So, 68 episodes of Brony D&D have passed and ToonKritic is officially out of the campaign. He’s been written out entirely and we can continue on with our lives enjoying an amazing story. Buuuut in case you haven’t been paying attention for the past few months or so, here’s what you missed so everyone is caught up and properly informed.
ToonKriticY2K was outed as a sexual predator and a sexual deviant. As a result of this, he no longer has a YouTube channel or Twitter handle, his Twitch is no longer active, his Patreon has been taken down, and people associated with him who knew nothing of this behavior were ostracized as, “pedophile enablers”. As a result, those people were unjustly bullied, losing subscribers and patrons for handling the situation… not as good as they’d hoped.
Then again, it was very blindsiding for a lot of the bigger names in the brony community. In particular, joshscorcher and Dr. Wolf. Unlike certain bullies on the Internet, I will not be using their actual names. If you do use their real/full names in the comments, I will remove your words and mark it as spam.
Now when we found out that Toon committed those acts, it was a struggle for a couple of reasons.
A person we considered a close friend and loyal co-worker committed heinously immoral acts. Yes, immoral and not criminal. According to the FBI, after a follow-up back in February, the agent SEGASister and I talked to said the incident, given the evidence we had was morally wrong and just overall douchey, but nothing quite warranting a criminal arrest. We still call bullshit on it. Regardless, processing reality and accepting it took awhile to set in.
There were projects we had planned down the road or still had videos with him in it and we weren’t sure of what to keep up and what to make private/delete. The Haymakers had the same discussion when we returned to wrestling podcasts a few weeks ago.
We had a large backlog of pre-recorded sessions of D&D where Toon was prominent and even front and center to the story we told for a good chunk of it. So the question came down to, how do we proceed with uploading the sessions? For that matter, SHOULD we proceed with uploading the sessions?
In fact, this is the exact same approach Marzgurl currently has made in regards to, “Farewell, FamiKamen Rider,” and the JewWario situation. Even though this is regarding a past video, she is leaving the movie up, for now, but putting a disclaimer in the description. So the D&D group started to expedite the process and, metaphorically, rip off the bandage; posting all of the sessions at a faster pace, just to get it over with. Even so, all monetizing on the newer videos would go directly to NetSmartz. A website promoting child safety on the Internet.
However, as expected, not everyone was satisfied. The most prominent of the bunch being the loud, obnoxious minority of Lily Orchard and her uneducated sheeple in Orchard Park. The main reason? Giving a known sexual deviant a platform… wait, what?
Okay. What I think they were trying to say is by still posting the larger sessions, Doc and Josh were “normalizing” the acts of a sexual predator. There are several things wrong with this argument.
Saying that uploading Brony D&D normalizes the acts of a sexual predator is the same as saying that keeping House of Cards or The Loud House on air is normalizing the acts of Kevin Spacey and Chris Savino respectively, along with the long list of other sexual predators in the entertainment industry. If you’re going to demand the videos be taken down, go right ahead and demand your local radio station to stop playing anything that Phil Spector produced, because, by this logic, his actions are being normalized every time we sing along to “Let it Be.” And Phil Spector killed someone!
Before we posted the new sessions, every single person involved with the videos condemned the actions he engaged in. Since then, we have dissociated with him and whichever videos we had him in prior and kept up, was our choice.
Long before the news broke out, he disengaged himself from social media. So there would be no known platform to promote. The only thing people could, maybe, fault us for was leaving his name in the player credits. But that’s just stating the obvious. He was a player who was part of the campaign. It’s history that can’t be erased as much as we try. You own up to it and try to make things right.
Did no one read the disclaimer at the beginning of the new videos? Or watch the Brony D&D update video on how we’d tackle the newer sessions? We stated our plans explicitly. These were Doc’s own words:
“I don’t want to mince words here, what Toon did was awful and I am fully aware that uploading these could cause distress to many people. But with the warnings, I feel like everyone can make a choice for themselves if they do or do not want to consume the content that I am about to put out.”
There is the key word here, choice. We knew not everyone would be satisfied with the decision but we gave the option of what to do. Even so, we must assume everyone is watching and must be informed accordingly. See FCC vs Pacifica Foundation (1978) for something of a similar nature. Instead, those who downvoted videos on purpose were only told to because Lily instructed them too. That doesn’t sound like a choice. That sounds like Lily was enabling her followers, what Orchard Park claims WE are doing.
Lily and her faction, since late January, have harassed all of the members of the Brony D&D group and close, former friends of ToonKritic in the name of social justice for all of the victims of his; even though plenty of them have asked them not to, prefering to speak for themselves. However, the only victim Lily seems to focus on was the most vocal with Patchwork Heart. Lily claims there are other anonymous victims in her Discord server, but unless there’s actual proof, the only ones we believe are the ones who came to us or provided evidence of victimization. Those being SEGASister, Mimkage, Harmony Dancer, Eliyora, Cavatina, and the 15 year old who blew the whistle in the first place.
Lily’s following doesn’t seem to care, so they try to speak for the victims when they don’t need speaking for, and even speaking over the victims because it’s more convenient. Instead, she continues to show that her hate boner for Josh is still fully erect and has not gone down since 2016. If anything, the entire reason for attacking the group is just more of Lily’s vendetta against Josh not just for firing her over an idea about Spike's relationship to Twilight, but also daring to end an abusive friendship.
Lily Orchard is a bully who loves the sound of her own voice. The only viewpoint she thinks is right is hers and when someone tries to debunk a point, it gets sent to the trash bin. Or an entire video is made to debunk one person’s comment on how wrong they are. And whenever she is proven wrong, she runs to her echo chamber to make herself feel good. In fact there’s one quote of Lily’s that sums up how she approached the D&D situation.
“That’s a relatively sensible way of thinking, and I’d honestly appreciate it if people stopped pretending that I’m some kind of saint because I did the bare-fucking-minimum.”
Well, we can agree on that sentence. You DID do the, “bare-fucking-minimum,” and you most certainly are not a saint. Forgive me if I start to sound a little pious, but you could say WE, the former friends of ToonKritic, went above and beyond the bare minimum. We talked with the victims of ToonKritic compared to your… one. We confronted Toon on his immoral actions while you… complained on the internet like every other person who has access to wifi.
We informed the FBI, local law enforcement and several pony convention heads on these acts while you did… NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Wait, no, LESS than nothing, because instead of informing the proper authorities, you harassed and heckled completely innocent people for daring to, “associate,” with a deviant, or even speaking out against you, saying that they don’t need you speaking for them! Your new little crony, Xain Russell, even suggests Josh should GO AROUND FBI and police and weed out the problems ourselves in the Brony community ignoring that you are also part of that problem. Vigilantism is a crime in most places.
And need I mention that you, Lily, knew about what he did to Patchwork for almost a year and yet did nothing about it until you could profit off of it? Speaking of profit, last I checked, Glass of Water: Blame and Groom as well as its addendum are still monetized. You are, indeed, profiting off of drama. Yet, you receive no scorn and Mad Munchkin gets hounded because her video accidentally makes money on it. Where’s the dialectical in that?
“But wait,” you say. “How do you know that Lily’s not using the money she’s made off of those videos to help the victims?” Well, if she is, that’s great, if it weren’t for the fact that Lily condemned Dr. Wolf of doing the same thing with the Brony D&D videos. “Never use charity as a shield,” she says. Well, if Dr. Wolf can’t use NetSmartz as a, “shield”, then you can’t use Toon’s victims as a shield either. But, when it comes to certain girls that Toon victimized, she’s more than willing to insult, belittle, and silence them! Sure, ignore the survivors who don’t want you putting words in their mouths. Go ahead and say that actually asking them what they think of the situation isn’t a priority.
If that is not true villainy, I don’t know what is.
So, what ended up happening as a result of all of the torment? On April 24, 2018, joshscorcher, through advice from legal counsel, sent a Cease and Desist letter to Lily for all of the harassment she did since 2016. It detailed the D&D harassment with visual evidence, defamatory statements about military and religious standing, and the death threats. Being the levelheaded and rational thinking individual she is, before the 10 day window to comply to the C&D closed on May 4, 2018, Lily agreed to comply and stop the torment…
… I’m just kidding. Not even twelve hours after Josh sent the C&D, she went on a tumblr tirade and made a video on it. I mean… this is a brand of stupidity I’ve only seen on rare occasions. This action of the leader of Orchard Park is on par of typical WTFIWWY news stories where criminals getting away with crimes, taunt cops and judges by posting damning evidence on Facebook.
Clearly she didn’t seek an attorney once she received the letter, because any defense lawyer will tell you:
“Do not write up 10 pages of your version of events with detailed explanations of why the other person is a jerkface.”
The tirade proves Lily is not taking the C&D seriously and is openly mocking the legitimate complaints Josh has against her. So to quote the EXACT SAME ARTICLE:
“This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the letter seriously, because you should, but you don’t need to completely flip out. Suing someone is ridiculously expensive these days and most sane people try to avoid it.”
Another law article had a similar reaction to when someone does receive a C&D:
“Don’t freak out- and most importantly, don’t launch an attack straight away (especially on social media). Yes, your natural reaction will be to defend yourself but remember – think before you act. Anything you say online may be used against you if a lawsuit does surface in the future.”
The greatest villain of the brony community, everyone! Has the mental capacity of a teenager who just had their phone privileges removed for a month. That bratty behavior landed her in SO MUCH hot water, because Josh now has the legal right to file a restraining order on her. Josh can also, according to the C&D, seek monetary damage against her. All because Lily was tempted to respond and
complain criticize on social media, thus incriminating herself.
Lily, as a fellow YouTuber, I say all you need to do is admit you’re wrong… and that’s okay.
The Crystalling (Written by Josh Haber)
Overall solid follow-up to the Season 5 finale. The episode makes Starlight likable, all three male characters in the episode are well written, and the episode balances both plots well. Fluttershy probably could've been written out of the story and the episode had its fair share of "because the plot says so" moments, but I enjoyed this episode thoroughly. (3 1/2 Stars)
The Gift of the Maud Pie (Written by Will and Michael Fox)
THEY DID IT! THEY BROKE THE MEDIOCRE MANEHATTAN STREAK! And all it took was Best and Second Best Pony to pair up for an episode along with second best Secondary Character. (First is Gilda XP) A very good lesson about the act of gift giving not being a contest. The new facial expressions from Pinkie Pie are showing the staff is improving their animation prowess. The only gripe I have is Pinkie should have known better when it came to the swindler pony. (3 1/2 Stars)
On Your Marks (Written by Josh Haber and Dave Polsky)
Holy Hell. I didn't think there could be a worse Cutie Mark Crusader centered episode than One Bad Apple. This episode feels like there's too many plot lines going on throughout the episode. At first it tries to be a Cutie Mark Crusader episode addressing "What next?" now that they have their cutie marks. Then it drops that plotline to focus on Applebloom sulking about not doing things together, and then it shoehorns in a third story with a tap dancing pony with stage fright. Not only that but it was boring to watch. (1 Star)
Gauntlet of Fire (Written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco)
Spike is best character, Ember is best tsundere, and Garble is punished throughout. I love this episode. Well...the first act has its problems. In particular, reminding me of the problems in Dragon Quest as well as some of the dialogue setting up predictable conclusions. But as soon as the competition started everything turned out for the better. (3 Stars)
No Second Prances (Written by Nick Confalone)
I don't care what anyone says, I still really hate this episode. Twilight goes back on her word about not dwelling on the past, Trixie hasn't developed since her redemption in Magic Duel, and Starlight, the only likable character in the episode, is a plot device in her own story. I don't think it's worse than On Your Marks since I know what's going on plus I laughed more times than in the CMC episode. I just wish it didn't spit on my favorite episode of the show. (2 Stars)
Newbie Dash (Written by Dave Rapp)
Oh boy. This can of worms no one wants to talk about. Okay let's talk about it. I thought the episode was fine. Rainbow Dash's descent was natural because she was doing it to herself instead of someone else making her look bad *cough* Mare-Do-Well *cough*. The lesson was always about putting your pride and ego aside for the betterment of the team. Sure, it did get cringey in the second act, blame Rarity, but the message was clear and I did enjoy myself. AND I'M NOT EVEN FROM A MILITARY BACKGROUND! (2 1/2 Stars)
A Hearth's Warming Tail (Written by Mike Vogel)
The first 4 Star episode of the season. Great songs, great story, and overall heartwarming feel to the episode. This adds to the lore of Hearth's Warming by talking of the stories inspired by the "legend" while the previous Hearth's Warming episode explored its traditions. This episode left me with a warm satisfying feeling after my first watching and I hope we get more episodes like this.
The Saddle Row Review (Written by Nick Confalone)
Okay. One good story from Confalone. Definitely a fresh face when it comes to storytelling in My Little Pony. The inter-cut, interview style that is well known in sitcoms today, such as The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, was a welcome change of pace that was brought on by a gut-bustingly hilarious script. Also, Plaid Stripes will haunt my nightmares for all eternity. (4 Stars)
Applejack's "Day" Off (Written by Neal Dusedau, Will and Michael Fox)
Great lesson. Bad pacing. I think the episode should've taken its lesson to heart and cut out the filler. All I was thinking about during the pipe following was:
(End at 18:26)
Boring beyond belief, yet didn't piss me off. (1 1/2 Stars)
Flutter Brutter (Written by Dave Rapp)
Zero seconds. It took zero seconds for me to hate Zephyr Breeze. I wanted this episode to hit me in the gut emotionally. This was going to be the episode that showed me the error of my ways and not being afraid of failure. It had the set-up and had Fluttershy showing character growth. The problem is Zephyr Breeze is unsympathetic. When I should feel pity for him, I feel disdain. When he fails horribly with Rainbow Dash, I'm ecstatic that he's given what for from the new Wonderbolt. The biggest sin, however, the story TELLS us he's brilliant but it doesn't SHOW us he's brilliant. What should have been this season's Amending Fences turned out disappointing. (2 1/2 Stars)
Spice Up Your Life (Written by Mike Vogel)
I'm glad this episode exists. Because now I can recommend this over the terrible comic that talked about criticism. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Rarity's an idiot for the second act and they got the map back up and running too easily. There. Now the good stuff. Pinkie was best character, Zesty Gourmand is the perfect straw man character to follow the moral of not shoving opinions down everyone's throat, said moral is great, interesting pony diversity with Coriander and Saffron, and "It's Gonna Work" is the catchiest song of the season so far. (3 Stars)
My Little Pony returns July 30th and I can't wait to see this season improve. I'm the Voice Of Reason, and I'll see you next time.
Best Episode So Far: A Hearth's Warming Tail
Most Surprising: The Saddle Row Review
Most Disappointing: Flutter Brutter
Worst Episode So Far: On Your Marks
Hello every pony and welcome to the first ever TEXT version of My Little Pony: What Works? Now some of you may be mad at me for calling Luna the “O” word during my collaboration with Silver Quill. But some I fear may think I didn't explain myself enough. That's fair. A lot of material was cut from the review, including some explanation to why Luna was the worst part of her episodes. So with Silver’s permission I'll use his reasoning to why Luna is lovable to most to why she's loath-able to me. Now Silver and I want reassure that there’s no bad blood between us. This is just more of an expression of ideas. With that said, let’s take a look at Loath-able Luna.
Let’s start with her sentence of:
1000 YEARS ON THE MOON
I think I went in detail enough with this about feeling sorry for Luna, but to recap, Luna came across as a spoiled brat who wanted attention and acknowledgement for her duties of raising the moon and watching over the night. And while I have had moments of jealousy where work went unappreciated I never went to the lengths that Luna did.
But that’s not the only thing that stunk about her banishment for a millennium. Then she returned as Nightmare Moon.
Oh how I wish that was the Nightmare Moon we got. Instead we got Season 1 Nightmare Moon, the worst villain of the show. Yes, I think Starlight is a better villain than her and Sunset doesn’t count since she’s from the movies. COME AT ME! My problem with her as a villain was I never took her seriously as a threat. The best thing you could say about her evil extent was she made it dark for a few more hours and her first challenge was trying to ax off the main characters. The worst you could say about her was she was completely inept, making the challenges for the Mane 6 to go through easier and easier as the girls got farther into the journey. And yes. I will still defend that a flight of stairs was a bigger challenge than someone’s mustache being swiped. Even if we go into her struggle with Celestia in the Season 4 Premiere, despite being really cool it lasted all of, what, 2? 3 minutes before she was Kaioken-ed to the moon?
Even after all of that she was instantly reformed, said she was sorry and everyone loved her. Well, we’ll talk about that last.
But speaking of Celestia, let’s talk about my next problem; being a part of the dynamic of the:
TWO ROYAL SISTERS
I really don’t want to break the bad news here, but the yin and yang of the sisters doesn’t work all of the time. There’s the obvious parts of the yin and yang that do work; day and night, tall and short, hands on teaching vs hands off teaching are good examples. But there’s one big element of the yin and yang that comes to my attention. Aspiring vs Relatable.
Celestia, you can easily make a case for a character someone looks up to. She’s a powerful leader, she’s kind, she’s motherly, approachable, understanding, willing to take risks to ensure her subjects are safe. All of those are aspiring traits I can believe if someone looks up to her.
Luna’s relatability feels too narrow. The social outcast trying to fit into society again is more sympathetic rather than empathetic. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want to understand what a character’s going through despite not going through that arc yourself. Except,
- a sense of empathy would go longer in terms of trying to relate to a character. And;
- once you find out the real reasoning behind her behavior you would slowly back away from that character and that sense of sympathy is gone.
I hate to be that guy, but I can’t relate to someone who decides to hide the family car keys preventing a parent or sibling from getting to their job just so they can get a car of their own. Or whatever you want to call her character assassination in Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
Well maybe I can find solace in the fact that she was a mentor to the:
THREE CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS
This is an area that should work in Luna’s favor. While Celestia bestowed her teachings to Sunset and Twilight in the areas of magic and sent Twilight off to to become the element of magic, Luna puts her wisdom to use with the CMC. Now that makes sense. The girls were still young and Luna could apply some of her life lessons on the younger minds...and then she starts talking.
Yeah, Luna spouting advice is not her strong suit. I have to concur with Commander Firebrand on this one. Luna bestowing wisdom just sounds unnatural. It almost sounds monotone when she’s giving the fortune cookie fortune of the day, especially in the final episode of the dream trilogy. This feels like it should be a Celestia thing to do rather than Luna.
In terms of the bestowing of wisdom, it only worked once. I think the best dream interaction was with Sweetie Belle since it was a situation Luna relates to almost perfectly. The rest of the time, she just happens to show up out of nowhere in Scootaloo’s dream stopping the plot for exposition and shows up in the last ⅓ of the Apple Bloom episode with me not caring because of how predictable it got by the end of the story. With the latter two scenarios, you could put Celestia in Luna’s role and nothing would change bestowing the “Face your fears” and “Accepting who you are" morals.
You can probably tell now why Luna is my least favorite of the:
However, it’s not the just the bratty backstory or the fact she sucked as villain or she can’t talk without sounding like she’s in a Christopher Nolan film where EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT CAN BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. My biggest problem is she hasn’t shown any growth as a character. Luna is stuck dwelling in the past and hadn’t left that mindset until her latest episode.
All of the other princesses showed signs that they were moving forward or preparing for the future. Celestia had one instance of dwelling on the past in the Season 4 Premiere but
- it was brief and;
- she moved on to bigger things.
Twilight had this guilt with Moondancer in Amending Fences, but as the title suggests, she and Moondancer made amends and got through it to achieve things that are greater. Heck, Moondancer attended Twilight’s seminar in The Cutie Re-Mark to prove it.
Cadence...actually come to think of it, she’s NEVER dwelled on the past. She’s always focusing on the present and what’s to come especially now that she’s a mother. I think she may have jumped up a few points on the best princess scale.
Has pent up jealousy and spite for 1000 years wanting revenge on her sister for something she did IN THE PAST;
Felt outcast from society when everypony is scared of her because of something she did IN THE PAST;
Created a creature to harm herself to prevent her from forgetting about something she did IN THE FUCKING PAST!!!
Starting to see a pattern here? I don’t find constantly harping on past actions and mistakes as likable traits for a character. It doesn’t show me that she’s gone through an arc. Instead, it feels like she’s repeating the same story and not learning from it. She, in turn, becomes the poster-child for “Those who don’t learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
Now, I hear you say, what about Gilda? She’s a character that, as I said, tries to reminisce the past and I like her for it. Here’s the thing about that. That’s what made her a great antagonist. She reminisces the good times Dash and her had because Dash was the only friend she had and it made her feel good. Not accepting that Dash had moved on afterwards was great insight for her behavior in Griffon the Brush Off which led to her big redemption in The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone.
It also helps that she didn’t have:
FIVE FUCKING EPISODES WHERE SHE HAD A PROMINENT ROLE!!!
Might as well start with the episode everyone thinks is better than Lesson Zero. Like I said earlier, Luna was instantly forgiven for her wrongdoings as Nightmare Moon by pretty much everyone. Not the way, I would have done it. Maybe have just Celestia forgive her for now, but that’s small potatoes. SHE’S A GOOD GUY NOW...and then everyone forgets on Nightmare Night that she was reformed and they go back to being afraid of her. Also no one telling Luna that this isn’t medieval times and the royal “we” is outdated. I know, 1000 years and a lot to catch up on during that time. I’m just saying I would have prefered consistency between episodes concerning the townsfolk. So Luna was not the biggest problem with episode. She was fine, for the most part.
Then we have the CMC dream trilogy. She was the worst part here. As I said earlier, in Sleepless in Ponyville she had to stop the plot for exposition as to why she appeared out of nowhere in Scootaloo’s dream. In For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils, she left me confused as to what her powers’ extent was. It was cleared up in Bloom and Gloom, but I didn’t care because there was no surprise to Luna getting involved by the end of it.
And then there’s Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? The argument I constantly hear for people defending Luna’s actions is the episode is more about guilt rather than depression. And I would be inclined to agree...if not for two lines.
“My dream ended happily? That cannot happen!”
“I created the tantibus...to punish myself for the things I did as Nightmare Moon.”
Let me ask you, for those who defend these lines, if these were taken out entirely, would the episode improve, worsen, or would nothing change?
Now I think you can all understand why I don’t like Luna in the show and why I find her overrated. Now the COMICS on the other hand, she is one of the best characters IDW utilizes.
Where do I start with Luna in the comics? Well let’s start with her personality. Remember that yin and yang analogy? It’s clearly more visible here than in the show. She’s a little more over the top in her actions while Celestia shows more reservation. She’s more hot-tempered in normal situations while Celestia is more cool, calm and collected. All of this and more is can be found in Luna’s Micro-Series issue.
Now remember my review of Friends Forever #7? That’s actually how I wanted Luna Eclipsed to be executed. Luna still technically had her doubts about winning over the citizens again despite reformation, aka keeping continuity consistent with townsfolk, but she needs someone to show her how to lighten up and not take things too seriously. That of course being best pony, Pinkie Pie.
And finally, I don’t need to reiterate this, the Luna portion of the Nightmare Rarity arc portrayed Luna’s conflict 1000x better than what the show gave us from the visibility of the conflict to the ending pep talk. It’s kind of intriguing and sort of sad to see that Luna is given more respect in the comics than she does in the show.
Now hopefully this'll give more insight to my thoughts on Luna and why I couldn't fit ALL OF THIS into a 24 minute collaboration with another reviewer.
I'm the VoiceOfReason and I'll see you next time.
Recently, the fans voted on Equestria Daily their personal favorites of Season Five as well as Derpy Hooves News providing their end thoughts on the season. Seeing this, I decided to give my brief thoughts on Season 5.
Now for those who follow me on YouTube, don't worry. I will continue to review each of the episodes either solo or collaborating with someone else. This is just me giving my quick thoughts on each of the episodes and how I would rank them. I will be working from the bottom up so let's start with my least favorite of Season 5...
24. Scare Master (written by Natasha Levinger)
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE THIS EPISODE! Fluttershy's character hit the reset button, the humor was Rainbow Falls levels of pathetic, while the third act was REALLY DAMN GOOD with the haunted maze, it doesn't make up for the painful first two thirds, and the moral is VERY situational. I feel if this episode's moral would apply in the real world, friendships would fade faster and you would miss out on a good time. I'll explore this more when I get to number 18 on this list.
23. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? (written by Scott Sonneborn)
If you want to have an episode about not beating yourself up, fine. If you want to make an episode that’s a metaphor for dealing with depression, go for it. You have free reign. The only thing I ask is DON’T HALF-ASS IT WHEN IT COMES TO THE MORAL! Rainbow Dash in this episode saying “Stop feeling bad” doesn’t cut it. Depression is a very touchy subject and needs to be tackled delicately. It’s not something that can be hand waved so easily. Depression isn’t something that just goes away. It is a mental illness that requires additional help other than just saying “get over it.” This episode fails as an allegory for depression. Oh, and it confirms, to me at least, that Luna is an overrated character.
22. Appleoosa's Most Wanted (written by Dave Polsky)
The best way to describe this episode is been there, done that. The plot and character interactions in this episode are standard, the adults are useless trope, for some reason, keeps popping up, and yet it delivers a surprisingly adult message about misinterpreting your calling in life. Like Number 21 on my list, I put it in the meh category.
21. Made in Manehattan (written by Noelle Benvenuti)
If Boast Busters is the perfect bad episode, then Made in Manehattan is the perfect average episode. The overall tone of the episode is underwhelming from start to finish. While there's nothing inherently wrong with with the episode, sans the pacing and execution of the moral, the feeling I'm left with is just...meh.
20. Party Pooped (written by Nick Confalone)
Looking back I may have been a little harsh on this episode. I really do like the episode. Best pony gets to shine, the comedy is fantastic, and it had a great moral. Just wish the story didn't drag with the yaks, despite how funny they were.
19. Hearthbreakers (written by Nick Confalone)
Between this episode and Hearth's Warming Eve, I think I like the latter Christmas episode a little more. But in terms of families merging to celebrate a common holiday, it hit the nail on the head...minus a few "because the plot says so" moments.
18. What About Discord? (written by Neal Dusedau)
It may not be the funniest episode of the show. It may drag the "you had to have been there" gag a little too much. But after Scare Master aired, What About Discord? was NECESSARY! The moral of the episode is a top ten moral of the show. While it's okay to be introvert, there are dangerous consequences if you choose to exclude yourself and the world might pass you by. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
17. The Hooffields and the McColts (written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco)
I think a lot of conflicts between warring parties should take a look at this episode. It doesn't matter if you try to prove yourself right if both parties are in the wrong. Especially if you're harming an innocent third party.
16. Castle Sweet Castle (written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco)
Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco demonstrated they have the potential to be the new fan favorite writers and Castle Sweet Castle was the first step. They have the comedic chops to prove it by actually making Bulk Biceps funny and the final scene with the chandelier shows they can bring on the feels when needed. Song writing...needs work but they're on their way. Butch Hartman taught them well.
15. Canterlot Boutique (written by Amy Keating Rogers)
I think I love the concept of this episode more than the episode itself, which not to knock on an already good episode. I loved the show taking a different spin on the Quality vs Quantity argument. I also admire the episode for, as Lily Peet put it, putting into perspective not continuing to do a job if it makes you feel miserable.
14. Bloom and Gloom (written by Josh Haber)
The middle episode in the CMC dream trilogy. Great dream visuals, great moral that plays into the CMC's arc for the season. I think the only bad thing in this episode, borderline nitpicking, is I could see where the episode was going to end up. Especially with Luna getting involved by the end of it.
13. The Mane Attraction (written by Amy Keating Rogers)
I'm probably the first person to say this was a very good episode, but I just don't think it's a Top 5 episode like everyone is making it out to be. It has a good story with some cliches that are overdone, such as the misunderstanding between friends and the douchebag manager that's only in it for himself. Also I wasn't a big fan Coloratura's ballad. That being said, Ra-Ra is a great character, The Spectacle is a fantastically produced pop song and the episode demonstrates Applejack's best trait in bringing out a pony's true self.
12. The Cutie Re-Mark (written by Josh Haber)
I think I was spoiled by Twilight's Kingdom and A Canterlot Wedding when it comes to talking about The Cutie Re-Mark. 75% of me really loves the episode, great action bits, great story progression, Twilight brings out one of her best performances, and the final 10 minutes combines every single moral learned in the Cutie Map arc into a nice package. The other 25% is complaining about the time-travel issues, Starlight Glimmer being more petty and spiteful than Maleficent, and the fact she was forgiven almost instantly for causing several time-altering paradoxes just so Twilight and her friends don't get together. So, 3/4 is still passing. Good job, Mr. Haber. Hope you continue to improve over Season 6.
11. Slice of Life (written by M.A. Larson)
This episode was tons of fun and I had a blast watching it. Yes it's silly, but it's a good kind of silly. I wouldn't mind having another episode like this come episode 150.
10. Make New Friends But Keep Discord (written by Natasha Levinger)
It's a Discord/Fluttershy episode. I knew hilarity would ensue but not to the degree the episode gave us. References up the wazoo. Fluttershy shows she has deadpan reactions that could rival Maud Pie. Speaking of Maud, let's not forget to mention the sick burn she gave Discord. Finally, I completely identify with the moral presented as I mentioned in the review.
9. The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows (written by G.M. Berrow)
This was the funniest episode of the season and it didn't even have a moral. This may put a damper on my review system but if the episode kept me entertained for 22 minutes without a moral, I'd say it did its job.
8. Princess Spike (written by Neal Dusedau)
I stand by my decision here. Princess Spike is an underrated episode. This episode belongs with Inspiration Manifestation and Equestria Games as the better Spike episodes in the show. At no point in the episode did I stop and think, "I can't see that happening." Neal Dusedau got an undeserved bad rap this season and like Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco, he has the most potential become a fan favorite writer.
7. Rarity Investigates (written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco)
Smartest episode of the show. When Rarity tells Rainbow Dash to look at the drapes, she's telling the audience to look at the drapes. It was a clue to the mystery. Best mystery episode period.
6. Brotherhooves Social (written by Dave Polsky)
This episode makes me want to hug my sister. The fact that Big Mac would leap hurdles to make his baby sister happy is inspirational and...jeez I'm getting teary-eyed just typing my brief thoughts for this funny and heartfelt episode.
5. Tanks for the Memories (written by Cindy Morrow)
This episode could have been a complete disaster if Rainbow Dash would be portrayed unsympathetically. Thankfully, in Cindy Morrow's hands, that didn't happen. Rainbow's journey through the metaphorical 5 Stages of Grief went exceptionally well. Not only that but it produced my favorite song of the season with I'll Fly. I love it. I love it. I LOVE IT!
4. The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone (written by Amy Keating Rogers)
Yes. Most of this purely on my Gilda bias, but could you blame me? It's still a damn good episode. Every character gets to shine through. The initiative moral is great. Looking at reviews it appears people are turning a new leaf on Gilda. FOOLS! I was a Gilda fan before it was cool.
3. Amending Fences (written by M.A. Larson)
This was the second episode that brought me to tears. The first being Ponyville Confidential. To quote Foal Papers, "If Slice of Life was a love letter to the fans, Amending Fences was a love letter to Lauren Faust, the show, and how this all began."
2. The Cutie Map (written by Scott Sonneborn and M.A. Larson)
What a way to kick off the season. Brand new villain, different playing field for the Mane 6 to work on, and by far the creepiest set of episodes that are sure to give kids more nightmares than Twilight Psycho did in Lesson Zero. And while the finale has its problems, this episode sure got me psyched to see the conclusion of the story arc.
1. Crusaders of the Lost Mark (written by Amy Keating Rogers)
Didn't I say back in my Top 10 Worst Episodes list that the CMC would get their cutie marks in Season 5? Holy cow! I was not expecting to be right. Beautiful songs, great story finality for the CMC, with a new door opening, and it made me LIKE Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Amy Keating Rogers, you rocked this season. I wish you the best of luck at the House of Mouse.
And those are my thoughts on Season 5 overall. I thought Season 5 was a very good season. I'd probably rank it second to Season 4 in terms of the Good/Bad ratio. Post a comment below and tell me how you'd rank the episodes this season.