Title: The Would Be Dragonslayer
Summary: In what is a rather random rip off of both Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone, the Ponies befriend a human boy who just wants to become a knight but must “do a good deed” before that will happen. Join the damn Boy Scouts, moron.
Hi-ho, bat here, ready to sit through another soul-sucking episode of My Little Pony & Friends and complain my way through it. The misadventures of Woebegone was bad but…
Yet again I get a one-shot filler that’s probably going to have a failed “moral” at its core and just my luck (because it can’t hold out forever) MEGAN AND SPIKE ARE IN THIS ONE. Ugh. My first complaint and I haven’t even started watching the episode!
At least this episode is only ten minutes, which means it won’t take an eternity to recap. Which means I can get back to mourning(?) the loss of Game of Thrones. (Here’s an unpopular opinion: I thought the ending was fine.)
[Dove: I’m actually with you re GoT, but then, I was doing the “partner-watch” thing. I’d been kind of into it to begin with, but had become progressively bored as the seasons went on (the bits with the Ironborn were particularly snoozy – except Reek) and I was only there to keep my husband company, so I was at least glad that things happened. Oh, wait, that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re talking about this dire filler episode of MLP. My initial thoughts were correct: 1) it’s a one-shot, so at least it’s short; 2) it’s a one-shot, so it’ll be awful.]
We open on a grandstand filled with Ponies laughing, cheering, and attempting to applaud by banging their hooves on the wooden benches. Notably, Galaxy is wearing a cheerleader outfit (BUY OUR MERCH) [Dove: I actually did. I thought that outfit was really cute.] while Lickety-Splits’ body flickers in and out of being in a case of terrible discontinuity.
Megan, because Megan, is the host of this spectacle, which is apparently only for Earth Ponies. I guess this is to make them feel less incompetent about their inability to perform magic and/or fly. FiM handles this whole thing about pony races(?) way better.
Gingerbread (wow, I typed that as “Gigerbread” at first, THAT would be amazing) and Shady are the finalists for the “Earth Pony Jumping” contest. God this so reminds me of the times in upper elementary when we had “Field Day” and everyone fucking knew this one kid in my class would take all the awards because he was the tallest and most athletic but participation was required so we all had to take part and it wasn’t like we had to fake failing. We all sucked. There was no beating that kid. I hope he went on to have a underwhelming adulthood, having peaked so early in life.
Ahem. ANYWAY. Gingerbread and Shady prance onto the track with their noses in the air and wow, snobs. Megan produces a huge straight horn like those used at horse races and plays the call to post (is that what it’s called?) music. You’d know it if you heard it. Dove will correct me. [Dove: You are correct, but I had to go check too. My initial thought was: Of course Megan can play the bugle or whatever that is. Of course she can.]
Which begs the questions: A) where the fuck did Megan get that? and B) how the fuck does Megan know how to play one of those? (Answers to both: BECAUSE MEGAN.)
Wind Whistler and Buttons stretch a rope (decorated with flowers?) across the track. Gingerbread gallops at it full speed and jumps over it. Shady has her own jump before we cut to the crowd, where Megan is waving her arms like the fucking Night King raising wights.
I dunno, I have little knowledge of track and field sports but I’m pretty certain jumping a fucking rope is not exactly the way to measure jump distance. Isn’t it typical to run a specific path then leap into a pit of sand?
Oh, I’m super fucking confused now. Jumping that rope was the starting point, because Gingerbread and Shady are running an obstacle course where various… setups(?) force them to jump things. I can hardly wait for Dove to rant about this bullshit.
Gingerbread jumps a gate that has a waterhole behind it, barely making it, her back hooves hitting the water. Shady comes galloping up and clears the gate, a magical robotic sound clip playing (what, she’s the Bionic Horse now?) and she doesn’t hit the water. Huh. Everypony cheers.
[Dove: This setup baffled me. Is it a race? If so, why did they start at different times? Or is it a jumping event, like show jumping? If so, why were they on the course at the same time? No matter what the option, I can’t get behind the logic of it. The course looked terrible, only three jumps, once of which was a rope held up, rather than a consistent height. It looked like the ponies had real trouble navigating, which is why you pace the course so that ponies don’t have to tie their legs in knots in order to get around in the order you need. Also, I was convinced that Shady would fall into the water and then spent the next nine minutes being inconsolable about how rubbish she is, before Megan sings a song and we all learn (for the eight billionth time) that 1) winning isn’t everything; and 2) you can be special in your own way. So the fact that this episode isn’t that (again) is something, I guess.]
And that’s when Spike comes screaming onto the track, yelling for help. I guess he’s supposed to look terrified but the limited qualities of the animation doesn’t succeed in conveying that expression. He runs down the dirt track but just when we think he’s running at top speed, some teenage boy riding on a camel (who can run pretty fast but not in this cartoon) swinging a sword comes right up on Spike’s heels.
Okay I have questions. If this is the Earth Pony Olympics, where everypony is clearly in attendance, where was Spike? Was Spike sulking in Paradise Estate? Did he go visit the Grundels in the Pony Castle playset? Why was he not cheering on the Ponies? THIS SEEMS HORRIBLY OUT OF CHARACTER.
I should mention that the teenage boy has RED PUPILS and is snarling that no one helps dragons (yeah, no one helped Viserion or Rhaegal) and takes a swipe with his sword at Spike. Whizzer and North Star streak into frame, Whizzer yelling that the teenage boy is WRONG and this is how the Ponies help dragons just as she slams into the teenage boy, knocking him off the camel.
Who is a talking camel, apparently. Who has a redneck / yokel voice thing going on. Ugh.
North Star zooms around and puts a bag (pillow case?) over the camel’s head. We see Megan cheering them, with Gingerbread and Shady standing beside her. Like, I guess the interruption was big enough to stop the jumping contest? How did they suddenly end up back at the start so fast? PLOT SAYS SO.
With the camel contained, Megan and the Ponies start to run over into the fray, while Spike is still being chased and yelled at by the red-eyed human boy. I know there’s been a lot of drug-use references in this series, as Dove and I have commented on it A LOT, but I can’t really think of much violence being shown. Sure, Ponies in danger is common but this kid is swinging a sword and screaming that he’s going to kill Spike.
Like, honestly, that would be fine with me.
“Meet your fate like a man!” Okay, you just called Spike a ‘beast’, now you’re demanding he be a man? MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND, WRITERS.
Spike jumps out of the way of the sword, somehow springing up into the air. He grabs a hold of a flag pole, ala Mario at the end of a world level in Super Mario Bros., and of course the pole is super bendy for comic relief. Masquerade yells for him to hang on, literally and figuratively, taking her sweet ass time flying in to save him. Rainbow Dash would have already saved him by this point. Sheesh. [Dove: Hell, so would Whizzer, who spends all day every day off her tits on amphetamines.]
Oh, my bad, she’s not flying in to save him. Masquerade instead slams into the sword-wielding teenage maniac, who is hacking at the pole with said sword. He falls to the ground and the sword lands in the dirt.
OH SHIT, YO, WHITE GIRL SAVIOR JUST STEPPED ON THE BLADE!
She instantly reprimands the teenage maniac, telling him he’s caused enough trouble. Uh huh. You tell him, Megan. I’m sure since that has worked so well on your brother Danny that it’s certainly going to be very effective on a stranger.
Megan demands to know who he is and why he’s trying to hurt Spike. Spike, being an idiot, apparently got down the flag pole with no problems, but we don’t see it. He just runs up and clutches Megan’s leg. Yes, run towards the danger, Spike. Megan will always protect you.
Teenage maniac is “squire Alonzo” and the dumb camel (who wanders into the shot even though the bag is still on his head, miraculously) is “Panza” and yet again we’ve run out of creativity with names. “I wasn’t trying to hurt your dragon. I was trying to slay him!” Yeah, first off, Megan doesn’t own Spike. Secondly, you’re an asshole, Alonzo.
Because slaying a dragon is considered a “good deed”.
WHO THE FUCK DECIDED THIS WAS A GOOD STORY IDEA?
Spike is incensed and riled up and demands an explanation. Honestly, can’t blame him. Alonzo switches from machismo teenage boy to slightly contrite, explaining that “dragons are evil”. THEN EXPLAIN PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON AND THE DRAGON WHO WOULDN’T BE AND FIGMENT AND DROGON, ALONZO.
(Okay, Drogon might be debatable but he loved his mama.)
Now the Ponies are pissed off, one even announcing that Spike is a “good little dragon”. It’s not like these Ponies have encountered other dragons on which to base all their opinions but whatever. Panza, who has somehow gotten the bag off of his face without having any hands with which to do so, announces that they’re “in trouble again”. Uh huh.
Alonzo announces he’s read all about dragons and they’re the number one reason princesses get kidnapped and held in dungeons. Because sure, right, dragons always have dungeons. Sure, sure, cool, cool, cool. [Dove: I was about to say Spike was involved in the first attempted Megan kidnapping, but actually, that was Scorpan and Spike was back at the castle, so couldn’t be blamed.]
Spike yells he’s not at all like that, how dare he be lumped into unfair stereotypes of dragons, while Megan walks over and yells that Spike is her friend. Way to make it all about you, Megan. Then, for reasons that are unknown, perspective fails and Spike is now fatter and taller than Alonzo, yet Megan is also abnormally tall… WHY. WHY IS SCALE SO HARD FOR THESE ARTISTS. [Dove: Oh you just wait. I noticed a scene coming up where Megan is towering over the pony she is riding.]
I guess Megan screaming about friendship did the trick as Alonzo immediately apologizes and asks Spike to forgive him. (Whut.) Alonzo is a whiny ass bitch who insists he has to do a good deed to become a knight but everything he does turns out wrong. Maybe because you’re an asshole?
The screen goes black, so I’m going to guess this is where a commercial was originally inserted. Man, I sure could use some classic 1980s commercials right now. But it’s a damn fake out, because the music swells and oh fuck me, it’s time for a goddamn song about Alonzo’s shitty failure at advancement in his chosen career path.
All Alonzo wants is to be a knight. All I want is for him to shut the fuck up. Mine is the more important wish being made.
I’d like to interject that music can be a very important tool in learning. I am totally of the generation that had Sesame Street at its peak and fuck if I can’t sing all the catchy songs from it to this day. Unfortunately, this is not the case for any of the songs from My Little Pony. Except, maybe, the theme song. I’m pretty certain Dove and I could sing that while sleeping, it’s so ingrained. [Dove: I concur with this theory, I truly could sleep-sing this. I will say that Nothing Can Stop the Smooze is forever stuck in my head, and is a genuinely catchy tune (to me, at least), and Always Another Rainbow is stuck in my head, not for the message or the tune, or even the moment were Megan falls off the note but keeps on singing like it didn’t happen, but because someone murdered their Dream Castle playset while trying to customise it (they put it in the oven, do not even ask why they did such a stupid thing), and one person commented (paraphrased): “There’s nothing you can do except sing Always Another Rainbow and give it a decent burial.”] [bat: Someone. Put. A. Plastic. Playset. IN. A. FREAKING. OVEN. My brain just exploded.]
To generally recap Alonzo’s shitty song which doubles as backstory, he’s fought with a giant, an “evil” witch, and dressed up (poorly) as a cat to ride a town of rats. Uh huh. I’m not sure the giant or the witch were really things that constitute “good deeds” but that last one might? Rats carry disease, so. Then he attempted to save a princess locked in a crow’s cage. (Is that what they’re called? All I know is Madmartigan was locked in one at the crossroads.) Also, why does the “damsel in distress” have Princess Leia hair buns? Way to rip off pop culture references years after the fact.
Final thought: if Alonzo really did crash through a window, I’m pretty sure he’d be dead and not singing this stupid fucking song.
SONG OVER. Spike announces that they’re going to help Alonzo. Yet again, why does no pony get to vote on what they’re going to do? HOLY CRAP WHY ARE YOU SUGGESTIVELY NUZZLING ALONZO’S CHEEK, GALAXY?? THERE’S EVEN A WEIRD SOUND EFFECT, WHICH SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE RUBBING SANDPAPER. [Dove: This is such a creepy moment. And now, thanks to bat’s caps, you can share it too.]
“Something tells me we can find a good deed for you to do!” Galaxy, firstly, he’s like 12 and secondly, he’s human and you’re a horse. Please. Stop.
Wow. What a 180 turn. Everypony and Megan were pissed Spike was being attacked but now the Ponies are excited and Spike is truly ecstatic they’re going to “help” his assailant. THIS IS NOT GOOD. THIS IS WRONG.
Yet again, My Little Pony is teaching all the wrong things to children in some misguided attempt to be moral and good. Ugh.
Five seconds later, after all Ponies pledge their willingness to help Alonzo (and Megan is suspiciously silent) it is now night and Spike is literally bitching about “who’s idea was this?!” Somehow Megan is riding on Gingerbread’s back (there’s only bare inches between her feet and the ground; cue Dove tearing her hair out! [Dove: Later shots show Megan clutching Gingerbread’s mane, which I feel is grabby; and the proportion is off, and Gingerbread comes to Megan’s knee, which makes her look like a monster for riding a pony that’s far too small for her. Also, she’s a fit, healthy, able-bodied girl. Fucking walk.]) while Gingerbread admonishes Spike’s complaining.
I gotta say. G1 Spike could flip on a dime: be sweet and cuddly and disgustingly saccharine one second, then a thorough fucking asshole the next. It’s kind of disturbing. This is not G4 Spike who knits soft blankets with “love in every stitch” for other dragon friends. (Also, that G4 episode was a weird one.)
Discontinuity award goes to the painter who changed Alonzo’s tunic from blood red to pitch black. Way to pay attention!
Anyway, Alonzo points out some kind of poorly drawn castle, which is just painted in black with white dots for “lights in the windows” and kind of… no wait someone fucking totally ripped off the castle of the Crystal from The Dark Crystal. Okay, I’ve thoroughly had it with this series.
Wait, Alonzo just totally said, “Megan, listen!” and Panza the camel was all “And look!” Like, that’s either poor writing (we’ve had numerous examples in this series of that) or someone didn’t know which senses would be used to notice the castle first. Wouldn’t “look” make more sense first than “listen”?
Thanks for correctly identifying that as a castle, Megan. Way to contribute to an episode in which you’ve been disturbingly and suspiciously quiet.
That briar patch is probably an aesthetic choice, because we all know that when something’s painted into the background plate, it’s essentially worthless. But go ahead, Panza, declare it akin to the “moat” to keep people out of the rip off castle.
Now there’s some terrible singing, noise more than words, and I guess that’s what Alonzo meant when he told Megan to listen. Because, if the production had done its job, we should have heard that female singing before Alonzo mentioned it. BUT WHY. WHY WOULD ANY OF THIS BE AS IT SHOULD AND MAKE ANY SENSE.
Approaching the briar patch that is basically a wall, Alonzo decides the voice belongs to a princess who is trapped and needs saving. Wow. Yes, continue to assume shit and make a fool of yourself, you pathetic teenage twat. And of course the Ponies totally agree. Because the Ponies are thoughtless followers. Sigh.
Galaxy announces she can light the way with her horn, which of course starts glowing and a twinkling sound effect plays to denote the use of magic. Alonzo withdraws his sword, which is entirely too large for him, and begins to hack at the briars. A few hacks later, with the light from Galaxy’s horn illuminating their path, they come to a brick wall. So, the cartoon is trying to convince me that there was a thick briar patch wall, which Alonzo hacked through IN NO TIME AT ALL WITHOUT GET SCRATCHED and then there’s a slot of space between the briars and the outer brick wall of the castle. SURE SURE SURE, COOL COOL COOL.
Alonzo gives a fucking stupid speech announcing himself and his intentions to save the castle occupant. Meanwhile, Galaxy finds a fucking door in the brick wall, FIVE FEET FROM WHERE EVERYONE’S STANDING. And Gingerbread just pushes it open. I can’t.
I just can’t.
This has WARNING: TRAP written all over it.
Nope. I was wrong. ALL WRONG. This is way, way, more stupid than my normally correct mind could ever imagine.
Alonzo, Panza, the Ponies, Megan, and Spike have just crashed a fucking wedding.
The not-actually-in-distress-damsel is Princess Aline, who is being wed to Sir Hugonaut, the bravest knight ever (does that just include Dream Valley or what?) while Aline’s friends and family witness the nuptials. Also in attendance is Aline’s fairy godmother, Emelita, who conjured up the briars for safety because (apparently) Hugonaut is a magnet for trouble. Um, how were the briars going to prevent trouble? Whatever.
Basically, Emelita gets in Alonzo’s face and explains all that. Emelita is basically Hydia but smaller and with wings. Hugonaut has given up questing and being the best. knight. ever. to marry Aline. I dunno. Aline looks like Olive Oyl with Princess Leia hair buns and Hugonaut is a portly older dude with a giant beer belly. I think they’re both losers in this match.
Of course Alonzo is just fucking shocked that Hugonaut has given up being a knight. Hugonaut says questing is for younger men and he’s asked the court wizard Mothert (who looks like he stepped out of an episode of Flash Gordon, wtf) to find a suitable replacement.
CAN YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS HEADED? BECAUSE I CAN.
Mothert just strangely strokes his beard while Alonzo loses his shit upon hearing a replacement is being sought. Alonzo says he would do anything to be the replacement. Megan interrupts, saying gee, maybe we should leave, because, you know, we crashed this fucking wedding.
Wow. Did Megan just actually learn something? [Dove: *blinks* I think she might have done.]
No surprise that Emelita agrees, she tells them to leave while commanding instruments to magically play themselves. Uh huh. Megan, Spike, and Alonzo walk backwards out the door while Megan calls out an apology.
I don’t know how far away this castle was from, say, Paradise Estate, but the group is walking back through a grassy area bordered by odd trees and it’s hard to tell if it’s day or night. There’s light bits painted into the background plate where the sky would be but WHO KNOWS. I have finally learned to never assume with this cartoon.
Alonzo is complaining about how stupid he is and how he fucked up in front of Mothert the wizard. Gingerbread, who once again is being ridden by Megan while EVERYONE ELSE IS WALKING WTF [Dove: She capped the hair-clutching!] [bat: Damn right I did, that is an egregious bit of behavior by Megan!], tells Alonzo to cheer up. YEAH BECAUSE THAT’LL FIX EVERYTHING. Alonzo says a good deed will come along but only when he’s “too old” to lift a sword. Seriously, I don’t know how he hasn’t hacked off a hand or lost an eye by now, but also the sword keeps changing length and width so fuck continuity!
Megan announces they should just go back to Paradise Estate and rest. (Wait, weren’t you headed there anyway?) Alonzo agrees, unsheathing his sword and throwing it away. Only, the way he throws it is SO FUCKING ODD. (Please tell me you agree, Dove.) [Dove: I think the animators have forgotten what humans look like. I think they’re kept separately in isolation rooms in a basement, with no food or water, just drugs to keep them functioning.] [bat: You mean “witch weed”. Or maybe “flowers”. All these lovely euphemisms we’ve been given for drugs!] We hear a thump and something cries out. OH GREAT, WHO’D YOU ACCIDENTALLY KILL NOW, ALONZO.
Okay what the fuck, Alonzo threw his sword and SOMEHOW it went through two sets of very tall shrubbery to hit a giant talking tortoise, that was already stuck on its back. SURE. JUST SURE. COOL COOL COOL. RIGHT, TOTALLY MAKES SENSE.
The face of the talking tortoise looks suspiciously familiar.
The tortoise yells at Alonzo then demands help to be righted. Um. Alonzo is all, “uh sure, whatever” and physically tries to turn the tortoise back on its feet. Yet he can’t because that would be too simple an ending and Alonzo has no upper body strength. Which is a lie because he’s been swinging that fucking sword perfectly well and we all know real swords are fucking heavy and require a lot of strength to wave about.
Good, Alonzo, insult the tortoise by saying he’s “so heavy”. At least the tortoise isn’t taking it lying down. Well, okay, really he is, but he does manage to snap back at Alonzo’s insult.
MEANWHILE, MEGAN, SPIKE, PANZA, AND THE PONIES HAVE NOT EVEN NOTICED ALONZO IS GONE. GO TEAM!
Megan starts telling Alonzo how this doesn’t mean he should give up. Um. Panza is all, dude, Megan’s being nice to you, why the fuck won’t you talk to her?! Oh my god. This scene truly sums up how fucking stupid these characters are. Even the background is sick of them, for as soon as Panza turns around and realizes his master (?) is gone, the rock wall slides weirdly as if it’s trying to get away. (Wow, what a huge animation error.) [Dove: I have no idea how the camel hasn’t noticed that his reins are dangling below his mouth and he keeps nearly tripping over them. That should’ve tipped him off he lost his rider. Also, what person with a functioning mind would leave their reins trailing when abandoning their mount?]
Spike announces they have to go look for Alonzo and Galaxy chimes in that she has a feeling Alonzo is in trouble — this continues the disturbing “connection” between Galaxy and Alonzo that really needs to stop — and I’m pretty sure Dove is going to have more commentary about how impossible it is that Megan is riding Gingerbread (that, that frame, it looks so painful) and yelling for everyone to come on while galloping away. [Dove: This is the worst scale issue we’ve seen. It’s the one I mentioned earlier. Gingerbread’s head is level with the bottom of Megan’s ribs. She is literally twice the size of Gingerbread. There is no way that would work. See cap below!]
Back to Alonzo, who is pulling so hard on the tortoise’s back leg that the spots on it literally disappear. Alonzo drops to the ground in self-pity, saying he can’t do even a simple thing right. Can it, you whinging twat. The tortoise complains, saying the only dude around who can DO A GOOD DEED is a quitter.
Incensed by being totally called out by a talking turtle, Alonzo jumps to his feet and admits he has no way to turn the tortoise over. OH I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE USE THAT GODDAMN SWORD AS A LEVER WHY IS THAT HARD.
Oh. Sure. Now there’s a medium-sized rock and a flimsy stick. Right. Things that were not there three seconds ago for $500, Alex. The Ponies and Panza are gasping for air, having run back to the general area where they may have lost Alonzo (how would they even be sure?) and Spike actually says, “he’s such a nice guy”. OKAY SOMEONE SLAUGHTER THIS WISHY-WASHY DRAGON.
Just then the Ponies hear a noise, causing them to peek through some bushes and see Alonzo having arranged the rock and stick as a fulcrum and lever. You know, it’s funny. Kid couldn’t lift the tortoise but suddenly is able to flip him clean into the air. Sure. Cool.
We don’t even see the tortoise land. He’s just suddenly on his feet next to Megan, Spike, the Ponies, and Panza. I fucking give up. And now the tortoise is glowing. Or at least I’m guessing that’s what those weird jagged yellow lines around him are supposed to represent. A zing sound effect plays.
Yep, it was Mothert the court wizard the whole damn time. He congratulates Alonzo for passing the “toppled turtle test”. Wait. How many times has Mothert done this???
Everypony is shocked. Just plain shocked, I tell you. Alonzo finally succeeded in doing a good deed. Mothert announces he has found Hugonaut’s replacement. I think the kingdom is fucking doomed if Alonzo is their new champion.
In yet another stunning bit of discontinuity, Alonzo is now twice the size of Mothert. But then he shrinks back down as Spike gives his former assailant a hug. Alonzo attempts to thank Megan and the Ponies for their help. Megan just insists Alonzo had it (it? what is it??) in him all the time. Because Megan.
Spike elbows Alonzo and reminds him to always be nice to dragons before Mothert casts a traveling spell that envelops him, Alonzo, and Panza in a fluffy pink fizzing cloud. Everyone waves goodbye but that makes no sense because the cloud literally just sucked them away. What the fuck? Why is Megan still sitting on Gingerbread???
The cloud zooms away towards the castle of the Crystal knock-off. THEN IT IS SUDDENLY DARK. HOW. AND THE PONIES ARE WALKING BACK TO PARADISE ESTATE. AGAIN. WITH MEGAN STILL RIDING GINGERBREAD. BECAUSE HER BACK HASN’T BROKEN COMPLETELY YET.
The episode ends with Spike saying Alonzo isn’t half back for a “would be dragon slayer.” All the Ponies and Megan laugh. I turn the episode off and genuinely wish this was a physical item I could set fire to. THE END. [Dove: Where is Daenerys when you need her?] [bat: DRACARYS!]
That was just fucking stupid. We’ve scrapped way past the bottom of the barrel and have hit the dirt said barrel is sitting on. Making an episode semi-centered around Spike, who is weak as far as character development goes, was a dumb idea. His personality was never truly established. Yeah, he was originally introduced clear back in Escape from Midnight Castle, where he was weak and little and Scorpan basically saved him from harm every five seconds. Not exactly much different from this episode, tbh.
Still. Compared to G4 Spike, who has an established backstory, G1 Spike has no backstory (beyond randomly being in Tirek’s castle for some reason) and he’s not really… I guess he’s friendly with the Ponies but he isn’t attached to any of them in any close way. Not like G4 Spike is with Twilight Sparkle.
As a child I always felt sorry for Spike. Part of this came from an incident where I was informed a parent had destroyed the vinyl figure of Spike (the one that came with the castle playset) because “dragons are evil and emblems of Satan.” Yeah, the parent in question was a woman who babysat me sometimes during the summer months and the whole family was religious AF and that was one of those defining moments where you’re like WTAF. I abhorred the destruction of any toys so to know that tiny little vinyl Spike had been cruelly tossed on the garbage truly upset me.
G4 Spike can be annoying but, at minimum, he tends to be the “unlikely voice of reason” when Twilight is freaking out or needs a gentle reminder to cut it the fuck out. I tend to like the G4 version vastly more compared to G1.
Enough about Spike. The rest of the episode is based on doing a good deed. Not just because doing good deeds are important on their own merit but because you will be rewarded for it. Yeah, that’s not the right lesson for impressionable kids. Not to mention the episode starts off with violence being the motivating factor for the “good” deed.
Half the episode could have been excised. The wedding, even though it was the pivot point, could have been cut and the episode totally restructured. Fine, see, Alonzo attacks Spike to complete his “good” deed because he’s heard word that captain Hugonaut has retired upon marriage and the kingdom is seeking a replacement. Throw in a few more fuckups for Alonzo before, poof, talking turtle in the woods, and boom, I have fixed your goddamn episode for free.
I’m giving this episode an F. I’m tired of trying to prop up the writers and animators when clearly they didn’t care or didn’t take the time to write anything that truly succeeded at the lesson/moral they were trying to convey. This one was a complete waste of time.
I’ll be back in two weeks with another stupid set of episodes to recap.
[Dove: I side with bat here. I’m not even going to try to be kind. This is an episode that is very much deserving of an F. Literally everyone is annoying. The pony Olympics are just a waste of animation (it was a cute start, why couldn’t we have more of that?) in relation to the rest of the story. You care about the one moment Shady wasn’t clumsy? Well, fuck you. That was our random opening animation. Silly you for getting distracted by it. After that, terrible dialogue, boring characters, stupid setup. I feel like if you went to Ponyland, you would be beset by a random string of events which you would passively respond to. I feel if you went to Ponyville, life would be going on in a very normal and linear fashion. It’s hard to watch the G1 show when bat and I are such fans of FiM. This show exists to sell merchandise, and screw you for hoping for a story. FiM exists to tell a story, and screw you for hoping for any merch beyond the Mane 6 being endlessly re-released. Anyway, this episode is a really good example of why some Bronies have no respect for the older collectors. They see rubbish like this, and have no idea how we could love a toyline that was marketed in such a terrible way. Sigh. It makes me grateful I only ever saw the movie as a kid.]