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!
Alright, I’m back to doing season one reviews during the hiatus. When the hiatus is over, I will resume with the new episodes. This review is about “Boast Busters”, the sixth episode in the first season of MLP:FiM.
The episode starts with Spike helping Twilight practice magic. She uses a growing spell to give him a mustache, showing her mastery of at least 25 different kinds of magic tricks. Although Spike loves the mustache and wants to keep it to impress Rarity, it was spell practice, and Twilight removes it.
Spike later reveals unicorns typically only have a small amount of magic to match their special talents. For Twilight though, her special talent is magic. It is a little OP, but I don’t hate on other people’s characters, so Hasbro can make her as much of a Mary Sue as they want. Spike praises Twilight for her abilities and assures her she is the best there can be.
When Snips and Snails come running through, proclaiming there is a new unicorn in town with great magical powers. Twilight and Spike head to the town square to see the new pony. It is none other than The Great and Powerful Trixie. Trixie is a stage magician with an ego, and although Twilight’s friends say there is nothing wrong with being talented, showing off is a problem.
Twilight’s friends begin to dislike Trixie for her boasting and point out that Twilight is the better magician. This seems rude and out of place to me. As a magician, or any stage performer in general, it is natural to make hype for the audience, to heighten the excitement of the show. Of course Trixie is being a show off; she is putting on a show! Twilight’s friends took it too far. Trixie has an ego, but they should have just let her go on bragging and walked away or something. Trixie was good with her magic, even if she used it to humiliate Twilight’s friends.
While the others encourage a unicorn *cough* Twilight *cough* to go against Trixie, Rarity takes this as a hint for her to go. She refuses, until Trixie insults her mane. Rarity uses her magic to transform into an elegant outfit and hairdo. Trixie responds to this by turning Rarity’s elegant mane into a green disaster. Rarity flees in distress, commenting on the awful color of her hair. This is met by a comical remark from a naturally green-maned pony.
Trixie challenges Twilight, but Twilight does not want to appear to be a show off as well and makes an excuse to run away. This allows Trixie to continue her bragging.
After her show, Snips and Snails serve and worship Trixie. They ask her to tell the story of how she defeated the Ursa Major, which she refuses to do, claiming she is too tired from performing her amazing magical feats. She orders Snips and Snails to leave, and they do, bumping into Spike. The two profess Trixie’s greatness to him and claim Trixie defeated an Ursa Major, something Twilight has never done before.
Still, Spike is certain that Twilight is better than anyone. His bragging about Twilight is more annoying than Trixie’s bragging about herself. Spike tells them not to believe Trixie, since they never saw her vanquish an Ursa Major, and unless they see her do so, then there is no reason to trust her. This seems a little bit anti-friendship, as the friendly thing is typically to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Spike’s comments give Snips an idea: release an Ursa Major for Trixie to vanquish. When he asks his buddy Snails if they are thinking the same thing, Snails assumes the topic of thought was why flea markets are called flea markets when no fleas are sold. To answer his comical question, it is likely because original flea markets sold second-hand items that may have contained fleas.
Spike goes and talks to Twilight about facing Trixie. He points out the difference between bragging and showing off real talents to stand up for her friends. This is the moral of the story, but Twilight still refuses to see the difference between the two.
Meanwhile, Snips and Snails go to awake a sleeping Ursa Major for Trixie to vanquish. Once the Ursa Major is angry for being woken up, he goes on a rampage. Snips and Snails fetch Trixie to solve the problem. As it turns out, Trixie does not know how to stop an Ursa Major and her attempts only anger the creature more. Trixie admits she doesn’t know how to vanquish and Ursa Major; it is impossible and she made the story up to look better.
Rather than letting Ponyville get destroyed by the Ursa Major, Twilight uses some quick thinking (and magic) to save everypony. With a wind spell to go through the reeds and make music, she lulls the creature. She uses her magic to fill a water tower storage with milk from cows in a nearby barn. This acts as a bottle for the Ursa Major, which is now sound asleep. Twilight’s magic carries it back to its cave and Ponyville is saved.
Everypony is proud of Twilight for saving them and revel at her power. Twilight apologizes, saying she does not want them to hate her for showing off. Twilight must be terrible at reading social cues, because she saved lives, and expects to be hated for it. Applejack lets Twilight know they are proud to have somepony as powerful and talented as her to be their friend. After this whole ordeal, it is revealed that Trixie’s bragging inspired Twilight to do some research on Ursa Majors. As it turns out, the huge creature she had vanquished was a baby, an Ursa Minor!
Trixie continues to brag about her powers and runs off. Twilight stops Rainbow Dash from going after her, hoping Trixie will learn her lesson eventually. Twilight then deals with Snips and Snails (and Spike) by giving them spell #25 as a punishment. All three boys love their “punishment.” That’s a bit kinky, but okay.
The final scene shows Twilight and Spike in the library. Twilight writes a letter to Princess Celestia explaining what she learned: it is okay to show off talents, especially to stand up for friends. (She did not use them to stand up for her friends, but rather to save Ponyville, but whatever.) Twilight also finally admits to Spike that she is the most talented unicorn in Ponyville.
I hate this. There is a quote (often misattributed to Einstein) that goes “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that is is stupid.” Twilight may be an exceptional magician, perhaps even the best in Ponyville. That does not mean she is the most talented unicorn. In the beginning of the episode, it is stated that most unicorns only have a limited amount of magic related to their talent. Rarity is certainly more talented than Twilight when it comes to fashion sense. Everypony has their own talent, and Twilight’s is magic. Being more magically gifted than others does not necessarily make her the most talented. I think the lesson in this episode fell short.
The good thing about this episode is that it introduced some new characters. Trixie has real potential, and as she has yet to learn her lesson, she has a chance to redeem herself in future episodes. Many fans like her, and although I originally did not care for her, the fandom helped her to grow on me. Snips and Snails are also a fun duo and offer some dumb comic relief. I realize some people may find them annoying and stupid. They were stupid, but I thought it was comical. I also can see how these two give a negative image to male characters in the show.
Seeing Spike play a large roll was enjoyable, although he overdid it way too much with his praise of Twilight. The focus on Twilight was nice, as she is the main character. If only she wasn’t portrayed to be an ignorant (yet magically-talented) fool who thinks her talent is the only talent…