Friendship Is Magic-Part 2
SPOILER ALERT! Those of you who have not seen the show, be warned. This review is going to contain spoilers about the episode. If you have not seen it yet, watch it right now and read my review in 20 minutes, or prepare to have some of the critical plot mentioned before you view it. I am assuming many of you are bronies, or fans of the show, and you are reading this review for an interesting insight on an episode you have seen countless times already (as have I), in which case, continue reading, and enjoy!
This episode opens up with a recap of the previous episode, Friendship is Magic-Part 1. (You can read my review on FiM-P1 here.) After the theme song, it continues where the previous episode left off. The mayor of Ponyville demands that Black Snooty is seized, since she is the only one who knows where Princess Celestia is. However, Black Snooty (It is just too fun calling her that… I will try to refer her by Nightmare Moon from here on out…) escapes. Twilight and Spike head back home and we witness a tender moment between the two of them, as Twilight tucks the sleepy dragon in.
With Spike resting, Twilight gets to work on trying to get the princess back. Rainbow Dash comes in, followed by Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity. Twilight explains that she read about Nightmare Moon and how the Elements of Harmony are the only thing that can stop her. Although Twilight has no idea what the Elements are, Pinkie immediately finds The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide on the bookshelf. Twilight reads from the book pointing out there are six elements, though five are known and the sixth will reveal itself in their presence. The five known Elements are kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty, and loyalty. When each Element is read, the camera focuses on a specific pony, each of whom is connected with that particular element. The book also mentions the last known location of the Elements: the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters, in the Everfree Forest.
The ponies head to the Everfree Forest, where Twilight announces that she plans on continuing the journey alone. Applejack voices that they all are going together, because the group doesn’t want their friend going into the forest alone. Her use of the word “friend” causes Twilight to make a very interesting face. I found this to be a great expression of the feelings towards friendship that Twilight displayed in the previous episode. Still, she follows along with the others as they enter the woods.
While in the forest, Nightmare Moon causes many obstacles to occur for the group. The first of these causes the ground to collapse and the ponies slide down a slope. Twilight hangs on for dear life at the edge of a cliff. After asking Applejack what to do, she’s told to let go. Obviously, the show would probably not experience great success if the main character died in the second episode. So, clearly, Twilight was safe, just as AJ promised. She was caught in mid-air by Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.
The next obstacle that the group faces is a manticore. Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow all take a stab at beating him up, but it does no good. Finally, my favorite character, quiet Fluttershy, finds the courage to speak up and yell at the group to stop attacking him. Upon closer look, she notices a thorn in his paw, which Nightmare Moon caused to be there. Fluttershy removes the thorn, and the raging beast calms down and licks her gently. She told Twilight “Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness,” which made me want to cry happy tears because of how adorable Flutters really is.
Not long after the manticore incident, the Mane 6 encounter some spooky trees. In this scene, Pinkie sings the first song of the season. This was met by some skepticism by her friends, which I found interesting, because in many musicals and kids’ shows, random singing is totally normal and goes unquestioned. I enjoyed that this episode challenged that norm. Pinkie, through her song, helps teach her friends that we can laugh at our fears instead of letting them frighten us.
Moving on, they come to an impassible, turbulent river, caused by the tears of a magnificent sea-serpent, Steven Magnet, who had lost half of his mustache. The very fashionable Rarity understands his grief completely. She rips out of of his scales and uses it to cut her tail, which she then attaches to where his mustache was cut off. Honestly, I am not a fan of the way this act of generosity was carried out. Although it was selfless of Rarity to sacrifice her beautiful tail, she ripped out one of his scales and caused him pain. The end result didn’t look that great either, although I suppose the half-and-half ‘stache was better than the half ‘stache he had before. And as long as Steven was happy with the outcome, maybe that’s the important part.
After Steven helps the ponies across the river, they come to the bridge leading to the castle. At this point, I was ultra excited, because they were almost to where the Elements of Harmony where, and I was full of anticipation for the story to unfold. The bridge was down though, and Rainbow Dash had to fly to the other side to attach it with a rope. She met some a group of elite flyers, the Shadowbolts, and they invited her to join them. The catch was, she needed to abandon her friends in order to do so. This scene was weird, because Rainbow Dash outright stated to the Shadowbolts “You.” Apparently, this was just to throw the audience off, because in the end, she chose her friends and succeeded in tying the bridge for them to cross. I just think the whole dramatic “make the audience think she is abandoning her friends” thing is not necessary. It wasn’t that terrible of a scene, I just thought it was pointless.
The Mane 6 cross the bridge and enter the castle. Almost immediately, they find the elements, and Twilight uses her magic to try and create the spark needed to reveal the sixth element. Her friends back up to give her space to concentrate on her spell.
Nightmare Moon interrupts Twilight’s magic, and when Twilight tries again to stop the villain, Black Snooty becomes Black Sassy, by asking flatly if Twilight was kidding. Twilight was not kidding, and tries to cast a spark on the Elements again. She succeeds this time, and for a moment, Nightmare Moon is shocked that she is going to be beaten, but unfortunately for Twilight, her spell didn’t reveal the last element.
Nightmare Moon smashes the elements to bits and prepares to defeat Twilight. However, Twilight hears her friends approaching, and when she sees them, her eyes sparkle. This is the real spark. The first few times seeing this episode, I thought Twilight was referring to an internal spark when she told Nightmare Moon that she had found the real spark because I did not notice her eyes sparkle. Either way, it still fits, and I am sure the two go along.
So, of course, this episode has a happy ending. It’s a show about colorful ponies. Twilight reveals that her friends each embody the spirit of an Element and explains why. She also realizes that she is the sixth Element, magic, and that friendship is magic. It all ties together so wonderfully, and I think this was really well done. There is some really crazy rainbow friendship magic, and then Nightmare Moon is defeated. Yay! Great job, everypony! And even better: the shattered pieces of the elements form new jewelry with the cutie mark of the owner on it. And even better than that: Rarity’s tail grew back. The magic of friendship sure is powerful.
Nightmare Moon is transformed into her previous self, Princess Luna, Celestia’s younger sister. Celestia and her sister end up making amends and moving on from the past. It was really touching and emotional for me, because their sadness and regret was so realistic and I felt really connected to their feelings. Pinkie Pie went from bawling her eyes out to wanting to throw a party to celebrate the royal sisters reconnecting, which was typical Pinkie antics. At the party, Twilight is sad, and Celestia notices. Twilight explains she does not want to leave Ponyville and return to her studies, now that she knows how great friendship is. Celestia allows her to remain in Ponyville, and orders her to study friendship.
Everyone is happy and it is the perfect ending. Spike is so happy it takes an emotional toll on him, tiring him out a bit apparently. Life in Equestria is so great now. Day and night are balanced. The sisters are reconnected. Twilight and her friends are heroes, and not only that, but they get to stay together forever. But seriously, there is so much happiness and color and friendship and oh my goodness, I can’t take it anymore. Here come the tears. Friendship is so beautiful. Friendship really is magic! ❤