Chez Twilight, and the mail’s here — YES! Princess Cadence is coming to visit. Twi gets to spend some quality time with her sister-in-law.
And Fluttershy comes in with an invitation to observe the Breezies, rare and magical Equestrian creatures. And in comes Pinkie with another exciting flyer about used patio furniture.
Can this day get any better? I think Pinks is completely shitting them about her …patio furniture.
The ponies see Fluttershy off on her expedition to observe the Breezies at the station, with Pinkie chasing after her and then getting distracted by – LOOK! Shiny!
With Cadence’s visit, Twilight is determined to stop the inevitabilities of the genre getting in the way of their quality time together. She plans to take her to the Starswirl the Bearded museum. Which the ponies have their specific reservations about that particular choice. But Twilight seems not to be bothered about those reservations.
So far, so innocuous. Enter Cadance, to whom Twilight bows as if she’s not elected royalty any more. As sisters-in-law, standing on ceremony is rather deprecated now.
As the ponies leave the station, they hear a familiar voice. Discord. In cerulean blue. And he’s protesting that he’s reformed.
He’s also sick, sneezing and fainting, and Pinkie gets him a pile of suitcases to recline against. DC has come to ask the ponies – as sceptical as ever – for help. From his special friend, Fluttershy, who did tell him about her trip to the Breezies.
I like Discord episodes myself. They are perilous enough as they are, but they don’t go over-the-top.
Discord meanwhile demands his new friends help him, selecting AJ and Rarity to be his personal nursemaids and distracting Pinks from her attempt to assist. Keeping him away from Twilight and Cadance is their plan, but of course Discord is curious as to why they consider themselves friends but were never that close during the years prior to Cadance’s marriage. Meanwhile, DC’s flu is highly contagious.
We’re about half-way in and we’re still setting up. I get the feeling this is an Overly Long Gag episode. No problem with that.
Oh dear. Both ponies have contracted his sickness. Who shall Discord turn to? And that glint in his eyes suggests he’s being a little disingenuous.
Twilight is cosplaying at the SSTB museum, and they have a friend drop in on them. With Blue Flu. He accidentally sneezes on them; they put up a magical shield up to prevent his sneezes infecting them. And he begs hospitality from them. Isn’t that what friends do for friends? What would Fluttershy do? And so on. Unless of course – you’re not his friend at all.
Ah. So this is a ‘friends help each other out despite everything’ episode. OK. No problem with that; I actually quite like it when the ponies take pity on someone who has been annoying: it’s about acceptance of people who aren’t always the easiest to live with, but can turn out to be worth the effort expended on them. Better than last week’s debacle. Discord slithers back off to the library and settles in.
Cadance decides that they should be able to help him and get back to the exhibit.
Cue song. This is a fun one, which is rather reminiscent of some of the old Disney movie songs, particularly those from films such as The Sword in the Stone. Cadance is more interested in Discord’s welfare, and Twilight
Discord explains how to cure the blue flu – a magical flower picked at sunset. Discord is too sick to go there. But of course Twily and Caddy are able to go there – pulling Discord in a chariot. Neither princess is really a natural flier, which I think is a nice touch in pony mythos.
They get the top – but there’s no flower. Or it’s rather… large.
They say ‘we can have some time together’, but I suspect they are having time together, helping other people.
Unfortunately picking the flower releases a vast, malevolent worm, putting the ponies in danger. This does seem a little rushed and arbitrary, as if they have run out of ways to put together a convincing plot rather than just stringing random elements right out of an avant-garde anime together in the hope that something sticks. Given we’re now 17 min in, there’s a question mark here now as to what his game is.
Discord was faking. He had a reason. Discord wondered whether Twilight was too big for her boots and so he tried to figure out whether she was truly his friend. Twilight is frustrated, but then this is the same actor who played Q, so we’ve come to expect that Discord is the one who has license to play such tricks on her.
Two pissed off ponies. One slightly sceptical blogger.
Cadance explains that she enjoyed the excitement of the challenges alongside Twilight. She got to spend time with her anyway; she might have had a more relaxing time at the museum, but the challenge of getting the flower and dealing with the worm was far more exciting. And in the end, the worm sneezes over DC and gives him the real flu.
I dunno. This one feels nice and cute, but I think it could have been plotted a bit better. It’s not as bad as last week’s. I’m going to give it 7/10, because it’s not bad, but those three marks came off for the ‘could care a bit more about where this was going’ and ‘took too long to set up, with the result that the expedition and conclusion felt rushed’. A better way to do it would have been to set up the sequence at the library earlier and have the quest for the flower feel a bit more substantial. But given that last week’s plot was rather cringeworthy (I see what its adherents like about it, but it still hit me at a bad time), I think this one does deserve a higher mark simply for approaching an interesting moral – spending time with your friends can take many forms and even a chaotic and unpredictable day can be rewarding.
Then Twilight spoils things by refusing Discord a glass of water.
Next week – Weird Al comes to town!