We’re back with another episode of everyone’s favorite reboot of a popular 80’s franchise! Season five has been trucking along for a while now and it’s been mostly good but still doesn’t feel like it’s reached its stride just yet. Will another appearance by the one and only John de Lancie be what this season needs to get going, or will yet another episode about Discord prove that even a character as dynamic and interesting as him can eventually be overused to the point of diminishing returns? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Discord and Fluttershy having tea and sharing dirty jokes.
The festivities come to a screeching halt however as Fluttershy casually mentions another friend of hers who she’s taking to the Grand Galloping Gala. Wait, we’re doing another Gala episode? Wait, Fluttershy made another friend!? Discord, the eternally childish demigod that he is, get super passive aggressive towards Fluttershy and leaves in a huff because he hasn’t gotten a ticket yet and assumed he would be Fluttershy’s plus one. Okay, so we get to deal with Discord being an unbearable prick once again. Super. Is there anything else they want to do with him other than make him a whiney brat? Well anyway, he starts to troll the rest of the Mane6, looking to see if they have any spare tickets to the Gala. It has some terrifying results.
Twilight isn’t around to annoy and Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack already gave their plus ones to the CMC. Pinkie Pie as well doesn’t have a spare ticket because she’s bringing Maud to the Gala. Wait, we get more Maud!?!? WOOOO!!!!! Swiftly running out of people who can charitably said to tolerate him, he starts to get even more embittered towards the world and eventually finds Fluttershy hanging out with her new friend, Tree Hugger. Wait, really?
Apparently Fluttershy’s new bestie is a super groovy flower child who talks about vibes, Chakras, and other stuff she heard from endlessly listening to Janis Joplin albums. Or should I say… Janis TROT-lin? Discord has a massive hate-on for her already but can’t even muster a negative reaction out of her, though I’m sure that the sun exploding couldn’t cause her to do more than say “bummer”. Failing to strike fear into the heart of his enemies, Discord grumbles his multi-creatured ass back to his own house which appears to be stuck in the Forbidden Zone.
While pissing and moaning in the comfort of his own home, some poor delivery pony arrives with a letter for him. Seriously, what did this poor bastard do to piss off his boss so much that he got assigned the inter-dimensional house belonging to an insane force of destruction on his mail route!?
The letter turns out to be his ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, which he STILL somehow turns around into something negative by being bitchy towards the delivery pony for bringing it to him so late. DUDE! That guy just hoof delivered you a letter in your own private dimension! I can’t even imagine how he even got INTO this place, let alone survive long enough to find your house! You should be giving him a damn MEDAL!! With Discord’s new prize in hand, he decides that he will use the Gala to try and win Fluttershy back or whatever scheme he has to fix this perceived slight against him. Step one? Find someone to go with because CLEARLY the master of chaos isn’t about to show up to a shindig stag, but who exactly does he bring? Well…
THEY FINALLY PULLED THE TRIGGER ON THE SMOOZE!?!?!? Not only that, but it seems a bit odd that they decided to go with green instead of purple. It makes him look less like The Smooze and more like the Horrible Gelatinous Blobs from Futurama. Twilight Sparkle (who’s been planning the Gala the whole time so Princess Celestia doesn’t have to work so hard tonight) is less than pleased with this development and clearly has a problem with blobs which is a bit off-putting.
Why’s she so down on The Smooze!? WHAT DID IT DO TO DESERVE THIS KIND OF TREATEMENT!? Discord ignores Twilgihts empty threats and locks in on Futtershy and Tree Hugger almost immediately. As you’d expect, he’s an obnoxious interloper who is tolerated by Fluttershy (because she’s Fluttershy) and Tree Huger (Because she’s CLEARLY blazed) for far longer than he has any right to be.
This goes on for quite a while as Discord keeps bugging these two and The Smooze keeps wandering off to the chagrin of Twilight Sparkle who’s still REALLY mean about it being her. Eventually though, The Smooze does go a bit too far and steals Rarity’s jewelry in what had to of been a very aggressive manner.
Discord finally shoves the poor monster into a broom closet that actually turns out to be filled with all sorts of treasure. HOW RICH IS THIS MONARCHY THAT IT CAN HAVE TREASURE IN BROOM CLOSETS!? Twilight? You might want to distance yourself from the kingdom before the ponies rise up and you become the next Marie Antoinette, or should I say MARE-ie Antoinette!? This is a ticking time bomb because The Smooze apparently gets bigger every time it eats treasure. I’m not sure if it’s EXCLUSIVELY treasure that makes him grow, but it seems to be the only thing he’s after. Discord though is more concerned about Fluttershy not focusing all her attention on him and gets SUPER pissed when she starts laughing at Tree Hugger’s jokes. THAT’S IT! NO MORE GAMES!! IT’S TIME TO PULL OUT THE BIG GUNS!! STAND UP COMEDY!!
While I LOVE the fact that he’s wearing Eddie Murphy’s jacket from Delirous, I can’t really buy that THIS dude has such weak material. He can’t muster a laugh out of anyone (except for Celestia when he starts throwing barbs at Twilight Sparkle) and the only time the crowd is amused is when Maud starts heckling his sorry ass. HEY! Heckling is not okay! FOR SHAME!!!
Seriously, haven’t we established that Discord is funny with the FIRST SCENE OF THIS EPISODE!? It feels really forced here to give Discord an excuse to embarrass himself yet again when he should REALLY be killing it right now! While Discord is dying on stage, an oddly dressed young pony with terrible hair is noticing something strange with the room that The Smooze was locked into. Wait, haven’t I seen this kid somewhere before?
They’re making a reference to The Shining of all movies!? So we’ve got references to 80’s Eddie Murphy, one of the greatest horror films of all time, a Jim Carrey comedy, and even a reference to Metal Gear Solid I haven’t even pointed out!? What more can they do to make this episode JUST for me!? Have the writers heard of Cutie Honey by any chance? Anyway, little Danny, like in The Shining, seems to have a knack for spotting danger and sure enough The Smooze has become enormous and bursts out of the room, covering all the ponies in its gelatinous wake. While everyone else is panicking, Tree Hugger comes up with an idea to stop The Smooze’s rampage!
Tree Hugger’s hippie chanting soothes the raging beast and The Smooze ends up receding away from the ponies on the dance floor. Naturally Discord is absolutely peeved and has had just about enough of Tree Hugger’s shit. INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION WITH HER!!
Before Discord can throw her to the puppet world, Fluttershy finally confronts him for his bad behavior and he ends up seeing reason long enough to not condemn a pony to a world of savage felt creatures. I guess the speech that Fluttershy gave here is good, but I felt she was feigning ignorance a bit. Discord’s behavior has been absolutely deplorable, but it’s been deplorable for a WHILE now. Did it REALLY have to get to the “I’m gonna banish someone to another dimension” point before you confronted him? I LIKE that she’s not giving an inch to Discord and holding her ground, but it feels a bit off considering how long she let it go before getting in his face about it. Either that, or she couldn’t even tell he was acting like an ass which isn’t a much better alternative. Oh well, everything works out in the end and Discord even gets a chance to make up with The Smooze.
Not everyone is happy though. Twilight’s in a tizzy about how bad things have gotten here at the Grand Galloping Gala and is begging the all-powerful sun Goddess for forgiveness. Luckily for her though, this is apparently EXACTLY what Celestia had planned when she invited Discord in the first place! Really? You were willing to put everyone’s life at risk for a little excitement? Well considering most of them are upper class jerks, I actually might be able to buy it. Nipping that whole “proletariat revolt” thing in the bud, am I right? And so the episode ends with Discord learning another lesson, everyone having fun at the Grand Galloping Gala, and Celestia giving us a VERY unnerving smile!
This episode was pretty decent, but I feel like there was A LOT of wasted potential here. They set up so many things to only be in the background when the focus was just on Discord and Fluttershy’s relationship. Remember how important the Gala was the last time we saw it? Sure, some of the glammor has been removed, but this doesn’t even feel remotely as big or important as it did that one time. Where are the Wonder Bolts? The endless sea of ponies? PRINCE BLUEBLOOD!? Last time we ALSO got a bigger story, with each character having their own mini arc that played out in satisfying ways. Here, they oddly enough choose to INTRODUCE such subplots but then have no follow through. The CMC barely make an appearance here, and Maude showing up for only one line seems like a serious misuse of a great character! Okay, if we take away what I thought this episode SHOULD be, does it still hold up as a good episode? For the most part, yes. It’s great to see Discord again and his antics work for the most part, but his utter desperation throughout is kind of off-putting. I also didn’t find Tree Hugger all that interesting considering that every single aspect of her was calculated to be as much of a hippie cliché as possible, and I’m not sure if the joke can run another episode without going into grating territory. Still, Discord’s antagonism to her was hilarious, and Fluttershy has a great moment at the end to show the God of Chaos who’s boss! Also, the references they decide to pull out were amazing and I never thought I’d see this show throw in a Kubrick reference that wasn’t from 2001: A Space Odyssey. A pretty good episode overall, but it feels like it’s not putting in as much effort as it should. Hopefully they’ll get into something a bit more substantive next time, but for now I’ll take the obvious jokes and clever references to stuff I like!
WAIT A MINUTE!! WHERE WAS LUNA!?!?
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