't that... exactly how Starlight did it?

Yeah, it wasn't the worst season finale of a show I've seen, it was just....OK

I think the reason this two parter makes no sense is because it was written in two different parts by two different writers. I'm willing to believe Nicole Dubac's original script for part two was going to explain a lot of things in at least a half hearted way, but then she got tossed out because she was so bad at writing and Haber basically decided not to rewrite the finale or tell Hasbro what was going on for whatever reason. And the end result is this convoluted mess. Someone should've dropped Michael Vogel a line and told him to come in and help rewrite the finale, since he wrote the premiere with Dubac and wrote episodes meant to tie into the finale.

Also, I hope Hasbro changes their mind and realizes the school theme was a mistake. No one wanted it except them. This is exactly why "Executive Meddling" is so despised in fiction, because it always seems to produce the worst concepts.

In which the absolute worst season of MLP:FiM finally goes away and can never hurt us again.

You say this, and yet we still have at least 1 more season before Gen 5. Wanna place bets on how badly they fuck Season 9 up?

I'll leave this here if you haven't read it yet.

https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/825641/an-autopsy-of-season-8

tl;dr - yes, this is by far the worst season the show has ever had.

It was bleh.

I stop watching after ep 14 of this season. The show put me off maybe I can enjoy the next season better than this one

How is this the worst season, every episode was awesome.

They were good points in this final, but yeah, there is also a lot of problems and a lot of inconsistency.

They did take the effort to populate Tartarus a bit, but why ,outside of Tirek, their all creatures mostly from the Everfree? Their dangerous sure, but not evil nor sapient. Well actually the Chimera is, but it seems the staff has forgotten it could talk.

Though I did like the irony that once their magic was transfer to Twilight, they all turn into separate animals representative of what their the combination of.

And Cozy Glow. Yeah she's bonkers beyond repair, but I can't help seeing her, a filly who almost eradicated magic, was sent directly to Tartarus, while 2 season ago Starlight, a grown mare who, in my eyes, done something worst, was almost instantly forgiven and given a comfortable position to start her redemption.

Eh maybe it's not a bad things are ending, but I still wish that the final season will go out with a bang instead of a flop.

Well, I'll fondly remember season 8 as the season where the angry old men of the fandom showed how much they love hyperbole.

So far the only thing I liked about this season was the introduction of the Kirin. And if I said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times...
Clozy glow = DEMON!!!!

Incidentally, Cozy Glow's plan makes a lot more sense if she's Chrysalis. Blog coming in the next few days, probably.

4952522
You're entitled to your opinion.

Also aside from some ironic comeuppance at Cozy's hooves, no punishment for Neighsay blatantly overstepping his authority. It's ridiculous that an educational bureaucrat has any authority to usurp control of something that has the backing of three (probably four) princesses...no matter how big a point he has on how Twilight runs the school...

As well, this probably represents the first time a defeated villain has received any sort of legal punishment, aside from maybe Discord being returned to stone in season 2. And yeah, that's also pretty ridiculous given Starlight and Luna's own actions.

Really? I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this. I enjoyed this finale because of how different it was and it gave the Student Six a chance to be the heroes. There had been foreshadowing that Cozy Glow was up to something throughout the season, and we finally find out what. She completely misunderstood the magic of friendship and tried to make it so that of everyone was her friend then she would be unstoppable.

I was legitimately surprised when Negihsay didn’t turn out to be the main villain, and was glad when his racist ways were proven wrong. That ending actually leaves potential for Cozy and Tirek. Maybe next season Cozy will try to “make friends” with all the former villains, both main villains and minor villains, to oppose Twilight and her friends. The show hasn’t really shown much of the Villainous Friendship trope in the past so if it did go in that direction and Cozy made an Anti-Elements of Harmony or something it would be great, especially since it is rumored season 9 is the last season of the show before gen 5.

I found a lot of this season enjoyable, and if we get more episodes like this next season then I honestly won’t be complaining.

4952522
I wouldn’t say every episode was awesome, but a majority of them were. I feel like each season improves on the other in some way, so I don’t have any reason to complain.

I know people who were pissed about cozy glow as the villain, even people who were sick of redemptions at this point. Because her design was as a filly, a small child, so why start with her as the irredeemable villain again? It just feels kinda icky to the people I know.

I sense that when I binge this season.....it might hurt me.

I dunno, I think the only episode that deserves a 0/10 is Non-Compete Cause.

I find it especially insulting how Racist Asshole just walks away with no consequences. Even if you ignore him going through the school private information he still committed six counts of unlawful restraint on minors and since his whole reason for doing it was "they aren't ponies, therefor they are bad" that makes it a hate crime. Oh, but it's okay, because he said he was sorry and saw the light of friendship.
Fuck this season.

4952558
well theres a rumored but not confirmed rumor that a g4 version of g1 grogar is the series finale villain who is rumored to be in charge of tartarus but then again if cozy glow is there it could be a misdirection and its actually cozy glow I mean this seasons finally is as far as I know that it ended ominously instead of a happy song or ending. also s9 if it happens will be my 5th anniversary of being a brony since the s4 power ponies episode I already know what happened in earlier seasons due to fanfics even though I watched a few older ones I also read the comics online starting with the good king sombra mirror universe and the first fanfic I read was called unity where ponyville and a human town must learn to get along on a third alien world with other displaced races from across time and space including a town of Nazis who never learned they lost ww2 and their descendance continued their evil ways and the first fan made you tube vid was a live action version of my little dashie and my first and only plushie is rainbow dash

I feel like Cozy Glow being evil was pretty well foreshadowed over the season.

Whenever she was there shit went bad, but there was deniability. They never said "Look at this character that nobody realizes is evil."

We didn't know what her deal was. Was she working for Neighsay? Was she doing it intentionally? Was he just using her?

But the end result was just plain disappointing.

If the concept of friendship magic was actually explained this season, as one would expect from a season where the characters literally attend a school teaching it, this might have made more sense. We know that it can actually be harnessed and weaponized, as we've seen with the Elements and Rainbow Powers.

Is FM created by reciprocating feelings for one another? Do these feelings have to be mutual? Is how much a person is generally liked giving them some sort of magical boost, like La Brava's Quirk? How does it manifest? Do thr effects vary from pony to pony? Is having a certain mindset advantageous? Or did they mean that she simply wanted everyone to do as she told them to, simply because she is cute and 'nice'?

The season finale wasn't perfect by any means, but a 0/10 feels a little harsh. My biggest issues being Tarturus was underwhelming and Starlight (who overcame Discord earlier in the season) has a filly trap her. Agree this is one of the weakest seasons. There were several episodes I did like a lot though so wouldn't call it a complete waste just really inconsistent in quality between the highs and the lows. Hoping season nine and first season of G5 do a solid job.

I always thought be Neighsay was going to be antagonist, but I was wrong, Neighsay is one delusional thinking Griffon, Hippogriff, Changelings, Dragons, and Yak going to use Friendship as weapons, but I never thought Cozy Glow was behind it. guess Sweet and innocent can be quiet deceived from that filly.

You know what's really confusing? How the fuck did Cozy and Tirek send letters to each other?! Tirek is in TARTARUS, not the county or state prison. Is there actually a system for letters? And if so, why didn't anyone check the contents of those letters? Hell, why didn't anyone checkout who was writing Tirek in the first place?!

4952588
True, but it wasn't until the last episodes that it was made clear that she was just some crazy pony and not, say, Chrysalis.

after all is finally said and done I have one huge gripe with the season the student six being background props. they introduce new characters and towards the end of the season my hype for them went from meh to awesome. I want to spend more show time with these characters but sadly I'm denied. they're similar to the mane 6 but different enough to be their own people and my main consolation is that we'll get one more season with them still around hopefully ie more time to see them shine. on the season finale not the best (the new crop of writers had a bad habit of beating the audience over the head with things and it makes the show lesser) I think the cozy glow twists would have been more satisfying if they didn't beat us over the head with the cozy is both important and evil message, the less foreshadowing the better in my opinion. the audience isn't dumb they can figure things out, but that's a whole issue that spans beyond mlp. I don't usually judge season against themselves because my criteria for "good mlp" took a drastic shift about three years ago and I haven't bothered to go back and rewatch old seasons to judge it by the new criteria. doesn't help that a lot of the seasons blurr together because of all the hiatasus. still not my personal worst season finale the record for that is still 6. (even though technically 1's finale would be worse if I applied the same standard 6 but mlp was different back then)

4952621
I know, right? Last I checked, people who go to Hell can't keep up writing to people who DIDN'T go to Hell.

4952632
And therein lies the rub. All along, we were given the impression that Cozy Glow was an established villain in disguise, or an agent of a bigger, more evil foe. Then we get...basically a completely psychotic pony version of Little Suzie Johnson. I mean, what the fuck even IS that.

4952504
I personally just think the whole "friendship school" was a colossal wasted opportunity.

Yes, it's kinda hackneyed and reeks of executive-meddling - but it led to the introduction of 6 new and interesting characters. Characters which were then squandered entirely - there were precious few episodes where the students had a problem. The school pretty much just served as a backdrop for the main characters to pretty much forget every lesson they've learned, and to set up the season villain (who was IMO one of the least memorable).

They should have either done more with it, or just given up on the idea. There were a number of times where the students could have *easily* been used to rehash a friendship problem that they instead went to the good old aesop-amnesia-juice for.

Not one, not two, but three, technically four, 0/10 episodes? I get some seasons have weaker episodes then the rest, but the fact that three were just that bad, and one of them is a finale, or is it two for the finale, is just appalling.

4952537
Did they just deliberately rewrite a few episodes to make her not be Chrysalis to spite the people who guessed that?

Comment posted by Jarkes deleted Oct 14th, 2018
Comment posted by Jarkes deleted Oct 14th, 2018

I've never been good at judging things. Lots of 9/10 and 10/10s for a worst season ever.

4952835
And? Personal, arbitrary review scores are a barometer, not data. There is no "mathematical formula" for the quality of a season. Also, you're pulling that dirtiest of tricks and saying "There's an awful lot of apples for this to be an orange" while ignoring the huge honking pile of orange peels on the floor. So, yeah...have fun with that.

4952839
But you can't say that the barrel of apples and oranges is just a barrel of oranges though! :twilightsheepish: Garfan and I are just (pleasantly) surprised to see you got even that much enjoyment from something provoking such a negative response.

4952846

it's basically the three 0/10 eps pulling things down. If I did the math right, removing them from the equation raises the score of the season a full point

4952787 It wouldn't surprise me if they did, or if at least "Marks for Effort" was slightly altered since Nicole Dubac wrote that episode and that was the one that established Cozy Glow. But if she were Chrysalis in disguise I don't think she'd be smart enough to hide her contempt for Starlight.

4952846
4952848
You are BOTH, I feel, completely missing the point. You're arguing statistics and semantics. This isn't about statistics and semantics. The "number ratings" I list above aren't statistics, they're an arbitrary generalization to sum up my personal, emotional reaction to the episodes.

Emotional reactions can't be quantified statistically.

Let me spell it out for both of you in terms that DO NOT include any confusing numbers or quantification WHATSOEVER:

Every year from 2013 to present, I have gotten up on Saturday morning when a new season was airing excited, eager, and looking forward to what new adventure my favorite ponies would get up to next. I would laugh along with my best friend at the show and Sunday morning I'd get up early for the rerun.

Then we got to season 8.

This year, there's been less laughter and more general aggravation and frustration. This year, I've woken up more Saturdays with less "excited for new pony" feeling and more "how bad's it gonna be this week?" feeling, because this season has not been very good. It's been so bad that when an episode has actually been good, it's been a pleasant surprise. I haven't bothered with the Sunday reruns, PERIOD.

That is what I mean when I say this is the worst season of MLP:FiM.

No fucking numbers. No fucking averages. No "if you do this, then the entire season gets a higher ranking". No. It doesn't work that way.

How it DOES work is this:

This season of MLP became less something I looked forward to each week and more something I dreaded.

4952888
I GET that this season is comparatively the worse of the series. I just don't understand how a cartoon season this overall average, this mix of quality, fills you with the level of anger and morose we're perceiving from these pretty dramatic statements. To the point that it bleeds out onto the people just asking idle questions beneath your post.

It's not just that you dislike an episode, or feel 'meh' about something, or aren't feeling excited. Now you're suddenly dreading something. I actually use to be that way to, and still can for other series. Then I remember, "If a season can suddenly turn out sour, the next one can turn out to be sweet. If not, my life isn't tied to this, and I still have everything that it gave to me that made me happy. My good feelings and lessons learn can't be retroactively taken away from me."

Wow, you were really generous with this season.

4952861

Yeah, that right there? That's why "Cozy is Chrysalis in disguise" never made sense. Also Chrysalis had her own plan anyway.

I'm pretty sure no last-minute rewrites happened.

4953053 I can think of no other explanation as to why this two parter was written by two different authors that did not collab. Nicole Dubac wrote the first part and then Josh Haber wrote the second part. Clearly, something went on behind the scenes at the writing desk, especially since Nicole Dubac and Jim Miller wrote the song for "Sounds of Silence" but not the episode. The only explanation I can think of is that Nicole was forced out and Haber didn't have time for whatever reason to go back and redo the finale.

4953054

To be fair, two-parters being written by different people isn't actually all that uncommon in animation.

It's just unusual here because it's never happened with this series before.

I think I'd have been happier if Tirek were behind everything. He'd been manipulating Cozy this entire time, corrupting her, little by little, and that "ether" she was shunting the magic into, was Tirek himself.

4953284
It would definitely have HELPED the finale make more sense, yes. Instead it's all:

"Here is how you do THING!"
"MWAHAHAHA! I DID *THING*!"
"Hahahahahaha! It is funny you did THING!"

4953293

I don't think it would solve everything, but it would be a start. Recontestualize a lot of Cozy's mannerisms and attitude.

Personally, I loved this finale. I realize there are story holes and contrivances, but it was just too entertaining. And that is mostly down to the fact that Cozy Glow is an amazing villain. She carries the episode so well. I see what you mean when you say her plan makes no sense, but I think about it like human world power. Cozy is intelligent to figure out that even when magic is gone from Equestria, she can still have power because she'll have control over hundreds to thousands of ponies. And speaking of her control, she's so freaking manipulative and cunning, and I just love it. Basically, my feelings for this episode are that it's just really entertaining. It doesn't really have a deep story or complex themes, and the plot in general isn't that strong, but I don't think that's a problem if it's entertaining enough. And I certainly found this so.

I do agree with your review for the finale, but your being WAY too generous with the scoring with the rest of that shitty season.

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