After the very enjoyable and thought provoking season premiere, it’s time to wind things down a bit and get back to some good old fashioned stories about Ponyville! Will we get another pleasant romp in the small town, or will it all just feel inconsequential compared to what we’ve seen already? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Fluttershy and Twilight getting down and dirty with a whole bunch of soap suds! HEY! Get your head out of the gutter!
Once their done polishing the pig, it’s clear that Twilight has no intention of going back to her giant Doom Fortress and instead would rather stay at Fluttershy’s for as long as possible doing menial tasks.
Fluttershy keeps dropping hints and Twilight eventually gets them so she decides to bother Pinkie Pie for a while instead so she can continue to avoid her TARDIS castle. Seriously, it’s WAY bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The next day, everyone decides to finally confront her about this and she reveals *GASP* that she’s not in love with her new giant symbolic middle finger to the idea of democracy in this small town.
At this point we’ve seen her in the new castle on several occasions and it’s probably been a decent amount of time since it appeared (considering we’ve had a movie AND an epic quests before this episode). Still, this is a decent idea so I just choose to think that this episode takes place well before Rainbow Rocks. The others decide they’re gonna help mask the utter emptiness of this cavernous castle with a few knickknacks while Spike takes Twilight for a day at the spa to unwind from all the stress. They begin a pretty forgettable song to coincide with the redecoration and it’s clear they’re going for a similar theme to the one from Suited for Success. In this case, everyone has an idea of what someone wants except they’re ideas are COMPLETELY selfish and self-serving. In Suited for Success, it was everyone taking advantage of Rarity, while in this one everyone is taking advantage of the situation to force their own tastes on their. I’m sure we all know what that’s like.
Are you kidding me? These characters haven’t been THIS tone deaf since the garden party in Sweet and Elite. Who wants to bet that Applejack doesn’t have ANY hay in her house? YOU THINK GRANNY SMITH WOULD TOLERATE THAT NONSENSE!? At least they realize rather quickly that this isn’t working out, and yet they still haven’t figured out WHY even though it’s pretty obvious. Spike gets home before Twilight and sees the monstrosity laid out before him.
Rarity convinces him to keep Twilight away while they fix this instead of… you know; admitting your mistakes and asking for her input. So the Mane 6 are back to LYING to each other like in Green Isn’t Your Color? Great. I’m glad they’re taking seasons five into BOLD NEW DIRECTIONS! Maybe it’s just me, but I figure that after four seasons, the characters would be smart enough to not fall into these basic problems over and over again. I know this is a kid’s show, but these characters have grown and changed over the course of the series in OTHER ways, so why reiterate simplistic morals you’ve already covered? The only reason it’s here is to force conflict into a situation that really doesn’t have any. Oh well, these shenanigans DO lead to the best joke in the episode! Spike tries to convince Twilight to stay at the spa longer by getting massages. For some reason, he thinks getting a deep tissue massage will keep her there longer, so he gets one from everyone’s favorite sweetheart of a pony!
Can we just get a spinoff with this guy? It’ll be like the pony version of Johnny Bravo! While Spike is getting mercilessly pulverized between Bulk Bicep’s massive pecks, the rest of the Mane 6 are bickering like an old five-way married couple and end up tossing everything out to spite each other. This isn’t rocket science! Throw in a couple bookcases, a few family photos, and a place rug here and there! Also, they’re still on ONE ROOM when there’s an ENTIRE castle to get through, so maybe you should cut your losses here and hire a professional? I’m betting there’s somepony with a Feng shui cutie mark who’d just LOVE to be hired as the Princess’s interior decorator! While the Mane 6 (sans Twilight) do everything EXCEPT make Twilight’s castle homier, Spike is still trying to distract her for as long as possible. He convinces her to take a long walk with him and they find themselves in front of the burnt remains of the Golden Oaks library.
This is actually a really great scene where we can see how the loss of the library has affected the both of them and how much has changed since then. Life is full of losses and changes, but it always keeps moving forward and you have to try and keep up. Now let’s cut back to the other characters pulling all sorts of shenanigans in ways we’ve seen a dozen times before!
Now that they’ve gone full circle (from selfish to spiteful) and are back at square one, everyone starts to freak out and lament the fact that because THEY can’t fix it, NO ONE CAN and Twilight is DOOMED to be miserable forever!! Really? Okay, let’s throw Narcissism into the mix. There’s a WHOLE world of ponies out there! I’m sure SOMEONE can be hired to fix up this place. At least at this point they’ve realized WHY they haven’t succeeded yet and finally decide to start brainstorming on a solution that MIGHT work. They eventually come up with an idea and have another montage while Spike is still trying to keep Twilight at bay. He eventually can stall her no longer and they head home to find… it’s exactly the same. No wait! They added a chandelier to one of the rooms! It’s actually a pretty great addition to her house because it’s made out of the roots of the Golden Oakes Library tree and is adorned with jewels that I THINK have a picture from past adventures in each one. That or the pictures are just for our benefit so we can see what these jewels are supposed to represent.
Twilight of course is overjoyed about this and everything seems to have worked out okay! It also turns out that each of them seemed to have gone off on their own to decorate one of the rooms (where the hell did they find time for that?) and have at least learned to be a bit more tasteful in their additions! See!? They all learned their lesson!
This episode was really disappointing considering how great the season premiere was. It feels like they dug up a script from the first season and changed “treehouse” to “castle” so that it would apply here. The fifth season has SO much potential, but it may become a detriment to the series if the creators aren’t interested in exploring the world as much as the new paradigm shift permits them to. Can the show really go back to misunderstandings and wacky situations in Ponyville when there’s a huge world out there to explore with new ideas, creatures, and adventures waiting for our heroes? Are we going to be happy if half this season doesn’t take advantage of that? Hopefully the creators became aware of this dilemma soon after writing this episode and know that they’ll have to try harder to make Ponyville and its stories as interesting as whatever the heck is out there to discover. This episode shows Twilight and Spike that they can’t go back again, and frankly it does the same for its audience as well. The show doesn’t need to grow up in the same way Adventure Time has, but it does need to embrace the changes that have happened since last season. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of episodes in Ponyville and the Cutie Mark Crusaders will get their chance to shine, but if those episodes are written with the same minimal effort (for MLP at least) that this one was written as, then we may be in for a bumpy season. Let’s hope that things get much better next week.
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8 thoughts on “Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 5 (Castle Sweet Castle)”
The really big thing about this episode is that it actually has some solid ideas at its core, but can’t stretch those ideas to 30 minutes, so it pads itself out with hijinks that the characters should really have grown out of. The thing is, if it had gone in a different direction-reinforcing the themes about memories and just having the mane six figure out how to make Twilight feel more at home in the castle-it might have been worth something. The simple fact is, the episode didn’t need Twilight’s friends to mess up. It already had a conflict in needing to solve Twilight’s discomfort.
I also felt this was an episode without much direction. I’m not really sure how to explain it, but I honestly wasn’t sure why exactly this episode exists, especially considering that it keeps wasting our time with the “hijinks”.
Besides, it feels out of place for this to be happening after we’ve seen Twilight and co. in the castle a few times. I mean, I was never too sad about the loss of the library in the first place, but I feel that this episode might have worked much better as a low-stakes two-parter. I do kinda wish Twilight had been more warm to change, but having her uncomfortable (and admittedly, realistically so) would have worked better if, again, it had been the main focus of the episode.
Just… bleh. I really hope this doesn’t set the tone for S5, because that could be really concerning, especially after the immense waste of S4. It seems a lot of these new writers are content to cut their teeth on episodes that are essentially filler, and if that continues despite the show continually raising its potential, that will be a huge problem. It’s especially disappointing after the very risky, very strange S5 premiere, which promised so much that this episode didn’t deliver on. Just a poor effort all around.
Short Version: Not exceptional, but not offensive.
I’ve never had particularly strong feelings for Golden Oak either way, which seems like an odd thing to say. As far as landmarks in MLP go, this is the one that felt like the center of the show’s universe, something akin to a home base, somewhere we could always return to. Since it was Twilight’s home, it’s also the viewer’s home. Still, I’ve never been emotionally invested in it, which is why I was partly hoping for this episode to make me care more about what a loss this has been and how it has affected Twilight. Instead, the episode would rather focus on hijinks with her friends. A better version of this episode that focuses on how Twilight feels about her loss and dealing with change could’ve probably been made out of this. I can’t say that I didn’t have a bad time with this episode. I laughed at most of the jokes even though they were rather par for the course for the characters. Still, much of Act 2 feels like padding so that the episode can make time between the girls messing up and coming to a good solution.
The song was pretty weak (I like to call it Singing What We Do: The Song).
I do like the idea of keeping a piece of the tree in the house rather than just hand-waving it out of existence.
Someone already did the math and the chandelier has a total of 95 ornaments, which is the total number of episodes so far (even the ones where Twilight doesn’t show up) plus the Equestria Girls movies. Neat.
Also, I’m pretty sure I remember Powdered Toast Man doing with his butt cheeks what Bulk Biceps did with his pecs.
I thought of Powdered Toast Man too!! Just couldn’t think of a clever joke there and doubted a lot of people would get.
That chandelier may or may not be as close to an acknowledgement of EqG in-show as we’re gonna get. I mean, I hope we get more, but at least there’s an in-universe hint that those movies happened.