Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 3-4)
Summary: A narcissistic pig named Porcina has ponynapped Heartthrob, Gusty and Lickety-Split with the intent of shaving them and fashioning their hair into a magic cloak so she can turn everything into glass, so she can look at herself all the time. Because apparently you can’t buy mirrors in Ponyland. And the word “mirror” is synonymous with “glass”. The ponies have had makeovers that make the bright red Mimic custom project look like a good idea, and Porcina intends to turn all of Ponyland into glass.
I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.
I’ve just realised that the intro is 33 seconds long. Ordinarily that would bug me. As a recapper, I am grateful for those 33 seconds of non-recapping. [bat: Agreed.]
We open with three ponies pulling the face we all pull right before we sneeze. But they’re not sneezing. Also, their terrible makeovers have gone. Did I miss something? I might have missed something, I was texting.
They are shorn, and it’s hardly the “shave Aslan” scene from Narnia. Especially because the ponies immediately grow their hair back. I guess this explains why I have so many bald ponies in my bait bag waiting for me to re-hair them. (I didn’t do it, I rarely cut pony hair as a child. All my Barbies though, they got buzz cuts.) [bat: Yes, this episode inspired a LOT of children to cut manes/tails because they saw them magically regrow. So much for teaching kids the difference between fantasy and reality. I only cut one of my Pony’s mane but it had zero to do with this episode. Sorry, Bubbles. I’m still sorry.] [Dove: I did it to Hopscotch, but only because her forelock would only stand straight up, even restyling with water didn’t help.]
One of the Raptorians comments that they’ll probably never let the ponies go now.
Once they leave, Heartthrob – whose name I mistype so often, I’ve saved it to auto-text – comments in a feeble and peevish voice that they’re doomed if Megan and the others don’t save them. I already want to punch her. Gusty says she dropped her sweatband at the entrance to the cave, but Lickety-Split says who’s even going to see it. [bat: CONSIDERING WHERE GUSTY DROPPED IT, IT’S A FUCKING MIRACLE IT WAS FOUND.]
They’re taken to see Porcina – I’m sure by now I’ve commented on bat’s recap how wrong it feels to see a humanoid figure, walking upright, with human hair and makeup, who is the same colour as Megan’s skin being utterly naked except for a cloak that only covers her neck and back, but at the time of writing this, bat’s recap isn’t up. (That’s not her slacking, that’s me prepping for NaNoWriMo.) So let me just say: it’s still creepy now.
Porcina talks about how beautiful she is, and Gusty sneezes in her face. Oh, so that funny face she pulled earlier was because of a sneeze.
The ponies are taken to spinning wheels where they are hoofcuffed in and told to get weaving, otherwise they will face the wrath of the “great and powerful” Porcina. Hi thar, Trixie. Nice reference, Ms Faust.
The Raptorians are incredibly stupid, because they seem to think that once the ponies are turned to glass, they will do their bidding. I’m thinking no. Because they’ll be glass. And the Crystal Empire hasn’t been invented yet.
They weave the hair, which produces masses of fabric, which one of the Raptorians takes to a loom… and I have no idea how a mane cut from three ponies generates that much fabric, or how they weaved it that fast. (Wove?) [bat: Or how they wove fabric on looms with hooves…]
The Bushwoolies lead Megan to the cave entrance. And for some reason, they talk about themselves in the third person. bat, have they done this before? [bat: Oh yes, they switch to third person, it’s a thing.] One has a high silly voice that doesn’t fit the rest, who are gruff. This bugs me. I have been taught to love these sassy little bastards (thanks, bat), and now some new voice actor is ruining it.
Megan says it’ll probably be dangerous and says she and the ponies will lead. She doesn’t ask, she just tells. Then it pans back and reveals that Shady and Molly have been following them. Molly tries to join the group but Shady says no, they should hang back and be the backup plan if something goes wrong. That’s oddly smart. I’m genuinely shocked by this. [bat: Me…me, too. When did Shady become the Unlikely Voice of Reason???] Also, Molly mouths the last two sentences of Shady’s line and Shady is off screen. So that’s awesome.
Also, Molly’s version of hanging back is walking loudly about three feet behind the Bushwoolies.
They come to a cave where there are several options. Megan asks which way to go. The Bushwoolies suggest one way, and Megan says no, follow her. So why bother asking, you absolute shit of a human being? And how does she know that’s the right way? Could it be because the plot is telling her so.
I knew someone who roleplayed like that. Let’s say she rolled 04 on a perception test, Raven would say something like, “You look out of the battle field, but you’re relieved, because you are absolutely certain there are no more than two orcs approaching.” And she would then say, “Can I check again? What if I don’t believe I was right?” And Raven would say, “No, you are absolutely certain there are only two orcs out there.” And she would ask again, and Raven would explain that she – the player –had rolled so badly that her character was absolutely certain of what they saw. And she’d ask again. And this exchange would go on for about fifteen minutes as she tried to fit the plot to her out-of-universe knowledge. Every fucking time. She never once questioned her character’s belief in their perception when she rolled a 100.
Megan gets to re-roll, clearly.
The ponynapped ponies sing a sad song about how they don’t want to live in a world of glass. The Raptorians sing that they can’t wait, because they’ll be rich. I can’t work out if the Raptorians are stupid and can’t figure out that if everything’s glass: a) they’ll likely be glass too; or b) they won’t be anything, because if everything but them is glass, being rich is meaningless.
They finish the cloak – G4 Rarity would be appalled – and head off to Porcina.
Megan and co turn up and are able to spy on their friends through a massive fucking hole in the wall that leads to the caves. The Bushwoolies want to see too, so they climb up and their weight (six balls of sassy fluff) causes the wall to shatter.
Ok, the wall is glass, so I’ll accept that it shattered, but why isn’t it transparent if it’s so thin that the weight of some Bushwoolies can strain it enough to break it? Also, why didn’t that hole they were looking through send spiderweb cracks throughout the whole wall? Have you ever seen regular glass break in only a small area? (As bat has mentioned previously, Ponyland’s health and safety laws leave something to be desired, so I doubt Porcina is creating safety/reinforced glass.) Also, a later shot shows that wall is about a foot thick, so that explains why it’s not transparent, but not why the weight of a tween, two ponies and six Bushwoolies broke it.
Heartthrob whinges about wanting to be free from the spinning wheels, and Lickety-Split brings up the issue of Porcina wanting to turn everything to glass. Distractingly, every time a pony moves, someone in the sound department decided to use a tap-dancer as the hoofsteps sound.
Shady overhears about Porcina’s threat and vows to do something about it. When she hears that the ponies used their hair to weave her cloak, Shady’s eyes light up.
Over with Porcina, she thinks she’s hot stuff in her new cloak. The Raptorians say why doesn’t she test out her new powers on Ponyland. So she looks into her mirror and repeats “Kazeem, kazoom, kazam!” over and over until everything turns… well, it looks frosty, but I guess it’s glass.
Paradise Estate looks particularly fabulous, and I’m shocked they didn’t try and sell a glass version (thin blue plastic for ultimate snapping right out of the box, obv) to go with this episode. She even takes out the Nursery and the Mushromp. I bet that threw the Moochick. Also, there’s a frosty-looking pony. Did she just glass a pony? None of the other ponies look happy about their new glassy merch.
She then casts another spell “Bim sim sala!” (which, like the previous spell, just feels like shit white people would assume are magic words in the Middle East and they don’t need to research because “everyone knows that far-off places probably have dark magic” or something equally offensive) [bat: I’m shocked they didn’t just use abracadabra, but yeah, agreed with the vague sounding faux-Arabic words, ugh.] which I think projects her image on to the glass? Then she says she’s tired. The Raptorians urge her to rest, and once she’s out of the room, they take her mirror and congratulate themselves on being so clever.
They look in the mirror and see that yes, they have actually turned ponies to glass. Again I say: why didn’t they merchandise this episode? Everything about this show is about the merch? (I guess the tag would be “Want to buy our merch? You can’t.”) [bat: It’s basically akin to “HERE’S A VILLAIN. YOU WANT A TOY OF SAID VILLAIN? NOPE. YOU CAN’T HAVE ONE.” I still want a Catrina doll.] [Dove: I guess this is the start of Hasbro’s laziness, which culimated in G4 merchandise basically being the Mane 6 released over and over and over, instead of other ponies.]
We open with the most janky animation of Megan and the ponies walking in the caves. And she’s about a billion feet too tall to ride them. I bet Megan’s like Discord, and her height contextually changes in every shot.
They gasp in shock as the Raptorians run towards them with arms outstretched. Been there. So awkward when someone wants to hug you, and you know you’re just not there yet.
Oh, apparently despite the framing, the Raptorians haven’t seen them, Megan, a bunch of ponies and a fleet of Bushwoolies are hidden by a small alcove in the rock wall. So apparently that’s just how the Raptorians run?
Ah, this pointless scene serves for the ponies and Megan to learn of their plans to turn Ponyland to glass, and decide that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. They wind up in the throne room and see Porcina’s magic mirror, which shows glassy Ponyland. They hide behind another convenient nook (that wasn’t there before), and the Raptorians come in again and are still going on about how glassy Ponyland is the bees knees. Then they walk back out again, so that Molly and Shady (who is now red and green, instead of pink and yellow) can overhear too.
Megan and Co walk back out of the throne room and into the cave and instantly spot Molly and Shady. So A+ on the hang back as backup plan. That was really necessary. As Shady explains this, Molly looks stoned off her tits.
Shady explains she wanted to save them, but the other ponies say that it wasn’t her fault, and she couldn’t have saved them… apparently nobody hates Shady any more. [bat: Not true. I still hate Shady.] And then Shady has a plan. Has anyone noticed how much fur the Bushwoolies shed? (No, until an earlier episode, it was never mentioned.) Why don’t they weave a fake cloak from Bushwoolie hair and swap it for the magic one?
Megan immediately commandeers this plan, because she’s basically Elizabeth Fucking Wakefield, and cries, “TO THE WEAVING ROOM!” I really hate Megan.
Smash cut to Megan holding aloft a patchwork fabric – which makes no sense to my brain. Admittedly, I don’t weave or sew, but I would imagine that weaving together loads of different coloured threads would give you a sort of colour change fabric with no patches, rather than a blue cloak with multi-coloured patches in perfect squares. Especially not with a deep green square of fabric, since we don’t even have a Bushwoolie of that colour.
Porcina is asleep in her chamber, snoring and mumbling about how beautiful she is. I think it’s supposed to be funny because she’s fat and ugly. It’s not. It’s just irritating.
They have to do the swap, and they draw it out because of tension. They get halfway through the swap, tugging out the magic one and adding on the non-magic one, when Gusty sneezes and puts out the torch… you know, the torch, that they’ve literally never used before this scene, and is clearly integral to the plot. Where did they get it? Fuck you for asking. When the torch is re-lit, Megan has no idea which cloak is which.
Somehow they have managed to weave an identical cloak, from a completely different array of coloured hair. Because the plot says so. On top of that ridiculous coincidence, Megan is so dim that she has completely forgotten whether the one she was taking off is on the left or the right in a matter of seconds. Our saviour, everybody!
They hear the Raptorians coming, so everyone finds a hiding place; the Bushwoolies hide under the bed, despite the fact in one shot the red Bushwoolie is the same size as a full-grown pony. Megan grabs one cloak at random and hopes it’s the right one. Dimwit. (But I bet she rolled highly on the luck stat, so it’s bound to be the right one.)
The Raptorians wake Porcina to tell her the ponies have escaped and she should turn them to glass. Porcina resents being given orders by her underlings. Then Gusty sneezes with the power to send everything out of the wardrobe she’s hiding in flying into the main room. [bat: Does that mean when you cut a Pony’s mane they have magical power surges they can’t control? IMAGINE THAT FANFIC!]
The Raptorians surge forward to capture Gusty and co, but Saint Megan enters the fray, holding the cloak, and threatens to turn them into toads. The Raptorians tell Porcina to turn them all to glass. She gets off the bed and her cloak is actually still attached to her by a gold and jewelled neck tie thing, so it would be bloody impossible for Megan to have the right cloak.
Porcina tries her spell.
And… she can’t. Actually, the ponies in Ponyland didn’t seem real to her, but these living creatures in front of her are real. She doesn’t have the right to turn them to glass. The Raptorians don’t take that well. One rips her cloak off Porcina (again, leaving me feeling uncomfortable, because her skin is the same colour as Megan and Molly, so it feels like there’s a naked human in the room) and tries he “Kazim, Kazam, Kazoooooooom!” spell.
It doesn’t work.
Despite all odds, Megan picked the right cloak earlier. I’m shocked. Are you shocked? My flabber is well and truly ghasted.
Next comes a very stupid tug of war over the real cloak, and Porcina finds the Bushwoolies and tells them not to be afraid. The cloak splits in two and sends out a bolt of magic, which ricochets off various walls and ceilings before hitting the Raptorians and turning them to glass.
Porcina says not to worry, they didn’t feel it. They didn’t feel anything ever. Uh, not really sure that’s the moral you want to take away from this. “It doesn’t matter if your enemies are turned to glass, they were bad guys.” [bat: That’s not blood it’s raspberry jam coming out of their ears and noses!]
Porcina has a face turn and now joins our band of “good guys” to set things right in glassy Ponyland. Everything gets de-glassed, to much cheering from the ponies. Gusty tells Shady that she came through when they needed it the most.
This feels like the end of the episode, but there’s two minutes left. I’m guessing song.
No, I’m wrong. Porcina takes off her cloak that the Bushwoolies destroy it. Then they tell her she should live with them as their official groomer. Porcina, who is once more wearing the cloak that has just been destroyed, says why not. [bat: Mind. BOGGLED.]
And that’s the end of it. No song. Fucking win. On the song front, that is. Not necessarily the story.
Ok, so my final thoughts are: um… well, I guess it was nice that the bad guy had a face turn. There was no foreshadowing of this, but it did make a change. It was a bit rotten that the Raptorians didn’t get a chance. They just got turned to glass, and everyone was like, “Welp, I guess that’s that.”
Megan needs punching in the face. The Bushwoolies kept shrinking and growing in size, which was very creepy.
I don’t know what to think of this. I think it improved on the first two episodes of the story, but it was still a big old mess. I gave the first two episodes a D-, so I think I’ll upgrade that to a D, but I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got to the end of recapping, which makes me a bit more generous than I normally would be. Let’s hope bat is more coherent than me.
[bat: No, this is a solid D. It got better (only because I can’t think of a different, more accurate adjective) then its first half, with the writers/artists showing what Porcina was capable of / intending to do to Ponyland. All those missed opportunities for MERCH make me sad. Porcina’s face turn was not shocking; the part about her living with the Bushwoolies and being their personal groomer, that was disturbing. And a convenient way to get her off-screen and immediately forgotten. Clearly it worked because I totally forgot her and this 4-part episode for a good 30 years. And, y’know, basically killing the Raptorians, also extremely disturbing. Oh god, the Pony Puppy episode is up next… sadly, the Ponies do not encounter Clifford, the Big Red Dog, but the Puppy is extremely oversized… until next recap, adios, Dream Valley!]