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.
If you like this recap and plan on buying the show, then use the Amazon link below! I’ll get a percentage of the order it helps keep things going for me here at The Reviewers Unite! In fact, you don’t even need to buy the item listed! Just use the link, shop normally, and when you check out it will still give us that sweet, sweet, percentage! You can even bookmark the link and use it every time you shop! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?